Our Heritage

The beginnings of First Baptist Church of Shawnee reach back to 1940, when two men, John Purtle and Rev. Charles Huff felt the calling of God to plant a church in Shawnee. The first services were small, with thirteen people chartering the church. Within a year, the congregation had built a small building a few blocks from its modern campus. God was good. The church continued to grow and under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, a new plot of land on the outskirts of town was purchased to build a larger building to better accommodate the growing congregation.

In 1947, ground was broken on the new building, and within three years the new sanctuary was dedicated. Over the next few years, First Baptist Shawnee was led to plant several other churches in the surrounding communities.

Throughout the decades, First Baptist has been a church that has desired to see the Lord magnified and that people would be drawn to Him. While the look of the building has changed over the years, as well as the people inside, there are ways that First Baptist is still the same church; we meet together regularly to worship the Lord and we still have a desire to see the nations come to Him.

In the waning years of the twentieth century, First Baptist became increasingly involved in various mission societies and started supporting many different missionaries around the world. At the height of First Baptist’s involvement in supporting individual missionaries, we were able to support 35 societal missionaries. In 2006, First Baptist Church aligned with the Southern Baptist Convention. Now, thanks to the cooperative program, in addition to the societal missionaries whom we still partner with, we are able to partner with thousands of SBC missionaries who are committed to reaching the nations for the Lord.

At First Baptist, we are committed to loving the Lord. We say that we are “Living a life of faith… TOGETHER!” This is First Baptist; a church in the Kansas City suburbs that exists to make great the name of Jesus and for people to worship Him together.

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Our Beliefs

We Believe the Bible to be the only inspired, infallible, inerrant and authoritative Word of God – our only rule and authority in faith and practice. 

We Believe there is one true God who is eternally existent in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

We Believe Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, lived a perfect life, performed miracles, died an atoning death on the cross, was buried, and rose bodily for the salvation of all mankind. He is both perfect man and fully God.

We Believe the Holy Spirit is God, convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, accomplishes the work of regeneration, and baptizes, seals, indwells, and bestows spiritual gifts on each believer.

We Believe all mankind fell into sin when the first man and woman voluntarily rebelled against God and are all thus under divine judgment and in absolute need of the Savior.

We Believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly by God’s grace through the work of the Holy Spirit and not by any human effort. It can only be experienced through repentance of sin and by faith in the substitutionary death of Christ.

We Believe that Christ has also called each believer to a life of holiness through the indwelling presence and work of the Holy Spirit and through faith and obedience to Christ.

We Believe every person can approach God directly through Christ without the aid of any human priests.

We Believe that membership in the church is reserved for those who have been regenerated through faith in Christ and have evidenced that faith through the public act of baptism by immersion subsequent to conversion.

We Believe that the Lord Jesus Christ left us only two ordinances, Believer’s Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

We Believe we must proclaim the Good News of Christ to the lost, to disciple believers in the Christian faith, and to encourage them to unite with a church.

We Believe that Christ will return bodily; first in the clouds for the Church; then, after the seven year Great Tribulation, to the earth to bind Satan during the thousand year earthly kingdom, then to judge the unbelieving dead and, along with the Devil and his angels, cast them into hell forever; then, finally, to create a new heaven and earth to be inhabited by the redeemed peoples of God forever.