A New Church Created
In January 1940 Stewards and Trustees set about the business of organizing and financing the new church. St. John’s continued to meet in the Tech Theater or occasionally in Seaman Hall, the Episcopal student center. Construction began on a building in June, when the church took out a loan for $6,000. With contributions and additional financing, the final cost for the lots and building at 14th and X was $8,914.
W.L. Bradshaw, Professor of Architecture who had also designed Lubbock High School, designed the new church and supervised its construction. The Spanish style stucco building with red tiled roof, seated 250 in the main auditorium and included Sunday School rooms that could be opened into the sanctuary for additional seating. Rich amber stained windows filtered the sunlight and cast a warm golden light over the chapel.
And, over the pastor and District Superintendent’s objections, there was a cross at the peak of the gable over the door. Chairman of the Board of Stewards and Texas Tech English Department Chair, Dr. Byron Gates, quoted the “Encyclopedia Britannica, the life of Wesley, the church discipline, the history of Methodism, the creed, and emphasis on the cross ‘in most of our songs’” to wear down objections. The lovely copper Celtic cross now hangs outside the church office door, one of the few physical reminders of the history of St. John’s.