Constituted as Mt. Zion Baptist in 1831, this historic church was organized by John G. Gilbert, who served as first pastor. Gilbert moved to the area from Hancock County around 1830. The first church building, of log construction, was erected two miles west of Cuthbert on Eufaula Road in 1831. In 1839, the congregation moved to town, on what is now occupied by Rosedale Cemetery and remained at that location until 1852, when the present lot was acquired and a new church was built to accommodate a rapidly growing congregation. During this time, slaves attended with their owners, and even after the Civil War, at least two black men (Brother John Gaulden and Brother William Wells) were given license to preach at this church. In 1867, land was donated by Sister H. C. Thornton for the purpose of building a separate church for the black congregation. Around this time, from my understanding, the church was renamed Cuthbert Baptist.
An interesting article from the Christian Index by “Uncle” Tommy Muse noted: This church has always had much to contend with. It appears as though Satan has done his best upon this church. He has for many years troubled her wit the anti-missionary subject and has kept some of his most successful and powerful batteries playing upon her. The retail liquor traffic has always troubled this church. She has had to exclude a great many, who were engaged in the sale of liquor. In former years she has had a great deal of trouble with her members drinking too much and for the amusement of dancing and worldly pleasures...Uncle Tommy was associated with the church as early as 1840, and he wielded much influence with the congregation. By his influence, Cuthbert Baptist eventually became a missionary church. It is now known as First Baptist Church.
Cuthbert Historic District, National Register of Historic Places