Glimpse of the Past: Central Christian Moves to Pleasant Street after Fire in 1892

The Reporter... Hillsboro, Texas... Thursday, July 2, 2015

Central Christian Moves to Pleasant Street after Fire in 1892

Drive today on South Waco street and it is difficult to imagine historic churches dominating the scene. Many local citizens are aware that First Methodist Church once occupied the NW corner lot of Waco and Walnut Streets where Brookshires is currently located. The Methodist Church congregation relocated to a new brick structure at 315 East Elm in 1914… its current location.

It also is difficult to imagine single family homes from south of the current Hillsboro City Library to Walnut Street, and on both sides of Covington Street from Gould to Walnut. Time does change our landscape.

Few, however, are aware that the Central Christian Church occupied the opposite corner on the NE corner of Waco and Walnut from the time of its construction in 1889 until it burned down on May 2, 1892. In the 20th century this corner lot was site of Shelton-Fawcett Humble Station and today’s location for Hill County Pawn Shop. By 1892, the Hillsboro Fire Department had moved from its location on the SW corner of Gould and Waco to 114/116 East Franklin Street. After valiant efforts of the fire department, the building was a total loss. At this writing no photos of the Waco Street Church have surfaced.

Central Christian Church in Hillsboro was organized on September 11, 1881 and met in homes of members, the courthouse, or schoolhouse. Charter members were J.W. Morrison, D.C. Wornell. E. Pendleton, J.W. Lewellen, J.W. Jackson, America Wornell, Addie Wornell, Eva Wornell, Eleanor Wornell, E.A. Pendleton, and Molly Cain. Early elders were Millard Hawkins, John Paschal, and John Morrison.

In 1886 the church purchased the lot on the NE corner of Waco and Walnut Streets for $350 and a small but commodious frame church was erected in the spring of 1889. By the time of the fire in 1892, Waco Street was fast becoming commercial, and the members purchased a lot on the SE corner of Pleasant and Craig Streets for $700. The church sold the downtown lot at Waco and Walnut for $820.

In 1893 at its new location and new building, the church had 61 members, and membership grew to 128 by 1894. The 1893 frame structure featured gables, a prominent steeple, and stained glass windows set in cathedral-type framing. There were two exterior entrances, two aisles, and three sections of pews.

In 1928 the church building was jacked up and moved over on the lot to enable a basement to be dug. The building was returned and set in place over the basement, and a new brick façade was installed. The current building at Pleasant and Craig is the historic 1893 structure with a major facelift.

Glimpse of the Past: Central Christian Moves to Pleasant Street after 1892 Fire