Grapeland community restores oldest landmark in town - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Grapeland community restores oldest landmark in town

HOUSTON COUNTY, TX (KTRE) -

This building has stood in the heart of Grapeland for 119 years.

"Everytime I go into the church I feel like I am surrounded by family members,"  said Vicki Braun, a Grapeland community member. 

Braun's great-great granduncle was the very first pastor of First Christian Memorial Church. she said this church is practically knitted into the fabric of the community.

" The church really has a tremendous significance for people here in Grapeland they have family memories of weddings and baptism," Braun said.

The stories that happened behind these walls are endless.

"I remember coming to vacation bible school and we would come down the back stair and we would come out this way because that was the only way the children could come downstairs without making any noise," Braun said.

In 1990 church members decided it was time to close the churches doors. Shortly after residents step in to save the historic landmark.

"When we were raising money for pew cushions people donated to buy a cushion for a particular pew and we had plaques made and they wanted to make sure that those plaques were placed on the pews where their families had sat," Braun said.

The restoration has continued to this day. Currently crews have worked around the clock to place each hand cut tiles one by one onto the steeple.

"In the long run we want this church as beautiful as it was originally and true to historical accuracy as it was," Braun said.

She hopes that its existence continues for another 119 years

Copyright 2014 KTRE. All rights reserved.

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