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First United Methodist Church

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1924, Van Slyke and Woodruff; 1977, 1997, interior renovated, Denney Architects. 322 Lamar St.

The Methodists erected the most architecturally prominent building in Paris in the years following the 1916 fire. The congregation was formed in 1843 as the first Methodist church in the area, later taking the name Centenary Methodist Episcopal Church South. After the fire, the pastor, the Reverend Robert Schuler, envisioned the “Great Church of North Texas” and merged his congregation with the Lamar Avenue Methodist Church to form one central downtown congregation. The limestone-clad, classical structure has a grand portico of six monumental Corinthian columns. A shallow, ribbed dome emerges from the flat roof, resting upon an octagonal base. Miniature tempietto-like cupolas are near the building’s four corners, on axis with the diagonal sides of the dome. Underneath the dome is a stained glass ceiling, which provides the interior with a celestial vision.

On the next block at 231 Lamar, the Lamar County Courthouse Annex (former U.S. Post Office and Court House; 1925, James A. Wetmore, Supervising Architect of the U.S. Treasury) has an unusual U-shaped plan, with shallow front wings forming a raised terrace in front of the five-arched facade. The two-story buff brick building in the Italian palazzo manner has stone quoins and window frames and a red tile roof over a shallow cornice.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "First United Methodist Church", [Paris, 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, 132-133.

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