Gulf Coast

Matagorda Christ Episcopal Church

Matagorda Christ Episcopal Church

Matagorda Christ Episcopal Church, the oldest Episcopal Church in Texas, traces its history to 1838. The year the Rev. Caleb S. Ives was appointed missionary to the Republic of Texas. The first service was held on Christmas day, and the congregation was formally organized onJanuary 27, 1839.

After land was donated by Albert Clinton Horton and Abner Lee Clements, the first building was erected. The first service was held in the new building on Easter Sunday 1841. Ives and his wife, Katherina, established a school, the Matagorda Academy, which was in operation until 1849.

After the first church was destroyed in a hurricane in 1854, this building was erected 400 yards west of the original site. Some materials from the 1841 church were salvaged for use in the new structure, including the altar, communion rail, altar cross, and pews. Although this building has been damaged in numerous hurricanes, part of it dates to 1856. Exhibiting influences of the Italiante and Gothic Revival styles of architecture, features include round-headed, paired lancet windows. Designated as a recorded Texas Historic landmark, the structure received the official Texas Historical Building medallion in 1962.

Reprinted from Historical Marker