Approaching Victoria, Texas, there’s a gas stop on the long drive south on Highway 87. It appears that’s all there is to the settlement of Nursery. I glanced past the railroad tracks, however, and was surprised to see the United Methodist logo on a small sign, so I decide to explore.
The big sign for Nursery United Methodist church is a quarter mile around the bend. Picnic tables under stately oaks are very inviting, but my attention turned to the white clapboard church set back from the road. The building is showing its age. The siding is in poor shape and the structure appears to be settling. The windows may need some repairs soon. There’s a handicap ramp that starts in the grass and ramps up to a porch with splintering floorboards and a flimsy cover. Two window units facing the road are supported with some temporary wood props adding to the makeshift look of the building. I didn’t see any major roof issues, but it is clear the runoff is damaging the wood siding.
All of this is typical of an older wood-frame structure. Fortunately, these structures can be readily repaired and preserved. The roof drainage may be diverted with new gutters and downspouts. The pier and beam foundation can be set on new piers and re-leveled. Wood siding may be replaced and patched with new materials. Windows can be repaired or replaced. The entire building is ready for a new coat of paint. Any thorough repairs should also include insulation and a new central air-conditioning system to replace the window units.
The church apparently doesn’t have its own website or Facebook page, but it is listed on the national United Methodist Website. Other than the name of the pastor, the only other significant information is the membership totaling only 7. This church would be a prime candidate for a historic preservation program, either with the help of the United Methodist Church, or with a community group that could share use of the preserved structure. In the meantime, one can only hope that Nursery United Methodist will get some tender loving care and some immediate repairs.
Nursery United Methodist Church, Nursery Road, Nursery, Texas