Historic Churches in Texas

There are many Historic Churches in Texas with the missions probably being the oldest. I am including the missions because they often contained a church. Many churches are available for touring and some on formal, guided tours. In Austin Texas area there are many historic church buildings of all faiths.

Texas Historic Churches in my Family

My Mom and grandparents attended the old Gethsemane Lutheran Church just north of the Capital on Congress Avenue. It is now a Texas Historical Commission building as a new Gethsemane Lutheran Church was built on Anderson Lane in the 1960’s. My Swedish ancestors Corporal Ax and his wife were some of the first members of the New Sweden Church in New Sweden Texas near Pflugerville. My German ancestor, Peter Pieper donated  land for a Catholic Church in Texas. He had come to Texas about 1833 when it was still called Coahilla y Tejas, part of Mexico. In those days you had to be Catholic to live in Texas. That was part of the Mexican government’s criteria to become a citizen and own land. The Chamber of Commerce in Schulenburg Texas publishes a guide of the amazing Painted Churches of Texas and also arranges for docent guided tours to learn about the historic churches. My husband and I have been on the Painted Churches tour and just loved it.

Texas Missions

I also love to go to San Antonio and Goliad Texas to see the historic missions. The most famous of the World Heritage Site or UNESCO San Antonio Missions is the Alamo but there are many more to see. I really feel that if you go see the Alamo in San Antonio, you should see some of the other 1700’s Spanish colonial missions to understand the true size of what the Alamo compound once was. The missions were really like small village communities or walled compounds with a church. The other missions in San Antonio are Mission Concepción, Mission San José, Mission San Juan Capistrano and Mission Espada. The San Fernando Cathedral or San Fernando de Bexar Cathedral in San Antonio was founded in 1731 and built between 1738 and 1750. The 1749 Presidio La Bahía in Goliad Texas is a fort or presidio complex with a historic Catholic Church operated by the Catholic Diocese of Victoria. Franciscan Mission Espíritu Santo is another 18th Century Spanish colonial church in Goliad Texas located in Goliad State Park.