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First Baptist Church
411 Market St.
Wilmington, NC 28401

(910) 763-2471

The region's first Baptist church makes this sanctuary the mother church of many other Wilmington Baptist churches. It is also the city's tallest. Its congregation dates to 1808, and construction of the red-brick building began in 1859. The church was not completed until 1870 because of the Civil War, when Confederate and Union forces in turn used the higher steeple as a lookout. The early English Gothic revival architecture displays hints of Richardson Romanesque, as in its varicolored materials and horizontal mass relieved by the spires' verticality, with their narrow, gabled vents. Inside, pews, galleries and ceiling vents are made of native heart pine. Some Sunday school classes occupy the equally interesting Sidbury House next door on 5th Avenue. The building exhibits classic Italianate elements such as frieze vents and brackets and fluted wooden columns. Church offices are in the Taylor house, next door on Market Street.

 

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