From the Garland Local History & Genealogical Society, Volume 6-Number 4, Summer 1995


Author:  Barbara Brixey Wylie

Early settlers of Garland first met for worship in various homes. Between 1846 and 1848, Campbellites (later known as Christian Church, Disciples of Christ) established churches in Van Alstyne, Lancaster and McKinney but records indicate that the Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians and the Campbellites were worshiping together at the Duck Creek School and served by lay preachers in 1858.

About 1875, a church was formally organized as Christian Church of Duck Creek and worship was held in the Duck Creek School. Charter members included: Mrs. Eliza Fletcher, Mr. and Mrs. Will Fletcher, Mr. and Mrs. Tom Fletcher, Mr. and Mrs. John T. Smith, Mrs. Belle Coats, Mrs Lucy Byrd, Mrs. John Dixon, Mr. and Mrs. Uriah Spong, Mrs. Polk Jones, Mrs. Lizzie Garrison, Mrs. Cathreen Embree, Miss Joe Murphy. The Duck Creek Masonic Lodge held a called meeting to consider proposal for erecting a shared-use building with the Christian Church. As presented by Mathew Erwin, the church would occupy the ground floor and the second floor would be used by the Lodge and Grange. Initially, the proposal was favorably received but did not come to fruition. Early newspapers indicate that the first church building was near what is now the intersection of Kingsley and Shiloh Road, near the adjoining farms of the Smith family and Erwin family.

The Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway sold Lot 10, Block 6 of Embree to the Duck Creek Church in 1888. Trustees Isaac Akers, G.E. Wallace and J.T. Smith signed the purchase agreement which gave the selling price as $75.00, half of it paid in cash and the remainder carried in a note at eight percent interest. Mrs. A.P. Stevens, daughter of Charles Cole who was pastor at that time, described moving the wooden building from its old location to the church’s new property. “I will never forget the moving of the church. It was a very dry summer. The building was pulled by a team of four horses. It was also rolled on logs. The creek was dry, and I sat with a large crowd of people on the Garland side, watching the men maneuver the building across the creek. The moving was done in a day, and we did not miss a Sunday service.” With that move, Christian Church of Duck Creek became Christian Church of Embree.

Eleven years later, the building was renovated and enlarged. A new sanctuary was constructed in 1924 and the old structure was razed. There have been several structural changes since then but the church remains on this site at the corner of Glenbrook and Avenue A.

The first full-time pastor was Rev. Charles L. Cole. His father Rev. W.B. Cole also served as pastor. In 1975, Dr. Chester Crow was identified as pastor emeritus and Rev. Nelson Schuster, a former pastor, was speaker at the 100th anniversary dinner.


______, Untitled history of First Christian Church of Garland, apparently written for the church’s centennial celebration in 1975, found in the files of Mrs. G.W. James. p. 1

  1. James, Martha Catherine, Seventy Years in the Garland Dallas County, Texas, Area. Transcribed from her handwritten manuscript by Mrs. G.W. Range and Mrs. A.R. Davis, Jr. in 1965. p. 20

3.   Untitled history of First Christian Church of Garland. pp. 4-6

4.   “First Christians mark 100 years,” Garland Daily News, Sept. 21, 1975, edition, section II, p. 1

5.   Untitled history of First Christian Church of Garland. pp. 7, 8

6.   “First Christians mark 100 years”.

7.     Ibid.