Located in the heart of downtown Mena, First Baptist Church has been a pillar of truth in the community since 1897. The church sits on one city block adjacent to Janssen Park and the County Library with views of beautiful Rich Mountain.
FBC Mena invites you and your family to join us! We have something for every age group. Our nursery is available for infants and toddlers and is staffed through Sunday School and Worship Service. Sunday School classes include children, youth, young adults, senior adults and every age in between. The Vine Kids Ministry is active on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. Children enjoy a Children’s Chat message from our Youth and Children’s Pastor and then they head off to Vine Kids Church where they learn more about God and His Word. They also play games, create fun crafts and enjoy delicious snacks. On Wednesday afternoon, our volunteer team of 50 + assemble to greet over 100 children and youth for Vine After School and Deep Roots Student Ministries. At Vine After School children attend Bible and music classes, enjoy snacks and play-time and a nutritious dinner. Other church activities include Sunday Evening Worship Service, Women’s and Men’s Ministries, Crochet Ministry, Choir and Senior Adult fellowships.
First Baptist Church of Mena was organized on February 21, 1897. Acting moderator was Rev. E. S. James of Potter. Constituting the organization were Charles L. Stilson and wife, W. W. Cleveland and wife, J. F. Shands, Clark Dickover and wife, W. M. Green, J. W. Long, and Mrs. Sallie Scott.
Church services were irregular until August 1897 when a missionary to the Indians, Rev. W. L. Compere, became pastor. Pastors to follow were W.L.A. Standburg, J. B. Lumbley, William C. Cooksey, J. S. Edmons, W. L. Smith, H. L. Waters, O. M. Stallings, L. D. Summers, Karl McClendon, O. R. Overton, Arlie McDaniel, Billy Walker, Dillard Miller, Bill Bowen, David McCord, Bill Bullington (Interim), Lance Sawyer, Steve Ellison (Interim), and current pastor Russell Threet.
Perhaps one of the better-known pastors was Rev. L. D. Summers, who came to Mena from Hot Springs in the mid 1930’s. He led in obtaining a pipe organ for the church and in placing the stained glass windows in the sanctuary. Rev. Summers also led the crusade that was to close the Commonwealth College, which was purportedly a Communist institution. He was the leader in erecting the monument for freedom, referred to as the Ebenezer. It was built in 1936, at the time of the Arkansas Centennial celebration, and was sealed for 50 years. It was reopened on June 14, 1986; and after viewing the contents and adding new items, it was resealed to be opened in another 50 years.
Rev. Miller served the church as pastor longer than any other minister. He preached his first sermon in Mena on his 37th birthday, June 3, 1956. He retired on June 2, 1985, having served the church faithfully for 29 years.
In 2001, Bro. David McCord became our 19th pastor. In 2004, a new addition to the church was constructed and includes a large multi-purpose facility and kitchen, a new and larger youth room and church office. During Bro. David’s tenure the note for the new addition was paid in full. His ministry was fruitful at FBC Mena for over a decade. He and his wife Janet now live in Searcy where Bro. David is the Calvary Baptist Association Director of Missions.
Bro. Bill Bullington served as interim pastor for over a year until the church called Lance Sawyer in 2014. Steve Ellison was interim pastor through a time of healing in the church body in 2015. Bro. Russell Threet became our 23rd pastor in 2015 and continues to faithfully preach the Word of God.
Members of First Baptist Church have constructed three buildings. In 1892, a frame building was erected on the corner of 9th and Church Streets on a lot secured from the Arkansas Townsite Company. Later a 24-foot addition was constructed. This building, also used as the school, served the congregation for about 12 years.
After the turn of the century, members erected a building that served them for over 50 years. Most of the materials for this church came from the old railroad roundhouse, which the church had purchased. During Rev. Overton’s pastorate, the church built two educational wings.
In 1958, the church started planning the present building. Groundbreaking ceremonies were held on May 5, 1963, and construction was underway by May 15. The building was occupied in October 1964 and was dedicated on November 1, 1964 “To the glory of God, the worship of God, and the development of the Christian life”.
First Baptist Church of Mena offers a variety of ministries for all age groups.
Members find their richest fellowship among God’s people. We are thankful for God’s leadership and blessings in the past and as we look to the future because Christ lives. First Baptist Church is a family of believers seeking to make a difference one life at a time. “We Preach Christ and Him Crucified”.