from The Hood County News, 17 November 2007
(Edited to eliminate material not related to the church)
By Pete Kendall, Staff Writer
Church building photos by Mary Vinson
The original First Christian Church building was located at the intersection of Houston and Bluff streets. It was acquired by the Chrysalis Foundation for $55,000 in 1991 and moved to the intersection of Brazos and Bridge streets in 1992. It now serves as the Concert Hall at Tarleton State’s Langdon Center
Tarleton’s Langdon Center Concert Hall has been frequently lauded for what it is – an immaculate one-story, acoustically pure home for the arts. It is less remembered for what it was, the First Christian Church of Granbury, built by members of the congregation in 1889 at the southeast corner of Houston and Bluff streets. The deed to the building was filed in Hood County on April 22, 1889. It’s remembered hardly at all for what it was in between, a cumbersome structure that was lifted from its foundation and moved from Houston and Bluff streets to its present location of Brazos and Bridge in the middle of the night on May 12, 1992. A day later, the Hood County News offered the following description of the real estate transition: “Finally. “After at least five postponements, the historic First Christian Church was moved to its new home early Tuesday.
“Beginning at 3 a.m., movers transported the 102-year-old church from its South Houston Street location to Chrysalis Foundation property at the intersection of Bridge and Brazos streets, said Granbury Community Development director Walt Hardin. The move was finished just after 6:30 a.m., he reported.
“The biggest obstacle movers encountered was a close call with the Nutshell Eatery as the church was moved north on South Crockett Street, Hardin said. The church came within an inch of the Nutshell building, he said.
“Some businesses and residences were without power about 3 1/2 hours Tuesday, Hardin stated. site, said Chrysalis Foundation director Bob Fredericks.
“The foundation purchased the vacant building for $55,000 last November. Chrysalis is a foundation created for the purpose of advancing the arts in Hood County and providing assistance to young musicians.
“Chrysalis plans to convert the First Christian Church to a 110-seat concert hall. The hall will be used for recitals for Chrysalis students and other musical and cultural programs.”
. First Christian Church of Granbury can trace its roots to Add-Ran College of Thorp Spring, now known as Texas Christian University of Fort Worth.
In 1873, Joseph Addison Clark and sons Addison and Randolph created the Add-Ran Male and Female College 3.8 miles northwest of Granbury, near Thorp Spring.
Randolph Clark reported finding a small group of “Campbellites” meeting in the courthouse with the livery stable owner, J.H. Harbison, preaching on Sundays.
The frame structure was erected in 1889. It was home for 97 years. “Most of that time, the ministers came out here only on Sundays from TCU,” pastor Tom Reeder said. “My best guess is that the first congregation in 1873 had 30 to 40 people.”
At that time, Disciples of Christ followers worshipped with members later to form the Church of Christ. “Some years after Add-Ran was here, the groups went their separate ways,” Reeder said, “and that history depends on whom you talk to.” Structurally, the Concert Hall looks much the same outside as it did before the move.
“I’ve been told that the ceiling area was redone,” Reeder said. “I would guess it was more of a suspended ceiling before. I don’t think it was open all the way to the top (as at present).” The new First Christian Church was opened for business Easter Sunday in 1986.
Pete Kendall can be reached at (817) 573-7066, ext. 254, or e-mail email@example.com