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First Protestant Church
The church also has a website

http://www.firstprotestant.com/ for additional info and contact info.  
 Contact E. C. Mornhinweg    gmornhinweg@firstprotestant.com
,
Historian for the church at
(830) 609-7729 x22.


Sent by
"Our History"
The history of First Protestant Church is simultaneous with the settling of
New Braunfels.  Even before the arrival of the first settlers in 1844, the
Reverend Louis C. Ervendberg was invited by Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels,
Germany to serve as Protestant Minister for the German immigrants who were
expected to arrive a few months later.  First services were held in December
1844; the church was incorporated October 1845, making it the first church
in New Braunfels.

The settlers who came to New Braunfels as early as 1845 worshipped
originally in the German language.  Singing of German chorales in either
German or English on Heritage Sundays during Wurstfest is part of our
ecumenical heritage.

At first the people worshiped in a church made of logs rather than stone.
To the left of the pulpit, on the wall, you will see a picture of the log
church and the wood cross, which is actually made from the original cedar
logs.

The corner stone of this church was laid in 1875.  Four years later the
church was erected, but the tower was not added until 1889, the bells until
1894, the clock until 1905; the enlarged chancel and chapel, with some
remodeling, were added in 1955.  The Sanctuary is now connected by a
two-story interior corridor to the Family Life Center.  The New Family Life
Center was dedicated on October 23, 1994.

As you enter the church through the tower room you may see above the doors,
"Enter into his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise!  Give
thanks to Him, bless His name!  For the Lord is good."  Passing into the
Narthex you see above these doors, "The Lord is in His Holy Temple; let all
who enter keep silence before Him."

If one were to look down from the Choir Loft and obtain an overall
impression of the church building, one could see that the church is laid out
in the shape of a cross.  The interior of this beautiful Gothic structure
seems to say, "God is here. He is revealed to us in Jesus Christ, our
Savior, Redeemer, and Lord."

The Altar speaks silently of God's spiritual presence in the church; the
Chancel Window, five and one half feet in diameter, above the Altar, focuses
attention on the blessings of peace offered to believers in Him who revealed
himself and God's love for the world on the cross.  His whole life, the most
significant ever lived on earth, from the annunciation to his ascension,
plus keys to his great teachings, is pictured in 28 other beautiful stained
glass windows.  Some of the art glass windows were added in 1955 to coincide
with the original ones in style and color fashioned by Marcine, a Franciscan
Monk from Berlin.

If one were to name a few items of great historical interest, one would
surely mention the Chalice, presented by Prince Carl von Solms on Good
Friday, 1845, the first service under the grove of elm trees.  Another item
would be the first bells, brought to this country from Germany under the
direction of the German emigration Society.  Carl Schaefer was charged with
their safe delivery.  During the earliest pioneer days the bells were used
to call people to worship, men to work and children to school.  Originally
they were hung in the Onion Steeple Belfry of the log church and later in
the Tower of the new church until 1894, when new bells were acquired.  These
items and some of the books, church records, and other memorabilia
commemorating our Christian Heritage are displayed in the Heritage Rooms.
Displays in one of the four heritage rooms are changed each year.

The Sanctuary Organ has been completely restored.  It is now one of the
largest pipe organs between Austin and San Antonio.  A new three manual
console was added during the restoration, and the organ now contains over
twenty-four speaking pipes.

As you leave the Narthex, above the doors leading out into the tower room.
are the words in the German language, "Der Herr behute deinen Ausgang und
Eingang von non an bis in Ewigkeit!"  Translated:  "The Lord will bless your
going out and your coming in this time and in eternity!"

Enhancing the beauty of the entire church campus is the Walk of Faith.  The
walk contains four sections: the Pathway to Life which leads from Coll
Street to the Good Shepherd Statue located at the entrance to the Family
Life Center.  The Pathway to Life begins with the biblical quotations of
Genesis depicting the creation of the earth and moves through the Old
Testament accounts of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments; Noah, the Ark,
and the forty day flood.  It then leads us through selected New Testament
scriptures including the Beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount.  Also
located on Coll Street is the Heritage Wall, containing scriptures in
German, artifacts from the first service held on Good Friday, March 21,
1845, crosses made from cedar logs of the original church, and the names of
all ministers who have served here.

The second section of the Walk of Faith is the Good Shepherd Walk.  This
section begins with the Good Shepherd Statue and leads through the courtyard
area to the Good Shepherd Window.  Enhancing this section are the
Trinitarian Fountains and the Reflecting Pool.  Two memorial planters are
also located in this area and contain various plants depicted in the Bible.

The third section is located in front of the church and leads from the
sidewalk along Seguin Street to the main front entrance of the Family Life
Center.  This section is known as The Living Cross.  It contains selected
New Testament scriptures depicting the life of Christ.  The reddish Marble
Falls granite stones that are located in the center of each cross section
contain the actual words of Jesus Christ from selected verses in the four
Gospels.

A fourth section leads from both Seguin and Coll Streets to the front of the
Sanctuary providing continuity and better access from our parking area.
This section entitled the Parables contains the popular stories of Jesus as
told in the Bible. "