First Baptist Church (Minneapolis)

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Coordinates: 44°58′30″N 93°16′40″W / 44.97500°N 93.27778°W / 44.97500; -93.27778

First Baptist 1.jpg

First Baptist Church of Minneapolis, Minnesota was founded in 1853 at Saint Anthony Falls. E.W. Cressey, a missionary with the American Baptist Home Missionary Society, together with members of First Baptist Church of Saint Paul and St. Anthony gathered on March 5, 1853 and committed themselves to organizing a "Regular Baptist Church," the first Church organized in Minnesota Territory west of the Mississippi River.[1]

First Baptist Church at night

The first permanent home for the Church was at Third and Nicollet, and was the largest meeting hall in Minneapolis. With the rapid growth of the city a larger building was built at 5th and Hennepin in 1857 serving the congregation until the present structure was built in 1885 at 10th street and Hennepin avenue. The building was designed by the firm of Kees and Fisk, which later became the firm of Long and Kees. It is built of Kasota limestone in a blend of the Romanesque and Gothic revival styles. The original steeples were blown down in a 1967 windstorm.[2]

William Bell Riley, known as "The Grand Old Man of Fundamentalism," served as pastor of the church for forty-five years (1897–1942) and another five as pastor emeritus until his death in 1947. He also founded the Northwestern Bible Training School along with an Evangelical Seminary, now known as University of Northwestern - St. Paul.

Today, First Baptist Church is part of the Conservative Baptist Association of America.

In 1871 a group of Swedish attendees at First Baptist Church formed Bethlehem Baptist Church (Minneapolis).


  1. ^ "About FBC". First Baptist Church of Minneapolis. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2007-09-02.
  2. ^ Millett, Larry (2007). AIA Guide to the Twin Cities: The Essential Source on the Architecture of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Minnesota Historical Society Press. pp. 283–84. ISBN 0-87351-540-4.

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