First Baptist Church Capital Improvement Endowment
Purpose of Fund
The primary purpose of the Fund shall be to provide financial support for capital projects and improvements at The First Baptist Church, Greencastle, Indiana, an American Baptist Church. If at any time the First Baptist Church of Greencastle Indiana, Inc. be divided by congregational vote, or a portion of the congregation shall secede, whether or not that portion be a majority of the congregational membership, said endowment proceeds will be retained in full by that portion of the congregation recognized as the historic American Baptist Church of Greencastle by action of the Board of Managers of the Indiana Baptist Convention.
History of Fund
In May of 1822, a small group of believers met in a Midwestern Indiana community, which a year later would be known as Greencastle, and established a Baptist Church. Reported to be the first denomination of any faith to organize here, the new congregation was initially called Baptist Church of Big Walnut. This name was later dropped in favor of the thriving young town of Greencastle.
In 1855, the church erected a building on the corner of Spring and Poplar Streets. This property, purchased from the Methodists, would serve as the location of the church for the next century. In the winter of 1867-68, a tornado leveled the first structure. The congregation was generously invited to worship in the Second Presbyterian Church. Within two years, the congregation had constructed a new house of worship on their Spring and Poplar Street Site.
To meet the needs of a growing congregation, a number of building programs have been carried out over the years. Around 1915, a basement was dug and, shortly after 1920, a Sunday School unit was added. In the early 1950's, rooms were added as living quarters for the minster and his family.
In 1965, the Baptist congregation announced plans for a new church building on a 6.7 acre site northeast of the city. In 1983, a new sanctuary and office wing were added to the church building. The church celebrated its 175th anniversary in May, 1997. The last mortgage payment on the building was made in September, 1997, and the church was debt free for the first time in more than 30 years.
Grant / Payout History