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Historic church stands as San Marcos landmark

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First United Methodist Church is located at 29 W. Hutchison Street.
First United Methodist Church is located at 29 W. Hutchison Street.
Photo By Ali Mumbach

The First United Methodist Church in San Marcos stands as a piece of history while still serving as a place of worship. Its welcoming atmosphere and Gothic architecture has remained close to the same for 126 years.

The sanctuary has undergone minor construction to preserve its uniqueness, as it’s well known for its Gothic revival appearance.

Built in 1893, the church is a landmark of San Marcos. The structure stands out among the progression the city has undergone over many years.

Russell Bolwin, associate pastor at First United Methodist Church, joined the church in 2017. His appreciation for its design has given him inspiration, and he enjoys working with the church.

“This church is the only active remaining Gothic structure in the country,” Bowling said. “My favorite aspect of the church is it’s cruciform structure.”

At bird’s eye view, the church is shaped like a cross, a design common in churches during the Middle Ages.

The church is well known for its bell tower. The building has two spires, one with a bell and one without. The bell that was hung from the spire on site was said to be gifted to the church from a relative of Indian agent, Benjamin Hawkins, who was appointed by George Washington.

The bell remains part of the church, even after multiple reconstructions on the church’s site.

Additionally, the church served as inspiration for Old Main; the church’s gothic-style gives the two structures an uncanny resemblance.

Joshua Garza, marketing sophomore, said he appreciates the fact the church continues to lend a hand to maintain the beauty of San Marcos.

“The building has a sharp design, which makes it really stand out against the rest,” Garza said. “That’s what makes it special, especially since it’s right in the middle of the city.”

The Gothic style has made it a unique and a memorable structure in town. Ben Hutchins, volunteer for First United Methodist Church, pointed out some of his favorite aspects of the sanctuary.

“Overall, (the structure) is visually appealing,” Hutchins said. “The bell is historically well known.”

First United Methodist Church has shared the sanctuary with its followers for over 126 years. Preserving the church has been a priority, as well as continuing to establish a safe environment to share peace with one another.

The historic site is located at 29 W. Hutchison Street in downtown San Marcos. The interior of the church is as appealing on the outside as the inside, so visits are well worth it.

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