Our earliest church minutes date back to 1875 with our church being called The Baptist Church at Ellijay. It was at this point that a group of believers decided to affirm what is called the Abstract of Principles.
The church continued to grow and see salvations and life change. Some of the life changes experienced were with Pearl Tankersly and Ethel Perry who were saved and were candidates for baptism based off of experiences of grace.
Since inception, our church has always had a strong desire to see God’s glory known among the nations, a heart for missions, and a passion for biblical discipleship. In 1910, it was noted in our church minutes that the membership wrote the Foreign Mission Board (now the International Mission Board, IMB) for the purpose to get a list of all of the missionaries on the field so we could pray for them by name.
The history of our church hasn’t always been favorable. Around 1916, The Baptist Church at Ellijay experienced a church split. From the split, two churches emerged, Ellijay Baptist Church and First Baptist Church Ellijay.
For almost 15 years, enmity was between these two churches.
In August of 1931, a revival took place in Ellijay with guest preacher Dr. George P. Brown from First Baptist Church Midland Texas. This revival initially was only supposed to be one week in length but after seeing little fruit from the ministry, the revival pastor decided to stay an extra week. Upon the completion of the second week, it is said that over 100 decision for Christ were made and just as many baptisms took place at the river.
In the September 11, 1931 edition of the Times Courier (the local Ellijay newspaper), it states, “As one of the outstanding results of a two week protracted meeting, Ellijay Baptist Church and First Baptist Church Ellijay met for negotiations of the union of the two bodies. Their work was harmonious and effective.” Ultimately, the two churches were reunited and called themselves The Baptist Church of Ellijay. This name didn't stick for long. The community continued to call the church First Baptist Church Ellijay and so shortly after, the church was renamed.
In the midst of the Great Depression, First Baptist Church defied the odds and decided to purchase property in downtown Ellijay. In 1933, FBC Ellijay built a new facility. In the October 1933 church minutes it is noted, “GOD PROVIDED!”
In 1986, after conducting surveys, FBC Ellijay recognized a great need for a new work on the east side of Gilmer County. This new work would later come to be known as “Mission 1.” In 1988, 5 people started a Sunday School class that would continue to see growth. In 1989 the Sunday School class had split into six classes and a worship service was started. By May of 1989 “Mission 1” had the fourth largest Sunday School ministry in the local association. In June of 1991 FBC Ellijay dedicated “Mission 1” as Cartecay Baptist Church which was located on the east side of Gilmer County. From there FBC Ellijay was blessed to see Cartecay Baptist Church plant Cornerstone Baptist Church in Cherry Log GA around 1999-2000 making FBC Ellijay not only a “mother church” but a “grandmother church.”
FBC Ellijay has continued to experience God’s provision. We are still located in beautiful downtown Ellijay and are blessed to be apart of what God is doing in this community.
FBC Ellijay has served God and this community for more than 140 years. We pray God will continue to use this body of believers to to serve Him for many years to come.
(140+ years including total church history / 84 years as “First Baptist Church Ellijay”)