We are very thankful to have a wonderful history as First Baptist Church Naples. We have seen God do incredible things during our Pastor's 25 years with us, but God was at work here in Southwest Florida long before Dr. Wicker arrived. You can watch a short video about our history, or read the story below...
In the spring of 1945, Pastor Joseph Engel, his wife, and young son were sent by the Brookdale Baptist Church of Bloomfield, New Jersey to plant new churches in South Florida. They arrived in Naples and gathered other Baptist families to meet with them in a small outbuilding behind the local grocery store. Soon, they began to worship in a small house which was the Naples Women’s Club on 11th Ave. South in old downtown Naples. Just one year later, in 1946, twenty-four charter members purchased property on 8th Street South and the foundation for a dynamic, Christ-honoring church was set.
They called their first full time pastor, Rev. U. Curry Walton, and over its 70 year history, this congregation has been shepherded and led by wonderful men of God who had a vision to reach people for Jesus Christ.
Just thirty years later, in 1976, the church had grown to the point that it needed to move from its downtown location. And it did, to the outskirts of town, to a 12-acre campus on Pine Ridge Road. Then, in 1992, our present pastor Dr. Hayes Wicker came to Naples after hearing the call of God through the people of God. He recognized that the Lord wanted to do something that could only be explained by His power and His grace!
Again, the LORD was at work as the church family outgrew that campus and in He provided the means to purchase 100 acres for relocation to her present home on the corner of Orange Blossom Drive and Livingstone Road. In January 2002, the doors opened to the new campus.
We know this church is not a building…it is a fellowship of believers who have joined together to give glory to God alone as we together proclaim the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our solid foundation is built on Him and on His trustworthy Word, the Scriptures. We give all glory to God for all He has done and look with anticipation toward all that He will do in the future, until He comes again.
History of FBCNaples Pastors
Rev. Joseph Engel 1945 - 1946
Rev. U. Curry Walton 1946 - 1959
Rev. Robert F. Martin 1959 - 1969
Rev. Freddie Smith 1970 - 1978
Rev. Irvin Northcutt 1978 - 1980
Rev. Max Cadenhead 1982 - 1991
Dr. Hayes Wicker 1992 - Present