Under the leadership of Bro. Bowers the church began to show signs of growth, and the membership increased at a rapid rate due to the construction of Millington Homes, Inc., and other housing developments in the community. The first expansion of the church was made under the leadership of Bro. Bowers. The annex to the old church building was built to provide additional Sunday School rooms and the church auditorium was remodeled. After serving as pastor for four years, Bro. Bowers submitted his resignation on August 13, 1950. At this time the resident church membership was 271 with an average Sunday School attendance 150. The total offerings for 1950 were $10,145.00. Bro. D. Kenneth Duncan assumed the pastorate of the church in December 1950. Under the leadership of Bro. Duncan a building program was started to provide additional space for church services and an education building for the Sunday School and other organizations of the church. However, Bro. Duncan entered military service in May 1952 as a Chaplain in the Air Force before the new church building was constructed. Dr. William T. Flynt accepted the pastorate on May 25, 1952. Under his leadership the auditorium and Sunday School rooms were built. We moved into this building on Easter Sunday 1953. Dr. Flynt served as pastor until May 1958 when he accepted a call to Ashland, Kentucky. By 1958 the membership had grown to 795 with 52 baptisms that year and an average Sunday School attendance of 421. Training Union had grown to an enrollment of 341 with an average attendance of 190.
In 1987 we baptized 227 and church offerings were $700,000. First Baptist Church was ranked in the top ten churches in Tennessee in the number of baptisms, baptizing over 100 each year. At the 100th year celebration in 1988 our church membership had grown to 3305 with an average Sunday School attendance of 888. We celebrated with “A Century of Service to the Savior.” In 1990 the church voted through a “Together We Build” program to build a new nursery/preschool wing, parking lots and renovate the adult and children’s wings. Due to an ice storm in 1995 and some much needed repair, the auditorium was renovated. The dawning of a new century, 2000, brought together some serious thinking about our church property and what direction the Lord was leading as a growing, spiritual force in the Millington area.
5010 West Union
One year from the date of our move, we saw 417 additions which prompted the need to finish two unfinished areas of the building providing 12 Sunday School classes and the Boardwalk worship area that seated 400. In October 2005, we continued to grow and therefore had to add another morning worship service, four years ahead of our original projections.
In the spring of 2006, a 350-car lighted parking lot was constructed. In 2007-2008, ball field lights were completed, a fence installed along the recreation road, a pavilion was built and two 15-passenger vehicles were purchased. On January 11, 2009, Dr. Ray Newcomb announced his retirement after 33 years of serving as Pastor of the church. His retirement date was May 17, 2009. By the fifth anniversary of the new church, over 1500 people had joined our fellowship. June 7, 2009, Dr. Timothy Seal, Professor of Preaching at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, was called as our interim pastor. October 2009, Dr. David E. Leavell was called as Senior Pastor of the church. In May 2010 Millington was hit by a flood, which damaged our worship center. Our church served the community by helping with mud-out, rebuilding, housing victims, providing meals, clothing, cleaning supplies, etc. for those in need. The Harvest offering of 2010-11 went to replace the worship center carpet, add interior decoration and landscaping the grounds. August 2, 2011, the electrical panel located in the Family Life Center caught fire and by the grace of God and properly-working sprinkler systems, the fire was contained. As a result of the fire, the gym floor had to be replaced. November 2011 the Harvest offering took on a new direction in reducing the indebtedness of the church. We will be debt free by 2020, a true testament that God is good, ALL the time!