On July 12, 1964, the group who intended to begin this church first met in a tent borrowed from Evangelist E.J. Daniels who was conducting an area-wide crusade on the Albertville Junior High School grounds. These were progressive, growth-minded Christians who believed that God wanted them to establish a new church to reach this community for Christ. During those early months in 1964, the congregation met in various homes, and later agreed to meet at the Albertville Court House until land was purchased and their own church building could be built. While meeting in the Court House, everyone had to be very flexible–worship services in the courtroom, Sunday School classes in the jury rooms, and the nursery in the sheriff’s office! Originally, the church was to be named the Jackson Trail Baptist Church because it was to be built on the corner of Turnpike and Section Line Roads (Turnpike is on the old Jackson Trail). But by secret ballot, the church chose its present name.
The organizational service for the church was held October 11, 1964, at 2:30 p.m., with Pastor J.O. Forrester serving as moderator. A.V. Duckett was elected to serve as church clerk. Two deacons, J.W. Lovelady and Truman McBrayer, already ordained, were elected. By October 1964, the church had purchased the present church property and erected a sign stating, “Future Home of Central Baptist Church. The Resolution of Incorporation, prepared and read by T.J. Carnes, Attorney at Law, was adopted by the church on November 1, 1964. All of the 67 individuals who joined the church before January 1, 1965 were considered charter members. A contract in the amount of $49,720.00 for constructing the first church building was accepted by the church on June 14, 1965. By November 1965, the church met in its first new building–the current sanctuary–on the present site. In 1976, under the direction of Pastor Q.P. Davis, the church started an education building program. Since then, as the church has grown, more education space has been added.
In those early years, the members made tremendous sacrifices. Some even took second jobs to help the church financially. The church grew very slowly at first because, as some have said, many people were waiting to see if the church would even survive. When people saw that the congregation was determined to build a growing church, people started joining.
On February 20, 1977 the church ordained Mike Johnson as its first full-time pastor. Under his very capable leadership, the church grew rapidly. Church membership swelled to more than 500. Central became known for its large Vacation Bible Schools.
The church continues to look to the future and we trust that our greatest days are still ahead! This is the Lord’s church, and He is building it through the faithful obedience of many wonderful church members. May we continue to heed the words of our Lord Jesus Christ who said, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19).