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Cedar Street Baptist Church

Founded in 1867, the Cedar Street Baptist Church of God is the seventh oldest Baptist Church in the City of Richmond. Perhaps the most prominent building in Union Hill, the old church building at 24th and Cedar Streets dates to the early 1890s, and originally housed the Union Station Methodist Church.

In 1867, 12 members of the Ebenezer Baptist Church came together to form the Shiloh Baptist Mission. The mission later changed its name to Cedar Street Baptist Church because it was located on Cedar Street (though a different Cedar Street than the current location).

In 1918, under Rev. James H. Roots, Sr.’s leadership, the congregation moved from Cedar Street to 1001 Mosby Street. A small congregation at the time, the church was only able to build a concrete basement and dream about the church building that would follow.

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When Union Station Methodist Church merged with Monument Methodist Church in 1951, became Reveille Methodist Church, and moved to 4200 West Cary Street, Cedar Street Baptist Church of God was able to purchase the building at 24th and N Streets for $45,000.

The Union Station Methodist Church began as a congregation in the 1840s in a new building at 812 North 25th Street. A decade or so later, they moved to another new building at Cedar and 24th Street. This building was demolished in the 1890s and the current building was erected.

At some point, Pleasant Street coming up the hill from Marshall Street and blocks of N Street west of 28th Street were renamed Cedar Street, to once again place Cedar Street Baptist Church on Cedar Street.

The congregation later built the 1.25 million-dollar sanctuary at 23rd and Cedar Street that the church has occupied since October 1980, while the older section sits unused “awaiting restoration”.

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PHOTO via R.W.Dawson

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Lee
Lee
5 years ago

So…the main building is vacant? I had no idea. At least the exterior looks reasonably well cared for.

Matt Conrad
Matt Conrad
5 years ago

The transition experienced by this particular building over the past century or more tracks the architectural and social history of Union Hill better than any other. I hope the building will never be torn down.

Jenee Johnson
Jenee Johnson
5 years ago

Jenee Johnson liked this on Facebook.

ann
ann
5 years ago

This old place is a stunning piece of Union Hill’s and the city’s architectural fabric. I enjoy heading north on one of the nearby streets and seeing that steeple against the sky.

Elaine Odell
Elaine Odell
5 years ago

There have been times when I’ve seen the old sanctuary (pictured in the pano link above,) used for different purposes–on those occasions, it didn’t seem abandoned at all. Everything from informal choir practice and small group prayer/discussions to storage and cots for the Caritas folks.

The UHCA once had a Q&A there with State Delegate McClellan. We sat on those gorgeous dark wood pews and marveled at the beautiful space. Perhaps the pano-image was made on a day when the old sanctuary was in-between uses–or having some work done.

ann
ann
5 years ago

Why the claim the old sanctuary ‘sits unused’ when, from what #4, Elaine explains, it’s been in use for various functions within the last few years at least?

Cadeho
Cadeho
5 years ago

I still hate that they changed the names of THREE DIFFERENT STREETS for their vanity. Should Fifth Street Baptist change the name of 3rd Avenue simply because the names don’t match? They can have their vanity street between Jessamine and 25th, but return 19th, Pleasants, and N. Streets to their rightful names. I’ve read the history of the church before. They should have changed the name once they left the original Cedar Street and let the name fade into history like the street did (although I also think they should have never gotten rid of that street or the others).

Bill 3
Bill 3
5 years ago

This seems as good a place as any to ask something I’ve been curious about for years. What happens to these old churches when their congregations move out? St. Paul’s Baptist Church at 26th & Marshall, for example, has been vacant ever since I moved here ~7 years ago. It seems they’ve relocated to an enormous facility out on Creighton Rd. Good for them, but what happens to these beautiful old buildings? It seems they just “sit on them”, with maybe some basic upkeep, but those of us who live nearby are left with vacant relics eventually falling in on… Read more »

Metzlers
Metzlers
5 years ago

Bill-3, my husband lived in Pittsburgh when he went to grad school. E.V.E.R.Y time we walk by this building he says exactly the same thing. So, no picking.

Bill 3
Bill 3
5 years ago

Metzlers – sounds like your husband has a sharp mind. Now we just need to find a wealthy investor!

Gretta
Gretta
5 years ago

On the 26th and Marshall church – it’s pretty densely residential for something like a brewery. People live within about 15 feet of their walls! I always thought it would make a great day-care or afterschool center, since they already have a playground built outside, and it’s well fenced to keep the kiddies in.

Bill 3
Bill 3
5 years ago

Well there we have it. No brewery in CH.

Bill 3
Bill 3
5 years ago

John, that’s actually a pretty awesome thought. Little ones are a pretty common sight at many of the local breweries (Hardywood, Strangeways, Ardent, etc.) & there’s not much in terms of things to hold their interest/attention. I recently made it all the way out to Lickinghole Creek & was really impressed with how kid-friendly they made it, complete with a playground, hula-hooping, soccer balls, corn hole, etc. Think of how cool it would be to have a local brewery right on the Hill, where parents could grab a tasty micro-brew (served in a Church, no less!) and watch the kiddo’s… Read more »

Bill Hartsock
Bill Hartsock
5 years ago

John, You totally nailed it!

Gretta
Gretta
5 years ago

All right John and Bill, you’ve convinced me – toddler friendly brewery 🙂

Bill 3
Bill 3
5 years ago

Perfect! Now we just need the congregation that owns the building to give it to us for a fair price (i.e., free).

trudell candis
trudell candis
3 years ago

can anybody tell me where can I find information on cedar street church daycare called Robertsons kiddie colledge(Richmond,va.), I am trying to find the graduation picture of my daughter in June,1975. I cannot seem to find out who took the pictures so I can get the negative or a picture.

Bobby Sager
Bobby Sager
2 years ago

The old building of the church is currently under a complete renovation. I’m working on the job now. I love the old architecture but my job requires I have to make the inside nice and new.

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