The First Baptist Church was organized in October 1900 by Dr. I.W. Walker, then moderator of the Jefferson County District Association. Dr. Walker named the church "Shiloh" and occupied its pulpit until the first pastor, Rev. Sim Lewis was called.
In February, 1913, the church relocated and founded the First Baptist Church of Ensley. In October, 1926, Rev. C.H. Taylor led the church into its new edifice; located at 1534 19th Street.
In 1961, Rev. A.D. King, was selected to pastor First Baptist Church. No one would have guessed that under the leadership of Rev. King, First Baptist would become a focal point of the nation. Yes, this was the era of the Civil Rights Movement. Rev. King, being the brother of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was very active in the movement.
Rev. King led many civil rights rallies, and First Baptist was one of the central locations for the movement in Birmingham. Due to Rev. King's activities in the movement, the church's parsaonage was bombed. By God's grace, no one was injured in the explosion. However, the church was the scene of many meetings thereafter.
In 1975, the Rev. William Hamilton led the church in constructing a new sanctuary and educational complex. Many skeptics said that the massive project could not be done. However, it was done and on March 23, 1975, the members marched into the new house of worship.
In April, 1983, Rev. Thomas E. Gilmore, Sr., was called to pastor the First Baptist Church. Under Pastor Gilmore's leadership the church established an early morning service, payed off the mortgage, renovated the sanctuary, established a daycare, created additional ministries, and welcomed many new members to the First Baptist family. Under Pastor Gilmore's strong leadership, the church enjoyed one of its most fruitful years by adding new trustees, new deacons, and over one hundred new members. In 2009, Pastor Gilmore celebrated 50 years in the ministry.