History of Zion Lutheran

Zion Lutheran Church was organized on January 29,1852. The first pastor was Reverand Christian Oefinger of Germany.  Services were initially held in log cabins of the Castroville settlers until a stone church was built in 1853. Construction of the first stone church in the state of Texas began with a $400 loan from the General Synod. This first church building had 18-inch thick stone walls, built with heavy cypress and mesquite timbers, put together with wooden pegs, had an earthen floor and a canvas ceiling. Members of the congregation furnished the building's rock, sand, and timbers, making Zion one of the first Lutheran Church buildings to be constructed out of stone.


Various improvements were made to the structure throughout the years; however in 1939, a decision was made to demolish the building to make way for our current brick church. Our present building was dedicated on October 15, 1939. Ten years later, the education annex was added-on and then dedicated.

The original stone church served this congregation until May 18, 1939 when the historical landmark was demolished and our present brick church building was built on the same site. This new church building was dedicated debt free.


Through the years and with God's blessings, the church has prospered and has made various improvements. The first pastor's residence was in the balcony of the church building but when this proved unsatisfactory, a home was built using the leftover stone from the church building. In 1922, the old stone parsonage was razed and replaced by a new frame building.

In 1953, property was purchased from the Annie Bippert estate and the framed parsonage was moved from its original location on Fiorella Street to the newly-acquired property facing Lorenzo Street. The frame parsonage was sawed in half so it could be moved and was then remodeled.

In 1959, the "Fuos Haus" property was purchased from Carl and Uree Richter and one year later, the Youth Building was purchased from Albert and Julia Bendele.


Zion has two cemeteries located two miles on highway 90, west of the church site.


We continue to follow the example of regular worship and service that our ancestors set forth for us 150 years ago. Please join us as we build on our history and live together as people of God so future generations may continue our work.



More history of Castroville can be found here: https://www.castroville.com/history-heritage/