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Travis Park Church unveils mural as part of 175th anniversary in downtown San Antonio

A large mural with six different visions representing the diversity and inclusion within San Antonio had its official debut on Sunday.

SAN ANTONIO — Today--a picture of inclusion is revealed in downtown San Antonio.

Travis Park Church is celebrating its 175th anniversary with the reveal of a new mural representing the church’s history of being a place where all are welcome.

Inside the walls of the church is where stories of God are shared.

Pastor Gavin Rogers says artistic expressions are used to tell that story—from preaching, to music and art.

“We wanted to create a new stained glass story to tell, a lot of them tell stories of the Old Testament, the story of the Gospel, the story of the church, we wanted to express the story of Travis Park Church,” Pastor Rogers said.

Rogers says part of the story is being a welcoming place for nearly two centuries.

“It’s welcomed immigrants from Central America, in the time of World War II it was a shelter for people trying to escape internment, this congregation has been an inclusive voice in San Antonio,” Rogers said.

Inside and outside the walls is where the church expresses that faith isn’t always about belief—but about action in expressing love to all people.

As part of the mural dedication, Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Dr. Jerry Taylor, founding director of the Carl Spain Center of Race and Spiritual Action at Abilene Christian University sat in on Sunday morning's service.

Dr. Taylor spoke during the worship service about walking humbly with God in order to be compassionate to neighbors, who come from all backgrounds.

Mayor Nirenberg spoke at the dedication and reflected on signing the compassionate city charter when Nirenberg began serving as mayor.

"Signing that charter didn't make us a compassionate city, that happens on a daily basis by you...signing that charter is a recognition of who San Antonio already is," Mayor Nirenberg said.

"Compassion is the foundation of our city and we make it so every single day," Mayor Nirenberg added.

Artists Rhys Munro and Hailey Marmolejo, two of the many artists who worked on the mural were recognized by the church and the mayor. They were both proud to be a part of painting this picture.

“We’re all different artists and the stained glass and window factor really kind of unified our different styles,” Munro said.

Munro wanted to represent the LGBTQ community in her window (the second from left) while Marmolejo, a native San Antonian and Tejana, included indigenous people in her piece.

“I want people to reflect in the diversity and I want people to feel good when they see the mural,” Munro said.

“I want people to feel inspired, represented, and empowered by that representation,” Marmolejo said.

Munro said volunteer artists pitched in to complete Victor Zarazua’s window (the second from right) after Zarazua had a medical accident. All artists are recognized in the bottom left part of the wall.

Pastor Rogers hopes that when people from all walks of life pass by—they can feel loved and accepted in the church and in the city.

“In a nation that’s completely divided right now, you can find ways to be in unity, have voices come together, six different voices come together and express a bigger vision that unity is much stronger than division,” Rogers said.

To learn more and support the mural, the church is encouraging people to visit the Raising Hope, Anchored in Faith fundraising effort.

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