On May 14, 1870, a church was organized in the home of Rev. Richard C. Fryer and met in the Spadra School House from 1870 to 1883. Five charter members attended the first meeting. In 1881 it was named Spadra Baptist Church.
After funds were raised, a building for the First Baptist Church of Pomona was erected on the corner of Fourth and Park in Pomona. Gifts for this effort were so generous, it was necessary to announce that no more money was needed. This building was torn down in 1957.
Pomona was growing northward and the church felt the need for a larger building—they had 300 members. The site at the corner of Holt and Garey was purchased even though some felt it was “out in the country,” being surrounded by a blackberry patch. The bell from the previous building was used in one of the two bell towers. The cornerstone contained a Bible, a list of the 300 members, pictures, and a copy of the Progress Bulletin newspaper. At the completion of construction, church members gathered at Fourth and Park to move to the corner of Holt and Garey. They reportedly marched and sang “Onward, Christian Soldiers” to the new location. In February 2005, this building was torn down.
On August 10, we broke ground once more as the First Baptist Church of Pomona had outgrown its facility. It was decided to build on the parking lot just above of the North Education Building. The sanctuary was designed to seat 2,000 people, with a choir loft for another 200. On November 29, 1987 the building was complete. The entire congregation again marched north to the new building at 601 N. Garey Ave.
For over 135 years, Pomona First Baptist Church has been faithful to God’s calling that began so many years ago. We have become a regional church that has impacted thousands of lives in the name of Jesus Christ. By God’s grace, since, 1992, our weekly attendance has increased to over 3,000. For countless generations, we have kept our vision focused on our mission and we believe our most effective days are still ahead of us.
In an effort to reach even more people for Jesus, the leadership felt led by the Holy Spirit to embrace a new name for our church. In 2015, Pomona First Baptist Church filed a DBA and began using the name Purpose Church