First Baptist Church of Elon is a Christ-centered family of believers reaching out to all people through worship and service.
Our church has a rich and dynamic history. Beginning as a mission sponsored by Brookwood Baptist Church of Burlington, 47 charter members officially constituted Elon Baptist Church on August 8, 1948. Services were originally held in the Grange Hall on Williamson Avenue. Our church moved into its own facilities on the corner of Trollinger Street and Hold Avenue in 1950. James M. Horne was the first pastor, serving from August 1948 until August 1952. Rev. Truitt Gannon began as pastor in October 1952 and served until July 1956. The church purchased a parsonage on Summerbell Avenue in June 1953. In 1954 the church voted to change the name to the First Baptist Church since it was the first Baptist church located in Elon College Planning for a new Sanctuary began in January 1956. Rev W. T. “Tip” Cockman began his ministry in December 1956.
In April of 1957 the new sanctuary on Trollinger Street was completed. In December 1962, Dr. Thomas E. Powell Jr., owner of Carolina Bological Supply, offered the church two and one half acres of land on which our present facilties are located. Although the church on Trollinger Street was new, the congregation voted in June 1963 to accept a gift from Dr. Powell. In 1966 work was begun on a new educational building on Lawrence Avenue The old church was sold and our first service was held here in September 1968. The parsonage was sold in 1970. Rev. Cockamn served until July 1978.
Rev. Bruce O. Martin was called as pastor effective April 1, 1979, serving until July 1986. Mrs. Margaret Miller was called as Minister of Music in July, 1981. Our present sanctuary was built-in 1981/1982 with dedication services held on May 2nd, 1982. The debt was retired in a special service in May 1990.
Rev. Norman B. Harris began his ministry on February 1, 1987. During the years 1989-90 our church conducted a long-range planning study called PACT(Project: Assist Churches in Transition). From this study our church saw the need for a full-time Youth Minister and additional education/fellowship space. As a result, Stan Vaughan was called as Minister of Youth and Family Activities, serving from January 12, 1991 until September 30, 1995. During the tenure Rev. Vaughan established a solid foundation of Youth Ministry. Also as a result of our PACT study, our present educational building and fellowship were constructed. These were dedicated on May 16, 1993.
After several months of the Intentional Interim Program, the church called Rev Mark Mofield, who served from October 1, 2001 through June 30, 2013 as Sr. Pastor. From “Get Out of The Boat at Lake Macintosh, special church wide studies such as “Klesis” and “I’ve Got Time”, and a Vision process, the church delved into understanding its identity, values, resources, challenges, and the kinds of ministries God is calling FBC-Elon to do. Local community ministries we have supported included Career Net for the unemployed, assisting with the Hispanic Mission, Angel Food ministry, baseball camp for children, and outreach to Elon University students. The church sent a group of adults and youth to Kiev, Ukraine to minister to children in 2006.
Rev David Durham became the part-time Youth Minister in May, 2000. He transitioned to full-time Youth and Associate Pastor in May, 2004 after his graduation from Campbell Divinity School. At that time, he was also named minister to Senior Adults. His gifts of Administration and Education were included in his title. The youth program has developed into a strong mission minded group. Mission trips to Savannah, GA, Mon Valley, PA, Washington DC, Rutland, Vermont, Louisville, Kentucky, and Birmingham, AL provided opportunities for a large number of youth and adult helpers to experience hands on missions.
Margaret Miller, Minister of Music, retired after 30 years of service, on December 31, 2012.
The church sanctuary renovation was completed in 2004. The entire debt of the renovation plus the remainder of the debt for the addition of the Fellowship Hall and Education Building expansion in the 90’s was paid in 2011, at the end of the 1st year of a 3 year Capital Campaign, Debt Free in ’13 followed by a mortgage note burning in early 2012.
Our church called Rev. Laura Rice Primm, August 2013 to serve as our Minister of Music and Children.
Dr Dennis Herman served as Interim Minister for our church during the pastor search process until June 2014. On Mother’s Day 2014 Dr. Mason Smith gave a sermon for our church and was selected as our new pastor by our church congregation. Dr. Mason Smith’s first day as our pastor was on June 18, 2014.
During his time as Senior Pastor, Dr. Mason Smith encouraged the church to revision our future at FBC Elon. Changes to the church structure, including the addition of the Vision Leadership Team, was made. The church focused their attention on reaching out in the community to the college, the senior adult living centers, and other ministry organizations. During this time, Mrs. Gay Collins was called to serve as Minister of Music in September of 2016. Dr. Mason Smith concluded his tenure as Senior Pastor in early 2019. Former pastor, Rev. Norman Harris, served as an interim during 2019 and early 2020.
Dr. David Durham was called as Senior Pastor and began his ministry on Father’s Day 2020. His ministry began as the church navigated the “new waters” of the COVID-19 pandemic. Worship services were transitioned to outside during the early months with return to a “new normal” schedule in early 2021. The congregation voted in April 2021 to start a new Endowment Fund to help fund ministry and missions for many years to come. On Sunday, May 16, 2021, the congregation dedicated the new Prayer Garden at FBC Elon.
Our ministry & mission partners include the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, CBF of North Carolina, and the Mt. Zion Baptist Association.