Sources: Denominational Publications

Interior of Trinity Lutheran Church - Old Dime Box, Texas
Interior of Trinity Lutheran Church – Old Dime Box, Texas

Denominational publications can be a good resource when researching the history of your congregation.

According to its church history, Trinity Lutheran Church in Old Dime Box, Texas purchased one of its previous buildings from the Evangelical Synod.

But where? The modern Evangelical Synod’s modern successor is the United Church of Christ. Moving an entire church building is quite a task. And there’s no UCC church nearby.

The October 4, 1923 edition of The Evangelical Herald provided the answer to this thorny question. It contains what may be the only article of any length about a congregation in Old Dime Box that time has forgotten.

‘Twas on Pentecost Sunday, when the Rev. Karl Merkel heeded the call: “Come over to Dime Box and help us.” In a surprisingly short time a congregation was organized with a membership of twenty-five families. These energetic folks were determined to build a church that would be a credit to the congregation and the community. Having subscribed liberally toward the building fund, their plans soon became a reality. Everybody was enthusiastic and eager to lend a willing hand. The church has an ideal location on the well known “Kings Highway” and is valued at $5,000.00

August 26th was a day of special significance fort he pastor and members of the congregation, as it was the day on which St. John’s Evangelical Church at Dime Box, Lee County, was dedicated to the service of the triune God.

St. John’s Evangelical Church? In Dime Box? There’s not a UCC church by that name in the area!

This is definitely not the same congregation as St. John’s Lutheran Church in Dime Box, which was organized in the late nineteenth century.

And the bit about it being located on the Kings Highway is quite interesting. That particular road is also known as the Old San Antonio Road, or today you’ll see it on maps as SH 21.

That would be the exact highway on which Old Dime Box is located.

So… perhaps Trinity Lutheran didn’t move the Evangelical Synod building, but rather moved into it.

By looking at editions of the Year Book and Almanac of the Evangelical and Reformed Church (the E&RC was formed in 1934 when the Evangelical Synod merged with the Reformed Church in the United States) I was able to determine that St. John’s drops off the rolls sometime between 1940 and 1942… which probably be about the time that Trinity acquired the building.

When looking for sources, knowing the history of your denomination will come in handy in figuring out what publications might have information about your church.

And what’s really fantastic is that quite a few of these resources are available for free online today, via Google Books or So be sure to check online to see what you can find!

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