Cartersville First Baptist Church was organized as Pettit’s Creek Baptist Church in 1839. This congregation is believed to have existed prior to 1839, but this was the year that they purchased five acres of land near the intersections of Mission and Burnt Hickory Roads and built the first church. The church had a cemetery at this location, but very few of the markers remain and the sight is no longer associated with the church. In 1856, the church decided to move to a location on Cherokee Street and rename the church Cartersville Baptist Church. They built a new church that included a gallery for its black members. The Civil War, however, took its toll on the church. The building was severely damaged by Union forces in 1864 when General Sherman’s army occupied the building and took it apart for brick and lumber. What was left after this encounter was destroyed by a tornado in April of 1868. The congregation continued to meet in various churches throughout the area until they rebuilt a wooden structure in the same location in 1871. Brick was added in 1890, and later a pastorium was completed nearby.
Since most of the church had been destroyed by war, two trustees were able to make a case to the US government and receive $5,000 in war reparations in 1903. This money went towards a new church building that was built on a new lot further east on Cherokee Avenue in 1904. It was soon after this move that the church name was changed to Cartersville First Baptist Church. The decision was made again for the church to move locations almost a century later in the late 1990s. Today, Cartersville First Baptist Church is located at 241 Douthit Ferry Road, Cartersville, GA 30120, in their newest facility that was built in the early 2000s. The church is visible on this map of Bartow County Baptist Churches: https://goo.gl/maps/9uTux1G4ZvQ2.
Cartersville First Baptist Church is well-known for being the location that famous female missionary Lottie Moon had her inspiration to go into missionary work in China. Throughout the years, the church has been a part of both the Georgia Baptist Convention and the Bartow Baptist Association. They currently host services at 9:30 and 11 am every Sunday morning. You can learn more about Cartersville First Baptist Church on their website at https://cartersvillefirst.com/.
Black, Margie. First Baptist’s History Extends Deeply. PDF. Cartersville: Cartersville First Baptist Church, 1972.
Cartersville First Baptist. PDF. Cartersville: Cartersville First Baptist Church.
Cartersville First Baptist Church History of Growth. PDF. Cartersville: Cartersville First Baptist Church, 2014.
“Contact Us.” Cartersville First Baptist Church. Accessed August 15, 2018. https://cartersvillefirst.com/about-us/service-times-contact-info/.
Cunyus, Lucy. Official Directory of the First Baptist Church, Cartersville, GA. 1916. Booklet available at the Bartow History Museum Archives, Bartow History Museum Archives, Cartersville.
Written and researched by Amy Young, Kennesaw State University Intern, Fall 2018.