Our story

In 1882, the Lorena Baptist Church was organized with twenty-two charter members.  Rev. A.J. Shelton was the pastor.  Since that time, there have been many pastors, missionaries, and dedicated members who have made up the long history and wonderful memories of our congregation.  There have also been struggles, which have made the now named First Baptist Church of Lorena even stronger. 

This story really defines us.  During our lengthy transition period from 2013-2016, our church identified with this story of one of our oak trees to set a renewed vision and mission for our church and its relationship with our community.  We were even inspired to create our new logo based on this live-giving experience!  Our hope is that this may resonate with you, that you will know that God has a desire for you, and that you will allow Him to create a beautiful, regenerating story with your life.

story of the tree

As the Transition Team was thinking and praying about a vision from God that would be meaningful for the entire congregation of FBC Lorena, one team member had an epiphany about a symbol of the oak tree that stands in the courtyard of the church.  The tree was completely split in half by an ice storm about twenty years ago.  The split ended within two or three  inches of the ground.  Many thought the tree would not survive.  Three men bound it together with two bands and two bolts.  Then they  pruned the tree back unmercifully so the roots would be able to feed the tree in the hope that it would be saved.  The first year, the tree grew three to five feet.  Today you can’t tell it was ever harmed.  It has grown twice as fast and is twice as large as the other oak tree in the courtyard.


This oak tree is a natural symbol of what the Lord desires at FBC Lorena.  It is an awesome vision that represents many things:  the congregation being bound together by love, a body rooted deeply in Scripture and prayer, and the evergreen growth and life-sustaining fruit that results from pruning.  From the history of this oak tree through its present day strength and  beauty, God has given His people a vision for the future of this church.