History of Greater First Baptist

Philippians 4:13 reads:

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Who Are We & How Did We Originate?

We are an organized body of believers that began it’s existence On the 15th day of June, 1954 when thirty six people who believed that they had the courage to stand up for God, met at 1319 Winter street, the home of Mr. and Mrs. J.C. Jacobs in an attempt to organize a station of worship. God always smiles when men seek to make him known through the establishment of a place to worship. In the community a church stands as a light to constrain men to come to Christ in order that their souls be saved. Of course this one meeting could not possibly accomplish what was needed so therefore another meeting was held at 1415 East 32nd, the home of Mr. and Mrs. Willie Johnson, during this meeting It was suggested at this meeting by Mrs. O.M. Jacobs that the Brock Elementary School be secured for services. The same was ordered and secured and the organized body held services there for a period of six months.

Being inspired to go forth, the body was officially organized August 8, 1954, Rev. Hope Robinson, Rev. Gay and Rev. Gantt gave much needed assistance.

Our Beginning

Having organization completed with the exception of a pastor and a place to worship, the body began a search for both. On the 2nd Sunday in December 1954 the members entered the new edifice.

The congregation called as its pastor in January of 1955, the Rev. B.M. Reynolds who faithfully served for a period of four years and eight months. Upon being called into another vineyard of labor, Rev. Reynolds resigned his post of duty and released all obligations in good faith on August 16, 1959.

The search for another pastor began. Diligently searching with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the members were directed to the Rev. W. E. Gibbs, a young alert and progressive man, who was called October 8, 1959. He accepted and began his service on the 25th of October. He served well, but never became complacent with things just as they were. The church was added to spiritually and financially.

What Have We Done?

The church progressed rapidly. Property directly behind the church was purchased, the building was air-conditioned and later a cafeteria was added and equipped with a shower given by the missionary society.

The church continued to move forward, but Pastor Gibbs and members were still not satisfied. Having had a vision, which carried him years ahead to see that First Ward Baptist could not survive at its former location, he approached the church. Then he told of his vision, the congregation showed no doubt by their actions in his leadership, for all agreed to move the place of worship from cluttered, dying and transit area to one of homeowners and promising growth.

A committee was then appointed, headed by Pastor Gibbs and guided by the Holy Spirit, to see after the business. On December 5, 1965, an eager, enthusiastic and adventurous congregation entered the edifice in which today is the W.E. Gibbs Educational building.

Of course this was a huge undertaking but through prayer, hard work, sacrifice and guidance by the Holy Spirit the vision prevailed. During this period, we realized that a change in the name of the church had to be made. Pastor Gibbs asked for and accepted the suggestion of Bro. Alex Money in naming the church Greater First Baptist.

Many renovations were completed over a period of time.

In 1982 we were blessed with the paving of the north parking lot and the year following purchased the lot at 4419 Haygood.

On the eleventh day of January, 1987 the church celebrated the great event of groundbreaking. November 19, 1988 was a joyous time as we entered the new sanctuary. Builders I can only imagine how you felt on that day as you entered the holy place and your eyes beheld the beauty and you were able to now see the benefits of your sacrifices. Think back and praise God for all the things he has done. You are a testament to YES WE CAN!

The church was incorporated March 28, 1996 with a Board of Directors.

On February 23, 2002 when the God that Pastor Gibbs trusted in took him home to rest eternally, Reverend R.L. Thompson Sr., became pastor of GFB. Our hearts were saddened at the physical lost but yet we celebrated for we know to be absent in body is to be present with the Lord. If you didn’t learn anything else from Pastor Gibbs you at least learned this song, all the BABY BOOMERS please stand on your feet.

What We Are Doing?

Currently under Pastor Thompson’s leadership the church is growing from the inside as well as the outside We as a church continue to be active in all levels of denominational work, institutes, revivals and Certified Leadership schools all geared for individual membership growth. However this could not be done without the active participation and support of the BUSTERS. We are the grandchildren of the Builders and the children of the Baby Boomers. We have been told of the many works of God from previous generations but we have now had our own experiences and we can celebrate him too. Will all the BUSTERS please stand and reflect back to when God became real in your life.

Yes, that is a part of the GFB history. Pastor Thompson led the efforts in renovating the W.E Gibbs Educational Facility, the fellowship hall and the nursery. We have an active computer lab and are still in the planning stages of a library.

In 2008 we were blessed with new a whip. For those of you from the other generation that is before my time a whip is the green machine parked out back. After the delivery of our bus we could be seen all over Houston giving tours to the members.

Membership attendance in Prayer and Bible Study has increased as we can hear him say, “Come early so that you can get a seat.” Currently we have Youth Meetings, which take place every other Monday night and these sessions are to prep our youth to be all that God wants them to be as they walk through life and all of its challenges. Often times we forget that the Bridges, which are our youth, have their own personal relationship with God. Under Pastor Thompson’s leadership he has emphasized that our youth experiences with God are just as real as the experiences you the Builder, the Baby Boomers and the Busters have. Will all the Bridges stand?

Many sacrifices have been made, many tears have been shed but nothing we can do or ever dream to do can top the love that was exemplified by our savior on a hill called Calvary. Much has been said in our history today. History books will now reflect that in year 2008 we elected our first African American President. If it was not for our Builders prayers, Baby Boomers labor, Busters, creativity and Bridges determination, our Builders can now say Yes We Did, and our Bridges can Yes We Can.

As a church we should praise God for what he has done, what he is doing and what we know that he can do. Your presence here today is yet another note in the great history of the Greater First Baptist Church.

Pastor's Comments

Welcome to our website,


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May God richly bless you,

Pastor T

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4441 Haygood St, Houston, TX 77022