Historical Notes: Community Presbyterian Church

One of the oldest churches continually serving Benson is the Presbyterian church. It was originally located on the corner of 6th and Patagonia where the present day Seventh Day Adventist church is now located. As the congregation grew so did the Presbyterian church with new additions until the present-day modern church on Huachuca Street was built. A fire burned the old church building to the ground in the early 1980s. Although the present day modern looking Presbyterian church fits well in the 20th century it does lack one modern day requirement and that is air conditioning, a requirement in southern Arizona. When the original Presbyterian church burned so did the middle school and high school just a block away. With the recent demolition of the former 1st Baptist church on the opposite corner of 6th and Patagonia the whole history of Patagonia street south of 4th street has been erased.

The original Presbyterian church looking west from Patagonia and 6th street when first built in 1905. The Industrial School built in 1902 is shown in the background.
The Presbyterian church after the Industrial School was torn down in 1913. This building was damaged by fire in the 1930s and many new additions were added on before fire totally destroyed it in 1980. View looking southwest from Patagonia street.

The Presbyterian church in the 1950s (now “T” shaped), looking southwest, taken from an Arial view. Benson High school (where the old Industrial school used to stand) can be seen top left before both the school and church burned in the 1980s. The roof of the original bell tower can be seen. In this picture, taken in the 1960s, multiple additions had been added all after the fire in the early 1900s when the church was first rebuilt.

The present Presbyterian church on Huachuca St. was built replaced the old Presbyterian church at the corner of 6th and Patagonia which burned to the ground in the early 1980s.

(Ed. note — the striking A-frame sanctuary was actually built in about 1959 although the classrooms and fellowship hall were not completed until years later. I remember attending this new church in the late 50’s.)

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