In 1830, two Baptist families met in a home in Quincy, Illinois for prayer and the reading of the Bible. These people initiated the Baptist witness for Christ that has continued in this city for more than one hundred fifty years. It has survived wars, a tornado, fire and in the early years, unavoidable dissension over slavery. In 1843 the church acquired the bell that hangs in the tower of the Central Baptist Church today. The bell, one of three cast in New York was being shipped up the Mississippi River on consignment to customers. Running short on money, the captain of the riverboat was forced to sell one bell to pay the freight charges on the others. Otherwise he could not have continued his trip. Governor John Wood, Samuel Holmes and R.M. Young bought the bell and offered it to the first church in Quincy that would provide a belfry. The Baptist congregation received the bell which still rings each Sunday. From the early Baptist witness, these churches developed: German Baptist, Vermont Street Baptist, Immanuel Baptist, Bible Baptist, Calvary Baptist and Grandview Baptist. One of the great achievements of the Spirit of God was the union in 1916 of the First Baptist and Vermont Street Baptist churches to form the Central Baptist Church. Today, Central is the only Baptist Church in Quincy that can trace its history in a direct line from the year 1835. Its members, numbering in the hundreds, rejoice in two worship services each Sunday - Traditional service begins at 8:30 am and our Contemporary service begins at 11:00 am - a growing Sunday school and midweek Bible studies. Members come from a wide background, both geographically and spiritually, seeking authentic relationships in a welcoming atmosphere.