A Commitment to Caring for Our Families and Our Community Since 1964
The first worship service held by the congregation of what is now St. Marks United Methodist Church was held on May 24, 1964. Both morning and evening services were held in a portable “dismountable building,” which had been sited by the Dallas Board of Church Extension and was pastored by the generosity of the Methodist Church. Twenty six families consisting of 87 people became the first group of Charter Members of St. Marks Methodist Church on June 14, 1964.
After three years of leadership by the Rev. John J. Rasmussen Jr., the congregation through prayer and hard work moved into the first unit of the master plan on July 16, 1967. The first unit was a multi-purpose building which was designed to be used as a Sanctuary/ Fellowship Hall, Theatre, Dining Room/Church School. The solidly built building would cost $160,000 and has stood the test of time remarkably well.
For 14 years and two additional pastors (the Revs. R. David Shawver and Wayne C. Odom), Unit one served the complete needs of the families of St. Marks as well as the needs of the community. After five years of planning, the congregation elected to build an Education Building rather than a new Sanctuary. The Education Building with its 10,000 square feet of additional space was consecrated on January 11, 1981. The facility added an enlarged fellowship hall, kitchen, offices, storage, and 11 new and badly needed classrooms.
The Education Building housed all elementary through junior high activities, a nursery, a Mother’s Day out program, a 3- and 4-year-old’s program, and kindergarten pre-school, as well as various fellowship and community meeting functions. St. Marks’ School, under the direction of Linda Fornero, provided a Christian learning environment for children of many ages until June 2008.
The church year is filled with annual activities, special programs, and ministry opportunities. We all look forward to the annual Fall Festival, Easter Egg Hunt, game nights, Chili Cook-off, Vacation Bible School, children’s programs, Sunday School, as well as Methodist Men’s and Women’s fellowship activities, potluck dinners and the annual fish fry. Many members have participated in and led Discipleship classes as well as experienced the “Walk to Emmaus.”
We have served the community in ministry by hosting and supporting Project Transformation, providing coats and backpacks full of school supplies for children who cannot afford them, toys for Santa Cops, Bears for the Fire Department, as well as completing community projects for the elderly. Four days each week, our food pantry provides food for needy families of Mesquite. The food pantry also provides Thanksgiving and Christmas meals for 25 families each year.
Our choir continues to provide special worship programs and performances throughout the year. The hand bell choir has been revitalized and is performing once more. There are many third-generation families in the church and seven of the original charter members of 1964 are still active in the life of the church.