Boerne Is So Blessed!
Many of the churches in Boerne today began with a handful of individuals who met in various locations throughout the area. Despite the emotional climate, religion still found a way to exist in Boerne in the early days.
Early German immigrants to Boerne were determined to keep the influence of religion away from their town. They had left the oppression of their home country and were leery of religious or political groups which might try to establish authority over them. In 1852, the southern city limits of Boerne was south of Cibolo Creek; about where Evergreen St. is today. Citizens posted a warning sign which read, “Priests and Ministers, don’t let the sundown catch you in this town.” It was almost 30 years later before a church was allowed within the city limits.
The Catholic Church sent a young deacon named Emil Fleury, to build a church in the Texas Hill Country in the 1860’s. The first St. Peter’s Catholic Church was built in 1867 with both physical and financial help from parishioners including Kendall, Phillips, Staffel, Dienger, Sultenfuss, and O'Grady; names which resound throughout Boerne history . Despite Indian attacks and the need to learn rock masonry techniques, the little church still stands today. It was replaced by a larger church in 1923 with help from Mr. Kronkosky. The new church was modeled after San Antonio's Mission de la Purisma (1730).
In 1873, the first Episcopal worship service was held in the old Kuhfuss Hall in Boerne, which is no longer standing. By 1881, St. Helena’s Episcopal Church was built as a small wooden church. It was later torn down in 1929 to build a new, larger, Gothic style limestone building with an above ground sanctuary and a basement to be used for fellowship.
The First United Methodist Church of Boerne began with just five members in 1875 and was then reorganized by H.W. South from Bandera in 1877 with 15 members. The congregation has traveled to many locations prior to settling in their current location. Services were first held in the Kuhfuss Building on Main Street downtown over a saloon. They moved to the Kendall County Court House and then to the LaMott Building which was later known as the Graham Building. By 1879, their congregation had grown and it appears that a church was built on Main Street. In 1900 the congregation moved to its present location at 205 E. James St.
In 1898, six people met and organized the First Baptist Church of Boerne. In 1919, a foundation for a church was laid at 615 S. Main St. but due to limited finances it was not completed until 1923. This building is now a retail establishment on the south side of the Cibolo Creek on the Hill Country Mile. In the 1980’s, the congregation moved to its current location on School St. and the building at 615 S. Main was sold.
St. John Lutheran Church at 315 Rosewood Ave. was not built before the end of the 19th century. However, it is still historically significant in Boerne. It was organized in 1929 and built in 1932. The tower was added at a later date.
Sources: Deitert Historical Archives