Date: c. 1920
Description: The Centenary Methodist Church is one of 13 historic religious buildings identified in the survey. With its pointed, arched openings and corner towers, this institutional building is one of the city’s best examples of the Gothic Revival style, especially as interpreted on ecclesiastical buildings. The construction of massive additions on the north side have somewhat compromised the historic character but the building retains sufficient integrity to be recognizable to its period of significance. There has been an active Methodist presence in Palestine since about 1850. At that time the only local congregation met in Bascom’s Chapel, an extant building located at 812 N. Mallard, which has since been converted into a private residence. During the early 20th century the original congregation split, with some members establishing this church, the Centenary Methodist Church, and some founding Grace United Methodist Church, located just north of downtown. Locally prominent contractor John H. Gaught constructed the sanctuary of this church in 1910-11. It was renamed the First Methodist Episcopal church by the mid-1920s, and today is known as the First United Methodist church. This photo was taken when the windows could be swiveled open to catch air during the warm months of the year.
Contributing Partner: Palestine Public Library