National Ranching Heritage Center To Open Its 54th Structure Friday
The National Ranching Heritage Center in Lubbock will be dedicating and opening to the public its 54th structure on Friday. The dedication of a 1920s rural church that has the original pews, pump organ, podium, and alter will open to everyone beginning at 10 a.m. in the 19-acre Proctor Historical Park.
According to a press release from the National Ranching Heritage Center, the church was actually donated by The Episcopal Diocese of Northwest Texas, and 14 donors from four states came together to contribute more than $100,000 to move the church to Lubbock. It was originally built as a one room church built on Spur Ranch land which served the ranching community.
The search and restoration of a church has been a long time coming for the National Ranching Heritage Center. According to the press release, the search for a frontier church has been on since the late 1960's.
“The center has searched for a frontier church almost from the beginning of its founding in the late 1960s,” said NRHC Executive Director Jim Bret Campbell. “Churches served as a central gathering point and unifier for many ranching communities. Faith and community were critical in places where neighbors were scattered across many miles.”
Guests attending the dedication will be seated under tents near the church entrance, and the historic structure will officially be open to the public after the dedication.
The church, known as Trinity Mission, was built in the late 1920s. Trinity Mission had a connection to Texas Tech before arriving at the National Ranching Heritage Center.
According to the NRHC, Clifford B. Jones managed Spur Ranch and was an early resident of Spur, Texas after leaving Nevada. Jones was also a founding member of Trinity Mission and according to a letter the NRHC received, Jones was identified as a church leader who swept the mission floors, dusted the pews, and built a fire in the potbellied stove.
Jones went on to become the third Texas Tech University president. It was reportedly his dream that Trinity Mission would be located in the ranching heritage area of Texas Tech.
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