Vision, commitment, and faithfulness are three qualities that were evident in the formation of First Baptist Church in Hoopeston, Illinois. The vision began with four pioneers who met on March 6, 1873, to discuss the possibility of establishing a Baptist church.
On October 1, 1873, the believers became a constituted church. By 1881 the congregation had fifty-eight members, and those members purchased the property this church sits upon from Mr. Honeywell for $150.00. They then built a 30x46 frame structure for $1,400.00, and in 1888 they made $800.00 of improvements.
In 1902 people had to be turned away, for there was no room in the church. On July 1, 1903, they broke ground for the present building, which was completed on February 25, 1904. This building, a 47x95 brick structure, cost $14,000. The auditorium could seat 300; the lecture room, 200. Besides vision, those early believers demonstrated their commitment to their God by inviting others, giving their tithes and offerings, and attending services.
The early history also illustrates the faithfulness of many. One area of faithfulness has been the church’s support of missions, both home and foreign. However, the most important aspect of faithfulness has been the adherence to the Bible. Over thirty ministers have preached the Word of God without apology. These three qualities–vision, commitment, and faithfulness–will continue to be as important in the twenty-first century as they were in the nineteenth century. Philippians 1:6
Today more than 100 members along with others who are part of the church family continue the history that began on March 6, 1873