Chapel Hill Baptist Church

Contributors:
Paschal McCoy, contractor; Thomas Tefft, architect
Dates:

1853-1855

Location:
Chapel Hill, Orange County
Street Address:

W. Franklin St. at Church St., Chapel Hill, NC

Status:

No longer standing

Type:

Religious

Images Puslished In:

M. Ruth Little, The Town and Gown Architecture of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 1795-1975 (2006).
Steven Stolpen, Chapel Hill: A Pictorial History (1978).

Note:

The Biblical Recorder, a Baptist newspaper published in Raleigh, reported on May 10, 1855 on the dedication of the “meeting house” in Chapel Hill. Noting that the church had only about fifty members, the writer reported that it now had “a house of worship which in every respect is equal to any in the village. We were supplied with the dimensions of the building, but have not the paper containing it at hand.” Located in a “pleasant and growing part of town,” the building was of brick, “substantial, and sufficiently large for all ordinary occasions. It is entered by a large vestibule, which projects out some 15 feet from the body of the house, on which is a neat belfry. The bell has been procured, and we were particularly pleased with its clear, deep and rich tones. The isles [sic], seats, pulpit and gallery are well arranged and in good taste.” The cost of the building including the lot was “a little less than four thousand dollars.” Its completion signaled a “new era” for Baptists in and around Chapel Hill. The 1855 brick church served the congregation for many years, but after the congregation moved out, it was renovated in 1931 and dedicated for use as a Masonic lodge. It was demolished to make way for a parking lot in 1961. The congregation erected a large new church on S. Columbia St. in 1923, and in the mid-20th century the congregation’s name was changed to University Baptist Church.