Our History

History of First Rochester

An American Baptist Church

First Rochester has a rich history spanning over 200 years. In 1818, the church began with twelve like-minded faithful men and women who dreamed of building a loving community together that worshipped God, supported one another, and served others. Today, this is the community we still strive to be! The church’s history began humbly with early struggles finding a place to worship including an old schoolhouse and the City Courthouse. Ultimately expelled from the Courthouse for being considered “of no consequence”, First Rochester eventually grew into a vital faith community which has impacted the Greater Rochester Area. We, along with others, played a role in the early beginnings of many local institutions including University of Rochester, Strong Memorial Hospital, Cameron Community Ministries, and the early local Seminary now known as Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School. We also launched several other local American Baptist Churches. We are thankful to those who came before us and hope to empower those who come after us.