At the beginning of the 20th century, members of Houston’s Methodist community worked toward organizing a new congregation on what was then the burgeoning south end of town. In December 1905, individuals met at the J.O. Ross family home and held Christmas Eve services at the city auditorium. The congregation officially organized on January 14, 1906 with 153 charter members. Bishop Joseph Key preached the first sermon and suggested the congregation adopt St. Paul’s as its name. The Ross family gave lots at the corner of Milam and McGowen streets for a new building. Designed by R.D. Steele and consecrated in January 1909. The structure reflected a Grecian design with a dome reminiscent of Byzantine architecture.
The church grew along with the city of Houston, and in the late 1920s, members launched a campaign to raise money for new facilities. Jesse H. Jones, Walter Fondren and J.M. West, Sr. each contributed $150,000, and the church hired noted architect Alfred C. Finn to design a new building at the corner of Main and Binz streets. The Neo-Gothic styling features a cruciform plan on a steel-frame structure with limestone cladding. Stained glass windows from the structure, and the impressive tower houses bells also brought from the church’s original sanctuary.
St. Paul’s church members support an array of outreach, worship, education, mission, music and caring services to the community. At the turn of the 21st century, the church is a spiritual and social community center, as well as a long-standing Houston institution.