Centennial Moments

Researched & Written by David Goeke


A "GYMNASIUM" IN TEXAS Part I

No, this wasn’t the type of "Gymnasium" we think of today....not a sports facility. This was a "Gymnasium" after the fashion of the German word meaning a place of education....a school. Already prior to its beginning, Lutheran congregations in Texas had seen to it that Christian Day Schools were incorporated into their ministries. But, not long after the birth of the Texas District, folks were talking about a "Gymnasium" in Texas....a school designed to be a preparatory school for the training of young men for the ministry. The idea really began to "gel" in or about 1921. By 1923, an official overture was presented to the general synod of the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod. It passed...not without some vigorous discussion....but, it passed. It was determined that the school would be located in Austin, Texas...and the officials of the district wasted no time in setting the matter into motion. By 1925, a site had been selected, fund raising had begun...and in 1926, Concordia College was opened...with one building. Now, it wasn’t , strictly speaking, a college...but, a preparatory school...a high school of sorts. The curriculum, however, wasn’t one found in most high schools in the 21st century. Theology, music, German, Greek, Hebrew, Latin, science, math and more comprised the subject matter to which the young men would be exposed. Realize, too, that this was a boarding school, and that, largely, the students came from rural, German speaking communities. Culture shock? You bet.