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The Golden age. [volume] (Atlanta, Ga.) 1906-1920, September 06, 1906, Image 1

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/2020233210/1906-09-06/ed-1/seq-1/

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"■SIEIgTY IN the statO> ;
N view of the fact that the new build
ing of the Ponce de Leon Avenue Bap
tist Church is soon to be opened, I have
been asked by the management of The
Golden Age to give an account of the
organization of the church and the new
new building it is soon to occupy. This
I do most willingly, for with the true
Atlanta spirit, I not only think that
Atlanta is the greatest city in this part of the
world, but I also think that the Ponce de Leon Ave
nue Baptist Church is the greatest in Atlanta, and
that our new building is one of the prettiest and
most convenient to be found anywhere. It
is needless to say that I have a most ex
alted opinion of Atlanta and this church,
for this is the only city and the only
church I would have left Baltimore to come
to. In my opinion the organization of the
Ponce de Leon Avenue church is the most
important event among Southern Baptists
since the organization of the Eutaw Place
church in Baltimore thirty-five years ago.
Indeed, they were both started in much
the same way. Each began its life with
a superb membership; not so large but, as
it were, picked. It was the personnel of
the membership among other things, that
appealed to me so strongly to come to At
lanta. The leader of the little band was
ex-Governor Northen and everybody in
Georgia knows what that means. With
him were associated some of thebest spirit?
Ju this But the strongest appeal
was the opportunity afforded by the new
church for real spiritual work. The church
of which I was pastor in Baltimore had
perhaps reached its full growth and all our
efforts were exerted toward keeping it
where it already w T as. I wanted an arena,
not a nest. It w r as the opportunity in
North Atlanta for real aggressive work
that appealed so strongly to the gen
tlemen who initiated the movement that
resulted in the new church. There are
some twelve or fifteen Baptist churches on
the other side of the railroad, perhaps
more; while on this side there are not
more than two or three. In the lead of
these three was the great First Church which had
for years had it in mind to organize a branch in this
rapidly growing section of Atlanta. Each year a
committee had been appointed to consider the ad
visability of such a movement, but nothing was done
until the summer of 1904 when a committee, with
Mr. J. W. Wills as chairman, recommended the es
tablishing of a new church. The church was organ
ized October 9th with 115 members.
With characteristic zeal a committee with Mr.
Geo. M. Brown as chairman, was immediately ap-
pointed for the building of a house of worship.
Their work is almost ended, for on the sixteenth
of this month we move into the main auditorium
of as beautiful a building as can be found in At
lanta. It is of semi-classical desgn, built of buff
pressed brick, wth six Corinthian columns in front,
and a copper dome that is almost an exact replica
of the famous dome of St. Sophia in Constantino
ple, wtih the excepton that ours has a lantern on
top and that at Constantinople has not. While the
building is stately without and handsome within,
its chief feature is its convenience for our work.
Special consideration of every feature of the
‘■■a. . • ■
The Ponce "De Leon 'Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia.
church’s activity was had in making the plans, so
that we have separate Sunday school rooms, pas
tor’s study, social rooms, committee rooms, lavato
ries and even a kitchen. One feature that is quite
unique is the electric wiring throughout the build
ing, not for electro lights but for communication by
bells, and “buzzers.” The Sunday school superin
tendent can communicate with every class room
separately, with the pastor up in his study, or with
the sexton, in the basement. The pastor, in his
study, can, in his turn, communicate with all parts
of the building and while seated on the platform
can summon an usher from the vestibule, and even
after going into the Baptistry can communicate by
speaking tube with the organist in the choir gallery
above. In all this we think this church is entrely
in a class by itself.
The Lighting.
I think the lighting of the church also, is worthy
of special mention; this has been so arranged that
the effect is a diffused light rather than a concen
trated brilliancy. This is produced by a num
ber of incandescent lamps placed in the arches of
the room and even a larger number concealed be
hind the cornice of the dome. In no sin-
gle case will any one seated in the pews
look directly toward the light itself. We
are exceedingly fortunate in being able to
properly furnish the church at the very
beginning with handsome stained glass win
dows. Mr. Fred Cooledge gave to the
church a large window for the main posi
tion on the left of the auditorium and the
church supplied the others to correspond
with this one. These windows have been
much admired and have already been copied
in other cities. Unfortunately the organ
will not be in place by the opening day.
The contract has been let and the instru
ment will be installed by December Ist.
It is to be a three manual organ with thir
ty stops, the peer of any organ in this city,
and indeed, in the South. Naturally one
may wonder as to the cost of the church
and furnishings. I think that we have
secured magnificent results for the amount
invested. Our total plant including lot,
and organ, will cost in the neighborhood
of sixty thousand dollars. This has been
made possible by judicious management on
the part of the committee. I am very
proud of this result in view of the fact
that the congregation is neither large nor
wealthy. Our total membership is now a
little over two hundred and there is not
one among them who is anything like a
millionaire. As long as I am speaking of
money, may I add also that during this
year, characterized by building, our church
has made no mean record in the mat
ter of general benevolence? We have led
every church in Atlanta in gifts to for
eign missions; every church in Georgia in state
missions and are tenth in the entire state for all
missions combined. Os course I am not making
odious comparisons, but I may be excused for hav
ing a pardonable x achievements of such
a noble people. For, indeed, they are a noble peo
ple; willing, anxious and able.
The opening of the church is to be characterized
by a most attractive program lasting two weeks

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