2022 List

First Christian Church

Endangered List: Back To Main Page
Address: • W 2nd and Depot Street, Lonoke
City/County/Congressional District: , Lonoke County (District 1 )
Location Class: Church
Year Built: 1917 | Year Abandoned: 2005
Historic Designation: National Register of Historic Places 1997
Status: AbandonedEndangered

Designed and built in 1916 by Charles E. Hämm, Sr., with assistance from builder Frank Goodbar, the First Christian Church of Lonoke was listed in the National Register of Historic Places for its architectural significance. It is the best example in Lonoke County of a church designed in the Craftsman and Tudor Revival styles.

The people of Lonoke and surrounding communities worked for nearly 20 years to raise enough money to organize and construct the church. The building features battered walls clad in weatherboard on the lower level and stucco with false half-timbering on the upper level and gable ends. The steeply pitched gable-on-hip roof has multiple gabled dormers and exposed rafter tails in the eaves. The church retains its original double-hung wood windows of various sizes and pane arrangements as well as decorative brackets in some gable ends. The corner bell tower is topped by a belfry with gabled dormers on all sides. The top piece of the bell tower, which was octagonal with a crenelated parapet, was removed decades ago due to water leaks.

By the end of the 20th century, the congregation had dwindled to just a few members. The last church service was held in the building about 2005. The church interior looks almost exactly like it did on the day of that last service – there are even wafers in the Communion plate. But time has taken its toll, and the roof is failing, causing water damage to the interior. The building is owned by Mr. Hämm’s granddaughter, who grew up in the church and wants to see it restored for community use.