In the spring of 1845, a slave gathered enough courage to ask his master to allow him to form a church for the slaves to worship. This was a bold move, because slaves were thought of as chattel, and were bought and sold at will. The slave’s name was Rev. Wilson Brown. Rev. Brown with the help of his master Major Fields, and a white Baptist minister, on the first Thursday night in April 1845, established the First Negro Baptist Church. Although they didn’t have a building in which they could meet for services. So all gathered on May 2, 1847, and assemble what is called a brush arbour.
The location was Tenth and Spring Street in Little Rock, Arkansas. God bless the congregation to grow and gave them another miracle, a new building on the corner of Seventh and Gaines Street, which is still the site of the church today. Our Church is the pillar of the community and will continue to grow as the congregation grows. The future is bright with blessing of God and its congregation, First Missionary Baptist Church will always be: "A Spiritual Torch, A Haven of Rest, A Beacon of Hope, for over 166 Years".
First Missionary Baptist has also had World leaders speak from its pulpit. In April 1963, four months to the day of the famous "I Have a Dream Speech", Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave 118th anniversary sermon. In 1990, only months before announcing his presidential aspirations, the Governor William (Bill) Jefferson Clinton gave a rousing 145th church anniversary address. First Missionary Baptist has been a springboard that catapulted these men in the world spotlight. God has truly blessed this church and continues to show His presence to us. Our heritage is great, our faith is even strong, but our mission is greater as we complete the work started by our biblical ancestors.