The Simpsonville Baptist Church, constructed 1913-1914, is a significant piece of the Upstate’s history. Luther D. Proffitt, Spartanburg architect, designed the early twentieth century church chiefly in the Romanesque Revival style. The church also contains elements of both Moorish and Gothic Revival architecture.
The church is a two-story, five bay brick structure with twin towers in stepped, convex-shaped fashion. There are numerous round-headed stained glass windows, each highlighted by a rubbed brick arch.
The most celebrated features of the church are the two large pictorial stained glass windows on the west and south elevations. The church has been known for many years throughout the upstate as “The Friendly Church with Beautiful Windows.”
The subjects depicted in these windows are believed to be taken from the work of Holman Hunt, an English artist known for painting biblical scenes. They are entitled “Our Savior Knocking on the Door” and “The Lost Sheep.”
The church is now known as First Baptist Simpsonville and offers multiple locations for ministry opportunities.
The “downtown” campus at 3 Hedge Street in Simpsonville was listed in the National Register on October 13, 1992. The original listed address in the National Register for the church is 106 Church Street, Simpsonville.
The Beginnings of First Baptist Church of Simpsonville
The beginnings of the church started with a Sunday School class held in a school building on April 1, 1887 and incorporated as a church in November of 1888 with 24 members. The historic church building was completed in May of 1914 with a total cost, including furnishings, of approximately $19,000.
Source: South Carolina Department of Archives and History and fbsimpsonville.org
Did you know…
April 1, 1887 – First meeting of the eventual church occurred
November 11, 1888 – Incorporated as a church
24 – the number of original church members
May 2, 1914 – Original structure completed at a cost (including furnishings) of over $19,000
May 15, 1914 – First regular service held in the new sanctuary
First brick church – First brick constructed in Simpsonville
March 5, 1922 – Official name changed to First Baptist Church of Simpsonville
October 13, 1992 – Listed in the National Register