In 1902 the City of Statham was ten years old, and although it was a thriving town along the new railroad, it lacked a Baptist church. There had been a Primitive Baptist church in the town, but it had burned and disbanded. A small group of Baptists had been meeting for Sunday School in Statham for some time with Rev. James A. Bell preaching once a month on a Sunday evening. Bell was pastor of the Baptist churches at both Jefferson and Bogart.
On October 19, 1902 an informal meeting was held at the Statham home of Dr. Strickland Rylee where it was decided to organize a Baptist church. On November 30, 1902 the group met at Statham Methodist Church where Rev. W. M. Coile, pastor of Winterville Baptist Church and Rev. Bell preached.
Statham Baptist Church was organized that day with fourteen members and with Rev. Bell called as pastor. The church, later named First Baptist Church of Statham, has provided a Christian witness in Statham and Barrow County from that day forward. Thirty-four pastors have served the church with the last ten being full-time, the church having changed to a full-time ministry in 1960.
Significant dates in the church’s history include: building a sanctuary (1905), adding a basement under the sanctuary for Sunday School and fellowship space (1930s), an educational addition to the sanctuary (1951), a new educational building (1972), and renovation and expansion of the sanctuary (2002). Beyond the concrete events in the life of the church, God has abundantly blessed His congregation with the salvation of souls, growth in grace, and His constant presence for these one hundred years.
First Baptist Church Statham is a church in friendly cooperation with the Southern Baptist Convention, the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, and the Appalachee Baptist Association. The church’s mission is to reach Statham and the surrounding communities one person at a time.