First Baptist Church - Madison, FL
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
Assisted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Biologist Marine
N 30° 28.127 W 083° 25.007
17R E 267976 N 3373214
The First Baptist Church in Madison, Florida, is of the Queen Anne architectural style and was added to the National Register in 1978.
Waymark Code: WMY8EM
Location: Florida, United States
Date Posted: 05/09/2018
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member rjmcdonough1
Views: 1
Created From:
 First Baptist Church - Madison, FL - posted by Biologist Marine

A Florida historical marker located at the church provides the following information:


This structure represents an adaptation of the Queen Anne style of architecture to local ecclesiastical needs and traditional building materials. Both the stimulus for constructing a new sanctuary and the idea for its basic design are attributed to the Reverend Stephen Crockett, an Englishman who served as pastor at the time. Crockett's design is unusual for the time and place; however, its most unusual facet remains hidden until the visitor enters: the interior plan is octagonal. The sanctuary was moved to this location in 1956. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

Built in 1898, this is yet another of the many late nineteenth century wood frame churches which was greatly influenced by the Victorian architecture of the day. The Queen Anne designation mentioned above we wouldn't argue with, given the distinctive asymmetry of the facade created by the placing of a square steeple/bell tower at one corner and a much smaller rounded bow window at the opposite corner. The front dormer with an extended arch over the Roman arched window are also common Queen Anne touches.

The tower itself is not extraordinary- massive, square with arched belfry vents, beneath which is a small Greek Revival hood treatment over a tall multi paned window. The belfry occupies the upper portion of the tower and is finished with a hipped roof with prominent flared eaves.
First Baptist Church
The First Baptist Church, of Madison is a rare example of the Queen Anne style in church architecture in Florida. Its existence can no doubt be attributed to Reverend Stephen Crockett of England who was pastor at First Baptist when the church was built in 1898.

Crockett was said to be conversant with building techniques and was the major proponent of the new building. The design was a radical departure from contemporary Baptist churches in Florida, most of which were rectangular 3-bay Classic Revival style with central aisle.

As noted in the physical description, the facades of the church present a variety of aspects and massing; there is a 2 1/2 story tower, a semi-octagonal wing, a large semi-circular bay and three small entrance porches. There is variety also in the exterior fabrics of the church with the major portions in clapboard, the tower having a belt line of shingles and the semi-circular wing covered with curved drop siding. The fenestration is balanced but irregular with fixed sash, casements, double hung sash and Palladian windows in stained glass. While it may appear that the overall design lacks cohesion, this is not the case. In plan and mass the church presents a balanced aspect, the result of a conscious design.

In addition to the unusual (for Florida) exterior treatment, the interior bears no resemblance to contemporary Protestant church design. The First Baptist Church is octagonal. The traditional entry is through double doors from the southwest tower. The aisle proceeds from these doors diagonally across the nave to the altar rail. The original carved oak pews sweep in arcs to each side of the aisle. The original altar furniture and organ are still in place. This furniture, the wainscotting and the entire ceiling are of longleaf yellow pine.

The ceiling is a central feature of the interior and is the one design element which forced Reverend Crockett to seek outside help. He chose Turner Davis, a roof contractor, to aid in the construction of the trusses. The difficulty arose from the large open-span hip roof with four cross gables. Crockett and Davis successfully solved the roofing problems and today the composition, which is sheathed in yellow pine on the interior, is striking.
From the NRHP Nomination Form
Location of the Steeple:
Northeast Corner of Pickney and Orange Streets
Madison, FL United States

Approximate Date of Construction: 1898

Website: [Web Link]

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