SAN ANTONIO - Sunday, a day many start off with grace, but at Summit Christian Church there is a piece of San Antonio’s history tucked away.
“It’s original,” Pastor Rick Godwin said. “It’s one of a kind. It thrills children.”
A thrill Pastor Godwin said many San Antonians remember begging their parents to ride.
“This is the only church in America that has a carousel in it,” Godwin said.
Godwin said the carousel was once located inside Central Park Mall before it was closed. He said that’s when it was put up for sale, prompting him to act on the opportunity.
“I remember being hit with an impulse, see if you can buy that for the future,” Godwin said. “One of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”
Godwin said he bought it with nowhere to put it. He said he had to store the carousel away, taking seven years before it could once again bring joy to children in San Antonio.
“Our goal was to use it as a show piece for our children’s minister and then to use if for the city as a gift for foster children, battered women’s shelter, child protective services, and all the things related to kids we wanted to make it free of charge,” Godwin said.
Godwin said now people who remember riding the carousel as a kid come to church to ride it themselves or have their kids ride it.
“People who are grown up, when they were kids rode it,” Godwin said. “Now, they are married with children and they bring their children here to ride it.”
One person who remembers taking her kids to Central Park Mall is Tanya Pulido.
“When my kids were little I used to take them to the mall, sometimes to shop, sometimes to get out of the heat, and we would ride the carousel,” Pulido said.
Pulido said her kids are now taking their children to ride it after Sunday service.
As for Pastor Godwin, he said the carousel will part of the church and city for decades to come.
“We been offered enormous sums of money by malls around the country of it,” Godwin said. “Not for sale, at any price. It’s something that’s part of summit and it will be our legacy for a hundred years.”