The Second Baptist Church, also known as the Town Clock Church, is one of the most storied historic buildings in downtown New Albany. First constructed in 1852, the church (and its iconic steeple), served as a beacon of hope and freedom along the Underground Railroad.
Unfortunately, the steeple was damaged during a large storm in 1915, and funds were needed to repair and restore the historic structure. In July of 2013, the New Albany City Council approved appropriating $75,000 towards the restoration of the Second Baptist Church steeple for historic preservation purposes.
“Historic Preservation is extremely important to us,” stated Mayor Jeff Gahan. “Our river city is over 200 years old, and some of its buildings are starting to show it. By restoring these historic structures, we can preserve their rich history so that future generations can learn from and utilize them.”
With financial backing from the City of New Albany, the Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County, the Friends of the Town Clock Church, and numerous other contributors, the steeple was eventually restored, along with other restoration efforts at the structure.
Recently, those efforts were recognized by Indiana Landmarks, who presented the Cook Cup for Outstanding Restoration to New Albany’s Second Baptist Church. According to a release form Indiana Landmarks, the Cook Cup ""recognizes the owner of a significant historic structure that has been transformed through a restoration that meets the highest standards in method, materials and design. The judges also take into consideration the importance of the structure, its condition at the outset, and the project's community impact."
"We really do appreciate everything that the community has done for Second Baptist to help restore the building," stated Pastor Joyce Marshall of the Second Baptist Church. "Putting the steeple back on the church with the light shining is a reminder that we are all working together – that we can come together and work together in that light."
"The community response has been great, and we thank everyone in the community for their support," stated Pastor LeRoy Marshall of the Second Baptist Church. "Now it is time for us to give back and do some outreach in the community."