Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church
Marker No: 12327
Aluminum 27 x 42 Subject Marker
Geographic: E 29° 21.376 W 098° 52.582
Location: 1106 Fiorella Street, Castroville
Marker Text: Many of the German settlers who arrived here in the 1840s were Lutherans who kept their religious traditions by meeting for worship in their homes. The Rev. Christian Oefinger sailed from Bremen, Germany, arriving in Galveston. From there he made his way to Castroville. Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church was organized on January 29, 1852, with 12 charter members, their families and other organizers, most from Castroville and surrounding communities.
Construction of the church building began in 1853, with a loan for $400 secured from the general synod. Congregants provided the rock, sand and timbers. A parsonage was erected next to the church using the remaining stone. The church prospered and became an important part of the Castroville community. Pastor Oefinger held Castroville's first public school classes in the Lutheran church building in 1857.
The parsonage was replaced with a frame building in 1922. The original stone church served the congregation until 1939, when it was replaced by a new brick building. An education annex was dedicated in 1949. The "Fuos Haus" beside the church building was purchased in 1959 for use as a church office. In 1960, the church purchased a building formerly known as the George l. Haass Store. It was restored for use as a youth building. The frame parsonage became a Sunday school building in 1996. Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church remains an active ministry within the community, following the example set forth by the members' ancestors throughout the church's history. (2000)