In 1957, a handful of Baptist believers saw a need for a fundamental, Bible –believing Baptist church in the Indiana farm town of Rensselaer. Just as a seed when planted and nourished begins to grow, this seed of an idea was planted and growth began in the hearts of these charter members. This handful of people held their first service on October 27, 1957. Pastor Lester Jackson was the first preacher and served during these early years. In 1965, Pastor Leon Piatt became the preacher and took the church to a new level. Approximately five acres were purchased on the edge of town and plans were made for the future of First Baptist Church. The memorable ground-breaking on the new property took place on March 29, 1965. The dream for a new church building became a reality.
The 1990’s saw the need to expand the church with a new addition including a fellowship hall and a renovation of the auditorium. Other the past years, Calvin Eastowwd and Don Whitecotton along with other godly men have served as pastor of First Baptist Church.
Then in April of 2004, God led a young pastor and his wife to the doors of First Baptist Church to fill the pulpit. Like the many years before, Sunday after the Sunday, with the open King James Bible, Pastor Daniel Hester, Jr., shared the good news of God’s Word. The people realized God’s directing and voted on November 14, 2004 to make Pastor Hester their shepherd.
First Baptist Church has now been in Rensselaer for over 50 years. It is a fundamental, independent, soul winning, Bible-believing Baptist Church. It is alive and well. Souls have been saved. Lives have been changed and edified. The church is now preparing to move up to another new level. Reaching people for Christ not only in the Rensselaer area, but also worldwide through missions is one of Pastor Hester’s main goals. Many exciting days are ahead for the people at First Baptist Church. It is yet to be seen how God will use this servant and his people.