Since its beginnings in 1905, St. Paul’s United Methodist Church has been a place where people meet God. The St. Paul’s community today remains deeply committed to providing spiritual leadership for the city of Houston. Amid growth and change, our mission has remained the same: St. Paul’s United Methodist Church is a sacred space in the heart of Houston where people seek, find, and respond to God’s love and grace.
St. Paul’s began as an offering to God from Mrs. J. O. Ross, who, following a recovery from a serious illness, contributed property specifically for the establishment of a Methodist Church. Planning began in December 1905 and Bishop Joseph S. Key constituted the new church on January 14, 1906. Services were held in the Winnie Davis Auditorium, as well as a small chapel on the Ross family’s yard, while funds were raised to build. St. Paul’s opened its first sanctuary building on January 31, 1909, at the corner of Milam and McGowen.
In 1927, the St. Paul’s congregation had outgrown its space and purchased land at the corner of Main and Binz/Bissonnet. Groundbreaking took place in April 1929. During construction, St. Paul’s Sunday School classes met at San Jacinto High School and the congregation worshiped in the synagogue of Congregation Beth Israel, forming connections with the community around us. On February 2, 1930, the first worship service was held in the new building; however, the sanctuary was not yet completed. On November 2, 1930, the first worship service was held in the new sanctuary. Despite the hardships of the Great Depression, the congregation continued to grow and slowly, but steadily, worked to pay off the building debt. In November of 1951, the debt was paid in full and the building was dedicated.
Since then, St. Paul’s has continued to grow. The Jones Youth Building was added in 1958 and renovated between 2010 and 2011. In 1973, a full-fledged nursery began that would become St. Paul’s School. In 2004, St. Paul's bought Abraham Station to house the After School Program and Emergency Aid Coalition. Fe y Esperanza, our Hispanic ministry, was formed in 2007 and continues to grow. An outdoor labyrinth, for reflective prayer and meditation, was completed in 2011. St. Paul’s has also grown its international missions through connections with Methodist churches in Bolivia and Russia.
St. Paul’s continues to be a spiritual force for its urban community and beyond, providing leadership in liturgical worship and music, missions and outreach, spiritual formation, and education.