Thursday, November 14, 2013

An Incidental Meeting on Church Steps

Submitted by Betty Saenz

My roots in Texas go deep on both my Swedish and German sides. I have hired a marketing firm to help me in my Real Estate business.  We are planning to use a General Land Office (GLO) Map of The Republic of Texas to tie in with my German roots going back to when Texas was a Republic and even before, when it was Coahuila y Tejas.

I was on my way to the GLO and was having a hard time finding parking around the building in Austin, Texas, so, I found a parking spot across from the Texas Historical Commission.  The commission is housed in what was the old Swedish Gethsemane Lutheran Church, built with stone from the Capital of Texas building which burned and the doors from University of Texas's Old Main.

I was up on the church steps taking photos when a gentleman below saw me.  He said that if I was interested in knowing more about the church that he would be happy to tell me.

I responded that if he was interested in learning more about the church, that I would be happy to tell him.

So, we commenced to visiting, sharing our family's histories with the old, historic church. It turns out he was confirmed there at the old Gethsemane and his grandfather was a minister there.

We discussed the Round Rock Texas Palm Valley Lutheran Church as well and the history there in Round Rock with the old Trinity College where my grandfather attended and so forth. He did not realize that the old Trinity College became Texas Lutheran in Seguin, Texas. I found it fascinating. I learned from him and he learned from me. Turns out that he was here visiting from Florida.

As I make my travels around Texas I always seem to meet people who share their knowledge which puts a little bit more light on Texas history!

SweAme Editor’s Note:  The gentleman from Florida was Robert Eugene “Chip” Eickmann.  Robert’s great-grandfather (mormor far), Rev. Carl August Widen was a pastor at the Gethsemane Lutheran Church.

For more and much more:

Robert Chip Eickmann’s Family Tree: