First Baptist Church Decatur

First Baptist Church Decatur


This church exists to know and love God, to befriend people who feel disconnected from God, to grow up believers into mature followers of Christ and to serve Decatur and the world in the way of Jesus.


This congregation celebrated 150 years of ministry in 2012. First Baptist Church Decatur has a lot of space inside and outside the buildings that it tries to use for the benefit of the community. People dress comfortably at both worship services. The 8:45 am service is alternative worship and the 11:15 am service is traditional worship. The church emphasizes the study of Scripture, not so that people can construct lists of rules, but so that everyone can connect with individual stories within the overarching story of God. The church is "baptist" in that they baptize believers who confess their faith in Christ, though they welcome everyone and see all Christians as the corporate body of Christ. The polity is congregational. Leadership is based on giftedness, not on gender, money or amount of time in the congregation.

Unique Opportunities in Ministry

Some unique opportunities include: getting involved with entrepreneurial outreach ventures, systematic incorporation ministry for newcomers, partnership with the Crime Victims Advocacy Council, transportation for job-seekers, annual "yard sale" for the community as well as seasonal opportunities such as "Blue Christmas" for those grieving during the holidays, labyrinth prayer walk during Holy Week, MLK, Jr. weekend of service, and "Prayers and Squares" prayer ministry involving quilts.

Site NameFirst Baptist Church Decatur
DenominationCooperative Baptist Fellowship
Location TypeUrban
Worship Attendance320 - 350
Worship Times

Sunday: alternative worship at 8:45 am; traditional worship at 11:15 am

Distance from CandlerApproximately three miles
Accessible to persons with disabilities?Yes
Accessible via public transportation?Yes
Can women be ordained?Yes
What role do women play in leadership?Women hold leadership roles in all areas and aspects

Weekly Schedule

  • Sunday:
    • Learning groups: 10 am
    • Children's ministry: 10 am
    • Worship services: 8:45 am and 11:15 am
    • Support groups
  • Tuesday: 
    • Support groups
  • Wednesday:
    • Bible study: 12 pm and 7 pm
    • Family meal: 5:30 pm
    • Children's ministry: 6:30 pm
    • Worship preparation: 6:30 pm
    • Support groups
  • Thursday:
    • Support groups
  • Saturday:
    • Support groups

First Baptist Church Decatur has partnerships with the Decatur Cooperative Ministry and the Decatur-area Emergency Assistance Ministry. The church is the location for the Decatur Farmers' Market and the Georgia Center for the Book readings and book-signings. It is also one of the venues for the annual Decatur Book Festival and the Faith and Justice discussion and advocacy group. The church has ongoing partnerships with ministries in Liberia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Thailand. Additionally, the church hosts an all-day, year-round pre-school for kids three months to four years, a summer camp and an after-school program for children grades 1-5.

Meeting the Five Areas of Ministry

Administration: Con Ed II students are welcome at all staff meetings, finance and deacons' meetings. They are required to attend the August staff retreat. The operations manager gives a one-on-one orientation for church administration.

Liturgy (Worship and Preaching): Students participate in liturgy planning meetings. They read Scripture, pray, lead responsive readings and assist the Pastor for Children and Families with helping the children in their worship roles. Students who have musical ability lead in that way. Students always have as many opportunities as they want to preach in various retirement center vespers services. Some students preach in FBCD worship at the discretion of the pastor.

Mission and Outreach: Students participate in mission planning with the Missions Steering Team and are encouraged to plan, recruit volunteers for and lead special projects during their time at the church. They can also become part of a regular serving team (homeless shelter, prayer quilts, immigrant ministry, transportation ministry, etc.).

Pastoral Calling and Congregational Care: Students may, with permission, sit in on marriage counseling sessions, conflict resolution meetings and deacon leadership meetings. They accompany pastors on visits to hospitals and nursing homes and make independent visits. They assist with funeral services.

Teaching: Every Con Ed II student teaches adults, youth or children at least once depending on their interest.

First Baptist Church Decatur
308 Clairemont Ave
Decatur, GA 30030
Phone: 404.373.1653

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