Since 1981, each year, Historic Tyler, Inc. has honored preservation efforts in the community by selecting a noteworthy recipient for the Preservation Award. This annual award was recently named The Ellen and John Musselman Preservation Award after long-time members of Historic Tyler who have impacted and influenced historic preservation in Tyler in many ways.
When Marvin United Methodist Church was founded in 1848, it was the first congregation of any denomination. The church’s iconic stained-glass windows date back to 1891, when the sanctuary was built. The only exception is the four pictorial windows at the back of the sanctuary, which are believed to have been installed between 1912-1919. The Gothic-style windows extend from the first floor of the church to the second floor. They depict shapes and Christian symbols. Some form arches, others are rectangular, and some are circular, all with various designs.
Marvin members began to realize that the windows were in desperate need of restoration. They first noticed wind swaying the windows and cracks in the panes. An inspection revealed the interior framework had begun to separate from the stained-glass elevations. Restoration began in February of 2019. Aided by a crane, the windows were removed in three main phases. The ones on the north side were taken out first for the two-day trailer trip to Minnesota. A couple of months later, the east side windows were removed and sent out for repairs. The last batch to go was the windows on the south side. This massive restoration project took a total of 11 months to complete.
It is our honor to award Marvin United Methodist Church the 2021 Preservation Award for outstanding care in restoring the sanctuary’s original stained-glass windows, which undoubtedly contribute to the historical integrity of downtown Tyler.
Special acknowledgment to Dr. Doug Baker, Mr. Gerry Giles, The Marvin Trustees under the project director, Jim Pendleton, with the assistance of the Director of Operations of the church.