07 May Amazing Facts About La Porte Church Histories
The history of La Porte is rich in manufacturing, agriculture, and even architectural design of many of the homes that pepper our scenic streets. But did you know that some of the deepest, most intriguing history of our town lies within the walls of the local churches? Last week we heard about some of this history at the Local Lore: Church Histories presentation where experts on local history told stories of the strength and hope that these religious pioneers had while building the churches. This Thursday, you will get the opportunity to take a stroll around the town to witness these beautiful and stoic structures, while continuing to hear the tales of their humble beginnings.
Here are some general facts I discovered while researching for this series.
1. Some church buildings constructed in the mid-1800’s are still here, but you just can’t see them because they’re “buried” in the remodeling of the buildings. These churches include St. Paul’s Episcopal, First Christian, and Trinity Lutheran.
2. Some churches sold their buildings to different denominations when they needed a larger or smaller building or merged. These churches include Methodist, German Methodist, First Baptist, Second Presbyterian, Unitarian, and Quaker.
3. Confirmation, Sunday School, and school enrollment was huge in some churches, compared to any La Porte church today. For instance, in 1872, First Baptist had 355 enrolled in Sunday School and an average attendance of 193 and St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran confirmed 62 in 1888 and 72 in 1932 and had 327 school pupils in 1890 and 324 in Sunday School in 1925.
For more interesting church history facts, take a look at books in the La Porte collection in the Indiana Room at the Main Library.