WHO WE ARE

First Christian Church


We are a group of dedicated individuals passionate about serving the Lord.

We believe the Holy Spirit draws men, women and children to Christ and equips believers for personal growth and service to the church. The church’s role is to glorify God and serve those in need.


OUR HISTORY

We are united through Christ


History of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) 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.

 

OUR BELIEFS

We are here for you



Jesus is Lord and Savior

We believe Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior who died on the cross, was buried and resurrected to save us from our sins. We must personally accept these truths in order to be saved and have eternal life. (John 3:16, Romans 10:9)


Salvation

We believe by going to the cross, Jesus paid the penalty for our sins. Salvation is by God's grace, not as a result of good works.  God alone gets the glory.  (John1:12, 3:16, 14:6, Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 5:8-10)



The Bible

We believe that the Scriptures in all 66 books of the Old and New Testaments are inspired by God, and are the supreme authority of faith and practice for followers of Christ. (2 Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:20-21, Hebrews 4:12)


Christian Fellowship

We believe in Christian fellowship, where we celebrate a shared life with Jesus, contribute to the needs of others in Christ, and unite in song, doctrine, and commitment to the Lord.  Fellowship is essential for spiritual growth.  It fosters hope, trust, selflessness, faith, lifelong friendships, unconditional love and patience.  (Hebrews 10:24-25)


Leadership

We believe the church elders have authority from God to provide spiritual oversight and direction for the church.  By seeking the mind of Christ, relying upon the Holy Spirit, and diligently reading the Word of God, they help other people become true followers of Jesus Christ. (1 Timothy 3:1-13, Titus 1:5-9, Acts 6:1-6)


Communion

We believe that the Lord’s Supper is a memorial of Christ and His redemptive death.  The Lord’s Supper or Communion is celebrated in our weekly worship and is open to all who believe in Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:23-29)


Baptism

We believe Baptism is the outward expression of our acceptance of Christ.  The old self-centered life is set aside and a new life of trust in Christ begins.  Our method of baptism is by immersion which is a "reenactment" of the baptism by the Spirit.  (Matthew 28:18-20, Romans 6:3-7)

NEW HERE? WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT?

Come as you are


  • You will be welcomed by our members and friends.  We are very happy you have joined us and want to make sure you feel welcome and comfortable.  Please let us know if we can help you in anyway.
  • Come as you are. You’ll see people in suits, jeans and everything in between.
  • Bring your children for the start of worship.  They normally leave for “Kids Praise and Worship” right after the service Prayer and Dedication.  If you have younger children, we have a nursery that will take good care of them.
  • We have a worship bulletin that will guide you through the worship service.  If you have a question or aren’t sure about something, just ask.
  • We share in communion each week. The Lord’s Supper is a memorial of Christ and His redemptive death.  The Lord’s Supper or Communion is celebrated in our weekly worship and is open to all who believe in Jesus Christ.
  • We take an offering during the worship service.  We know that some are not able to give so don’t worry if you can’t. If you do, it is appreciated and whatever you give will be used to support the various ministries and missions of our church.
  • Is there an elevator?  Entrance to elevator is located off the church's parking lot on S. Waco St.

OUR AWESOME TEAM

Get to know our Staff


Dr. Doug Deuel

Pastor

Dr. Deuel has a Doctor of Theology Degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.  His degree is in preaching with a minor in counseling. Dr. Deuel was selected to participate in an honors study program at Oxford University in Oxford, England.  He has served Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ) in Missouri, North Carolina and Texas.  Most recently, he served for 8 years as the senior minister of First Christian Church in Plano, Texas. Dr. Deuel has worked extensively with Habitat for Humanity both in the United States and abroad.  He has taken mission teams to work in Mexico, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Honduras, India and Ecuador. In 2012, Dr. Deuel was awarded the William Jewell College Humanitarian Award for his “commitment to serving others to create a more compassionate and just world”.  This was only the second time this award was given by the William Jewell Board of Governors to a William Jewell alum. Dr. Deuel is also a published author.  He published a series of sermons for Lent and Easter in a book titled Returning to God.  His unique style of preaching seeks to apply the biblical message to contemporary life through the use of stories and applications that speak to the heart. Dr. Deuel is married to Mellony and they have three grown children.

Kathy Richardson

Office Administrator

Marcus Acosta

Music Director