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Free Will Baptist Church (First Baptist Church, Old Stone Church)

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First Baptist Church, Old Stone Church
1841. 5 Stone Church Rd.

This stuccoed rubble masonry church presents a forceful image in a reductive Greek Revival style. Although known popularly as Old Stone Church, it was probably always stuccoed, with barely noticeable scoring for an unconvincing simulation of cut granite, now somewhat crudely “restored.” The facade consists of no more than two widely spaced double doors, recessed into the wall without frames, which fixed paneling above make more monumental, plus an inset panel between for the building's date. Wooden steps stretched almost the width of the elevation give access. Paneled corner pilasters frame the simple boxed cupola.

The walls inside are plastered, with a later flat ceiling in paneled pressed metal; the pews may be original. Exceptionally, but not uniquely in Rhode Island (see North Scituate Congregational Church in Scituate [SC1] and Foster Center Baptist Church [FO9] and Mount Vernon Christian Church [FO20] in Foster), the pulpit and baptismal pool are located at the entrance end in a niche created between the interior vestibules behind the doors. Local legend tells of brides lifted through a rear window to position them for the wedding march, before the much later installation of a door in this wall, possibly sometime in the twentieth century when the nondescript parish house was tacked onto the back.

Writing Credits

Author: 
William H. Jordy et al.
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Citation

William H. Jordy et al., "Free Will Baptist Church (First Baptist Church, Old Stone Church)", [Tiverton, Rhode Island], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/RI-01-TI10.

Print Source

Buildings of Rhode Island, William H. Jordy, with Ronald J. Onorato and William McKenzie Woodward. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004, 486-487.

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