First Baptist Church does not believe that church is supposed to be old-fashioned, as in 50 years ago, rather, we believe it is supposed to be timeless, as in 2,000 years ago.
We believe that Christ designed His church to fulfill man's need for something enduring and firm by representing His eternal kingdom and ageless truth without a need to imitate man's ever-changing culture.
First Baptist Church is a church that still feels like a church. Thus, while here you will find that we still believe in fervent preaching, in singing the great hymns of the faith, in being reverent in attitude, and in promoting the Biblical role for the family.
Our Pastor, Keith Ellis, was blessed to have been born and raised in a Christian home. As a direct result, he was saved and baptized at a young age. While he was privileged to attend a Christian school from kindergarten to the 6th grade, his junior high and senior high school years were spent attending a public school. After high school, he attended and graduated from Millikin University. During this time, he attended and served with his family in their home church.
While at Millikin University, Pastor Ellis surrendered his life to full-time Christian service and answered God’s call to preach. He attended Hyles-Anderson Seminary and graduated with a Master’s degree in Pastoral Theology.
For thirteen years, Pastor Ellis served at a church in the Chicago suburbs, where he was an Assistant Pastor and Principal.
Then, Pastor Ellis served as the pastor of Calvary Baptist Church of Fairland, IN. In his two years of ministry there, God blessed mightily, and the church grew in every way.
In the midst of this growth, on April 2, 2014, God moved Pastor Ellis’ heart to accept the pastorate at the First Baptist Church of Macon, IL. As he continues to serve His Savior, he desires to continue to see Him move mightily.
After graduating from Bible college, Pastor Ellis married his wife, Rebecca, whom he had met there. Together, they have been faithful servants of the Lord. God has blessed Pastor and Mrs. Ellis’ home with six children: Keith II, Titus, Aaron, Hanna, Lucas, and Isaac.
On January 15, 1961, the first service of the Mission of the Tabernacle Baptist Church was held in Macon, IL. For this first service, a congregation of 22 people met in a large house on Illinois Route 51 (the present property site).
On April 11, 1965, the mission work was constituted into the First Baptist Church of Macon, with 54 charter members.
Six years later, a beautiful new building was constructed on the same property, where the first congregation had met. On April 25, 1971, the first service was held in the new church building with 126 in attendance.
Throughout the years of her existence, there have been countless ministries instituted on the solid foundation of Matthew 28:19-20. One of the first ministries implemented was a bus ministry which was started in 1972. Other ministries have included the following:
Adult and children’s choirs, Children’s ministries, Summer camps, Vacation Bible School, Training Union classes, Women’s Missionary Circle, Ladies' and Men’s groups and Faith Promise Missions.
In 2007, the First Baptist Church withdrew from the Southern Baptist Convention and became an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church with her mission and focus remaining the same:
Reaching the lost souls of Macon and the surrounding communities as well as those in the regions beyond with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and equiping, edifying, and exhorting the saints.
Through the years, the present building has been remodeled and updated. By God’s blessing and through the faithful stewardship and giving of God’s people, we rejoice that First Baptist Church is debt free.
From the 54 charter members on April 11, 1965, First Baptist Church is blessed to have 4 of those chartered members still active and faithful to this Church (Mary Ann Scott, Dorothy Arndt, Marge Reynolds-Inman and Ellen Witbart).
In the fifty-plus year history of the church, there have been 21 pastors who have spiritually lead this congregation. Keith Ellis is the current pastor.
It is our desire that if the Lord tarries His return, First Baptist Church will be even more dedicated than ever to see great things accomplished for Christ.