St. Paul’s and St. Peter’s Lutheran Churches, Serbin, Texas, 1855-1905

By Arthur C. Repp, San Antonio, Texas. Article originally published by Concordia Historical Institute Quaterly, Vol. XVII, No. 1, April 1944

(Part Five, continued from the July, 1943, issue)

A new matter arose in 1874, not so much between the congregations as between Kilian and his fellow pastors: doctrinal differences were coming to the fore. Again the isolation during the Civil War period and before was beginning to manifest itself. As early as 1857 the Rev. G. A. Schieferdecker of Altenburg, Mo., had been involved in a doctrinal dispute on the error of chiliasm, but by 1875 had retracted his error and returned to synodical membership.176 A very similar error was held by Kilian, who sympathized with Schieferdecker. During 1874 hot words followed a conference essay delivered by Kilian. His colleagues tried to point out his error which was only beginning to show itself.177 Kilian resented this, for after all they were much younger than he, and he felt that his word should not be disputed. Lack of contact between the pastors helped keep the controversy smoldering until it broke out quite fiercely in 1876. At this time Kilian delivered a mission sermon on Genesis 28: 10-14, in which he said among other things that there would be a universal conversion before Judgment.178 The sermon was delivered at Cypress, Texas, September 17, 1876, in connection with the pastoral conference. During the session of the conference on the next day, the debate was quite lively, but no conclusion was reached. At the following conference, held at Serbin, April 10, 1877, the subject was continued with a very free discussion. On the second day the debate became more restrained, and the other pastors tried to pin Kilian down to some definite statements, questions being formulated which Kilian was to answer with a “Yes” or a “No.” Kilian felt that this was the spirit of the Inquisition, and he resented it.179 His feelings were so hurt that for some time he refused to attend the conferences. Young Rev. Birkmann, recently called to Fedor, acting as secretary, was requested to bid Kilian to attend the meetings in order to settle the discussion. Kilian, however, did not want these young fellows to dictate to him. Rev. Geyer, the chairman and Kilian’s neighbor, was the only older pastor in the circuit, and he had but recently arrived in Texas.180 Finally the pressure became too great, and Kilian drew up a number of theses which he offered to defend. A copy of the theses and an explanation of the case were sent to President F. Julius Biltz of the Western District that he might judge the matter. Several of the theses are interesting: Number three: The Scriptures state, all heathen shall come and worship the Lord; number four: To declare that Judgment Day might come today or at any time now would maintain that not all prophecies will be fulfilled; number five: If Judgment Day came today, statement number two would be canceled; number six: Scriptures do not say that Judgment Day might come at any time.181

There was no immediate adjustment in the case, and the controversy continued, until on January 15, 1878, Kilian submitted six statements recanting the errors he had taught and the matter was settled.182 Whatever might be said of his mistake, Kilian was to be admired for his frank retractions. Many another man might have stubbornly insisted on his position merely as a matter of pride. Kilian could be stubborn at times, but he was willing to submit to the Scriptures.

Having passed his seventieth birthday, Kilian began to show the signs of his long hard years in the new country. He recognized his physical and mental handicaps, and he longed for the time when his second son, Hermann, would be ready to enter the ministry and take over the burdens. In 1883 the congregation did call Hermann for its pastor, the father to remain as assistant.183 The congregation did not forget its venerable patriarch and promised to care for the elder Kilian whenever he felt that he should resign.184

When Hermann was installed, the congregation prepared for the great event. The young pastor was to have a new robe as a gift from his parishioners. Though his father had worn the alb, they left it to the son whether he would simply wear the customary black cassock.185 On the ninth Sunday after Trinity, July 22, 1883, young Kilian was ordained and installed by Rev. Geyer, assisted by the father, Rev. Buchschacher, Rev. Kaspar, and Rev. Lange.186

As though the good Lord were waiting for the younger man to take the reins, He called His faithful servant home, and Rev. John Kilian died suddenly on September 12, 1884, having enjoyed but a year of semi-retirement.187 For a man of his talents and abilities, many a person might feel that he had been a failure because he labored on the frontiers of a rough country. Though he did not win great fame, his work was well done in firmly planting the Lutheran Church of his Synod in Texas. Much of the doctrinal solidarity of the entire community must be attributed to him. There was an organized Lutheran synod when he came into the State, but he was not in sympathy with its liberal and syncretistic views. Instead, he turned to the more conservative Synod of Missouri, though it meant that he would be cut off from synodical fellowship for many years. True enough, he too had a few Old World tendencies which were wrong, but the more serious one, that of chiliasm, was corrected, and the others were curbed by the wise ministering of synodical Visitors who were sent into the field. His failings need not be overlooked, for they serve to make the man stand out the more. In spite of his occasional mistakes he served his Church well, and today there stands “Kilian Hall” at Concordia College, Austin, Texas, as a monument of the Texas District’s gratitude for its hardy pioneer.

With Hermann Kilian a closer understanding and sympathy with Synod was natural, and a new era began for the congregation. Unhindered by Old World restraints, he had been educated in the institutions of the Missouri Synod. Serbin was sufficiently strong to entertain the District Synod in its midst, and taking advantage of this, they would strengthen the existing bonds with Missouri. Synod would give the congregation an opportunity to size up the situation and gain some of the sympathy which the pastor had. Therefore, together with St. Peter’s, an invitation was sent to the Southern District to assemble in Serbin for 1886.188 Lengthy preparations were made. The many guests were to be housed in the homes of the two congregations, and the families were assessed to take care of the feeding. The delegates were to be well cared for, even wine and cigars having been ordered.189

At length the day of sessions arrived. Though the body was relatively small, the audience was large, for the members of the local congregations were attracted from far and near, it being one of the most important events for Lutherans of this vicinity. The sessions were held February 3-9, 1886, with Dr. H. C. Schwan, President of the Missouri Synod, as national representative. In order to avoid friction, the meetings and special services alternated between St. Paul’s and St. Peter’s. At this Synod, Dr. Schwan gave a dissertation on the question of accepting State aid for parish schools and with it settled this disturbing question for the District.190

For years the school at St. Paul’s had been growing steadily, and now the number was getting too large for a single teacher. There were more than eighty children which Gerhard Kilian had to instruct. In 1884 the congregation had granted an assistant, probably a member of the parish, who taught the children the fundamentals.191 However, this was not wholly satisfactory. To alleviate the situation, a branch school was opened for the summer in the Rabbs Creek section, between Serbin and Warda, as early as 1877, with Gerhard teaching.192 What kind of school this was is not quite certain: whether merely to teach religion and Wendish to the children whose parents could not send them to Serbin and would not or could not send them to Holy Cross, Warda; or whether it was just like the regular school except for a shorter term, cannot be determined, because the documents are missing. When in 1886 the question of a second teacher for St. Paul’s was agitated, the group in the Rabbs Creek territory, led by Mr. M. Zoch and Mr. John Teinert, expressed their willingness to vote for an assistant provided permission was granted to call their own teacher to Rabbs Creek.193 The proposition was accepted. Before this the matter of calling a second teacher had been blocked.194 With opposition removed, Teacher Henry Werner of Giddings was called, and he accepted, being installed the last Sunday in August.195 To provide a site for a teacher’s dwelling, ten acres of land were donated.

Portrait of Henry Werner

Henry Werner

The new arrangement proved so successful that the idea of calling a teacher for Rabbs Creek was gradually abandoned. The difficulty of a public school in the neighborhood was also done away with, since the community was satisfied with the two-teacher school, for this was something better than the State could offer. Though these people were desirous of having a school, they sometimes were negligent in starting the little ones off at a sufficiently early age. Consequently to speak of a general satisfaction does not mean that every child of school age always attended. The older children could walk or ride the “Texas pony,” but it was hard on the smaller ones if they had to go alone. L. O. Kasper tells us that he had to make a daily trip of six miles on a road which led through primeval woods “where wild animals were not uncommon.” At this time there were three members of the family attending school, but the father’s orders were that not more than two of the children were to ride the donkey. One always had to walk.196 No wonder, then, that in 1890 a report showed that thirty-three children of school age remained at home.197 This was a serious problem both for the home and the church, and in general both parties were deeply concerned, but it took years for better roads to solve the problem.

Something new in the line of church fellowship was introduced in 1894, by way of a school picnic. Though the school term often went into the month of July, it was resolved that a Fourth of July picnic should be held for the entire congregation. For the children a carrousel was built, and to defray whatever expenses there might be, each communicant was asked to contribute twenty-five cents. Everyone brought his own lunch, but beer was distributed gratis and in later years’ coffee and lemonade also. The pastor was asked to give a patriotic address for the occasion, and a band was hired to add to the festivities.198 Thus was instituted a very unique custom which has come down to this day and is equivalent to “Old Settlers’ Day,” where former residents from all over the State come together. Other churches in this vicinity hold similar events, but none have just the touch about them as at Serbin.

A break in the splendid arrangement of a two-teacher school came when Werner accepted a call to Thorndale, Texas, in 1901.199 The question of a successor was argued, but it was resolved not to get a second teacher. The problem was discussed back and forth for many meetings until it threatened to hurt the congregation.200 This seems to have been one of the times when interest in the school was lagging, perhaps because so many lived at great distances from the church. Before the matter was settled, young L. O. Kasper of the congregation was hired to help Gerhard in the school, receiving ten dollars and board for his services. Kasper had been confirmed in 1896 and had since worked on his father’s farm. Showing aptitude, though having no further schooling, he was asked to help and did so for about a year.201 This experience led him to continue his studies, and today he is the principal of that very school.

Realizing the advantages which had accrued to the congregation by having the District Synod, St. Paul’s resolved with St. Peter’s to invite it again in 1904. At this meeting the Vice-President, the Rev. P. Brand, represented the General Synod at the sessions which were held June 29 to July 5.202 At the former Synod, sessions were held in both church buildings, but the District had grown so large that it could be accommodated only in St. Paul’s. However, St. Peter’s insisted on having one of the Sunday services in its church, with the representative of Synod and the District President seated before the altar. They felt that this would compensate for not having the session in their building.203

Almost fifty years had passed since the Wends had first settled in and around Serbin.204 St. Paul’s therefore began to make preparations for the happy occasion. In 1902 considerations had been given to the purchase of a pipe organ, to cost about one thousand dollars,205 the same to be set up and dedicated at the golden jubilee. When the time drew near, invitations were sent out to the surrounding churches. On July 24, 1904, amidst great festivities, the jubilee services were held, with Rev. F. Wunderlich and Rev. A. L. Gresens preaching.

Statistics show that there were now 635 souls, 338 communicants, and 125 voters, with eighty-five children attending the school.206 Though a number of churches had directly or indirectly branched off from St. Paul’s, the natural growth and the immigration had more than offset the loss. An anniversary booklet was prepared for the jubilee, telling the interesting history of the church. The history was read in manuscript at the time and with minor changes was later printed.
By 1904 the congregation had also been able to send a number of its young men into the service of the Church. Four men had entered the teaching profession, and three had become ministers. There were also four still studying in the seminaries, planning to enter the active service.207

One unfortunate event took place in connection with the jubilee which marred the otherwise happy note: the attitude shown by St. Peter’s at the time the invitations were extended. For a while it had seemed that the hopes of the elder Kilian and others would be realized in a gradual amalgamation of the two congregations, and from 1883 to 1889 they even observed their annual Missions Sunday jointly. However, in 1890 this arrangement was dropped because St. Peter’s had permitted a suspended member of St. Paul’s to go to Communion.208 By 1896 matters again came to the point where a union might be possible, but this was frustrated when St. Peter’s refused to acknowledge any blame in the separation of 1870.209

The conditions remained the same for a number of years. When St. Paul’s prepared for its jubilee, it naturally sent an invitation to St. Peter’s. To their surprise, St. Peter’s was seriously offended at the invitation and challenged the statement that St. Paul’s was fifty years old, contending that its existence began in 1870 when Kilian, having resigned, was called again by the majority group.210 St. Paul’s obviously had no intention of bringing up the old controversy and had extended the invitation merely as a gesture of friendliness, not one of insult. They in no wise doubted that they were still the original congregation, citing as proof that St. Paul’s was recognized as a member of Synod in 1866 while St. Peter’s had been referred to officially as the “newly organized” congregation.211 From every argument St. Paul’s was certainly correct. Later when the President of the District had to appoint a committee of three to satisfy the two congregations, the matter was decided in favor of St. Paul’s.212 Because of this incident the published booklet made no reference to the split of 1870, lest anyone be offended.213

The pettiness of St. Peter’s was not the general sentiment, because in January, 1906, overtures were again made to St. Paul’s for an amalgamation, but the conditions set down by St. Paul’s could not be met.214

This account has been carried down to the end of 1905 to round out the first fifty years in Texas, for the congregation was not located until 1855. Representing a most conservative element in the Lutheran Church, St. Paul’s played an important part in a section of the country which was honeycombed with liberal Lutheranism and the general shallowness of sectarianism. Planted away from the movement of the cities, it was able to grow sheltered in its own aloofness until today it has spread its influence into almost every part of the State of Texas. In recognition of the part St. Paul’s played in the history of the State of Texas, the Centennial Commission honored the congregation with an anniversary marker in 1936.215

St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Serbin, Texas 1870-1905

When the German faction broke away from St. Paul’s in 1870, they called the Rev. John Pallmer, pastor near St. Louis (Baden).216 Though only about a year in the ministry, he was no longer a young man, being about thirty-nine years old. He had served in the “Rauhe Haus,” an orphanage near Hamburg, Germany, and after coming to this country, attended the practical seminary in St. Louis, from which he graduated in 1869.217 Since he was a Wend, he could preach both in Wendish and in German.

Being apprised of the conditions at Serbin and recognizing how sensitive the situation was, Pallmer wrote to Kilian, assuring him his friendship and esteem, begging to be installed by him.218 By letter Kilian expressed his willingness to install Pallmer, but suggested that the parish of St. Peter’s be consulted, fearing that they might be antagonistic. It was understood that the installation could not take place in St. Paul’s Church. Kilian called Pallmer’s attention to the fact that the building of the separatists of 1866,219 situated about a mile away, was still standing. There was also a parsonage and a good cistern available, though at present the house was occupied by a family recently arrived from Germany. The people of the new St. Peter’s did not want to worship there, and it seemed to Kilian that they desired only one building, namely that of St. Paul’s, but two congregations using one church was obviously impossible.220 Kilian’s letter was written before the division of the property had been settled, and he was still in doubt who actually would obtain possession of the church.221

After the settlement was made, St. Peter’s erected a parsonage for its new pastor. The original St. Peter’s Church was torn down, and the lumber was used to build a parsonage on the farther end of the colony’s land, the part deeded to St. Peter’s.222 President F. J. Buenger of the Western District urged Kilian to install Pallmer even though there were differences in the congregation.223 As a result, Kilian installed Pallmer in the newly built house224 on December 11, 1870.225

Hastily a frame church was built and solemnly dedicated on April 26, 1871. For some unknown reason Kilian was not invited until the week of the dedication. Believing that he ought to consult his congregation whether or not he should attend, he did not go, because there was not sufficient time.226 With the church dedicated, school was resumed and conducted in it by Leubner.227 Everything in the school was taught in German, and this evidently satisfied the teacher.228

The new pastor was well liked by his congregation, and the fact that he could preach Wendish took care of the language question. Besides serving his own congregation, he also preached at the new station at Fedor, on the West Yegua. However, Pallmer was not to labor at Serbin very long. The fever, so prevalent in the vicinity, took away his wife on July 4, 1873, soon after she gave birth to her second child, which also died. Pallmer took sick, and it was only a matter of weeks until he, too, succumbed. The congregation testified its love for the pastor in the care it gave him during his illness: the men of the congregation nursed and attended him continually. Before his death, Pallmer entrusted his first-born son to Leubner, who later adopted him. Pallmer died September 1, 1873, at the age of forty-two.229 Kilian being sick, Rev. Proft conducted the funeral.

As might be expected, there were some difficulties within the congregation. Many of the members of St. Peter’s were natural malcontents, and when Pallmer did not satisfy them in their own way, they wished to return to St. Paul’s. The internal trouble served only to increase the friction between the congregations. With the next pastor, the Rev. A. D. Greif, who knew no Wendish, some of these troubles grew worse.

The Rev. A. D. Greif, a very capable man, was installed on the Fourth Sunday in Advent, 1873.230 Though Wendish was dying out, Greif felt it necessary to ask Kilian to serve Holy Communion to the Wends soon after he got there, but the request was turned down by St. Paul’s Congregation.231 This attitude can readily be appreciated, for the members of St. Peter’s had withdrawn because of language, and the mother church felt that they should now be satisfied. In turn the Wends of St. Peter’s wanted to return to the first church, but this was refused them. “As though they were in jail,” Kilian commented.232

Something unique for the times was the organization of the first mission societies in the interest of the work in Texas. Greif did this when on October 25 and 26, 1874, St. Peter’s observed its Mission Sunday with the two neighboring congregations. Seventy-three dollars were collected and transferred to the mission society of St. Peter’s Church.233 How long these societies functioned is not known.

The tact of Greif came to the fore when the Rev. Eduard Zapf of Holy Cross died and an opportunity presented itself to straighten out the situation between the Missouri Synod and the Holy Cross Congregation.234 Greif was quite successful in bringing about a reconciliation, even inducing the guilty ones to make a public apology in the church papers.235

Having served only two years, Greif left Serbin in December, 1875, to accept a pastorate in Little Rock, Ark., where he was installed January 1, 1876.236 Because it was felt that the neighboring Holy Cross Congregation needed someone who could handle the Wendish better than its pastor, the Rev. Timotheus Stiemke, was able to do, and because St. Peter’s could use a German pastor well enough, Stiemke was asked to succeed Greif at the advice of the Visitor, the Rev. Martin Tirmenstein. But every effort to convince the Holy Cross Congregation that they should give up their beloved pastor failed.237 When St. Peter’s saw they could not prevail, they suggested that the two congregations form one parish, with Stiemke living in Serbin. This was turned down by Holy Cross, which requested that the entire matter be dropped.238

Not successful in procuring Stiemke, St. Peter’s called the Rev. Carl L. Geyer of Carlinville, Ill., who accepted. Geyer was one of the Saxon immigrants of 1839, coming to Missouri as a ministerial candidate, a graduate of the University of Leipzig. He was a cousin of Dr. Walther, the first President of the Missouri Synod. At first he taught in St. Louis, but in 1844 he became a missionary in Wisconsin. After sixteen years of strenuous work, he went to Carlinville, Ill., where he served another sixteen years.239 He accepted the call to Texas, where he was installed on Cantate Sunday, 1876, by Kilian.240

During the vacancy of several months much of the old hatred against St. Paul’s had come to the surface among the older people, though the younger set was friendly.241 This animosity became one of the major problems for Geyer to solve. He was quite capable, and being modest and humble, with all his training, he won the love of his people. Always a gentleman in his top hat and wearing a white neckband knotted in the front, he commanded the respect of everyone. Diligent and learned, he was a match for Kilian in the doctrinal discussions and in the pastoral problems involving transfers. Kilian did not always like Geyer, as seen by the formality which existed between them, but he had to respect him and in the matter of doctrine was led to realize his error in chiliasm. Though no longer a young man, Geyer took hold with zeal, showing great interest especially in the young people. He conducted so-called “Christenlehre” (catechetical instructions) every second Sunday and practiced hymns with the younger people on alternate Sundays.242

In 1877 Teacher Leubner accepted a call to the Lutheran Orphanage at Des Peres, Mo., outside St. Louis.243 During the vacancy of two years, Carl L. Geyer, one of the pastor’s sons, assisted in teaching.244 Finally, in 1879, C. F. Braun, a graduate of Addison, Ill., normal school, was obtained for the school, which now numbered only thirty-one pupils, though the congregation reported 371 souls.245 Braun, born in Germany, came to Minnesota as a lad, where he decided to study for the teaching profession.246 After four years, Braun left Serbin for a call to Saginaw, Mich., meanwhile having married the Rev. G. Birkmann’s sister of Fedor.247

In 1883, the same year Braun left, Leubner was recalled to Serbin.248 The number of pupils increasing rapidly, a school building was erected in 1886 between the parsonage and the teacher’s dwelling. Forty pupils attended in 1882, but when Leubner left in 1890, there were sixty.249 The membership of the congregation for the corresponding years rising from 284 to 310.250

Evidently race prejudice did not always penetrate the post oaks as evidenced by the occasional attendance of a Negro at St. Peter’s. A certain Clark, colored, attended a year or two, and another Negro, Haywood Bennett, graduated with his confirmation. Later Bennett attended the practical seminary at Springfield, Ill., though he did not complete his studies.251

When Leubner left in 1891, the Rev. Adolf Geyer, another son of the pastor, taught for a short time. He had failed in the ministry and had experienced the same result in teaching. Being of a fiery temper, he was almost involved in court proceedings over beating a child.252 Fortunately, not long after, W. A. Herter, of the Illinois District, accepted the call to Serbin.253

After sixteen years of service at Serbin, the aged Rev. Geyer died on March 6, 1892. Four weeks before his death he had attended the District synodical sessions at Warda. His faithful ministry at St. Peter’s had a steadying influence on his congregation, deepening their understanding in Lutheran doctrines and practice. To the end of his life his manner and dress had been that of the exacting gentleman.254 Though he had spent years in the backwoods, especially in Wisconsin and in Texas, he had not “gone native.”

After Geyer’s death, the Rev. C. Bernthal of Shiner became pastor. His ministry of fifteen years saw the gradual decline of St. Peter’s. Since the community was no longer fed by immigration, but was rather losing many families, first to Fedor, and later to Thorndale, Copperas Cove, and other parts of the State, it was natural that this congregation should decline. The language question was no longer an issue, for even St. Paul’s was growing predominantly German, and St. Peter’s had no distinctive purpose to fill which the mother church could not satisfy.

A tragedy occurred in 1895 to mar the placid life of Serbin when the teacher, W. A. Herter, died suddenly. A man of powerful build, he seemed to be quite as familiar with mechanics as with books. July 4, being a holiday, Herter spent the day with his mechanics. While repairing an iron, heated by gasoline, there was a sudden explosion, so seriously burning Herter on the chest that he died a few days later.255

As the congregation declined, so also did the school, as may be noticed in the frequent changes of the teachers. Following Herter, Theodore Schmidt came in 1896, but resigned within a year.256 Another year elapsed before W. Weise was installed the Sunday after Easter, 1898.257 Weise was a native of Serbin and the last teacher of St. Peter’s, remaining until 1907, when he went to Missouri.258

St. Peter’s had reached the peak of its membership under Rev. Geyer and Mr. Leubner. By the end of 1904 the congregation had dwindled to 278 persons and the school to forty-one pupils;259 though still a good-sized congregation, it had no future. The exodus from this farming community hurt St. Peter’s more than any of the neighboring congregations. Only one more pastor followed Bernthal in 1907, namely, the Rev. M. W. Pott, and he also performed the duties of teacher. Finally, in 1914, the congregation reunited with St. Paul’s, chiefly through the efforts of the Rev. George Fischer of Giddings, Texas. The church was torn down, and unfortunately all the records of the congregational meetings were burned at the time. Thus ended the second St. Peter’s of Serbin.


Appendix

Statistics of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Serbin, Texas
Year Souls Communicants Voting Members* Pupils
1865 c.35
1869 581 363 148
1870 100 c.40
1872 c.55
1873 470 145 40
1875 488 132 44
1881 625 147 70
1886 100
1890 674 386 135 117
1898 696 376 135 102
1900 684 392 118 102
1902 687 356 122 92
1903 635 396 130 92
1904 635 356 112 86
Statistics of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Serbin, Texas
(Texas Synod)
Year Souls Communicants Voting Members Pupils
1861 45 15 c.15
1865 45 7
Statistics of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Serbin, Texas
Year Souls Communicants Voting Members Pupils
1873 67
1874 62 71
1877 270 49
1879 311 31
1881 319 62 36
1882 284 58 40
1890 310 213 60 60
1898 313 193 60 43
1900 300 212 62 47
1902 278 189 57 50
1903 273 185 59 48
1904 278 173 60 41

* St. Paul’s until near the end of this period made 18 years the requirement for voting members. All other congregations had 21 years.


  1. The error of chiliasm takes on a number of forms. As it was taught by Schieferdecker and Kilian it contended that Judgment Day was not to come before a general conversion of all heathen.
  2. Draft of letter by Kilian to C. Braun, Dec. 29, 1874. A. M. C.
  3. “Die Zukunft dieser Welt,” sermon manuscript in the archives of the Texas District, Concordia College, Austin, Texas, referred to hereafter as the Austin archives. Also photostatic copy in author’s collection.
  4. Draft of letter by Kilian to President Biltz, Concordia, Mo., June 22, 1877. Austin archives
  5. Rev. Geyer had been present in the synodical meeting of 1857 when Schieferdecker was excluded from membership and thus was well versed in this subject. Ninth Synodical Report, 1857.
  6. “Verantwortung in Thesen, August, 1877.” MS. in Austin archives.
  7. “Saerze ueber die Lehre von den letzten Dingen.” Ms. in Austin archives.
  8. Serbin Minutes, Jan. 28, 1883.
  9. Ibid.
  10. Serbin Minutes, July 8, 1883.
  11. Der Lutheraner, Vol. XXXIX, Aug. 15, 1883.
  12. Der Lutheraner, Vol. XI, Oct. 1, 1884.
  13. The Southern District was organized in 1881.
  14. Serbin Minutes, Dec. 28, 1885.
  15. Synodical Report, Southern District, 1886.
  16. Serbin Minutes, March 9, 1884.
  17. Serbin Minutes, March 11, 1877.
  18. Serbin Minutes, May 9, 1886.
  19. Serbin Minutes, April 11, 1886.
  20. Serbin Minutes, Aug. 15, 1886.
  21. Autobiographical sketch in Graduates of Addison Seminary, Twenty-Fifth Anniversary, 1907-1932.
  22. Serbin Minutes, April 7, 1890.
  23. Serbin Minutes, May 20 and June 3, 1894.
  24. Serbin Minutes, Sept. 8, 1901.
  25. Serbin Minutes, Sept. 8, 1901, to April 20, 1902.
  26. Graduates of Addison Seminary.
  27. Synodical Report, Southern District, 1904
  28. Birkmann, G. D. V., June 11 and 18, 1936.
  29. Figured from the time the call of Kilian was accepted in Germany in 1854.
  30. Serbin Minutes, Nov. 23, 1902.
  31. Kilian, op. cit., p. 8.
  32. Kilian, op, cit., p. 7.
  33. Serbin Minutes, Aug. 24, 1890.
  34. Serbin Minutes, July 19, 1896.
  35. Serbin Minutes, Aug. 14, 1904.
  36. Serbin Minutes, Oct. 31, 1904. See also the Synodical Report, Western District, 1872.
  37. Serbin Minutes, March 28, 1905.
  38. Serbin Minutes, May 21, 1905.
  39. Serbin Minutes, Jan. 1, 1906.
  40. The historical marker was not placed in 1936, but somewhat later. It bears the date 1854 as the time of the settlement. This is not quite correct, for the Wends left Germany in 1854, arriving at the present Serbin in January or February, 1855.
  41. Supra, p. 53.
  42. “Ein Brief des alren Past. G. Birkmann an einen Freund …,” Oct. 22, 1924. Austin archives.
  43. Letter of Pallmer to Kilian, Aug. 31, 1870. A. M. C.
  44. Supra, p. 18.
  45. Draft of letter by Kilian to Pallmer, Sept. 13, 1870. A. M. C.
  46. The settlement was finally made Sept. 23 and 24, 1870. Cp. supra, p. 54.
  47. Draft of letter by Kilian to Buenger, Jan. 2, 1871. A. M. C.
  48. Letter by Buenger to Kilian, Nov. 9, 1870. A. M. C.
  49. Draft of letter by Kilian to Buenger, Jan. 2, 1871. A. M. C.
  50. Synodical Report, Western District, 1871.
  51. Draft of letter by Kilian to Buenger, April 26, 1871. A. M. C.
  52. Interview with Mrs. Dunk, Warda, Texas.
  53. Draft of letter by Kilian to Buenger, Nov. 12, 1872. A. M. C.
  54. Der Lutheraner, Vol. XXIX, Oct. 15, 1873.
  55. Der Lutheraner, Vol. XXX, Feb. 15, 1874.
  56. Supra, p. 66.
  57. Draft of letter by Kilian to Hermann Kilian, Nov. 24, 1874. A. M. C.
  58. Der Lutheraner, Vol. XXXI, Feb. 15, 1875.
  59. After the Fayette County group broke away from St. Paul’s in 1873, they organized the Holy Cross Evangelical Lutheran Church (now in Warda, Texas). Because of their rebellious actions, the Missouri Synod could not supply them with a pastor. Holy Cross turned to the Texas Synod, which immediately sent Eduard Zapf.
  60. Der Lutheraner, Vol. XXXI, Nov. 1, 1874.
  61. Synodical Report, Western District, 1876. Like so many of the other pastors, Greif was interested in expanding the field of his labors. In 1875 he began a preaching station in Giddings, but the time was not ripe, and he had little success.
  62. Minutes of the Holy Cross Congregation, Jan. 1, 1876.
  63. Minutes of the Holy Cross Congregation, Feb. 2, 1876.
  64. “Ein Brief des alten Past. G. Birkmann … ,” op, cit.
  65. Synodical Report, Western District, 1877.
  66. Draft of letter by Kilian to his son Hermann, Feb. 29, 1876. A. M. C.
  67. Interview with Mr. Hermann Biar, Giddings, Texas. He was confirmed by Geyer.
  68. Draft of letter by Kilian, to his son Hermann, June 15, 1877. A. M. C.
  69. Birkmann, G. D. V., Aug. 19, 1937. This was later Dr. Geyer who was an organizer and a president of the congregation at Giddings.
  70. Synodical Report, Western District, 1879.
  71. Birkmann, “Lehrer an unsern Gemeindeschulen in Texas,” in Texas Distriktsbote, Vol. XV, No. 1, April, 1930.
  72. Birkmann, G. D. V., July 5, 1934.
  73. Synodical Report, Southern District, 1883.
  74. Ibid., for 1883 and the Statistical Yearbook, 1890.
  75. Ibid.
  76. Interview with Rev. Hermann Schmidt, Serbin, Texas.
  77. Interview with Mrs. Menzel, Muldoon, Tex.
  78. Kilian, op. cit., p. 13.
  79. Birkmann, G. D. V., March 4, 1937.
  80. Interview with Mr. Hermann Biar, Giddings, Texas.
  81. Birkmann, “Lehrer an unsern Gemeindeschulen in Texas,” in Texas Distriktsbote, Vol. XV, No. 2, June, 1930.
  82. Statistical Yearbook, 1898.
  83. Birkmann, “Lehrer an unsern Gemeindeschulen in Texas;” in Texas Distriktsbote, Vol. XV, No. 2, June, 1930.
  84. Statistical Yearbook, 1904.