Marlin: Dwindling Congregation Votes To Close Doors Of Historic Church

MARLIN (January 14, 2014) The First Presbyterian Church of Marlin began meeting in 1853 and has been in its present building on Capps Street for 96 years, but dwindling attendance and aging membership led the church’s congregation to close the doors on May 1.

Only a handful of worshippers attend services there each week and the large sanctuary is no longer used.

Recently the church board and members met with the regional presbytery and decided that unless they are able to find another church willing to combine with theirs, the doors will be closed for good.

Church leader Anna Steele has been a member for more than half a century.

“My husband's funeral was here it's just sad, I don't want it to end,” she said.

Marlin Mayor Elizabeth Nelson is also a member of the church.

“It’s a very sad feeling as you look around this building you feel the history that is exhibited here."

Steele and Nelson both say they hope that as the word gets out, another church who may be searching for a building may talk with combining with their small group to keep the doors open.

The large church complex covers a city block, including the sanctuary, fellowship hall, education wing and a 3,000-square-foot manse.

The last pastor moved out a week ago.

"I pray every day we can keep it open,” Steele said.

“Help me understand it, what does He want us to do?" she said.

"We will know, we'll know,” she said.

If the church does close its doors, ownership of the complex will be transferred to the Dallas Presbytery.

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