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the origin story

FBC Harrison - The Origin Story


We are so glad you are here and we are excited for this opportunity to share just a little of our church history with you! Let’s start with how it all began… 


First Baptist Church of Harrison was founded on August 30, 1890. The Crooked Creek Association, now known as North Arkansas Baptist Association or NABA, organized a revival led by the noted evangelist, William Evander Penn. At the close of that revival, the idea for our new church was born. The first church building was constructed near Harrison Square, on the corner of Rush and Willow, and was visible from all over the downtown portion of Harrison, and on May 22, 1892 we held the first service in our new home! (Fun trivia fact! The walnut pulpit, which is currently used in our sanctuary, is believed to be a pulpit from the original church building).


As the town began to grow, so did the church, and so a need arose for a new church location. The trustees found a parcel of land at the corner of Vine (now Main) and Ridge and purchased it from Mary E. Connerly for the sum of $2,500. Soon the church was occupying its second home, a building called the Tabernacle, which was built to be a temporary house of worship. Then in 1929, a completely new structure began. The new facility, which took many years to pay off due to the depression, would be the home of the church for the next 50 years! In 1977, new exciting things were in the works! As FBC Harrison outgrew their location again, 30 acres of land were purchased for a new home. After much hard work and sacrificial contributions from many, a $1,100,000 facility was completed and dedicated in 1979. This is the location we are still blessed to call home today.


In 2002, with the vision of reaching more people for God, the church began construction on a Recreational Outreach Center (The ROC). This center, plus new church offices, a remodeled nursery area, and completely updated sanctuary, provided modern facilities and we are proud to say that God provided and the church was completely debt free by the end of 2007.  


At FBC Harrison, we are thankful for the journey God has led us on, not only in our own church, but also in the community. FBC Harrison believes in carrying out the great commision: expanding God’s Kingdom, both inside our church as well as through missions. Now that you know the history of FBC, here are some great things that went on in the community alongside the growth of our church. In the 1940’s when the need for another church in the area arose, FBC Harrison played a major part in developing what would later become Eagle Heights Baptist Church. Then, in 1954, FBC Harrison started another Baptist mission called the Gordon Street Mission that later became Emmanuel Baptist Church. And in 1971, FBC stepped up to help establish the Western Grove Mission. Missions are at the heart of this long standing church and FBC Harrison continues that calling today.


First Baptist Church Harrison is currently the church home for hundreds of people and we are excitedly continuing to spread the gospel to even more, both home and abroad! Thanks for spending time with us today!