First Baptist Church of Pensacola

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First Baptist Church of Pensacola
The Palafox Street entrance of the First Baptist Church sanctuary
Denomination Baptist
Organized May 2, 1847
Senior Pastor Dr. Dave Snyder
Location 500 North Palafox Street
Previous locations 224 East Government Street

The First Baptist Church of Pensacola is the oldest Baptist congregation in the Pensacola area, dating back to 1847. The main church building (the congregation's third) is located on Gage Hill at 500 North Palafox Street, with several ancillary buildings and parking lots adjacent. The current senior pastor is Dr. Dave Snyder.


A sign marks the original site of First Baptist Church on Government Street.

First Baptist Church was organized as the Pensacola Baptist Church of Christ on May 2, 1847 by Alexander Travis and Joseph Mitchell. The first congregation included "fifty white men and seventy-three white women as well as one hundred and twenty-four Negro men and ninety-eight Negro women."[1] Early church leaders had difficulty establishing a foothold in the area — records from the time repeatedly say the "Lord's Day service was a disappointment"[2] — but in 1852 the congregation built its first building on Government Street, just west of Seville Square.

A branch was established at the Navy Yard in 1850.

The previous First Baptist Church building at Palafox Street and La Rua.

The church relocated to its current location on Palafox Street atop Gage Hill in 1894, where a new building was completed in 1895. The church was remodeled in 1922 and 1956.


The current senior pastor of First Baptist Church is Dr. Dave Snyder who gave his first sermon on July 8, 2018.

Past leaders

  • Rev. Alexander Travis
  • Joseph Mitchell
  • W.C. Morrow (1849-1850)
  • Z.G. Henderson (1858-1860)
  • Irvin Lafayette Taylor (1879-1881)
  • Z. A. Owens (1882-1883)
  • W. L. Anthony (1883-1884)
  • T. L. Talbert (1885-)
  • J. Allen O'Hara (1886-)
  • Rev. John D. Beck (1865–1871)
  • W.H. Owen
  • Rev. J. H. Curry (1890-1892)
  • Rev. A. P. Pugh (1892–1897)
  • Frederick Jones (1898-)
  • Thomas M. Calloway (1906–1910)
  • Rev. Eugene R. Pendleton (1910–1916)
  • Dr. Adiel Jarrett Moncrief, Sr. (1920–1924)
  • Wallace R. Rogers (1939–1947)
  • James Leo Green (1948-1949)
  • Elwin L. Skiles (1949–1953)
  • Nathan C. Brooks (1954–1958)
  • James L. Pleitz (1959–1977 & 199?, interim pastor)
  • Dr. Brian L. Harbour (1978–1985)
  • Cecil W. Seagle (1986–1991)
  • Dr. James Hackney
  • Dr. Randel Everett (1992–1996)
  • Dr. Robert Mills (1998–)
  • Dr. Barry Howard (2005–2018)

Other images


  1. Abercrombie, Lelia (January 1959). "Early Churches of Pensacola". Florida Historical Quarterly, p. 458.
  2. A Brief History