First Baptist Church

This time change has me messed up. I like sleeping an extra hour in the morning, but I’m not used to it being dark by 2:30 in the afternoon. The good thing, though, is that a lot of Cape’s buildings look neat at twilight.

I was driving by the new First Baptist Church the other evening and noticed the way the white steeple and light inside looked against the darkening sky.

Church established in 1834

The first First Baptist Church in Cape was established in 1834 on Lorimier St. Sixty years later, the congregation moved to Spanish St. and Broadway. In 1928, a growing congregation caused a move to a larger facility at Broadway and Harmony. Finally, in 2006, the new church at Cape Rock Dr. and Lexington Ave. was built.

Painting the old steeple

I ran photos of the steeple of the Broadway and Spanish church being painted in 1967. At that time, a Missourian photo caption said it was the General Baptist Church.

13 Replies to “First Baptist Church”

  1. I believe you have the wrong church buildings in mind. First Baptist (I went to Sunday School and Church there for many years) was on Broadway just south of Houk Stadium. I don’t know when it was started, but I do know that the former 1st Baptist church building is now occupied by SEMO University in some form or fashion.

    Great photo, nonetheless, of the beautiful steeple and deep blue sky. Polarizing filter?

    1. Those First Baptists were rolling stones. They have had churches at at least four locations, including all that I mentioned.

      Yep, polarizing filter.

      I was telling someone that the early darkening has resulted in about half my photos looking like I shot them using a yellow filter over the lens.(This one is an exception).

      The combination of late-afternoon golden light and the yellow-brown fall leaves have made everything in Cape go warm the last few days.

  2. You are both right! The black and white photo from Broadway and Spanish was built as First Baptist. My grandfather was on the building committee of the building near Houck Stadium. My mother was a child when they had a parade of members from the old to the new, so it had to be around 1923 or so.
    David Bahn and I did go to Sunday School and Church there for many years.

  3. First Baptist, the old one, probably the biggiest church in Town or the world as far as I knew. I the eight grade Iwanted t play baketball in the Church leagues…my church, First Christian on West End Blvd, did not have team…the logical thing was to go to First Baptist…I think Keith Kelly was member so several of us, Mike Rogers among the group went 3 times to Sunday School. The rule was if you wnet 3 times to Sunday School then you were on the rolls and you could play for any church!We had a pretty good team…we di dnto win teh chapmpionship but we won more than we lost, plus we all had a great time. Hey, I still remember this today!

  4. The old Baptist church on Broadway and Spanish now houses two congregations. The front is Mount Moriah Baptist Church, and in back is the Cape Girardeau Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

    And the steeple really needs painting again. Maybe that guy in the picture would come back and do it.

  5. I am John E. Owen. I was pastor of First Baptist of Cape Girardeau, MO, for 20 years, the longest tenured pastor in their history. My grandfather, Dr. E. D. Owen was pastor there in the 20s and 30s, during the Great Depression. My parents met there, were married there, and my father was ordained there to the ministry. I knew Bruce Welker well. His mother, Dorothy Welker, and my mother, Sue Burch were close friends. It was a sad day when the church sold out to SEMO and moved to a rather obscure location in the suburbs of Cape. She had been a downtown landmark for all her history. Her character has changed. Bruce, are you out there?

  6. Hello Joan. . I’m still kickin and serving. But I have yet to find FBC full history published, “including pastorates.” I will soon visit. Look for me any given Sunday.

    Your former Pastor,


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