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Verdugo Views

Katherine Yamada

Credit: Courtesy, Special Collections, Glendale Public Library

Caption: The Baptists built this church at the corner of Wilson Avenue

and Louise Street, and later sold it to the Seventh-day Adventists, who

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moved it just a few blocks away to Wilson and Isabel Street.

Glendale’s first Baptist congregation had to have its worship services

at 3 o’clock Sunday afternoons because the only public hall in town was

booked by the Methodists.

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The local Baptists began meeting in 1904 under the name of Calvary

Baptist Church. Their weekly prayer meetings were sponsored in members’

homes, but Sunday services demanded more space, so they arranged to meet

at the Odd Fellows Hall, at that time the city’s only public space.

The afternoon hour was selected because the Methodists already met

there Sunday mornings and evenings.

As soon as they possibly could, the Baptists named a building

committee and bought two lots at Wilson Street and L. (now Louise)

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Street, which at that time was several blocks away from the city center

at Wilson and Glendale avenues.

The lots were purchased for $445 in gold, and a substantial wood-frame

structure worth about $3,500 was built. The members were very involved in

the building program, giving not only of their time and talents, but also

loaning their teams of horses to the project.

From 22 charter members in 1904, the church grew quickly. By the time

it was incorporated as the First Baptist Church of Glendale, in 1909, the

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congregation had outgrown its first building. According to E. Caswell

Perry and Carroll W. Parcher, writing in “Glendale Area History,” they

sold it to the Seventh-day Adventists for $1,500, who moved it a few

blocks down Wilson to Isabel Street.

The Baptists laid the cornerstone of their new church in 1912, and

this building was the locale for church meetings until a larger structure

was built in 1927.

Before they bought the old Baptist church, the Adventists had been

meeting in the parlor of the new Glendale Sanitarium. Most of the members

were employed in the Sanitarium. When a gymnasium was completed in 1907,

services moved to that space.

When church members heard that the Baptists were preparing to sell

their building, they decided to purchase it. After the move to Isabel

Street, they had their first meeting in the church on Oct. 2, 1911.

In 1919, the Adventists purchased property at California Avenue and

Isabel Street, and the old church was moved once again. Enlarged to seat

600 people, it served the Adventists until 1930, when it was destroyed by

fire.

KATHERINE YAMADA is a volunteer with the Special Collections Room at

Central Library. To reach her, leave a message at 637-3241. The Special

Collections Room is open from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. each Saturday or by

appointment. For more information on Glendale’s history, contact the

reference desk at the Central Library at 548-2027.


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