During its lifetime, St. Paulís-on-the-Plains has inhabited
three sites. The original church was located on the northeast corner
of 15th and Avenue O. In 1927, the church was moved to 16th Street
and Avenue Q and expanded in cruciform shape to accommodate a
growing congregation. In 1940, the diocese sold the property to A.
M. Leftwich Sr. and built the new St. Paulís at 16th and Avenue X.
In 1995, the Leftwich family donated the building to the LHS, and
the City of Lubbock donated the space for its final home at 4215
University at the Arboretum.
St. Paulís-on-the-Plains began services in 1914 with a
congregation of 5 men and 10 women. Sally McKee Coleman was the
driving force behind the establishment of the Episcopal faith in
what was then a small, duty, slow-growth town in a county of 293
people, located on the top of the treeless Llano Estacado.
Mrs. Coleman organized the Episcopal Womenís Guild a decade before
there was an official church and prevailed up on Bishop Garrett (who
assumed pastoral direction of a missionary territory of over 100,000
square miles) to travel to Lubbock at least three times between 1900
and 1909 to administer communion.
Sally McKee Coleman died in 1910 Ė a year after Lubbock was
incorporated and four years before St. Paulís-on-the-Plains was
finished Ė but her tireless efforts to bring the Episcopal faith
to Lubbock were commemorated with an alter given in her name by the
Womenís Auxiliary and with a baptismal font now located at St.
Paulís on 16th and Avenue X, given by her son Max Coleman.
On January 11, 1914, Bishop Temple held the first services in the
unfinished building and confirmed Mrs. Roscoe Wilson and Miss Julia
Pickett. St. Paulís-on-the-Plains was officially dedicated May 7,
1914. A letter by Mary Elizabeth Randal gives us a glimpse of the
complications of worship experienced by this first small but ardent
ďThe first tiny St. Paulís Church was heated by a wood-and-coal
burning stove and the men in the congregation took turns stoking the
fire during the service. The members who sat away from the stove
froze in the wintertime and those closest to the stove fainted. At
Easter it was not considered a successful service unless at some
time someone would faint from the heat and had to be carried out.
Those were the days!Ē
By 1927, St. Paulís-on-the-Plains had outgrown the tiny chapel and
was moved to the corner of 16th and Avenue Q then expanded. It is at
the Avenue Q location that most will remember the church.
From 1927 to 1938, St. Paulís-on-the-Plains on Avenue Q played a
dynamic role in responding to the needs of students attending the
fledgling Texas Technological College. The Church provided holiday
homes and meals for stranded students, organized student parties,
and offered a Student Forum every Sunday evening with supper,
devotions, discussion, and social time.
By 1940, when the property was sold to A. M. Leftwich Sr. and the
new St. Paulís was built at 16yth and Avenue X, St.
Paulís-on-the-Plains boasted a membership of over 200, including a
number of prominent civic leaders:
Mr./Mrs. Jed and Wallace Rix, Mr./Mrs. Dick Arnett, Texas Tech
President Clifford B. Jones, Dean Mary Doak, Dr./Mrs. J. Michee, and
Dr./Mrs. William Curry Holden, just to name a few.
The LHSís restoration of St. Paulís-on-the-Plains has returned
the church to its original one-room frame structure, measuring 20í
x 30í with peaked roof, clapboard siding, Gothic windows and
double front doors, as well as the color of the original exterior
paint. The structure is substantially the earliest existing public
building documented in the City of Lubbock Historic Site Survey and
the only original church of any principal protestant denominations
to survive its pioneer beginnings.
With restoration, St. Paulís-on-the-Plains stands ready to serve
as a humble echo of the past and a noble promise for the future. It
was originally built, then lovingly restored, to nurture community.
The LHS is proud to present this revitalized gathering place to the
people of Lubbock.
~ excerpted from the LHS newsletter, Insite, Fall 1997
The Latest on St.
On June 22, 1997, St. Paulís-on-the-Plains Church
was official dedicated at its permanent site in the Lubbock Arboretum
at 4215 University. A crowd of over 200 joined in the celebration as
the LHS turned over the keys of this new public building to the City
The official ceremony also included a presentation of
$350.00 to the preservation effort by the Junior Historians of
Hutchinson Junior High. Through the guidance of history teacher Lonnie
Wheeler, this student group raised a total of $2,350.00 for St.
The District #2 Councilman T. J. Patterson performed
the official Ribbon Cutting for the City, accepting the keys to the
building from Tom Whiteside and taking the occasion to remind all of
the churchís original purpose and future promise through this
community preservation effort. Refreshments of homemade ice cream,
cookies and punch were served.
The restored church can be rented out for wedding
ceremonies at its current location at th the Lubbock Arboretum on 4215
The structure being moved to its current location.
Members of the LHS
greeting guests to our fall 2012 "Haunted Lubbock" evening
presentation at St. Paul's-on-the-Plains Church. More pictures from the
OTHER LUBBOCK HISTORIC
W. D. Benson House
A. B. Davis House
St. Paul's-on-the-Plains Church
Texas Tech Dairy Barn
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