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our history

This history is adapted from a history written by Leslie Ellison, Teaching Elder, former Stated Clerk of Mission Presbytery. and from information from the Presbyterian Historical Society. 

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The first Presbyterians arrived in Texas in the 1820s, forming churches first in East Texas, and then moving west. The Synod of Texas was established in Austin in 1851; it consisted of three Presbyteries, including the West Texas Presbytery, which included much of the area now encompassed by Mission Presbytery.


Texas Presbyterians joined other Southerners in separating from the PC(USA) and becoming part of the Presbyterian Church in the Confederate States of America in 1861. This denominational body was renamed the Presbyterian Church in the United States (PC(US)) in 1865. 


Just two years later, several churches and pastors in Central Texas rejected the split with the PC(USA) and chose to rejoin the denomination, forming the Austin Presbytery in 1867.  Thus,  from almost the very beginning of the split, Central Texas was represented by both denominations. 

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In 1908, the Synod of Texas created the Texas-Mexican Presbytery, which consisted of seventeen congregations of primarily Spanish-speaking members and was an outgrowth of the missionary efforts of the Presbytery of Western Texas.


In the early 20th century, the area that is now Mission Presbytery was governed by two presbyteries of the PC(US) (commonly called the Southern Presbyterian Church): the Presbytery of Texas-Mexican and the Presbytery of Western Texas. Around 1956, the Texas-Mexican Presbytery was absorbed into the Western Texas Presbytery. In 1959, The Presbytery of Western Texas was split into John Knox Presbytery (Bexar County and the area north) and South Texas Presbytery (south of Bexar County). By 1972, these two were merged into Presbytery del Salvador.


Known as the Northern Presbyterian Church, although they had churches in all fifty states, The Presbyterian Church in the USA (PCUSA) also governed churches from Austin to Brownsville. This region was called Austin Presbytery until 1960 when it was renamed to Alamo Presbytery. 


In 1981, Presbytery del Salvador and Alamo Presbytery united to form Mission Union Presbytery, eventually renaming to Mission Presbytery in 1983, coinciding with the union of their parent denominations into the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Today, Mission Presbytery encompasses a region from the Gulf of Mexico north from the junction with the Rio Grande River (Cameron County) to the west side of the Colorado River in Matagorda County; west and north along the Rio Grade River and including Val Verde County; and along a line at the western, northern, or eastern extremities of these counties: Val Verde, Edwards, Kimble, Lenard, McCullough, San Saba, Lampassas, Coryell, Lavaca, and Wharton and Matagorda Counties west of the Colorado River.

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