A Brief History
St. Paul, Serbin
In Dauban, Saxony, a group of Lutheran Wends formed a congregation with the sole intent of leaving their economic and religious oppression and sailing to America. They called Pastor Johann Kilian to lead them on this journey.
In September of 1854, 588 souls set sail in the "Ben Nevis" to find a new home in a new country. Cholera, yellow fever, and other ailments reduced their number to 500 by the time they reached their destination in Serbin, Texas in 1855. Of the land they acquired in Lee County, 95 acres were set aside for a church, school, and cemetery.
Upon their arrival, they began the arduous task of making a home in the wilderness. Throughout the summer of 1855, members worked on constructing a structure that would be used for church, school, and a parsonage. The original building was a two room dogtrot style cabin. Part of this original cabin was restored and moved to its permanent location in 2004. Pastor Kilian continued to live in this cabin until his death in 1884.
In 1859, a framed church was built. This framed church was then used as St. Paul's school building after the completion and dedication of the current stone church in 1871.
St. Paul Lutheran Church has thirty-inch red sandstone walls which rise to a height of 24 feet. The bell tower is topped by a weather vane and metal ball containing the history of Serbin.
In 1915 a two room school house was built. One classroom was for grades 1-4, and the other room was for grades 5-8. The two classrooms were separated by a big sliding door. In 1979, when the current school and gymnasium were built, this building was donated to the Texas Wendish Museum and moved to its current location.
The Museum is made up of buildings which are connected by porches. In the center building you can find the entire history of the Wends. It also houses the offices, gift shop, library, and archives. To the right and left are the old St. Paul school buildings. In these buildings, you can find relics from the old country and Texas. Folk dress of Lusatia, the traditional Texas wedding dresses, and the beautiful Wendish Easter eggs are just some of the items you can enjoy here.
In 1979, the current school and gymnasium were built. The original building consisted of two classrooms, Sunday School rooms, and a gym. Two more classrooms and a library were added on to the existing school in the mid 1980's. St. Paul Serbin School currently has 7 full-time called teachers ministering to about 80 students every school year.
St. Paul's Early Childhood Center was established in 1994 to provide a caring environment for pre-school age children. Although originally established to meet the needs of congregation members, the center is open to all children in the community and is developing as a ministry outreach of the church.
St. Paul Serbin School's logo is of the "Ben Nevis". We are called "the Serbin Voyagers" in honor of our ancestors who risked so much on their voyage to America to live in a place where they could worship our Lord without fear. We, too, are also Voyagers, traveling in this land waiting for our heavenly home.
St. Paul, the first church and first parochial school of The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod in Texas, has been educating and sharing the love of Jesus, our Savior, with our students for over 160 years. May God continue to bless our Serbin church, school, and community.