It was a warm sunny day in Arizona in the year 1886 that Dr. Uriah Gregory the sought shade of a friendly cottonwood tree along Mill avenue where he stopped to rest his horse and eat his lunch. Dr. Gregory, Pastor of the Tucson Baptist Church, was on his way to Phoenix to confer with a Phoenix Baptist pastor concerning the Lord's work.
While Dr. Gregory was resting in the shade, along came Brother T. A. Harmon whose house nestled among the trees one-third of a mile east on what is now Alameda Street. On learning this man was a Baptist minister, Brother Harmon's interest was deeply stirred, for he had missed the fellowship of Baptist Believers since leaving his home in Virginia.
Mr. Harmon expressed his desire for a Baptist Church in Tempe. The consequence of this wayside visit was the organization of the First Baptist Church of Tempe the following February at a meeting held in Peter's Hall.
The First Baptist Church of Tempe was organized by Dr. Urial Gregory, February 14, 1887. After the organization immediate steps were taken toward the erection of the house of worship. A lot was secured, the brick pruchased, lumber ordered and hauled to the group and the work commenced.
Through the years, First Baptist Church of Tempe has been a downtown anchor and a nationally recognized beacon of Bible teaching, a tradition extended to a new generations with Dr. Roger Ball as senior pastor.