Mississippi Architect, Sept 1963: Calvary Baptist Church, Meridian

The featured article in Mississippi Architect’s September 1963 issue is Calvary Baptist Church in Meridian. Calvary is still going strong it appears, and you can see a color picture of the interior and those long thin stained glass windows on their website.

As always, you can see the original article in its original setting through the wonders of modern scanning technology.

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CALVARY BAPTIST CHURCH
Meridian

DEAN and PURSELL, A.I.A.
Architects
Jackson

GLASCOCK, INC.
Contractor
Meridian

For the architects, the commission to design this church was both a challenge and an unusual opportunity.

Here was a new building to be located on a new site, a structure which was to serve an independent purpose for the present, and later be fitted in with a long-range program of future development.

The architects worked with a pastor and congregation who were ready to accept a solution to the problem based on the use of contemporary materials and methods, without the arbitrary restrictions imposed by the requirement of traditional design.

A contract for $253,000 was let to build the 22,718-square-foot building. It is of reinforced concrete and masonry, and therefore substantial and fire-resistive. It also has a feeling of airy lightness produced by translucent panel walls and open corridors and stairways. Harmony of color and contrasts in light and shadow were studied with care for exterior and interior effects.

To meet the immediate requirements, three elements were provided:

A chapel for worship, with deeply-tinted glass windows, lighting to create a spiritual atmosphere, and specially designed ornamental stone.

Educational space for teaching, with translucent walls panels, simple finishes with gray colors.

A free-standing tower of concrete topped with a metal cross reaches above the other elements to unify the whole.

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This article is reprinted from the September 1963 issue of the Mississippi Architect, with permission from the Mississippi Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. View the full September 1963 issue of Mississippi Architect in a digitized format, or for other articles in this ongoing series, including the pdf version of each full issue, click on the MSArcht tab at the top of this page.



Categories: Architectural Research, Churches, Meridian, Modernism, Recent Past

4 replies

  1. Always liked this building with its mosaic tile facade, built on a commanding site on 8th Street. I think the open walkways and stairs have been enclosed with aluminum storefront, but I think mostly unchanged on the exterior. It is great to know who the designer was.

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  2. I figured this one would get your attention, Tom! Take some (color) pictures for us next time you’re in Meridian!

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  3. This is a beautiful building. I was a member there for many years. The design is very functional. They had the open walkways enclosed in glass in aluminum frames. It did not lose any beauty but kept the open walks warm. Many wonderful people were, and still are there.

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    • Hey Ernie! We are still active members there. I went to elementary school there beginning in 1966 in the first grade. It hasn’t changed too much. Miss seeing you there but know that Georgia is where you belong. Take care

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