First Christian Church - Bertram, Texas
First Christian Church - Bertram, Texas
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History
The following was taken from a newspaper article. We are unaware of the date published and the name of the publication.

“The Christian Church at Bertram Texas

“The Christian Church of Bertram is believed to be as old as the town itself. Certainly it had its beginning in those early years when the townsite of Bertram was still being developed and settled.

“The Christian Church was originally situated at the old community of South Gabriel, before the townsite of Bertram was laid out. It was then known as the Church of Christ and forbade organ music. By 1885, however, the church was conducting Sunday School at the Bertram school house. From this early beginning arose the present church, assisted by the South Gabriel congregation moving to Bertram.

“At the then high price of $50.00 the Christian Church purchased a one-half acre lot from T. D. Vaughan, Sr. on November 6, 1889, and built the first house of worship soon after. The church has occupied that lot to the present day. The lot was deeded to the first trustees of the church: Messrs. A. B. Marcus, T. B. Smith, and A. B. Norton. The Christian congregation had by the above date been in existence a few years.

“During the first decade of this century, the Ladies’ Aid Society of the church became interested in building a parsonage so that a resident minister could be secured. Starting a fund for the purpose the parsonage was built and is still in use. It was not until recent years, however, that the church has had resident ministers over a period of time. A good number of preachers lived elsewhere and filled the local pulpit once or twice a month.

“People who have played important roles in the life of the Christian Church are numerous. Besides the above mentioned trustees other early members include Mrs. Maude Yett, only surviving charter member and Mrs. Lula Reed Owers who attended as a child at the time. The first wedding in the church involved another member, Mrs. Blanche McCollum. Mrs. M. B. Moreland is well remembered for her fervent lectures on Sunday evenings on the subject of Prohibition. These talks were usually made before a large group of young people she frequently urged into the church services. Many today credit Mrs. Moreland along with some others for making Burnet County dry.

“The educational wing on the church was constructed in 1950 by Mr. Roy Potts. This work followed the remodeling of the original structure by Mr. Turman Daniels including bricking the front of the sanctuary and the building of a large baptistry. During the past year the church has purchased a Hammond Spinet Organ and a filmstrip projector. The sanctuary of the church and the classrooms were repainted in 1955. Missions giving in 1955-56 equaled all previous years.

“Although there is no record disclosing who was the first preacher of the church, the list of pastors include many who left an indelible mark upon the community as well as the Christian Church. The following list is not complete, and goes backward in time.

“Emil H. Bunjes, Jr., E. Tom Shuster, Orvell Correll, E. J. Barnett, Eugene Peters, Alfred “Happy” Ellis, M. Jack Suggs, L. G. Ament, Morgan Morgans, Annabelle Lee Gatlin, J. J. Ray, P. T. King, P. E. Hawkins, Tolbert Weaver, J. H. Stuckey, and Streeter.

“The one event that really established the church in Bertram was a highly successful evangelistic meeting held by a Brother Homan, then editor of the Christian Courier in 1888.

“J. J. Ray is now retired in Mason. L. G. Ament and Tolbert Weaver passed away this year.

“The Christian Church at Bertram takes justifiable pride in former pastors who have come to the ministry of the church as student ministers and have completed their college work and have moved on to larger congregations or who have dedicated their lives to the service of the church in the teaching profession.

“Emil Bunjes is taking the pulpit of the Elgin Christian Church on July 1st, 1957.

“Alfred Ellis is now pastor of the new Central Church in Fort Worth.

“M. Jack Suggs is now a PhD and assistant professor of New Testament at Texas Christian University.

“Eugene Peters is now working on his PhD degree, and P. E. Hawkins is ad interim pastor of the church at Marble Falls.”
For additional information about the History of the Disciples of Christ Church and the long heritage of openness to other Christian traditions, visit the Disciples website.
The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) was founded in the early 1800's in the United States. The founders envisioned only one Christian Church, modeled on the New Testament, to be a witness for both religious freedom and unity of all Christians. 

The church grew rapidly across the American frontier, in part because it shared many values of the early settlers. The Christian Church (DOC) now includes over 4000 congregations.
The stained glass sanctuary windows are of considerable historic and aesthetic value. The windows bring joy as the light shines through them, throughout the day. 

In May of 1967, the Christian Women's Fellowship of First Christian Church in Johnson City offered to sell seven stained glass windows to the church at a cost of $27 per window. 

The congregation in Johnson City changed their sanctuary windows at the request of President Lyndon Johnson. President Johnson did not like the purple color in the glass. He changed the Johnson City church windows to a light amber stained glass.