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Harper in Gillespie County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

St. James Lutheran Church

 
 
St. James Lutheran Church Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brian Anderson, September 5, 2020
1. St. James Lutheran Church Marker
Inscription.  In 1908, the first Lutheran missionary to the area, Rev. C. Stadler, came to Harper. In April 1910, he confirmed the first class of Lutheran young people. When there was no missionary assigned to the area, Lutheran pastors from neighboring congregations came to serve. The worship services were held at the Baptist, Methodist and Presbyterian church buildings or homes and the Harper Hotel when none of these were available.

The first Lutheran congregation officially organized on Mar. 9, 1913, led by Rev. B. Schliefer. Mrs. Sophie Klein donated half of her lot on Main Street, at the corner of what is now 4th Street, for the building of a church. The name St. James was decided on at a meeting on Jan. 11, 1914. The church was built in the shape of a cross and its steeple was in the form of traditional German churches. At the time, it was Harper's largest church building. The dedication service was on Jul. 26, 1914. Until 1918, the German language was used exclusively in the church. Over time, additional land has been purchased, annexes built, and remodeling done. In 1943, the constitution was revised and the church became affiliated with
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the American Lutheran Church. The congregation later adopted a new constitution, which eventually became a part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.

The church has been a leading part of the community. It has organized a Women's Society, Young People's Group, Vacation Bible School and Sunday School. It has also hosted a revival-type event called Brush Arbor Days and raised funds for the community help center. The church has hosted many celebrations from baptisms, confirmations, weddings and burials, to the ordination of pastors, holding of reunions and school functions.

175 Years of Texas Independence * 1836-2011

 
Erected 2011 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 16975.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Churches & Religion. A significant historical date for this entry is July 26, 1914.
 
Location. 30° 18.016′ N, 99° 15.398′ W. Marker is in Harper, Texas, in Gillespie County. Marker is at the intersection of U.S. 290 and 4th Street, on the right when traveling west on U.S. 290. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 23932 US-290, Harper TX 78631, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 13 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Harper Community Park (approx. half a mile away); Site of the McDonald Massacre (approx. half a mile away);
St. James Lutheran Church Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brian Anderson, September 5, 2020
2. St. James Lutheran Church Marker
Harper Independent School District (approx. 0.8 miles away); The Dowdy Tragedy of 1878 (approx. 11.3 miles away); Sunset Cemetery (approx. 11˝ miles away); Spanish Road to Santa Fe, 1808 (approx. 11.9 miles away); St. Peter Lutheran Church (approx. 12˝ miles away); Squaw Creek Primitive Baptist Church (approx. 12.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Harper.
 
St. James Lutheran Church image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brian Anderson, September 5, 2020
3. St. James Lutheran Church
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 17, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 15, 2020, by Brian Anderson of Humble, Texas. This page has been viewed 308 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on September 17, 2020, by Brian Anderson of Humble, Texas.

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Feb. 25, 2024