Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Mt. Carmel Missionary Baptist Church - Denver

When is a Colorado LP too trashed to purchase?


Found this almost-beyond-saving album on a recent big Colorado thrift chain crawl, this month. It had two major things going for it, in spite of its beat-up cover, and sliced and diced vinyl condition - it was obviously a Colorado record album, on the prolific Colorado Springs label John Law Enterprises, and... I had never heard of it.

Yup, much like the crazy cat lady who can't abandon a homeless feline, I'm a home for cast off Colorado vinyl.

I've had lots of luck with John Law label records. Nine times out of ten they are gospel records, which most collectors don't give the time of day.

More for me.

The Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church (1725 E. 30th Avenue), located in Denver's Whittier neighborhood, was the central meeting place every week for gospel services, led by Rev. D.M. Servine, Jr. According to the liner notes, Rev. Servine took over the Mount Carmel pulpit in 1969, after serving in Louisiana, Florida, Texas, and California.

I couldn't find a year on the LP, entitled Shine on Me, but based on my other John Law record catalog numbers, I estimated in came out in 1971-1972.

The LP is filled with gospel selections, performed by the adult choir and directed by Mrs. Mary Hoover, who also provides the vocals on the stand-out cuts.

(1:20 - one of the few audio samples I could get, minus skips)

The church structure has an interesting history, all by itself. Built in 1907, the mission style stucco building was known as the East Side Christian Church, until 1926. In 1929 it was renamed Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church.  Between 1946 and 1962, the church became one of three properties owned by the Macedonia Baptist Church, before becoming known as Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist, and finally New Testament Holiness Church. By 2016, the structure sat abandoned, and fell into disrepair (much like this record album).

In 2017 the building hit the Denver real estate market, and sold for $420,000. After two years of renovation by the new owners, it was turned into a stunning six bedroom (and seven bathrooms) Airbnb property.

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