First Baptist Bristol is literally on the state line between Tennessee and Virginia, with our sanctuary being in Virginia by about thirty feet! Founded in 1859, our congregation has grown with the city, and we serve, not just Bristol, but the entire northeast area of the Tri-Cities region. The Tri-Cities metropolitan area includes Bristol, Virginia and Bristol, Kingsport, and Johnson City, Tennessee, with a regional population of nearly half a million people.
A MESSAGE FROM OUR PASTOR
Welcome to the online home for the First Baptist Church of Bristol, VA. We're glad that you're here and would love for you to join us in person. If you do, you'll find people who are warm, friendly, and genuinely seeking to better follow God and love their neighbor. I know what it's like to be looking for a new church home. It can be scary and intimidating.
I was called as the Senior Pastor of this church five years ago. My family and I left behind a wonderful church and community. It was a step of faith for us, but here's how I knew FBC Bristol was the place for me - When I met the congregation, I saw people with outstretched hands and open doors to reach those around them. I saw people with pride and deep love for their community and their church. I saw people who take seriously the call that Jesus has placed on each of their lives and the call that Jesus has for their church. I saw people who truly love and care for one another, people who are invested in doing life together. And when I saw all of that, I knew that God was calling me to a new church home.
If you're looking for a warm and loving congregation, a church that believes God is big enough to handle your questions and will support you as you work out your faith, a place that will remind you that no matter where you've been or what you've done God loves you, then FBC Bristol might just be the place for you. We'd love for you to join Sunday morning and Wednesday night. I think you'll be glad that you did.
Grace and Peace,
WHAT TO EXPECT
When you visit First Baptist Bristol, you can expect to be greeted by a loving and warm congregation. Our worship style is best described as traditional-blended. While the service is primarily traditional with the singing of hymns accompanied by a piano and organ, we also blend in some contemporary and liturgical elements. It's normal to see someone playing the guitar while singing a contemporary song. We also have acolytes who light our candles during special times of the year. We follow the Christian calendar. During the seasons of Advent and Lent, our Ministers even wear robes during worship. Rather than being stuffy, however, we find life in educating and passing on the elements of our church tradition. Because of that spirit of life, you'll find that people come as they are and fit right in. We hope you will, too!
We believe that God is the creator of all things.
We believe that humankind, both male and female, is created in the image of God.
We believe that humankind freely chose to disobey God and, as a consequence of this act, came under the power of sin and that sin brought alienation from God and spiritual death.
We believe God loves every person and that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, in order that all may be restored to fellowship with Him and have eternal life.
We believe that through the death of Jesus Christ on the cross and His resurrection from the grave, the power of sin is broken and the Believer enters into fellowship with God.
We believe that the Scriptures are the inspired Word of God and are our sole authority in matters faith and practice.
We believe in the priesthood of every Believer and that every person is competent to interpret the scriptures for himself or herself under the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
We believe that the Church is the Body of Christ and is composed of all Believers who have been baptized into Christ.
Three years after the establishment of the town of Goodson, Virginia (now Bristol) and three years after the first passenger train arrived in Bristol, the first Baptist church was organized there. Since its beginning in 1859 it has had three names: Goodson Baptist Church, Bristol Baptist Church, and First Baptist Church. The church has also had three different buildings, all on the site of the present building. In 2015, First Baptist Church was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
We're excited about the future here at First Baptist Bristol! The renovation and revitalization occurring on State Street has inspired us to do the same at our church. And we have! We've recently added small group opportunities for young families and become more intentional in reaching out to the college students in our midst. We've also created new discipleship opportunities for growing and emerging groups. We're doing all of this because we, too, believe in Bristol and want to continue to look for ways in which we can be a good neighbor to those in our community.