Created By: Madison Main Street Program
How many feet tall is your church? That’s a question that Trinity United Methodist’s Pastor Rev. Dennis W. Ingle Sr. is often asked. His answer, “Two hundred twelve, the same number of degrees it takes to boil water.” He is, after all, a graduate from Ball State University with degrees in Biology and Chemical Technology.
Pastor Ingle, his staff and the congregation are wonderful stewards of the tallest building in Madison. They welcome all to enjoy the church’s rich history and unique features.
The architectural style of the church is Gothic Revival. So let’s explore the key features of a Gothic Revival structure. The most commonly identifiable feature is the pointed arch, used for windows, doors, and decorative elements.
The main entrance of the church is off Broadway Street. Notice how the arch above the doors and the tops of the windows in the doors are both pointed.
Limestone decorates the pointed arches on the Gothic windows.
Other characteristic details include steeply pitched roofs and ornamental front facing gables. Can you imagine being on the work crew putting slate shingles on the spire? They didn’t have cranes back then! Construction began in 1872 and the church was dedicated in 1874.
Buttresses are structural features found on ancient Gothic buildings. They were added to give extra support to exterior walls. Although they were unnecessary for this Gothic Revival structure, a nod was given to this historic building technique by adding small brick projections capped by limestone along the sides of the church, where buttresses historically would have been placed.
In 1967, an educational wing was added to the church’s west end. It stretches to the south and has its own entrance on West Main Street. This 20th century addition mimics features of the original Gothic Revival church with the pitch of its roof, pointed arch over the door, brick walls, and miniature decorative buttresses.
The church’s first pipe organ was installed in 1898. It was updated in 1990 with this impressive set of pipes installed on both sides of the pulpit. It is the largest pipe organ in southeast Indiana.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Loft Tour