Centenary United Methodist Church, located in the historic Brady Heights district, was originally founded in 1906 as the Tigert Memorial Methodist Church. It was named after a bishop who had died during the Annual Conference of the Methodist Church. As Tigert Memorial it had two buildings. The first was a frame structure, and the second, a brick building, was located in the 500 block of North Main Street.
In the 1920s the Methodist Church had a movement called the Centenary Movement which encouraged Methodists throughout the United States to contribute to the building of new Methodist churches. The present church, named after this movement, was relocated to 631 North Denver and opened in 1921.
The original building is built on what is called the “Akron Plan.” The pews in the sanctuary are curved and placed in five sections with two more located under the balcony. The balcony is also curved and divided into separate sections. Each section was to be used by a Sunday school class. At one time there was probably some type of divider which would have given more of a sense of privacy to each group. It is our understanding that the original church had a pipe organ located behind the filigree in the front of the sanctuary. The congregation was unable to make payments, so the organ was sold.
The educational wing of the church was added in the 1950s when the church membership peaked and every room was reportedly filled with Sunday school classes on Sunday mornings. Recent renovations have added ADA accessibility to the building and sanctuary.
The Narthex features marble panels on the walls and marble steps. The moldings against the ceiling and above the doors are plaster. The doors into the sanctuary are reported to be solid gum. The only items in this area that are not original are the glass entry doors.
The pews, which are curved, are solid walnut. They are said to have been donated by Waite Phillips. Everything in the sanctuary with the exception of the carpet, the lift, drapes and altar rail covering are original. The filigree in the front of the sanctuary is plaster as are the large beams on the ceiling and the moldings. The light fixtures can be lowered from the attic to replace bulbs. While the sanctuary is quite open, the acoustics are outstanding.
There are 124 stained glass windows in the building. They are of German glass and cannot be replaced. When any pane is broken, it has to be replaced with similar glass. The windows were appraised some years ago at approximately $1,800 each. They now are all covered with Lexan on the outside to prevent breakage and to increase fuel efficiency.
The filigree consists of a repeated pattern of the Fleur de Lis, which has been used as a symbol of the Trinity. The window design incorporates lilies which symbolize Easter and the new life in Christ. The border on the filigree is painted gold. Look closely and you will see that it is sheaves of grain bundled and bound. This represents the Bread of Life.