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On November 27, 1911, the North Texas Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church – South appointed Reverend J. Leonard Rea to serve as minister of a proposed parish to be known as Tyler Street Methodist Episcopal Church.
The Tyler Street congregation was organized in the home of Mr. and Mrs. W. O. Forrester, 511 West Tenth Street on January 29, 1912. In 1919 a new building site at the corner of Tenth and Polk Streets was purchased for $5,000. In 1921 the congregation moved into the sub-story of its new structure and chose to retain its “Tyler Street” name.
By 1923 the church was debt free, had a healthy building fund and resumed construction of the upper levels of the sanctuary.
In 1926 the first of the church’s beautiful stained-glass windows was donated. Similar gifts followed, and the windows and dome of the sanctuary beautifully illustrate the gospel message to all who enter.
Tyler Street saw some of her darkest hours during the Great Depression when served notice to pay her indebtedness or face foreclosure. On Good Friday, 1932, the building was padlocked, and Tyler Street members celebrated Easter Sunday at the Rosewin Theatre on West Jefferson. The church shared facilities with Calvary Baptist until they obtained the use of the Sunset High School auditorium where services were held for nine months.
Through the commitment and determination of the membership, and with the financial assistance of the North Texas Conference; the church renegotiated a contract with the lending institution, and the church was reopened in the fall of 1933. In seven years the indebtedness was retired, and the building was dedicated on December 29, 1940.
The congregation continued to grow, and by 1950 had the largest Sunday School enrollment of the 40,000 Methodist Churches in the United States. The Tyler Street congregation completed a Religious Education Building for children, air conditioned the sanctuary, installed a pipe organ, built the Chapel of the Cross and were instrumental in “voting out of Oak Cliff the sale of alcoholic liquors.”
The 1960’s were times of tremendous change, but Tyler Street met the challenge. Another education building was built as well as administrative offices and the C.H.C. Anderson Fellowship Hall. In 1966, the sanctuary burned as a result of an electrical malfunction in the pipe organ. It was necessary to remodel, but fortunately much of the original woodwork, pews and stained glass escaped irreparable damage.
In 1968, the Methodist Church merged with the Evangelical United Brethren Church, and the congregation became officially known as Tyler Street United Methodist Church.
With the 1970’s came the completion of a 16-story retirement home, Tyler Street Manor; the founding of Tyler Street Christian Academy; and the Community Service Outreach ministry was begun.
The 1990’s saw both the church and the academy embark on capital campaigns. The church’s sub-story was totally renovated, and the academy moved into a beautiful new facility in December 2001.
For over 100 years, Tyler Street has been blessed with pastors and lay leaders whose foremost vision was to spread the gospel of Christ.