Church History


On January 26, 1851, 15 men and women gathered together to establish a new church in the Original Church, recently incorporated in the capitol city of Lansing. Formed as the First Baptist Church of Lansing, the new congregation was served by a traveling pastor who conducted monthly worship services. The small but growing congregation met in homes, schools and the old frame State Capitol building. In 1859 a wooden "White Chapel" was constructed on land given by the State at the corner of Capitol and Ionia.

The congregation grew steadily in the 1870s and by 1880 had outgrown the small wooden chapel. On April 2, 1892, ground was broken for a new building on the same site at a cost of $60,000. Two years later, on March 18, 1894, the large Romanesque stone church was dedicated. From 1889 through 1963, nine different churches in the Lansing area were established by the church and 12 other churches were supported and nurtured. In 1955, a Children's Center was constructed as a gift from the R.E. Olds Family. The center was named in memory of the automobile pioneer and his wife, Metta, who were faithful members.

Like many mainline downtown congregations, First Baptist Church began a slow but steady decline in membership and in strength from its high point in the mid 1960s. While the church still had a significant impact on the spiritual life of the Lansing area, many began to believe that its best years were behind it. In the spring of 2004, a long-range study was conducted and members of the congregation began to earnestly pray for a new sense of direction. Following a 16 month process, the church established and affirmed 5 core values: Worship, Discipleship, Evangelism, Ministry and Mission and made a commitment to serve the entire Lansing area from its historic site at the corner of Capitol and Ionia.

New church being built in June of 2005. The congregation voted to change its name from the First Baptist to Christ Community Church, strategically reaching beyond its historic Baptist roots to embrace a broader mission. The church also joined the Willow Creek Association, an innovative association of churches dedicated to reaching out to spiritual seekers by using creative arts and innovative thinking. While still affiliated with American Baptist Churches (ABC/USA) (one of 7 historic mainline denominations), Christ Community Church sees itself as "inter-denominational in spirit," networking with many different Christian denominations and organizations.

Christ Community Church now sees itself as an "ancient/future" church; a church that proudly claims its history and traditions while at the same time is relevant and contemporary.