Italian Baptist Church
Photograph by Christopher Bellamy

  Architect and minister A.B. Bellondi in front of the church during construction, circa 1907

The Italian Baptist Church is a unique example of Vermont's vernacular architecture. Designed by the church's first minister, A. B. Bellondi, the church was built from 1906-1908 by a largely volunteer labor force of Barre's immigrant Italians. The result was a vernacular adaptation of Northern Italian Renaissance style churches that Bellondi was familiar with. Local granite and lumber were used in the construction. Brick side walls masked the building's balloon frame, constructed from local lumber. The monumental front on the building, almost entirely comprised of local granite, received the greatest amount of detail. While the polished granite Doric columns are perhaps the dominant feature, other granite elements include rusticated granite blocks, smooth granite panels for the walls, and decorative pilasters and frieze.

Not only representing the Italian community's contribution to Barre's architecture, the Italian Baptist Church also directly illustrates the role religion played in the assimilation of American cultural patterns and values. The Baptist Association of Vermont established the church in the midst of Barre's Italian neighborhood, providing a meeting place and consistent evangelism. Many church organizations purposely erected new houses of worship in immigrant neighborhoods to attract new members, but also to assimilate their foreign cultures and values with those of American society. By World War I many of Barre's Italians became Baptist churchgoers. However, their association with the church was brief, attendance dwindled by the 1930s, and the building became the meeting hall for the Fraternal Order of the Redmen and the Pocohantas. Vacant through much of the 1940s, the Seventh Day Adventists began using the building in 1950. After 1966 the structure became a commercial building. Most recently it has been purchased by the Church of God Prophecy.

The Italian Baptist Church, currently the Church of God Prophecy, is located at 10 North Brook St. It is not open to the public.

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