Windows with painted cast iron and ornamentation on the upper floor of commercial buildings on Main Street in Madison, Indiana.
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Madison, Indiana

First Baptist Church

Current view of First Baptist Church.

Current view of First Baptist Church.
National Park Service

The First Baptist Church houses the oldest Baptist congregation in Indiana. Started in 1807, the Crooked Creek Baptist Church first met in a cabin on the hilltop outside Madison. In 1831, the congregation sold that church, purchased a lot in Madison on Vine Street, and constructed the Madison Baptist Church. When the membership outgrew the church, the trustees decided to demolish the 1831 building and replace it with a larger one. Construction began in 1853, and the existing church was complete in 1860. Major later additions include the tracker pipe organ the ladies of the church purchased in 1901, the 1904 baptistery, stained glass windows received as a gift to the church in 1907, and a 1964 education wing addition to the rear.

The building follows a Greek Revival design, with Tuscan pilasters and recessed segmental-arched panels punctuating the cement-covered brick walls. The low-pitch front gable creates a pediment that is repeated on a smaller scale and held by scrolled brackets over the front entrance. Fixed stained glass windows are found on both the first and second stories of the front facade and the sides’ upper story. The center entrance opens to a vestibule and fellowship hall while curved side staircases lead to the second-story sanctuary. The sanctuary, which still has its pews in the original side aisle formation, runs the length of the building. A raised platform opposite the stairs forms the chancel, with the impressive organ with exposed pipes placed in the center of the platform and the 1904 baptistery located to the right.

The First Baptist Church contributes to the historic significance of the Madison Historic District, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and designated a National Historic Landmark.

Plan your visit

The First Baptist Church is located at 416 Vine St. Click here for the Madison Historic District National Historic Landmark file: text. The First Baptist Church is open to the public and offers various Sunday services as well as special events. For more information, visit the First Baptist Church website, or call 812-265-2331.

First Baptist Church has been documented by the National Park Service’s Historic American Buildings Survey.

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