Our History

Methodism in Paris, AR has a long history dating back to the pioneers moving Westward to new frontiers.  Local preachers preached in cabins or homes or any place they could find for small group worship.  Meetings were held in homes until 1870, when a small group of early Methodists organized as a church in 1871.  The organized church was first recorded in the Arkansas Methodist Conference in 1874.  It was that year that the Paris church received official status in the Conference.

The first church building was erected in 1878.  The fate of this building seemed an omen for the Methodist congregation.  It was the first of three such fires to plague them over the years. After the first church building burned in November 1882, Rev. J. A. Peebles was assigned to Paris and the congregation began at once to look forward to a new church building.  However, in 1898, 16 years after the first building burned, this church was destroyed by fire as well.

Despite the setback, the congregation remained undaunted.  They began immediately to build their third church building.  By July 1903, all indebtedness on the new building was paid.  Paris did not go unnoticed by the Conference.  In November 1906, Paris was chosen to hold the 71st Session of the Arkansas Methodist Conference.

A third burn-out occurred in 1917.  Three churches and three fires were a test of the faith and courage of the congregation but they rallied to the challenge.  They faced World War I and the Great Depression but continued to pull together.  Since funds were limited and materials scarce it took over eight years of hard work and sacrifice.  On June 17, 1928 the fourth church building was dedicated by Bishop Booze.  In 1948 the Church underwent renovation and the Wicks Pipe Organ was installed.  The Educational Building was added in 1958 and the basement remodeled.  About this time the bells of the church were donated in memory of Bill Carey who was killed in World War II.

The present church was entered into the National Register of Historic Places on June 20, 1995.  It was accorded recognition in both Historic Significance and Architectural Significance..