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Cumberland Presbyterian Church

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1873. 501 E. Jefferson St.

Cumberland Presbyterian missionaries were active in Texas throughout the 1820s and 1830s and formed a Texas Synod by 1843. One of the state’s earliest congregations was organized c. 1846 in Jefferson by its first minister, Solomon Awalt, and a frame church was soon built in Alley’s Addition. In 1873, this brick church was completed on a prominent site across from the city’s park. According to architectural historian Willard B. Robinson, the new church was likely based upon a design published in George Bowler’s Chapel and Church Architecture, with Designs for Parsonages (1856), one of numerous publications used by Protestant congregations in Texas during the mid- to late nineteenth century. The church was constructed by John Ligon and features distinctive Gothic and classical brick detailing, including pointed-arched doors and windows with hood moldings and heavy corbeling at the cornice. The front is dominated by a central square tower, which is partially engaged with the gabled-end mass of the single-aisle, five-bay-long nave. The tower is surmounted by a second-stage clock enclosure (the painted clock faces were removed in the 1880s) and an octagonal spire, both of which are now clad in sheet metal.

The red brick Christ Episcopal Church (1869; 703 S. Main Street) on the west side of City Park has Gothic pointed arches and a pedimented gable.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "Cumberland Presbyterian Church", [Jefferson, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Texas

Buildings of Texas: East, North Central, Panhandle and South Plains, and West, Gerald Moorhead and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2019, 100-101.

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