FRENCH CITY SOUTHERN BAPTIST CHURCH
In November of 1960, Air Force Recruiter Sgt. Jesse L. Brown moved to Gallipolis. Contact was made with Robert Hall and Darrell Chapman, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church, Jackson about beginning a Southern Baptist work in the Gallipolis Area. The first fellowship meeting took place on December 13, 1960, in Sgt. Brown's home located on Jackson Pike with six present. January 9, 1961, Emmanuel Baptist Church, Jackson became the sponsor church of the new work. June 13, 1961, the mission leased an old store building located at 158 Third Avenue in Gallipolis. The first worship service was held on July 2, 1961. September 16, 1962, the first baptismal service was held at Raccoon Creek in Gallia County. Area Missionary Robert Hall baptized Melody Shahan, Donald Eastman and Herschel McClure.
Aggie Bentley was called as the first mission pastor on February 3, 1963. On January 26, 1964, the mission constitiuted as French City Southern Baptist Church with 42 charter members.
During the tenure of Pastor Raymond Pinson, the present property was purchased for $11,000. The 100-year old Shahan house on the site was used for worship services and Sunday School.
During 1965, the church answered the call to begin a new work in Mason, West Virginia. Sunday School was held at 3:00pm on Sundays in the rented quarters of the DAV hall. This mission later became a church.
Ground breaking services for a building on the State Route 160 site was held on July 3, 1966. A loan for $22,000 was secured from The Home Mission Board. The first services were held on October 2, 1966 in the new sanctuary with 84 members and eleven awaiting baptism. In November 1966, a cornerstone was put into place, in this holds a time capsule. The new building was officially decidated on Janaury 8, 1967. In 1967, the body purchased a trailer located next to the church. Also they accepted a 1/4 acre gift at the back of the present building to be used for parking.
September 4, 1968, the misison committee voted to sponsor a new work in Meigs County, which later beame First Southern Baptist Church, Pomeroy.
One of the most successful revivals ever held at French City Baptist Church was on October 29 to Novemer 4, 1973. A total of 27 decisions were made.
In 1977, along with homecoming, groundbreaking services were held for a new educational building. On June 14, 1979, the educational building was officially dedicated. In 1999, the church was able to celebrate a mortgage burning ceremony during homecoming.
One of the most successful Vacation Bible Schools and Block Party was observed in 2005. There were over 110 in attendance. Truett Baptist Association, North Carolina ministered to the church and comminity in 2009. They conducted Vacation Bible School and provided evangelistic outreach to a local apartment complex. During the summer of 2012, the church participated in the Scioto Valley Baptist Association's mission project in Mound Park, Portsmouth, Ohio. Restoration was done to the baseball dugouts.
June 2014, a mission team from New Life Baptist Church, Woodruff, South Carolina, arrived at French City Baptist Church. Even though the team was hampered by city water problems, they held a Vacation Bible School and help in various projects.
People's lives are being touched. The church stands a a lighthouse with open arms for the Gallia County Community.