Progressive architecture for the Negro Baptist Church




Chase, John Saunders, 1925-

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Progressive architecture for the religious buildings of Negro Baptist groups is the theme of this paper. The author attempts to depict a design based on ideas drawn from the doctrines and programs of the Negro Baptist church. The first few pages are a description of the emergence of rituals of worship among Negroes in the United States. In the second chapter are set forth the distinctive elements of the Negro Baptist religion which influence church design. In the next two chapters are outlined the guides and requirements in planning the new Negro Baptist church building. The final chapter is an analysis of a proposed design for a hypothetical Negro Baptist church. This thesis is distinctive in that the church design is treated realistically as a part of the larger Negro Baptist church activity scheme. The design presentation accompanying the text of this study grew out of the careful analysis of the history and work of the Negro Baptist church. The emphasis of this study is on creating a form appropriate for a rich and well-developed church program. Suggestions are provided for avoiding too costly a program. In these discussions special consideration has been given to the Sunday school and to the social activities for which the complete church building must provide. A study of other church activities is included. This paper is designed to serve as a practical guide to pastors, church personnel and committees in the planning of church buildings. The solution of the complex problems, both technical and aesthetic involved in planning buildings for the church program is urgent and of vital importance. Endless sums of consecrated money are being spent in the erection of religious buildings. It is our duty to spend this money wisely.