Weddings at the Diversity Center

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Originally Washington Avenue Baptist Church, The Diversity Center now represents Drury’s commitment to community history and campus diversity.  Original stained glass, woodwork and brick make this campus jewel a charming venue for smaller, intimate weddings.

Wedding Policy


  • Bride’s dressing area
  • Upright grand piano


  • Rental fee covers a two-hour rehearsal Friday evening, eight consecutive hours the day of the wedding
  • Includes basic custodial services (vacuuming, trash removal, etc.)


  • 130 (approximately)

Reception Venues on Campus

Reed Auditorium in the Trustee Science Center

This spacious auditorium provides a flexible reception venue for medium to large wedding parties.  Able to accommodate a banquet style setup or a dance floor with cocktail tables, this room can be customized to meet the needs of your special day. The east facing wall of large bay windows and the modern design of Reed Auditorium give this space a modern and classy feel.  Additionally, this auditorium is very close to Stone Chapel for a convenient transition from wedding to reception. This room also includes projector and A/V capabilities and a kitchenette with a sink and full sized fridge attached to the north end of the auditorium. This auditorium is easily handicap accessible.

The Hoblit Suite in the Freeman Panhellenic Building 

This cozy and classy room is an excellent choice for all small to medium sized receptions, comfortably accommodating 100 people. This room comes equipped with sound capabilities and a kitchenette for convenience. It is located just off of a large parking lot on Summit Avenue and is clearly marked for ease of transition from the Stone Chapel. This room is also easily handicap accessible. To book this room, please contact Christie Garrison at or (417) 873-7200.

The Findlay Student Center Ballroom 

This rustic yet elegant ballroom is the perfect venue for an intimate to medium sized reception. Its beautiful hardwood floors and wall of windows overlooks our Kellogg Green space, giving the room a very open feel. According to the setup desired, we are able to cater to your needs. This room comes equipped with full sound capabilities. With a large parking lot adjacent and Stone Chapel nearby on campus, the Ballroom would be a convenient and beautiful space to celebrate your special occasion. This building is easily handicap accessible. To book this room, please contact Christie Garrison at or (417) 873-7200.

History of the Diversity Center

Washington Avenue Baptist Church was built in 1885, but its congregation has an even longer history. Its members organized in 1867 and worshiped (as the “ Second Baptist Church [Colored]”) in other locations before moving to Washington Avenue. The church building has been used continuously for church services ever since, and was an important part of Springfield’s thriving, economically successful African-American community.

One of the church’s longest-serving pastors, the Reverend J.S. Dorsey came to the church in 1899 and saw the congregation through pivotal times. In 1904, he led the way as the congregation changed its name from “Second Baptist” to “Washington Avenue Baptist.” A second cornerstone was laid at the northeast corner of the building to commemorate the change. In 1906, Rev. Dorsey helped his congregation cope with the lynching of three men on the Public Square, a dismal turning point in Springfield’s African American history. And on November 30, 1911, Rev. Dorsey was leading a Thanksgiving Day service when the church caught fire and suffered significant damage. Rebuilding the church brought forth visible signs of the community’s support.

Recently moved to allow growth of the Drury University campus, workers “unbuilt” the historic church, saving the old bricks, stained glass, pews, doors, windows and steeple. Even the church’s distinctive neon sign was preserved. The church was rebuilt around a new skeleton on a new site just 200 feet from where it once stood.

From the Springfield Convention and Visitor’s Bureau

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