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 Bell.
Bedias First Baptist
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.
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)
Church of Navasota
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.
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
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 pioneer founders.
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
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.
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.
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 Landmark, 1967
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
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
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
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 -
Historical Marker 8472
New Waverly, Texas
Corner of Empire and Walker Streets, New Waverly
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 pastor.
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
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
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
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 Grimes County.
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 November, 2007.
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
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.
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