Twenty-two faithful saints organized the Waverly Missionary Baptist Church of Jesus Christ on August 11, 1855 at the home of Willis Meacham, which was located at the northwest edge of Waverly. Various members hosted the services in their homes from 1855 until 1866. The congregation at that point rented the Christian church. They met there until 1863 when they purchased a lot on the east side of the Waverly square and erected a building.
During the latter part of the nineteenth century, the membership steadily increased. In 1866, the Apple Creek Church joined with the Baptist congregation. Nine years later, in 1875, the Providence Baptist Church and the Waverly Church united. The congregation took First Baptist Church of Waverly as its name. Eventually they took the name Waverly First Baptist Church to avoid confusion with another Baptist church in the community.
As people moved into the Waverly community, the church held revivals to win souls to Christ. As was the custom of the time, the church held mass baptisms in local ponds. As the congregation grew, so did the need for funds. In order to pay for the burgeoning church, the church took the first Sunday collection in 1875. That same year the congregation erected a new church. Twelve years later, the first Sunday school class met.
By 1879, plans were underway to construct a new building. Throughout the twentieth century, the church has continued to flourish. In 1900, the congregation dedicated a new church building. In 1940, they added a basement, and installed a church bell in 1945. The bell is still part of the present church.
In 1955, the congregation celebrated the hundredth anniversary of the church’s existence with an afternoon service in August of that year. The church added an educational wing to the sanctuary in 1958, and was able to dedicate it in May 1962. In February 1974, the congregation began a campaign to build a new church. The building committee established a goal of $100,000.00. The church held a groundbreaking ceremony on April 27, 1974. They held worship services for the last time in the old building on October 27, 1974.
On Easter Sunday, April 18, 1976, the congregation dedicated the present building after an extensive three-year planning and construction program. During the three-year interim, the congregation held services in the Congregational Church sanctuary. With God’s guidance and blessing, the church was able to burn their mortgage much sooner than was anticipated.
A new organ was purchased for the church on December 18, 1982. In 2002, the congregation began construction on a fellowship hall, which replaced the basement, which was difficult for older members and those confined to wheelchairs to maneuver. With God’s rich blessings, the construction was complete and the fellowship hall in use by October of 2002.
In August of 2005, the church held a 150th anniversary celebration of the founding of the church.
In September of 2012 we hired a Children’s Director to continue our outreach to the children and family in the community and Kidz Klub was born. As the ministry grew, so did our building. Another addition was added in 2015 to complete the other half of the current gym. With great support of the congregation and the building committee the necessary money was raised and the job was quickly completed in 2016. Much needed classrooms, an office and a large food pantry was also included in this addition.
As the children ministry grew and flourished we quickly realized we needed a Youth Director to handle the graduates of the children’s ministry. In 2015 the current Children’s Director agreed to also lead the youth and Elevate was created.
Both ministries still currently serve the church and community children and youth.