From the National Register nomination:
Designed by Virginia architect, William Percival, the Romanesque Revival-style First Baptist Church has a front-gabled sanctuary that faces South Wake Street with a symmetrical side-gabled educational wing at the rear (west) elevation of the sanctuary. The brick structure is three bays wide and four bays deep with a corbelled gabled brick parapet on the façade and brick pilasters with brick caps separating the side bays. A double-leaf arched entrance is located in a projecting, front-gabled entrance bay with a corbelled, gabled brick parapet and is flanked by arched stained-glass windows. There is a rose window in the front gable, arched stained-glass windows on the side elevations with arched lighter-brick surrounds, and eight-over-eight wood- sash windows at the basement level. A brick elevator shaft to the left (south) of the entrance steps provides access to the basement. A square bell tower at the northeast corner of the building has a large and steeply- pitched four-sided copper steeple, arched louvered vents at the second stage, narrow round-arched stained-glass windows, and, on the north elevation, a double-leaf entrance.
A large, two-story, side-gabled education wing extends across the rear of the sanctuary. The brick wing has six-over-six wood-sash windows, a wide wood cornice, and two-story entrance bays on the east elevation flanking the sanctuary. These entrance bays have arched brick colonnades sheltering inset entrances on the ground-floor level and six-over-six wood-sash windows at the second-floor level. A 1952 projecting gabled section at the rear (west) has a one-story brick colonnade along its south elevation.
The First Baptist Church was organized in Hillsborough on November 19, 1853. Its congregation met at the old 1790 courthouse building (now Dickerson's Chapel) until 1862. Between 1854 and 1860 the church acquired its present site, Lot 130, apparently by deed of gift from John J. Freeland. The present church was designed by William Percival, a Virginia architect who set up a branch office in Raleigh in 1857. Percival left Raleigh before the church was completed, and in the meantime the church lost its savings. The original builder, D. Kistler, was replaced by local builder John Berry, who completed the building in 1870. The interior retains its high open ceiling with carved beams, and a generous use of rounded Romanesque arches. In 1889 the church building was completely repaired, including reinforcing the walls with rods. In 1924 the steeple was replaced. The rear brick educational building was added in 1952.
07.02.2016 (G. Kueber)