“But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little…”

If you’re driving along FM 112 east of Taylor, if you blink at the wrong time you might miss the tiny community of Noack. The little town did have a post office for a time starting in 1902 (at that time it received the name it has now; prior to that it was known as Hochkirch) and also had a school, the town never really grew. When the International and Great Northern Railroad extended its line from Rockdale to Austin, the tracks passed a few miles north of town, and as a result, it never saw the sort of growth that Thorndale and Taylor experienced.

Christ Lutheran Church, which is a few miles west of town, is a little harder to miss. The congregation was established in 1891, and its beautiful white frame building, which sits on the top of a gentle rise, was dedicated on October 29, 1916. From time to time it has shared a pastor with St. Paul’s Lutheran Church just up the road in Thorndale.

Noack may be a sleepy community today, but it has an important connection to the early days of the Texas District of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod.

Back in 1891 when the congregation was established, all Missouri Synod churches in Texas were part of a much more expansive district called the Southern District (which still exists today, albeit in a much smaller form). In 1906, the sixty-two Southern District churches in Texas were given permission to form their own district.

When the first officers of the Texas District were elected, two of them had served as pastors of Christ Noack.

The president, the Rev. Adolf W. Kramer, had served the church from 1894-1896 (when it was in a dual parish arrangement with Thorndale). Rev. Kramer served as president from 1906-1909.

The first vice president, the Rev. Charles A. Waech, had served as the church’s first full-time pastor from 1896-1901. Rev. Waech would go on to serve as president of the district from 1909-1912.

And, after the end of Rev. Waech’s term as president, the Rev. Gotthilf Birkmann of Trinity Fedor, who had faithfully served the saints in Noack and Thorndale before the congregations there were formally organized, served as president from 1912-1920.

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