Unless you are there at the beginning most people probably never think about how a church began. Usually we become a part of a church long after it has been established. But every church has a beginning and so did First Free Will Baptist Church.
In 1952 members of the Western Quarterly of the Cumberland Association of Free Will Baptists felt the call of God about starting a Free Will Baptist Church in the Dickson area. They planned an old fashioned tent revival with the hopes that a church would come from that meeting. It did and with only seven people First Free Will Baptist Church was born on September 19, 1952. Those seven people became the charter members of First Free Will Church of Dickson and they include: Walter & Luella Burgess, Edward, Clara & Ollie Mai Hogue, Hall Scott and Minnie Mathis who was saved during the tent revival.
These seven charter members signed a covenant to begin our church and Bro. Sidney Henry was the first pastor, the church held services in the homes of members until the first public meeting place was in a basement rented from Mr. Charlie Dady at 305 N.Main St in Dickson, TN.
Later the church rented the Seventh Day Adventist building on McCreary St in 1953 they purchased property on the corner of Second and Dickson Avenues. A building committee was elected consisting of Bros. Walter Burgess, Edward Hogue, and Carl Young. As soon as the basement part of the building was finished the church began meeting there until the sanctuary was completed in April 1955. In November of 1956 materials purchased to complete four Sunday school rooms at the church. To further complete the building in November 1966 the church voted to purchase a cross to place on the roof.
The church continued there for a number of years until in June 1977 ten acres of land was purchased on Highway 96 in the Burns area. Once again a basement building was erected and the church met in it for several years. In August 1988 construction was begun to complete the building. A geodesic dome was built on top of the existing building making it one of the most unique church buildings in the area. Everyone knows where the "dome building" is. The congregation moved into the upstairs sanctuary in May 1995 and had the dedication ceremony in July that same year. The church sits on ten acres with about 15,000 square feet in the building.
Over the years other improvements have been made to the facility. These began with a lighted sign for the church; a playground with equipment was added as was a storage building that includes a sheltered picnic area. In the sanctuary the church has added a baby grand piano as well as a state of the art sound and video equipment.
All of this was accomplished without leaving the church in debt and the glory as well as the thanks for what we have to our loving Father. To say First Free Will Baptist has been Blessed is an understatement.
The church has had sixteen pastors, the first being the late Rev. Sidney Henry. In August 1994, Rev. Eddie Thomas assumed duties as Pastor. Rev. Thomas and his wife Carol have two sons, Michael and Nicholas. We offer Sunday School classes for all ages as well as other activities to promote fellowship and Christian growth. Our mission statement is "to preach and promote, by every legitimate means available, the Gospel of our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ, both at home and abroad."