As a Christian church, we exist to honour God by helping local people worship God, grow spiritually, serve others, and reach their communities and the world with the message and love of Jesus Christ.
On Saturday, July 9, 1836 a meeting of the Baptists of this district was called in response to an invitation from the Regular Baptist Church of Charlotteville (Vittoria), and the second Regular Baptist Church of Townsend (Bloomsburg). The purpose of the gathering was to organize a Baptist church in the growing town of Simcoe.
For the first year of its life, the Regular Baptist Church of Simcoe (later known as First Baptist Church) met together in homes. In November of 1837, the decision was made to build a house of worship, which was to be named Bethsaida. A year later, the new church building – the first to be built in Simcoe – was complete. The site of this building was, unfortunately, poorly chosen as the church found itself under water numerous times. It wasn't long before the building was move to a flood-free location on Colborne Street.
In 1867 the church on Colborne Street burned to the ground. And so on September 9, 1869 a new brick church was opened at the present site on the corner of Young and Talbot Streets. As the years and decades progressed, the church membership grew steadily. The current Sanctuary has housed the congregation since 1921. The most recent addition – in which the offices, classroms, and gymnasium are located – was completed in 1989.
On September 9, 1956 the Memorial Casavant Organ was dedicated in memory of the men who gave their lives in World War II. Between 1999 and 2001 this same organ was refurbished by Guilbault-Therien Inc. and continues to be a valuable tool for the ministry of music in this church.
Currently, our building is home to:
One of the projects we have undertaken during our 175th Anniversary celebrations in 2011 is to digitize some of our historical archives and make them available on the Web. So far, we have the folowing available:
Year Book and Church Directory, 1930
Hundred Years' History
Baptist Convention of Ontario & Quebec 50th Anniversary
50th Anniversary of the Dedication of the Sanctuary
150th Anniversary Update
175th Anniversary Update