Our History

The beginning of Lexington Baptist Church took place at an organizational meeting at the Rockbridge County Court House on October 11, 1957. The first service was held on October 13, 1957, in the Odd Fellows Lodge Hall on Nelson Street. Rev. C. Marvin Brads served as interim pastor while continuing his duties as pastor of Kerr’s Creek Baptist Church.

On October 29, 1957, the church voted to purchase a church building on Henry Street that had been formerly owned by the Catholic church. The following month, the church accepted an endorsement from Kerr’s Creek Baptist Church to obtain a loan of $6,500 to purchase the church building.

By January 1959, Robert Leonard accepted the church’s offer to be the lead pastor at Lexington Baptist Church. His home church, Colonial Baptist Church of Blue Ridge, Virginia, ordained him the following April.

Lexington Baptist Church began with twenty-six original members. For almost 60 years, the church has remained faithful in obedience to God’s Word, fulfilling the Great Commission and caring for local church members. Rev. Robert Leonard led the church with a biblical perspective, or as only he could say, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing, and the main thing is the Word of God.” Pastor Leonard’s ministry was completed in the Spring of 2003 after 45 years of faithful ministry.

Under Pastor Leonard’s guidance, Michael Wilburn began preaching on Sundays in August 2002. By February 2003, the church called Michael Wilburn to be the second lead pastor of Lexington Baptist Church. God allowed the ministry to continue to grow under Pastor Wilburn’s leadership. The Lexington Baptist Church family quickly outgrew the Chapel, and in 2011, broke ground to build Generations Hall – its current Worship Center. After 12 faithful years, Pastor Wilburn accepted the call to another ministry.

Lexington Baptist Church prayerfully sought God’s leading in selecting a new pastor. On September 25, 2016, Lexington Baptist Church installed Michael Saunders as the new lead pastor.

Upon arrival, concern was expressed about the debt owed on Generations Hall as mortgage payments were stifling the church’s ability to participate well in giving to world-wide missions. Church leadership prayerfully brought this burden to the attention of the church family.

On October 15, 2018, by God’s grace, an anonymous donor challenged the church to pay off the nearly one-million-dollar debt by promising to match every dollar given over a forty-five-day period. In forty-five days, over $394,000 was given and matched by this anonymous donor (almost $800,000 total). On January 9, 2019, someone walked into our church office and paid off the remaining debt! By God’s grace, $924,982.76 was given in a seventy-four-day period to pay off the debt on Generations Hall.

To commemorate God’s goodness to Lexington Baptist Church, the church placed stones around a Generations Hall support beam with the number “74” on one side (signifying days needed to pay off the debt) and three lines of numbers on the other side of the pillar 924 982 76 (recalling how much was paid off). Members and guests are reminded of God’s goodness to our church family every time they attend by seeing this pillar. To God be the glory!

On February 9, 2020, Lexington Baptist Church called Ethan Appell to be an associate pastor at Lexington Baptist Church.

Lexington Baptist Church continues to be obedient to the Scriptures, evangelistic to the community, and caring to its members. Lexington Baptist exists to glorify God by helping people love God and others, serve God and others, and share God with others.