Zion Church of Kurten 1892 -2019
In the beginning…
Zion Church was established in 1892 by German immigrants and organized by Rev. Paul Vollbrecht as Evangelical and Reform Church. The congregation met in homes and later at Fickey School house until they were allowed to hold worship services at Zion Lutheran Church. Factors between the two congregations prompted the construction of a new building. The building was small and located about three fourths of a mile south of today’s site. It was constructed of fresh raw lumber directly from the sawmill at a cost of $225. This was extremely precious to the German immigrants, as most were still paying for their passage as well as trying to establish themselves as Americans.
Records at Brazos County courthouse designated that only the Zion Lutheran Church could hold services at the current site. So, in 1902, Zion Evangelical found it necessary to purchase its own property. Three acres were purchased from Dr. Bart Barlow, our current location. The small church was moved there by a crude “winching” process much like the grinding of sorghum for syrup. It was remodeled in 1920 but later torn down. The new church, now standing as our chapel, was dedicated in November of 1942, remodeled in 1957, again in 1972, and again in 2017. Growth of our numbers and blessing from God led to the construction of our new sanctuary which was dedicated in October of 2004.
Throughout the years God has continually led this church to align our beliefs with the Bible, nothing more, nothing less. Unfortunately, many denominations and associations have tended to be more in tune with the culture than with the Bible. Each time Zion has learned of doctrine or beliefs contrary to the teaching of Scripture we have moved toward God. You will find that today we are a solid Bible based evangelical, missional church that seeks to be a light in our community.
The Evangelical Synod of North America joined the Reformed Church of the United States and the name of our congregation changed from Zion Evangelical Church to Zion Evangelical and Reformed Church in 1934. Evangelical and Reformed Church became United Church of Christ in 1957. Relatively close to the time our family center was expanded to include additional fellowship space and more room for Christian education, we voted to disassociate with the UCC. The congregation realized that after forty-two years the association no longer fit our conservative, Bible-based, core beliefs. The congregation researched different denominations and found common ground with Evangelical Free Church of America. We voted to affiliate with the Evangelical Free Church in 2007 and were received into that association in 2008.
We began the effort to convert to an elder led church in the in 2016 and when the deacons were finally selected in November of that year, it was determined that we no longer needed to be associated with the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA). Working with the congregation and fulfilling all the legal requirements of the state, we ended our relationship with the EFCA in late 2017. January 2018 completed our full conversion to a bible-based church following the principle as set forth in Paul's letter to Timothy: "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work."
Today we are Zion Church of Kurten. We are a God-centered family carrying out traditions from the past while forging new ones for the future. Just ordinary people, living, sharing and showing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world.
Kurten Cemetery Records (large download 37 MB)