Iglesia Metodista Unida de San Juan

1507 University Avenue
Lubbock, TX 79401

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Established in 1939, St. John’s was at first announced by Methodist Bishop Ivan Lee Holt to be located one mile south of campus to serve faculty and students of Texas Technological College. Several Methodist faculty members, encouraged by Sallie Maud Horn, widow of Texas Tech’s first president Paul W. Horn, petitioned for a site, closer to campus. The bishop agreed and work began to find a temporary site for church gatherings.
Preston Smith, a charter member of the new church and later Governor of Texas, was approached about lending the Tech Theater, a motion picture theater, for worship services. The Rev. R. Luther Kirk was appointed to lead “the church that was not,” and the first service was held at the theater on December 10, 1939. St. John’s continued to meet in the Tech Theater or occasionally in Seaman Hall, the Episcopal Student Center, until September 15, 1940, when services were first held in the new church building at 14th and Avenue X. Soon after, the congregation required more space and a new sanctuary was built in 1952 on University Avenue.
With a slogan of “Open Hearts, Open Arms, and Open Minds,” St. John’s has been a congregation with a tremendous sense of civic responsibility and deep concern for those in need. Activities and Programs have included assisting migrant workers in the 1950s and 60s with child care at the Migrant Day Center, making health kits, providing health screening clinics for the community in the 1960s and 70s, and numerous mission trips. Since the 1970s, the St. John’s/St. Paul’s Benevolence Program has focused on feeding the hungry. Imbued with a “loving energy,” St. John’s will continue to meet challenges with a spiritual and social conscience.


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