Becky Hoppe Jones left a message after I ran the aerial photo of the area around the Common Pleas Courthouse:
I’d be interested in seeing a photo of the old Baptist church just up Broadway from First National Bank. You can see the white steeple in some of your aerial photos.
I went to church there until the early to mid-70’s. Then our congregation sold it to another congregation. It was left empty awhile later and then around 2000 was renovated and opened with an antique store in the sanctuary. The classroom space in the back of the building had been remodeled into living quarters.
As I recall there was a small room up a flight of stairs from the back of the sanctuary that would have been in the base of the bell tower. You can see the arched window in your first shot. Not sure I’d want to live there, though.
Made me think of Alice’s Restaurant
When I photographed the church last fall, I saw the realty sign on the front and immediately thought of Arlo’s Guthrie’s Alice’s Restaurant:
“Now it all started two Thanksgivings ago, was two years ago on Thanksgiving, when my friend and I went up to visit Alice at the restaurant, but Alice doesn’t live in the restaurant, she lives in the church nearby the restaurant, in the bell-tower, with her husband Ray and Fasha the dog.”
Boyd Hobbs painted steeple in 1967
The Missourian cutline that ran under one of my photos read, “Boyd Hobbs, a Cape Girardeau painter, is silhouetted against the sky as he applies a fresh coat of paint to the steeple of the General Baptist Church at 200 Broadway.”
How did he tie the rope?
The cutline continued, “The Rev. Elvis O. Wilson, pastor, said he believes both the church and steeple were built in 1893. The steeple was last painted seven years ago.” The question that DIDN’T get answered was, “How did he get the rope loop that he’s hanging from tied to the steeple?