The Bible probably had as great an impact on life in frontier Texas as the rifle and the plow, and as early settlements grew into towns and, finally, cities, area churches were mainstays of community life.
One of Denton’s oldest churches is celebrating a milestone of note today, and we offer heartfelt congratulations to members of St. Andrew Presbyterian Church as they celebrate the church’s 150th anniversary.
The church’s roots run deep.
It was in November of 1862 that a group of six families led by the Rev. R.R. Dunlap organized First Cumberland Presbyterian Church, according to a church history. It was the third congregation in Denton, and in 1874, its members were the first to put up a permanent building, choosing a location on the corner of West Oak and Bolivar streets.
Numerous Presbytery changes followed, along with name changes, until in 1959, the congregation voted to change its name for the final time to St. Andrew Presbyterian Church.
Members began construction of the current sanctuary in 1941, and the first worship service there was held the following year.
A special worship service is planned at 10 a.m. today at the church home, 300 W. Oak St., as the culminating event of the 150th anniversary celebration, and members have invited the entire Denton community to attend.
Suitably, proclamations from state Rep. Myra Crownover and Denton Mayor Mark Burroughs are scheduled to be presented, and “From Everlasting to Everlasting,” an anthem written by Adam La Spata especially for the occasion, will be performed by the St. Andrew Chancel Choir. The morning’s music will also include a bagpiper and a brass quartet and Scottish drums.
Throughout its history, St. Andrew has played a key role in the lives of Denton residents. It houses Our Daily Bread, a community soup kitchen that serves free meals Monday through Friday to the hungry and homeless in Denton; The Children’s Place, a community preschool, and The Treehouse, an after-school program for elementary students.
Another landmark event
Just to the north of Denton, another church will celebrate a landmark event today when members of Aubrey First United Methodist Church dedicate the 1919 church 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. today at the church, 113 Plum St. in Aubrey.
Aubrey First United Methodist Church was established in 1858, and the current building replaced an earlier structure destroyed by a tornado in 1918.
The recognition is the 14th historic landmark designation granted to structures in Denton County.
During the marker and dedication ceremony, the Rev. Joe Gist of Aubrey First United Methodist is scheduled to speak. The event is free and open to the public.
Both of these historical churches have had significant impact on Denton County history, and we salute their members today and join them in celebrating these special achievements.