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Tabernacle Baptist Church, OKC, OK

August 2, 2016

Mysteries abound in the quest for Akron-Auditorium churches. Witness these images of Tabernacle Baptist church in an unidentified location.

OKoksBapTabernacle01

The back of the card has a penciled notation stating this was an historic Black church, which would seem to coincide with a congregation in Oklahoma City. A local history website for OKC includes segments from Sanborn Insurance maps that may show the same building, which formerly stood at N.E. Third Street and Byers Avenue, now conveniently obliterated by Centennial Expressway. [Historically African-American neighborhoods were especially vulnerable when the Interstate Highway system was planned in the 1950s and 1960s.]

OKokcBapTabernacle

But the same seller also offers the interior view of an A-A church with penciled markings that link it with the exterior view. Yet the size of the sanctuary is much too small and the windows bear no resemblance to the stately arched openings on the exterior. What’s a body to do?

OKokcBapTabernacle02

My initial response is 1) that these two cards are of different buildings, and 2) that the exterior is similar enough to the Sanborn map that it probably is Oklahoma City’s “Tabernacle Church.”

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