First Baptist Church was founded by a small group of believers back in 1815. For over 200 years, we have sought to faithfully preach and teach the Word of God, making it relevant to the issues of life we all face on a daily basis. First Baptist Church's welcoming and warm atmosphere is made possible by our family church feel. Our families are always seeking ways to encourage and help one another. We also offer numerous opportunities for all ages to have fellowship, make new friends, grow in the Word, and serve. If you are looking for a true "home church", we would encourage you to visit us and become a part of our church family!
The history of First Baptist Church of Memphis goes back over 200 years. In 1815, a small group of believers saw the need to begin a church in the wilderness of Warners, New York. Originally named the Second Baptist Church of Christ of Camillus, it became the First Baptist Church of Canton, New York. Unfortunately, there already was a town of Canton so the village was eventually changed to Memphis. In the early years, Memphis was a thriving stop-off on the Erie Canal. Early extant records mention the gambling boats that would come through, which provided a stumbling block for some of the early members!
In 1837, the Church built its first building to which we returned following the collapse of the newer facility. Over the years, the hamlet of Memphis has risen and declined as the Canal went from a major source of commerce and transportation to a barely recognizable stream one passes over as one enters the hamlet. However, the Church has flourished over the years with a core group of committed people.
On February 16, 2011, at the end of a Wednesday night prayer meeting and children's ministry, following an exceptional winter, God brought down the roof of the main facility, collapsing into the basement in which, twenty minutes earlier, our children were meeting with their leaders. We thank God no one was injured but now we had to make some difficult and unplanned decisions. While we had a rich history in the past in our current location, God had given us an opportunity to rethink the best place to fulfill our God-given commission. After careful prayer and consideration, the Church voted to take the opportunity and move to a new location on Route 5, four miles from Memphis. With the purchase of ten acres on a main thoroughfare, we now call home a 22,000 square foot facility with great potential for reaching the areas around us for Christ. While the future is undoubtedly in God's hands, we, if it is His will, boldly reach out with compassion and love to win our community for Christ. We look forward as a church family to what our Lord has in store for us!
What We Believe
We believe in the verbal, plenary inspiration of the original autographs of the Bible and that the Bible is therefore reliable and inerrant in whatever it says on any subject.
"Inspired" - Literally "God breathed". i.e. the Bible is the very breath of God - 2 Timothy 3:16.
"Verbal" - God chose the use of every word of the Bible, using the background and temperament of the individual authors - Matthew 5:18.
"Plenary" - All Scripture is inspired, not just that dealing with faith and practice - 2 Timothy 3:16.
"Inerrant" - Literally "without error". No statement in the Bible is wrong - in cases where it is quoting someone, that quote is accurate, though the idea of the person making the statement may itself be wrong - John 17:17
Heaven & Hell
We believe that there is but One God (Deuteronomy 6:4) consisting of Three Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). All Three possess all of the Divine attributes and were involved in the act of creation (Genesis 1:1, 2; John 1:3) as well as the provision of our redemption (Ephesians 1:3-14).
Person & Work of Jesus Christ
We believe in the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:1), His Virgin Birth (Luke 1:30-35); His Sinless Life (2 Corinthians 5:21); His Substitutionary Death on the cross for our sins (1 Peter 3:18); His Physical Resurrection from the grave (John 20:3-8); His Ascension to the right hand of the Father, and His present intercession there for believers (Romans 8:34); and His Imminent, Personal Return for the saints (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
We believe in the great Commission of Christ to evangelize the world and that this is the great mission of the Church and the solemn obligation of every believer.
We believe marriage to be between one man and one woman (Genesis 2:18-24; Matthew 9:3-5; Mark 10:6-8).
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit- We believe in the Personality and Deity of the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3-4); that He reproves the world of sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16:8); that He seals (Ephesians 1:13-14), indwells (1 Corinthians 6:19), fills (Ephesians 5:18), guides (John 16:13) and comforts (John 14:26) the believer, and that His role is to speak of Christ (John 15:26; 16:13). While we believe that He is the giver of gifts to the believer for the service and ministry to the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:4-11), we do not believe that He gives the sign gifts any longer (1 Corinthians 13:9-10).
We believe that salvation is wholly of grace through faith and wholly apart from human merit and that man, who by birth and choice are sinners, must exercise faith in Christ's redeeming work on Calvary.
We believe God's Word commands every believer and only believers, to be baptized and that the only scriptural mode is immersion. We believe the ordinance of the Lord's Supper should be observed and that it is a privilege peculiar to those who are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ
We believe that man was directly created by God in His own image (Genesis 1:26-27) on the sixth literal day of creation (Exodus 20:11), that he sinned in disobedience to God (Genesis 3), fell and came by nature to be totally depraved (Romans 7:18, 23) and dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1). We further believe that he is in this condition, in need of regeneration through the Holy Spirit of God and faith in Jesus Christ (John 3:3).
We believe a local, New Testament Church is a voluntary association of baptized believers equal in rank and privilege, subject to the Word of God, and independent of any external ecclesiastical control whatsoever.
We believe in the reality and personality of Satan, that he formerly occupied the position of a special angel, fell through pride and is presently Prince of the Power of the Air and god of this age, and that he HAS BEEN JUDGED (John 16:11) and will, at the last, be cast by God into the Lake of Fire forever.
We believe in a Heaven of eternal bliss for all believers and in a Hell and Lake of Fire reserved for those who reject Christ and die unforgiven of their sins, and who will suffer everlasting punishment.
Meet The Staff
Pastor Ben Johnson & Aune
Pastor Benjamin Johnson has served at Memphis since 2013. Pastor Johnson graduated from Baptist Bible College and Seminary in Clarks Summit, PA and is currently pursuing his master's from Dallas Theological Seminary. Pastor was married to his beautiful bride Aune (Ow-knee) in September of 2016. In May of 2020 they welcomed their first child, Orson! In 2022 Pastor Johnson transitioned to the Lead Pastor role after the former pastor, Art George, (who served here faithfully for nearly 35 years) stepped down. Pastor Johnson seeks to faithfully exposit Scripture in an engaging and practical way that helps us all to deepen our relationship with Christ.
Christina Huppman has been serving as the church secretary since 2016. Christina and her husband Carl serve the church in a variety of different ways! They are the proud parents of triplets; Tim, Debbie, and Sarah. Christina is an integral part of the organization, communication, and day to day business of the church.