|Photo By: Amy Robertson 04/30/2020|
Hunter Street became East Texas Street after a vote approving the name change took place during a Bossier City Council meeting on Mar. 7, 1933 which was presided over by Mayor Tom Hickman. During the time in which the Bossier side of the river was preparing the approach to the “new Red River bridge,” officially called the Long-Allen Bridge, perhaps better known as Texas Street Bridge. The decision to change Second Street East to Traffic Street was also voted on at that time.
In thirty years, the church had grown so much that the trustees began talks of building a new brick building. By 1934, the church announced in The Shreveport Times on Apr. 8, 1934, that a plan was accepted to construct “a $10,000 auditorium and later a $30,000 church plant to replace the frame structure occupied by the present frame structure.”
In 1935 Ardis Memorial Baptist Church was one of only three churches in the City, and in a newspaper article, that year, it was deemed “one of the big churches of the state.”
On May 11, 1937, another announcement appeared in The Shreveport Journal, stating that “A new $35,000 church will be erected by the congregation of Ardis Memorial Baptist Church in Bossier City.” Plans set in place in 1934 were finally beginning to materialize. At that time, the plans were for “The present auditorium and the present educational plant will be adjusted on the church property to make room for the new building.”
Designed by local architect, J. Chesire Peyton and constructed by contractor W. E. Keller, who was noted as having “built more Baptist churches in Louisiana than any other contractor” in the Apr. 3, 1938 issue of The Shreveport Times. Peyton and Keller designed and built the “highest structure in the city.”
|Source: The Shreveport Times, April 2, 1939|
In 1965 when the church decided to build a larger building down the road, the church property at 329 E. Texas St. was sold to the Twin Cities Missionary Baptist church. In the fall of 1967, the building went from Twin Cities Baptist Church to Faith Fellowship Baptist Church. In 1971 it went from being Faith Fellowship to Sunflower Missionary Baptist Church, which has occupied this beautiful brick colonial for fifty of the eighty years that it has existed (2021 marks their fiftieth year.)
|Artis Memorial Baptist Church, C. 1903|
Neil Yarborough Collection: 2006.034.004
I like to imagine that Col. Ardis would be proud to know what he and others began in 1903 has carried on through the test of time.
To see pictures of old churches and architectural buildings then visit our website, www.bossierlibrary.org, to access the Bossier Parish Libraries History Center’s Collections Database with over 10,000 various images and plenty of Bossier Parish History to keep you entertained. You can also follow us, @BPLHistoryCenter, on Facebook to see posts with great pictures of Bossier Parish History.
By: Amy Robertson