Our Story

How it all started...

First Bible Church began in 1965 with a group of people who sensed a growing need for systematic instruction in the form of expository preaching from God’s Word. Six families came together to discuss the formation of a new non-denominational church. Five of those families became charter members: Raymon and Marjorie Baker, John and Jo Cook,  Ralph and Glenna Dee Jones, Mr. and Mrs. A.B. Love, and John McBride.
Dr. Richard Strauss, then Pastor of Huntsville Bible Church, agreed to come on Thursday night for a mid-week Bible Study. The first service was held November 7, 1965. In the bulletin on that day were these words: “This is the day of firsts. The first service of First Bible Church of Decatur on the first Sunday of November 1965. It is the first church of its kind in Decatur. May we ever put God first, His teaching first and His work first.”

From the beginning, First Bible Church emphasized missions. Our first foreign missionaries were Wayne and Kitty Gute (Guatemala), Jim and Nadine Rupp (Mexico), and Bill Wooten (Ecuador).
In May 1966, the church called its first pastor, Hampton Keathley, who had recently graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary.
First Bible Church bought property and built at 1620 Fifth Avenue, dedicating the new building in 1967. Increased growth required a new location and in 1977, the church built and dedicated a new building at 1701 Carridale Street.  In 1987, the church received a gift of 55 acres on Spring Avenue. Our current Senior Pastor, Steve Bateman, assumed leadership at First Bible Church in 1992, and in May of 1997 the church built a new building and moved to its present location on Spring Avenue.
In 2013, the First Bible Church family was led to expand its ministry to the community of Madison where so many of our church members already lived and worked. Eighty-six church members formed a launch team, led by Wayne Campbell, the first Madison Campus Pastor, and began meeting at James Clemens High School on September 8, 2013. In 2020, during a global pandemic, First Bible Church completed construction on a new building at 29113 Huntsville-Brownsferry Road on a 40-acre campus and dedicated the new building to the glory of God on October 25.
The history of First Bible Church is the story of God’s faithfulness. Our theme song from November 7, 1965 has always been “To God Be The Glory.” By God’s grace alone, we resolve to ever be a church that glorifies God by helping people know, love, obey, and exalt Jesus Christ.

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Join us every Sunday as we gather to worship together a 9:15 am and 10:45 am.

Decatur Campus

Madison Campus