First Baptist Church of Hemphill has served the community since 1858, when Hemphill was organized. A number of families from other states settled Hemphill at that time, including the five families thatestablished the church. The organizing members were the Simon and Mary Ann Beckom family, the John and Ann Everett family, the Cannon and Sophronia Travis family, the Richard and Rutha Travis family and Henry and Mary White family. They first met in a residence before holding services at the old Housen Bayou School building. E.S. Phelps and W.C. Southwell were the first pastors for the congregation. Membership grew throughout the 1800s, particularly after Reconstruction. Throughout this time, the congregation was critical in sponsoring, encouraging and establishing other early area churches. By the 1880s, the church moved to Hemphill and in 1886, construction began on a building. New sanctuaries replaces preceding ones in 1910, 1962 and 1984 and the Family Life Center wascompleted in 2009 to accommodate the growing congregation. Since its establishment, the church has provided spiritually and physically for residents of Hemphill. Members have generously contributed necessities and given food baskets to needy individuals and families in the community. The church has also focused on programs to aid the elderly, education of children and youth, and mission work. Today, First Baptist Church continues to be an important leader in the community, servings as a spiritual beacon for residents of Hemphill.