Martin FUMC annex opening
By: By SARA REID, Staff Writer
Inscribed in black, shiny cursive writing on the newly-painted light brown wall sit three lines, simple yet strong: “Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors.”
It seems to be a fitting theme for the opening of a new annex to a church long known as a staple in the history of the city of Martin.
This past Sunday afternoon, the First United Methodist Church opened the doors of its new annex to the public for viewing in an open house.
Construction on the annex began in April 2006 and was completed in June 2007. The building has been in use since the completion, but the recent conclusion of key detailing helped make the open house a reality.
According to Alicia Pinto, co-chair of the Evangelism Committee, the new two-story annex houses a chapel, parlor, administrative offices, youth department, library and choir and handbell rooms, just to name a few items.
The former education annex that once stood in the place of the new annex was built between 1923 and 1927.
“Structurally, it would have taken a lot to redo the building,” Pinto explained, referring to the age of the former annex. “We really needed more space. The youth were located across the street, so it became necessary to consolidate everything into one building.”
“The building (former annex) was not handicap accessible,” Jack Reese, chairman of the building committee, added. “It wasn’t level. It wasn’t built on the same level as the sanctuary so there were definitely accessibility problems.”
The timeline for the life span of the historic church thus far includes:
•1876 – The first church building was a one-room frame structure built in early 1876 on the current lot.
•1896 – The current building housing the sanctuary was built in 1896 for $16,000. The original front pews, which cost $690.17 at that time, are still in use in the sanctuary.
•1901 – Electric lighting was installed.
•1915 – Pilcher organ was purchased.
•1980 – The pulpit area was enlarged.
•1983 – The needlepoint altar cushions were made by members of the United Methodist Women over a period of two years and were presented on April 10, 1983. They depict outstanding events in the history of the church.
•1923-27 – The former education annex was built.
•1972 – The Moller organ was purchased.
•1988 – The Education Building (with fellowship hall) was completed.
•1993-94 – The sanctuary was extensively renovated.
•1994 – The Moller organ was renovated.
•2006-07 – The former Education Annex was torn down and the new annex started in April 2006 was completed in June 2007.