Monday, December 10, 2007

Baptist Chapel, Centre And Mozart Streets

Bromley, George Washington; Bromley, Walter Scott, 1895 (copyright © 2000 by Cartography Associates)
David Rumsey Collection

The Baptist Chapel sits at the corner of Centre and Mozart streets, opposite the Lowell school.

Boston Daily Globe November 12,1892

Baptist Chapel, Jamaica Plain.

There has recently been completed on Centre st, corner of Mozart, Jamaica Plain, a modest little chapel which, it is confidently expected, will prove the first edition of a large and influential Baptist church.

It was in 1888 that it was first proposed to form a Baptist society in this neighborhood. It was thought that as there was not a church of that denomination within a radius of a mile, a new society would not lack for members and support, and such has proven to be the case.

Under the leadership of the late Mr. Sturtevant, who said he would contribute $1 for every two that could be raised for that purpose, a number of laymen took hold of the matter and purchased a lot of land having a frontage of 100 feet on Centre st, and 200 feet on Mozart st.

A year afterwards Mr. Sturtevant died, and the matter received a set back, but the Baptist Church Union of Boston came to the rescue and offered to raise sufficient money to carry on the work of building a church.

Rev Mr. Demming, late of the Baptist Tabernacle, became interested and with that energy and persistence that characterized all his efforts in Boston, he worked in behalf of the project. As a church building could not possibly be erected in a day, much valuable time would be wasted, he said, if the iron was not struck while it was hot. He therefore proposed to erect a tent in which services might be temporarily held, as he had seen done in Denver Co.

The idea met with the approbation of members of the union, and within a month a large tent was standing on the lot and services were held every Sunday thereafter under the auspices of a committee of the following named gentlemen: W.N. Hartshorn, Rev D.B. Jutten, Rev R.J. Adams of Dorchester, Rev A.S. Gumbart, pastor of the Dudley Street Baptist church, William H. Whitney and F.E. Blake.

The effort to raise money for the erection of a church building met with pronounced success, and soon the fund had reached such proportions that it was deemed advisable to begin work at once. Accordingly Mr Whitney and Mr N.B. Chamberlain were appointed to a building committee and Messrs Lewis and Paine were commissioned to draft plans.

The drawings they submitted were approved, and last April ground was broken. There now stands on this site a cosy frame house of worship of a foundation measuring 69x52 feet.

It is nearly conventionally oblong, and has a pitched roof, surmounted by a tower about 70 feet high. The outside is shingled and painted a subdued dark red color. The roof is of an even darker and more slaty hue.

Inside, one entering through the main doorway on Centre st steps through the vestibule, and turning to the right finds himself in a commodious class room, separated from the auditorium by a sliding door. On the Mozart st side of the building are two more class rooms.

The pulpit and choir gallery are at the end opposite Centre st, and are flanked by the pastor's study and a library. A stairway leads one to the little gallery facing the pulpit. On the left are two rooms which may be used for committee or class rooms.

The interior of the building is finished in white wood and the walls are stained a delicate light tint. The furniture is oak. The chapel will seat about 500 people.

In the course of time if the society, which as yet has not been formerly organized, continues to grow in numbers and in influence as it has begun the chapel will be moved to the rear of the lot, and a more commodious building will be erected on the site.

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