From the Office of Development & Alumni Relations
Texas Lutheran University has been blessed by congregations that regularly support the Lutheran Advantage Scholarship through annual gifts. Some congregations, like St. John Lutheran Church, have gone above and beyond by establishing endowed scholarships to benefit students. Creating a congregational endowment allows the mission and vision of a congregation to live in perpetuity.
More About St. John Lutheran Church of Westhoff, Texas
St. John Lutheran Church located in Westhoff, Texas was founded on March 29, 1908, by five members and Rev. J.F. Christiansen. The birthplace of the church as well as the first services were held in a dance hall. Other services were held in saloons and under an oak tree. In 1913, a devastating fire in Westhoff destroyed 13 businesses. Without a cent in hand, the congregation resolved to build a simple church. A four-board walled church (without inside finishing) was dedicated in November, 1908.In 1914 the tower and bell were dedicated and by 1916 the inside of the church was finished with a 16-foot addition. The parsonage was bought in 1929 and the Parish Hall was built in 1949. A new parsonage was purchased in 1996 and a new Parish Hall was built in 2016. Renovations to the church were made in 2008 in preparation for the 100th anniversary.
During the first 112 years, 631 people were baptized, 239 couples were married, 647 individuals were confirmed and 413 were buried. At present there are 99 baptized members and 82 confirmed members. Besides weekly worship services, there are other special events such as Easter sunrise breakfast, Plant Schwap, singing, and special dinners honoring new members, graduates, and seniors citizen.
In 2016, St. John added a new parish hall and celebrated its 110th anniversary with Christ in 2018. Longtime church Pastor, William G. Hill ‘62 retired in 2020 after 22 years of dedicated and faithful service.
The church council says they have been blessed to be a part of such a rich history and that blessing is shared through as support for our Christian faith through education at Lutheran colleges.
For more information about establishing a Congregational Scholarship Endowment, please contact the Development Office or call 830-372-8030.