The Natural State is home to a host of wonderful and historic churches. Travelers often comment on the architecture of many of the buildings and their durability through some of the state’s most unpredictable weather are a testament to their strength and the quality of their construction. Take a trip across Arkansas and visit some of these hallowed locations.
12. Cathedral of St. Andrews: This historic church is the oldest place of continuing worship in the city of Little Rock.
The property, built in 1881, is located at the corner of South Louisiana Street and West 7th Street in downtown Little Rock.
11. First Presbyterian Church of Dardanelle: This historic church is located at Second and Quay Streets in Dardanelle, Arkansas.
The church was built circa 1912-14 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1987.
10. First Presbyterian Church of El Dorado: Located at 300 East Main Street in El Dorado, Arkansas, the single story brick building of this historic church was constructed in 1926 for a congregation which was organized in 1846.
The Collegiate Gothic building was built during El Dorado's 1920s boom occasioned by the discovery of oil, and its ensuing rapid growth. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991.
9. Goddard United Methodist Church: Formerly the Dodson Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church, this historic location is located at 1922 Dodson Avenue in Fort Smith, Arkansas.
The church building is an imposing Late Gothic stone structure, built in 1930 to a design by the local architectural firm of Haralson and Nelson. The congregation for which it was built was founded in 1908, and worshipped in a wood-frame church at this site prior to the construction of the present edifice.
8. Echols Memorial Christian Church: Now home to the Vietnamese Baptist Church, this church is a historic building located at 2801 Alabama Avenue in Fort Smith, Arkansas.
It is a large rectangular brick and stone structure, with a square tower at its southwest corner. Its roof has a cross gable configuration, with large Gothic stained-glass in the gable ends. The main entrance is set in the tower recessed in a Gothic-arched opening. Built in 1911 with funds donated by Mrs. Elizabeth Echols, it is an excellent local example of Late Gothic styling built using local materials.
7. First Presbyterian Church in Clarksville: This historic church was built in 1922 in the Classical Revival architectural style.
First Presbyterian Church of Clarksville was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991.
6. First United Methodist Church in Conway: This historic church is at the junction of Prince and Clifton Street in the northwest corner of Conway, Arkansas.
The church was built in 1913 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.
5. Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel: This chapel, located in Bella Vista, Arkansas, was designed by E. Fay Jones and constructed in 1988.
The design recalls the Prairie School of architecture popularized by Frank Lloyd Wright, with whom Jones had apprenticed. Jones used steel and glass to create a series of Gothic arches that run the length of the chapel.
4. Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Altus: This church, also known as St. Mary's Catholic Church, was built in 1902 and is located atop St. Mary's Mountain in Altus, Arkansas.
The church is known for its Sistine Chapel-style paintings and grand Roman Basilical architecture. Brown stone blocks cover the outside of the church, and the inside walls are lined with ornate gold leaf. The organ inside the church is over 100 years old, as is the bell tower.
3. Raymond Munger Memorial Chapel: One of the main landmarks on the campus of the University of the Ozarks, the chapel was erected in 1933.
College students were paid to provide much of the labor for excavation, laying of the foundation and hauling of materials. Munger Chapel, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, was designed by architect A.O. Clark of Rogers, Arkansas.
2. First United Methodist Church in Fordyce: This historic church is located at East 4th and Spring Streets in Fordyce, Arkansas. The two story brick building was designed by John Parks Almand and built in 1925.
The Arts and Crafts style building presents a long facade to East 4th Street, with its main entry separating the sanctuary to the right and a wing of offices and Sunday School classrooms to the left. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.
1. Thorncrown Chapel: This chapel, located in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, was designed by E. Fay Jones (who also designed the Cooper Chapel in Bella Vista) and was constructed in 1980.
Constructed mostly of wood and other materials indigenous to northwestern Arkansas, the design minimized material transportation costs. Though it looks like an open-air structure, the chapel is a glass-enclosed, conditioned space.
Arkansas is home to many, many more beautiful and historic churches. Leave a comment to name a few churches in the Natural State you’ve visited and were impressed by the architecture!