First United Methodist Church of Abilene
About this Project
The First United Methodist Church in Abilene TX has a long history. Organized as a congregation in 1881, just as the town was established, it was the first church to have a building in an area that was a stock shipping point on the Texas and Pacific Railway.
By 1900 Abilene (named after Abilene KS) had grown to 3400 people and the First United Methodist Church was in their second home. In 1925 there were 3 colleges in Abilene and the church was in its third building as the need for more congregate space continued to increase.
In 1965 First United Methodist built its current location at 202 Butternut. But as the congregation continued to grow, they saw the need for an activity center. But the question was how to join the two buildings. Crystal Structures was brought in to add a beautiful, tall atrium to bridge the buildings. The architecture was planned to complement the style of the 1965 structure while adding a stylish entryway.
The atrium area was 33′ tall at the apex and 20′ tall at the eave. The length across the front is 31′ and the interior width is 27′. This was a really nice area for receptions and gatherings.
Unfortunately, the church and atrium fell victim to a massive hailstorm on June 12, 2014. Baseball (and larger) size hail shattered the stained glass windows, totaled the church building roofs, and crushed the laminated glass panes in the atrium. The city of Abilene sustained over $400 million in damages. The photos on this page show the structure before the devastation.