Historical Commission

History helps provide identity to a people, says the American Historical Association (www.historians.org). The identity of the Diocese of West Texas begins when Bishop Robert W. B. Elliott, the first bishop of the Missionary District of Western Texas, took the train from Atlanta to end of the track in the raw territory of Texas and held his first church service in Luling from the back of a Pullman coach. That was 1874, and in the almost 150 years since, the identity and history of the Diocese of West Texas has continued to be built through dedicated clergy and lay people.

The caretaker of the history of the Diocese of West Texas is the diocesan Historical Commission. It’s the job of the commission, with the diocesan archivist, to collect, archive, and make available important documents as well as the history of the diocese and its churches.

The archives include files on diocesan churches, both active and former, as well as past bishops of the diocese and other important persons and events. The journals of all diocesan councils are in the archives, as are copies of The Church News, the diocesan newspaper.

This information is available when the diocesan office is open, generally Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., but it is best accessed with the help of the diocesan archivist, Mr. David White (reach him at dawh63@gmail.com).

Other resources available from the Historical Commission include

  • A Missionary Church in a Frontier Society, by Tom Lee. Download it here.


  • Celebrate! A short pamphlet designed to help congregations plan for their anniversaries. This resource is free.

  • Hallowed Ground, an 80-page monograph tracing the history of the Bishop Jones Center grounds, beginning 12,000 years ago. The book was written by former Communications Officer Marjorie George. Cost is $12.

The Historical Commission encourages congregations to research and write their own histories, and commission members are available to help with that.

For more information about the above resources or the diocesan archives, email

Archivist: David White, dawh63@gmail.com

Historiographer: Tom Lee, tomcarolee@att.net