A Brief History of First Baptist Laurens
The First Baptist Church of Laurens, originally known as Laurensville Baptist Church, was organized on February 16, 1834 with Rev. Nicholas W. Hodges as pastor. The charter membership consisted of 16 people. In the early years, the church struggled to exist — being reorganized in both 1851 and 1876. With the coming of the Rev. John Pitts as pastor in 1880, the church became a leading member of the Laurens Baptist Association.
The present sanctuary, of Georgian Colonial design, was completed in 1958. The first service in the new sanctuary was held on Easter Sunday of that year with Dr. Robert S. Cooper preaching his first sermon. Dr. Cooper would go on to serve longer than any other pastor in the church’s history, leading the congregation for 28 years. Today, the church has an active resident membership of more than 800 people and continues to be active in ministering to our community, supporting missions around the world, and providing excellence in programming for Adults, Youth, and Children. In May of 2012, Rev. Rickey Letson became the pastor. He is the twenty-eighth pastor of the congregation, which has now served the Laurens’ community for 178 years.