Zion Evangelical Lutheran of Sublime schedules homecoming
Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sublime, established in 1868 and the oldest Lutheran congregation in Lavaca County, will have its 53rd annual Homecoming Celebration on Sunday.
The Rev. Luther Oelke, retired ELCA minister and a former pastor of Zion, will be the guest preacher for the communion services at 10 a.m. Musicians Stuart and Dianne Raef will lead congregational singing at worship.
There will be a silent auction from 11 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. and a meal will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The meal is free with a donation.
Zion is on Country Road 146 off alternate state Highway 90 about eight miles from Hallettsville.
The history of Zion begins in 1854 when German Lutherans settled in the Honey Creek area north of Sublime, an area later known as Strunkville. The Rev. Christian Geiger, a Lutheran pastor from St. Chrischona Mission near Basel, Switzerland, arrived in Texas in 1859. Geiger was sent by the Evangelical Lutheran Synod as a traveling missionary to the area in 1868. He conducted services in German for Lutherans and would sometimes preach in English for members of the Moravian Brethren Church who settled in the Vsetin area. Records indicate that Geiger also shared the Gospel message with black congregations in the area. This congregation was established April 12, 1868, by Geiger. The first church building, called Bethlehem, was dedicated in 1870 on the present site of Geiger Cemetery. A new church was erected in 1887.
By 1904, the congregation decided to move their church into Sublime. Under the direction of Pastor Karl Roth, the building was taken apart and each piece of lumber carefully numbered for re-assembly on its current site. The exterior walls are cypress and the interior is pine. Construction was completed in 1905, and Roth is credited with the design and carving of the altar, pulpit and baptismal font, which are still in use.
In recent years, the sanctuary has been renovated, and the altar, pulpit and baptismal font restored by local craftsman and member Larry Meinkowsky.