LSCO to Turn Former First Baptist Church Into Reception Center

in Schools

Lamar State College Orange will be the recipient of the domed Greek revival brick former First Baptist Church on Green Avenue. It will become a reception center for Lamar State College-Orange.

Dr. Tom Johnson, president of LSCO, said last week that the Stark Foundation will donate the building to the college. The former church at 800 Green Avenue is near the college’s new $38.1 million academic building under construction. The former church building is across Fifth Street from the LSCO Wilson Building, as well, where industrial classes are being held.

In 2008 Hurricane Ike flooded downtown Orange, including the basement of the historic First Baptist sanctuary and other buildings. The church congregation decided not to repair the building and moved the church and built a new facility at 7637 Martin Luther King Dr., which opened in 2013.

The Stark Foundation bought the complex in 2013, five years after the flood waters had receded, leaving mold to decimate the buildings. The Foundation demolished all the buildings but the historic sanctuary and restored it.

Despite the Stark Foundation’s announcement that the building could be used by its venues, it never was. Dr. Johnson said LSCO has remodeling plans to put the building to use for the community once again.

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