First Baptist Church, Burlington VT. Published by B. Benton Barker, Burlington VT. Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Vermont.
First Baptist Church, Burlington, VT. Taken by Samantha Ford on November 11, 2012.
Located at 81 St. Paul Street, the First Baptist Society was formed on January 5, 1830 and the church was organized four years later in 1834 on September 26th.(1) In 1842 a lot was purchased on St. Paul Street and the church was dedicated on April 3, 1845. (2) Later in 1870 the First Baptist Church and the First Baptist Society united after several years of discussions.(3)
With the sudden growth of the church congregation, on January 1, 1871 a $23,000.00 addition was dedicated. This addition lengthened the church by one half of its original dimensions.(4) This allowed the main auditorium to seat seven hundred thirty people and the vestry could fit five hundred fifty to six hundred people.(5) In 1884 repairs were done to the exterior and an interior renovation of frescos on the walls, new carpets and fresh paint was completed.(6) Around the time First Baptist Church was published in 1920, it mentions that electricity was introduced.
Today the building exterior is still the same and the copper spire is a landmark that can be seen in the skyline of Burlington. According to the Burlington Assessor's office, there was an addition put on the north elevation of the building to comply with ADA standards in 2003. This tower structure provides wheelchair access to the second floor. The building lot has changed little since the postcard photo was taken; the only significant change today is the presence of modern cars.
1. First Baptist Church (Burlington, VT: 1920).