First Baptist Church in Essex (1845)

April 12th, 2009 Posted in Churches, Egyptian Revival, Essex


The Baptist Church in Essex was founded in 1811. The congregation’s first church was a brick building, built in 1817, which stood across Prospect Street from Hill’s Academy. In 1845, a new church was built, adjacent to the Academy on Baptist Hill. Constructed by master builder Jeremish Gladding, the Baptist Church was designed in the Egyptian Revival style, modeled on an 1844 Presbyterian church, the Old Whaler’s Church in Sag Harbor, Long Island, designed by Minard Lafever. Both of these buildings are interesting examples of a style not often used for churches in America. The church’s original steeple was destroyed after being struck by lightning in 1925. It was replaced by the current steeple, a Colonial Revival structure which features a gold dome and a variation on a ‘Widow’s Walk” below.

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