Original Site of First Baptist Church
This historic marker depicts the location of the original First Baptist Church, which was erected in 1852 and later moved to 5th and Palafox in 1894. The congregation was formed five years prior by local citizens under the leadership of Alexander Travis and Joseph Mitchell-two missionaries who traveled to Florida from Alabama.
Backstory and Context
'When mission-minded men from Alabama set out to spread the gospel to the “heathens” of Northwest Florida in the early 19th century, Pensacola was their primary destination. Pensacola was a long-established center of population but was known for, among other things, its “dire need for preaching.” Because seaports always have a variety of cultural lifestyles imported from around the globe and because exotic spirits of both the drinking and emotional variety were abundant invading influences, the area became a mission field for Alabama Baptists. Today’s First Baptist Church of Pensacola is grateful for their efforts. In May of 1847, near the Bay and near what is now Seville Square, a small group of local citizens with Alabama preachers Alexander Travis and Joseph Mitchell founded First Baptist. Through the many years since, the church has, as have the city and the nation, endured and survived storms, wars, epidemics, economic hardships and other hindrances. While challenges have come our way we continue to be faithful to God’s Word and to his purpose for us and we thank God for his goodness to us. We invite anyone seeking to serve the Lord to become a part of the mission and the historical story of FBCP.'