Welcome to the oldest organized church in Smith County!
When Tyler was founded, all denominations met in a union service in a log courthouse located on Tyler’s square. The Methodists were the first denomination to organize and began meeting in a blacksmith’s shop. This group, later to be known as Marvin United Methodist Church, was the first organized congregation of any denomination in Smith County, founded in 1848.
In 1890 a pressing need for a new meeting house coincided with an inspiring city-wide revival led by evangelist Sam P. Jones. From that spiritual renewal came the building of the fine brick sanctuary which still serves the church today. For decades its spires have dominated the Tyler skyline. Marvin was known as the “Cathedral of the West.”
The sanctuary celebrated 125 years in 2015. Of course the campus has grown over the years, and includes the beautiful, historic sanctuary with stunning stained glass windows and pipe organ; a lovely, more intimate chapel, with its own version of beautiful stained glass; Herd Worship Center, a recently-remodeled state-of-the-art worship and performance space that houses our Core contemporary services; an entire floor dedicated to Refinery 517, our student ministry; a full gymnasium; a lovely fellowship hall large with a large commercial kitchen, big enough to host church-wide events; a beautiful nursery and children's wing; and of course ample space for gatherings and Sunday School classes.
Find out more
If you'd like to read more about Marvin's history, check out the book Forward in Faith in our library.