First Christian Church

On Monday, March 18th, 2013 the 1880’s First Christian Church, Owensboro Kentucky was struck by lightning and was lost to an early morning fire. The devastation was total. In 2014, the church asked that the new architecture for this existing site should “honor, not replicate the past” and it must be “welcoming”.

At the heart of the building, new gothic hammer-beam exposed trusses in the Sanctuary reference back to the original wood detailing. The wood ceilings at the interior extend to the exterior with exposed wood soffits and wood brackets at generous overhangs to create a warm and welcoming feel. The major different between the old and the new is the feeling of transparency with large expanses of gothic glass windows so the community can see the energy of the church inside, and the congregation can enjoy an abundance of controlled natural daylight.

Existing stone foundation walls from the former church will be incorporated into a new columbarium and exterior garden space.


First Christian Church


Owensboro, Kentucky


30,000 SF



Wendell Thompson Photography