“The whole city of Dallas is the neighborhood of the First Baptist Church,” Dr. Criswell once said. First Baptist Dallas has always felt the biblical call to minister to the city in which we are planted. And what an incredible ministry that has been. Dallas is our Jerusalem, and praise God for the opportunity to serve Him here.

Over the years, we have planted churches and ministered to troops in World War I and II. We established ministries for the deaf in 1919. 

In 1921, we began airing Dr. Truett’s messages on radio to reach more people, and in the 1950s, we expanded to share our services and Dr. Criswell’s messages on television.

In the 1950s and 60s, we hosted crusades at different locations in the city and watched thousands come to Christ, including a crusade at the Cotton Bowl with Billy Graham.

In 1952, we launched graded choirs though high school and our adult sanctuary choir overflowed the loft. The sanctuary orchestra formed in 1960, and the church sent our choirs and orchestra all over the United States and world to share the gospel through worship and music.

In 1962, we saw the need for a special education ministry for children and adults to minister to those with special needs and learning disabilities.

In 1968, the Dallas Historical Society honored and recognized our church as an important and influential landmark by designating it as a place of historic interest in the State of Texas.

First Baptist Academy became a reality in 1972, a fully-accredited school encompassing kindergarten through twelfth grade, focusing on academic excellence and the development of Christian character. Thousands of students have since graduated and a new campus was finished in 2017 in order to further grow the school.

In 1976, we acquired a license to operate a radio station. KCBI began small, but over the years has grown to become the number one Christian teaching station in the nation.

We built a gym in 1977 that brought many from the downtown community for exercise and pick-up basketball games. In turn, they heard the love of Jesus.

In 1983, we opened the Counseling Center, ministering to anyone who needed Christian counseling and care and expanded our ministry to the homebound.

We began various programs for the homeless and those in need, culminating in the founding of the Dallas Life Foundation and also ministered to countless women and couples through the downtown pregnancy center.

Under the leadership of Dr. Criswell, we planted churches throughout Dallas, creating foundations rooted on God’s Word and discipleship spurred on by Sunday School. Many of these churches have become autonomous and still care for the people of Dallas.

In 2013, we celebrated the grand opening of our recreated campus and the completion of the largest church project in modern history. With the addition of the new campus, every ministry experienced growth. 

More recently, we have made a concerted effort to expand our gospel reach to a greater degree in our city, nation, and world. We have launched days dedicated to service projects, cared for our local police department and their families, enhanced our recreational ministries, and so much more. 

We have expanded our broadcast ministry, using Pathway to Victory as a tool to share our church services on local television and radio stations, as well as spread the gospel all over the world to hundreds of thousands through digital platforms, such as PTV Today and national and international radio.

We also began our First Dallas iCampus, allowing people all over the nation to live stream our worship services on Sundays and receive prayer and encouragement from our volunteer team.

It is clear that the heartbeat of First Baptist Dallas from the beginning has been to share the gospel and care for our city. In the famous words of Pastor George Truett, “The best contribution a man can make to the world is a consecrated life, a life of service.” May First Dallas continue to be a lighthouse for Dallas in the years to come.