SETX Christians Flock to Galveston This Weekend for Sacred Places Tour 2014

This weekend Southeast Texas Christians will head to Galveston to experience their 2014 Sacred Places Tour.

This event gives us the chance to tour the historic churches of Galveston island.

More than that, it provides a window into Galveston’s rich Judeo-Christian heritage.

Southeast Texas Christians who take advantage of this opportunity will see beautiful churches built for slaves, churches built by German immigrants, and a synagogue built by two different groups of Jews who came together to erect a place of worship.

Date & Time: Saturday, February 8, 10A – 4P
Tour Headquarters: St. Joseph’s Church, 2202 Avenue K in Galveston
Galveston Historical Foundation Member Tickets: $13. Call 409-750-9108 ext. 1305
Group Tickets: Pre-reserved group rates ($12 per person for groups of 20+) are available by calling 409-750-9108 ext. 1305

Galveston Sacred Places Tour

The 2014 Sacred Places Tour Galveston will include:

St. Joseph’s Church (Tour Headquarters), St. Joseph Church Galveston exterior right
2202 Avenue K

By the middle of the 19th century, Galveston Island was home to somewhere between two and three thousand German immigrants, almost half the total population. Bishop John Odin, the first Catholic bishop of Texas, recommended that a church be built for the German-speaking Catholics of the growing city. Built by German immigrants in 1859-60 the church was dedicated in April 1860, to St. Joseph, the patron saint of laborers.


First Lutheran Church,

Galveston Sacred Places Reedy African Methodist2415 Winnie

By 1850, German immigrants made up almost half of the population of Galveston and the large number of Lutherans in this group necessitated the formation of a Lutheran church. In 1854, First Lutheran made arrangements to hold its Sunday services in Lyceum Hall, located on the corner of Winnie and Bath Avenue (25th Street). A year later, the church bought the Lyceum building and moved it to the present church property. This building has remained a part of the church and is the oldest of the buildings belonging to First Lutheran.

Grace Episcopal Church,
1115 36th Street

Established as a Sunday School Mission of Trinity Episcopal Church in 1874, Grace became a parish in its own right two years later. Parishioners originally worshipped in a small frame building. The present Gothic limestone structure, designed by Nicholas J. Clayton, was erected in 1895.

Reedy Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church,
2013 Broadway

In 1848, trustees of Galveston’s Methodist Episcopal Church South purchased property at Broadway and 20th Street for the purpose of establishing a church for their slaves. A church building and parsonage were erected and given to the slaves as the “Negro Methodist Episcopal Church South”. In 1866, the Negro Methodist Episcopal Church South was re-organized under the name Reedy Chapel.

Ursuline Chapel at Holy Family Catholic School,
2601 Ursuline Avenue (Avenue N)

The Ursuline presence in Galveston dates to 1847 when seven of the religious order’s sisters arrived on the island. The first building served until 1854 when it burned and was replaced by an imposing two-story brick structure. In 1961, tornadoes severely damaged the building and it was razed the following year. The new building, designed in 1964, is now the home of Holy Family Catholic School and within its walls lies the Ursuline Chapel.

Avenue L Missionary Baptist Church, Galveston Sacred Places Tour Avenue L Missionary Baptist 3
2612 Avenue L

In 1840 Galveston’s newly formed First Baptist Church organized a church for its members’ slaves; called the Colored Baptist Church. In the 1850s, the church became known as the African Baptist Church and was housed in a building located at 26th Street and Avenue L. In 1891 a new building arose on Avenue L, only to be badly damaged by the 1900 Storm. In 1916, the cornerstone was laid for the present building which was dedicated on January 7, 1917.

Broadway Cemetery (Headstone Cleaning Workshops),
Avenue K and 40th Street

In addition to the participating sacred places, two headstone cleaning demonstrations will be held at Galveston’s Broadway Cemetery. The sessions, led by Matthew Farragher, will train individuals on how to properly clean cemetery headstones and statues. Attendance is free with Sacred Places tour ticket and workshops will be held at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Central Christian Church,
2702 Ave O½

Galveston’s Central Christian Church was founded in 1877. In 1893 the church was reorganized and a small brick church was erected at 20th Street and Avenue K and used for worship until it was sold in 1922. In 1926 a brick church building was built at the corner of 27th Street and Avenue O1/2. The Fellowship Hall, a former army barracks purchased after World War II is still in use.

Congregation Beth Jacob,
2401 Avenue K
(Open for tours 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. only)

Participating on our Sacred Places Tour for the first time, Beth Jacob’s roots date back to 1888 when a group of orthodox Russian Jews came together to form the Hebrew Orthodox Benevolent Association. Around the same time a group of Orthodox Jews from the Austro-Hungarian Empire immigrated to Galveston and began looking for a synagogue to join. In an effort to unite the growing Orthodox community, on February 15, 1931, the two Orthodox congregations voted to merge and form Congregation Beth Jacob. $40,000 was raised to build a new two-story brick synagogue at Avenue K and 24th Street, on the site of the old Hebrew Orthodox Benevolent Association.

Congregation Beth Jacob Galveston TX 2

Click for more information on the Galveston Sacred Places Tour 2014

Click here to buy tickets for the 2014 Galveston Sacred Places Tour



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