"What Mean Ye by These Stones?": The Origins and Architecture of the First Baptist Church of Amarillo




Feray, Libby

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The First Baptist Church of Amarillo is an architectural treasure that resembles the great cathedrals of Europe. How did such a beautiful church come to exist on the Panhandle of Texas at the beginning of the Great Depression? And why did a congregation of Southern Baptists, part of a denomination that tends to deemphasize the role of architectural beauty in worship, undertake such a costly project? This thesis seeks to answer these questions by exploring the early history of the church alongside the historical, economic, and social context in which it was built. Additionally, the thesis identifies a variety of influences on the church’s architecture and aesthetics and examines recent building projects undertaken by the current congregation to preserve the church’s beauty for future members. Throughout, I argue that FBCA stands as a unique example of a marriage between Baptist sensibilities and a traditional Christian emphasis on beauty.



Church architecture., Baptist churches., Amarillo.