In the 1870s many settlers of German ancestry began arriving in this area. In 1889, under the leadership of The Rev. R. Seils, Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church was organized. Early worship services were held in the Bismark Schoolhouse (about two miles south). Beginning with twenty-three charter members, the congregation grew steadily. By 1892, a small sanctuary was constructed and a cemetery was established on the church property. Another group of families began meeting together for worship services in the Priddy community, and in December 1903 organized St. John's Lutheran Church. Services were held in the Becker Mountain Schoolhouse (about two miles east). Soon both German Lutheran congregations were being served by the same minister. In 1929 the Zion congregation moved to Priddy and built a new sanctuary. In 1941, by mutual consent, the Zion and St. John's congregations joined together to become one church under the Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church name. A part of Mills County history for generations, this church continues to serve the community with many forms of outreach.
Copyright ©1998 Texas Historical Commission. The Texas Historical Commission has given permission to use this information from their pages for any non-commercial purpose. Any use of this information about the "Historical Marker" should credit the Texas Historical Commission.
Church Directory Committee
The church has sold out of the
Above Photo courtesy of Deral Elkins from his Photograph Collection
|Members of the Zion Lutheran Church 100th Anniversary Church Directory Committee compiled the directory "Celebrating
100 Years of Caring Hand In Hand with Christ, 1889-1989, Church Directory"
in 1989. This is an excellent record of the founding fathers and
their descendants for Priddy, TX.
This book covers the time from when the community was first settled in the Late 1870's and was first known as Bristol, Becker and the history of the Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church that was organized under the spiritual guidance of Rev. R. Seils on October 26, 1889. The congregation met in the Bismark School house that was built by the very earliest of the Settlers in this area.
The book gives the history of the
church, the signing members of the constitution, a transcribed copy of
the Constitution and a photocopy of the original constitution that was
written in Longhand in German.
There is a section of photographs for the founding families of Priddy, and the Zion Lutheran Church. This includes photos of:
Index of photos in Directory
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"Founding Families" Photos
A. D. Meissner Family
Pastors with photographs in the directory
Richard L. Seils 1889 Note this photo looks much better in the book, the book is printed on a heavy shiny paper and does not show the marks noticed in the scan
Here is another and clearer view of same photo from the 1996 Church Directory
John Schumacher 1891-1894
Franz Walther 1907-1916
Rudolph Becker 1916-1925
I. M. Mansur 1926-1934
A. T. Kluge 1935-1940
A.H. Muehbrad 1941-1952
John Striepe 1953-1966
Gehard Senff Interim
Don Viasak 1976- 1982
Richard Winkelmann 1967-1970
Andrew Mild 1970-1976
John Rossing 1982-1986
Philip Geleske 1986
George Qualley 1978-1979
-Melinda Plumey (Intern) - 1988-1989
Pastors without photographs in the directory
E.H. Wischmeyer 1886-1887
Theo. Bartheys 1888
H.C. Jaus 1890
W. Bunge 1896
Fr. Naumann 1898-1903 (Obituary)
H. F. Daude 1903-1905
Wm. Westerhoff 1905
A. Merz 1906-1907
Richard Hahn (Intern) 1980
Michael Hearn (intern) 1989
There are sections of photos of the landmarks, the church and the Sunday School, Circles etc over the years
And sections for Baptisms, confirmations,
marriages, deaths for both the Zion Lutheran Church, 1889 to 1989 and ST.
John's Lutheran Church, 1903 to 1941 when the two churches consolidated.
There is a section in the book with photos for the current members in 1989.
Zion Lutheran Church 100th Anniversary Church Directory is SOLD OUT but you can contact them in reference to the booklets that have the missing or duplicate pages
If you need more information, feel free to call the Zion Lutheran Church at 915- 966-3345 or 966-3566, If no answer. Please call
Caroline Schwartz (915) 966-3334 in the evenings. Caroline is the chairperson for the Mills County Historical Commission and a member of the church in charge of the "Directory" or "cookbook" sales.
Lutheran Genealogy LinksI have just recently found a link for those searching their German and Lutheran heritage. Please check out "Lutheran Roots" Genealogy Exchange, sponsored by Aid Association for Lutherans (AAL).
The "Lutheran Roots" Genealogy Exchange consists of two sections: the Family Registry which allows you to post your surnames and locations for others to see and maybe help locate information and the second section is a Genealogy Message Board where you can ask genealogy questions or share with your research experiences or tips.
since the first counter was added on March 17, 1999. Thanks..
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