May 26, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

Another East Austin church is for sale in the neighborhood south of Cesar Chavez St. This one appears to be a converted residence. On the fence in front, and above the front porch, signs identify the congregation, New Life Word Christian Center, Inc. The slogan on the street sign could be paraphrased to describe this property’s past and future. “A Road To A New Life In The Word,” could be a “… A New Life In East Austin.”

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This is another simple wood frame structure resembling the barracks decommissioned from Bergstrom Air Force base after the Second World War. My blogpost from several years ago describes how my wife and I took converted one of these barracks into garage apartments. Though the look is similar, someone would have to peel away walls, revealing structural framing to confirm this church started life as a military barrack.

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Under_the_Porch-1.jpgFrom the condition and location of this structure, it was almost certainly moved or built originally for use as a residence. The conversion to a church appears to have been made fairly recently. Checking the Travis County records, the owners prior to 2004 were individuals, most likely homeowners.

The current owner, then, may have purchased the house for a church, or may have converted his own house at some more recent date.   The porch in front looks like it has been in place for a while, so some modifications may have been made to accommodate the church entry.

I checked out the property this afternoon noticing a collection of new houses under construction up and down the block. I’m certain the new owner will have his or her own ideas for a new life for the property, unlikely to include the old church building. Though not a historic structure or landmark, this church may soon be another in East Austin church to meet the bulldozer.

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New Life Word Christian Center Inc., 2103 Haskell St., Austin, Texas

Worship Space/ Austin