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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Memphis in Shelby County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

First Baptist Church

Continued from the other side

 
 
First Baptist Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Steve Masler, August 1, 2015
1. First Baptist Church Marker
Inscription.
Front
On April 3, 1839, 11 Baptists met in the home of Spencer Hail to organize a Baptist church. The next day, the group met to sign articles of faith. On Sunday, April 7, the group was organized as a regular Baptist church and baptised its first new member, Mary Mosby. L. H. Milliken was the first pastor. In 1845 Geraldus Buntyn gave the church a lot at the corner of Second and Adams, where a building was constructed and opened in 1847, in 1849, Pastor P.S. Gayle left the church and organized Beale Street Baptist Church. During the Civil War, First Baptist was used as a hospital by the Union Army.

Back
In 1865, after the Beale Street Church building burned, its members and 49 members of First Baptist organized Central Baptist Church. First Baptist lost many members to yellow fever in 1878 and 1879. The building at Second and Adams was remodeled during 1886-1888, and was subsequently sold in 1905 as the new site for the Shelby County Courthouse. The church began radio station WGBC-believed to be one of the earliest church-owned radio stations. In 1951, the church moved to its present site at the corner of Poplar and East Parkway.
 
Erected 1991 by First Baptist Church and the Shelby County Historical Commission.
 
Location.

First Baptist Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Steve Masler, August 1, 2015
2. First Baptist Church Marker
35° 8.424′ N, 89° 58.944′ W. Marker is in Memphis, Tennessee, in Shelby County. Marker is at the intersection of Poplar Avenue (U.S. 72) and East Parkway North, on the right when traveling west on Poplar Avenue. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 200 East Parkway North, Memphis TN 38112, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Overton Park (approx. half a mile away); The Lindenwood Christian Church (approx. half a mile away); Griffin House (approx. half a mile away); Site of the former Union Avenue United Methodist Church (approx. 0.6 miles away); The Overton Park Shell/The Levitt Shell At Overton Park (approx. 0.8 miles away); Memphis Belle (approx. 0.8 miles away); Hutchison School (approx. 0.9 miles away); Rhodes College (approx. one mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Memphis.
 
Also see . . .
1. First Baptist Church of Memphis. (Submitted on August 1, 2015, by Steve Masler of Memphis, Tennessee.)
2. First Baptist Church Wiki commons image by Thomas R Machnitzki. (Submitted on August 1, 2015, by Steve Masler of Memphis, Tennessee.)
3. Findings in the case of the Board of Deacons of 1st Baptist Church in Memphis vs. the United States. (Submitted on August 2, 2015, by Steve Masler of Memphis, Tennessee.)
 
Additional comments.
1. Occupation of the church by Union forces
So many churches in Memphis claim that they were occupied by Union forces that it is prudent to find evidence
First Baptist Church image. Click for full size.
By Steve Masler, August 1, 2015
3. First Baptist Church
outside of the marker. In the case of First Baptist Church Senate Bill No. 7159 authorized payment to the church of $5,000 dollars for rental of the church during the occupation. The findings were based on the fact that the Baptist Church remained loyal to the Union during its occupation. This was a result of the "Tucker Act of 1887 which suspended the United States' sovereign immunity (immunity to lawsuits). It relived Congress of having to judge each case of claims of damage during the war by empowering a court of claims. The Court of Claims still exists but was reformed by The Federal Courts Improvement Act of 1982.
    — Submitted August 2, 2015, by Steve Masler of Memphis, Tennessee.

 
Categories. Churches, Etc.War, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Steve Masler of Memphis, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 142 times since then and 10 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Steve Masler of Memphis, Tennessee. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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