First Baptist Church’s humble beginning without a doubt is a testament to Matthew 18:20, which states: “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, I will be in the midst of them.”
God has truly been in the midst of every avenue the establishment of First Baptist church has taken. From the few members who decided to leave Zion Hill one Sunday in 1933 to the apple tree in Mr. and Mrs. Alonzo Haigler’s yard in Highland Park to the abandoned gas station on Route 27… and now to a membership in excess of 6000 and to the massive new sanctuary. We praise God for those who have lead us to where we are today, for their faithfulness and their visions, we completely understand what Proverbs 29:18 says is true “Where there is no vision the people perish …”
Today, First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens (FBCLG) exists as a branch of the great tradition of African American Baptist Churches. Although “First Church,” as we are affectionately known, is a part of the Black church tradition and possesses all the doctrinal and stylistic elements of black churches, First Baptist is best understood as a multi-cultural church.
A growing segment of the church’s membership is non-African American—many people of European and African heritage are joining in increasingly large numbers. The diversity provides the church with the opportunity to build upon the Black church tradition while also expanding into communities that are well beyond the traditional constituency of the Black churches.
Community outreach and neighborhood impact is an important role of the Church. In the faith-based community development movement, the Church is a leader in New Jersey; just as the Church was a leader in the 1960’s during the civil rights movement.
First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens has long been a church that is active in the community and continues to serve the neighborhood in areas of housing, employment, health care, youth development and economic development. The focus of First Baptist is to provide a three-dimensional ministry that nurtures spiritual growth, supports academic excellence, and promotes economic empowerment.
In our church-life, all members are equal. Although some members may shoulder special responsibilities, it in no way detracts from the priesthood of every Believer. We believe that every member brings unique gifts; which, if the member never joined us, we would be sorely lacking.