First United Methodist Church, Glen Rose, Texas, celebrated more than our Savior's birth this past Christmas. The church's congregation also rejoiced at the completion of a newly-renovated sanctuary.
The historical church was built in 1885 and the existing sanctuary was erected in 1916. During recent construction, special measures were taken to protect and repair numerous stain glass windows of the sanctuary, which depict, in Gothic design, events in the life of Christ. Ten new stain glass windows also were added. In addition, a second floor was removed to create a more spacious ambience in the sanctuary. The sanctuary's seating capacity has now been increased to 317 worshippers.
Fort Worth-based Speed Fab-Crete, a 58-year-old full-service commercial builder specializing in design-build applications and Callahan & Freeman Architects cooperated on the historical church renovation. The project involved converting another existing building into classrooms and restrooms to create a fellowship hall adjacent to the sanctuary. Other building improvements included: replacement of the air conditioning and heating system; replacement of the roof; enhancement of the audio-visual capabilities; upgrading of the lighting system and adding insulation and gypboard to the existing 93-year-old interior 24-inch native stone walls.
During the project, workmen uncovered three chimneys, one of which served a fireplace. The other chimneys were smaller and presumably carried smoke from pot-belly stoves, used to warm the sanctuary.