Aubrey First United Methodist Church has pre-Raphaelite-style windows that depict several stories of the Christian faith, including ones of the Nativity and of Christ praying in the Garden of Gethsemane.
The 680 square feet of stained-glass windows in the church’s sanctuary are made of Kokomo glass from an old U.S. manufacturer still in business today.
On Sunday, the church will dedicate its 1919 building as a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark.
The church was recognized as a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark last year for its architectural integrity and historical associations. The dedication is planned at 3 p.m. Sunday at the church, 113 Plum St. in Aubrey.
“Most of the windows have dedications to people who were active in the church at that point in time,” said Aubrey resident Deborah Goin, who was instrumental in obtaining the special recognition for her church.
The historical marker recognition will be the second for the city of Aubrey, said Beth Stribling, marker chairwoman with the Denton County Historical Commission.
Aubrey First Christian Church, also built in 1919, received a historical marker in 2005.
A tornado destroyed both churches in 1918; and the Thomas and Yarbrough Construction Co. of Dallas rebuilt both churches in 1919, Stribling said.
Aubrey First United Methodist Church, now a one-story brick-veneer building — about 60 feet by 40 feet and 24 feet high — was first established in 1858. The congregation back then met in the Key School House, according to the historical marker application.
The church’s marker is significant for the county, Stribling said, adding that the county’s historical commission paid $1,600 to get the marker, something it would not normally do.
“We co-sponsored the application with the church,” she said. “It was a big commitment since we hardly ever pay for the marker, but it helped us move it forward.”
Goin, a member of Aubrey First United Methodist since 1995, said she began filling out the application to get recognition for the church in 2008 — during the 150th year of the church’s existence.
Soon after, Goin stopped doing the needed research for the application, since she had a death in the family, she said.
Goin, who has lived in Aubrey for most of her life, said the recognition was something she really wanted to get done.
Her father’s grandmother and great-grandmother were members of the church, which was known in 1886 as Aubrey Methodist Church.
In its early days, the church was part of the Dallas Methodist Church. It was also affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.
In 1939, the three branches of Methodism (the Methodist Protestant Church, the Methodist Episcopal Church and the Methodist Episcopal Church, South), united to become the Methodist Church, Stribling said. In 1968, the Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethen Church were combined to form the United Methodist Church, according to the historical marker application.
The recognition of Aubrey First United Methodist is the 14th historic landmark designation granted to structures in Denton County.
Given its long history, the church’s congregation could also receive a congregation marker from the commission, Stribling said.
“But we saw the value in the beautiful building,” she said.
During the marker and dedication ceremony, the Rev. Joe Gist of Aubrey First United Methodist will speak.
The event is free and open to the public.
“It is really an honor for the church and the congregation,” Gist said. “It is a great thing to have this recognition from the state, not only for it [building] architecturally, but for the contribution the congregation has made all these years.”
Stribling said an application to recognize the Belew Cemetery as a historic Texas cemetery has also been approved by the Texas Historical Commission. A dedication will be scheduled for May 2013, she said.
KARINA RAMÍREZ can be reached at 940-566-6878. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.