First Baptist stands as one of the oldest and progressive Churches in the West Tampa Community. Organized May 31, 1910, under the leadership of Rev. Babadus King, the church was originally named "Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church." Located near the present day North Boulevard Homes, the first edifice was situated between Chestnut & Delaware Streets. In 1918, the name was officially changed to First Missionary Baptist Church of West Tampa.
In 1927, with the election of Rev. J.B. Lake as the seventh pastor, First Missionary Baptist Church of West Tampa was united with Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church (formerly located on Highland Avenue in West Tampa where Rev. Lake served as Pastor). The union of the two churches and continued membership growth created the need for a new and larger edifice. To accommodate this need, property was acquired at the corner of LaSalle Street and Willow Avenue (1302 West LaSalle Street) to construct new facilities. The new edifice was completed in 1939. Rev. Lake remained as Pastor of First Missionary Baptist Church of West Tampa until his death in July of 1945. In addition, the oldest Black troop of the Boy Scouts of America in Tampa (Troop # 98) was started at First Missionary Baptist Church of West Tampa during the 1940's.On May 10, 1970, the church was incorporated and became known as First Baptist Church of West Tampa, Incorporated. Under the leadership of the late Rev. M. C. Johnson as Pastor, a new edifice was built at our present location of 1302 North Willow Avenue with the dedicational services held on January 12, 1975.