The First Free Will Baptist Church of Gastonia, NC was first organized around the end of world War I. The exact date is not known, but according to history given by charter member, the late Willis D. Davis, it was sometime between 1918 and 1920. A little prayer band, living around Bessemer City, had started a little church there...Later, most of the church there decided to join the group in Gastonia, who were already holding prayer meetings in the C.D.A. area, in the hopes of organizing a church...They met and organized in the Community Building of the Clara, Dunn, and Armstrong Mills...Around 1920, the church rented a little store building on East Airline Avenue and held services there for awhile. A small frame building was erected on an end lot of North Rhyne Street. The church was called Rhyne Street Free Will Baptist Church for several years...In 1925 a larger frame building was built…

 ...The church decided to relocate, and bought the lots and built the church at the corner of Fifth and Willow Streets in 1950. This, too, was a frame building and was very slow in being completed. We moved in, long before the building was completely finished.

In 1974, the church purchased 12 acres of land on Union Road for $65,000.00.  In 1979 plans were completed for the new church...on October 13, 1985 pastor, Rev. William Calvert, and about 200 members, friends, and relatives gathered at the new church property on Union to break ground to begin construction of the beautiful new church…

On November 9, 1986 the first service in the new church was held. Open house was held on Saturday, November 8th, when a great number came by to see the new church.  

Dedication services were held on Sunday afternoon, November 23, 1986.

In the weeks following the move into the new church, we saw people saved and added to the church almost every service.

At the beginning of 1994, Randy Sawyer came on staff and in June of 1996 became full time Pastor of First church. In 2013 Darin Gibbs was voted in as Pastor and continues to lead our church as we seek to do God's will in Connecting people to Jesus, each other and the world.