Castroville was a settlement for almost 8 years before Zion lutheran Church was organized on January 29, 1852. Among the first settlers were many German Lutherans whose worship serivces were held in homes, with pastors visiting from the surrounding areas to lead worship.
Our first pastor, Reverend Oefinger arrived in Galveston from Germany on November 1851, but the exact date of his arrival in Castroville is not known. On January 29, 1852, Zion Lutheran Church was organized by Rev. Oefinger with 12 men signing the charter. Some of the descendants of these men still worship at Zion today.
Construction of the first stone church in the state of Texas began in 1852 with a $400 loan from the General Synod. 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.
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.
On November 1949, a new education building was dedicated. In 1953 additional property was purchased and the parsonage was moved to where it now stands. This building is known today as "the Ark" house and used for our Sunday school classes.
In 1959, the building known as the "Fuos House" was purchased from Carl and Uree Richter and is now used for meeting rooms and the offices of our Pastor and secretary. In that same year, a historical building was purchased from Albert and Julia Bendele and was restored to serve as our current youth building.
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.
(if you have historical data about Zion and you would like to share it with us, please submit your copies to the church office for review)