First Baptist Church, Lauderdale (First Colored Baptist Church)

Status: Endangered

Address: 682 South Lauderdale Street, Memphis

Built: 1939

Architectural Style: Colonial Revival

Original Function/Purpose: Church

The First Baptist Church, Lauderdale was placed on the National Register on July 14, 2000.

History: First Baptist Church, Lauderdale was a bastion of African-American culture and community after its construction in 1939. It is of particular importance because it was the parish and residence of Rev. Thomas Oscar Fuller, a key figure in early efforts of the civil rights movement. Dr. Fuller, who left North Carolina to accept the pastorship of this congregation in 1900, was the driving force in building the church; he also served as principal of Howe Institute, a precursor to LeMoyne-Owen College. T.O. Fuller State Park in Memphis, the only state park within the city limits, is named for Fuller. In 2018 the City of Memphis designated this property as a site on the Memphis Heritage Trail.

City Council District: 6

Super District: 8

County Commission District: 8

DON NEWMAN