Our History

The Beginning

In early December 1874, the Rt. Rev. Robert W. B. Elliott, 34 years old and a bishop in the Episcopal Church less than a month, reached the end of the Galveston-Harrisburg-and-San Antonio railroad line in Luling and held his first service in the newly-created Missionary District of Western Texas from the back of a Pullman car. His task was daunting: 110,000 square miles of diocesan territory, 427 communicants served by 10 parishes, five mission stations, seven priests, and two deacons.

When Bishop Elliott convened the primary convocation of the Missionary District of Western Texas on May 6, 1875, there were 17 congregations in his jurisdiction inherited from the Bishop of Texas. Of those, 11 still remain active and part of the diocese.

Present Day

The diocese comprises 88 congregations today, spread from Brady in the north to Brownsville in the south, from Del Rio in the west to Port Lavaca and Edna in the east. The Diocese of West Texas has been served well and faithfully by nine bishops:

sm_history_bishop_elliott.jpgRobert W.B. Elliott 
1874-1887

 

 

Bishop JohnstonJames Steptoe Johnston
1888-1916

 

 

Bishop Capers smallWilliam Theodotus Capers
1916-1943

 

 

Bishop Jones smallEverett Holland Jones
1943-1969

 

 

Bishop Gosnell smallHarold Cornelius Gosnell
1969-1977

 

 

Bishop Bailey smallScott Field Bailey
1977-1987

 

 

Bishop McNaughton smallJohn Herbert MacNaughton
1987-1995

 

 

Bishop Folts smallJames Edward Folts
1996-2006

 

 

lillibridge-web-fountain.jpgGary Richard Lillibridge
2006-present