First Baptist Church of Hoover

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First Baptist Church of Hoover (established 1954) is a Southern Baptist church located at 2025 Patton Chapel Road in Hoover. Eric Roberts is pastor, assisted by ministers Ron Hilburn, David Liles, and John Lambuth.

The church is a member of the Southern Baptist Convention, Alabama Baptist Association, and the Birmingham Baptist Association. As of 2011, the church has a membership of approximately 350 people.


The Patton Chapel Mission was organized in 1952 by the extended family of Lester Russell. LeRoy Anthony, a relative of some of the charter members and a student at Howard College was the mission pastor. It met in the home of Ben and Ocie Weems who gave the land on which the first building was erected. Growth was slow in this sparsely settled part of Jefferson County. The average attendance during the first ten years was in the fifties. The church was constituted as the Patton Chapel Baptist Church on January 31, 1954 and affiliated with the Bessemer Baptist Association. An upturn in attendance (to around 125 per week) occurred under the leadership of Mack McCollum, who took the pulpit in 1963.

McCollum, a First National Bank of Birmingham senior vice-president, left the city for two years for professional training. Ron Heddle served as the interim pastor until McCollum could return. While he was pastor the church purchased more property on Patton Chapel Road. Three houses stood on that property, one was later used for the church offices. McCollum's successor, Steve Minor, became the church's first full-time pastor.

Under the leadership of Dan Springfield, the church reached out to the community and bused children to church. The highest average attendance in Sunday School in the history of the church was 275 during the "bus ministry" years. For a short time the church ran up to ten buses. The older facilities were inadequate to house the attendance and the current worship center was erected.

Under the pastorship of David York the church considered relocating but decided to remain on Patton Chapel Road and to start a mission in Riverchase, which later closed.

The coming of Richard Trader, who had previously served at Berney Points Baptist Church in West End and Bluff Park Baptist Church, attracted a number of new members, leading to the congregation's highest sustained period of growth. A two-story educational and office building was erected in the 1980s. Trader's successor, Bob Thornton developed a strong young-adult ministry along with his wife, Faye. During their ministry the church completed the second floor of the education building. The Thornton's left for Gadsden where Bob accepted the job of director of missions for the Etowah Baptist Association.

When the church called Earl Tew, newly retired from the Birmingham Baptist Association, as pastor, financial strain prevented them from offering a full-time salary. A "Renewing the Dream" capital campaign was launched, raising nearly a quarter of a million dollars which allowed the church to pay off its debts, increase the salaries of full-time staff, and undertake badly-needed maintenance and renovation projects on the church property.



  • First Baptist Church Hoover (January 2004) The 50th Anniversary Booklet.

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