First Baptist Church of Columbia
Sunday, October 26, 2014
For the past twenty-five years, it has been my privilege to serve as pastor of Columbia's First Baptist Church!
My wife, Lynda, and I grew up in Iowa Park, Texas, a small town outside Wichita Falls. We came to Columbia from Oklahoma City with our son, Erik, and daughter, Stephanie. Since coming to Columbia, the Lord has added to our family: a daughter-in-law, a son-in-law, four wonderful grandsons, and one beautiful granddaughter.

First Baptist Church is rich in Baptist and South Carolina history. In 2009 we celebrated our 200th anniversary!

Our church was established in 1809 and our historic sanctuary was built in 1859 under the leadership of James P. Boyce, one of Southern Baptists most revered leaders.

Since the sanctuary was the largest building in Columbia in 1860, it was the location of the Secession Convention. Many visitors to our city tour this historic site.

The uniqueness of First Baptist Church is that our history serves as a foundation for the future! We are enriched by our historic roots, but our commitment is to claim each day for Jesus Christ.

At a time when many churches have left the downtown area, First Baptist has made a commitment to remain in the heart of Columbia. We believe that if the heart of a city is neglected, it will eventually weaken the entire community. In October 1992, we moved into our new 3,400 seat sanctuary, and in mid-October 1999, we celebrated the completion of our Estep Family Life Center!

From the heart of Columbia, First Baptist has launched numerous ministries: the annual Columbia Christmas Pageant, Carolina Celebration of Liberty, P & L Luncheons for downtown business persons, a prison ministry, the annual Thanksgiving "Feed the Hungry" dinner with St. Peter's Catholic Church, Wednesday morning men's small group studies, and Monday evening and Tuesday morning women's Bible studies; and the list continues to grow!

We also recently celebrated 56 years of television broadcasting ministry. Our worship services are viewed across the state of South Carolina and parts of North Carolina and Georgia. We rejoice that through the means of the world-wide web our worship services are streamed LIVE for anyone to view on a computer by the internet.

We are grateful for our history and are committed to the future! God's hand is surely on this wonderful family of faith. It would be my joy to welcome you to any of our services.

Blessings,
Wendell Estep