Our Story

For over five decades, Fellowship Baptist Church has been meeting people’s spiritual needs. In June 1959, more than 80 people met at the home of Bob and Fern Gilstrap for worship services. The initial attendees expressed a deep conviction for missions and a desire to organize a new church ministry in Joplin . The group secured temporary quarters at 2622 East 32nd Street for its worship services.


In July 1959, the fledgling organization called their first pastor. In October 1959, the group was officially recognized as Fellowship Baptist Church with 103 charter members. It announced its affiliation with the Southern Baptist Convention and the Spring River Baptist Association. As God has blessed and increased Fellowship Baptist’s outreach to its community, the church has constructed space to accommodate its vital and life-changing ministries.


During this time, Fellowship Baptist Church has remained true to its calling of reaching lost people for Christ. Through the church’s rich and varied ministry, thousands of people have learned about God’s plan for salvation and hundreds of people have been baptized. Through the faithful giving of God’s people, the Good News has been proclaimed on mission fields across the street and around the world. All the glory, honor, and praise belongs to God for allowing us to partner in his life-giving mission. We will continue to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ until He comes again.