In the fall of 1903, about fifty Baptists resided in the Elmer area who were "without the blessed influence” of a church home. Several Baptists began congregating to hold “divine services” on each Sabbath with the first meeting being held on October 18, 1903.
On April 17, 1904, under the direction of Rev. W. W. Bullock of Bridgeton, the fellowship declared themselves a “regular Baptist Church” which would “carry out the purposes of said organization for the glory of God; the salvation of the lost and the preaching of the gospel in all lands.” At a motion by Dr. W. C. Lummis, one of the original twenty-seven members received by baptism or experience, the name of the church became the First Baptist Church of Elmer, New Jersey.
After conferring with the Advisory Committee of the West New Jersey Baptist Association in Atlantic City in May, delegates from each church in the WNJBA were invited to Garrison’s Hall, opposite the railroad station, to recognize First Baptist of Elmer as an independent church. The first regular business meeting of the congregation was held May 1, 1904. Later, ground was broken in December of the same year and within four months, meetings were being held in the new building, which was dedicated May 27, 1906.
For the first forty years of its existence, the church struggled financially, and attendance reached a dangerously low ebb on several occasions. This trend changed until C. LeRoy Shumaker became pastor in 1949. A decision was made towards the end of 1949 to discontinue the making of pledges at each anniversary service, and by faith, give what was necessary to meet church expenses. It was then that the second Sunday of each month was designated as Missions Sunday, that offering being set aside for missions – an amount totaling about $40 in 1949. The practice of setting the offering aside for missions on the second Sunday of each month is still practiced today.
After finding that several churches in the Association denied the deity of Christ, a resolution was adopted, withdrawing First Baptist of Elmer from that organization in February, 1953. The church building was damaged by hurricane Dianne in 1955, and soon after that, a basement educational wing was added. In 1962, the present buildings were reconditioned.
In 1969, the sanctuary was extended to seat 312 instead of 165. Beneath the new sanctuary, a fellowship hall, kitchen, furnace room, storage area and additional Sunday School classrooms were added. An educational wing over the existing basement was built with five large classrooms. A foyer across the rear of the sanctuary, hot water baseboard heating system; refurbishing of the nursery and air conditioning of the sanctuary completed the project. During construction, which ran just over $93,000, services were held in the Elmer School.
The church continued to experience much growth and blessings under the ministry of Pastor Paul Hornung from 1973-1999. In 2002 under the ministry of Pastor Richard Jones, 31 acres were purchased for the purpose of building new facilities for as well as relocating the church to this property. After Pastor Jones retired in 2016, the Lord led the current pastor, Pastor Erik Hanson, to continue the ministry at First Baptist of Elmer in January 2019. In 2020, the church voted in favor to develop the 31 acres of land and build a pavilion as the beginning of utilizing this land for God’s glory. First Baptist of Elmer desires to continue to be faithfully shining the light of the Gospel in the world of darkness.