While the town was founded in 1779, it would take 62 years before a Baptist movement would appear. After a 12-day revival in 1841, this church was formed and its building constructed in 1852. It also served as a school. The Civil War caused division among the congregation and the African-American members left First Baptist and formed their own church. The sanctuary was then remodeled and the slave gallery removed. The church survived bankruptcy after the Civil War and the death of its minister and several members to cholera in 1873. The church’s uniqueness is reflected in seven 1917 stained glass windows designed and constructed by an Italian New York artist. All considered priceless, the “Christ in the Garden” window is one of only three of its kind in the world.
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