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First Baptist Church originated in Kittery, Maine, in 1682. Under the leadership of William Screven, the church moved to Charleston in 1696. An earlier meeting house (c. 1701) was replaced by the present Greek Revival Sanctuary (c. 1822), designed by Robert Mills, the first American trained architect. Richard Furman led First Baptist from 1787 to 1825, becoming the first president of the Southern Baptist Triennial Convention, which became the model for other state conventions and ultimately, the Southern Baptist Convention. John A. Hamrick, pastor from 1940-1968, led the church to establish First Baptist Church School and served as founding president of Charleston Southern University.