Anderson Baptist Church
Marker Number: 8562
300 Fanthorp Ave., Anderson, TX
Organized November 11, 1844
Baptist General Convention of Texas organized here in 1848. Twenty-three of
Texas thirty-four Baptist churches were represented. Present building was
constructed with native rock by slave labor and finished in 1855. Burned
February 6, 1955, and was restored, using original walls, and redecorated
September 18, 1955. First Texas Baptist Woman's Missionary Society organized
here in 1858. Sign and plaque given in memory of Carl H. and Effie Smith
First Baptist Church
Historical Marker 9407
Take FM 2620 SE approx. .5 miles
The Rev. Anderson Buffington
(1806-91), a Baptist missionary who fought at the Battle of San Jacinto in
1836, organized this church in 1848. Services were held in a small
schoolhouse until the 1850s. In 1859 the congregation built this structure,
which also served as a school until about 1903. Members of this fellowship
helped start several other Baptist churches nearby. The congregation survived
a split in 1913, but later dwindled because of population changes. The last
regular service was held here in 1965. Restored in 1974, the building was
deeded to the Bedias Cemetery Association.
Fellowship of Believers
Information from Dee Prewitt.
Located in Roans Prairie. Currently at the Roans Prairie Community Center
until we find a new home… We are an non-denominal church that teaches the whole bible from
Genesis to Revelations. We are a full gospel church. Our motto is “Real
Church for Real People” We don’t care where you come from….how you dress….if
your rich or poor…We just want to share God’s word and love with everyone.
Sundays at 10:00 am and Thursdays at 7:00 (bible study)
First Baptist Church
Historical Marker 8574
SE corner of Church St. and Holland St.; Navasota.
In the spring of 1860, six men
formed this church, one of the first of any faith in the railroad town of
Navasota. By fall there were 52 members, and growth continued. Services were
held in the town's schoolhouse, and then in a Methodist church, until the
Baptists received a site as a gift from the Houston & Texas Central Railway,
and built a small frame sanctuary about 1872. A permanent edifice of native
stone was started after Mrs. A. E. Baten, wife of
the pastor, drew plans in 1889. Funds came from members and non-members,
sometimes as donations of cattle, and a 46' x 67' x 37' x 67' stone building
with a steeple was completed in 1890. By 1925 more room was needed; a 2-story
annex was constructed. Although a new, larger sanctuary was erected in 1955,
the 1890 building is still used. In 1969, it was converted into a fellowship
hall, and after a disastrous fire the next year was restored in 1971. The
congregation-- now numbering more than 900 members-- founded and financed one
local mission that became self-supporting, and now underwrites another.
During the church's first 116 years, it has been served by 35 pastors.
First Presbyterian Church of Navasota
Corner of Nolan and Holland Streets; Navasota.
Organized in 1866, drawing
members from old church at Washington, Texas. First building, erected in
1876, was replaced in 1894 by this Victorian edifice finely crafted in the
taste of its English builders. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1970
First United Methodist Church of Navasota
Historical Marker 1984
SW corner of Wood St. and Holland St.; Navasota.
The first worship services of
the Methodist church in Navasota were held in 1853 in the community
schoolhouse. The Rev. T. W. Blake served as part-time pastor for most of the
antebellum and Civil War years. In 1866 the Houston & Texas Central
Railroad deeded land at this site for use by the Methodist congregation. In
that year, a frame building with shuttered windows was constructed for the
fellowship. It was named Robert Alexander Chapel in honor of an early
Methodist circuit rider in Texas. The chapel was also used by Navasota's
Presbyterian congregation. In 1891 a rock building replaced the frame
structure and was used until 1912, when a brick sanctuary was built. The
current sanctuary was completed in 1959. Although the size of the
congregation is relatively small when compared with that of other churches in
the area, the First United Methodist Church of Navasota has served as host to
the Texas Annual Conference of Methodist Churches. Throughout its history,
this congregation has provided significant service and leadership to the
community and has continued to uphold the ideals and traditions of its
Harmony Baptist Church and Cemetery
Historical Marker 8588
From Navasota, Highway 6, take SH 105 E approximately 2.4 miles to CR 407,
then take CR 407 N approximately 2 miles to cemetery and church on the left.
Soon after John Moore McGinty (1823-1888) and his wife Mary Loretta Brown settled
in Stoneham in 1853, they organized the Grimes Prairie Baptist Church. About
1859 the congregation moved to a schoolhouse in this area and changed the
name to "Harmony". This property was acquired from Blake and Peggy
Brantley, and the first church house erected in 1870. Upon the death of McGinty, his wife and son deeded the cemetery land which
had been in use for years. About 1924 this building was completed. Services
were held here until the 1930s.
Lee Tabernacle Methodist Church
Historical Marker 8598
Corner of La Salle (Bus. SH 6) and Teague Street; Navasota.
This Methodist congregation was
founded in 1860, and worshipped with the Baptist church in shared facilities
in Navasota. A church building was erected in 1866 in what was called
"Freeman's Town." The Methodist group was formally organized in
1876, and built a separate facility a few years later. This church building
was erected in 1896. During construction, services were held in the basement
until the sanctuary was finished. When the structure was completed, the
congregation changed its name to honor the pastor at that time, The Rev.
Edward Lee, becoming the Lee Tabernacle Methodist Church. Interior
modifications have occurred over the years, including the restoration of the
stained glass windows, the addition of a choir room, and general remodeling,
but the exterior remains essentially intact. A parsonage was added to
accommodate the pastor. This church structure is a fine example of a Gothic
revival design, featuring arched windows, a tower entry, stained glass
windows, double wood paneled doors, and a gabled roof. The Lee Tabernacle
Methodist Church continues to serve its dedicated members as it has for over
130 years in the Navasota community.
Oakland Baptist Church
Historical Marker 8606
Roan's Prairie, Texas
From the intersection of SH 90 and SH 30 in Roans Prairie go E on SH 30
approx. 100 yards, then S on Church Road approx.
200 yards; Roans Prairie.
Organized 1854. First pastor was
George W. Baines, great grandfather of U.S. President Lyndon Baines Johnson.
Congregation worshipped in school room till 1872 when present church was
built. Church was moved to this site in 1913. Recorded Texas Historic
Plantersville Baptist Church
Historical Marker 8611
From the intersection of SH 105 and FM 1774 in Stoneham take FM 1774 south
about .5 mile to church.
Organized May 19, 1861, by
elders N. T. Byars and George W. Baines. The Rev.
Mr. Baines was the great-grandfather of the 36th President of the United
States, Lyndon Baines Johnson.
Historical Marker 8610
Organized May, 1861, with Rev.
N. T. Byars as pastor. Worship was in a schoolhouse
until erection of this building, which was dedicated Aug. 4, 1872. Cost
$2,701.73, paid in gold. Church bell came by oxcart from San Antonio.
Building, including pews (hand-hewn), is in original state. Through years
church has had two missions, Todd and Smith's Store, under its guidance.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 1967
St. Joseph's Catholic Church
Historical Marker 8472
New Waverly, Texas
Corner of Empire and Walker Streets, New Waverly
St. Joseph Catholic Church was established in 1909 by a group of
Polish-speaking immigrants from the Grimes Prairie, Stoneham and
Plantersville areas. For many years, Stoneham's Polish community worshipped
either with the Polish community of St. Stanislaus in Anderson or with the
Ukrainian-German community of St. Mary in Plantersville. In 1909, because of
historical rivalries and antagonism rooted in the Old World and the arrival
of a new pastor at St. Mary, the Polish community in the Stoneham area
separated itself from the Plantersville community, joining itself with the
Polish community of Anderson as a mission, and built its own sanctuary in the
present location, under the spiritual leadership and jurisdiction of the
Polish-speaking pastor of St. Stanislaus in Anderson. This arrangement would
last until 1967 when jurisdiction would be transferred to St. Mary in
Plantersville with St. Joseph as its Mission. This is the present status,
uniting the communities of St. Mary and St. Joseph.
The land for the present location was purchased from Mrs. J.O.
Stoneham. It was a ten acre tract just south of Stoneham, which was then a
small, thriving community. The parishioners united and built a church of
modified New England style prevalent and popular at the time, large enough to
accommodate the growing Polish population migrating into the area. A small
rectory was also built near the new church for a visiting priest to stay the
night. Unfortunately, St. Joseph was never fortunate to have a resident
On July 19, 1909, the present property was, of course, deeded to
the Right Rev. Nicholas Gallagher, Bishop of Galveston, which, at that time,
comprised the entire State of Texas. Traveling to Stoneham, Bishop Gallagher
dedicated the newly constructed church in 1910, with Fr. Markus Dombrowski of St. Stanislaus in Anderson as its first
pastor and established it as a mission of Anderson. The cemetery was also
established at this time. Records show that the first wedding celebrated was
that of Tony Sechelski and Agnes Niscovits in 1910 and the first burial in the cemetery
that of Michalena Filipak
(Phillips) on May 13, 1910.
St. Mary's Catholic Church The first recorded visit of a Catholic
priest to Plantersville occurred in the summer of 1860. Infrequent worship
services subsequently were held at the home of James Kelly Markey until the
first church building was constructed in 1873. An influx of Polish and
German-Russian immigrants in the last quarter of the 19th century led to such
growth in the congregation that Bishop Nicholas Gallagher of the Diocese of
Galveston sent the Rev. Joseph Klein to serve as resident pastor in 1894.
During Fr. Klein's pastorate, Cordelia Baker gave
10 acres of land to the diocese for the benefit of a German Catholic Church
in Plantersville. A small building was completed and dedicated in 1894 under
the name Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. After Fr. Klein's departure in
1907, the Rev. George Wilhelm became pastor, and St. Mary's divided into
Polish and German congregations, with the Polish families founding St.
Joseph's Church in Stoneham. The church building burned to the ground after
being struck by lightning in 1917, and it was replaced the same year, under
the leadership of the Rev. George Apel, with this
Gothic Revival structure. Stained glass windows reflect the German heritage
of the congregation, while the lancet windows, buttresses and crenellated
bell tower demonstrate the building's Gothic Revival architectural
influences. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 2001
Saint Paul's Episcopal Church
Historical Marker 8612
414 E. McAlpine, Navasota.
In 1864, Bishop Alexander Gregg
organized an Episcopal mission in Navasota that became a parish in 1866.
Originally known as the Church of the Holy Comforter, it was renamed in 1870,
when the church building from St. Paul's in Washington (7 mi. SW) was
acquired and relocated to Navasota on land donated by the Houston and Texas
Central Railway. The congregation completed a new church building in 1891.
Throughout its history, St. Paul's has been actively involved in the
community with worship, education, and outreach programs.
St. Stanislaus Catholic Church
In 1873 thirty families purchased
a public school and three and a half acres of land just south of Anderson.
They converted the school into Anderson’s first Catholic Church. Fr. Orzechowski’s name appears in the sacramental record book
from 1876 to 1882. All but one of the first eighty-eight baptisms, however,
took place in Plantersville, Texas, where Father Orzechowski
also ministered. The first recorded baptism in Anderson took place in 1880.
The parish’s death records indicate that Fr. Orzechowski
also began the parish cemetery.
Having been reared in Poland’s relatively mild climate, Fr. Orzechowski eventually found Texas summers too
oppressive. In 1882 he returned to his beloved Warsaw. At that time Poland
was not an independent country. For nearly a hundred years the Polish lands
had been divided among the German, Austro-Hungarian, and Russian Empires.
Warsaw was part of the Russian Empire. During his time in Texas, Fr. Orzechowski had been inculcated with the American
principles of freedom of thought and speech and religious tolerance, and he
spoke out in favor of these ideals in his native land. As a result, the
Russian authorities adjudged him a dangerous radical and exiled him to
Siberia. Fr. Orzechowski died there shortly after
he had been exiled.
The history of the parish cannot be traced from 1883 to 1888. Rev. Fr. Adam
Laski became the first resident priest in 1888 and ministered to the
Catholics of Anderson for two years. From 1890 through 1895 Rev. Fr. J. Chalcarz and Rev. Fr. A. Sulek,
both of whom came from Poland, served as resident priests at St. Stanislaus.
From 1895 through 1897 there was no resident priest, but Rev. Fr. J. Klein of
St. Mary’s Church, Plantersville offered Mass at St. Stanislaus. In 1897,
Rev. Fr. F.X. Pruss became pastor of St.
Stanislaus. In his energetic zeal, Fr. Pruss built
a 40-by-60 foot church and converted an old public school into a parochial
school, which was discontinued when his pastorate ended in 1903.
In 1904 Rev. Fr. Peter Litwora became pastor. His
eight year pastorate was a productive one, but it came to an untimely end.
Anderson experienced several dry summers, and water became scarce. After
several unsuccessful attempts, parishioners were able to dig a well, but it
was located near the parish cemetery. After drinking water from this well,
Fr. Litwora became seriously ill and was
hospitalized in St. Joseph’s Hospital in Houston. Rev. Fr. C. H. Weiznerowski ministered to the parish for two months
until its new pastor, Rev. Fr. Marcus Dombrowski,
was appointed in 1912. Upon hearing that Fr. Litwora’s
illness was caused by contaminated well water, Fr. Dombrowski
had a deep well dug and struck some of the best water in Grimes County. He
also made attempts to remodel the old frame church.
In 1916, Fr. Dombrowski was succeeded by Rev. Fr. Nikodem Tomasz Domanski. Bishop
Nicholas A. Gallagher of Galveston insisted that Fr. Domanski
immediately build a parochial school, but too many obstacles prevented him
from doing so. The old frame church became too small to accommodate the
growing number of parishioners; therefore, Fr. Domanski
proposed that a new church (the current parish church) be built. Grimes
County Judge Thomas Buffington, whose father had brought the first Polish
family to Grimes County, donated 120 loads of crushed rocks for its
foundation. The church’s architecture is Romanesque, and its original wood
carved altars remain to this day. Its beautifully crafted stained glass
windows were valued in 1983 at $206,720. The church was completed in 1917 at
a cost of $40,000.00 (all of which had been raised before the church was
completed), and it was the first brick Catholic edifice in Grimes County.
The new St. Stanislaus parish church was dedicated by Reverend Monsignor
James Kirwin, Vicar General and Administrator of
the Diocese of Galveston on Tuesday, August 6, 1918, the Feast of the
Transfiguration of the Lord with over 1500 people in attendance. The
dedicatory sermon was given by Rev. Fr. J. G. Zymonski.
Although Fr. Zymonski spoke in Polish, the Navasota
Examiner-Review of Wednesday, August 7, 1918, reported that “[w]hile we could not understand this splendid address, the
delivery was so forceful and eloquent that we enjoyed the address almost as
much as though we had been able to follow it verbatim.” Monsignor Kirwin gave an address in English after the dedication in
which he took as his text a line from the feast day’s Gospel reading (Mt.
17:1-9) - “Let us build here three tabernacles.” In his address, Monsignor Kirwin praised Fr. Domanski and
the Catholics of Anderson for building such a beautiful tabernacle for the
Lord upon a lovely hill so that it could be seen from all directions. The
Monsignor, however, also reminded all present that the most important
tabernacle for the Lord is the one built inside the human heart. Monsignor Kerwin also spoke in thanksgiving for America’s tradition
of welcoming and assimilating people from all lands. Finally, he predicted
that “[w]hen this awful struggle is over, Poland, which has always stood for
liberty and freedom, will come into its own among the family of nations . . .
.” The awful struggle of World War I ended three months later, and, as
Monsignor Kerwin had predicted, after the war,
Poland once again became an independent nation.
During his 39 year pastorate, Fr. Domanski enlarged
the rectory (1924) and built a Parish Hall (1939). In 1951, Rev. Fr. T.W. Kappe was assigned as assistant pastor to Fr. Domanski. Fr. Domanski died in
1955 and was buried in the parish cemetery. Upon Fr. Domanski’s
death, Fr. Kappe, a most zealous and dynamic
priest, was appointed pastor. He organized the local Knights of Columbus
Council, named in honor of Fr. Domanski. He also
began the first annual Homecoming and Bazaar and the first C.Y.O. in the
parish. Fr. Kappe invited seminarians from St.
Mary’s Seminary to come to the parish in the summer to teach religious
education and to help with the maintenance and repairs at St. Stanislaus and
St. Joseph, the mission church in Stoneham. All these seminarians were later
ordained to the priesthood. Rev. Msgr. Joe Culver presently serves in the
Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Rev. Frs. Richard DeStefano
and Don Golasinski presently serve the Diocese of
Beaumont, and Rev. Fr. Elmer Holtman presently
serves in the Diocese of Austin. The late Rev. Fr. Cliff Natho
served for many years in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.
Fr. Kappe was truly loved by all who knew him.
Under Fr. Kappe’s direction, the present church
underwent major renovations, including a massive reconstruction of the foundation
and steeple. Fr. Kappe served two separate terms as
St. Stanislaus pastor, the first 1955-1960 and the second 1964-1966. Fr. Kappe died in 1976 and was buried in St. Joseph Mission
cemetery in Stoneham where he had also served. The archdiocesan youth camp,
Camp Kappe, located near Plantersville is named in
his memory, as is the Knights of Columbus Council in Navasota.
Between Fr. Kappe’s first and second terms as
Pastor, St. Stanislaus was served by three priests — Rev. Fr. Francis J. Klass (1960), Rev. Fr. William Kennelly (1961), and Rev.
Fr. Robert Gradel (1962-1964). After Fr. Kappe’s second term, Rev. Fr. Bernard J. O’Neill was
assigned as pastor in 1966 and remained until his death in 1979. He was an
unpretentious and dedicated priest and had a great love for the poor and
needy. Fr. O’Neill purchased ten acres of land adjacent to the old cemetery,
foreseeing the need for more cemetery space in the future. He dismantled the
old wooden rectory and built a beautiful well planned new brick rectory. He
also organized the parish Holy Name Society. Fr. O’Neill was buried in the
parish cemetery, his gravestone donated by his former parishioners. During
his final illness, Fr. O’Neill was assisted in the parish by Rev. Fr. Charles
Burns and Rev. Fr. Roderick Hemond.
Rev. Fr. Louis S. Sikorski was assigned to St.
Stanislaus in July, 1979. That summer, with the help of parishioners, the old
rectory portion of the hall building was renovated and converted to
classrooms so that the C.C.E. classes could be moved from the local public
school back to the parish. When Fr. Sikorski
arrived there was only a small amount of money in the parish account because
of the cost of the new rectory. He decided that, in order to pay off the
remaining debt on the new rectory, to meet the financial needs of the parish,
and to make necessary repairs and improvements, the annual Homecoming and
Bazaar and its facilities had to be expanded. At this time, there was only
one bazaar building and a Bar-B-Que pit building.
Buying materials on credit, he had a second permanent bazaar building
constructed. The old Bar-B-Que building down the
hill on the west side of the church was dismantled and reconstructed,
becoming the bazaar auction building. Beginning in October, 1979, the
Homecoming and Bazaar became financially successful. In the following years,
a kitchen, restrooms and a new auction building were added to the bazaar
facilities. The attractions of this annual parish event continued to expand,
and the bazaar presently draws one of the largest crowds of any event in
Because of the financial success of the annual bazaars, the remaining debt of
$32,000.00 on the new rectory was paid off in 1981. From 1981 to 1992 over
$120,000.00 in parish improvements were made, including two concrete parking
lots, a drainage system in front of church, outdoor lighting, a much needed
storage building, repairs to the stained glass windows in church and a new
church sound system. In 1986, under the sponsorship of the Holy Name Society,
Fr. Sikorski began an annual Spring Festival and
Easter Egg Hunt which occurs every year on Passion/Palm Sunday. In 1993, at a
cost of $81,000.00, the interior of the church was renovated, including the
painting of the interior, repairing and refinishing the pews and wood floor
and the installation of new carpet. In 1995, the local Knights of Columbus
Council, No. 4054, sponsored, funded, and installed a beautiful memorial
monument by the parish church sign near SH 90 to commemorate all unborn
children killed by abortion.
In 1984, Fr. Sikorski took a leave of absence for
one year due to illness. In his absence, Rev. Fr. John Prill,
originally from Poland, was appointed administrator. Before Fr. Sikorski left, he had drawn up plans and budgeted money
for the new concrete parking lot. With the input of parishioners, this
project was completed in 1984 during the administration of Fr. Prill. Fr. Sikorski was
re-appointed pastor in October, 1985 and served until illness forced him to
retire in October, 2007. Rev. Fr. Raul A. Marterior,
who was serving as pastor of Christ Our Light Catholic Church in Navasota,
was appointed as pastor of St. Stanislaus as well.
The parish’s Holy Name and Altar Societies have been active, wonderful
examples of faith, and of great assistance to the pastor and parish, the
former funding the maintenance of the church grounds and cemetery, the latter
funding the weekly cleaning of the church. The C.C.E. Program, Pre-K through
12th Grade, has grown and is staffed by very dedicated parishioners. The
C.Y.O. has distinguished itself by their participation in parish functions
and by winning a number of first place awards in athletic competition. The
parish has also been blessed with excellent and dependable Altar Servers.
Mrs. Maxine Kimich Lee served, without pay, as
parish secretary for 30 years, until serious illness forced her to retire in
Presently (August, 2008), there are 325 families in the parish. They, reside
in the towns of Anderson, Bedias, Carlos, Iola,
Navasota, Richards, Roans Prairie and Shiro. In the
near future, with money already raised from parish bazaars and a pledge fund
drive, a new parish hall/CCE building will be constructed, and a new section
of the parish cemetery will be opened, and the entire cemetery fenced.
The history of St. Stanislaus has been shaped both by the faith and
personalities of the priests who have served the parish and by those whom
they have served. Perhaps this can be best exemplified by the fact that two
men from the parish have been ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese
of Galveston-Houston - Rev. Msgr. Adam McClosky and
Rev. Fr. Joseph Szymczak. Fr. Szymczak
died in 1985 and is buried in the parish Cemetery. Rev. Msgr. Chester Borski,
also of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, was born in Anderson and
baptized at St. Stanislaus.
The faith of the people of St. Stanislaus Kostka
has brought them through difficult times in their past, most especially those
times when they were without a resident priest. As the parish must now share
its pastor with a neighboring parish, the same faith must sustain them in the
present and into the foreseeable future.
Historical Marker 8619
From the intersection of SH 105 and Spur 234 in Stoneham, take Spur 234 south approx. .5 mile to CR 304, take CR 304 E then S
across railroad tracks approx. .1 mile to church.
Early settlers of Stoneham,
established in 1885, attended Methodist services in nearby Plantersville.
This congregation was organized by 12 members of the Plantersville Church in
1885. Services were held in a school and led by circuit-riding ministers until
1893 when a frame sanctuary was built here and The Rev. R. W. Adams became
the first full-time pastor. In the 1920s the church flourished and supported
several youth programs. Due to declining area populations the church closed
in 1940-1945 and 1960-1973. Reactivated in 1973, the church continues to
serve the area with various programs. Sesquicentennial of Texas Statehood
1845 - 1995
Union Grove Baptist Church
Historical Marker 8623
White Hall, Texas
From the intersection of FM 362 and FM 2988 in Whitehall take FM 362 S
approx. 1 mile to Union Grove Baptist Church Rd., take church road E approx. .1 mile to church.
Organized in Sawyer community
about 1865; had 27 members that year. In 1870 Dougald
McAlpine donated this 3-acre site. Church building
was erected in 1880 and Union Baptist Association held its annual convention
here. This congregation (1882) helped form Evergreen Baptist Association,
Grimes County Association (1896), and Creath
Association (1901). It hosted Evergreen (1892) and the Creath
Associations (1901, 1910). Peak membership (1918) was 134. Structure was
rebuilt 1952. After a 1965-70 lapse, regular
services were resumed in 1971.
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