In 1866 Rev. Moses Johns met with freedmen to organize the Colored Baptist Church Zion, San Marcos' first African American congregation. In 1873 the Ku Klux Klan burned the church's first sanctuary, located on Guadalupe Street.
In 1908, the church relocated and rebuilt on Comal (now MLK) Street under Rev. G.F. Curry's leadership.
The Victorian-style sanctuary is described by architectural conservationist James Nolan as “one of the grandest historic African-American churches in the state of Texas.”
The structure, called the historic First Baptist Church after the congregation who once worshiped there, has stood vacant since 1986, when the congregation moved to its current Mitchell Street sanctuary.