Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

117-0027-0063 First Baptist Church

First Baptist Church
Photo credit: Dan Pezzoni, 2005

*Click on image to enlarge.

For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 06/08/2006

NRHP Listing Date 08/30/2006

NRHP Reference Number 06000757

With its two towers—one topped by a spire—defining Lexington’s skyline, First Baptist Church, originally known as Lexington African Baptist Church, is one of the downtown’s most visible historic buildings. Constructed between 1894-95 by African American masons and carpenters, the brick-and-stone Gothic Revival-style church and its congregation has played a central role in the life of Lexington’s black community and traces its founding back to 1867, when, in the words of historian Theodore C. DeLaney Jr., First Baptist, “helped the community to meet the challenges of transition from slavery to freedom.” The church was designed by E.N. Bogher, a local architect who was the builder of Lexington’s 1890 Methodist Church. First Baptist Church is surrounded by several historic residences and brick buildings lining the north end of the downtown area in the Lexington Historic District.

Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.

VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

Updated: July 23, 2021