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First Baptist Church (Colored)

Location Class:
Built: 1914 | Abandoned: N/A
Historic Designation: National Register of Historic Places African American Heritage Site
Status: Abandoned
Photojournalist: Michael SchwarzEmily CowanKeith Beeson

The First Baptist Church (Colored) of Anadarko is unarguably one of the most significant structures of the town. Not only for the African American community that it served but all of the community. The one-story concrete baptist church displays a cornerstone on the front with the date April 24, 1910, Rev. E.N. Gaines name was also listed on the cornerstone. This date signified the congregation’s previous one-room wooden building that was soon after burned down. This called for a “fireproof” building made of concrete to be constructed and replace it in 1914. A town elder by the name of Anna May Brown attended the church as a teenager. She recalls that the First Baptist Church “was the first church in Anadarko for either Blacks or Whites and was the primary social focal point for the Anadarko Black community from 1910 to around 1964”.

The First Baptist Church congregation remained in the building until it was time for a more modern and bigger facility. They purchased property right across the street and ground was broken in October 1961. A year later the congregation decided on a new name, the Greater First Baptist Church and then held their last services in the old building in 1963 before completely moving into the new building. The trustees of Greater First Baptist Church had to come to the heartbreaking decision of selling the former First Baptist Church (Colored) in September 1964 as it sat vacant awaiting a new life. The Board of Trustees for Church of the Living God C.W.F.F. purchased the building and held services in it until approximately the 1980s-90s.

With no added rooms, renovations, or any kind of alterations to the building it qualified for the National Register of Historic Places. The nomination was filled out and due to its historical significance to the African American community was entered in the NRHP on December 11, 2007. In recent years a few have attempted to restore the building but have failed, it continues to sit vacant waiting for a new purpose.


“First Baptist Church (Colored)!” The Bill Beaver Project, 20 Jan. 2019, thebillbeaverproject.com/2018/11/04/first-baptist-church-colored/.

“Image 1 of Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Anadarko, Caddo County, Oklahoma.” The Library of Congress, www.loc.gov/resource/g4024am.g4024am_g069771916/?sp=1&r=-0.013,0.34,0.253,0.181,0.

NPGallery Search, npgallery.nps.gov/GetAsset/da952646-8b10-4944-a53c-52bd774ef0f8.

Oklahoma Historical Society, www.okhistory.org/shpo/architsurvey/ILSofNENeighborhood.pdf.

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Emily Cowan

Emily was brought into the Abandoned OK Team in December of 2019. “I’m not gonna lie I fangirled a bit. My first published post I was ecstatic, I felt like I finally had the right audience for my work. The opportunities that came with it made me love the website even more. I remember my first interview with a couple at Waukomis Christian Church. They had bought and restored the 1897 church and insisted on keeping the original sanctuary despite being advised on moving it. We talked with them for at least a good 40 minutes about the church, the abandoned Waukomis Middle School beside it, and the towns other disappearing buildings. They even rang the bell for us that has sat in the bell-tower for the last 120 something years ago. We could tell they were just as passionate about preserving Oklahoma’s dwindling history as we were. When interviewing people and hearing the first-hand stories and recollections of a place and seeing how a person connects to a building, it forms a connection between not only you and that person but yourself and that building.”

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Amy Aldridge Sanford
Amy Aldridge Sanford
3 months ago

Beautiful church.

7 months ago

[…] a weatherboard wall finish and a pyramidal-shaped roof. Representing the architectural look of the First Baptist Church (Colored) in […]

Stanley Fuller
Stanley Fuller
1 year ago

I would like you to call me at 757 87114222 and I can tell you who on the the church my name is stanley Fuller my Email is stanleysfu@aol.coms

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