HISTORY OF FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH
First Baptist Church LaFollette was originally organized under the name of Big Creek Gap Baptist Church December 1881 with 27 charter members. The village was then known as Big Creek Gap. During the 1890s they worshiped at Douglas Chapel (located in the area of West Beach Street now) dividing the time of worship with the Methodists. The Baptist had preaching service once a month on the third Saturday. According to Mabel Wynn Carr they had Sunday School jointly with the Methodists every Sunday morning. In those early years they called the pastor for twelve months and then at the end of the year they might vote to call him for another year.
Rev. W. H. Rutherford served from November 1897 to January 1899. His salary was $60.00 a year. Rev. John Roach served from March 1899 to June 1900.
In February 1900 at a business meeting nineteen members asked for letters of dis-mission for the purpose of constituting a new church. Among these were: Mr. William Gross and wife (parents of Mr. Walter Gross). Although it doesn't say where the church was to be located it is believed this was the group that started the Cedar Hill Baptist Church in 1900. (Mrs. Walter Gross knew all the names and said they all lived in that area).
Rev. A. J. Slaughter was pastor from Sept. 1900 to January 1901.
Rev. T. J. Cobb served from May 1901 to Sept. 1901. On Sept. 3, 1991 the church voted to send $2.00 to State Missions. $2.00 for Home Missions and $2.00 for Foreign Missions through the Clinton Baptist Association. Each year the church sent delegates to the Clinton Association's annual meeting.
At various times a committee was appointed after 1897 to locate a site for building a church in LaFollette since the town had now become LaFollette instead of the village of Big Creek Gap. In 1901 one committee reported that Mr. H. M. LaFollette had said he would give them a lot for $100.00. Finally another committee bought a lot in April 1902. In May 1902 a building committee was appointed. At the same meeting in 1902 the church members agreed to change the name from Big Creek Gap Baptist to First Baptist Church of LaFollette.