The Founding of New Braunfels, Texas and it’s First Church
First Protestant Church of New Braunfels, Texas is the founding church of the city New Braunfels, located in Comal County.
When the German settlers arrived by horse drawn carts from Indianola, the port of arrival, their first act was to worship God. The date was March 21st, 1845, and they held a Good Friday worship service under the Elm Tree on what is now Coll Street. That elm no longer remains, but in it’s place is a plaque in the roadway that commemorates the event (see below).
The Church in New Braunfels Today
Today First Protestant Church remains the “Church at the Heart of the City,” serving as a church home to families from many church backgrounds… Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, Lutheran, charismatic, Pentecostal, and, of course, Protestant. The ministerial staff reflects this diversity as well. The ancient Christian dictum “In Essentials Unity, In Non-Essentials Liberty, In All Things Charity” characterizes the church’s approach to doctrine. This focus on the essentials can be seen in the theology and position statements of the post denominational network founded by the church which was incorporated as the Evangelical Association of Reformed and Congregational Christian Churches. Believing, teaching, and confessing the infallibility of Holy Scripture, the Creeds (Apostles’ and Nicene), salvation through Christ alone, and historic Christian ethics, First Protestant affirms the truth of the past while moving faithfully into the future. The congregation embraces a mission to serve not only the community in Christ’s name, but to serve to the ends of the earth for Christ’s glory and the world’s blessing.
The church serves every age group. Traditional Worship services are at 8:00 am and 10:30 am in the historic sanctuary located at the corner of Coll Street and Seguin Avenue. The contemporary worship service is at 10:30 am in the Family Life Center accessible from Coll Street. There’s even a Kid’s Church at 10:3o am in the Seele Parish Hall. Sunday school for all ages begins at 9:15 am. On Wednesday, special programs are offered for all ages as well from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm. The Choir practices weekly at 7:00 PM in the second floor music room and the hand bell choir practices as needed. Both minister choirs in the 10:30 am traditional service. The worship team for the contemporary service practices in the Family Life Center (aka “Schumann Hall”) at 6:30 pm on Thursdays.
While “business casual” attire and sport jackets and ties are common in the traditional services, and many can be found wearing shorts and T-shirts during the hot summer months in the contemporary service, there is no “dress code”, and all are welcome.
The church mailing address is 172 West Coll Street New Braunfels, Texas. The church office telephone is (830) 609-7729 (PRAY). The Historic Sanctuary faces Seguin Avenue, however. Seguin avenue is the road that leads to the town’s central plaza.
First Protestant School
First Protestant School serves children from infant to kindergarten. The school is currently housed on the first floor of the church’s Family Life Center and is accessed through the Coll Street entrance. The school operates year round with special programming in the summer. Their office can be reached at
This video gives a “bird’s eye” view of the First Protestant building and grounds in the heard of downtown New Braunfels. The Coll Street parking lot, on street parking, and the lot Castell Street parking lot adjacent to First Protestant’s Mornhinweg Center for Christian Education provide ample parking. Members and visitors are asked NOT to use the parking behind the Faust Hotel which is reserved at all times for their guests.
A Journey in Faith: The History of First Protestant Church
First Protestant Church turned 170 years old when the town did, March of 2015. Special festivities were observed because that date was also Senior Minister Daryl Higgins’ twenty fifth year in ministry at the church. For the church’s 150th anniversary, a hardcover book was produced documenting the church’s journey from their landing on the shores of Texas below Port Lavaca to 1995. While the first worship service in New Braunfels was a Good Friday service, the congregation’s first official worship service was held near the Texas coast as Christmas approached in the year 1844.
The first church building in New Braunfels was a wooden structure complete with defensive perimeter to defend against Indian attacks. Texas’ first orphanage also began on the grounds of the church as many children lost both parents either during the journey or shortly after arriving!
Many people wonder about the name. They’ve heard of churches called “First Baptist”, “First Methodist”, etc., but never “First Protestant”. Indeed “First Protestant” was not the church’s original name. No “First” was required originally! As a German colony where all Protestants were in one church or “denomination”, this congregation was THE ONLY Protestant or “Evangelical” church ever envisioned for this settlement! Like their former German home, they expected the colony along the Comal and Guadalupe rivers to have a Protestant and a Catholic church and no others (and all speaking German no less)! Things have changed greatly with dozens of other churches of every type and description.
No matter what your background, Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox … or no particular church background at all, everyone is welcome at First Protestant Church to worship with us. The church’s motto is “Where everybody is someone and Jesus Christ is Lord” means that wherever you are on your journey in life, you are invited on a path of discipleship following Jesus Christ the Lord!