Whitakers Baptist Church – NEW PRICE
- 2,700 square feet
- Lot Size: .0964 acres / Zoning: Commercial/Residential
, Regional Director
Preservation NC, Piedmont Office
CHARMING CHURCH READY FOR A CREATIVE REVIVAL! Spacious 1910 Gothic-Revival church is a great opportunity for adaptive new use or continued use as a place of worship. Small-town living with easy access to shopping, dining, breweries and outdoor recreational areas.
Artist retreat? Recording studio (with great acoustics!)? Coffee shop or deli? Live/work space for an architect or web designer? You decide! The Whitakers Baptist Church is a handsome vernacular example of the Gothic Revival-style, located in the heart of this small 19th-century railroad town just five minutes from I-95. There’s so much potential for creative new use of this sweet historic church. Click here for examples of churches that have been used for renewed purposes.
Excellent location near large area employers, 20 minutes from Rocky Mount and the incredible Rocky Mount Mills creative complex, 45 minutes to Lake Gaston, and an hour from Raleigh. Whitakers Baptist Church is located in a proposed National Register Historic District that has been placed on the Study List. Once listed, the building will be eligible for historic tax credits.
Architectural and Historical Information
Whitakers Baptist Church anchors a prominent corner between Railroad Street and White Street (US Hwy 301), the main residential thoroughfare lined with stylish homes built facing the railroad.
The asymmetrical entrance façade is comprised of a steep front-gable roof, a large pointed arch window in the center, and a bell tower topped by a flared conical roof anchoring the corner of the building. Tall pointed-arch windows with delicate tracery line the sides of the building letting in lots of light. The double-door main entrance in the tower is topped by its own pointed arch transom. Gothic louvered vents are on three sides of the tower.
The entrance foyer is enhanced with decorative trim consisting of vertical bead board wainscot, and beaded wall board laid in a diagonal pattern from the molded chair rail to the high ceiling. Two pairs of double doors with molded door surrounds and bullseye corner blocks lead to the main chapel. The spacious and open chapel features wood floors (currently covered in red carpeting), vertical tongue-and-groove wainscot, and diagonal bead board walls. The pulpit is defined by a raised platform, railing, and archway leading to a recessed apse. Beyond the pulpit and apse is a rear and side addition housing the office, bathrooms and nursery. Apart from vinyl siding added in recent years, the building has sustained few changes during its 110-year history.
The Town of Whitakers was developed on land owned by Richard and Elizabeth Whitaker, who arrived in the area in 1740 and settled on nearby Fishing Creek. The village took root with the coming of the railroad around 1840, serving as a “turnout” for the Wilmington and Weldon line. The town continued to grow following the Civil War and experienced a building boom around the turn of the last century when fine buildings of various styles appeared on both sides of the railroad.
Preservation North Carolina is grateful to the owners of the Whitakers Baptist Church. Like other properties in our endangered properties program, Whitakers Baptist Church is being donated to ensure its preservation. Proceeds from the sale of the church will be used to continue our important work to save endangered historic properties across the state of North Carolina.
The Town of Whitakers is located in both Nash and Edgecombe Counties, near the northernmost portion of both. The Seaboard Coast Line Railroad and US Hwy 301 run parallel through the center of town, the highway providing quick access to I-95 (5 minutes) and the small city of Rocky Mount and the beautiful Tar River (20 minutes). Just one hour from the capital city of Raleigh, and two hours from NC beaches.
Other area attractions include Historic Halifax (20 minutes) and the famed The Hen & The Hog restaurant; the charming historic town of Tarboro (25 minutes); Sylvan Heights Bird Park (30 minutes); the Lake Gaston boating and recreational area (45 minutes).
The immediate area has a growing number of large employers across a wide array of industries, including Cummins Rocky Mount Engine Plant, new CSX intermodal rail terminal, Triangle Tyre, Hospira, NC DMV Headquarters and more.