Filed Under Religion

First Baptist Church of Ogden

Standing tall in Ogden's historic district, the First Baptist Church of Ogden has its roots in the 19th century and was designed in the classic Federal style.

Ogden’s First Baptist community has its roots in 1881, when Reverend Dwight Spencer arrived in Utah via the railroad. He began his missionary efforts with a following of about twelve people, holding the first baptisms on July 10, 1881. The foundations of the original First Baptist Church were laid on August 13, 1882. As the community continued to grow, they found themselves in need of larger facilities. In 1919, construction began on the site where the First Baptist Church currently stands– on the corner of 25th Street and Jefferson Avenue. The building was completed in 1926. 

The Church was built in the Federal Style, inspired by Baptist churches in the South. The Federal Style took off following the American Revolution and was particularly prevalent between 1785-1815. Some prominent examples of this architectural style include Monticello and the White House. The First Baptist Church of Ogden echoes this style with the pilasters and pediment at the entrance, along with the  windows with a rounded top. The red brick is reminiscent of Old Town and Hamilton Halls in Salem, Massachusetts. 

There are a variety of Baptist congregations in the United States. About ninety percent identify as one of five groups: Southern Baptist Convention, National Baptist Convention, National Baptist Convention of America, American Baptist Churches USA, and the Baptist Bible Fellowship International. The title “First Baptist” does not denote a certain Baptist group– rather, it signifies that this particular Baptist church was the first to be established in a certain locality. The First Baptist Church of Ogden identifies with the American Baptist Churches denomination (ABCUSA), which believes in the authority of the Bible and the Trinity. They believe in baptism by immersion – not at a certain age, but when the believer understands the significance of the ordinance and has found Christ. The ABCUSA also believes in the priesthood of all believers, including the ordination of women, and does not affirm any creeds.

The First Baptist Church of Ogden has eleven core values and beliefs which are: relevancy, community, discipleship, missions, shared experiences to come closer to Christ, knowing and sharing the love of God, putting away idolatry, service, prayer, sharing the gospel, and accountability. 

The First Baptist Church of Ogden has stood for nearly a century. The origins of the First Baptist community can be traced back to 1881, when proselytizing reverend Dwight Spencer baptized his first converts in Ogden. The FBCO, as it is referred to locally, collaborates with Utah’s Food Bank to serve the homeless of Ogden. With its emphasis on service and its rich history, the First Baptist Church contributes greatly to the religious diversity of Ogden.

Images

First Baptist Church of Ogden
First Baptist Church of Ogden Photo taken by Isabella Holt 2023.
Sanctuary Detail
Sanctuary Detail Handpainted flowers in the sanctuary. Photo courtesy of Isabella Holt.
Reverend Spencer
Reverend Spencer FBCO's founder. Courtesy of FBCO.
Photo of Church
Photo of Church Photo taken between 1940s and 60s. Courtesy of FBCO
Copies of Original Church Blueprints
Copies of Original Church Blueprints Photo taken by Isabella Holt with permission.
The Sanctuary
The Sanctuary Photo taken by Isabella Holt 2023.

Location

Metadata

Isabella Holt, Brigham Young University, “First Baptist Church of Ogden,” Intermountain Histories, accessed April 15, 2024, https://www.intermountainhistories.org/items/show/758.