Tabernacle Baptist Church. With origins perhaps dating to 1896, Tabernacle Baptist Church had at least two locations in Deep Deuce: 1st, 319 E. 2nd at least by 1904; 2nd, 515 E. 3rd at least by 1922. These dates derive from Sanborn Map Company maps, the 1904 version showing the 2nd street address and the 1922 version showing the E. 3rd street address -- but -- while incredibly useful in digging out some information, a huge gap exists in the on-line Sanborn Maps: after the 1906 maps (which still show the E. 2nd street address) the maps jump to 1922. So, what happened between map series can't ususually be seen in the maps, with the occasional exception that a map will show an actual construction date. For this building, I located nothing between 1906 and 1922 in the Oklahoman archives showing when the actual move between addresses occurred.

In the 1922 map, as a point of rererence, Slaughter's Hall would later be built at the northwest corner of E. 2nd & Stiles.

Oklahoman articles in the 1900s-1910s also reflect a "Tabernacle Baptist Church" at Walker & Washington (S.W 1st today). But, that is not a "black" church. In this time, both the Sanborn Maps and Oklahoman articles differentiated between white and black churches, parks and schools, as follows (for the maps):
1922 Map: At Byers & NE 3rd



1904 Map: At 319 E. 2nd

A White Church ~ No Racial Note

A Black Church ~ Colored Note

The Walker & Washington Tabernacle Baptist Church does not bear a racial note. Hence, it was a white church.

For an Oklahoman example, the May 19, 1912, article at the right showed the same racial differentiation when it identified various Baptist churches pastor appointments, including the Tabernacle Baptist Church on E. 2nd. (I omitted the part of the article which preceded the "Colored Churches" section.)

In addition to normal church activities, Tabernacle Baptist was well involved with some national and many community events although articles do not reflect that the involvement was a frequent as Calvary Baptist's in these regards. A January 9, 1909, Oklahoman article reported that President Theodore Roosevelt's Registrar of the Treasury, a black man named W.P. Vernon, would be hosted on a four-city (Guthrie, El Reno, Oklahoma City and Muskogee) Oklahoma tour by Tabernacle's pastor, Rev. William H. Jernagin. Presumably, this was the "black" Tabernacle Baptist since the article says that, "One of the greatest gatherings of colored people ever held in the southwest will take place in the Auditorium ..." and that the event was sponsored by the Oklahoma Negro Business League.
May 19, 1912

In 1940, the church and Calvary Baptist hosted Rt. Rev. R. D. Griffith, a Bishop in the Coptic Church, on a tour of the United States. Griffith, born in Wales but a naturalized United States citizen, then resided in Los Angeles.

July 17, 1940


Although an over-gloss, the ancient Coptic Church has its roots in Egypt and is in the broad family of Eastern Orthodox jurisdictions but with differences as to Christology. For more, see this Wikipedia article which notes that, today, around 10 to 15 million people are members of the Coptic Church. So, this was not an unimportant visit.

The church's last days in Deep Deuce found it in involved in legal controversies concerning accounting and the pastor's credentials, and possibly some other stuff. Read the August 22, 1982, Oklahoman article below for greater detail. Click the image for a more readable view.

In the midst of the controversies, the church was preparing to move to a new location on Northeast 36th Street, which it did in August 1983. The following November 14, 1982, Oklahoman advertisement shows the planned move -- and note the claim that the church's Oklahoma City origins date back to 1896.







This is one of 6 churches presently covered in the Deep Deuce area of the Vintage Map. Use the links below to rotate between them, if you wish. The others are . . .

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