Where We Worship: First English Evangelical Lutheran Church

First English Evangelical Lutheran Church of Victoria
  • HOW TO CONTACT US

    Contact: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-noon and 1-5 p.m., 361-575-3623

    Pastors: Sr. Pastor Jerry Wirtley and Pastor Paul Muehlbrad.

    Service times: Tuesdays, adult bible class, 9-11 a.m. and 7-8 p.m.; Wednesdays, Wednesday Happenings, ...

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  • HOW TO CONTACT US

    Contact: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-noon and 1-5 p.m., 361-575-3623

    Pastors: Sr. Pastor Jerry Wirtley and Pastor Paul Muehlbrad.

    Service times: Tuesdays, adult bible class, 9-11 a.m. and 7-8 p.m.; Wednesdays, Wednesday Happenings, a meal is served from 5:15-6:30 p.m., hand bell practice is at 6 p.m., choir practice is at 7 p.m.; Youth Talk (grades 9-12) is at 7 p.m. Childcare is available from 6- 8 p.m.

Q: Please give a brief history of the church.

A: In unfolding the leaves of the early history of the First English Lutheran Evangelical congregation, there were certain people who desired the Lutheran doctrine be proclaimed in the English language. After Pastor J.C. Felger in San Antonio received two urgent calls from Victoria - from Lutheran parties not affiliated with any congregation - he addressed a communication to the Rev. John Black Hudson, First Presbyterian Church in Victoria. He was told by this pastor about one-half of his official acts, such as baptisms, additions to membership, marriages, and burials from Lutheran homes, and half of his Sunday school members were from Lutheran homes because of the inability of many to understand the German language.

The Rev. Felger decided to make the trip to Victoria. Upon his arrival, he first conferred with the local German minister, Pastor Karl Weiss, of Trinity Lutheran Church, and having learned that no Lutheran services were being conducted in the English language, he arranged for services to be held in Ryan Hall above the Ryan Funeral Home. He conducted the first service in October 1912. The congregation was officially formed in October 1913.

Since June 10, 1917, we have been located on the 500 block of North Main Street. The present sanctuary was built in 1952, the education wing in 1962 and the activity center in 1995.

Q: Are you working on any projects? If so, describe them.

A: There are many other activities: from a Men's group, Women's Circles to a 50 and Fun group. Please see our website at www.felcvictoria.com for more information. We also have a yearly Vacation Bible School. This year our VBS will be June 14-18, from 6:30-8:30 p.m., with a light dinner served at 6 p.m.

Q: How are you involved with the community?

A: On the first Sunday in October, we hold our annual Heritage Day Celebration. This day celebrates our heritage with fundraisers and family activities, as well as a barbecue meal with plates to-go, or dine-in. All proceeds go to local and national nonprofit organizations. We also have quarterly blood drives, and give away boxes of food to needy families at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Q: If I'm new to the community, what sets your church apart from others in the area?

A: Lutherans share a common faith with other Christians. They accept the Bible as the true source of Christian love, guidance and doctrine and the same ancient creeds of Christianity, the Apostles' Creed, Nicene Creed and the Athanasian Creed. They proclaim God's message by emphasizing justification by grace through faith and by not confusing law and gospel. They teach that a person is not to live according to dos and don'ts, but in the freedom of Christian love. Basically, Lutheranism teaches that a person is saved only by the grace of God through faith in Christ.

Where We Worship is a on-going series profiling places of worship in the Crossroads area. If you would like like your church or place of worship to be featured please contact Faith Reporter Erica Rodriguez at erodriguez@vicad.com or 361-580-6303.