On September 22, 1912, Seattle First Baptist Church held service in the brand new sanctuary at the corner of Harvard and Seneca on First Hill. This “Earthly Temple for Spiritual Service” celebrates 100 years of service on Sunday, September 23rd. While the building is now a century old, Seattle First Baptist church has been with us since 1869 –- a pioneer by Seattle standards. Sunday services begin at 11 A.M. if you’d care to join the congregation in celebrating.
Seattle has plenty of early 20th century church and temple buildings. Many have gothic arches, towers, organs, and stained glass windows, as does First Baptist. This church, however, has a steeple rising high above the building on a height of First Hill ridge, “In order that from every high point in Seattle, people might see its finger pointed heavenward, directing their thoughts to God” described by Rev. Dr. Harold V. Jensen years after it was built. The copper -sheathed spire tower still rises the original 168 feet. In 1912 it was hoisted up with wires; a crane was used to repair the spire after the Nisqually earthquake of 2001. It is still pretty easy to see from many vantage points in the city.
On September 16 and 30th, volunteers will lead tours of the church beginning after Sunday services at about noon. You can meet the tour guide near the communion table at the front of the sanctuary if you’d like to join the tour group.
For more on the building’s history and the 143-year history of the church, visit our sister site, First Hill Seattle.