First Baptist Church of Venice
From its construction until 2017, the mid-century style building designed by architect George R. Williams was the home of the First Baptist Church of Venice, originally founded as an African American congregation in 1910. The founding of the First Baptist Church of Venice corresponded with the evolution of Oakwood, formerly known as West Venice, as an early enclave of African American residents. Churches were important foundations for the developing neighborhood. The First Baptist Church of Venice was one of the first two churches in Oakwood formed to serve the African American community. It was founded by the Reverend R.S. Kelsey, along with other prominent members of the African American community, including Arthur Reese, the official town decorator for Venice.