AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – A local organization is bringing awareness of the endangered status of the old First Baptist Church site in Augusta. The church recently made the state of Georgia’s “Places of Peril” list.

This church is one of the oldest sites in downtown Augusta and known for its great significance. But it’s in desperate need of repair.

“First Baptist Church was actually the site of the Southern Baptist convention in 1845. It was built in 1902 by Willis Denny. It is a significant structure to downtown and it has kind of fallen into the state of disrepair,” said Jack Jones with Historic Augusta Inc.

The old First Baptist Church building sits at the corner of Greene Street, Historic Augusta and others in the community are hoping to save it. The site has been listed in the Georgia Trust for historic preservation for 2024. The property was purchased in 2020, and the owner has done his best to keep it up.

Parts of the inside of the church are damaged. Jones says it will take lots of funding to repair. “He’s done a nice job of securing the Sunday school in the rear portion but the sanctuary space is taking on water every time it rains. So we just want to call on the attention of the community. That historic structure is potentially facing some irreplaceable damage. And realize that it’s an asset that cannot be replaced. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. These historic structures in downtown have created a sense of place; a sense of identity in this community.”

Jones says they hope to preserve the site for as long as possible.