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2014 — Old First Baptist Church

Old First Baptist Church for front cover

Old First Baptist Church

Address: 802 Greene Street

Owner: Privately Owned

History and Significance:

Built in 1902 by William F. Denny, this building is a fine example of the Beaux-Arts style and features many characteristics indicative of the style including decorative garlands, floral patterns, and symmetrical façade. The present building is notable for its cross-gable plan, its copper dome, its monumental Corinthian columns and its tremendous arched windows. The congregation moved to West Augusta in 1975, and this building has subsequently been used for fledgling Southern Baptist congregations and since 2003 has been used as the Southern Baptist Bible Institute and Seminary. The Baptist Praying Society was established in Augusta in 1817, and completed their first building on this site in 1821 with John Lund as their architect; it was in that building the Southern Baptist Convention was founded in 1845, eventually becoming the largest Protestant denomination in the world.

Threat: Large building requires routine maintenance difficult for small non-profit groups,

Potential Uses: Mixed use; commercial office space; income producing residential apartments

Preservation Tools: (1); A contributing resource in the Augusta Downtown Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is therefore eligible for all programs of the National Register which include available grant funds and tax incentives for certified rehabilitations; (2) located in the Downtown Augusta Historic District which means that any alteration to the exterior, including demolition, should be approved by the Augusta Richmond County Historic Preservation Commission