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
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.
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)
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
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
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.