Tag Archives: First Baptist Church

New Story: First Baptist Church

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First Baptist Church has perhaps received more love and more hate than any other entity in Jacksonville. It dates to a ca.-Civil War split with black church members who retained the original name, Bethel Baptist. In 1923, Pastor W.A. Hobson welcomed 200 Klansmen in full regalia into his farewell sermon. In the 1980s, Pastors Homer Lindsay and Jerry Vines ignited a showdown with more “liberal” members of the Southern Baptist Convention. In 2019, what once seemed unthinkable occurs: the church plans to sell 90 percent of its downtown campus.

Blinded by the Lighthouse Replica / First Baptist Church

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Just before Christmas, 1998, several homeowners downtown and just to the north in Springfield said they’d “seen the light” and the light made them mad as hell.

One Springfield resident called the new First Baptist Church parking-garage lighthouse replica “extremely obnoxious, just this blinding glare flashing in our windows.” It seemed like the church had stationed “a spotlight […] right outside the house.”