Clio Logo
Built in 1942, the First Christian Church was the first modern building constructed in Columbus, Indiana and one of the first modern churches built in the country. It is a National Historic Landmark and is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The structure consists of the 160 foot tower, the main church hall which also contains a chapel and auditorium, and another hall housing the Bible school; a bridge connects both halls. The church was designed by renowned Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen. His son, Eero, designed the interior with the assistance of Saarinen's wife, who helped design the sanctuary tapestry, and Charles Eames, who designed the children's furniture.

  • The First Christian Church
  • A view of the sanctuary
The congregation formed in 1855 as the Tabernacle Church of Christ. It moved into a Gothic Revival church in 1878 and remained there for 64 years until it became clear that a new church was needed. Rather than building a traditional style church, church leaders decided to move into a new direction and ultimately hired Saarinen. Saarinen was at first hesitant to take on the project but agreed to move forward after learning more about what the church leaders wanted, which was a simple, modern building where everyone would be welcome.,_Indiana) Laura Thayer, Louis Joyner, & Malcolm Cairns. "First Christian Church," National Register of Historic Places. 1-3-01.