Since the start of the 365 Challenge, I’ve been looking much closer at the churches and religious buildings in the rural communities and small towns on my various road trips around Texas. When I bring up memories of old small town churches I see images of very traditional wood framed or masonry structures. I remember passing by hundreds if not thousands of churches with a traditional tower, or a roof-top steeple gracing a modest structure. Occasionally, I remember seeing fancier buildings, worthy of historic preservation but perhaps in need of some repair. But now, I’m realizing the country church I remember is a rare find. Country churches, just like urban and suburban churches, are widely varied and no longer fit the stereotype.
I noted a clear example of this change as I saw an interesting structure in an industrial area of Seguin. The Strong Tower - Torre Fuerte Christian Church has converted a building that still looks like an old business or warehouse. The conversion is spare and appears to be done with volunteer or DIY labor. What is provided are the essentials: an ample parking lot, a very clear sign, a major assembly space, and an adjacent office / classroom wing. A peek in the window shows that the place is still a work in progress, with unfinished walls and what looks like a mix of seating arrangements.
While the church doesn’t appear to have an on-line presence, its presence in this community is very noticeable. From the look of the interior, I’m assuming this congregation has only been in the building a short time. The mix of English and Spanish in the name indicates that the group is reaching out to a mixed or multi cultural congregation. And the lack of any other discernable symbol or liturgical feature also says a lot. The Strong Tower - Torre Fuerte church of contemporary Seguin is the equivalent of the tent meeting revival of 100 years ago in providing the most utilitarian place to assemble believers and preach the Word. The small town church that also existed back then, well it seems to be rapidly becoming a thing of the past.
Strong Tower - Torre Fuerte Christian Church, 525 West New Braunfels St., Seguin, Texas