First Baptist Church

Contributors:
Addison Hutton, supervising architect; Samuel Sloan, architect
Dates:

1859-1870

Location:
Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address:

421 Market St. (at Fifth Ave.), Wilmington, NC

Status:

Standing

Type:

Religious

Images Puslished In:

Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Eastern North Carolina (1996).
Tony P. Wrenn, Wilmington, North Carolina: An Architectural and Historical Portrait (1984).

Note:

The congregation purchased the lot for the new church in 1858 and sent the minister and a deacon to Richmond, Baltimore, Washington, and other cities to see churches and consult architects. On April 18, 1859, the building committee recommended Sloan as architect to design a church in “Early English Gothic” with two towers, one high and one low. The minister of First Baptist Church recorded stages of its construction, such as: April 16, 1861, “Fort Sumter bombarded all night! . . . the windows on towers of our church raised to-day. So glad.” July 30, 1861, “The doors and windows are being closed and the lumber piled” (quoted in Wrenn, Wilmington, 211-212). In 1996, the tall spire of First Baptist Church was toppled by Hurricane Fran, but it was rebuilt in 1998.