First Baptist Church of Kansas City, Missouri, founded in 1855, announces a new pastoral team to serve the church. In 2013, the church called Dr. Stephen Jones as its 26th pastor. In August of this year, the church called the Rev. Stephanie Dean and the Rev. Victor Velez to serve on the church's pastoral team with Jones. An American Baptist congregation, the church is located in south Kansas City at the corner of Wornall and Red Bridge Roads. Dr. Jones said, "This diverse pastoral team is an inspiration to me. It reminds me that Christ breathes through all racial and ethnic diversity and draws all of us together as a human family."
Dr. Jones, is the author of seven published books, his latest is Johnston Lykins...Follower, Founder, a Man of "Firsts." Breaking Free...from our Cultural Obsessions! (you may purchase a copy at a reduced price from the church office for $5) Peaceteacher: Jesus' Way of Shalom, published by the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America. (www.bpfna.org) Dr. Jones served for four years as the president of the BPFNA.
Dr. Jones states, "First Baptist Church lives out the vision of Martin Luther King, Jr's 'Beloved Community,' by the ease with which a diverse congregation worships and serves together. Sadly, it is a rare phenomenon in the Kansas City region. But joyfully, we are the Beloved Community every Sunday morning at First Baptist Church. Come and join us. You'll receive a warm welcome."
The congregation was founded in 1855 as the United Baptist Church of the City of Kansas, MO, when there were only 500 residents clinging to the banks of the river as the last outpost for travelers going west on the Santa Fe Trail. Since then the congregation has occupied six different buildings including the current colonial designed building built in 1963.
The church is easily accessible from I-435 on the southern side of the city; members come from the metro area including Johnson County, KS as we are only a few blocks from the state line.
The worshiping congregation is inter- generational and interracial; they pride themselves on hospitality and excellence in all aspects of worship. Music is provided by a pipe organ, grand piano, keyboard, a bell choir and a chancel choir. On the fifth Sundays the youth provide leadership for the worship experience.
In 1980 the church founded Punkin Patch preschool that utilized educational space and now serves 120 children from birth to 6 years of age. With a staff of 20 full time and 15-20 part time employees. Punkin Patch has been a highly successful ministry and provides good stewardship for church facilities.
First Baptist Church is affiliated with the American Baptist Churches/USA and supports their local, national and international ministries.