Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Home Congregation Of A Prime Minister

First Baptist Church is downtown in Ottawa, set diagonally across from Confederation Park, and across from the Lord Elgin Hotel. It's a Gothic Revival church that has been designated a civic historic building.

The building dates back to 1877; the cornerstone was laid by Alexander MacKenzie, who was the Prime Minister at the time and frequently worshiped here. At the time the church was named after the street it's on, before being renamed Laurier Avenue.

As is the case with so many churches here, plaques are inside, bearing the names of congregation members who served or died in military service. This one is the plaque naming those who died and those who served in World War Two.

The sanctuary is light inside, and the ceiling is wood, a nice contrast. It replaces the original ceiling, which was plaster.

The organ can be found on the balcony at the back, with a stained glass window bearing symbols of the Ottawa Valley, like a lumberjack and riverman. I should have gone up and had a closer look.

The wood theme extends to the front of the church and the altar.


  1. Is that a copper steeple? Reminds me of the Methodist church I attended as a child.

  2. Maria Street... Interesting name change. Very nice organ too!

  3. It probably wasn't as warm as this when the ceiling was still plaster. The stained glass windows flanked by the organ is just majestic!

  4. While I don't do religion anymore, I enjoy seeing the buildings. We went on the Burnstown House & Garden tour yesterday. It was some what underwhelming, especially with out Perth churches dating from 1816. It was a fundraiser for the United Church, with only 15 members. So sad. We were happy to support them, though. It was a good drive in the country.
    (ツ) from Cottage Country Ontario , ON, Canada!

  5. What beautiful wood all over. My eyes would be distracted during services. Maybe, for me, that would be a good thing.

  6. I specially like all the wood and the organ in this church.
    It's a pity you didnt'make a close-up of the stained glass.

  7. i do like that ceiling! very cool!

  8. I'm thinking I'll only need one post to cover the Doors Open we are going to in September!
    Jane x

  9. @Stuart: I expect it is a copper steeple.

    @Ciel: I would expect the name change came in honour of Prime Minister Laurier.

    @Revrunner: so did I!

    @Hilda: I thought so too.

    @Luis: thank you.

    @Jennifer: it does sound enjoyable.

    @Birdman: I can understand the distraction!

    @Jan: the wood does give the sanctuary a warm feel.

    @Tex: thanks!

    @Jane and Chris: just take plenty of shots. Smaller towns might have much fewer places, but one can still get in multiple shots at all locations.

  10. I like the wood ceiling very much. These old buildings are treasures.

  11. It's a beautiful building, and the plaques are so nice!

  12. I like all the wood on the inside of this church.

  13. Love the details. The stained-glass is beautiful.

  14. The wooden ceiling is really nice. I'm glad they replaced the original plaster version. It's fun to see inside these historic places. Maybe you sat right in the spot where MacKenzie sat!

  15. Beautiful church. I am glad they replaced the ceiling with the wood. Yje church is very light inside and can handle the wood. Makes it warmer too. MB

  16. There is something very peaceful about this church!

  17. @Judy: they certainly are.

    @Linda: I liked those plaques.

    @Sharon: it seems to suit the church quite well.

    @Shelly: thank you!

    @Halcyon: I didn't look for plaques- St. Andrew's had a plaque where Mackenzie King would sit.

    @MB: it really does make it warmer.

    @RedPat: and it's in a great location.

  18. I do like the interior of this church. Lovely ceiling.

  19. Hmmm. Still no luck in posting. I'll try once more.

    The wood is lovely. And I'm still surprised by the stained glass in churches that isn't strictly religious!

  20. As with everyone else, I Iike the wood.

  21. That is the fanciest Baptist church I have ever seen. Although, I'll admit I've only been in one large metropolitan one. Beautiful woodwork.

  22. Love the Gothic Revival style William and the fact that Baptist churches are never quie so over the top as some can be. The wood detailing is perfect, beautiful organ and some very pretty stained glass windows.. that's ll that's needed really isn't it!

  23. I haven't made a study of it, but most of the Baptist churches I've seen have been plain to a fault. This one is a beauty. I agree with everyone that the ceiling is wonderful - and the arches give it a nice feeling, too.

  24. Not only is this a beautiful building, it looks as solid as can be.
    Nice pics!

  25. @EG: that ceiling really stayed with me

    @Cheryl: from a more recent visit, the stained glass elsewhere in the church is even more unusual.

    @Hamilton: it really warms the place up.

    @Mari: I haven't spent much time in Baptist churches. The family roots have tended to be Reformed and Presbyterian.

    @Grace: there's a big difference between this and say, a Catholic church, which can seem to go over the top.

    @Kay: the woodworking in here is a wonder.

    @Pat: it really does.