William Kelly had this church built for his wife, Eliza Lee Owen, in 1894. The Kelley family had already started a small church which became the Presbyterian church in 1868. Eliza was Baptist and wanted a church of her own faith where she could play the organ.
"This is my Baptist Church in Mendocino, one my husband built with good carpenters." - Eliza Kelley
Eventually the Baptist church was reopened as a gift shop called Personal Expressions. Corners of the Mouth had opened in 1975 just down the street in the Kelliowen building. In 1976 the businesses switched places and Corners has filled the church ever since.
This is a postcard sold at Personal Expressions in 1975; photo by Beth Stebbins.
In 1906 a Baptist convention was held here in Mendocino. Mrs Kelley is in the left front row with a white hat on.
Eliza is remembered as a generous and caring person always willing to help those in need.
After her death the church remained empty for many years.
In 1976 the Red Church opened as Corners of the Mouth natural food store.
William died a year after the church was built. Eliza continued to play the organ and serve the community through the Baptist church until her own death in 1914.
The inside of the Baptist Church featured a choir loft and a Baptism bath under the podium. Baptisms were held at the river instead because there was no way to remove the water from the podium.