The First Baptist Church was constituted in the year 1896 with a charter membership of eighteen. The first meeting place was in a building at the corner of State and Meeting Streets. The church was originally known as Brookland Baptist Church, named for the community of Brookland. This community was so named in 1894 because of the many brooks and streams in the area in those days. The first pastor was the Rev. W. J. Willoughby. A lot was secured from Mr. G. A. Guignard and on the site still occupied by our church, the first sanctuary was built in 1900. The sanctuary was destroyed in 1905 when a tragic fire destroyed much of the town, including homes of 33 of the 153 members.
The tragedy was compounded when it was realized that the insurance on the building had lapsed. After much struggle, the church was rebuilding when a storm destroyed the almost completed sanctuary. Finally, in 1908, the new church building was completed and dedicated to the Glory of God. This building was used as our house of worship until the present sanctuary was built.
The sanctuary, located at the corner of State Street and B Avenue, was erected in 1942. A three story educational building was added in 1949 and named the Snyder Building in honor of Rev. T. A. Snyder, the pastor at that time. Another educational building was added in 1960 and named the Burriss Building in honor of Rev. James F. Burriss, the pastor at that time. The sanctuary was completely renovated and the stained glass windows installed in 1979.
Since its beginning in 1896, 23 great men of God have served as pastors of this church (View list of pastors). The church has also been blessed with dedicated staff ministers, support staff, and many faithful members serving effectively in places of leadership.
The First Baptist Church is often referred to as the “Mother Church” in West Columbia. It has been instrumental in the beginning of other area churches including: West Side, Northside, Line Street (now Trinity), and Holland Avenue Baptist Churches.
Through the years, Brookland Baptist Church, and now, First Baptist Church of West Columbia, has reached out to the community and to mission fields, at home and abroad. The church is actively affiliated with and supports the work of the Lexington Baptist Association, South Carolina Baptist Convention, and Southern Baptist Convention. To God Be the Glory!