First Baptist Church - 1091 10TH AV

 Print Listing Historical Name - First Baptist Church
Style - Late 19th and 20th Century Revivals/Classical Revival
Built Year - 1910-11
State ID - 5WL.1251

Description - This Neoclassical/Classical Revival style church is a rectangular, three story brick structure with a flat roof. Roof features include a parapet with a cornice with dentil molding. The north, south and east elevations have triangular pediments with dentils. The entablature has a detailed cornice with dentils and a white painted frieze with “FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH.” The west addition has a metal gable roof. The east elevation, which has the main entrance, has four sets of two-story round Ionic columns which are partially attached. It has a centered pediment with dentils on the east elevation. The centered entrance has steps leading up to it and a round arch with transom windows. Windows include round windows and vertically-oriented windows resting on the top of the raised brick-veneer foundation. Some windows have stone sills and one on the south elevation has a rounded pediment. Pediments on the north and south elevations have dentils and rest on entablatures, held up by square columns resting on the water table. The columns surround large arched windows divided into rectangular lights with x-shaped muntins. An entrance on the east end of the south elevation has a rounded pediment. A one-story arcade comes out from the south side of the west addition. The three story west end addition was constructed in 1964 to provide more space for classrooms, a nursery, offices, small kitchen, restrooms, and a chapel. In 1995, an elevator addition was added in the southwest corner of the building.

Historical Background - Colorado architect Robert Wieger designed this church and it was constructed in 1910-11 for $43,000. The Baptists were the first denomination to construct a church in Greeley, completing the first building in 1871 and winning an award from the Union Pacific Railroad for the construction of the first building. The original building was a wood frame structure that grew as the congregation grew, however by 1907, the congregation was too large for the building with additions. They sold the property and purchased the land on which the 1911 church stands. Dewitt Forward served as pastor of the church when the 1911 building was completed and established a system for allowing high school and college students to get credit for attending bible studies at the church. This was known as the “Greeley Plan,” and other churches in Greeley adopted it as well. The church school was also recognized and students from the University of Chicago studied it because it was deemed “one of the most perfectly appointed and best equipped Sunday School plants in America” (qtd from Greeley Tribune reprint of story published by the University of Chicago Press, March 9, 1911). The building has been in use continually as the Baptist church since it was constructed.