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Springfield Baptist Church

Springfield Bapt Church Photo 1

Springfield Baptist Chruch, 1897 Building
Historic Augusta, Inc.

Springfield Baptist Church has two historic buildings on its campus. Springfield Baptist Church’s 1801 building is the oldest extant church building in Augusta and one of the earliest in Georgia.  Originally constructed by Augusta’s first Methodist Society, since 1844 it has been the home of Springfield Baptist Church, one of the earliest independent black congregations in the United States. In 1897, the congregation built a new church building next to the old building.  The buildings on the campus are two of the last surviving buildings of the historic Springfield community.

The Springfield Baptist congregation had been in existence for more than 50 years when it acquired its 1801 building from the first Methodist Society, which formed because of dissatisfaction with the Anglican-based church in Georgia. Throughout the 19th and into the 20th century, Springfield Baptist Church was an important religious, social, and cultural institution in the black community, spanning the change from slavery to freedom for African Americans. The Georgia Republican Party originated there as did Morehouse College.

The 1801 church building is an important and somewhat rare example in Georgia of a “New England meetinghouse” type of church.  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.

Springfield Bapt Church Photo 2

Springfield Baptist Church, 1801 Building
Historic Augusta, Inc.

When constructed by the Methodists as Asbury Chapel, the 1801 building was located at what is now 734 Greene Street and enlarged there in 1822.  In 1844, the Methodist congregation built a new brick church, and the old wooden building then was sold to the Springfield Baptist congregation and moved to face Marbury Street (12th) at the southeast corner of Reynolds.

In 1897, Springfield Baptist Church moved the 1801 building back on its lot and turned it to face Reynolds Street. The congregation constructed a new brick church, which is a good example of the Late Victorian Gothic style and a significant work of architect Albert Whitner Todd.  Rectangular in shape, the 1897 building has two square towers at the corners of the front façade. The larger of the two is the bell tower. The church’s pointed-arch windows and entrances, tower buttresses, gabled parapets, and steeply pitched pyramidal tower roofs are characteristic features of the Late Victorian Gothic style. On the interior the entrance vestibules open into the rectangular sanctuary with raised platform at the opposite end and two sections of wooden pews. Since constructing the 1897 sanctuary, the congregation has used its 1801 building for offices, meeting rooms, and activity centers .

Plan your visit

Springfield Baptist Church is located at 114 12th St. with the 1801 building at the rear facing Reynolds St. within the boundaries of the Downtown Augusta Historic District. Open for tours by appointment only. Call 706-724-1056. Free. For more information about the Springfield Baptist Church and Augusta's Springfield community, you may also wish to visit this website.

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