By Steve Snyder
After 96 years in business, the First Presbyterian Church, which started in 1853, will close its doors on May 1.
Church leaders decided on that move earlier this month. Mayor Elizabeth Nelson, a member of First Presbyterian, said the church was down to 41 official members. She noted that with some of them in nursing homes, and others college students or otherwise away from Marlin, average Sunday worship was below 20 people.
The church began official, organized meeting in 1853 after first services in the area were started a year before that. It has been at its current location, and in its current building, on Capps Street across Oaks Street from the Marlin Public Library, for 96 years, but dwindling attendance and aging membership have led the church’s congregation to decide to close doors on May 1.
Only a handful of worshippers attend services there each week and the large sanctuary is no longer used.