Eyewitness

Time capsule: Temple Baptist members help the burned church recover

The Kansas City Star

Originally published Oct. 11, 1948, a Monday. It was speculated that the mob set the fire because of the church’s stance against organized crime. Today the rebuilt structure houses the collected studios and galleries of the Arts Asylum.

“Church members in work clothing joined the custodian of the Temple Baptist church, Ninth and Harrison streets, in taking heed this morning of a bright sign which hangs on the front of the church, destroyed by fire early Friday. The sign reads, ‘Rise and Rebuild.’ Several members volunteered their services to the church pastor, Dr. R.L. Decker, yesterday to assist in cleaning out debris from the church interior. Three members and the custodian were on hand this morning and others were expected this afternoon.

“Shown lifting chairs from the basement of the church this morning are (left to right) Cornelius Johnson, 2505 Flora Avenue, the custodian; A.O. Johnson, 904 the Paseo; O.V. Wise, 3130 Brooklyn Avenue; and Roy Darrah, 506 South Drury Avenue. The three members all have regular jobs at night and gave up their free time this morning to assist in the work.”

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