The church began holding services in 1834 in the home of Nathan Bishop, the first preacher in Clearspring Township.  Nine years later in 1843 the church was organized with 8 people signing the charter.

   The congregation continued to meet without an official church building for more than forty years, meeting in the Horner one-room schoolhouse.  Known as the Hawpatch Church, it was the first church of the Freewill Baptist Faith to be organized north of Fort Wayne.  Many happy years were spent in worship, a good Sunday School was maintained and people came from miles around and filled the building.  Although the only means of transportation was horse and buggy and lumber wagons, which would take at least three hours each way for some families to make the trip, they very seldom failed to attend meetings.

   In 1874, in the month of March, Rev. Jones who was serving as pastor, conducted a series of meetings at which time many were converted.  The church was strengthened and its membership enlarged to such an extent that the congregation felt the need of a better place of worship.

   In 1884, land was purchased from Jayne Norman Babcock at what is now the corner of Main and North Streets in Topeka.  The original brick First Baptist Church of Topeka was built on the site.  The building was dedicated in 1889.

   In the early part of the twentieth century, the church maintained a steady attendance in both Sunday School and Worship of approximately 65 to 75 people a week on average.  It was also sometime during the first three decades of the twentieth century that the First Baptist Church of Topeka became affiliated with the American Baptist denomination with it's world headquarters being in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.

   From 1900 through the 1950's there was a frequent change in pastors of approximately every two years, which did not lend itself to the stability of the church. Two of the low points in the life of the church were in 1936 and  again in the early 1960's. In 1936, there seemed to be a personality clash between the new pastor and the congregation. At the annual meeting that year, the congregation voted down both the pastor and the parish report that gave the pastor the satisfactory job performance and the budget that would have given the pastor a $15 per week salary. Shortly after the metting the pastor resigned and the church spent a period of time without pastoral leadership.

   In the late 1950's and early to mid 1960's, for unknown reasons, the congregation declined to only 10-15 in attendance, at chich time the American Baptist leadership suggested the closing of the church with the remaining attenders to worship at the Wolcottville Baptist Church located eight miles away. The few remaining members rejected the suggestion and called a lay minister living in the nearby area to be their pastor. Due to his ministry and the faithfulness of the people, the church began to recover from this low period.

   A common thread that ran through the reports of the church's annual meetins from the first six decades of the 1900's was the following: when the report mentioned revival meetings and community outreach, the church grew. When the report only mentioned the great potluck dinner and wonderful fellowship enjoyed by all who attended the meeting, the church declined.

   In 1979, ninety years after the original church building was built, because of a need for modern restrooms, kitchen and fellowship facility, and with a vision for the future, the congregation constructed a new sanctuary with a seating capacity of 200 persons, along with restrooms and an office. The existing sanctuary was converted into a fellowship room and kitchen.

   Due to growth in attendance and the deterioration of the original structure, the congregation in 1997 stepped out in faith and removed the original church building.

   In its place was a two-story brick building with eight classrooms and two restrooms on the lower level, and a large fellowship room with a beautiful kitchen on the upper level. The building of the new Sunday School rooms at this time in the history of the church was very fitting, as the church had just received a sizeable bequest from the estate of a church member who had a passion and love for children. The total cost of the new building was $340,000. After raising $140,000, the church secured a seven year mortgage for $200,000. Because of the faithful stewardship of the congregation, the seven year mortgage was paid in full 33 months early.

   In the year 2002, the church experienced a spiritual growth with several conversions, baptisms, rededications and received several new memberships. The average attendance for that year was 110 in the principal worship service. In January, 2003, the church purchased the house and lot to the southeast of the church property, at which time the home was removed and the property turned into additional parking space which was needed to accommodate the growing congregation.

   A.W. Ritter, a member of the church's original building committee in 1887, before his death many years later, gave this observation of the Topeka Baptist Church that is still fitting today:


"The church has many times been on the mountaintops, and

 yes in the valleys too; but God has greatly blessed us and

many have found the way to the more abudnant life within its

walls. May God continue to bless the brick chruch on the corner,"