First United Methodist Church
Erected in 1924, First United Methodist Church is one of the most striking landmarks in Paris, Texas. Architecture firm Vanslyke and Woodruff designed the stately building in the Mediterranean and Classical Revival styles. The building features an Indiana granite exterior, large pedimented porticos with Corinthian columns, palladian windows, arched openings, four small domes, and a large octagonal dome supported by a two-story structure with windows and decorative stonework. In addition, all the domes and other parts of the roof are covered in red tiles which helps to give the building its distinctive appearance. Inside, the church features stenciled detailing and decorative painting. The congregation was established in 1843 and continues to occupy the building.
Backstory and Context
The congregation was established by Rev. James Graham, who served as a minister and teacher. The congregation first worshipped in a school building before building their first church in 1853. The second one was built in 1888 and was called Centenary Methodist Church to accommodate the growing congregation. A fire in 1916 destroyed significant portions of the 1888 church (as well as much of the city) but it prompted the congregation and another Methodist church to make the decision to merge in 1918 and become First Methodist Church. The new congregation held services in a high school building while the current church building was being constructed. When the basement was built in 1922 the congregation worshipped there until the construction of the rest of the church was completed two years later. First Methodist was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.
"Details for First United Methodist Church of Paris." Texas Historic Sites Atlas. Accessed October 16, 2020. https://atlas.thc.state.tx.us/Details/5277008196.
"First United Methodist Church." National Park Service - National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. June 21, 1983. https://catalog.archives.gov/OpaAPI/media/40969825/content/electronic-records/rg-079/NPS_TX/83003146.pdf.
Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Paris_July_2015_34_(First_Methodist_Church).jpg