First Baptist Church of Kansas City, Missouri, founded in 1855, announces the expanding formation of its pastoral team. In 2013, the church called Dr. Stephen Jones as its 26th pastor. In August of 2015, the church called two part-time members of its team, Rev. Stephanie Spears and the Rev. Victor Velez.
Finally, in September of 2017, the church called Pastor Dezo Desauguste to begin her pastoral ministry full-time in the church as of November, 2017. Dr. Jones and Pastor Desauguste will serve full-time as co-pastor together on a pastoral team with Revs. Spears and Velez.
Dr.Jones stated, "This diverse pastoral team is an inspiration! It reminds me that Christ breathes through all racial, national and ethnic diversity that draws us together in 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.
Pastor Dezo states, "First Baptist Church lives out the vision of Martin Luther King, Jr's 'Beloved Community,' by the ease in which a diverse congregation worships and serves together. Sadly, to few churches can model the Beloved Community simply by coming together every Sunday morning, as we do at First Baptist Church".
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 and other West bound trails. Today First Baptist Church is the oldest free standing Protestant church founded in Kansas City. The congregation has occupied five different buildings including the current colonial designed building built in 1963 in south Kansas City.
First Baptist Church is An American Baptist Church, USA.
The church is easily accessible from I-435 on the south on Wornall Rd.We are also one block from the State Line and members come from Kansas and Missouri. The congregation is inter- generational and inter-racial. Music is provided by one of the cities finest pipe organ, grand piano, keyboard, a bell choir and a chancel choir. The church also has a contemporary group that leads the hymn of sharing weekly.
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.