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Central Baptist Church
2842 Washington at T.E. Huntley
1975
Architect: William Edward Lee Jr.

Central Baptist is a creative bit of late Midcentury architecture. A curved wall of cobblestones acts as a shield; behind it, offset red brick panels allow slits of light to enter the sanctuary through panels of colored cathedral glass.

The modestly-scaled facade conceals a surprisingly large sanctuary within. The interior is a low-key affair with none of the stylized touches common to earlier Midcentury buildings, being fitted out with contemporary finishes and fixtures. The most striking element is a very recent addition: the front doors feature a beautiful leaded glass design not unlike Frank Lloyd Wright's late period style.

The building replaces a historic church on the same site that burned in March 1971. The architect was a member of the congregation, and an adjacent street (T.E. Huntley) is named for one of its longest-serving pastors.

The church is an off-shoot of First Baptist Church that split off in 1846, making it the second-oldest African-American congregation in the city.

  • KETC Living in St. Louis: Central Baptist Church video, with a history of the congregation
  • Central Baptist website
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