East Texas Historic Church

Image of historic church and old cars in the pine trees of Nacogdoches Texas.
“Church of the Divine Infant, Cotton Ford Road, Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches County, TX”

This image caught my attention as I was surfing around the Library of Congress digital archives this week. I loved the trees and the juxtaposition of the old cars against the even older church. The cars are from the early 1930s, and the church was built in 1847.

When I researched some additional history on the church, I found an interesting story. Built in 1847, the structure predates the Civil War, has been a cornerstone of Catholicism in East Texas, and was relocated several times before becoming part of the Sacred Heart church campus in Nacogdoches.

The book “Historic Nacogdoches,” which can be accessed for free on Project Gutenberg, has this to say about it:

“Mission Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe was founded at the same time on the west side of North street in Nacogdoches, overlooking Banito creek, which was called “the creek of the mission.” This mission was never permanently abandoned until it was replaced by the church which stood on the little plaza in front of the present court house, built in 1802. The third Catholic church was formerly the home of Nathaniel Norris at the northwest corner of Hospital and North streets. The fourth church was the Sacred Heart church on Pecan street, built in 1847 under the influence of Bishop J. N. Odin; which was in turn replaced by the present Sacred Heart church, built in 1937 on a portion of the homestead of Judge Charles S. Taylor on North street, the house of the old Sacred Heart church being rebuilt about eight miles south of Nacogdoches as the Fern Lake church. The sites of the presidio and missions have been appropriately marked by the State of Texas.”

As I am more of an artist and less of an academic historian, please explore these links for citations and further reading:

Spanish Missions in Texas,” Texas Almanac

Nacogdoches, Texas,” Texas State Historical Association

Image Citation: Historic American Buildings Survey, C. (1933) Church of the Divine Infant, Cotton Ford Road, Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches County, TX. Nacogdoches County Texas, 1933. Documentation Compiled After. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress.