Prince of Peace Lutheran Church

"Behold, how good and pleasant it is for brethren
to dwell together in unity."                     Psalm 133:1
3101 CR 417
Taylor, TX 76574

Mergers and Changes


Similar to and a part of our 

own story is New Bern's

St. John Lutheran Church 

and Cemetery


The New Bern Cemetery and former St. John Lutheran Church site are located about 10 miles northeast of Taylor on County Road 414. The location is marked by a Texas historical marker.


In 1892, the New Bern and Sandoval communities organized the St. John Lutheran Church. A building was erected by Herman Schoener and his half-brother, Ludwig Fuessel. Church services and school were both held in this one structure. The first pastor called was the Rev. F. Ernst, and the school taught classes using German and English.


The community grew and the need for a parsonage and cemetery was seen. Friedrich Stauffer and his wife Anna Krieg Stauffer sold to the trustees H. Teggemann and John Krieg of St. John Lutheran Church, for sixty dollars, about 3 acres of their 173.4 acres that they had purchased in 1892 from G. W. Burkitt, north of the Murphy site.


In 1894, The New Bern and Sandoval members of St. John Lutheran Church split and the Sandoval community organized their Zion Lutheran Church. Around the same time the Wuthrich Hill settlers began to organize their Evangelical Lutheran St. James Church.


In 1912, a new church building was erected, and the original church/school building continued to be used for the school. Back then modern conveniences were still lacking. The school children continued to take turns carrying water to drink from a well at Friedrich Stauffer's blacksmith shop.

World War I saw some changes in the New Bern community with the Stauffers, Kriegs, Walthers, Muegges, Guentzels, Petzolts, Kruses, and others seeing their sons leave to serve in the war. After the war more German settlers were moving to the area; the Remmerts, Hackemessers, Heselmeyers, Schmidts and Berg families.


The New Bern School, later moved to Wuthrich Hill, is currently a part of our Sunday School structure.

In the 20's, 30's, and 40's the New Bern congregation grew. The sons and daughters of the early settlers had married and stayed in the area to farm. Their children attended school (to the eighth grade) and were active in the church, especially with the arrival of Pastor M.C. Hoermann, who with his wife and family came to serve the New Bern group in 1934. The families enjoyed the fellowship with the minister and his family, celebrating birthdays at their homes, an old German custom.

Then World War II broke out and the Stauffers, Kriegs, Walthers, Bergs and others were seeing their grandchildren leaving to make their contribution to the war effort. The families were fortunate that most of the young men came back, but they were not ready to farm as their parents before them had been. They married, found other jobs and moved to the cities.  In 1946, due to these changes, New Bern and Wuthrich Hill joined together to use one minister, the Rev. Paul Czerkus. Services were first held alternately in both churches. The New Bern School was also dissolved in 1946 and the youngsters were bused to Thrall where they could graduate from High School.

Source: Helen (Kaase) Stauffer, Williamson County Historical Commission

Continued...


St. James and St. John's congregations officially merged on December 21, 1947, and on February 15, 1948 the name Prince of Peace was selected for the new congregation.


Within a year, the New Bern Church and Parish House was relocated to Wuthrich Hill. Using some old lumber from the old St. James Church, the present parsonage was built and dedicated in August, 1949.

 

Many other changes were taking place during the second 50 years of this church. In 1952, German services, typically held on alternate Sundays, were limited to the fifth Sunday of the month and on Good Friday. On January 19, 1958, the congregation voted to discontinue all German services.

A committee was appointed in 1964 to oversee the grounds and cemetery. Later in 1977, bylaws were drafted to establish a Cemetery Association offering perpetual care. Another important church addition from this period was the installation of colored glass windows.

The Three Way Plan was adopted on July 15, 1970. This plan united Prince of Peace with Immanuel (West Taylor) and Zion Lutheran (Sandoval) as a single parish served by a single pastor. Regular Sunday morning worship services were held independently. Vacation Bible School and special services were jointly held at alternating locations. Zion was dropped in 1977, leaving the remaining two churches in the parish.

 

This chapter in church history ended with the 75th Anniversary celebration on June 6, 1971. The theme of this event was "In the Cross of Christ I Glory, Towering O'er the Wrecks of Time."