Members of New Providence and Gum Branch Baptist churches under John L. Hart’s leadership began Hartsville Baptist, the first church in Hartsville, on November 16, 1850. A union Sunday school met on the site as early as July 1849. John L. Hart donated land on which the congregation built a sanctuary in 1851. Reverend J. W. Burn served as the first pastor for many years.
The church joined the Welsh Neck Association in 1851, and the SC General Assembly chartered the congregation in 1853. In 1906, the name was changed to First Baptist Church. Dr. E. V. Baldy, pastor in 1909, served as the first president of Coker College.
New congregations established by this church are: Fourth Street (1906); Eastside (now Emmanuel, 1926); Lakeview (1944); South Hartsville (1951); West Hartsville (1952); and North Hartsville (1959).
The congregation completed the present sanctuary in 1964.