Research Programs: Summer Stipends

Period of Performance

6/1/2009 - 7/31/2009

Funding Totals

$6,000.00 (approved)
$6,000.00 (awarded)

Methodist Mail-Order Churches on the American Plains, ca. 1875-1920

FAIN: FT-56691-09

Brian C. R. Zugay
Texas Tech University (Lubbock, TX 79409-0006)

This project studies Methodist church buildings originally financed through denominational church-extension agencies and built using mail-order plans by the Philadelphia architect Benjamin D. Price (act. 1875-1914). The grant funds field research in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas to study and document these extant churches and to understand the significance of the structures in the early settlement of their frontier communities. The research will form the basis for case studies of mature Methodist church-extension operations for a book on American church-extension architecture. Nationally over 7,500 churches were built using Price's plans, and these churches embody a complex and once-ubiquitous system of architectural production. The research will highlight how denominations sought to build new churches quickly in order to promote congregational growth, to aid denominational expansion, and to ensure their continued moral and religious influence in the expanding United States.