It all started when...
The First Baptist Church of Bassett, Virginia began humbly on December 13, 1900, with 15 Charter Members. On June 11, 1906, a small building was erected and the church was constituted under the leadership of Reverend John Lee Taylor.
At the time of the church’s beginning, Bassett was populated with less than two hundred people. The main industry in town was the newly founded Bassett Furniture Co. which offered employment opportunities to the greater community until recent years.
The present church property has occupied this parcel of ground since 1958, with the addition of the Sanctuary added in 1965, and dedicated Easter Sunday, April 18th. On January 27, 1970, the church adopted a recommendation to erect an “Activities Building” at the rear of the original building. From 1955 through 1971, the buildings were erected under the pastoral leadership of Dr. Douglas White who remained as pastor for 25 years until his retirement in 1974. In December 2006, a motion was passed to begin construction on a multi-purpose building that was to be built on the present courtyard between the educational building and Sanctuary. This building was erected and completed primarily through the work of the laymen and laywomen of the church and was dedicated in May 2008 with the cornerstone reading “To God be the Glory.” Following this building in January 2010, and due to the growth of the youth ministry and church outreach, a Youth Center was renovated that once occupied the south corner of the education building. This too was completed through the work of FBC laymen and laywomen.
On September 7, 1987, the entire church building was flooded by the swollen Smith River. Damages were estimated at over two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. However, through the grace of God and the tireless efforts of the membership and generous neighbors, the church facilities were restored and dedicated at a service of Thanksgiving and Praise on June 12, 1988.
Over the years, FBC has had the privilege of supporting two missionary families, beyond the many supported through the SBC Cooperative Program. Dr. and Mrs. (Lorna) Harold Fuller served in the interior of Sudan, Africa from 1951-1991. The Rev. and Mrs. (Sue) Terry Hammack have now served for over 35 years, most recently on the field in Kano, Nigeria.
First Baptist Church has been served by a number of pastors throughout its 112 year history as well as other gifted ministry leaders. The present pastor is Lew Bennett, Ed. D., who has served two tenures (1984-1987 and 1999-present). The Music Director is Darrell Snead, who has served since 2003, upon the retirement of Floyd Ashworth who retired after 35 years of service. Adam Hughes served as Student Pastor from March 2008 until April of 2014. Chris Carasella served a brief tenure as Student Pastor from October 2014 until August of 2015. In March 2017, Billy Craig became Youth Pastor. The Secretary-Treasurer is Mrs. Margie Hall who has served faithfully for over 45 years. The current Building Superintendent is Mr. Wayne Helms.