First Baptist Church was established in downtown Des Moines under the leadership of Reverend John Nash in 1851 and is affiliated with the American Baptist Churches, USA. Rev. Nash was a missionary of the American Baptist Home Mission Society.
First Baptist has been served by 21 pastors and has met in five different buildings. Over the years, many social and community ministries have begun. These include the building of two retirement residences and a new day care center in downtown Des Moines. Ministries like the skywalk chaplaincy and the New Wine Cellar for youth were unique and meaningful ministry programs. First Baptist has responded to other needs in the community, including sharing a space with a new African American church, using the church basement as a temporary shelter for the homeless, and giving flood aid in Des Moines in 1993. FBC is also a charter member of the Des Moines Area Religious Council and considers interfaith and ecumenical cooperation to be an important part of our work.
In the year 2000 First Baptist Church began its next phase of ministry in an historic move to Johnston, Iowa. FBC began meeting at the Johnston High School until our new building was completed and first services held on May 5, 2002. Since then we have been part of important ministries in the Johnston community including hosting the Johnston Clothes Closet for a time and partnering with others in the community to begin the Johnston Ministerial Association.