First Christian Church 
​(Disciples of Christ) of Van Alstyne
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History of First Christian Church of Van Alstyne

The First Christian Church of Van Alstyne is recognized as the oldest Christian Church in Texas by virtue of the longest continuously worshipping congregation. These worship services began informally in 1841 in the homes of members, before being founded as The Christian Church in the winter of 1841‑1842 by the McKinney family at McKinney's Landing Red River. This pioneer family later moved to Mantua bringing their church family with them. It was here in 1846 that twenty‑one members of this group formally organized the Mantua (or Liberty) Church. The charter members were: Collin McKinney, his wife Betsy (Leake) McKinney, Elder W.C. (Billie) McKinney , Margaret (Peggy) McKinney, Polly McKinney, Marcus S. McKinney, Ashley McKinney, Sarah (Sally) McKinney, D. L. (Leake) McKinney, C. M (Mile) McKinney, James S. McKinney, Deacon George McKinney, Nancy McKinney, Elder J. B. Wilmeth, Nancy Wilmeth, and Eliza Milam. Five members of black families were also Charter members: Vina, Polina, Lucinda, Hannah and Anderson. These twenty‑one Christian pioneers have been immortalized in the present church with a stained glass window depicting The Last Supper.


These members continued to meet in private homes until a log church was erected in 1850. A larger house of worship was built in 1854 to accommodate the growing congregation; and by 1871 that church had been outgrown and a new one built. With the advent of the railroad in Van Alstyne, Mantua, in effect, migrated to the new community. In 1888 during the ministry of Elder R. C. Horn, the congregation built their first church in Van Alstyne. When the remainder of the Mantua congregation joined this congregation in 1891, the name was changed to The First Christian Church of Van Alstyne.


In 1914, the first brick church in town was constructed by The First Christian Church. This church is noted for its extraordinarily beautiful stained glass windows which encircle the sanctuary. All the windows are dedicated to early church members who contributed so much to the growth of the church. This beautiful building still serves as an inspiration to today's congregation, with many members able to trace their roots back through several generations who have worshipped here. A few have direct ties going back to our beginning in 1831.