St. Paul United Methodist Church is 144 years old — and a comeback kid.
Even as it’s gained National Register of Historic Places status, this storied but small African-American church in Dallas is undergoing renewal.
Attendance is up. Social outreach is brisk. And in the pulpit is the Rev. Richie Butler, who is winning local recognition as a race relations bridge-builder.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that the public witness of The United Methodist Church is stronger because of Richie’s presence and voice in the city of Dallas,” said North Texas Conference Bishop Michael McKee.
Butler, 45, has initiated a Year of Unity project, recruiting an interracial leadership team that includes former President George W. Bush, a United Methodist, as honorary chair.
The effort will, Butler believes, benefit Dallas while helping to raise St. Paul United Methodist’s profile as a community force.
“God has called this church not to become history, but to make history,” Butler said.