The embellished photograph shows the First Baptist Church at 525
South Avenue as it looked shortly after it was built in 1951. The
building was of the Georgian Colonial style, made with red brick
and four Corinthian columns gracing the front portico. The steeple
is 138 feet tall, with a 14-foot high, six foot wide copper cross
at the top. A special speaker and intercom system allowed simultaneous
use of the main sanctuary, chapel and basement. The main sanctuary
contains 1580 seats plus 52 seats in the choir. The ten large windows
of the sanctuary are made of an opaque glass typical of Georgian
period buildings. A circular stained glass window of a Bible and
a lighted torch were a part of the new building. The Memorial Chapel,
which seats 300, was named to honor service men and women who fought
in World War II and the Korean War. The new building also contained
a church library, something the old church did not have.
Shortly after the congregation moved into the new church in 1962,
the church celebrated its centennial. Also during this time the
old parsonage, the original church building from 1895 and the McCrum
house just across the parking lot from the main building, were razed
because they were deemed too damaged to use. During excavation of
the McCrum House, later called the Baby Building by the church,
several graves were found in a nearby forgotten cemetery behind
the antebellum house.
A new four-story building used for Sunday school was built in 1954.
It was named the Eastham Building to honor Dr. Fred Eastham, the
church pastor. The rest of the church land was turned into a 150-car
The church currently has activities such as Greek Day, a summer
celebration day camp for children and Vacation Bible School. It
has several Cub and Boy Scout packs associated with it. It provides
many services, including a deaf ministry, music ministry and a Mother's
Day Out. It is also associated with the Special Olympics, has a
latchkey program and a television ministry.
First Baptist Church #1