History of the Church

At the Tennessee Annual Conference at Paris on November 10, 1831, The Methodist Episcopal Church, Bishop R.R Roberts presiding, declared Paris to be a “station church.” Rev. Phineas T. Scrubbs was pastor and Rev. G.W.D. Harris was appointed presiding elder for the newly formed Paris District. By November of 1834 the thriving young church already had 168 members.

Earlier that year, in March, the church paid $37.00 for lot No. 70 on the original City of Paris plan to build a church building; this was known as “Mission Chapel.” In 1840 Paris opened its first Sunday School and the Memphis Annual Conference was formed from the Jackson Purchase part of the Tennessee Conference. The Annual Conference actually gathered at Paris for the first time in 1843.

In 1853 the “Mission Chapel” was replaced on the same site by a square brick building with a balcony around its four walls (for the accommodation of slaves). In 1869 the trustees reported the title clear to a lot and building valued at $1,000. Damaged by fire in 1873 that building was destroyed by fire in 1903. In slightly more than a year the new church was built and was used until 1925. In 1926 our present building was completed for $160,000 (one of the finest church buildings in the South); the three manual Philcher pipe organ was purchased for $10,000. The building was dedicated debt free in October, 1944. In 1956 it was air-conditioned and renovated, and a new parsonage was built on Whitehall Circle in 1972.

The Christian Life Center (CLC) was consecrated in December, 1993. Used almost every day, the CLC has hosts many community events, church, District and Conference gatherings, and the 8:30 a.m. informal worship service.

To read more about the history of the church and its properties, there are some excellent resources in the church office. The 1986 pictorial directory and a book published in 2006 to celebrate the church’s 175th anniversary are two very fine sources.