Rogers: 130-year-old Central Texas church holds final service

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ROGERS, Texas (KWTX) After 130-years of services, the doors of the First United Methodist Church in Rogers closed for the final time on Sunday, a victim of the passage of time and a shrinking congregation.

(Photo by Alex Cano)

The closing saddens member Toni Necas Shenkir.

“I’ve been the treasurer for the last 3 ½ years and I knew it was coming to that and we tried,” she said.

“We all got together, because it’s not just one person’s decision, and we all decided it was time,” she said.

Since 1889, people from Rogers and nearby towns came to worship at the church.

The Texas Historical Commission placed a Texas Historical Marker at the church in 1977.

Fire destroyed the original church building in 1985, but the congregation rebuilt in 1986.

“Slowly over the last five years, many members have passed away from an older congregation and we didn’t have the financial resources to continue,” the church’s pastor, Brian Brice, said.

The congregation looked at other options before deciding to close the doors for good.

“”We thought about starting it at the high school gym or in a downtown building and changing the way the worship was and we played with a lot of different ideas of how we could carry on First Methodist Church,” Brice said.

“The church never really closes, the church is the people and the people they always go on,” Brice said.

Families like Shenkir’s had been part of the church for many years.

Now Shenkir says she and others are looking for a new house of worship.

“It was a place when if you were sad from a loss of a loved one that you were able to be uplifted,” Shenkir said.