During the early Fall of 1939, four students from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary joined forces to hold a week of revivals in the Watauga region. During this time, guided by a shared sense of the Lord’s call, these four students and fifteen additional individuals felt compelled to initiate a new church right here in the heart of Watauga. Turning to their president, Dr. L. R. Scarborough, they requested him to deliver the inaugural sermon. And so, with the leadership of Rev. Kelly Johnson as their pastor, the Watauga Baptist Church came into existence, marking the beginning of a cherished church family, later to be renamed First Baptist Watauga.
Our church has navigated diverse seasons, filled with joy, trials, growth, and varied experiences. Initially gathering at Watauga Presbyterian Church, a turning point arrived in 1941 when the Texas T&P Rail company generously donated land, allowing our inaugural building's construction—a foundational step in our growth. Over time, a chapel and educational wing were added, shaping the structure we have today. Amidst leadership changes and evolving physical spaces, our unwavering constant has been the Spirit's guidance, driving our commitment to serving our community and honoring His name.
An inherent part of our church's identity is its history as a sending church. From its inception, First Baptist Watauga's pastors typically served during their seminary years for two to five years before being sent out on mission or sister churches. While our current senior pastor has led for over 18 years, we remain committed to this tradition, training individuals still to this day. We've commissioned numerous young men and women called by God to serve as pastors, missionaries, chaplains, and ministers around the world, honoring the legacy established by our predecessors.
Our mission at First Baptist Watauga is to bring glory to Christ and grow His kingdom by sharing the name of Jesus. We strive to achieve this by exalting the Savior, equipping the saints, and evangelizing the lost. Our goal is to be a family on mission for Christ, just as it was in our founding.
Most importantly, you are always welcome at First Baptist Watauga. We have a seat saved just for you. We extend an invitation for you to join us on mission for Christ Jesus and to be equipped for the work of the ministry. If you sense the Lord's calling you here, we hope you'll feel like a part of our family, grow in your relationship with Christ, and be strengthened to engage the world with the Gospel.
If you're interested in visiting and being a part of the work God is doing in our local congregation, please plan a visit and let us know you're coming. We're eager to meet you. May you, and all who come behind us, find us faithful to Him.
Perhaps we’re not the local church body to which God is calling you. Our heart’s desire is for you to be obedient to where the Lord is leading you. Let us know how we can pray for you as you seek His direction. And to help you as you search, here are just a few sister churches in our area that proclaim God’s Word.