The History of First Bible Church
First Bible Church of Decatur began in April, 1965 with a group of individuals who felt the need to have systematic instruction from God’s Word. Six families came together to discuss the formation of a new non-denominational church. Of the six at this meeting five became charter members: Mr. and Mrs. Raymon Baker, Mr. and Mrs. John Cook, Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Jones, Mr. and Mrs. A. B. Love, and Mr. John McBride.
Dr. Richard Strauss, then Pastor of Huntsville Bible Church, agreed to come on Thursday night for a mid-week Bible Study. The first service was held November 7, 1965. “This is a day of firsts. The first service of the First Bible Church of Decatur on the first Sunday of November, 1965. It is the first church of its kind in Decatur. May we ever put God first, His teaching first and His work first.”
From the outset, a strong emphasis was placed on missions at First Bible Church, and we adopted our first foreign missionaries: Wayne and Kitty Gute (Guatemala), Jim and Nadine Rupp (Mexico), and Bill Wooten (Ecuador).
The church called its first pastor, Hampton Keathley, a young Dallas Theological Seminary graduate in May 1966.
The church bought property and built at 1620 Fifth Avenue SE, and the building was dedicated in 1967. This served the needs of the group until 1974, when the church purchased property at 1701 Carridale Street. The building was dedicated in September of 1977. As the church grew, the need for a larger facility was evident. In 1987 a gift of fifty-five acres (our present location) was made. Our current Sr. Pastor, Steve Bateman assumed leadership at FBC in 1992. We have been at our present location since May of 1997.
The mission of First Bible Church is to glorify God by helping people know, love, obey and exalt Jesus Christ. In 2013, the Elders of First Bible were led to expand this mission to the community of Madison, Alabama where many of our members work and live. When this vision was brought before the congregation, 86 individuals wanted to be a part of the launch team for Madison. With Wayne Campbell in place to serve as the Campus Pastor and a meeting place in the Auditorium at James Clemens High School secured, the vision becomes a reality with the first services of the Madison Campus meeting on September 8, 2013.
May God receive glory for what He has accomplished at First Bible Church.