Monday, June 18, 2018

The Sanctuary

A reminder to members of City Daily Photo: the theme day for the first of July is Spirit.

One of my stops during the Doors Open weekend was First Baptist Church, which stands downtown at Laurier and Elgin, across from the city hall complex to the east, and the Lord Elgin Hotel to the north. The congregation was founded in 1857 as the first Baptist church in the city. The cornerstone of the current building, finished in 1878, was laid by Alexander Mackenzie, our second prime minister. Mackenzie worshiped here while in Ottawa.

The sanctuary is peaceful and quiet, even with two of our busiest streets right outside.

This view from the front of the sanctuary looks back towards the organ loft. The stained glass window up there has an Ottawa Valley theme, with Christ flanked by a lumberman and a riverman at either side. This time I didn't go up for a closer look at the stained glass, but I've seen it from the loft before.

This cornerstone, placed within the sanctuary, comes from the previous location.

After Mackenzie laid the cornerstone of the church, the congregation presented him with a ceremonial silver trowel. Many years later, Mackenzie's grandson gave it back to the church, and it is in a display case in the sanctuary today.

The stained glass along the sides of the sanctuary tends to be simpler than the organ loft windows, but the simplicity has its own appeal

Coming back to the entrance, I paused to photograph this wall hanging above the stairs.

Then I photographed the stained glass over the front doors.


  1. While many things identify this church as "Baptist" or at least "Protestant," such as the pulpit front and center, one other thing is less "Baptist" and that is the center aisle. Because Baptists focus on the "word" and not the "sacrament," a center aisle was and is often deemed irrelevant.

  2. Hello, I love your header photo. The church is beautiful. Lovely photos. Happy Monday, enjoy your day and new week ahead!

  3. nice to see the inside!

  4. Was lovely to see the details of the church interior William. The thick stone walls of these old churches are fantastic for keeping outside noises out!

  5. @Lowell: that I didn't know.

    @Francisco: thank you!

    @Eileen: thanks!

    @Tom: it has a dignified interior.

    @Grace: they do a good job of that!

  6. I love peeking in that sanctuary. The header really evokes the feeling of SUMMER!


  7. Very lovely church. Thank you for sharing it. :-)

  8. Such a quiet place in a busy city is inviting!

  9. I love the lanterns on the walls.

  10. I love a beautiful organ loft. It's a lovely, peaceful church, William.

  11. I specially find the stained glass window on your eleventh photo intriguing.

  12. Beautiful church, and also like the new header.

  13. A very beautiful sanctuary. It's good that the church has been maintained and active even though it is downtown.

  14. @Janis: thank you!

    @DJan: you're welcome.

    @Marie: I agree.

    @Klara: so do I.

    @Jeanie: it is indeed.

    @Jan: I do as well.

    @Janey: thank you.

    @Red: aside from services, the church hosts lectures from time to time, and even some concerts from the upcoming jazz festival, as I understand.

  15. Solid place. Great light in your final shot, William

  16. It's a very traditional looking church!

  17. Greats shots of the lovely sanctuary!

    Happy Week to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  18. love the lighting and the organ area. way cool. amazing details. ( ;
    have a super great week.

  19. Beautiful interior. Excellent shots, William.

  20. @Cloudia: thanks!

    @Sharon: yes it is.

    @Carol: thank you.

    @Beth: it's quite a church.

    @Bill: thank you.

  21. I love the stained glass windows. Beautiful place, thanks for sharing it with us out here.

  22. The woodwork is gorgeous and that organ loft is amazing, especially when you have it framing those beautiful windows.

  23. Love your new header photo. We have something similar to the Open Doors weekend, we have "Open House" where a lot of buildings and even houses are open to the public. Love this initiative and what a great way to discover the behind the scenes areas.

  24. I think I still get heebee jeebies seeing a church.
    BTW the building in your header, it's very interesting. What is the white-outlined part?

    1. From what I recall of the image I used in last summer's header, that was an apartment building in Gatineau. I don't know what that outline is about in its architecture.