First Baptist Church incorporated with ten members on March 28, 1883. The Tacoma Land Company donated the original two lots to the congregation. A year later, on March 16, 1884, the first building was dedicated on the current site. The young congregation grew quickly, and by 1891 made plans for a greatly enlarged church. Construction on the “new” building began in 1892.
By 1921, First Baptist had again outgrown their building. The congregation started a capital fundraising campaign for a newer, larger home. The architectural firm of Heath, Gove, and Bell was contracted to design the structure. While original newspaper images show a large, ornate Greek Revival building, the finalized design was a subdued Gothic Revival styled structure. The original edifice was designed with glazed terracotta facing, a more inexpensive building material than the cut stone typically used for Gothic Revival structures. However, early in the construction process, Robert Walker, owner of the Walker Cut Stone Company, made arrangements for the purchase of cut stone below market rates.
The current structure has an auditorium which seats 850 and a banquet hall with a stage. The building was never intended to serve only as a religious space; it was designed to accommodate a variety of activities to better serve the community from the very beginning.