Hurricane Carla forces the question in Old Dime Box

After the remnants of Hurricane Carla passed through Lee County on September 11th and 12th in 1961, the faithful at Trinity Lutheran Church of Old Dime Box discovered that the building that they’d purchased from the Evangelical and Reformed Church almost twenty years earlier was damaged beyond repair.

However, many in the congregation had already made peace with replacing the building. Earlier that year, the voters’ assembly had passed a resolution directing the building committee to examine the building to determine the feasibility of repairing it.

What repairs were necessary is not clear from the minutes, but at the next voters’ assembly on May 12, 1961, the building committee reported back that they’d engaged the services of a carpenter to assist with the inspection. The carpenter advised that it would “not pay” to repair the building.

It seems that not all of the voting members were convinced by this report, as immediately after this someone made a motion that the congregation repair the existing building. This motion failed, with only four members in favor and fifteen against.

A motion was then introduced that the congregation begin building a new building as soon as possible, which passed along similar lines– fifteen in favor and three against.

Apparently, some folks thought “as soon as possible” might be too soon, as a motion was then made that construction not commence until at least half of the funds necessary were in hand. This motion found more support but still failed, with seven in favor and twelve against.

Still, four months later when Hurricane Carla tore into the Texas coast, construction on the new building had not begun. When she visited Dime Box as a tropical storm, she forced the question, and “as soon as possible” quickly became “right now.”

Although the folks at Trinity had to demolish the building that was first constructed for St. John’s Evangelical Church, in a sense it still serves the folks at Trinity in Old Dime Box today.

How so?

Folks in the congregation came together and donated over 2,200 man-hours to build the new building that they dedicated to the glory of God the following April. Quite a few of those hours were spend pulling nails and salvaging good lumber from the old building that was then used in the construction of the new.

2 Replies to “Hurricane Carla forces the question in Old Dime Box”

  1. How can I get to see these pictures of Lee County and especially Dime Box. This is my home. The place i will always call home. I purchased your book but it does not include Lee County.

    1. Karen,

      If you’re referring to the book I posted about earlier this week (about Swedish Lutherans in Texas), that one isn’t mine, though it’s got a lot of great history in it that I haven’t seen anywhere else (I ran across it looking for information about New Sweden Lutheran Church, and there are many things mentioned in there that I haven’t seen in other sources).

      I am, however, in the process of working on a book that will cover the early history of some of the Lutheran churches in Lee County (and also Fayette, Milam, and Williamson counties) that can trace their history back to Serbin. I don’t know exactly when I’ll be done but I’m hoping to have things ready for editing in September or October, and then available by November.

      Best,
      Jeremy

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