First Baptist Church, Columbus, Indiana

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Jump to: navigation, search
Picture of the church
Picture of the church

First Baptist Church is one of six national historic landmarks in Columbus, Indiana. It was designed by distinguished architect Harry Weese; construction was completed in 1965. The building has few alterations and retains its integrity.


The location of First Baptist Church is 3300 Fairlawn Drive in Columbus, Indiana. It comprises of one third of a small community center for a suburban neighborhood of single family homes that was developed in the 1960s and 70s. Richards Elementary School (designed by Edward Larrabee Barnes and built in 1965) and Par 3 Golf Course and Clubhouse, (designed by Bruce Adams and built in 1972) make up the other two thirds of the "town square". These structures are easily visible as they create the skyline of this residential subdivision.


The First Baptist Church was one of Columbus’ early congregations. They had a previous site (which has not been preserved) before moving to Fairlawn Drive in 1965. The 7.1 acre mostly flat site was chosen to allow room for growth and parking. There is a small hill, and the two story building is at its foot. The church lot was originally adorned only with a fence row of walnut trees, although later many other trees have planted.

The red brick building has 5 distinct sections (narthex, sanctuary, office wing, fellowship hall, and chapel) built around a central courtyard. The windows are tall and narrow.

The sanctuary is the principal interior space of the building. It is a windowless room, made up of simple elements that combine to create a space that is at the same time dramatic and serene. Each element is a simple object – a brick wall, a beam, an opening, a skylight, but they are all exaggerated slightly in size, proportion, or height.

The church is an outstanding representation of the work of American architect, Harry Mohr Weese (1915-1998), and generally thought to be his best work in Columbus, where he was the most prolific contributor to the body of Modern architecture that made the city famous. This is why the building was made a national landmark.


All information is from the sites application to become a historic landmark. Most of this page is direct quotation, although a great deal of abridging has been done.

Personal tools