First Baptist Church of Cape Coral began as a mission church, sponsored by First Baptist Church of Fort Myers, on May 17, 1963, when 17 people met to begin the new church.
The first worship service was held on July 7, 1963 – meeting in a home, with 26 people in attendance. The 1st pastor was called in September of 1963.
The population of Cape Coral was then 1,500. (Today the population is approaching 200,000.)
The first building was built in 1964.
In 1968 the church’s status moved from being a “mission” church to becoming a full-fledged Baptist church, affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, the Florida Baptist Convention, and the Royal Palm Baptist Association.
In 1988 the current property was purchased. The church building was built on SE 41st Terrace, which is our current youth/children’s building, called the “Power Plant.” The worship capacity was approximately 350. The rest of the property included an educational facility (built later), and several houses.
The current main building was dedicated on June 20, 2004. With a seating capacity of more than 1,600, it is considered the largest and finest church building in the city.
The church had a number of good pastors but most with short tenures. Under Dr. Dane Blankenship’s leadership as pastor, the church peaked in the old building with two fairly full worship services (including winter residents) each Sunday. Dr. Blankenship then led the church to build the current facility. The church was averaging around 500 in attendance with an annual budget of $972,584 in 2005.
The church suffered a decline following the national financial collapse of 2007. After the call of Dr. James Wigton as pastor in April of 2013, the church began a rebuilding and re-modernizing process which included a “Miracle Mortgage” on the property. Both attendance and giving have been in an upswing in recent years. Jonathan Phillips was called as “Family Pastor,” as an assistant to Dr. Wigton, in 2017, and has led successful outreaches connecting with the local community, as the church continues to grow.