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Valence Street Baptist Church (Mission Baptist Church)

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1885–1886, Thomas Sully. 4636 Magazine St.
  • (Photograph by Karen Kingsley)

Sully’s versatile use of all the popular trends of his time is revealed in his admirable handling of the Stick Style for this wooden church. The frame is outlined and emphasized, giving it the skeletal attributes that are the hallmark of the style; the diagonal and horizontal arrangement of the boards on the gable further emphasizes the angular, sticklike qualities of the design. A large square tower, with small dormers set in a pyramid-shaped steeple, anchors the church to its corner site. Diamond-shaped multicolored glass fills the pointed-arched windows. In the 1930s, the church was raised to its present two-story height in order to provide more space for the growing congregation. Although this modification gave the church a much more commanding presence than was originally intended, the building retains an unpretentious character and a clarity of construction that reflect the congregation’s origins. It grew from a mission opened in a house on Valence Street in 1880 by Emma Gardner, from Mississippi, following the Mississippi Baptist Convention’s decision to establish more churches in New Orleans.

Writing Credits

Karen Kingsley and Lake Douglas


What's Nearby


Karen Kingsley and Lake Douglas, "Valence Street Baptist Church (Mission Baptist Church)", [New Orleans, Louisiana], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

buildings of new orleans book

Buildings of New Orleans, Karen Kingsley and Lake Douglas. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2018, 192-193.

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