The St. Paul Lutheran Church of Serbin, Texas, was founded in 1854 by a group of Wendish immigrants under the leadership of Rev. John Kilian. Though this is the only Painted Church in the area that is not Catholic, it is included because of its decorated columns.

"In December of 1854, an English sailing vessel, the Ben Nevis, set sail from Liverpool, England and docked in Galveston harbor in Texas, loaded with some five hundred immigrants from Lusatia, an area in Germany comprising parts of Saxony and Prussia. These immigrants were not the typical lot of Germans, Swedes, Czechs, and Poles who flocked to Texas in the 1850s seeking land and economic opportunity. The Wendish were in search of religious liberty and the right to speak their Wendish tongue. The Wends were descended from a group of Slavic tribes that had developed a common language, and, in the tenth century, occupied much of central Europe. By the 19th century, the Wends had been decimated by conquest and assimilation into other cultures until only a small area along the River Spree was inhabited by true Wends."
"The Wendish migration to Texas was impelled, in part, by the Prussian insistence that the Wends (or Sorbs, as they called themselves) speak and use the German language, even to the extent of Germanizing their names. The oppression of the Wendish minority extended to working conditions, with Wends being denied the right to do the skilled labor for which they were trained. If they were hired at all, they received less pay than their German counterparts. Prussian agrarian reform laws of 1832 dispossessed the Wends of their real property so they were, in effect, vassals to their Prussian lords."
"Most intolerable was the requirement that the Lutheran Wends join the Evangelical Reform churches in one state-regulated Protestant body. The Wends believed this action would dilute their pure Lutheran faith and, rather than accept this decree, they made plans to immigrate to the New World." (Source)

Sts. Cyril and Methodius Church in Dubina was originally built in 1856 by Czech settlers. After a hurricane destroyed the church in 1909, the new church was completed in 1912. The interior was restored to its original appearance in 1983. The church was locked, so this page is limited to what I could photograph.

"Dubina was the first Czech settlement in Texas. In November 1856, a group of Czech settlers found shelter from a strong north wind and hail under a grove of large oak trees in what is now Dubina. The next day the settlers built a shelter and, as the months progressed, planted crops; they made a total of one bale of cotton the first year, but through perseverance and hard work, the community prospered. The community was first called Navidad and later Bohemian Navidad. Augustin Haidusek renamed it to Dubina, Czech for "Oak Grove." As favorable reports about Texas reached the old country, the number of Czech settlers entering Dubina increased greatly, and Dubina became the stopover place for Czechs entering Texas. In 1876, a Catholic church, the first in Dubina, was built on land donated by Joseph Peter, and later a school was built on land donated by Ignac Muzny. In 1900, the church served a parish of more than six hundred families. In 1909, a hurricane destroyed the first church. The building was replaced in 1912. Dubina's social life revolved around the church, and a number of Catholic social organizations were established, including a "Katolika jednota texaska" (The Czech Catholic Union of Texas) lodge in 1887, a St. Ann's Society in 1889, and a "Cesko-rimska katolicka podporuji÷ci jednota zen texaskych" (The Czech-Roman Catholic Aid Union of Women in Texas) society in 1900. In 1873, the railroad bypassed Dubina, and in 1912, a fire caused extensive damage to the town. Many settlers left the area." (Source)

A few miles from Praha is the Ascension of Our Lord Catholic Church in Moravia. The church was locked, so all I could get was a view through the door.

"In this Catholic community of Czechs, Germans, and Anglos, the Czech-Moravian group was the largest during the 1980s. Most of the Moravians speak both Czech and English. In the early 1980s, a few still spoke only a Moravian dialect. Anglo settlers were already in this farm area before the Czechs arrived in the early 1870s. The Anglo settlers, who may have moved there in the early 1850s, probably began to leave around 1865, and the settlers who replaced them had immigrated from northeastern Moravia and brought with them their culture and their Moravian dialect, which differs from the standard Czech. During the 1980s, Czech was still used in the recitation of the Rosary and in hymns. Moravia was founded in 1881, when Ignac Jalufka and James Holub moved a pre-existing store to the junction of three roads. The next buildings were a blacksmith's shop, a gin, and a school. A post office operated in Moravia from 1882 to 1900. In 1912, a Catholic church, named the Ascension of Our Lord, was built. The architect was its first pastor, Emil Schindler. The builder was Koch and Sons. Ponecker and Sons did the interior work. The church was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. Schooling was conducted in private homes when the community first began. A one-room school, built on donated land and supported by tuition, burned in 1878, and was replaced. The Moravian dialect was part of the course of study. A new structure was built for the school in 1923, though it was subsequently destroyed after the Moravia school was consolidated with those of Hallettsville. In 1933, the population in Moravia was estimated at forty. The Texas Almanac listed a population of 165 there from 1968 through 1990, but according to the church census, 227 people lived in Moravia in 1983. In the 1980s, the main income of Moravia residents continued to come from the sale of farm produce. Cattle production was the main cash crop, followed by hay and grain sorghum production, truck farming, and poultry raising." (Source)

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