King William has only one church building that has continually functioned as a church. At the corner of Eagleland and St. Mary’s, the familiar white stucco, tile-roofed structure was built as Westminster Presbyterian, but became San Antonio Mennonite in the 1980s. The very first Mennonites were Christian followers of Menno Simons in sixteenth century Europe who broke away from the state-sponsored Protestant church over their belief in adult baptism. Today, the Mennonite Church has two million members all over the world, and is known for a focus on nonviolence, community and service to others.

The past year has seen a few changes at SAMC. Our pastor of 11 years, Rachel Epp Miller, stepped down, and for a full year the church managed all its functions through unpaid lay leadership. John Garland was named the new pastor in May. John has many connections to the Southtown community: he lives in Lavaca, his children attend Bonham Elementary School, and he sells his backyard-grown, organic micro-greens to local residents. An avid runner, you might see him training around the neighborhood. His family also rides bikes and canoes on the King William portion of the Mission Reach River Walk.

In the spring, San Antonio Mennonite Church went through...

a process to develop a new Mission Statement: “A joyful community that does justice, loves mercy, and walks humbly with God.” Our Sunday bulletins and the pastor’s weekly emails are arranged according to the Mission Statement, so that we may identify concrete opportunities to live out this mission.

One of the ways we fulfill our mission is by renting space at below-market rates to community organizations that align with our vision. Currently, we have partnerships with the P.E.A.C.E. Initiative, which combats domestic violence, the Center for Formative Action and Reflection, which supports community workers, and RAICES, which helps refugees. One of our biggest challenges is maintaining our building with a small congregation and a limited budget.

San Antonio Mennonite Church has been working on a building rehabilitation plan in response to critical needs. Our HVAC has failed in most of the building, and in addition to a full system replacement, we plan to upgrade our kitchen and build handicapped-accessible bathrooms while fully preserving the special architectural features that landed our building on SA’s list of historic landmarks. Jim Heck, of Fisher/Heck Architects in King William, has drawn our plans, and local engineer and fellow congregant Anna Morton has created engineering drawings. We are currently raising funds for this endeavor. If you would like to help, please contact our fundraising committee chair at moore. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If you are searching for a church community, we invite you to visit our website ( www.sanantoniomennonite.org ), and come visit us on Sunday mornings at 10:45 a.m. - Mitzi Moore