First Christian Church

Historical Marker #2090 in Paris marks the current location of that town's First Christian Church.

First Christian Church's location on a ridge near the center of town makes the red-tiled octagonal towers visible from a considerable distance. The main auditorium consists of a large and high octagon. The ceiling incorporates a large circle and several convex and concave vaults.

The church building is one of the most outstanding Richardsonian Romanesque buildings in Paris. A stone-faced addition was added across the rear of the church, but otherwise the 1902 building is virtually intact.

Richardsonian Romanesque is a style of Romanesque Revival architecture named after architect Henry Hobson Richardson, whose masterpiece is Trinity Church in Boston. The architectural style emphasizes clear, strong picturesque massing, round-headed "Romanesque" arches, often springing from clusters of short squat columns. Other features include recessed entrances, richly varied rustication, blank stretches of walling contrasting with bands of windows, and cylindrical towers with conical caps embedded in the walling. The First Christian Church of Paris exhibits all of these details.

The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) began in the early 1800s and developed out of the Cane Ridge Revival. Founders Barton W. Stone and Alexander Campbell were partly rebelling against dogmatic positions that kept different denominations from taking communion together, and objected to the use of creeds as tests of "fellowship" within the church.

"Christians" was Stone's name for the movement, and Campbell chose "Disciples of Christ." The two groups and their names united in 1832. Disciples have a long heritage of openness to other Christian traditions and are frequently involved in cooperative and ecumenical work. The Disciples of Christ helped organize the National and World Councils of Churches.

Images

First Christian Church Interior

First Christian Church Interior

This photograph shows a view of looking toward the pulpit from the opposite door. The building's beautiful interior architecture is clearly visible. Photograph courtesy of Mike Spivey. View File Details Page

First Christian Church Interior

First Christian Church Interior

This photograph provides a view as looking toward the back of the church from the pulpit. Photograph courtesy of Mike Spivey. View File Details Page

The Thomas Sisters

The Thomas Sisters

Emily Thomas Tubman married in Georgia in 1818. Her husband died in 1836, after which she gave her slaves the choice of remaining as paid servants or being freed to join the colony of Liberia, established by emancipationists in the west coast of Africa. Of her 144 slaves, 75 chose to stay and the rest went to Liberia. The Thomas sisters lived in Paris and were members of the Paris Christian Church. Mrs. Tubman started a free school in Paris behind the Christian Church at its old location and donated generous sums to the Frankfort and Paris Christian Churches. She died in 1885. Courtesy of Hopewell Museum. View File Details Page

Paris First Christian Church

Paris First Christian Church

This postcard image shows the fine architecture of the First Christian Church in Paris. Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Hopewell Museum, “First Christian Church,” ExploreKYHistory, accessed April 29, 2017, http://explorekyhistory.ky.gov/items/show/436.

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