About Waldheim Church
Committed to Spiritual Enlightenment
Year Dedicated: 1875
Services might have begun at Waldheim as early as 1860 in an old log church, though records are lacking. It is known that a new church was built and dedicated in 1875. The church was 41 by 25 feet and had a steeple with a bell. J. B. A. Ahrens wrote that he had “opened a new field” and had a society of 22 members.
The congregation was a part of the German Mission Conference. It was called Boniface Church, after the apostle of the Germans. Through the years, it has also been called St. Tammany Mission, Camp Ground, Talisheek, German Settlement, and now, Waldheim.
On August 29, 1884, John J. Ryan sold 40 acres, which encompassed the church property to the M. E. Church, South, German Mission Conference of Texas and Louisiana.
In 1887, a “tabernacle” (shed) of 40 by 60 feet was built for the Camp Ground. It had a dirt floor covered with pine needles. Fires were lit on several stands around the shed to provide light at night. In the early 1930’s, an addition was built onto the back of the church, and a Fellowship Hall was added in the mid 1950’s.
Various improvements have been made over the years, such as a new organ (1952 & 1967), air conditioning (1971, though the units were stolen the following year), and furnaces (1974). It is thought that a parsonage was built about the same time as Boniface Church.
Source: The First Century, 1875-1975: Waldheim UMC
We are relational beings made in the image of the Triune God who is three Persons in one Being – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. As such, relationship exists with God, known as the divine community. Therefore, we too are relational beings who have been created with an innate desire for community and connection. So, we gather together for the sake of community, communion, baptism, worship, fellowship, prayer, and much more. This is what the church does. The church gathers. The church is a gathering.
The mark of a Christian is a transformed life. Those who experience God’s grace are forever changed. As believers, we are continually undergoing a process of improvement, which is known as sanctification. Essentially, we strive to love God more with our whole selves and to become more like Christ. We grow by God’s grace in the midst of the community of believers.
As gathering and growing take root in our lives, the next step is to go. Go participate with God in God’s mission to this broken and hurting world. Go be the hands and feet of Jesus by sacrificially loving and humbly serving others. Go make disciples for the transformation of the world.