Our History


Our History

Of all the things God requires of His church, faithfulness to His mission is held as one of the highest in scripture. For over a century, FirstSarasota has remained dedicated to being a faithful voice, communicating the good news of Jesus Christ to all in the greater Southwest Florida region. Founded at the beginning of the 20th century, FirstSarasota was organized by five charter members on March 23, 1902 when the community known as Sarasota was little more than a quaint fishing village without roads or railroad connections.

The first Sanctuary, now serving as a chapel, was dedicated December 14, 1924. Property immediately east of the church on Main Street was purchased in 1951 and the present Sanctuary cornerstone was laid May 29, 1962. On June 4, 1980, architects were hired for the construction of a Family Life Center and Education building, which is located adjacent to the northeast corner of the Sanctuary building. During the last decade additional property has been purchased on the south side of Main Street as well as properties that are continuous with the present campus.

In recent years, FirstSarasota has refurbished a significant portion of its campus, and added new staff members and ministries to meet the increasing need of a community hungry to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. With the “rediscovery” of downtown Sarasota as a residential neighborhood, FirstSarasota rededicated itself to serving the needs of the entire greater Sarasota area as “The Downtown Baptist Church”.

A varied and dynamic ministry, FirstSarasota continues to grow in its vision and hope for the future, and contributes a significant Christian witness in its second century of existence in what has become one of America’s premier cities, beautiful Sarasota!