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Old Mount Carmel Baptist Church

Built in 1944, Old Mount Carmel Baptist Church is located within the Pleasant Street Historic District in Gainesville, Florida. This district encompasses one of the city’s most important and intact African American neighborhoods.

The two-story brick church, built in the Late-Gothic Revival style, is significant at the local and state levels for its direct association with the African American Civil Rights movement in Gainesville, and with one of its prominent leaders, Reverend Thomas Wright. Rev. Wright moved from St. Augustine to Gainesville in 1962, following growing threats against him and his family due to his leadership role in the Civil Rights movement in St. Augustine. He quickly became a leader in Gainesville’s Civil Rights movement, where served as NAACP chapter president, led public school integration efforts and facilitated meetings, planning sessions, and marches from Old Mount Carmel Baptist Church.

Today, Old Mount Carmel Baptist Church is a well-preserved example of an urban, mid-twentieth century African American church. The interior features a second floor sanctuary, located above a first floor meeting room. Brick pilasters adorn the façade in the image included above, which is dominated by a large pointed arch over the main entry. This NR nomination was funded by DHR’s Small Matching Grant Program. Plans are currently underway to seek additional funding to conserve and rehabilitate the property for future generations to enjoy.