The 1898 St. Stephen's Episcopal Church

 

St. Stephen's Episcopal Church
 

St. Stephen's Episcopal Church served as a place of worship in Liberty for nearly a century.  The wood-framed one-room building and attached bell tower retains the majority of its original architectural features.  In 1977, St. Stephen's was awarded an official Texas Historical Marker.  At that time, the structure was the oldest house of worship in Liberty still in continuous use.

By the early 1990s, the congregation had outgrown the space and planned a larger replacement on the site.  Rather than destroy the original structure, the Episopal Church Council of the Diocese of Texas donated the 1898 building to the Atascosito Historical Society.  In 1994, the Miriam Partlow Charitable Trust funded the move to the gounds of the Sam Houston Center and the Atascosito Historical Society spearheaded fundraising for the restoration of the church, which was completed in 2002.  St. Stephen's is now owned by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC).

Church History

The Protestant Episcopal Church of Liberty was organized as All Faith Church in 1852, and revitalized in the spring of 1893 as an Episcopal congregation by the Reverend C. M. Beckwith.  The church was variously known as St. Mary's, St. Peter's, St. John's, and Trinity Mission.  It was admitted to the Episcopal Church Council of the Diocese of Texas in 1897.

It was not until 1898 that the congregation had a church building to call its own.  B. F. and Adelia Cameron, owners of the 1883 Norman House, held fundraisers in their home for the church building.  In January 1899, the Reverend H. J. Brown conducted the first service, and in May of that year, the building was consecrated as the Church of the Intercession.  In 1952, the name was changed to St. Stephen's Episcopal Church.

Tours are available by appontment and must be arranged at least two weeks in advance.

Page last modified: July 15, 2015