Our Heritage

On August 8, 1920, a small group of individuals met together in a small wooden frame building located in the town of Hot Springs, New Mexico. In addition to serving as a gathering place for the townspeople, the building was also used by the religious body of the early settlers, as a Community Church.

The meeting was held for the express purpose of organizing a· Baptist Church. Present at the meeting were nine individuals who were to be the charter members of the church born that day. The group named themselves the First Baptist Church of Hot Springs.

The Community Church Building served as a meeting place for the newly organized Baptist Church for the next year.

During the initial year of existence, the church membership grew from the original nine to eighty-two. In April 1921, plans, were made to build a "tabernacle" as a meeting place for the church. (This building would be located l block west of the present church location.) The structure was completed in a month's time and the church's inaugural meeting was held on May 4, 1921. The tabernacle was modest in appearance with a wood roof, a dirt floor and board benches with no backrest.

In April 1923, the tabernacle was moved onto the property where the present church structure is now located. Two years later, on January 17, 1925, the church voted to have the building wired for electrical power to provide lighting.

The existing church sanctuary was built in 1929. The continued membership growth during the following years necessitated many additional facility additions and changes.

In December, 1941, a baptistery was added. Due to the lack of running water, the baptistery was filled with water pumped from the hot mineral springs located beneath the building.

An Education Building was added to the church property in 1946. At this time, the sanctuary was remodeled. New chairs, a new ceiling and a hardwood floor were added.

In 1966, the Education Building that was erected in 1946 was tom down and replaced with the present two-story Education Building.

In 1974 the sanctuary underwent its second renovation, which included new windows, a new suspended ceiling, and a remodeled front entrance
Again, in 1988, the church was beginning to feel the need for additional space. In February 1990, construction began on a new education building. This building would be attached to the existing educational facility and would include a new office for the pastor and secretary, a kitchen, a large fellowship hall, and additional classroom space. This newest addition to the First Baptist facilities was· completed on January 27th, 1991.

On March 18, 2000, the education facility was named "The Leigon Annex", in honor of Bill Leigon for his many years of service to the church.

On September 16, 2001, ·at a special called business meeting, the members of the church heard a report from the Building & Facilities Task Force concerning the need to build a new Auditorium. Motions were then made and approved that the First Baptist Church begin the process of building a new auditorium immediately, and that the Church engage the services of the Church Architecture Department at a cost of $12,000.

On June 23, 2002, the church voted to enter into a building campaign entitled Bridge to Tomorrow. This campaign was to include the demolition of the old auditorium, construction of a new worship center, and remodeling part of the old education wing.

The church moved out of the old auditorium September 9, 2002 into the fellowship hall while demolition, and then construction, began. Many church members volunteered in the process of the construction. Volunteer teams from around the Southwest also came to help at various times.

The new worship center was dedicated January 18, 2004. The construction was completed in May 2004. Since that time, we have been enjoying the new structures and facilities with which God has so richly blessed us.