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Historic PreservationLocal LandmarksPlaces of Worship

Historic Preservation
423 West Ferguson
Tyler, TX, 75702
Phone: (903) 531-1175
M-F 8 A.M. to 5 P.M.
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Places of Worship

1. MARVIN UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

Built in 1890
300 W. Erwin St
National Register of Historic Places
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark

The Marvin United Methodist congregation can trace its origins to the first generation of Tyler. As early as 1848, the Methodists had formed their own church, the Methodist Episcopal Church South in Tyler. In 1891, the name Marvin Methodist was adopted in honor of Bishop Enoch Mather Marvin, a Confederate Army chaplain who had visited Tyler after the Civil War. The cornerstone for this Gothic Revival structure was laid in 1890 and was a monumental project for its time. Constructed with elaborate brickwork, limestone trim, steeple and exquisite stained glass windows in the sanctuary, Marvin Methodist Church was known locally as the “Cathedral of the West”.

 

2.SAINT JAMES CHRISTIAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH

Built in 1891
408 N. Border Avenue
National Register of Historic Places

St. James C.M.E. is a significant monument to those pioneer members who established this church in 1891. As the oldest of church buildings for blacks in Tyler and Smith County, St. James C.M.E. has served as a major religious center as well as tending to the needs of the community. In answering the need for a community facility to accommodate large audiences, St. James was the site for many social and educational events. For many years, school commencement exercises, school plays, cultural presentations and social gatherings were held in the church. A new sanctuary was added in 1982 and the original building, an excellent example of American Georgian architecture, is currently used as a Sunday School facility and fellowship hall.

 

19. CATHEDRAL OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Built in 1934
423 S. Broadway Avenue

The Spanish Colonial Revival style is most evident in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception that dominates the intersection of West Front Street and South Broadway. It was built in 1934 as the second home of the Tyler Catholic community that had outgrown its old frame building some blocks to the north. As part of the parish’s centennial celebration in 1978, interior modifications were made in keeping with liturgical changes. At the same time, the typical rounded arches, as seen at the front entrance and in the stained glass windows, were repeated in the newly constructed, compatible arcade. In 1987, Tyler became the seat of a new twenty-six county diocese. Immaculate Conception was consecrated as a cathedral whose first bishop was Charles E. Herzig.

 

24. BETHLEHEM FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH

Established in 1866
1121 W. Lollar Street

The church at the corner of Lollar Street and Ross Avenue is the home of a faith community that was formed in 1866 as the First Baptist Church (colored) after its members had been transferred by the pastor and officials of the First Baptist Church (white).  The community first worshipped in the basement of the Smith County Courthouse.  As it grew over the years, it moved several times. In 1891, a new church was built on West Front Street, the first brick church in Texas to be built by African-Americans.  Under the leadership of the Rev. M.T. Waters, the present site was purchased in 1928 and the community sold its West Front Street property, where the last service was held in February, 1931.  After the community moved to its new permanent church at the present location in 1933, this edifice continued to serve them until 1985, when a new annex was added.

 

35. FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH

Built 1911
301 W. Ferguson
Recorded Texas Register of Historic Places

The congregation began as the first church meeting in Tyler on April 8th, 1848, with eight original members. As Tyler was a village of a few hundred souls all living within the vicinity of the town square, the Baptist Church, which met in the log cabin courthouse, called its members to the service by blowing a ram’s horn. In 1908, the congregation decided to construct a larger church. It was under construction from 1911 until 1913, at which time the church held the dedication. This structure is Beaux Arts style featuring four large brick and plaster columns with Palladian pediment above. The church auditorium was under construction from October, 1909, until its completion in March, 1913. It is one of the few examples of Beaux Art architecture in East Texas. It was updated in 1937, 1973, and 1990. The exterior and interior of the building are basically unchanged in form and function from their original purpose.

 

57. M.P. TIMMS HOUSE

Built in 1949-1950
704 W. Oakwood Street

The M. P. Timms House is owned by True Vine Baptist Church. The parsonage is one of the few remaining pastoral parsonages in the city owned by African Americans. When Rev. Moses P. Timms accepted the call to pastor the congregation in 1944, there were no housing accommodations available to him. He and his wife, Evelyn, lived with one of the deacons of the church. Church trustees commissioned architect/builder M. P. Kemp to design and build a seven room brick residence among the early shanties and shot gun houses built by descendants of former slaves. The Georgian architecture retains its original double hung sash windows and gable roof with a brick chimney.

 

58. M.P. Timms Educational Building

Built in 1955
711 W. Oakwood

The M.P. Timms Educational Building is owned by True Vine Baptist Church. The two story educational building includes an office, a general assembly area and a downstairs prayer chapel that once remained opened 24 hours a day. This building houses some of the building’s original stained glass.

 

67. Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist Church

Built 1908
502 North Horace Avenue

In 1908, on the east side of Tyler, then known as Hickory Hill, located at the northwest corner of North Horace Avenue and East Oakwood Street, the Reverend Ed. King organize a congregation and started a church which became known as Pleasant Hill Missionary Church. The original construction of the church was a wood frame building with an octagonal shaped porch with Greek columns. The original bell that was used to call the congregation together in its early days is still a working bell and has been incorporated into the monument signage in front of the church. The original church still stands, however, the exterior of the building was bricked in 1991 and new buildings have been added on the site in order to provide for the congregation’s growing needs. The Pleasant Hill Missionary Church location is considered a landmark “place” due to the character, interest and value it has provided towards the heritage and cultural development of the local community.

 
 
Copyright 2017 by City of Tyler