Our Enduring Legacy

First Baptist Church is FIRST because we have the distinction of being the oldest continuously operating Baptist church in the state of Maine. Founded in September of 1772, we have continued to bring the gospel to our community and the world through preaching, teaching, evangelism and global missions.

Our first members met outdoors on a flat rock on outer School Street that September1772 morning when they ordained their first pastor, Elder Peletiah Tingley. As winter approached they ultimately moved into what was called the “Lafayette Tavern,” an establishment located at the corner of what is now Rt. 109 and Rt. 4 in South Sanford. This little congregation grew significantly and in 1794, they erected our first meeting house at the corner of Rt. 202 and Hansen’s Ridge Road. There they remained until 1870 when the church decided it would be good to move the building downtown. That winter when the roads were frozen and snow covered, the congregation placed the meeting house on horse drawn sleds and moved it to our present location on Main Street. What a spectacle that must have been! Our church was “on the move” then and has continued to move forward to this day!

That old meeting house burned to the ground in July 1878 and a new building took its place. Soon that building was outgrown and sold to the local Methodist congregation who moved it to another location. Our present building was then erected on the same spot in 1888 and today we continue to treasure our rich history as we worship the Lord in this beautiful house of praise and prayer.

Over the course of our long history, we have been led by just thirty-nine pastors. We believe this is a testimony to the stability of our church and the power of God to lead and guide us through every situation and give us a strong ministry within our community. In 1996, Pastor Virginia Gass came to this church and became the first female pastor in our history. Today, under the leadership of “Pastor Phil”, we continue to grow in our spiritual life together and in our service to the Lord and our community. We look forward to continuing our work for Him until He comes again and we welcome you and your family to come and be a part of the future of Sanford First Baptist Church as we worship and serve together in the Name of Jesus Christ, Our Lord.

For more historical information about Sanford First Baptist Church try these links: