Big Boost for Ft. Stockton’s Oldest Church

By Wyatt Goolsby
NewsWest 9

FORT STOCKTON - The Fort Stockton City Council says help is on the way for one of the city's biggest historical landmarks. More than 40,000 dollars will go towards fixing the oldest Church in the city. But as Newswest 9 found out, it won't be enough to fix everything.

"This is the Mother Church in Fort Stockton, the first one,"  Elvia Milan, a long-time worker and parishioner at the Church, said.

Saint Joseph's Catholic Church has been around since 1872, and is a big piece of history for the town. However, over the past decade members of the Church have seen it slowly deteriorate. From holes in the roof, to cracks on the wall, the Church has seen better days.

"We are trying to do our best here you know working hard, but still, it's a lot of money involved," Milan explained.

A lot of money is right: Try 200,000 dollars to fix everything. The City Council has pitched in thousands to help, and while it's not enough to cover all the damages, many members are thankful something is being done.

"It's important, because we have over 100 years that this place has been filled with the Holy Spirit. And generation through generation, we would like to see it continue," Milan said.

So the work will soon start on the biggest problem first: the roof. Members hope it will help stop water damage to the inside of the building too.

However, that's not the only problem inside the Church. There are also parts where pews have been cracked as well as problems with the foundation. That's in addition to several lighting problems throughout the church, and most of the damage to the inside part of the building won't be covered by the city. That means there's still a lot of money to be raised, and work still to be done.

Leaders of the Church said they are still looking for other ways to help pay for the damage, but said the help from the City Council is the first step in preserving a Church that means so much to so many.

"It has been a treasure for me, St. Joseph's," Milan said.