First Baptist Church

A historic limestone church, built for what is now Minnesota’s oldest Baptist congregation, founded in 1847 when pioneer teacher Harriet Bishop established a Sunday School. The first church was on Baptist Hill (now Mears Park); this church-the third- was dedicated in 1875. Designed by Chicago architect William Boyington in conjunction with local master builders Monroe and Romaine Sheire, the Gothic Revival church features a corner tower and a large stained-glass window above the entrance. The original steeple, much taller (and handsomer) than the current one, as well as a triple-arched entrance porch were removed in 1945: their weight threatened to collapse part of the church built on an old creek bed.
Inside, the sanctuary’s ceiling is supported by five black walnut hammer beams rising from ornate brackets. The fine stained-glass windows reflect the congregation’s early wealth; its membership included some of St. Paul’s business elite, many of whom resided nearby.