The Midcentury United Methodist Church Project is an ongoing survey of Methodist church sanctuaries and places of worship built between 1950 and 1975 in the midcentury modern style.
While it is sometimes difficult for architects and historians to define a systematic way of identifying midcentury architecture, most agree that the movement emphasizes the construction materials developed and popularized after World War II. Midcentury modern architecture welcomes and reflects the natural world by incorporating materials local to the region. It used windows and light to blur the line between interior and exterior. This conveys a sense of transparency, both physically and theologically. It rejected the ornate and costly design of the neo-Gothic and the stuffy sensibility of the colonial style. In short, it was forward-looking design for the post-war population boom.
Since the United Methodist Church movement was birthed in 1968—the height of the mid-century movement—we see a number of buildings designed in this style. However, churches evolve, congregations ebb and flow and renovation projects are ever popular. Naturally, many of the best examples of architecture have been altered on some fundamental level since their groundbreaking. This website is dedicated to UMC buildings which have some element of midcentury modern architecture. By documenting these important buildings, we can celebrate them for years to come.
Micah Montague is midcentury enthusiast and college instructor based out of Raleigh, North Carolina. He teaches speech and theatre courses and has directed over 25 full-length theatrical productions during his career. A Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Micah is interested in international affairs, design, and connecting cultures through new media.
Photographs and Content
Unless noted, all the photographs and material on this website are the sole property of the contributor.
Dates in parentheses refer to the year the sanctuary was dedicated. This date does not necessarily indicate the year which the church was chartered.