FROM THEATER TO CHURCH
Pleasant Hill takes great pride in its historic downtown district. One of the largest and most well-known buildings in this area is the old Kellogg Opera Theater, which happens to be home to our new church. In 1898, George M. Kellogg purchased the remains of the old Stone Mill on the southeast corner of Cedar and Taylor and built a new opera house on the foundation. With the lower floor’s two foot thick stone walls, it created a most impressive theatre, far ahead of small town ideas of an opera house. There was a roomy stage large enough for any set of scenery in the average road show, with a loft and a set, and dressing rooms on the lower floor, the theatre was quite impressive in its day. The Kellogg Opera House opened in a blaze of theatrical glory to a packed house. The opening play, “Quo Vadis”, was presented in 1899. The play’s company came direct to Pleasant Hill from an engagement at the Schubert in Kansas City.
Vaudeville and touring theatrical troupes had gained wide popularity during the 1890’s and the new Kellogg Opera House was welcomed by Pleasant Hill audiences. The last play, “Fine Feathers”, was given on February 28, 1917. Musical comedies, political rallies, amateur theatricals, high school commencements, declamatory concerts, and recitals were often held there in the years after. William Jennings Bryan stumped here while running for president in 1918. It housed a Methodist congregation from 1917 to 1966 and then became the home of Hope Baptist Church.Five years ago the name was changed to Kellogg Baptist Church in memory of its roots.
Today we’re praying and working, by the grace of God, toward returning it to its former glory as the home of Grace & Truth Baptist Church!