Who We Are
First Baptist Church, Sun City West takes seriously the words
of the Psalmist: “Worship the Lord with gladness; come
before Him with joyful songs. Enter His gates with thanksgiving
and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise
His name.” (Psalm 100:2,4)
We believe that true worship invites people into the very
presence of God. And, it sends them forth with the assurance
of God’s care and the challenge of serving Him in the routines
of daily living. First Baptist Church, Sun City West provides a
place for worship, and the Bible stands at the center of that
First Baptist Church, Sun City West is definitely a place for friendship. We make it a priority to build lasting bonds between the members of our church family---bonds of concern and genuine commitment to one another.
First Baptist Church, Sun City West is also a place for learning. To us, studying the Bible is vital because it not only instructs us intellectually, but also guides us spiritually. We believe it and accept it as God’s Word to us, a Book that is alive and relevant to life today.
Our church is a place of service, and we accept and embrace our opportunities to reach out in service to others. This applies both within the church family and outside our fellowship.
And finally, First Baptist Church is a place for enrichment; we offer a wealth of opportunities: special programs, events and ministries plus recreational, social and educational activities. You can be sure there’s more than one place you can be enriched.
First Baptist Church, Sun City West cooperates with the Southern Baptist Convention. Our church seeks to carry out its purpose through following Christ in Christian living; through bringing good news of God’s love through Christian witness and mission activities; and through caring for others through ministry and service. To these ends, the church is committed to sharing the Gospel with the unsaved and providing teaching and instruction on Christian principles and conduct to members and non-members alike.
First Baptist Church was born in the hearts of a few women and men in July 1978, soon after the development of Sun City West.
North Phoenix Baptist Church was the initial sponsor of the church. On Easter, 1980, the church conducted its first worship service. During its early years, the church met in three temporary locations: the Alco Theater, Sun City; Home Federal Savings and Loan, Sun City West; and Western Savings, Sun City West. On February 10, 1985, the church held its organizational meeting as the Sun City West Baptist Church.
Members purchased land on North Conquistador Drive for the church’s permanent home. Groundbreaking ceremonies were in February 1983, and the first service was held on Christmas Day that year. The current name, First Baptist Church, Sun City West, became its official name in 1988.
Dr. C. Melvin Ratheal served as the church’s first pastor. To date, the church has had a total of six (6) pastors which are as follows:
DR. MELVIN RATHEAL (Feb 1980-Aug 1986) 6 years
REV. JOHN MURPHY (May 1987-Jun 1989) 2 years
DR. OWEN DAHLOR (Dec 1989-Oct 1996) 7 years
DR. LARRY BAKER (Nov 1997-May 2009) 12 years
DR. GLENN SAUL (Oct 2010-Dec 2016) 6 years
DR. KIRBY KENNEDY (Jun 2018-present)
The church built its first addition, The Christian Life Center, in 1992. In 2015, the church built its second addition which added two Bible study classrooms, a main entrance and welcome center, and two handicapped restrooms. This addition also enlarged the Christian Life Center for special events.
First Baptist Church, Sun City West has a richly diverse membership. Its men and women come from at least 30 states and 3 nations.