Our History

On April 24, 1943, under the leadership of John G. Holder, sixteen residents of the small community of Pacific Beach, California met in a home on Reed Street.  Their purpose was to establish a new church in the Pacific Beach community.  The population of Pacific Beach was about 6,000 at the time. 
They named their new church Pacific Beach Baptist Church and called John Holder as their first pastor.  Pacific Beach Baptist Church soon became the fourth member of the San Diego Southern Baptist Association.  Weekly worship services were held at the Pacific Beach Women’s Club.
An undeveloped Mission Bay, natural vegetation and wild marshes then separated Pacific Beach from central San Diego.  Many of the local streets were unpaved. Freeways as we know them today were in the distant future.  The church’s first baptisms were in Mission Bay.  
Ground was broken in the fall of 1945 for a sanctuary on Hornblend Street, near Ingraham Street.  Construction of the first church building was a great challenge, since even the most basic supplies, like nails and lumber, were extremely difficult to find at that time during World War II.  With God’s blessings and the selfless dedication of the members, the essential materials were gradually procured, the church was completed, and a strong, vibrant Christian ministry ensued,  Pacific Beach Baptist Church was renamed to First Baptist Church of Pacific Beach in 1954.  The congregation grew and thrived on Hornblend Street for thirty years. 
The original buildings on Hornblend Street were remodeled and expanded several times before they were finally outgrown.  In the mid-1970s we purchased several lots at the foot of Mount Soledad, two miles away from Hornblend Street.  The new church site had a spectacular view of Mission Bay, Point Loma, and downtown San Diego. On a clear day you could see the hillsides in Tijuana, Mexico.  
The ground was broken, and our current church facilities were constructed.  Most of the work was performed by talented and capable members who worked on the church after work and on weekends.  The first worship service at 4747 Soledad Mountain Road was held on October 26, 1975.
The Reverend Carl Whitlock was Pastor of First Baptist Church of Pacific Beach during the construction project.  Pastor Carl continued to lead our congregation until February 28, 2016, when he retired after 48 years of service.  On November 27, 2016 the church bestowed the honorary title, Pastor Emeritus, on Pastor Carl Whitlock.
On March 31, 2019, we called Dr. Justin Paslay to be our next Pastor.
First Baptist Church of Pacific Beach is a small, financially stable, middle class congregation. Our membership includes people from all walks of life, including military families who live in military housing nearby, engineers, mechanics, nurses, scientists, homemakers, salespeople, secretaries, retired pastors, and students. Young and old are welcome and equal in God’s sight!