Friday, January 23, 2015

Vanished New Bern, No. 15

a series of views of lost area buildings

By John B. Green III

The Christian Church

The Christian Church, from Illustrated City of New Bern, North Carolina, 1914
Before the congregation of Broad Street Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) began to worship in their present 1926 sanctuary they had an earlier church home at another location - Hancock Street.  This wood-framed, Gothic-detailed church stood on the west side of the 300 block of Hancock Street near the middle of the block (approximately where the rear of the CenturyLink building is now located).  Constructed between February 1887 and November 1889, the church was dedicated on Sunday, December 1, 1889.  An article in the December 3, 1889 issue of the New Bern Daily Journal described the building:

The new church is a neat, attractive building.  It is 60 x 34 feet in size; the top of the steeple is 108 feet from the ground; the pitch of the ceiling is 21 feet; the walls, inside, are imitation stone; the ceiling overhead is of native woods, beautifully painted and finished with gilded trimmings; stained-glass windows; gallery in front end; very comfortable pews; handsome pulpit furniture; the room is heated by one of Mott's furnaces; well lighted at night by gas, one of I.P. Frinks' silvered corrugated glass reflectors being used, besides a gas-light on each side of the pulpit and two in the gallery

The Hancock Street church would serve the congregation for the next twenty-nine years until the early morning hours of December 30, 1918 when a fire of undetermined origin gutted the building.  Plans to rebuild were begun almost immediately but it would take more than seven years before their new, larger church was completed at 802 Broad Street.