Building

 

Our present building includes a 250-seat sanctuary, a fine Dobson tracker pipe organ, a gym, and numerous offices and classrooms. Almost all rooms in the building are handicap accessible.

 

2003-2004: A successful Capital Campaign resulted in the addition of a 4-stop elevator which makes the building 90% handicap accessible, replaced windows and storms on most of theCurrent Building education portion of the building, extensive roof repairs, and electrical upgrades.

2001-2002: The heating system again was a problem. The boiler remained in good shape but the burner had to be replaced at a cost that made last years steam leak repair seem trivial. It is a more efficient system now. The fireplace chimneys have been critter-proofed and we can use the fireplaces. Projects in the works include replacing windows, repairing radiator valves and traps and enhancing the electrical system, and painting some interior spaces. A new sign has been put up on the lawn alerting passers-by to our church.

1999-2000: Some serious problems developed: steam leak in the wall in the downstairs bathroom. Fixing it meant removing the toilet and ripping out a long strip of the bathroom wall. Projects in the works include replacing windows, re-paving the driveway and parking lot, doing some interior painting and sealing off the chimneys. A new flagpole for banners has been installed and a new yard sign is up at the main entrance and one near the University Avenue entrance. The sign at the corner has been cleaned and painted.

1998-99: A contractor was invited to check out the needs of the building. He said "Fix it or lose it". A second opinion was needed. Windows need repairing ($36,800) and they were fixed, the heating system was renovated ($1800). Thank goodness for the Foundation money to come to our rescue.

1997: Gutters! Repair work on gutters and downspouts was completed but the west side needs major work, next year? Big expense items were replacing the air conditioner and snow blower and heating expenses went through the roof. Ancient boiler needs patches on its patches.

1996: The kitchen/office remodeling was completed thanks to Clyde Ciccarelli, Nadean Bishop, Dan Spencer and David Anderson - it was ready for all to use and enjoy. The congregation reluctantly put locks on the sanctuary doors. This because homeless people were sleeping under the portico and that was unsettling to us, fearing for the safety of our building and our tenants.

1994-95: The most visible achievements saw the completion of the library/lounge, including painting, new carpet and light fixtures. Ken Amelsberg handled the window painting and repair, painting the exterior doors, other wood trim and painting the ailing sign on the corner. The parlor was made more inviting by a new carpet. Much to the delight of the children, the playground was rejuvenated.

1991-94: Renewal for the 90’s, the renovation project of the physical plant of UBC, has largely been completed. The dedication was held June 10, 1991. The congregation, led by people in wheelchairs, processed up the new outside ramp into the sanctuary for a joyous 1890service. Further improvements that have been made are: more energy-efficient exterior lighting, new hot water heaters in the toilets, removal of asbestos from the boiler, interior handrails, new equipment for the nursery and renovation of the custodian’s apartment.

Works in the planning stages include renovating the lounge kitchen and secretary’s office and repairing the window. Other improvements made possible by anonymous gifts totaling $30,000 are: redecorating and re-furnishing the Mary Shepardson lounge, updating the secretary’s office with a new computer and photocopier, and for the sanctuary: new sound amplification and recording systems, a beautiful set of handbells, new pew Bibles and wall banners and table runner.

Income generated from renting space helps to keep this 67-year old building in good condition. Renters include Second Foundation School in the fellowship hall, the Institute for Education and Advocacy in various rooms, Northcountry Cooperative Development Fund on the third floor, and for a short period the sanctuary to Counterpoint Productions for producing a musical, "When Children Sing."

1989-90: Renewal for the 90’s is the theme that was adopted in ’89 to include long range planning projects started by the Dream Task Force a few years ago. The architect’s plans were completed for handicap accessibility for the exterior and interior of the church. The sanctuary was remodeled with an improved appearance of the front of the church, new flooring and refinished pews (work optimistically to be done by volunteer labor). The outside concrete ramps and railings are all in place. New sod has been laid on the area near the ramps. The new steps leading up to the front door are a great improvement.

1980: The organ had continual problems mainly because the pipes were too close and a cold outside wall. Repairs were deemed to be too expensive and useless. So, a decision was reached to commission a new organ. Lynn Dobson was chosen as the builder. On October 11, 1981, it was dedicated with a concert by Martha Pittenger, our organist from 1976-1991. A series of dedicatory concerts followed into 1982. This tracker organ has proved a valuable asset to the church’s music program.

1975: The roof, always a problem, had major repair work done: the outside of the building was tuckpointed and the outside of the 251 windows painted, all to the tune of $26,000.

1966: At 1:30 am on the morning of January 13 a passerby saw smoke pouring out of the windows of the student lounge. The fire department quickly responded to his call and 1885prevented the entire building from going up in flames. The damage was estimated at $60,000. Much of the building had to be repainted, including the sanctuary, as well as repair work to the student lounge area. The front of the sanctuary platform was rebuilt, carpeting was installed on it and in the aisles. The organ console was moved from the front choir loft to the main floor. Tuckpointing was done.

1961: Funds were provided by the Christian Higher Education Campaign for remodeling the student wing. The library, lounge and small kitchen were renovated.

1929: The sanctuary was the last section to be built. It was named the Pope Memorial Auditorium in honor of Dr. E.R. Pope, the Executive Secretary of the Baptist State Convention for 18 years. He was the driving force behind the building of the new church. It was dedicated June 5-12, 1927, with a series of celebrations including concerts on the organ built by the Reuter Organ Co., of Lawrence, Kansas. On April 20, 1929, the Board of Education of the Northern Baptist Convention got the deed – and still holds it.

UBC ca 19201921: Olivet purchased a lot on the corner of 13th Ave. and University, the present location. November 6, 1920, a processional from Olivet preceded the laying of the cornerstone. They sang "Onward Christian Soldiers" as they marched down 13th Ave. Olivet was purchased by Perine’s Bookstore. The education wing was built first. The church’s name was changed to University Baptist, reflecting its relationship to University students.

1915: Because the church was committed to a ministry to the University students, a committee was appointed to study the possibility of building a new facility. The student 1870ministry demanded larger and better facilities and also the Sunday School program was hampered by lack of adequate space. In 1918 the Home Mission Society conducted a financial campaign among Olivet members. Far more money in pledges was raised than was expected.

1881-85:A lot was purchased on the corner of 5th St. and 9th Ave. and a new church built there. This property was valued at $17,500. The debt was large and the church larger than needed. So, since the Methodists needed a larger church, a swap was made. Olivet moved to the Methodist Church on the corner of 13 Ave. and 4th St. The Methodists took over Olivet and its debt of $12,500 – everyone was satisfied.

Olivet Baptist Church 13th and 4th (MN Historical Society Archives)

1879: A meeting was called to discuss the subject of a new name for the church. St. Anthony Falls had been incorporated with Minneapolis; hence the Baptist church on the west side of the river was really the First Baptist Church of Minneapolis, although it had not been founded until after the church of St. Anthony. After a lengthy discussion centering around the names Alpha, Calvary and Olivet, the latter was selected. So, the first 30 years as the First Baptist Church of St. Anthony came to a close.

1873: The meeting house was moved to 5th St. and 4th Ave., a more central location. A baptistry was put in so that the river or a dammed up ravine didn’t have to be used anymore. Oyster suppers put on by the women helped raise the funds for this moving project. The property was valued at $5,000.

1867-70: Prof. Asa Drury, a chaplain in the Civil War, came as pastor. He threw himself into getting a new church built. He went on a fund raising trip to the East and collected $292.15 from churches in Chicago, Kentucky and Ohio. His expenses were $61.55. People locally 1852worked to raise the amount to $300. So, a new church was built on the same site and dedicated January 23, 1870. But the records state that the great triumph was short-lived because Pastor Drury died in March and his funeral was the first service held in the new church.

1859: Pastors coming to this poor church stayed only for a short time. A Rev. Hyde, coming in May 1859, called it the "Lord’s Barn"! So, in 1860 th church rented a hall over a dry goods store on Main Street near 4th Ave. The old church was sold to a black congregation (probably Pilgrim Church) and moved to St. Paul.

1852: A chapel was built at the corner of 2nd St. and 4th Ave. Besides having no title to the land on which it stood, it had no floor and no plastered walls. Things did improve: a deed was secured for the lot on which the church stood, a floor was laid, a chimney erected, a stove bought and plaster was put on the walls.

However, the church was primarily held together by a small group of lay people. Baptisms were held in the Mississippi river.

18501850-52: After the church known as The Baptist Church of St. Anthony was organized in 1850, services were held in a schoolhouse on University Ave. between 2nd and 3rd Avenues.

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