Building God’s Kingdom

Fundraising Campaign Schedule

January 1 – Begin sermon series on giving by Pastor Eric for the month of January

January 8 – Brief presentation by the fundraising committee on the Building God’s Kingdom Campaign.

January 15 – Special guest speaker from STCH ministries, Jim Graham will be giving a presentation on the biblical basis of giving during the Sunday school hour. Begins at 9:30am in sanctuary.

January 22 – Building God’s Kingdom Fundraising Banquet at 5pm in sanctuary. Special night of hearing God’s vision for our new Church building and the fundraising involved.

January 29 – Building God’s Kingdom fundraising campaign “Commitment Sunday”

Pastor’s Letter

Church Family,
   First Baptist Church of Bellville, Texas has been called to make a difference for Jesus Christ in Austin County, and for 165 years, our church has served as a Gospel light in our community.  I am thrilled to get to participate in praying, serving, and financially contributing to the building of God’s kingdom!  We have been given a rich legacy from previous generations of men and women who sacrificed to advance the Kingdom of God in our community and to the ends of the earth.  Today, I am asking each of you to join the heritage of faith of FBC Bellville as we sacrificially give and begin the construction of a future home for FBCB.
   Throughout this process, I would ask for you to prayerfully consider how God would call you and your family to partner with FBCB for such a time as this.  In 2 Corinthians 9:7, Paul reminds believers that God loves a cheerful giver.  While Paul wants Christians to be generous, he desires their contribution not to be coerced, reluctant, or beyond their capability.  Sacrificial giving never looks the same for each person but originates from listening to what the Holy Spirit is impressing on your heart.  God’s economy is never about equal giving but equal sacrifice.  I thank you for all you do for our church and ask you to pray for this building project as we enter into God’s future for FBC Bellville.
In Christ,
Dr. Eric A. Moore


As believers, the Lord has called us to be a part of his plan to reach the lost with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  The membership of our church has a vision to help fulfill that plan in Bellville and in Austin County.  Through our campaign called Building God’s Kingdom and the faithfulness of the Lord, we can see the Great Commission fulfilled in this area.

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. – Luke 6:38

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. – 2 Corinthians 9:7

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. – Matthew 6:19-21


The History of First Baptist Church Bellville

In 1856, the Baptist State Convention sent missionaries to preach in Austin county and several surrounding counties.  As a result of this, Bellville Baptist church was organized on February 15, 1857, by Elders Hosea Garrett, D. Fisher, and B.L. Wright.  There were eleven original members.  On October 5, 1957, after adopting the Articles of Faith, Bellville Church was received into the Union Association.

In 1859 the membership was 25 and in 1865 the membership was 34.  In 1880 services were held in Union Grove schoolhouse. In 1882 the schoolhouse was sold and the church disbanded, but was reorganized in June 1887 with 12 members. In 1888, $25 was given to home missions and $200 was given for the pastor’s salary.  The membership was 30.  In 1893, Rev. C. T. Sanders was pastor and services were held in a private home.  The membership was 27.  In 1899 Umbland Hall was rented and finished for a church.  In December 1908, Rev. Frank Morgan of Hempstead was called as a pastor and a Sunday school was organized.  Use of the German Methodist Church was secured.

The “teen years” in the Bellville Baptist Church were greatly influenced by the changing trends in the community, being brought on by the war years of 1914 – 1918. Bellville now had a population of 1300 and while showing signs of real growth with hotels being built and electric lights coming to town, in 1910 few people were able to own a car. Our church family was greatly affected by these changing times – separations were experienced and emotions ran high. During these traumatic years, the church banded together in brotherly love, bought property, and built their first church and parsonage.

In 1909 a small group of churchmen built a small tabernacle on property furnished by a friend, the location now known as the 100 block of South Matthews.  In 1910, Rev. WJ David was called as pastor and a tabernacle was erected on what is now the 300 block of E. Main Street.  This property was sold in 1912 and in 1914 the lot was purchased at the corner of North Miller and East Palm streets. A tabernacle was built on the new property and services were held here until the early part of 1915, when the church’s first church building was completed.  The church was 54 years old at this point.

In the early years, the pastor’s salary was collected by sending out bills to the church members and later, members themselves would be sent out to collect money for the pastor’s salary. In 1930 the church adopted a budget system which was supported by the tithe.

Church life in the 1920s seem to be very busy as Mrs. J. A. Bradshaw began a mission work among the Mexican people who worked on the railroad. They used the building at the rail yards for a Sunday school, and every Sunday evening Mrs. Bradshaw would hold classes. A piano was purchased for this Sunday school through the efforts of the Ladies Aid Society. This organization was very active at this time and helped with Bible studies, visitation and mission endeavors. They helped in all phases of church   work even cleaning church windows and having bake sales to support their different projects.   

 In 1934 the church voted to become a full-time church.  An education building and a number of Sunday school rooms were built.  Average attendance was 150.  In 1938 the church had a membership of over 300 with the Sunday school enrollment of 289 and 123 and training union. In the 1940s the church contributed to buy a new bus.  The church joined the San Philippi Association in 1947.

Benevolence seems to be a normal characteristic of the Bellville church through the years. Many references of giving to poor individuals, worthwhile organizations and various kinds of disaster relief were mentioned in the church minutes. One custom prevalent in business meetings at that time was giving a rising vote of thanks to someone in appreciation for services rendered. In the trivia department, the Sunday bulletin was started in May 1942, and ballpoint pen ink was first used to take the minutes of February 1946.

In 1952 a committee was appointed to look into purchasing for lots on Strauss Street.  It was at this time that the committee also recommended that the church sell its present property and build a new church. The church voted to relocate, sell the old property and to incorporate. The church voted to print and sell $30,000 in bonds and begin building.  The current church property was purchased on January 25, 1952, at a price of $3300. Groundbreaking ceremonies were held September 16, 1952. On July 26, 1953 dedication services for the completed building were held and the sermon was preached by former pastor Rev. Ray McEvoy. The church had a membership of 450. The budget for 1950 to 1953 was $11,393.60, the cost of the new building was $41,000, total value of all property was 113,000 and overall capacity was 480.

Tragedy struck on January 3, 1954 at 8:55 AM when the church burned to the ground – a total loss. Most of the church minutes were rescued. The church voted to rebuild.  A total of $50,000 in insurance money was paid. Services were held during this interval in the old high school building. In the latter part of 1954, the church was completed and regular services began again. Much credit is due to the men of the church who contributed so much of their time at night towards the construction of both churches. A large sum of money was saved as a result of their efforts. A tribute must also be given to the perseverance and dedication of the people and pastor during these difficult years.

In 1966, the present parsonage at 505 E. Strauss was dedicated and in 1971 the church voted to air condition the sanctuary at a cost of $4216. In April 1973 the church bought the adjoining land at the corner of Matthews and O’Brien streets. Through the 1970s and 1980s growth continued.  In 1980 the church had a membership of 596. In 1984 a new building fund was started and a plan approved to build the Family Life Center including a kitchen.  In 1986 our name was officially changed from Bellville Baptist Church to first Baptist Church, Bellville, Texas. Throughout the 90s and early 2000’s church growth continued.


We are asking the members of 1st Bellville to invest in the God’s vision with the clear expectation that He will impact this community with the love of Christ. This is a campaign of giving, during which we will ask not for equal gifts but equal sacrifice.   Each family will be asked to pray about how the Lord would have them give.  This gift can be a lump sum or paid out monthly over the next 3 years. We are asking for a commitment ahead of time, so that we know that sufficient funds will be raised to complete this campaign.  God is faithful and He is calling us to be faithful.

Plan/Goal for Building God’s Kingdom

Throughout the years the Lord has put on the hearts of the members of 1st Bellville a desire to reach the people of Bellville and Austin County with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  In 2006, realizing the current footprint of 1st Bellville limited the potential for growth of the church, the membership decided to consider expanding.   After the city turned down those plans, some minor expansion was done over time and the church had begun Phase 1 of fundraising. Following several years of prayer and fundraising the possibility of a new location was considered.  In 2018 the property on Highway 36 became available at a discounted rate. Using the Phase 1 building fund and some of the general fund, the church purchased the property on Highway 36 for about 1 million dollars.  This property offered the opportunity for the growth and outreach that this church felt called to through the Great Commission.

Over the last 4 ½ years, the process began of designing a new plan for the church sanctuary and remodeling of the existing buildings.  A preliminary plan for fundraising was begun and through Phase 2 of that plan and the faithfulness its members, the church has reached its initial goal of 1.2 million dollars.  This has set in motion Phase 3 of the plan which involves hiring a builder and moving forward with construction and remodeling of the existing property.  Over the last several months, site preparation has begun and now it is time to move forward to complete this new vision for 1st Bellville.