First Baptist Church of Coos Bay was first established in 1879 when the town was called Marshfield. It began as a mission of Baptists to a population of 200 that was more secular than spiritual. Nevertheless, the church members began a rich Christian ministry in the area and in 1884 they managed to build the first church building in town.
Even while ministering to a mostly transient population, our church became very mission minded and strongly supported ministries in the local surroundings as well as around the world. with God's blessings and in a spirit of evangelism, by 1904 we became the largest Baptist Church in all of Coos County. That missionary spirit has continued until the present time and today we are still blessed with a concerned heart in support of missionary work.
One of our early missionary ministries was called Maranatha. This class for couples was organized in 1939 and was the first to sponsor individual world missionaries. Over the years our church has prayed for and supported many other individual world missionaries. Sailors from foreign nations were ministered to for many years partly by our contributions to the Bay Area Seaman's Center.
This missionary work has been bolstered by a number of women's missionary circles dedicated to ministering to the needy. Examples of these are the Lydia Circle which supported a school in Haiti, the Rose Mission Circle who supported local ministerial needs and the Tomasine Allen Circle which sewed quilts for the needy, locally and abroad.
A strong Sunday School history led to enthusiastic children's ministies and our current church building was built with Sunday School classes in mind. The Wonderful Wednesdays program, started around 1990, fed and ministered to between sixty and seventy young children each week. It was later expanded to include Miraculous Mondays for teens and Terrific Tuesdays for juniors.
Our present location on south Tenth Street is our third and largest building. It was dedicated in 1965 and sits high on a hill overlooking Coos Bay. Our monthly newsletter, called the Life-Line, is named after the ministry of one of our early pastors. He left the church in 1912 and started a water-going missionary ministry called the Life-Line Colporteur Cruiser. Traveling in a chapel boat, he ministered to those who lived along the waters of Coos Bay, Even though our chapel does not float, our mission today can still be the same. From our hill top location we can be the same Life-Line to lead souls to Christ and serve the spiritual needs of the Bay Area.