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 85 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 ten bishops:

sm_history_bishop_elliott.jpgRobert W.B. Elliott 



Bishop JohnstonJames Steptoe Johnston



Bishop Capers smallWilliam Theodotus Capers



Bishop Jones smallEverett Holland Jones



Bishop Gosnell smallHarold Cornelius Gosnell



Bishop Bailey smallScott Field Bailey



Bishop McNaughton smallJohn Herbert MacNaughton



Bishop Folts smallJames Edward Folts



lillibridge-web-fountain.jpgGary Richard Lillibridge



David Mitchell Reed