First Baptist Church of Garden Lakes

This profile was last updated in 2003

History

The First Baptist Church of Garden Lakes has its origins in the small, largely rural community of Cashion (in the northwest Valley) in 1953. At the start, the church consisted of nine members — today, fifty years later, church membership is over 900. The church expanded as many communities bordering the western edge of Phoenix grew and became increasingly urban. By 1979 the church had grown enough to purchase a larger facility in Avondale. When the church moved to this location it was relatively remote farmland, surrounded by the remains of a Pecan grove. Eventually, in 1987, the housing development called “Garden Lakes” grew up around the church and the community renamed itself the First Baptist Church of Garden Lakes. Raising money to help the church keep pace with this growth has been a constant challenge throughout the history of this community.

The church is presently about to celebrate its 50th anniversary, even as it prepares to open a new and larger church and inaugurate a 20,000 square foot Education and Family Life building.

Activities and Schedule

Like many Valley churches, First Baptist offers both a “Traditional” Sunday service (at 8:15 a.m.) and a “Contemporary” Sunday Service (at 10:45 a.m.), with evening worship on Sundays at 6 p.m. The church organizes activities and support groups for all ages, with strong emphasis on education. Children and young adults are encouraged to join Bible-Centered clubs such as AWANA, a national organization that teaches lessons from the Bible and organizes state and nation-wide competitions based on Bible knowledge. Adult Bible classes meet Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m., and the church arranges special programs for seniors and other age groups.

Other church-sponsored activities include a Writer’s Club, marriage counseling and addiction treatment services.

Demographics

The membership is predominantly Anglo-American, with an equal number of Hispanic and African-American members. The age of the congregation is quite mixed, and services attract worshipers from a range of west Valley communities, including Phoenix, Avondale, Tolleson, Goodyear, Litchfield and Buckeye.