Having prayed for weeks, a faith-filled group of believers met at the home of Miss Maxine Chism on February 18, 1953, to seek the Lord’s will in establishing a new church body. Each individual knew that such a move would take courage and sacrifice as they would be leaving a large, long-established church to start from nothing.
On March 15, 1953, University Baptist Church was formally organized. There were 178 charter members. The church first met in a rented building at 108 N. West Street. Dr. Walter Johnson, who had resigned his position at First Baptist, was called to be the first pastor. He served from March 1953 to January 1965.