Members of Trespalacios Baptist Church, a Matagorda County congregation established in the early 1850s, organized a Baptist church in the nearby community of Red Bluff in 1889. In 1895 they moved the church to the new county seat of Bay City, changed the name to First Baptist Church of Bay City, and joined the Colorado Baptist Association. In its early years the congregation met in a commercial building and the Methodist Church building and participated in a Union school with other local denominations.
The Rev. J. H. Thorn became the first full-time pastor in 1903, the year the congregation erected its first sanctuary. The building, destroyed in a 1909 hurricane, was replaced with a tabernacle and later with a brick structure at this site in 1915. The congregation completed an auditorium in 1941 and an education addition to its sanctuary in 1947. First Baptist church was instrumental in the establishment of Cavalry Baptist Church in 1947 and Emmanuel Mexican Mission which it sponsored from 1930 to 1989. Active in community outreach programs, the church opened a child development center in 1979 and an educational center in 1987. First Baptist Church continues to serve the community with a variety of ministries. (1994)