St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Presidio County, Texas
30 18.845' N 104 01.320' W
Directions: Start at the intersection of Washington Street and Highland Street. The church is on the northeast corner of the intersection.
Text: English natives John and Mary (Walker) Humphris came to Texas in the early 1870s and arrived in Marfa in 1883. John, his brother-in-law, James Walker, and partner Charles Murphy founded Humphris and Co., which became the largest mercantile between El Paso and San Antonio. Mary, a devout Episcopalian, organized the Union Protestant Sunday School, which met in the Humphris home with Mary teaching from the Bible and the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. John built an adobe church near their home to serve as a Union Protestant Church serving many denominations. The building on West Dallas Street became the San Pablo Mexican Methodist mission. In 1897, Bishop John Mills Kendrick gave permission to Marfa Episcopalians to build a separate church named St Paul's. Elizabeth Livesay donated lots on Highland Avenue and John and Mary Humphris paid for the building. The church was established as a mission of the Cathedral Church of St. John's in Albuquerque. In November 1928, the Chamber of Commerce hotel committee purchased the St. Paul's lot, and the Paisano Hotel was built on that site. In March 1929, Bishop Frederick B. Howden bought lots facing the Courthouse square from W.A. and Maudie Hord for a new church. Architect and engineer R. H. Mull drew initial plans, which were finalized by the El Paso architectural firm of Braunton and McGhee, who followed Mull's plans but designed a larger parish hall and an apartment for a resident priest. The Gothic Revival style church, completed in 1930, is built with hollow clay tile walls and river rock masonry exterior facing. Prominent features include lancet windows, and entry faced with a white stone surround, and a tall steeple. The oldest Protestant church in the the Big Bend region, St. Paul's continues to serve as a spiritual beacon and a center for community activities.