The Payson Presbyterian Church at 160 S. Main in Payson, Utah was built in 1882. It has also been known as Payson Bible Church. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) in 1986; the listing included two contributing buildings.
According to its NRHP nomination, it is “one of a number of Protestant churches constructed in Utah during the 1870s-90s, the period of most concentrated and active missionary work by Protestants among the Mormons.”
It is also a contributing building in the Payson Historic District, which was listed on the National Register in 2007.
Here is the NRHP listing text:
The Payson Presbyterian Church, constructed in 1882, is a one-story
Gothic Revival brick building with a rectangular plan and a steeply pitched
gable roof with a bell tower. Despite a few minor alterations, the building
retains its historical integrity.
Evidence of the building’s Gothic Revival style is found in the use of
pointed arches over the windows and door and in the decorative bargeboards on
the gable end of the facade. Also located on the front gable are a circular
window and a decorative corbeled brick belt course which arches over the
window and door openings. All elevations of the building are symmetrically
composed, with four evenly spaced windows on each side and a central doorway
flanked by two windows on the facade. The bell tower, located at the peak of
the front gable, is an original feature. The building rests on a stone
Alterations made to the church over the years are minor and do not
significantly affect the building’s integrity. The most noticeable change is
the small one-story frame addition on the rear which was built sometime after
1930. The front doorway has been altered slightly by the replacement of the
original door with the existing modern one (n.d.) and by the removal of what
was probably a window or transom above that door; the opening itself has not
been altered, however. The only alteration of note on the interior is the
addition of a small, enclosed entrance vestibule.
There is one other building located on the property, a one-story brick
“education building” situated just south of the church building. Since it was
built in the 1970s it does not contribute to the significance of this property.
Built in 1882, the Payson Presbyterian Church is historically significant as
one of approximately ten remaining Presbyterian churches built in Utah as part
of the church’s missionary program among the Mormons during the late
nineteenth century. The Payson Presbyterian Church, which was the first
Protestant church built in Payson, served for over 25 years as both a school
and church, making it one of the longest-lived of the approximately 20
church/schools operated by the Presbyterians. The Presbyterian Church was one
of several Protestant denominations which operated day schools as an important
part of their missionary work among the Mormons in Utah. Though those
facilities were not successful at winning converts, they were effective in
providing some of the highest quality education available in Utah prior to the
establishment of a publically funded school system in the 1890s. The Payson
Presbyterian Church is also architecturally significant as one of the best
examples, if not the only example, of the Gothic Revival style in Payson.
Though an architectural survey of Payson has not yet been completed, it is
known that there are relatively few examples of the Gothic Revival style in
the community. The Gothic Revival style was a popular choice for small
Protestant churches throughout the state, though it was not common for Mormon
churches built during the same period.