South Arthur Restoration Project
The church building on South Arthur has stood there since 1908, when construction began on the First German Baptist Church, An immigrant church, they continued there for some time. The building went through a number of other iterations of Baptist churches before becoming the home of St. Matthew’s Baptist Church, an African-American congregation, in the late 1950’s, which continued until 2006, when the doors were closed. A private buyer purchased the church and preserved it for several years. In 2020, the Anglican Diocese of Cascadia crafted a purchase, and St. Aidan’s agreed to take on the maintenance and renovation of this historic building. Rev. Carter and Hollie have taken on the role as caretakers, even as St. Aidan’s uses the building for worship.
This building is a historic fixture in the historic South Perry neighborhood, with a long and deep heritage and an incredible potential for beauty and benefit for the neighborhood. The carpenter gothic style is uniquely beautiful and it is a well-known landmark in the neighborhood. The long-term objective is to restore the building in order to be eligible to be on the historic building registry. This involves many projects, requiring significant funds and hours of work, from replacing window frames, repairing plaster and, painting the exterior, to removing the hanging ceiling to restore the magnificent vaulted ceiling. All outside donated funds so designated will be used for these restoration projects. Other funds will be used for developing neighborhood-oriented projects like a community garden and free food pantry. Currently, Rev. Carter receives no money from donations, in order to direct them towards the building and ministry to the neighborhood. Ultimately, St. Aidan’s does not see the building as just for their own use, but as a resource that can be used to serve our community as well.
If you would like to contribute to the restoration project, please do so on our Donate page, designating your funds to “Restoration.”
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