First United Methodist Church, Fort Worth, TX
800 West Fifth St., Fort Worth, TX 76102
Type of Prayer Place
This amazingly beautiful church has both a prayer room and a chapel in which you can pray. The prayer room is located in a small vaulted vestibule with faux painted stone walls near the door connecting the main sanctuary with the church office wing. It features a wooden altar piece with a kneeling rail and a number of vintage side chairs and amber frosted windows. When I knelt at the altar and began to pray, I was delighted by a small round glass vase with a few fresh daises and carnations on either side of the cross, a small touch that felt welcoming and gracious and that someone cared about this prayer area. Because the altar rail was so close to the altar, I could smell the sweet scent of the carnations as I closed my eyes.
The chapel is located on the other end of the church from the sanctuary and was originally used for church services before the present sanctuary was constructed. The minute I stepped into it, I felt God’s presence. I felt this went beyond the beauty of the place – the jewel toned stained glass windows, the vintage pews, the soaring ceiling with the amazing painted designs on it. It could be due to the fact that as I entered the chapel from the side, the first sight was of the vintage wooden altar area on which was placed a plain white bowl and pitcher set along with the usual candles and open Bible. This unexpected piece alone was well worth meditating on. The ceilings as well. And also the stained glass windows as I was told that they told the whole story of the Bible in very subtle symbolism.
I also found that there were outdoor public areas at the church that would provide places of prayer and meditation. The most notable is a courtyard to the side of the sanctuary with a life size statue of Jesus with outstretched arms. The cool shade of large trees coupled with a nearby bench makes this a great place for prayer. Another unusual feature of this courtyard is an outdoor stone pulpit. I was told that in the days before air conditioning church services were held here in the summer when it was too hot inside.
A final opportunity for contemplation is in the plaza/parking area in the front of the church that features a huge statue of Christ holding a Bible and with a hand pointed heavenward.
How I used this place of prayer
I spent a moment of prayer in both the prayer chapel and the chapel, thanking God for the beauty of the place, His presence, and praying God’s blessings for the church.
Contact Information / Sponsoring Organization
During the week, enter through the Administration hall doorway, which is located on the left back of the Sanctuary facing the church. Also, be sure to go to the landing of the second floor in the first stairway on the left just inside the door. There you’ll find an unusual wooden sculpture of Christ on a donkey formerly used in the Philippines.
If you’re there on Sunday, be sure to attend a worship service to enjoy the incredible sanctuary.
Added by Karen Barber on July 12, 2012