Address: 13 South Mulberry Street
Architectural Style: Gothic Revival
Year Built: 1915
Architect/Builder: Unknown
Original Owner: Mount Calvary Baptist Church

The Mount Calvary Baptist Church was an entirely African-American congregation.  The cornerstone of the church that currently stands on this site was laid at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 17, 1915.  Reverend Jones, of Cleveland, came to Mount Vernon as the main speaker for the ceremony.  He brought with him several individuals from the Cleveland area, as well as others from Columbus.  Placed in the hollowed cornerstone were several items, including the following: a history of the local church and its Sunday School, a list of its members, trustees, deacons, and residing pastor, as well as various objects of historical interest, such as coins and relics.  Many of the male members of the congregation assisted in the construction of this modest house of worship, volunteering their spare time in the evenings and weekends.  Reverence A. M. Thomas, president of the State Convention hailing from Zanesville, was the honored guest to officiate the dedication ceremony on Sunday, March 23, 1916.  In July, 1917, Mount Calvary Church hosted the annual State Convention meeting for the Ohio State Federation of Colored Women's Club, an organization that assisted African-American women in attaining equal rights and other opportunities.  By the second day of this four-day convention, over 135 delegates from across the State of Ohio gathered in the worship hall.  The hospitable reception that these delegates received from not only the Mount Calvary congregation but from all citizens of Mount Vernon led many to request that Mount Calvary Baptist Church be the permanent home for all future conventions.

This unprepossessing, narrow cinderblock church stands as a reminder of Mount Vernon's contribution to African-American history.  The most prominent feature of this building is a squat, square tower with chimney-like cinderblock spires that project from each corner of its roof.  Directly beneath the tower's cornice is a diamond-shaped window.  A large, stained-glass lancet window with Gothic ironwork graces the main facade.  The other windows are rectangular, but also sport Gothic ironwork, and most retain their original stained glass.

 


 

Downtown District

District Properties