First Christian Church of Paradise
Main Street (Loop 444) and CR 3267, Paradise
During the late 1880s, members of this church held home worship services in Old Town, the original Paradise townsite (1.5 miles southwest). The arrival of the Rock Island Railroad sent residents to this location, which was nearer to the rail line. Sometime after the move, the First Christian Church of Paradise was chartered. During the early 1900s, three of the twenty-nine charter members became the original trustees. Merchant M. D. Cansler, school superintendent S. L. Atkins, and land owner and cotton farmer Fred Harms were responsible for purchasing the land and constructing a building for the church. This Gothic revival structure was built about 1905 by local contractor Will Plymell. The steeple houses the original church bell. At one time, the number of attending members dwindled to as few as three, yet worship services have continued to be held throughout the church's history. Over the years the First Christian Church of Paradise has reflected the determination and ideals of its founders. With historic ties to the old and new Paradise townsites, it is a significant part of the area's heritage.