OUR HISTORY

   The beginning was April 30, 1933. What was once Tabernacle Baptist Church met in a store-front building in East Tyler at 1234 E. Erwin Street with 34 charter members. The church called their first pastor, Rev. W.B. Perrett, in July, 1933. On January 24, 1934, the name was changed to Fundamentalist Baptist Church. The early pastors were Rev. Buc Arrant, Rev. C.O. Herndon, Rev. Ray Funderburk, Rev. J.W. Arnold, Rev. Dailey, Rev. T.W. Pond, Rev. A.B. Curtis, & Rev. W.E. Morgan all serving between 1934 and 1939. The church moved to the corner of John & Locust streets on July 28, 1935. Then, almost two years later, it moved again to 705 E. Line Street. On December 7, 1938, the church voted to identify itself with the Fundamentalist Brotherhood. The church moved to a small dwelling at 302 N. Beckham on October 16, 1937, and as of March 8, 1939, the membership total was 147. Rev. Donald Frazier was called as pastor on October 22, 1939, and served until June 21, 1940 at which time the membership totaled 217 people.


   January 26, 1941, the church called John Rawlings as pastor. An extensive Visitation program was organized, and the church began to grow under his leadership. Property adjacent to 302 N. Beckham was purchased, and the first building was completed in October, 1941. For several years, the Sunday evening services were broadcast live on radio station KGKB, and the first bus ministry for the church (as well as the first in the city) was instituted. In the middle 1940's, the name again was changed to Central Baptist Church. Rev. Rawlings was one of the organizers of the Baptist Bible Fellowship International, and our church became an active part of this group. In July, 1951, Rev. Rawlings resigned as pastor, and the church called Rev. Charlie Dyer, who served until 1953, when health problems forced him to resign. In 1953, Rev. Duane Pringle became pastor and led the church for the next 29 years. The church maintained a steady growth, and in 1975, the church moved to 6253 Copeland Road. Rev. Pringle resigned the pastorate in 1982 to enter evangelistic work. Rev. Larry Norrell was called as pastor, and in 1986, he resigned. Pastor Kim Beckham was called on March 28, 1987. He has led the church faithfully since 1987.


   In August 2009, with the new Grande Boulevard Extention, our road name changed from 6253 Copeland Road to 1343 East Grande Boulevard and since these changes, the church has experienced incredible growth. Central Baptist Church, which is now called Central Tyler, has made a remarkable impact in the community of Tyler, TX.