A Brief History
Texas became a state in 1845, Hays County was organized in 1848 and the City of San Marcos was laid out and established in 1851. Two years later Deacon J. W. Dunn from Lockhart held the first Episcopal services in San Marcos. Several years passed before the Reverend Wallace Carnahan began holding regular Episcopal services in the Presbyterian Church.
Then on February 10, 1874, a meeting was held to organize a parish to be known as St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. A lot was purchased for a new church for $300.00. In May of 1875, Bishop Elliott laid the cornerstone for the first church building, a 16 x 24 ft. frame structure at what became 208 West Hopkins St. A rectory was purchased across the street in 1889. In 1902, the frame structure was replaced by a new red brick building completed in 1904.
In 1950, the Vestry purchased the old East End School property onWood Street. A parish hall was built in 1954 and, soon after, the building on Hopkins St. was declared structurally unsafe and worship was moved to the Parish Hall. In 1966, the new church was completed under the rectorship of Reverend Eugene Jennings.
1968 saw the arrival of the Reverend James E. Folts as the new rector. The 1970’s saw growth at St. Mark’s as well as mission outreach extended to the students at Southwest Texas State University(now Texas State University). St. Stephen’s Mission was organized in Wimberley. Reverend Folts did double duty by serving as rector at St. Stephen’s and at St. Mark’s. The annual Parish Picnic became a much anticipated event.
In 1980, the Reverend Frank E. Fuller became the new Rector. St. Stephen’s became an independent parish. During the 1980’s, regular services were held in Spanish by Dr. Richard Carlisle. The ComputerSchool started in 1994 and continues to be a wonderful outreach to theSan Marcos community. The Women of the Church held the first of many “Paper Parties” in 1985. A “Goodtimers” social group met frequently. The Men of the Church became active and the “Sages” Seniors group was organized. St. Mark’s continued to be a close family.
1996 brought the Reverend Bruce Wilson to be the new rector. Sadly, 1996 also brought a devastating fire at St. Mark’s. Services were held at UPAC at Southwest Texas State University. Under the leadership of Father Bruce, everyone pitched in and the St. Mark’s Church family, with much rejoicing, moved back to the church in 1998. Sunday School classes, especially for adults, became very popular and the Monday night School of Wisdom brought many new members to St. Mark’s. A third service—a more contemporary folk mass-- was added on Sunday mornings. St. Mark’s pre-school was organized and continues to be a success.
In 1999, the parish voted to start looking for a new location. It became obvious that we were running out of room. A twenty acre tract was purchased from the San Marcos Baptist Academy and on February 14, 2010, the beautiful new church was dedicated at 3039 Ranch Road 12, beginning an exciting new era at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.