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First Baptist Church

First look at First Baptist Church

First Baptist Church Photographers

Built in 1911, First Baptist Church is located in downtown Calgary and is a great location for wedding ceremonies.

We have photographed multiple weddings in this church and we highly recommend it for wedding ceremonies and receptions. Church staff is always very helpful, and they provided all the help to us, making sure that newlywed couples have enough time for their portraits inside the church.

GET MARRIED AT FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH

This historic, old church is in an ideal location, in the center of Calgary, easy to get to from every part of the city. The church is unchanged from the outside and interior design is great: stained glass windows, gallery, amazing woodwork. All this makes it a wonderful location for your wedding service.

PLANNING YOUR CEREMONY

The church can seat up to 1300 people, with room in the vestibule for additional 200, and is believed to be the largest Baptist church in Canada. Two aisles can be used for entrance and exit of the couple. There is a beautiful gallery with picturesque stained glass windows for taking portraits.

WEDDING RECEPTION

There’s an option of using adjacent youth center as a reception venue. Contact the church administration office for additional details.

CHURCH HISTORY

First Baptist Church is located on the corner of 4th street and 13th Avenue SW in the Beltline district of Calgary. Kitty-corner to the church is a park of historic interest, Cenotaph, and Memorial Park Library. The present building is the third church built by congregation, the first two were located elsewhere in the downtown area and were soon outgrown as the membership increased.


This church was built in 1911-12 to designs by architect D.S. McIlroy, with money raised by many prominent Calgarians. The building is brick and locally sourced sandstone and is a very good example of the Gothic Revival style. There are numerous pointed arches, gables, stained glass windows, and a square tower with a spire at the corner.


The amber-toned stained glass windows imported from Germany are part of the original construction of the sanctuary.


The three-manual, 42-stop pipe organ was built and installed in 1912 and underwent further enhancements in 1965 and 1992.


Currently, the 900-seat acoustically-rich heritage sanctuary supports an adult sanctuary choir, two handbell choirs, a children's choir, and a contemporary worship team. The organ is usually played on Sunday, Christmas Eve and Easter Services.


First Baptist Church runs a free annual Christmas Concert in December where you can enjoy performances by the vocal and handbell choirs, as well as the pipe organ and piano music.


A choir, known as Acclamation, performs handbells at Calgary’s First Baptist thanks to the pioneering efforts of John and Carol Nelson who introduced this instrument in Alberta. Handbells were developed in England to allow bell ringers to rehearse without having to go up into the bell tower. The church has a five-octave set (the first and largest set of handbells in the city).


The church complex was considerably expanded in the 1950s and 1960s when the youth wing was added and the original manse next door to First Baptist (it was used as a residence for the pastor in the past) was converted into offices.


In winter of 2017 the fire started in the historic manse building, it was the fifth fire in the Church's 127-year history. The manse had been newly refurbished since then and serves as the new office space for the church. There are also a recreation hall and a large education building. There is a large parking lot in behind the complex as well which is a rare thing in downtown.


First Baptist Church is open every Sunday at 10 a.m. for service.