Even tucked away as it is behind two houses, I don’t know how I’ve missed this church the thousands of times I have driven up and down (the former) Lane Street.
The sign out on Bishop L.N. Forbes Street identifies New Christian Original Free Will Baptist Church. What I took for a driveway leading to the building is actually the short unpaved, uncurbed, unguttered length of Graham Street. It didn’t take much sleuthing to figure out that, until recently, this was Lofton Chapel Original Free Will Baptist Church.
The earliest reference I have found for Lofton Chapel is 1955. This building has been heavily renovated, but is decades older than that — the vinyl siding doesn’t entirely conceal its early 20th century origins. (Those lancet windows!) Strangely, the building does not appear in a 1940 aerial photograph of the site, suggesting that it was moved to this location from another at some time after. Whether it was built as Lofton Chapel, I do not know.
Aerial view of the church per Google Maps.
Top photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, November 2022.