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12-May-2019 04:07

The farmers’ kids learned English, and the church changed denomination, joining with other German evangelical churches. Finally, the church changed its services from German to English.

The immigrants’ descendants returned, and once again the church thrived.

Religious services are rarely just dry classes in doctrine. The pump-organ service would coexist alongside one with big-screen Oprah videos, a drum set, and gospel praise music?

With their music, their style, their teachings about the nature of the world and how people should behave in it, they’re powerful assertions of identity and culture. Not to mention Jackson himself — a black, gay, button-popping preacher?

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Peter’s would get the vibrant young people its congregation had prayed for.It wasn’t easy, starting a church in the immigrants’ new land. Wet weather brought mosquitoes and malaria, leaving people too sick to care for their cattle. Twice — once in 1859, once in 1867 — yellow fever struck Spring Branch, wiping out so many people that they were buried in mass graves in the church’s cemetery. The prim white clapboard building looks a lot like the churches that similar German settlers built in small towns across Hill Country.