Elm Street Baptist Church Continues Long History on the Corner
(The following is a weekly feature in the Independent based on the City’s 2018 Historic Property Survey done to note the many little-known historically significant properties within the city.)
Located on a polygonal lot at the corner of Elm Street and Jackson Avenue, Elm Street Baptist Church was constructed in at least two phases beginning in 1924 with the basement level along Elm Street, punctuated by 2/2 windows. The upper level of the church was built in 1930. Capped by an asphalt-shingled roof, the church is constructed of concrete block and brick with concrete trim. Gothic details include a quoined entrance at the west end of the Elm Street façade, simple brick buttresses with concrete weatherings and pointed arch window openings filled with paired stained glass pointed arch windows (protected by plexiglass) and decorated by quoined concrete surrounds. An offset square tower with pyramid roof is located at the east end of the Elm Street façade and bears a cornerstone reading “1930”. At the base of the tower are original wooden doors set into a pointed arch surround. Attached to the rear (north) of the church is a single-story flat-roofed section with 6/1 windows.
The First Baptist Church was organized in Everett in 1871 shortly after the incorporation of the city in 1870. As membership grew, a second Baptist Church – the Elm Street Church – was established in Everett, in Glendale Square. The Elm Street Baptist Society was organized on October 3, 1898. The original church was located at 178 Elm Street.
In 1920 the church purchased a lot of land at the corner of Elm Street and Jackson Avenue from Thomas and Joseph Clancy. Plans for the construction of the church filed with the State Department of Public Safety in June 1924 indicated that the church was designed by H. Edmonds. No other information was found concerning this individual.
On July 31, 1924 the Boston Globe reported that:
Excavation for the new Elm Street Baptist Church, at the corner of Jackson Ave. and Elm St. is rapidly being completed and the edifice is expected to be finished by Oct. 1. Rev. E.E. Laird, Deacon A.H. Chadwick, Church Collector James Kendall and Supt. Thomas Fale of the Sunday school are in charge of the building plans. The basement will contain the heating plant, a kitchen and a large serving room. A gymnasium will be a feature. The third floor will be devoted to the Sunday school classes.
Opening services were held in the basement of the new church on November 22, 1925 with dedicatory services held a week later. The space in the covered cellar had a capacity of 500. On September 8, 1930 the cornerstone of the Elm Street Baptist Church was laid, signaling the beginning of the construction of the remainder of the church.
The building is still a Baptist church today.