Dallas’ Oldest Church; according to the Gospel Guardian in 1951 was known as the Pearl and Bryan Streets Church of Christ has had a most unusual history. Beginning in 1855, the first members of the congregation consisted of the Shephard, Cole, Miller, Peak, and Heard families, with perhaps a few others not remembered. This little group moved into the courthouse for their regular meetings in 1857, and were known as the “First Christian Church.”
The church sold the old property on Ross Avenue in 1880; and in 1881 purchased a portion of ground on Pearl and Bryan Streets. The first church building to be constructed on this site was a brick structure built in 1881. It was replaced with a larger building in 1902, which was enlarged into the present house of worship in 1924, at a cost of $50,000.00.
Brother James S. Dunn began his work with a gospel meeting, and it was during this meeting that brother William Lipscomb was fatally shot in the meeting house. He served as principal of the old Dallas Central High school, now Crozier Technical High school. One of the janitors of the school, John T. Carlisle, had been dismissed by the board of trustees, and he felt that brother Lipscomb had prompted the board to dismiss him. Brooding over the matter, Carlisle developed a bitter grudge against Lipscomb, and determined to kill him.
On Monday evening, July 10, 1899, at the close of the sermon, as the congregation was singing the invitation song, “Why Do You Wait Dear Brother?”, (led by T. J. Lynn, father of Moore Lynn), Carlisle was seen coming into the side door of the building. He walked slowly down the aisle leading toward the preacher. Brother and sister Lipscomb, who had been seated on the front row of seats, were standing with the rest of the congregation during the singing of the song. When Carlisle came within a few steps of brother Lipscomb, he drew a revolver and fired several shots into Lipscomb’s body. Lipscomb was carried to the hospital, but died two days later.