OUT OF YOU LIVING WATERS WILL FLOW
First Baptist Church of Santa Barbara was organized on July 5, 1874. This happened at “Cook’s Hall”, 125 W. Ortega where the pastor and members continued to establish themselves for the next ten months.
The young church pursued purchasing a building, and the Presbyterian Church’s chapel (at the SW corner of Ortega and De la Vina Streets) was what became home on May 1, 1875 until September of 1882.
Needing room to grow, F.B.C. bought St. Mark’s Episcopal Church on Micheltorena and Anacapa Streets at that time. During the next 28 years, the congregation grew in ministry and in numbers. Once, again, it was time to step out, and the church decided to take an option on a lot at the corner of W. Victoria and Chapala Streets (currently the Victoria Hall Theater). That was in March of 1906, and although the church did purchase the land, it spent four years fundraising, planning and building, and officially had its first annual meeting in the new Sunday School building September 28, 1910.
For a little more than 6 decades, First Baptist Church continued to reach out to the city, and into the world through missions, and sustained both through two world wars, a national depression, a devastating earthquake, as well as the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War.
1973 found the church making the decision to move out of downtown area to be closer to home neighborhoods. Veronica Springs Road was the new location, a street that received its name because of the water in nearby springs that seemed to have healing properties. In the 1880’s, the water was bottled and shipped around the world.
Since October, 1974, there has been more construction on the property. There has always been a beautiful view from the top of the hill. We wanted our ministry to be a light on a hill, so an early addition to the sanctuary was a lighted cross which is visible for some distance.
In December, 2016, while maintaining a foundation of the church as First Baptist Church, the decision was made to change its name to “Veronica Springs Church.” Just as the water that brought the name to the street had healing properties, we are called to introduce others to the Great Physician who heals. Now we are 144 years richer. We look forward to our next steps with Him, and are honored to have you as part of that.