Castroville was a settlement for almost 8 years before Zion Lutheran Church was organized in January, 1852.   Among the first settlers were many German Lutherans whose worship services were held in homes, with pastors visiting from the surrounding areas to lead worship.

Our first pastor, Rev. Oefinger, arrived in Galveston from Germany in November, 1851.  The exact date of Rev. Oefinger’s arrival in Castroville is not known, but  on January 29, 1852, Zion Lutheran Church was organized by Rev. Oefinger with 12 men signing the charter. Some of  the descendents of these men still worship at  Zion today.

Construction of a stone church was begun in 1853, with a $400 loan from the General Synod.  Members of the congregation furnished the building rock, sand, and timbers and Zion became one of the first Lutheran Church buildings in Texas constructed of stone.

                                     Original Church Building              

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

Down through the years the church 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 leftover stone from the church building.   In 1922, the old stone parsonage was razed and replaced by a new frame building. In 1953, additional property was purchased , and the parsonage was moved to there from its original place.   This building, now known as “the Ark” houses our Sunday School.

In November, 1949, a new education building was dedicated.  In 1960 the building known as the “Fuos House” was purchased, and is now used for the offices of the pastor and the secretary, as well as for meeting rooms.  In that same year a historical building was purchased and has been restored to serve as our youth building.

Zion also has 2 cemeteries, located approximately 2 miles west of the Church building on Higway 90.

We continue to follow the example of regular worship and service that our ancestors set for us 150 years ago.  Please join us as we live together as people of God.




    Revised: 03 Apr 2006