First Baptist Church
of Minneapolis, Minnesota
was founded in 1853 at Saint Anthony Falls
. E.W. Cressey
, a missionary
with the American Baptist Home Missionary Society
, together with members of First Baptist Church of Saint Paul
and St. Anthony gathered on March 5
and committed themselves to organizing a "Regular Baptist Church," the first Church organized in Minneota Territory
west of the Mississippi River.
The first permanent home for the Church was at Third and Nicollet, and was the largest meeting hall in Minneapolis. With the rapid growth of the city a larger building was built at 5th and Hennepin in 1857 serving the congregation until the present structure was built in 1885 at 10th street and Hennepin avenue. The building was designed by the firm of Kees and Fisk, which later became the firm of Long and Kees. It is built of Kasota limestone in a blend of the Romanesque and Gothic revival styles. The original steeples were blown down in a 1967 windstorm.
William Bell Riley, known as "The Grand Old Man of Fundamentalism," served as pastor of the church for forty-five years (1897–1942) and another five as pastor emeritus until his death in 1947.