First Baptist Church West dedicated this new sanctuary on Oaklawn Avenue in 1977. The institution is said to be Charlotte’s oldest black Baptist congregation, founded in 1867 and housed for many years in a handsome brick building at 1020 South College Street in the center city.
The building on Oaklawn Avenue is architecturally significant as the work of important African American architect Harvey Gantt. Gantt integrated Clemson University as an architecture student, established the long running Charlotte firm Gantt-Huberman in 1971, and won two terms as Charlotte’s first black mayor in the 1980s. The church’s boxy, geometrical massing, a Gantt-Huberman hallmark, projects a sense of simplicity, clarity and power.
[The sketch on the 1967 building permit indicates this permit is for the sanctuary. Fellowship areas added later]
Date issued: April 9, 1976
Owner: First Baptist Church
Contractor: Price & Hill, Inc.
Estimated cost: $665,000
Other permit info: Architect, Gantt-Huberman Associates
Building permit files, Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.