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Baptist Church - 608 N. Walnut
- no postmark (c1901 - 1907)
Baptist Church - 608 N. Walnut
- photo, Prosperous Pittsburg Pictorially Portrayed - 1915
What is now the First Baptist Church was organized as a small rural church on August 3, 1872 under the name of the Eden Church with but nine members. This church holds the record of having been the first chartered religious body in Pittsburg with the original charter being dated August 3, 1875. The first building erected by the church was a small brick structure north of the old Central school between Fifth and Sixth Streets on the west side of Walnut. The building was sold to the German Methodist denomination in 1892. Afterward, for a time, the congregation met in rooms of the YMCA. In 1903 the present lot of Seventh and Walnut was bought. Miss Edith Hill, sent her by the Kansas State Convention, conducted a revival for five weeks and gained 100 conversions. Miss Hill later accepted a call to the church providing she could be ordained and on Friday, April 13, 1894, she was ordained in a ceremony in the First Christian Church building. This made her the second woman in the world to be ordained a minister in the Baptist faith. During her pastorate the name of was changed from Eden to the First Missionary Baptist Church of Pittsburg. Work was started on the first building at Seventh and Walnut in 1895 and completed March 30, 1896. Dedication services were conducted by Miss Jessie Ackerman of Chicago. Shortly thereafter Miss Hill left to resume her work in the temperance field. Rev. Edith Hill returned to the local church as Mrs. Edith Hill-Booker in 1900 and served three years when ill health forced her retirement. After her retirement, G. W. Trout took over the pastorate in June 1903. Rev. Trout, better known as Dean Trout, resigned in 1907 to join the faculty at the College (now Pittsburg State University). The church edifice was remodeled and enlarged in 1907. In 1924 the church building was completely remodeled inside and out and the present brick and stone structure is the result. The building was completed and dedicated November 9, 1924. Cost of the remodeling was $24,000. In December 1952 a drive to raise $90,000 for an educational building on the lot east of the church was started. Construction was started after ground breaking ceremonies in 1957 with dedicatory services August 4, 1957. The education building has 4,800 square feet of floor space.
"Pittsburg Almanac 1876-1976", p. 89
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