The Bridge at Green Street

The Bridge

The Bridge at Green Street is a new community-ministry center on the north side of Spartanburg. The Bridge was created to serve to meet the needs of this community by connecting FBS members with our neighbors in the Northside. The Bridge will connect the residents of the Northside with resources that are crucial to improving their lives, in areas like education, finance, employment and nutrition. The Bridge will also connect various community ministries such as SPIHN, English Crossing and others. Our current FBS Helping Ministries Center will be part of The Bridge. Most importantly, The Bridge will connect the Northside to the life changing power of Jesus Christ!

If you would like to volunteer at The Bridge, contact Valerie at vforsberg@fbs.org.

Bridge Kids

Bridge Kids is an after school program for children K-5 through 6th Grade, Tuesday & Thursday Afternoons 3:30–5:30 PM at The Bridge. Kids can come for fun, food, and homework help! If you would like to volunteer with Bridge Kids, contact Sherry at shsmith@fbs.org.

History of Green Street

In 1889, our church planted Green Street Baptist Church near the Spartan Mill to reach the community for Christ. In 2016, 125 years later, the members of GSBC voted to give back to their “mother church” and The Bridge was born. Click below for the full history!

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The History of Green Street Baptist Church

125 years ago, First Baptist Spartanburg was a young church in a growing community. Textile mills were coming into our area and bringing new families with them. Spartan Mill was a growing concern on the "west side" of our city. First Baptist took note of the growth of the area and immediately recognized a unique opportunity for the spread of the Gospel.

"It was through the foresight and missionary vision of the [First Baptist Church of Spartanburg] that the Green Street Baptist Church was organized." (From the Green Street Baptist Church Diamond Jubilee History Book.) On July 1, 1889, we recorded the following business:

"Whereas, there is now being erected in our city a large cotton mill which will in the near future add many to the population of the city,--

Therefore an opportunity is now being afforded this church such as it never before enjoyed perhaps, to put forth the Christian effort in the interest of our fellow men and at the same time build up and promote the cause of our local denominational interest, to this end be it RESOLVED --"

As a result, FBS moved forward to plant the Green Street Baptist Church, the first of 6 churches planted by FBS. In planting Green Street, First Baptist bought the land (which is where the church stands today), built the first building, and "dismembered" 4 families to join with the new church. A Sunday School was immediately organized that opened with "83 scholars." The total cost of the new building was $2,150.00, fully funded by FBS. In today's dollars using a standard inflation calculator that would be over $50,000.00; but estimated construction costs from 1890 would be valued today at over $100,000!

Green Street grew to become a thriving church in our city, yielding a rich heritage that impacted generations to come:

* First Daily Vacation Bible School held in South Carolina in the Spring of 1921.

* Founded the Good Samaritan Hospital in 1907, one of the very first hospitals in Spartanburg. The Samaritan Hospital later joined together with other "cottage" hospitals in the city to become the Spartanburg General Hospital.

* 286 people were baptized into the fellowship of the church upon their profession of faith in Jesus during The Great Revival of 1933.

"The foresight and missionary vision of the membership of First Baptist Church resulted in a report of 67 members at the end of 1891; by 1900 there were 392 members" (church history, p 120).  Green Street ordained 10 men to the Gospel Ministry; licensed 22 men to preach, commissioned 3 lady missionaries, and baptized over 2, 750 people (through 1966).

The Future of Green Street Baptist Church

When the Spartan Mill closed, changes began taking place in the community. When the church fell into decline, church leaders began to pray and seek the Lord’s will for the future of Green Street Baptist Church within the Northside Community.  Surviving members of the church recognized they could no longer lead out in the Gospel transformation that was needed, thus voting 25-1 to give back to their "mother church" the deed to the building and the commission to take the Gospel to all those who live in this neighborhood.

Once again, First Baptist Spartanburg found itself being afforded an opportunity "such as it never before enjoyed perhaps." Located in the area of the Northside Initiative, one block from the new block of model homes, five blocks from the Cleveland Leadership Academy, around the corner from the Miracle Hill Mission and the Soup Kitchen, Green Street is right in the Hub of the new "community of choice" where diverse ethnicities and various socioeconomic backgrounds will live together and strive to transform the dying mill village into a thriving community.

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