Barbara Bush remembered as active member of her church

Barbara Bush, George H.W. and their children have been members of St Martin's Episcopal Church since the early 1950s, when there were only 250 people in the congregation.

"President Bush was a very active lay leader in his early years here. But it was not uncommon to see him serving coffee on Sunday morning. Both of them taught in our Sunday school program. Both of them been involved in our outreach ministries," recalls Rev. Dr. Russ Levinson, Sr. Pastor at St. Martin's Episcopal Church.

Since the 1950s, St. Martin's has grown exponentially, creating a need for more space and other contemporary worship buildings and pastoral sites on campus. and, a much larger sanctuary for members of the congregation who preferred the more traditional church service.

"It's the largest Episcopal Church in United States and the largest, I say, the largest expression of Anglicanism in North America. We're just shy of 9,300 members and some our average Sunday attendance is probably between 1,800 to 2,000 average weekly attendance is about 2,500 to 2,700 because with midweek services."

Despite its growth, whatever Barbara Bush and her family to St. Martin's more than 60 years ago, has kept their spiritual interest and helped mold their religious lives.

"There are plenty of times when we were really crowded, which is a great problem as a church. And you would see the president or Mrs. Bush or both of them get up and offer their seat to somebody else or scoot over so that people can squeeze in."

It seems every week, Mrs. Bush loved talking to other parishioners about all of her children. She shared stories about a son who became president, who much, much earlier had appeared in children's pageants at church.

She was like every other church member and never used her status as the wife of a famous U.S. politician.

Barbara and H.W. Bush were not the only high-profile members of St. Martin's. Former Secretary of State James Baker and his wife are also among the worshippers.

Now, with the former first lady's passing, she will definitely be remembered by many who attend this magnificent Houston church.