First Baptist Church is located at 801 Sixth Avenue in the downtown section of Huntington, West Virginia. Six persons under the advisory leadership of Reverend William Bryant organized the church in 1872. They worshiped in a log cabin on Norway Avenue, approximately four miles southeast of the present site.
In the early days. Huntington was populated by the Negro Migration from Virginia. The expansion of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad quickly transformed farmland into a striving city. Huntington was founded in 1872 with a population of approximately 6,000. However, by 1892 the city had grown to a population of over 31,000 people. 3,000 of which were of the “colored population”. The railroad brought a diversity of industries, opportunities and people to the area. In the midst of this splendid growth the development of the “colored population” also prospered in labor and support service jobs. The influence and involvement of “Negroes” in the tri-state area predates the city of Huntington and First Baptist Church.
In 1841 a slave master, Pap Twyman set thirty-seven slaves free in Virginia and gave them $10,000 to settle in Ohio. They settled in Burlington, Ohio just across the river from Huntington where a Negro population had already put down roots. In the early years, prior to 1872, the “colored population” worshiped at Macedonia Baptist Church in Sybene, Ohio, established in 1837.