Discover Downtown’s Different Denominations

First United Methodist Church, Texarkana, Arkansas
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Texarkana is a city full of history, history surrounding the values that the city was built upon.  Some of the oldest buildings remaining are the historical churches downtown that continue to be an integral part of the community to this day.

Regardless of race, gender, belief, and background, there is a church in Texarkana ready to welcome you.  Discover 6 churches in downtown Texarkana, from varying denominations and aesthetic, and make plans to attend one day.

 

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Beech Street Baptist Church

514 Beech Street, Texarkana, Arkansas, 71854

Beech Street Baptist Church, Texarkana, Arkansas
(Photo by Erin Rogers | TXK Today)

On March 30, 1904, instructions were given to the Trustees of the Olive Street Street Baptist Church to sell all of its property, formed in 1889, for the benefit of a new church to be organized in Texarkana, Arkansas, under the auspices of the Executive Board of the Arkansas Baptist Convention and transfer the proceeds to the new church.

 

On April 10, 1904, a meeting was held at the Miller County Courthouse for the purpose of organizing a Baptist church in Texarkana, Arkansas.  A call for letters was given, and 47 persons from The First Baptist Church, Texarkana, Texas, as well as 32 others from various churches and 4 promise of letter, responded for the purpose of organizing a Baptist church on the Arkansas side of Texarkana.  

 

The name of Beech Street Baptist Church was then voted on and adopted.  The frame building, formerly occupied by the Olive Street Baptist Church and built in 1893, was moved from 8th and Olive Streets, Texarkana, Texas, to 6th and Beech Street, Texarkana, Arkansas, in April 1904, where the church currently resides today.

 

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee became he pastor of Beech Street Baptist Church in Texarkana, serving in that position from 1986 to 1992. During those years, he established and became president of Beech Street Communications, an organization that created television station KBSC-TV (later KLFI 35), a twenty-four-hour UHF channel.

 

St. Edwards Catholic Church

407 Beech St, Texarkana, AR 71854

St. Edwards Catholic Church, Texarkana, Arkansas
(Photo by Erin Rogers | TXK Today)

Founded on June 20, 1903 by Reverend Edward Fitzgerald, the parish provided a home to Catholics in Arkansas.  On December 25, 1903, Christmas Day, on 4th and Hickory, a frame chapel was dedicated and its first Mass was officially held that same day.

 

A new building was erected in 1923, blessed with a Pontifical Mass, the first in the state of Arkansas.  The building was designed and built by Lambert DeKonning, modeled after the Church of the most Holy Trinity at the top of the Spanish steps in Rome.

 

St. Edwards is graced with a ethereal altar of Carrara marble, accessorized by ornate, classical statues.  The church contains 4 large, round stained glass window that depict the 7 sacraments: the birth of Christ, the birth of St. John the Baptist, and St. Gregory the Great, with the smaller windows depicting the lives of Jesus and Mary.

 

Today, St. Edwards welcomes Vietnamese and Spanish communities with open arms, after decades of receiving refugees who have become a vital part of their community and parish.  Many have become Eucharist ministers, lectors, and commission members.

 

In 1987, St Edwards increased their attempts to reach the growing Hispanic community in Texarkana by visiting migrant workers.  The first Mass celebrated in Spanish was later held with 10 in attendance. St. Edwards now holds weekly Sunday Mass celebrated in Spanish, with a bilingual bulletin and religious educational classes for children and adults.

 

First Presbyterian Church

516 Pecan St, Texarkana, AR 71854

First Presbyterian Church, Texarkana, Arkansas
(Photo by Erin Rogers | TXK Today)

In 1894, The First Presbyterian Church of Texarkana was organized by residents of both Arkansas and Texarkana.  In 1905, the church was built in its present location under Reverend F. E. Maddox of Little Rock who became the first pastor over the church.

 

Over the years, the church has made several improvements thanks to generous donations from the community.  In 1954, the Education building was added and in 1961, the sanctuary was renovated. They also use their funds to support programs like a Red Cross Sewing Room during the World War 1 in 1917.  They knit sweaters and socks for the soldiers, also making rolled bandages and other things as needed.

The church is also credited with establishing Opportunities, Inc, a agency for special education, along with later creating Habitat for Humanity, the Community Mental Health Association, the Refugee Resettlement program and English Tutorial Programs.  First Presbyterian Church also sponsors Boy Scout Troops and Federal Retirees.

An initiative by the music ministry led the church to craft a Bell Tower in 1986.  The 8 bronze bells were cast by the Taylor Foundry in England and was furnished with memorials and gifts from members.

Ringers from all over the country and England come to the church on occasion for a Change Ringing Festival. Five octaves of Schulmerich handbells and three octaves of hand chimes add to many services and events.

The new church Casavant pipe organ, installed in 2000 is central to the music ministry, and the most recent acquisition of a Kawaii grand piano for the sanctuary further enhances this impressive program. The Annual Noon Advent Concerts have become a highlight of the Christmas Season within the community and church.

 

First United Methodist Church-Arkansas

400 E 6th St, Texarkana, AR 71854

First United Methodist Church, Texarkana, Arkansas
(Photo by Erin Rogers | TXK Today)

The First United Methodist Church in downtown Arkansas was originally built in 1904, but later destroyed by a roof fire in 2001.  The new building is a replica of the original, using modern methods to emulate the old aesthetic of the sanctuary as an Ark, opening a year later in 2002.  The damage was so extensive that only a few shards of glass and bricks remained.

 

St. James Episcopal Church

417 Olive St, Texarkana, TX 75501

St. James Episcopal Church
(Photo by Erin Rogers | TXK Today)

The Texas church is a parish of the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas, and a member of the worldwide Anglican Communion, that began as an initiative by local Episcopalians on October 30, 1876 to begin planning the Parish.

 

The first parish meeting was held on April 2, 1877 and the church building was erected on property donated by the Texas and Pacific Railroad.  A second building was completed in 1894, altered in 1910 and again in 1926. In addition to their own church, St. James has assisted in establishing at least 7 other churches in the area.

 

First United Methodist Church-Texas
401 N. Stateline Avenue, Texarkana, Texas, 75501

First United Methodist Church, Texarkana, Texas
(Photo by Erin Rogers | TXK Today)

The First United Methodist Church, originally known as Stateline Methodist Church, is the oldest church in Texarkana, USA, organized in 1874, later remodeled in 1882,  with only thirteen members at the time of establishment. Ross Perot would later be baptised at the church in 1939.

 

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