Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | December 9, 2012

Churches Come And Go

There is something about old and abandoned buildings that stirs my imagination and excites my curiosity. On a recent two-day trek down Texas backroads, I photographed several old buildings, long abandoned and slowly being reclaimed by the elements. One structure in particular beckoned me to pull off the road just outside of Muldoon, a tiny community with a population of a little more than one-hundred. It was an old church building with only the vertical section of a cross remaining on the steeple. When it first came into view on the two-lane road, I slowed down and then pulled off the road. There was no way I was going to pass up the opportunity to explore this old building.

Old Church

Old Church Front Door
As I made my way through the dry overgrowth, I noticed that the front door of the building was open. I grew up in a small town in the days when church buildings remained open all day and, in some cases, all night. In fact, I never recall the door to my childhood home ever being locked when I was growing up. In all of the years I lived at home, I never had a house key. Either someone was always home or the door remained unlocked. At any rate, I was glad to find an open door when I approached the old church building.

Old Church Interior
Once inside the building, I noticed the few remaining pews on either side of the red-carpeted aisle. Everything in the building was covered with the dandruff of decay. I paused for a moment and tried to imagine what things must have looked like when the building was new and wondered how many brides had walked down the short distance to the altar. I had to remind myself that this was not the church, only the building where the church had once met for a season.

Old Church Quarterlies
The signs that this had once been a place where people studied the Scriptures were evident. Old Sunday School quarterlies littered the floor, some with the fading names of the members written on the covers. Once again, I could not help but wonder about those who had studied those lessons and perhaps made some life-changing decisions in this old country church building. In a way it did not matter so much that these old lesson books were strewn on the floor because what really matters is what the folks who studied here carried away in their hearts.

Old Church Pulpit View
Standing in the pulpit and looking toward the pews, I wondered about those who had stood in that same spot over the years. How many sermons and weddings and funerals had taken place there? What about special seasonal observances or musical presentations? The history of what happened in that building is lost to all but those who worshiped there. But, without question, so much must have happened in this humble little building throughout the years.

Old Church Exit
After lingering for a while I made my way slowly down the aisle toward the exit. Once again the open door beckoned me out toward the world at large, the place where we are to live out our faith. And again I wondered about how many people might have left this place a little different than when they walked in and more determined to love God and love people. That’s really the way we should always leave our places of worship — changed for the better, a little more in love with God, and always available to both share and demonstrate His love to others in practical and measurable ways.

My visit to the abandoned old church building reminded me that all churches have seasons. Churches come and churches go, but the kingdom of God always remains. It is the constant. That’s why every church — body of believers — should invest in the kingdom of God and in the kind of initiatives that will outlast them and their buildings. And that’s why every body of believers should equip its members to be the church beyond the confines of the buildings where they meet. What happens at the church building should never stay at the church building but should instead be shared and lived out among a world in need.


  1. Amen to that my brother! Love Ya ~

    • Thanks, John. Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas. Thanks for your good work for the kingdom.

      • Thanks Bro. Omar, Merry Christmas to you all also. Tracy and I have been planning to come worship with you all at your 8:00 am service some time soon. Hopefully we’ll see you there. Thanks for all of the great works you do for the kingdom! You inspire me to keep pressing on!

  2. Your words and photos bless me!

  3. The abandoned buildings excites my curiosity as well. Your pictures are very similar to the ones I just saw in the article devoted to urban explorers in Toronto and I have to say that their activity immediately caught my attention. Even though I never visited such places in order to take photos it really seems very exciting to me now and as an amateur photographer I have to admit the pictures are really very impressive with a particular atmosphere I’d like to experience.

    • There are so many adventures close to home just waiting for explorers driven by curiosity and armed with cameras. Blessings to you as you venture out with your camera. Thanks for your kind comment.

  4. Love this story and the pictures. Abandoned building like this are fascinating because of the stories that they leave behind. Thanks for sharing this.

    • Yes, indeed. If only walls could talk!

  5. Reblogged this on 518 Student Ministries.

    • Thanks so much, James. I hope we have an opportunity to travel together again among the nations in the future.

  6. O, thank you for reminding me that every day I desire to pray that God would change me that day to be more like Jesus. I don’t want to stay the same. I want to grow in His knowledge and love. Thanks for a great devo for me.

    • Thanks for your friendship, service, and the good example that you set for all of us at Kingsland, Mike.

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