Riverside Evangelistic Temple – Chandler

Thurman Scheumack purchased this site in 1938 from J.A. McAdams, who built the nearby McAdams Building on 3126 E. Belknap Street. The church built a new sanctuary on this site in 1939 replacing their 1934 tabernacle at Riverside Drive and Plumwood Street. Scheumack hired architect Alex B. Withers to design the new church. Wither’s design is a particularly unique Moderne style church. The main sanctuary has a gable roof and the stucco walls are painted white. The sanctuary’s front facade is notable for its compositional details and entry. This symmetrical design has a central segmental arched window set in the middle of a sun burst pattern radiating out to form the front gable. Raised banding with black tile insets surrounds the window; the banding joins the central window to the smaller flanking vertical windows. The entrances flanking the central block repeat the banding design in their half-circle porticos, and the chevron pattern over the portico recalls the sunburst of the central block. The 1941 stepped-gable education building to the south sensitively repeats the form and details of the sanctuary. A fire in 1948 damaged about fifty percent of the sanctuary, but it was rebuilt following the original plans. In 1984, the church celebrated its fiftieth anniversary with pastor Thurman Scheumack still leading the congregation. The church may be eligible for the National Register because of its architectural merit.

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