Trinity Lutheran Church in Frelsburg has deep roots in pioneer Texas. German settlers began populating the area in 1834. By 1855, this site was purchased for a church and cemetery and a new congregation was formed. The first building, according to the Texas State Historical Marker, was destroyed in a windstorm and was replaced by the current wooden structure. Curiously, there is no date for this building. Looking closely at the architectural style and some of the older details I would place its construction sometime in the early 1900’s.
The church cuts a beautiful profile up a slight rise from FM 1291. The cemetery adjacent adds to the classic image of the pristine country church. Though the church appears to be in good shape, the use of a vinyl to cover the original wood siding and fascias is disappointing and hides the craftsmanship and details of the original builders. Steep steps in front are an obstacle for visitors, out of place for a modern, hospitable ministry. In this time of full accessibility, old steps like these are an insensitive holdout, directing those who need assistance to the side door.
Other aspects of the church’s history are more welcoming. The stained glass windows are very nice, but the one above the door is particularly appealing with the congregation name spelled out in the design. As the Bishop noted in his blog about a recent visit, the church engages in an unusual outreach to its rural community. A sign for radio station 87.9 invites listeners to tune in for the church’s history. I couldn’t find this broadcast on line, but I hope the church continues to innovate in celebrating its history. I will be looking for the podcast and hope to find it soon!
Interior of Trinity Lutheran from Bishop Michael Rinehart's blog, Gulf Coast Synod, ELCA
Trinity Lutheran Church, FM 1291, Frelsburg, Texas