Covenant Presbyterian Church began in 1956 as a mission church in the “wilderness” of north San Antonio in the newly incorporated City of Castle Hills. Worshippers gathered at a shopping center as money was raised for the first church building. In the early years, Covenant grew at the same fast pace of the surrounding community. People came, more buildings were built, more staff was hired, pastors and leaders changed, and the church was full with children and adults, preaching, teaching, learning, family night suppers, mission trips, Sunday School and Youth Groups. Lifelong friendships were made and continue today.
There have been many changes during Covenant’s history. The “wilderness” at the edge of north San Antonio is wilderness no more, as homes and businesses densely populate the area and the City of Castle Hills is surrounded by development. Covenant’s membership has changed as well through the years. A few of Covenant’s founding members are members today, and their vision, work and faithfulness is honored and will always be remembered. Many children and youth of the “young families” during the early years have scattered, and so have some of the parents, but some remain a vital part of the life of this church. Many of Covenant’s current members have joined over the last 15 years, and the church is growing again. From infants to centenarians, Covenant has members of every age. People in all stages of life -- students, working, active-duty military, retirees from many careers, married, unmarried, families with children, “empty nesters” and households with multi-generations -- make up this diverse church family.
In 2011, in its fifty-fifth year, Covenant commenced a new chapter under the leadership of the Reverend Dr. Dan Milford. Since that time, Covenant has completed major renovations to the church facilities, utilizing over $2.5 million in donations from the congregation to rebuild much of the campus. Under $140,000 in debt remains as we enter the summer of 2020. Additionally, in early 2016, the session engaged in a visioning process to discover how Christ might be calling Covenant to engage in a ministry that would otherwise go underserved in our community. The result included the formation of the Beautiful Minds Coalition (link) and the launching of the national Presbyterian Mental Health Ministry. Covenant joined twenty other churches in Mission Presbytery in the new Vital Congregations Initiative (link) in 2019. The launch of this effort to evaluate our mission and ministry has been timely with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. The challenge to reimagine ministry in the age of coronavirus is being focused by the call to focus on the “Seven Marks of Vital Congregations.” Covenant remains hopeful, joyful, committed, and focused as we engage with a transformed world.