First Baptist Dallas has been a vital part of downtown Dallas since it was founded
in 1868. Through its more than 140-year history, the church has grown in size, causing
a variety of building projects throughout the years. First Baptist is one of the
largest property owners in downtown Dallas, but the aging facilities consist of
a hodge-podge of closed, inaccessible buildings constructed over more than a century.
In early January 2008, shortly after becoming Pastor of First Baptist, Dr. Robert
Jeffress issued a call to the congregation to consider a new worship center and
facility for children and student ministries and other campus improvements.
On Nov. 1, 2009, after 21 months of research, First Baptist's Church Planning and
Development Committee proposed moving forward with the largest funding campaign
ever undertaken by a church to build an expansive, 21st century campus that will
enable the historic congregation to continue to be a spiritual beacon in downtown
for generations to come. This recommendation was unanimously approved by the congregation.
The proposed $123 million campus will combine state-of-the-art, revitalized facilities
with the church’s historic past. Instead of an assortment of mismatched buildings,
virtually indistinguishable from the rest of downtown, First Baptist’s new campus
will be a unified whole, easily identifiable as a spiritual center.
Amid a wave of downtown revitalization, including the opening of the Dallas Center
for the Performing Arts and ongoing construction of the Dallas Convention Center
Hotel, the new First Baptist campus will help the church to enhance its presence
in downtown Dallas while completing the circle of resources for meeting the needs
of downtown residents.