When Fellowship Bible Baptist was founded in 1980, a family could purchase a median-size home in Warner Robins for around $47,200. If you believe mortgage rates are high now in 2023 at 7.013 percent, in 1980 when Jimmy Carter was president, the mortgage rates were 16.63 percent. The housing market was in a deep slump and the United States was in a recession.
The Oldsmobile Cutlass was the best-selling car in the land and could be bought for $8,300. Cable News Network (CNN)went on the air — or cable — in June 1980, and the Post-It note made its debut. Beatle John Lennon was killed in New York City, and the No. 1 song on the R&B charts in January was Michael Jackson’s “Rock with You,” and at the end of the year, it was “Celebration,” by Kool and the Gang. Dallas, with J. R Ewing, was the top television show and the top movie of the year was “Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.”
The 1980 Warner Robins Demons Football Team went 12-1 and were city and region champs, led by Head Coach Robert Davis. The only other high school in the city was Northside with an 8-3 record coached by Conrad Nix. Foy Evans was mayor of Warner Robins and George Israel led Macon. Milk prices were $1.12 a gallon and ground beef was $1.39 a pound.
It was into this world that Pastor Wille L. Reid founded his church in Buzzell Village. People must have enjoyed his message. Within six months they had to find a bigger location, still in Buzzell Village. There have been several building accomplishments over the years — from Buzzell Village to Dunbar Road where a new chapel open for worshippers in 1992. A multi-purpose building was added to the property in 2004. In 1998, FBBC purchased 48 acres and soon a gymnasium was constructed and in 2011, Pastor Reid marched us into the Dome.
Throughout FBBC’s 43-year history, the church’s mission has been the same, “Save the lost at any cost.” And FBBC’s guide to save souls is in its name Fellowship “Bible” Baptist. The church has grown from a small group of worshippers who believe in sacrificial giving to a congregation of more than 3,000.
History has been challenging. No more challenging than in 2012 when Pastor Reid went to his reward after battling several maladies. FBBC, waiting for God to speak, was without a permanent pastor for almost three years when Pastor Tolan Morgan was called to the pulpit. The third decade of the 21st century also brought a new challenge when, because of the COVID pandemic, the church had to sit dormant. While the facilities sat empty, the worship continued, and the FBBC family was held together by Pastor Morgan, using technology and creativity for the ministry to continue. The sanctuary was remodeled and FBBC has upped its game to minister to a world-wide audience.
Throughout FBBC’s short history — 43 years — God’s favor has protected FBBC, and we invite everyone to stop in at “The Ship” on their way to heaven.
Written by: Charles Richardson