2017 Solomon Awards

Design & Construction

Solomon Awards Cliff Temple Baptist Church

A 120-year-old church connects with a thriving North Oak Cliff Urban community with a 9,000 sq-ft renovation of an existing Fellowship Hall to accommodate a new Contemporary worship service. The Shanks Architects designed renovation includes an adjacent Café that has become the connection hub for fellowship.

WFM Staff  ·  September 26, 2017

In 1898, Cliff Temple Baptist Church began its ministry to the Oak Cliff community…a thriving Dallas “suburb.” 

As Dallas grew, the church became one of the fastest growing congregations and the third largest SBC church, behind only FBC Dallas and Bellevue Baptist, Memphis, in a time span between the 1920s and the 1950s. 

With the exponential growth of the DFW region beginning in the 1970s and continuing to the present, this “suburban church” found itself an urban church without leaving the three-block campus that it has occupied for well over 100 years. 

A much smaller and older congregation, determined to stay and minister to the local…now decidedly multi-cultural…community. 

In recent years, the congregation has recognized a changing need as the North Oak Cliff community is experiencing transformation with the development of the Bishop Arts District. 

Again, without moving, the church finds itself at the doorstep of a changing ministry need as young adults flock to this area.  Without changing the character of the campus, church leaders determined to methodically upgrade and repurpose major areas of these existing facilities. 

Shanks Architects was engaged to renovate and re-purpose the existing early-1980s Fellowship Hall to be a more conducive multi-purpose venue and to accommodate the new contemporary worship service. 

Included in this 9,000 sq-ft renovation is the upgrading of all interior finishes and the incorporation of new audio, lighting and video systems as well as LED lighting throughout.  In addition, a Café was created…carving out space from a corner of the original Fellowship Hall and at the intersection of two primary corridors. 

This Café is fully outfitted to provide specialty coffees and hand-crafted espresso drinks. 

While not as large as many large church “third-places” …the overall composition serves to expand the adjacent Atrium Lobby and has become the center of connection activity. 

The renovation has energized the church as it has responded to and fostered a new expectation of excellence within the fellowship and beyond, to its ever-changing community…and serves as an example for thousands of older, urban churches seeking to connect with their communities.


Design & Construction · Awards · Solomon Awards · Church Design – Gathering and Community Spaces · All Topics

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