Former First Christian Church: The Windows of Amory

First Christian Church

Erected in 1926, the former First Christian Church of Amory was designed in an Eclectic/Composite style (Mississippi Department of Archives & History, Historic Resources Inventory database).  The building still retains its 14 foot tin-covered ceiling, and original stained glass.  According to The Free Dictionary, Eclectic architecture combines elements of different historical styles in a single work, with no one dominant style.  Composite refers to order, or relationship, and in terms of a structure, an entity made of distinct components.  Thus, the building contains no one dominant style of architecture, but is a composite of a variety of styles.

First Christian side

Based on looking at a variety of images of architectural styles, I tried my hand at identifying some of the varied themes present.  The Palladian windows were common in Georgian and Colonial Revival. Pilasters, and the symmetrical facade with front fanlights, were found in Colonial Revival.  The fanlight (the semi-circular window atop the door) was common in both Federal and Colonial Revival styles. Rounded arches with recessed brick were common in Romanesque.  The parapet and the imagery of the front evokes a feeling of “towers” and are similar to Romanesque styled towers.  I have no clue as to the purpose of the different colored brick on the upper level.  On the side wall, the difference in color of brick appears at two different levels.

The building had been for sale for a year after a local church discontinued its use.  In 2010, a group of local residents purchased the building to preserve it and develop a cultural and arts center.  The result is another community-use building saved from the wrecking ball.  If you are up around Amory, check them out: The Windows.  Interior photographs can be seen here.  Check out the beautiful stained glass windows in the slide show.

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Categories: Amory, Churches, Historic Preservation

11 replies

  1. Sounds (and looks) like “Eclectic/Composite” is a polite way to say “designed by a committee, rather than an architect.”
    Noel

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  2. Glad the building was saved. As to definition of style…I’ve always believed the academic determination of “style” is extremely subjective. Some styles (such as Greek Revival) are more pure and easier to identify. Others are more loose and can easily be identified within other and multiple groups. Bottom line – what is wrong with mixing the best pieces and details that make the most sense for a building’s client, time, place, and function? And as to the brick colors….looks like a result of time delay during construction and perhaps a new batch of brick and mortar that didn’t match the earlier effort?

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  3. Here’s a picture of the church (Christian Free Will Baptist) that I took on May 2, 2009. http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y109/cjs555/Architecturally%20Speaking/5-2-09198.jpg

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  4. What an interesting building. The exterior is so plain and simple, but stately at the same time. The interior is captivating, the quantity of the stained glass is amazing, too. While it is sad that it isn’t a church anymore it is good that it will be a useful part of othe community.

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    • I know what you mean. I was home this past week, and no matter how many times I have driven past the First Christian Church in recent years (still with its beautiful stained glass), I can’t get used to it being a business and not a church.

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  5. Thanks so much for link to get to see inside! So pretty!!! Great to know it is being loved and cared for and is still being used for good things.

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    • It is beautiful, isn’t it? From what I could glean, they do a variety of activities in the building, and I think the beauty just enhances whatever they do. I am glad some folks thought enough of it to make the effort, and I hope they continue to be able to maintain the building and its contributions to their community.

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  6. Here’s a picture of a church a little bit south of the Christian Church. I think it’s First Baptist of Amory. I don’t know why I didn’t take a couple of more steps so I could get past the light pole there on the left and get an unobstructed view. Note that both of these churches are one block west of MS Hwy 25 which passes through downtown Amory. I don’t recall the name of the street but it’s PROBABLY the route that MS25 took WAY back in the old days. That’s pretty common…I mean the old highway being a block or more off the current highway.

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    • Now I remember why I didn’t take a couple of more steps. It was raining so I parked my vehicle and took the picture from the drivers side window. Pulled over where I could. HA!

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