Like many large cities, Dallas has a multitude of old church buildings that have changed significantly over time. Congregations grow, or shrink, and find different structures to suit their needs. Other old church buildings in Dallas have been demolished or repurposed. St Joseph’s Catholic Church and Academy on Swiss Avenue was converted into a residence. Some structures are still used as houses of worship, but their congregation has moved, and another has taken its place. We initially covered 21 historical churches in Dallas. Here are other old churches or congregations in Dallas.
1875; Present sanctuary 1957
Originally called the Jewish Congregation Emanu-El, Temple Emanuel was founded around 1875. Temple Emanu-El of Dallas, Texas was the first Reform Jewish congregation in North Texas and is the largest synagogue in the South. Temple Emanuel built its first temple in 1876 on Commerce Street in downtown Dallas. The second location was at South Ervay and St. Louis Streets, and the present site was built in 1957. Today, Temple Emanuel is the largest synagogue in the South. The Temple Emanu-El Cemetery was established by the congregation in 1884 and today contains gravestones exhibiting death dates before 1884 that were moved here in 1956 from Dallas’ first Jewish cemetery established in 1872 on Akard Street.
1876; Old sanctuary built between 1919-1921
624 N. Good Latimer Expressway, Dallas, TX
Much like St. Paul’s, African-American architect William Sydney Pittman constructed the St. James AME Church between 1919 and 1921. The Neoclassical-style building was built entirely by African American Contractors, workers, and electricians and housed the St. James congregation for sixty-four years. The church building was sold in 1983 and is today listed as a Dallas landmark. The church later changed its name to Greater ST. James Temple AME Church and is now located on Jim Miller Road in Dallas.
1889; PRESENT SANCTUARY IN 1957
St. Paul’s Evangelical and Reformed Church was established on December 1, 1889, and was originally named St. Paul’s German Evangelical Church and served a predominately German-speaking membership. St. Paul’s merged with another German Presbyterian congregation already in existence and moved to a site at the corner of Texas and Florence Streets. The growing group built a new sanctuary in 1912 and services were held solely in the German language until World War I. The name was changed to St. Paul’s Evangelical and Reformed Church in 1934. The present site was purchased in 1953, and a new sanctuary was completed in April 1957.
1889; Former sanctuary 1915
549 E. Jefferson Boulevard, Dallas, TX
While the congregation itself closed down and merged with Tyler Street United Methodist Church, the structure is still impressive. The original congregation met in a home at 8th Street and Lancaster in 1887. The next church was built in 1915 in Classical Revival style and remained occupied until 2015.
Church built in 1905; Now closed but listed as Dallas landmark
2712 Swiss Ave, Dallas, TX, 75204
The Dallas Archdiocese built St. Joseph’s Academy first in 1905. The Colonial Revival style church was later built in 1910 and was the fifth Catholic Church in Dallas. The church was converted into a private residence for actress Ronnie Claire Edwards. The property, one of the few historic buildings remaining in East Dallas/Deep Ellum, went up for sale in 2018.
Original structure built 1921; Present structure built in 1942
Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church
The Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church was constructed in 1921 in East Oak Cliff. The masonry and traditional brick structure feature a cone-shaped, red rock church bell tower with a lighted cross on top. The original owner was the Oak Cliff Assembly of God Church, and the 1921 brick building faces Morrell Street (once called Beverly Avenue).
1913; Sanctuary built in 1925
The Munger Place Methodist Church was founded in 1913. The sanctuary was built in 1925, and the church was one of the most influential in Dallas for years. After Old East Dallas went through a long period of decline, the former Munger Place congregation merged with the nearby Highland Park United Methodist Church, who took responsibility of the site. After extensive renovations in 2010, a new congregation called Munger Place Church launched out of the old building.
Looking for more Dallas architecture? Here are an additional 21 of the Oldest Churches in Dallas.