Springfield Baptist Church (Augusta, Georgia)
Springfield Baptist Church
|Location||112 12th St. (original) and 114 Twelfth St. (increase), Augusta, Georgia|
|Architect||Todd, Albert Whitner (increase)|
|Architectural style||Gothic (increase)|
|NRHP Reference #||82002461 (original)
|Added to NRHP||June 17, 1982|
|Boundary increase||July 5, 1990|
Springfield Baptist Church in Augusta, Georgia was built in 1801 by a Methodist congregation. It is the oldest church building extant in Augusta and one of the oldest in the state. It was built in the style of a New England meetinghouse, rare in Georgia.
"The simple, two story rectangular wooden building has two doors at the first floor topped by two arched windows and a smaller arched attic window in the gable of the street facade. The east and west sides of the church boast first and second floor ranges of seven wooden 12/12 windows. The interior of the church has an assembly-hall plan consisting of a shallow vestibule on the north end and a long narrow meeting hall."
In 1844 the Methodists moved to a new church, and the wooden building was taken over by the Springfield Baptist congregation, one of the oldest black Baptist congregations in the nation. During the antebellum years, it had 1,000 members and was the largest congregation of any in the Georgia Baptist Association. In 1897 the congregation built a new church on the site, in the Late Victorian Gothic style. It continues to maintain the old one and uses it for special events.
The congregation claims continuous ties with Silver Bluff Baptist Church, founded 1774-1775 in South Carolina as one of the first black Baptist congregations in the nation. For this reason, the historian Walter Brooks suggested it was the oldest black Baptist congregation. The First Baptist Church in Petersburg, Virginia was organized in 1774 and also contends for this distinction.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13.
- "Augusta Springfield Church", North Georgia, National Park Service Historic Itinerary, accessed 27 Sep 2010
- Albert J. Raboteau, Slave Religion: The "invisible Institution' in the Antebellum South, Oxford University Press, 2004, p.139, accessed 21 Jan 2009
- Walter H. Brooks, "The Priority of the Silver Bluff Church and Its Promoters", Journal of Negro History (April 1922)