Piney Baptist Church began in a one room school house located near the present church. Mrs. Irrie Tucker, then a Methodist, and Rev. D.R. Whitley, a Baptist preacher, conducted a Sunday School. In 1938 five members of the Crystal Hill Missionary Baptist Church joined Mrs. Tucker and Mr. Whitley in their Sunday School effort. The community, then known as Flat Woods Community, began to grow and later became known as Piney Community because the creek that ran through the region was called Piney Creek.
In 1940, the Baptists in the Sunday School decided to build a church near the school house. Small donations given to start the building totaled $160.00. They bought a plot of land fifty feet wide and six hundred feet deep for $75.00 from the Hildreth family. Within a few days the deed was filed, a surveyor was hired, and work started on a rock building. The rock was dug out of nearby Hot Springs Mountain by Willie Neal and hauled to the church site. They hired Mr. Ed Wehunt from Bear, Arkansas, to do the masonry work for $2.50 a day plus his room and board. Johnnie Brewster was hired to mix cement for $1.50 a day while members of the church and many of their friends worked on the building free of charge. They started the building in July of 1940 and had it finished by April 1941. The rock building was thirty feet wide and forty feet long. Rev. Hulsey, who was then pastor of the Mt. Ida Baptist Church and Antioch Baptist Church, preached the dedication sermon.
Rev. Garland Plemmons was called as the first part-time pastor of Piney Baptist Church. The first minutes to be recorded of Piney Baptist Church were in December 1941. In April of 1942 the first deacons to be ordained were Bro. Sherman Sword, Bro. Ed Green, and Bro. Carroll Ault. On September 3, 1944, Piney Baptist voted to join the Central Baptist Association and was accepted.
In 1945 the women of the church organized a WMU, now Women on Missions, with Emma Ward being the first president. The Brotherhood, now Baptist Men on Missions, was organized with Bro. Fred Price as its first president. In 1946 the church borrowed $800.00 from the bank to purchase timber from the Corker family for $650.00 and had it milled and constructed as an educational building behind the original rock building. During the late 1940’s, a second story was added to the education building, and a six-room parsonage was built. Then in 1949, because of crowded conditions, the church voted to build a new auditorium and convert the old one into class rooms. In 1951 the church voted to buy a church bus with Bro. Bacon as the first driver, driving in from Rag Weed Valley, which was some 30 miles from Piney, picking up people along the way. In January 1958 the plans were adopted to construct a new educational building and fellowship hall on land purchased from the Reed family. It was located on the east side of the existing property. The church issued $70,000.00 in building bonds to cover most of the construction cost. Upon completion of the building, pot luck dinners could now be held inside.
In the late 1960’s, the church purchased a nice brick parsonage and made several updates to the existing buildings, including remodeling the sanctuary, air conditioning the educational space, and establishing a library and parlor. In March of 1976, a ground breaking ceremony was held to build a new 525 seat auditorium and enlarge the education building; the church borrowed $165,000.00 for the project. Construction was completed, and in November 1976, a dedication service was held.
In the spring of 1983, the church commissioned a group of members to look for a place in Royal to establish a mission. A suitable location was found, approved, and purchased. Renovations were made, and churches in the Central Baptist Association donated everything needed to furnish and operate the mission. In August of that year, membership had grown, and it was decided by the congregation to petition the Association to become a Southern Baptist Church. On October 2, 1983, an open house was held to celebrate the creation of First Baptist Church of Royal.
In 1990 the church celebrated its 50th Anniversary. In 1996 the church voted to install vinyl siding over the wood-sided portion of the buildings. When Dorothy Rabjohn passed away, she left her estate to the church for them to use as they wished. Her only provision was that a steeple be installed which was completed in 2000. In 2001, the church decided to finish out the second story for new educational spaces. The following year the church did a major renovation to the sanctuary and paved the parking lot. In 2007 the church installed a new illuminated sign next to the highway, and in 2008, the church broke ground for a new activities building which was completed in just 9 months.
Today Piney Baptist Church continues to have a heart for missions and to see people saved. God has richly blessed our church, and in turn we at Piney Baptist would like to richly bless others by offering a loving environment in which to worship our Lord and Savior and learn about Him.