Athena Baptist Church held its first Sunday service on Nov. 13, 1890 with an attendance of just 5 people. There had previously been a Baptist congregation in Athena but its members decided to move to nearby Adams, OR after the people of Adams offered to build the church a new building there. The Baptist churches in Adams and Weston, neither of which are still in existence today, were instrumental in helping organize a Baptist church here in Athena. By the end of the winter of 1890-91, the church had almost doubled in size, having a membership of 9.
At the time of the founding of Athena Baptist, the Christian church and a Methodist church had already been established in town. The Christian church offered to allow the church to meet in its building, the offer was accepted and the church began to meet there. On June 22, 1891 the church received a building site as a gift by Thomas Kirk. The donated plot was exchanged plus $50 for the property the church sits on now. Lumber was donated and an additional $128.50 spent to build the first building of the Athena Baptist Church which was completed in Dec. of 1892.
This is a picture of the original church building (shown with the 1957 addition). In 1957, primarily due to the need for more educational classrooms, the church decided to add 15 rooms, a kitchen, and a large multipurpose room which to this day is still called “The Fireside Room.” The addition was completed at a cost of $38,301 and was dedicated on Sep. 27, 1957.
The building of a new sanctuary became a priority in the early 1970's and the current sanctuary building was dedicated on April 16, 1972. The bell from the old church was retained and put into a bell tower outside of the new building where it still rings to this day.
Athena Baptist Church has a long and rich legacy. More detailed information about the church's history can be obtained from the church office. The church is founded on the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes (Rom. 1:16). Athena Baptist Church is committed to the Glory of God by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone which is revealed to mankind in Scripture alone.