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Est. 1847


Believing that the holiness of God, the centrality of Christ, & the empowerment of the Holy Spirit are the basis of our faith.

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First Baptist Dalton


Welcome to First Baptist Church, Dalton, Georgia! Our mission is to be...

“Together in Christ, Sharing His Love.”

If you’re a newcomer to First Baptist, we invite you to let your browser wander over our site. Click on the things that catch your eye. Explore things that pique your interest.


Take a look at who we are and what we do. We hope you’ll find the information you’re looking for, but more importantly, we hope you’ll get a sense of what God is up to in our congregation. If you like what you see, we invite you to join us for Bible Study and worship. We’d love to have the opportunity to meet you in person and find ways we can share His love together.


If you’re already involved in the life of our church, then we hope you’ll find whatever information you need to deepen your connection to the mission and ministries of First Baptist Church. Our prayer is that this site will enable you to link your life more fully to the mission of our church and God’s mission in the world.


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It is a Church of Real People!

We encourage the people who come to FBCD to simply be themselves. God created us all as unique persons. No two of us are alike—and for that we can be thankful. At FBCD you do not have to act like someone you are not. You will be accepted simply because of who you are—God’s beloved child! Come and discover a place where real people can be themselves—and still be loved!

It is a Church of Hope!

It goes without saying that life has its problems. We all face the perplexities and worries that life brings to us on a daily basis. While we do not discount those issues at FBCD, we also want you to know that God offers hope. Together we can discover the true purpose and meaning of sharing our lives with others serving Christ. Encouragement, love, and hope—enough to last for a lifetime—is what you will find at FBCD!

It is a Church of Friendship!

Nothing quite compares to having true friends. We all desire people who will listen to us and accept us. We want to share life with people who know that nobody’s perfect, but understand that we can all grow. When you come to FBCD, you will discover some friends who become family!


It is a Church of Encouragement!

Encouragement! It is like a cold glass of water on a hot August day in Northwest Georgia! But sometimes it seems to be as rare a commodity as is the proverbial desert oasis. If you are feeling “thirsty” for encouragement, we would invite you to join us for Bible study and vibrant worship centered on God’s Word. The Bible is an ever-flowing spring of encouragement to us all. Come to FBCD and you will be refreshed!


It is a Church of Fun!

Proverbs reminds us, “Laughter is the best medicine.” Growing up in today’s world can be tough. Life is filled with bumps and bruises for us all. Everyone from the youngest to the oldest need people that they can turn to and trust, people who can give them good direction—and the kind of fun that helps them to keep things in perspective. Everyone deserves a good laugh that lightens your heart! When you visit FBCD you will discover good, clean, honest, fun.


It is a Church of Opportunity!

It does not take long for any of us to realize and learn that some of the greatest joys in our lives come when we invest our lives in others. At FBCD you will be given ample opportunities to invest your life in the things that really matter. We know that every person who enters the doors of FBCD has God given gifts and passions to offer in the Kingdom of God. Come to FBCD and you will discover such opportunities waiting for someone just like you!

It is a Growing Church!

Babies, toddlers, and preschoolers all bring a new perspective to our lives. With new birth comes new promises and possibilities that are visited and revisited. We know that each child that comes to FBCD has a unique personality that is waiting to be revealed. Our goal is to seek every way possible through our ministry and teaching to help them become all that God created them to be. Each child—fearfully and wonderfully made—is filled with the promises of God and of life. Your child will be opened to a whole new world of love at First Baptist!

It is a Church of Tradition!

No person is an island unto themselves! Relationships link our lives together, as friends, husbands, wives, parents, children, and extended families. FBCD has been serving God in Dalton for a very long time through personal relationships.  Relationships are a great source of joy at FBCD. But the building of these relationships not only brings that joy, it brings added strength to face the challenges that are heaped upon us by our world today. One person who has to stand alone can easily be attacked and defeated. But put two people back to back and they will stand and conquer what comes their way. Add a third (Jesus Christ) and that cord will not easily be broken (Ecclesiastes 4:12). Come and find the strength in numbers that you need to face the challenges of this day.

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core values

Believing that the holiness of God, the centrality of Christ, and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit are the basis of our faith, we are devoted to:

PERSISTENT PRAYER - Acts 2:42, 46 - We are committed to continual, fervent prayer both individually and as a church, faithfully seeking God’s will.

SINCERE WORSHIP – Acts 2:42, 46-47 - We value intentional, inclusive worship that exalts God with awe and wonder, celebrates Christ with joy and thanksgiving, and submits to the Holy Spirit in reverence and humility.

UNIFIED COMMUNITY – Acts 2:42, 44, 46 - We recognize and affirm the diversity of our congregation as we aim to develop a sense of unity and common purpose, seeking God’s will and striving always to be a people of love, encouragement, and forgiveness.

INTENTIONAL MISSIONS – Acts 2:44-46 - We share the love of Christ by meeting the spiritual, emotional, and physical needs of our community and world.

GENUINE WITNESS – Acts 2:39-41, 43, 47 - We are salt and light in the world, following the example of Jesus by constantly sharing the love of God through our words and actions.

BIBLICAL FOUNDATION – Acts 2:42 - We teach and learn God’s Word, and choose to make all decisions based on its guidance, strength, and truth.

INTEGRITY OF SALVATION – Acts 2:38-41, 47 - We believe salvation through faith in Jesus Christ is available for everyone and through it all of life is transformed.

SACRIFICIAL LIVING – Acts 2:42-45 - We commit to the stewardship of our lives, and we offer our time, talents, and resources completely and joyfully.

Core Values


The year was 1847. The Industrial Revolution had made its way from England to the United States and the sewing machine, a variation of which later became so important to Dalton, had just been invented. Cross Plains was a small village in Murray County, formerly Cherokee Indian territory. The railroad was coming, and settlers were moving in to build homes and start businesses. They wanted churches in which their families could worship.

So, on November 29, 1847, a small group of Baptist worshippers gathered to constitute a church. The charter members numbered nine, one of whom was Rev. George Selvidge, the first pastor. In that same year, Cross Plains was renamed Dalton. Under the direction of the early Daltonian, Ainsworth Emery Blount, a wood frame chapel had been built just south of our present courthouse (probably somewhere in front of the post office). This building was used alternately by Methodist, Presbyterian, and Baptist congregations. This arrangement continued until 1851, when Baptists and Methodists built their own churches on land acquired from Edward White, one of Dalton’s founding fathers. The Presbyterian congregation purchased the chapel. In 1851, Whitfield County also came into existence on land separated out of Murray County.


The history of First Baptist could be written about buildings. There have been four. First there was the chapel used by three different congregations; then in 1851-52 a white frame building replaced a log schoolhouse on the corner of Selvidge and Waugh Streets (currently the Krystal Restaurant). It was arranged to house a school on the ground floor and a church on the second floor. Since this church was badly damaged by use as a hospital during the Civil War, a third building was begun in 1874, but was not completed until 1887 because of the physical and financial difficulties of that post-war era. With several renovations, the third building was occupied until 1959, when the present home of First Baptist on Thornton Avenue was completed. The first addition to the 1959 building was constructed in 1970 to provide more Sunday school space. The Family Life Center was constructed in 1981. The most recent changes in First Baptist facilities began in 2005 with planning for an extensive renovation of the entire campus. Plans were adopted by the church in January, 2006. The project, which provides state of the art children’s and youth facilities and also more open greeting and fellowship spaces, was dedicated on September 21, 2008.


Buildings, however, are only a part of the story of a church. Organizations and mission endeavors speak volumes about a congregation. Since formation of a Sunday school in the early days of the church, Bible education and spiritual formation have assumed central roles at First Baptist. Programs for youth and children were soon included as important components of Christian education. Bible study is still a key part of First Baptist’s identity. Excellent music is also important to worship and Christian education. Choirs exist for every age group, and church members have given pianos, organs, and hymnbooks for the use of our people in singing God’s praise. In 1981, with the opening of the Family Life Center, a program of activities was begun to include physical and fellowship events in addition to spiritual disciplines. Mission activities are carried out all over the world. First Baptist’s primary partner in missions is Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, but partnerships are also maintained with Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist General Association of Virginia, and other local and state organizations.


The church began a kindergarten program in 1958, which has evolved into the present-day Children’s Learning Center, serving the entire Dalton community. Another community ministry, The Christian Counseling Center of Dalton, was begun within the church facility in 1984 by Dr. Billy Nimmons, pastor at that time. Its continued growth prompted renovation and dedication in 2002 of a nearby building for the sole use of the center. It now employs four licensed therapists.


Many committed lay people and consecrated pastors have led the church in being faithful to minister in Christ’s name. Forty-four pastors have served First Baptist, several more than once during periods of difficulty such as the Civil War. A church, in the final analysis, is more than buildings, cherished artifacts such as bells or old communion sets, or even long-standing organizations. Church history is the story of people and their commitment and devotion to God, on whom they call for direction in their journey. Throughout its great history, First Baptist has been a church of vision, missions, spiritual growth and leadership. A strong church fellowship has been the foundation for an outward turn toward ministries in the Dalton community and throughout the world. 

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a growing tradition

est. 1847

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