Pastor Jim Townsley and his wife Janet arrived in Southington, Connecticut in the spring of 1975 to begin a fundamental, Bible-believing, Baptist church. After locating a place to live, they began many long hours of door-to-door visitation, contacting hundreds of people in their first few weeks. On May 25th, 1975, Central Baptist Church met for the first time in the Knights of Columbus Hall. Mr. Michael Rossi, the Town Council Chairman, welcomed the sixty-nine people who were in attendance.
On July 27, 1975, twenty-seven people signed the charter of the new church, indicating their desire to become a permanent body of believers in the town of Southington.
In May of 1977, sacrificial giving and the commitment of God’s people made possible the acquisition of the old Gibbs Wire and Steel plant where the church presently resides.
A new and ambitious outreach was begun in May, 1984, when the congregation voted to start a Christian school. In three short months, Pastor Townsley and the church members replaced windows, moved walls, and made classrooms to accommodate the students in grades K through 12 who would attend Central Christian Academy. On August 25, 1984, the school opened with ninety-five students, and on May 17, 1985, the first graduating class of six walked down the aisle.
On May 11, 1986, the ground breaking for the new church building followed the morning service. On March 22, 1987, God was glorified as the church held her first service in the new auditorium with some making decisions for salvation and with four hundred one people in attendance, including many who had been at the very first service in 1975. By the fall of 1992, growth in the Academy necessitated the building of additional classrooms and a gymnasium. The groundbreaking was held in May, 1992, and the facility was completed in December, 1993.
God led the church to undertake one of her greatest challenges in 1994. New England School of the Bible opened her doors under the direction of Dr. Bob Elzey. The night college offered a three-year degree in Bible. The church continued to expand and bought additional property (14 acres) in 1996 and another acre in 1997.
On September 7, 2004, New England Baptist College opened with 23 students enrolled. Central Baptist Church has remained involved in church planting. Central Baptist Church has started 16 churches and hopes to continue to start more churches in the future.