Copyright: 4 Original photography - WesternMiningHistory.com
Description: People of the Baptist faith were the first to organize a church in Victor - and that ministry still serves the community. In the fall of 1893 the Reverend Francis W. Ryder arrived from Rhode Island and, aided by the Woods family and other residents of the camp, raised money sufficient to build a small church which was erected on the lot where the shaft house for the Gold Coin mine was eventually located. Services were held in it for the first time in January of 1894. Before completion of this small church, service were held in the office of the Woods Investment Company on the North Fourth Street, which later became the Sideboard Saloon.
When Father Edward Downey was sent to organize people of the Catholic faith in the Gold Camp, the Baptists shared the use of their church until other arrangements could be made. The first small Baptist church was eventually move to a site on Victor Avenue in 1898 and it burned in the big fire of 1899.
The beautiful brick Baptist Church at the corner of Fourth and Portland Avenue was built on property donated by the Woods family. Church members sold bricks for $1 each to raise money for construction. A mortgage burning celebration was held in 1902. The facade of the Romanesque Revival Structure has a two-story brick bell tower with double entry doors at the base and a pyramidal roof topped by finials. The large round-arched window is center split into three gothic bays and opens into the sanctuary. A specially made large hand-pump bellows organ was built into the church and is still in use. In the early days, a curtain was erected so the congregation would not be distracted by a local lad pumping up and down on a lever to force air into the bellows.
From a sign at the site