EMMANUEL EPISCOPAL CHURCH, LOCKHART
EMMANUEL EPISCOPAL CHURCH, LOCKHART. Immanuel (later Emmanuel) Episcopal Church was organized by Rev. Joseph Wood Dunn on his arrival in Lockhart in August 1853. Dunn delivered his first sermon in Lockhart to a large crowd on August 21, 1853, in a small schoolhouse borrowed for the occasion. In 1854, after he was informed that the school was no longer available for services, he set about raising funds for a church building. Four citizens, including Bingham Trigg, agreed to construct a roof and install windows if Dunn would arrange to have the walls built. The walls he had constructed extend under the surface two feet and are two feet thick. Hand-hewn cedar timbers form the ceiling beams, and the floor is made of limestone slabs, quarried locally and carefully cut and polished. Hand-carved native walnut is used in the window frames, the base of the font, the chancery rails, and the altar. The structure, completed in 1856, is the oldest known unaltered church building in use by Protestants in Texas.
After the Civil War, federal troops probably used the church as a stable. In 1899 the exterior walls were stuccoed to resemble stone. The same year a memorial stained-glass window was donated by the people of Lockhart in honor of "Grandma" Elizabeth Head. Since that time all the windows have been replaced with stained-glass memorials. In 1964 the church was listed as a Texas landmark, and in 1974 it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1976 an extensive restoration returned the building to its original state. Workers removed the wooden floor and repaired and finished the limestone slabs. Dunn's Bible and Prayer Book are displayed in a glass cubicle.
Katherine Tally, "Lockhart's Little Church," Texas Highways, March 1978. Zona Adams Withers, comp., Historical Lockhart (2 vols., Lockhart, Texas: Mark Withers Trail Drive Museum, 1981).
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