Welcome to the Lincoln Park Legacy!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

This blog will feature the historical highlights of the Lincoln Park Baptist Church Digitization Project. The story of the Lincoln Park Baptist Church stretches back to 1841 in Cincinnati Ohio. It existed under a few different congregational names, but its longest existence (well over 100 years) was under the Lincoln Park name. This last and longest running name was applied when the congregation built a beautiful new building or "temple" in 1897. That building happened to be right across from what was then "Lincoln Park", just outside the heart of the downtown area. It was also in a location that was growing by leaps and bounds. By 1933, the area's most well known landmark was constructed within eye shot: Union Terminal

Like any congregation, the member numbers fluctuated drastically. After a long period of steady growth, the numbers reached their top numbers at over 1000 in the early 20th century. Periods of fluctuation continued until the group decided to construct a new building farther out from the city in the White Oak area. The congregation moved with completion of the first building phase in 1958. By the early 1960s, the imposing sanctuary and final phase was constructed. Despite an embracing of this new location, more periods of fluctuating numbers plagued the church until 2007 when they decided to sell their grand building and merge with a smaller congregation just north of this final location.

The small group of congregants from Lincoln Park merged with the Pleasant Run Baptist Church to form the New Hope Baptist Church which is still in operation today! Along with the move of people came a dedicated group that was determined to save the historical legacy that was Lincoln Park. Ironically, the year they merged was the same year they celebrated 165 years of remarkable history. The move included box after box of documents, photos, member cards and journals - all telling a beautiful story of service and faithfulness during adversity. Right away, the board of trustees decided to discuss and pursue options for preserving this wonderful collection. Initially, it was their desire to create a small museum or library to house these beautiful pieces to make them accessible to family, friends, and descendants of former members. Unfortunately, the space, man power and money necessary to properly house the collection on a permanent basis was just not feasible.

Soon, a permanent home for this collection was being sought, all the while access was still an issue. The members did not want the access to be restricted. There were many who wanted to explore this Church's history and reconnect with its people. This is when Pastology stepped in with a partial solution. Since digitization was a great option for instant access, a contract was reached with this company to digitize and make the documents available free of charge. Since digitization is not preservation of the original material, an agreement with a local historical society will mean a permanent and secure home for the originals as each batch is digitized (announcement coming soon). The President of Pastology has a personal connection to this church as a descendant of former members. For more about this personal connection to this collection, please visit my personal blog, Journeys Past.

That's about it for the moment.....we are just beginning this journey. The first documents have arrived and we're already finding some wonderful things! Stay tuned! 
Click on the above image to more closely examine the newest finds.