On January 28, 1962, the late Reverend John W. Thornton officially organized the First Baptist Church of Sterling with 42 members. The first services were held in the basement of the home of Reverend and Mrs. John Thornton. During his tenure, God blessed his ministry and the current building was built in 1964. On Mary 15, 1978, God called Reverend John W. Thornton from labor to rest.
On April 17, 1979, the church called their second Pastor, Reverend James E. Jefferies. During Reverend Jefferies tenure, many improvements to the building were made. On August 21, 1995, Bishop Leslie Patterson Jr. was called to the First Baptist Church of Sterling, Virginia to minister where he would become the third Pastor of the congregation. The membership at that time was approximately 75 members.
During the 16 years that Bishop Leslie Patterson, Jr. and Co-Pastor Dr. Francene V. Patterson have been with First Baptist Church of Sterling, they have dedicated themselves and have worked very diligently towards the vision that God gave them for this ministry. Both Leslie Patterson, Jr. and Co-Pastor Dr. Francene V. Patterson both have a "no nonsense, make it happen" attitude. By the accomplishments that God has given, it is evident that Bishop Leslie Patterson, Jr. and Co-Pastor Dr. Francene V. Patterson truly believe that all things are possible through Christ Jesus. Under the leadership of this dynamic partnership, there have been numerous achievements. Dying souls have been saved and the lost have been found, as evident by the growing membership of over 1300 members. In April 2001, First Baptist broke ground for a new church edifice. In July 2002, Pastor Leslie Patterson was appointed to the office of Bishop, thereby, expanding First Baptist to a worldwide ministry. In October 2003, the new church edifice was completed and the start of "New Beginnings" commenced.
God has truly blessed the ministry of our Bishop Leslie Patterson, Jr. and Co-Pastor Dr. Francene V. Patterson and they are always constantly reminding us that we are a "Church Where Everybody is Somebody" and that God gets the credit for all accomplishments, but they are responsible for all failure.
Our church represents the fulfillment of a dream. Although we have reached an important milestone, we know that our work has really just begun. We pray that God will continue to bless Bishop Leslie Patterson, Jr. and Co-Pastor Dr. Francene V. Patterson and the First Baptist Church Family as we press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.