Our History

First Baptist Church of Bellevue

1904 – Present Day

After the Bellevue Sunday School Mission (established by the Campbell County Baptist Association) had met for one year, a council convened on April 12, 1904 to consider establishing a Baptist church in Bellevue. The meeting was held at the Trinity Lutheran Church. With sponsorship from the Baptist churches in neighboring Dayton and Newport, the band of believers created a church covenant and then heard and approved a reading of the New Hampshire Articles of Faith. With a unanimous vote, the First Baptist Church of Bellevue came into existence. The fledgling congregation paid $10 a month to rent the Ideal Hall on Fairfield Avenue for its first services.

Rev. T.J. Johnson (serving 1904-1906) was called as the first Pastor. With faith in the Lord’s goodness, the church purchased a building lot on the corner of Washington and Prospect and dedicated a new sanctuary on November 24, 1907. Under a series of outstanding leaders, the early church showed steady growth, paving the way for today’s strong church.

Rev. Wayne Byland (serving 1928-1960) led the church in a pastorate that spanned over thirty years. Trained as a lawyer, he served as a military chaplain in World War I. His FBCB pastorate led the fellowship through the dark years of the Great Depression and World War II. He was long remembered for his zealous commitment to visitation and outreach to people.

Under the pastorate of Rev. Lee Hopkins (serving 1960-1978), the congregation moved into a new sanctuary in 1973, an impressive modern structure that met the needs of an expanding ministry. Fitted on the original land site, the new church was a beautiful addition to a historic neighborhood. Only in 2003 was a crowning touch added to this structure – a “new” steeple given by the Hebron Baptist Church whose original building was being torn down for airport expansion.

Dr. Bruce Peters (serving 1991-2009) continued the pattern of loving leadership in an era of rebuilding a spiritual community through expository preaching and pastoral care. Under his leadership, the church continued to reach out to a divergent community with the good news of Jesus Christ.

In 2010, Aaron Sams was called to serve as the Senior Pastor. Aaron continued a tradition of expository preaching by guiding the fellowship through many books of the Bible in his various series of sermons.  In addition to this, Pastor Aaron helped start the Faith in Action program. Faith in Action responded to various needs in the local community to point to the greatest need of all, Jesus Christ. Aaron served from 2010 to 2018.

In September of 2019, Keith Blair was called to serve as Senior Pastor. Pastor Keith Blair and his wife, Ruth Ann, brought with them a rich history of faithful ministry. Keith has served as the Senior Pastor of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Franklin County, Mason Baptist Church in Grant County, the First Baptist Church of Vanceburg in Lewis County, and First Twelve Mile Baptist Church in Campbell County. Prior to coming on staff with our congregation, Keith served in various churches as an Interim Pastor, including with our own fellowship. Before being called to serve as Senior Pastor at the First Baptist Church of Bellevue, Keith served in the role of Associate Pastor.

The original commitment of the church’s founders to missionary service continues. Local outreach continues, whether through service evangelism projects, crusades, or lifestyle outreach. Missionary teams have gone to partner in ministry with KBC Partnership Missions, the Oneida Baptist Institute, and evangelical ministries such as the Billy Graham Ministries and Samaritan’s Purse.

Special thanks to Dr. Cecil Good and his work on the history of our church.