Noack, Texas History
Noack is on Farm Road 112 off hwy. 79 just south of Taylor in southeastern Williamson County. When Peter Zieschang moved there in 1870 it was established as a Wendish settlement that was called Hochkirk. In 1902, it was renamed Noack when John Ernest Noack became a postmaster. The community's Lutheran church was organized in 1891 and was still active in 1984. A school was established there in 1922, and the Noack oilfield was developed in 1933. 2007 has seen Noack shrink as a lot of small towns due.
In the mid-1880s, Lutheran families living at the Wendish settlement, Hochkirk, met in homes for church services. Local pastor Gotthilf Birkmann began to officiate these meetings. Peter Zieschang, founder of Hochkirk, donated three acres of land for the site of a church. In 1891, at the cost of $200, the community dedicated a newly built church. In 1902, Hochkirk was renamed Noack, after postmaster John Ernest Noack. A parochial school was established at the church that taught separate German and English classes. Church services were in German until 1922, when English was gradually introduced. By the mid-1940s, all services were held in English. The present church building was completed in 1916 and is still in use. (2016) Marker is property of the State of Texas.
Christ Lutheran Church Noack Historical Narrative
Around 1885 several families of Lutherans living at Hochkirch, near the Noack community, we're meeting in private homes such as that of Charlie Zieschang, prior to the organization of an established church. In these early years, Pastor Gotthilf Birkmann, who was serving the people of the nearby Thorndale community, heard of the need for leadership at Hochkirch and began to lead the flock for both areas. Services were held, alternating between Thorndale and Hochkirch in private homes and public schoolhouses. The Rev. Birkmann traveled 35 miles by horse and buggy to Hochkirch to preach and administer the sacraments. From 1885 to 1891, Rev. Birkmann’s visits became scheduled and he made his trips quarterly and on special occasions. Rev. Birkmann treated Thorndale and Hochkirch as a single parish and alternated the services between the two communities. In 1890 both became organized congregations and both built churches the next year. Growth was slow, but yet positive through 1890 leading to a congregation of its own.1
Peter Zieschang donated three acres of land to be used as the building site for a house of worship and other needs as they arose. In the years to follow, many of Mr. Zieschang’s descendants attended this church, as many do today. 2 Peter Zieschang had two sons and many of his descendants from both sons still attend Christ Lutheran today.
On November 29, 1891, the newly organized congregation at Hochkirch dedicated their newly-erected church building to the glory of the almighty Lord and dedicated themselves to the services of the Lord. This house of worship, being the first of three to be located at this site was constructed at the cost of approximately $200. Pastor Emanuel P. Gesterling was called by the Texas Board of Missions to serve Austin, Hochkirch, Taylor, and Thorndale in the fall of 1891. He served this large area for a period of two years from his home in Thorndale. Willie Seggern, son of Anna & Henry Seggern, born September 27, 1891, was the first child baptized in the new church in the fall of 1891. By the end of that year, there were 68 communicant members. There were also 3 weddings and 42 baptisms performed in the combined parish. 3
On September 19, 1893, after pastor Gesterling left, the congregation at Thorndale voted to reduce the size of responsibility to include only that of Hochkirch and Thorndale. It was also decided that they become self-sustaining with the help of their brethren of Hochkirch contributing $100 per year toward the salary of a minister. In November of 1893, Pastor A. W. Kramer was called, and accepting the call began his ministry in Hochkirch and Thorndale in March of 1894. Pastor Kramer faithfully served the Hochkirch congregation until 1896 when the small congregation decided to call the first pastor that would be theirs alone. 3
The first minister to be called by the congregation at Hochkirch was Pastor E. A. Waech. Rev. Waech had just graduated from the Seminary at St. Louis. Pastor Waech accepted the call to Texas and thus began serving the Lord as an ordained minister. This work in the ministry led him to organize the Texas District of the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod and he continued in this organization becoming president in 1909. 3
Pastor W. E. Dube accepted his call and came to serve the congregation in 1901. During Pastor Dube’s service to Hochkirch, he and his wife were wed. His service continued until 1907. 3 Hochkirch’s name was changed to Noack in 1902 when the application for a post office was filled out by the postmaster – John Ernest Noack. 6 Rev. Gring was called in 1907 and served until 1914. Rev.W.E. Dube was again called to lead this congregation in 1914. The present church was dedicated on October 29, 1916, during the tenure of Pastor W. E. Dube. Under his guidance, a Sunday school program was established in 1920. Rev. Dube remained at Christ Lutheran this second time until 1922. In 1922 Pastor Mierschin began his ministry. Many established customs were brought about during Pastor Miertschin’s service to this congregation. Among them was the change of language. All services performed prior to his tenure were in German. English was gradually introduced into his services beginning once a month, then twice, then three times monthly. By the mid-1940s all services were held in English. This change was not an easy task. Through dedication and determination to let more Christians hear and trust the word of God, Henry Seggern urged the use of the English language. 4
It became customary to hold an annual Mission Festival every fall.
Three services were held on a designated Sunday in September. A visiting minister usually performed one or two of these services. Another custom was in regard to the funeral procession. When the hearse left the church for the burial service, the church bell would toll once for each year of life for the deceased. One sad coincidence for both Pastor Dube and Pastor Miertschin was the loss of a teenage daughter. Both suffered their loss while serving our congregation. 4
Of course, children’s education was not overlooked by the members of Christ Lutheran. A parochial school was held during the early years. Classes were taught in German in the morning and English during the afternoon hours. A congregational vote was held and passed in 1918 to begin teaching all classes in English. The original school building was destroyed by fire in 1927 and a new educational building was erected in the spring of 1928. The parochial school was discontinued in the late 1930s and was consolidated with larger schools. The building continues to serve as the Sunday school building with an additional wing being added in 1957. 5
In 1946 a call was sent and answered by Pastor G. A. Zoch. Shortly after his arrival a new parsonage was constructed in the spring of 1947.
Pastor Zoch is credited for beginning a mission church in Taylor in 1949 with 160 members in attendance. He was then called to serve that church as pastor and the first service was held on February 14, 1950, with 65 baptized members. 3
Rev. C. J. Appel was called to serve in 1951. Rev. Appel faithfully served members here until 1963. Upon Pastor Appel’s departure, Christ Lutheran at Noack and Trinity Lutheran at Taylor made a joint call for leadership. In December 1963, R. L. Ratley answered this call. Vernon Appel, son of former Rev. C J Appel, was called to serve Christ Lutheran from 1966 to 1967. 7 Rev. Louis Boriak was called in 1967 and served Christ Lutheran until 1979. Following in his father's footsteps, Pastor Vernon M. Appel returned to Christ Lutheran and began his pastoral duties at Noack in 1979, and was also busy serving our sister congregation at St. Paul Lutheran in nearby Thorndale. Rev. Vernon Appel served Christ Lutheran until 2002. 3 Rev. Vernon Appel served Christ Lutheran for the longest tenure, serving for 23 consecutive years in addition to serving one year prior. In these years the Walters League was established as the first organized youth group for the children who had been Confirmed in the church.
Retired pastors, Rev. Duane Florschuetz from Georgetown and Rev. Victor Killan from Temple, served as interim pastors from late 2002 to early 2005. The Rev. James p. Kretzmann, after graduating from Concordia Seminary in Saint Louis, received his first call to serve Christ Lutheran Church on January 19, 2005, and was installed as pastor on February 6, 2005. The Rev. Karl Kuenzel served as pastor from 2008 to 2011. 3 The Rev Terry Coday has served Christ Lutheran Church as pastor from 2011 to the present.
The early years found a need to have fundraising events to support the church. Ladies Aide was made up of the women of the church who began baking cakes and pies in the 1960s through the 1970s. All proceeds going to the needs of the church. For nearly a decade, members of Christ Lutheran come together for an annual fund-raising BBQ event held the second Sunday in August. Nearby communities come to enjoy the food and fellowship. The members of the congregation come together to participate in the event, with everyone playing a part in its success. A live auction is held, with anything from homemade pies and pickles, to larger donated items., all of which go to support the church.
Christ Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod was the first established church in the community of Noack, TX. The community built the present house of worship on the 3 acres of land donated by Peter Ziechang and began worship in 1891. The congregation struggled through the early years, having the first church blown down during a heavy windstorm, Sunday, June 6, 1897. Although no funds were available a new church was built the same year. The new house of worship was dedicated to the Lord on January 2, 1898. The present church was dedicated to the Lord on October 29, 1916, during the tenure of Pastor W. E. Dube. The original school building was destroyed by fire in 1927 and a new educational building was erected in the spring of 1928 and discontinued in the late 1930s when consolidated with larger schools. The building continues to serve as the Sunday school building with an additional wing to the north being added in 1957. 3