In 1893 Webster Presbytarian Church was the only church in the area and provided a church home for everyone in the community. The church still functions as an important part of the Bay Area. Serving the entire Bay Community, the little church is now the Bay Area Museum.
With Johnson Space Center in the distance, the noise of jet skis and buzzing of motorboats close by, the children actively participating in nearby sports activities, vistors to the Bay Area can step back in time to the late 1800s by visiting the living museum at Clear Lake Park on NASA Road 1.
Its location in Clear Lake Park is a relocation for the church since it first was built on the corner of Houston and Moody Streets. A sanctuary was destroyed during the 1900 hurricane and a second church was completed in 1901 which is the current sanctuary side of the museum.
An annex completed in 1940 now serves as it did then as a stage, meeting hall and kitchen. Sunday School classes were also taught in this space. This area displays changing exhibits that reflect the history of the Bay Area and houses Lunar Rendezvous memorabilia.
It was the Lunar Rendezvous Festival that made the museum dream become a reality for the Bay Area. In 1979 Maggie Plumb DeNike, founder of the Lunar Rendezvous Festival and Chairman of the Board appeared with Chamber of Commerce representatives and local attorneys before the Harris County Commission to request approval to move the historic church building to the park grounds.
Under the protective shelter of the Lunar Rendezvous Festival, the church building was purchased from the Webster Presbyterian Church and moved six and one-half miles down the road on February 22, 1981.
Restoration was completed July 17, 1984, and the museum was formally dedicated at the time. Although the museum continues to be financed through the festival profits, the organization of its government has changed. Initially, the museum was governed by a Board of Trustees and a director
The Bay Area Museum Guild, an organization with near 200 members, maintains the museum. The Guild is dedicated to promoting an awareness of the museum, its facilities, functions and needs throughout the community.
Many weddings and special events are held each year in the sanctuary and Fletcher Hall at the museum.