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Churches of Arkansas

Churches of Arkansas: The Holy Temple Church of God in Christ is situated at 529 North Main Street in Monticello, Drew County part of the Monticello North Main Historic District, added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 2, 1979, which includes 20 structures reflecting architectural styles, circa 1845-1925. The Neo-Classical style church is referenced in the nomination form as the “First Church of Christian Scientists” and has the distinction of being the first Christian Science Church built in Arkansas. 

See the nomination for more about the historic district. We learned more about the building and its history by reading an article by Sheilla Lampkin, published in the Advance-Montecollonian on September 19, 2013. The First Church of Christian Science began in Monticello in 1905 when Mr. and Mrs. Frank Colby moved to town from Detroit. The couple shared their faith with friends and soon a group held the first public service in Monticello, in one another’s homes. The group grew and a church building was needed, so Henry Bailey sold them the lot where the building stands for $875 in June of 1907. Building plans were made by local architect S. C. Hotchkiss. The building’s concrete blocks were made by the Oglesby brothers at their business on East Gaines and delivered to the site in July of 1908. The building was finished by April 24, 1910, when the first services were held. It contained an auditorium that seated 200, a balcony, the First and Second Readers’ rooms, a Sunday School room and a Reading Room. On August 15, 1915, the Christian Science Society was disbanded and reorganized as the First Church of Christ Scientist, a branch of the Mother Church in Boston. Since the church could not be dedicated until free of debt, the building was not dedicated until November 27, 1924. The church grew, but by 1975 membership had decreased dramatically to only 12 members. In April of that year lightening hit the dome and water damaged the building. It was repaired, but membership continued to fall until there were only four members in Sunday School by 1983. Not long after, the church closed and is has been home to the Holy Temple Church of God in Christ since the 1990s.