History of Institutional First Baptist Church



          The Institutional First Baptist Church was organized by Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr. on Wednesday night before the 4th Sunday in March of  1971. The organizational meeting of twelve Christians was held at the Saint Clair Catholic Church, now known as Saint Clare Mission located on Martin Luther King Boulevard.

          Following a devotional, the group held a lengthy discussion on why it had convened and came to the conclusion that a new church would best fulfill its needs. The late Charlie Taylor, senior member of the group,   offered a motion for the establishment of a new church; the motion was seconded and unanimously carried by voice vote. The group, then, asked Dr. Sherman to name the new fellowship and he recommended that it would be known as The Institutional First Baptist Church. Dr. Sherman explained the meaning of Institutional as carrying an educational focus   in worship, training, outreach, and executive authority only for the founding Pastor. The newly formed fellowship accepted, by unanimous vote, both the name and its implications. Hence the church became known as The Institutional First Baptist Church of Albany, GA.

          The first worship service was held the 4th Sunday in March of 1971.The Church experienced rapid growth in membership, goodwill, and finance. To accommodate the expanding need, a decision was made to acquire a facility for Institutional. The Church was blessed to purchase its first worship center in June of 1971 and held its first service in its location at 208 East Road the First Sunday in July 1971. As result of continuous growth, the membership voted to acquire a larger facility and chose one located at 111 Owens Avenue; its first worship at that location was held the First Sunday in April of 1981. For the next ten years, the       Institutional family worshipped at that facility. In 1990, the Eighth Avenue Church of God became available for purchase and the  Institutional membership voted to purchase it. Although the closing was completed in November of 1990, Institutional permitted the Eighth Avenue Church to remain there, paying rent, through the First Sunday    in May of 1991. Hence, Institutional held its opening worship at the1410 Slappey Drive location the Second Sunday in May 1991.

          Institutional First Baptist has been the locus for a variety of outreaches. Among the discontinued ones are: The IF-B Child Care, The IF-B Adult Learning Center, The Third Saturday Academy and The Bethany Divinity College and Seminary. The Boy Scout Troop continues to be viable along with the Church Outreach Ministry. Additional information on Institutional can be found by referring to links on the homepage.










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