To the editor:
As the chair of the Hays County Historical Commission, I am confused at the level of misinformation that the City of San Marcos is spreading about an important structure in the Dunbar Historic District. The First Baptist Church is a focal point in this very important African-American neighborhood. We realize that this building is not in the best of shape, but neither is the old county jail, which, by the way, looks worse than the church across the street.
I am appalled at the city’s lack of caring and loss of pride in a neighborhood that in years past was a vibrant and strong community. Generations of families have made this area their home and their church was a part of their life as we value our churches of today. As in every neighborhood, there is always change. And this church will be a extension of this neighborhood by being transformed into a new function, a community center. Though a different vocation, nonetheless a vital one because as things change, warm and familiar as this building is, it brings people back to their roots and a longing for stability.
That is why tearing down this church makes no sense to me. We need to come together to insure that the tearing down will never be an option. In the years to come, our hope will be that the community center will be on its way to being restored, the old county jail will have been restored and all of the people in San Marcos will take pride in their total community.
I appreciate this opportunity to say my words to you all. Take the time to review this carefully and seek out your fellow citizens before you make this important decision.
Hays County Historical Commission