Elmwood Park
Elmwood Park, Columbia, SC
Elmwood Park, Columbia, SC

Park Street Baptist Church

2204 Park Street

On June 1, 1910, the church was organized as Elmwood Park Baptist. The Reverend Carlisle Courtney, City Missionary, organized the church in a tent on Park Street. The first service saw 22 people, and grew quickly. Soon, the church applied to the Home Mission Board for a gift of $2,000 to build their permanent sanctuary. The gift was granted and the structure was completed in 1912. The Wheeler Building stood prominently on the corner of Park and Bryan Streets.

In 1913 the fledgling church was in debt and foreclosure seemed imminent. To prevent this action, two members of the church mortgaged their own homes as security until arrangements could be made to resolve the indebtedness. Concurrently, the Second Baptist Church, which was founded in 1889 as a mission of the First Baptist Church, was financially prosperous, but lacked adequate facilities for its congregation. On February 24, 1915, the men of Elmwood Baptist Church met after a Prayer Meeting, proposed to approach the Second Baptist Church, and allow them to take over all the properties and responsibilities of their young congregation. Later that year, Elmwood Park Baptist and Second Baptist Church merged under the name of Second Baptist. In 1926, the church voted to change the name to Park Street Baptist Church.

The present sanctuary was completed in August 1951. It was designed by the eminent Columbia architecture firm Lafaye, Fair, and Lefaye and constructed by the Mechanics Contracting Company. In addition to the sanctuary, the facilities include a Fellowship Hall, 12 classrooms, choir rooms, a kitchen and a suite of offices. In 1963 an additional building was constructed at the right rear of the new sanctuary. Originally named the children’s building, it is now known as the Education Building and consists of a conference room, classrooms, a library, youth rooms and a nursery. In 1981, an elevator was added at the rear of the church to make the sanctuary more accessible.

Due to advanced structural damage, the original 1912 sanctuary was demolished in 1984; however, the original bell-tower and a small portion of the original building were preserved and still remain at the corner of Bryan and Park Streets. Behind a pair of wrought iron gates, you can see the stone sign marking the original Wheeler building.

For more information about the church and its congregation, please visit their website.