Seeking to live out the good news of God’s love for all people

The First Baptist Church of Berkeley, California, has retired

After 133 years of faithful service, our doors have closed.
We thank God for all those who, starting on June 16, 1889, went before us,
with hearts and minds open to the promptings of the Spirit for ever-changing times,
and we rejoice at having had the opportunity to continue the journey.
Thank you to all who have passed through our doors along the way!
soli deo gloria

A founding congregation of The Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists
Member of
American Baptist Churches, USA
Evergreen Association of ABC-USA

View our farewell video for the Evergreen Association of ABC-USA:
a brief sketch of who FBCB has been, and continues to be in the hearts of its people


We are saddened to share that our beloved friend and longtime church family member Rev. Dr. Norman Gottwald passed away Friday evening, March 11, 2022. He died peacefully at home, full of years, surrounded by family and great love. His scholarly accomplishments are known throughout the world, his challenging & encouraging teaching known to innumerable students across several generations; but we will always remember his good cheer and endless delight in human interaction, the warmth of his friendship, and his generosity of spirit.

We praise God for the gift of Norman’s ninety-five years, and for his presence in our lives. Well done, good and faithful servant!


Rev. Dr. Nancy Hall, Pastor
First Baptist Church of Berkeley

A hybrid memorial service for Norman was held
on August 6, 2022. Excerpts will be available shortly.

Norman was instrumental in the creation of the Center & Library for the Bible and Social Justice. At the Center’s web site may be found an obituary, a collection of tributes, and other resources. The First Baptist Church of Berkeley has made a gift to the Center’s Norman Gottwald Memorial Fund, donations to which will be gratefully accepted.

We are a vibrant and intimate family of faith, joyfully inclusive of all who come into our midst, and seeking to live out the Good News of God's love for all people. We cherish the following distinctively Baptist freedoms:

  • Soul freedom
  • Church freedom
  • Bible freedom
  • Religious freedom

Dedicated to worshiping God and to encouraging spiritual growth, we strive to provide each person the space to explore what he or she needs in order to grow in an understanding of God. We believe that all persons are an essential part of the body of Christ, whatever their gifts, and we encourage our members to preach, to lead worship, and to teach. Above all, we support each other in our spiritual and life journeys, that we may become ever more the people God created us to be.