Centennial Moments

Researched & Written by David Goeke


PRIMERA IGLESIA EVAGLEISTA LUTERANA MEXICANA

So was named the first Missouri Synod Lutheran Spanish Mission in San Antonio, Texas. Dedicated on Sunday, July 30, 1927, at 3 P.M., it was a delightful event, according to Rev. W.H. Bewie, the "Field Secretary" ...the equivalent to the Director of Missions, in today’s terminology. Read portions of his report in his own words:

"This report is written especially for the children of our day-schools of the Texas District. And why not? It is because I want to write about the dedication of the chapel for our mission among Mexicans in San Antonio. The children of most of our day-schools and Sunday-schools have made an especial effort to support this mission by raising collections in order that the necessary buildings might be erected. And now they are entitled to hear just what has been done.

In the first place I want to state that the chapel has finally been erected. After much work and running around, and pricing lots, and much disappointment, a lot was finally secured on W. Houston Street, between San Jacinto and Los Moras.

But, after the lot was secured, it did not take very long before the chapel was also there. The chapel is a pleasant affair. It is very plain and no money wasted on it. It has not even what is ordinarily called a ceiling but is open to the roof. But that makes it really look better, and keeps it cooler in the summer. Behind the chapel is the school room, but running crosswise to the chapel, so that the whole building has a T-shape. The school room is also pleasant and airy, and I am sure the Mexican children will like to go to school in it. It is also supplied with benches. These benches are very far from being new, but that will make no difference… the children will be able to learn nevertheless. You see, we had to look sharp in order to keep down the expenses.......

The dedication began at 3 o’clock. Rev. Cobian performed the ceremony. After the singing of the hymn and the Scripture readings, the Apostolic Creed was recited in unison. But a number of us did not join in because it was in Mexican. After that Rev. Cobian preached the dedicatory sermon.

I cannot well give every item of the program, but I want to state that there was also a hymn by a Mexican choir. And I certainly do wish that all the children of whole Texas District could have heard that. Even though they might not have understood all the words, yet the music would have reached their hearts, I am sure.....It was strictly Spanish music, but it was fine. An I must say those Mexicans really could sing. It was not a large choir, if I remember rightly there were only 5 or 6 voices, but they were clear, and they carried. I certainly would like to hear that hymn sung more."

Rev. Bewie's report continues......but, more importantly, so does the sharing of the Gospel of Jesus to the Hispanic community in San Antonio and throughout the Texas District.