Sacred Spaces in Downtown: Central Baptist Church

Yes we have them, and they are grand, each, in their own right. For now, take a look at the Central Baptist Church:

Built in 1926 the circular church is considered noteworthy by the HEPB because:

Central Baptist Church is an excellent example of Neo-Classical design adapted to the Florida climate. Particularly noteworthy is the circular plan, which allows natural ventilation to keep the interior cool during the summer. The church, originally known as First Baptist Church, was organized two days before Miami incorporated in 1896 and houses the oldest Baptist congregation in the city. It remains one of the last active churches to hold regular services in the downtown central business district. Central Baptist Church was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.

Interestingly, this is not Miami’s first major church (that still stands). That right is reserved for the Gesu Church, which will be highlighted later.

Image: the pinnacle of the Central Baptist Church

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24 Comments

Filed under BoB Articles, Gentrification, Sacred Spaces

24 responses to “Sacred Spaces in Downtown: Central Baptist Church

  1. Kevin

    Very interesting article, I’d like to learn more about this, good job!

  2. The church interior is stunning except I couldn’t take pictures. Thanks Kev!

    • MCQ,My understanding is that the speceh in question is not limited to funerals but is also on their website.Also, the connection is only there because they assert the connection. Nobody else sees any connection whatsoever. They could just as well pick a list of people at random and then claim that God revealed to them that they should persecute these people.I think that Justice Sotomayor\’s question ()gets at what I\’m trying to ask about: I fully accept you\’re entitled in some circumstances to speak about any political issue you want, added Justice Sonia Sotomayor. But what\’s the line between doing that and then personalizing it and creating hardship to an individual?

  3. 12

    Beautiful building but a really ghetto location

  4. Growing up in NYC I had the notion that no historic buildings existed here in Miami. It’s nice to see one being highlighted here. I’m looking forward to the others.

  5. You’d be surprised. Most of what is our Central Business District is aged 60 to 80 years. Thanks for the comp Maggie!

  6. Ricardo Lopez

    The UM School of Architecture frequently offers design studios that focus on the historical buildings and sites of downtown Miami. The work they produce ranges from documentation and compositional drawings, structural analysis models, and design proposals for a contemporary “Downtown Temple,” which includes research site visits to CBC and Gesu. While they are both excellent buildings, the CBC is not well funded as cannot be maintained as well as it should. Gesu on the other hand is beautifully maintained. Both are worth a visit!

  7. I had no clue about that. That’s really interesting. What’s really amazing is that most Miamians don’t know these neat places exist. Great info Ricardo!

  8. phillip

    this temple is big beautiful and what the lord has done to this mysterious place thank the lord for what he’s given us

  9. phillip

    this church will grow and grow because if we have faith that the lord will do what wants to be done then it will be done with the help of his sons and daughters so what ” WWJD ” ?

  10. Carolsuebevis

    I grew up in this church. from 1950 to 1971. Went there all my life. It is a wonderul place. I have not seen it for over 40 years. Lots of good memories. Wish I could find some of my old friends from there. If you ever get a chance go see this grand old building. I hope I can see it again someday.

    • I am trying to locate a man with the first name of Wallace or Wally who attended Central Baptist Church in Miami, Florida in the 1950’s. I do not have a last name for him – in fact, that is what I am trying to obtain. Wally would have been in his twenties at the time. Do you have any recollection of this person? Any assistance you can give me would be very much appreciated.

    • You write so honetlsy about this. Thanks for sharing!

      • wow what a great blog. I’ve truly enjoyed it. have you imentmplaed the new RssCloud feature in wordpress? It really assists out on website ranking and keeps your readers informed of your updates. It is a free of charge plugin you are able to get about the wordpress site.

  11. Brenda

    This is my home church and just a blessing to each and everyone that comes to the house of the Lord. The people at Central are just like family to me. Hope not only that people will admire the majestic architecture of the building itself but to come and experience the love of God.

  12. Carol Bevis Anderson

    I grew up at Central Baptist Church and was a member from the time I was born in 1950 until I got married there in 1971.
    I have the fondest memories possible of this great church.
    My mother was the church hostess, prepared the meals for many years. My pastor while I was a child was Dr. C. Roy Angell.
    Who was as his name implied an Angel on this earth.
    Never have I known a more wonderul pastor than Dr. Angell.
    During those days, the church flourished and was absolutely wonderful. I am thankful that Central Baptist Church is part of my heritage.
    God Bless the members now and may it continue to do the work of the Lord.

    • Hey girl, I’m so glad I found you. I tried to click on your picture but could never get your link to pull up on Robin’s page. Your girls are so big!!!! I can’t beevile they are the same little ones that used to balance on Greg’s palm. Time goes by so quickly! I love being able to keep in touch with friends and family like this. I’ll check back often to see what you guys are up to. Your family is beautiful! I can’t wait to see the pictures of your house it sounds great! Jennifer

  13. Tamesha Kirkland

    Ahh, this church is actually being used for God’s glory right now. Christ Fellowship is now using it as a Downtown campus and so many great things have sprung from this church. Check it out sometime!! http://www.cfmiami.org

  14. I am working here in Miami for two months on an I.T. contract and was riding the Metro Mover on a Saturday when it stopped in front of this impressive building with a sign on the side that read CFmiami.org. I said, “This looks interesting” so I looked it up when I got back to my hotel room, and WOW.
    I visited the church the very next morning and was so blown away by its architecture of course, but by the multi-cultural, multi-racial, multi-generational congregation. Young and old, rich and poor, all were so friendly.
    COME FOR THE SPIRIT OF THE ARCHITECTURE, YOU’LL STAY FOR THE SPIRIT OF THE PEOPLE!

  15. Anonymous

    My grandmother was a charter member of Central Bapt Church and my mother, aunt and uncle were all members for years. I began a life long love for Central as a toddler and left after being married in 1969 by Dr Conrad Willard. My memories are vivid and many of the many years of Christian fellowship, Bible study and musical training I shared at this beautiful, old treasure of a church. To know it has received a breath of fresh air nd is again thriving is a blessing for all of us Centralites.

    • Marilyn Moody

      I would like to contact someone who has records of charter members. I believe my grandparents Henry and Viola Henderson)
      were members as early as 1911. Who has church membership records?

      • Marilyn Moody

        My grandmother, aunt and mother were long time members of Central. They lived nearby from 1915-1965. I’m looking for info on my grandparents marriage there in 1915. Henry, Viola, Pauline and Henrietta Henderson.
        Marilyn Lance Moody

  16. Bob, I think our teachers could use some help with some basic dsniiplcig and mentoring skills. I walk through our children’s classes and they are memorizing Scripture, but there isn’t any Scripture memory in any of our adult classes.We could also use some help on how to minister to hurting members. We have people who are hurting and I don’t think our teachers know how to minister to them.I like the stuff on your blog btw, keep it going.

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