The church at 2624 West Street was constructed in 1920 for St. Augustine's Episcopal Church. 1 It was designed by Miller and Warnecke. 2 It served St. Augustine's until 1975, when the congregation merged with Trinity Church. St. Andrew Missionary Baptist Church moved into the building in 1978.
On June 7, 2005, the St. Andrew Missionary Baptist Church (St. Augustine's Mission) was designated Oakland Landmark #140, under Zoning Case #LM04-371. 2
The following are the reasons for the historical designation of the church:
- Has housed strong and civically active historically African American congregations from the time of its construction in 1920;
- Is a prominent visual and cultural landmark in its West Oakland neighborhood;
- Was designed and built in 1920 as an early work of the esteemed Oakland architectural firm of Chester Miller and Carl Warnecke, later best known for large scale civic and quasi civic projects;
- Is a distinctive and well designed example of a Craftsman style church, memorable for its arched windows, buttresses, bracketed eaves, corner tower, and skillful adaptation of of bungalow features and natural materials;
- Was originally built and occupied by St. Augustine's Episcopal Mission, founded in 1910 to serve African American Oaklanders, including many who had relocated from San Francisco in the years after the 1906 earthquake and fire;
- Was pastored from 1911 to 1946 by Father David Wallace, noted for his leadership in the NAACP and other activist organizations, his mentoring of Delilah Beasley as journalist and historian, and his championing of social service as an important part of the ministry;
- Was renowned for its early youth leadership programs, inspiring historian Moira Nichols to write in 1989 that "many of the civic leaders of recent years were at one time 'St. Augustine's boys'";
- Is remembered by many in the community as the site in 1969 of the first Black Panther Party breakfast program for children, initiating a nationwide movement;
Said farewell to its original congregation when they merged in 1975 with the historically European American Trinity Church at 29th and Telegraph to form the present St.
Augustine's Episcopal Church, a courageous and innovative move by both congregations;
- Since 1978 has been home to St. Andrew Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of Rev. Robert Lacy, serving West Oakland and the wider community through its ministry, social service, and educational programs;
- Was recorded in the State Historic Resources Inventory in 1991 as appearing eligible for the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion A, Patterns of History, in the context of West Oakland ethnic history;
Includes on its property an 1895 Queen Anne cottage at 2618 West Street that is proposed for inclusion in the landmark designation as a contributing feature of the main building's setting, as representative of the neighborhood setting in which the church was constructed.
The historic cottage was demolished by the church in to make way for an alleged Head Start program, a federally funded daycare system.
The property displays signage indicating the Robert Lacy family is operating a Head Start program at the property which is a wholly inaccurate and false promotional statement.
Links and References
- Corner Stone Laying of New Mission of St. Augustine's Episcopal Church is Held Oakland Tribune August 14, 1920
- St. Andrew Missionary Baptist Church - Landmark Designation City of Oakland
- St. Andrew Missionary Baptist Church official website (via archive.org)
Oakland students raising money or 'panhandling'? SFGate June 1, 2010
Oakland School With Panhandling Students Gets Tax Dollars CBS News June 4, 2012
St. Andrew Missionary Baptist Church School In Oakland Accused of Abuse and Overbilling Taxpayers Huffington Post June 5, 2012
BART Directors Question Solicitation by Controversial Church School KQED June 26, 2012 (via archive.org)
Troubled Oakland School Padded Enrollment, District Finds KQED August 17, 2012
California Watch: Oakland Unified cuts off funds for private school ABC News September 7, 2012 (via archive.org)