Baptist work in Olathe began, unofficially, by a group of earnest Baptists in 1870. Mr. J.W. Norvell and a handful of others held Sunday school in Odd Fellow Hall on the second floor of a downtown building on Cherry street. Mr. Norvell was named superintendent and led a congregation of 14 to organize and be officially chartered as First Baptist Church of Olathe in 1873. The first church building was built on the corner of Loula and Water. This wooden structure served well until 1904, when it was demolished and replaced with a larger brick building.
Through expansions and renovations, First Baptist remained a stalwart beacon of hope in the heart of downtown Olathe for 109 years. Serving those in need, creating the missional mindset that is still pervasive today, and ultimately outgrowing its location. In 1980, the need to move and expand was evident and property was purchased and on it now sits the Church we call home. The education wing was added in 1983 and a larger sanctuary was built in 1991, giving First Baptist the space and resources to serve the community, which is the heart of this church. The history of our church is steeped in missional work and being the hands of Christ. 151 years from the first gathering of a few men and 148 years from the chartered beginnings have given us a generational devotion to Christ.
Being Christs hands in action is our purpose. First Baptist of Olathe has been integral in caring for the needs of the community and sharing Christs light. We honor and glorify our Father by serving the homeless and hungry through our Merge street ministry and partnering with other churches at the Center of Grace. Active participation with ABC and ABCCR events has been a mainstay of FBC. Youth events such as Junior High Jamboree and Camp Christy are but a few that are favorites.
We are grateful for the heritage that those before us have left. It is a history rich in love, deep in devotion, and humble in obedience to God. A heritage that has not only been passed on from generation to generation, but one that demands we share it with everyone. “Drawing our community and world into a deeper relationship with God” is not our creed, it is our purpose.