GALVESTON, Texas – The Galveston Historical Foundation will host the 16th annual Tour of Sacred Places to aid the ongoing restoration of the oldest German Catholic church in Texas: St. Joseph’s Church. The tour will run on Feb. 25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Galveston will showcase its variety of religious structures through this tour, from stops at the oldest African-American Episcopal church in Texas to the county’s first mosque. Guides will explain both the history and influential architecture of each of the seven religious buildings.
The tours start at St. Joseph’s Church, the oldest wooden church building in Galveston. The 1860 church served some of the two thousand German Catholic immigrants that made up almost half of Galveston’s population in the mid-19th century.
The church for the 19th-century Swedish immigrants of Galveston is also on the tour. The 1895 Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Zion Church housed the Swedish congregation for more than a quarter of a century.
One of the oldest African-American churches in the state, St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church, first organized in 1884. The Episcopal church’s architecture contrasts greatly with the county’s first mosque, the Galveston Islamic Center. The 2002 mosque contains a 40-foot tower topped by a dome to symbolically call worshipers to prayer.
Galveston’s First Baptist Church, Sunlight Missionary Baptist Church and St. Patrick’s Catholic Church are also on the tour. Group rates are available with pre-registration. Visit www.galveston.com for more information.