Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Little Church of La Villita

There are many delightful surprises awaiting the visitor who passes through these gates into the La Villita Historic Arts Village. One of the pleasant discoveries in the Village is the Little Church.

The cornerstone of the church was laid on March 2, 1879.  Today it is a non-denominational church, and is a favorite setting for weddings.

In 1846, the Rev. J.W. De Vilbiss had bought a  site across the street from the current day church with the intention of building a Methodist church . He set up a bell, to denote the worship site, but did not build due to a problem with the title to the lot.  In 1879, German Methodists erected this Gothic Revival style church. 

A Norwegian Sailor named Olaf carved pegs and hinged the lancet shaped casement windows. The Episcopal diocese of West Texas bought the church in 1895 and in 1945 the title of the church property was acquired by the City of San Antonio.  (The church is a designated Texas landmark, but the medallion is missing.)


The Little Church holds regular services, but it is not unusual to pass by and see a wedding in progress.  Many years ago I had my little Brownie Scouts on a Saturday tour of downtown and we came upon a bride about to go up the steps to make her walk down the little aisle.  We quickly hushed the girls and told them to watch.  Most of the girls had never seen a real live bride, so they were quite impressed.  The adults were reaching for tissues to dab our eyes!

 An early picture of the church can be seen at History of La Villita. 

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