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Texas-Mexican Presbytery Collection, no. 1

Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

Silent | 1940s

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  •  First Mexican Presbyterian Church in Houston 
  •  Rev. Efrain Z. Bello, his wife Lydia G. Bello, and their daughter Ruth T. Bello on the porch of the manse at the First Mexican Presbyterian Church in Houston. The Bellos moved into the manse in 1940. 
  •  Interior of First Mexican Presbyterian Church in Houston 
  •  Second Mexican Presbyterian Church in Houston, San Pablo Church 
  •  Mexican Presbyterian Church, New Braunfels 
  •  Mexican Presbyterian Church, Lockhart 
  •  El Buen Pastor Church, Austin, located across the street from the Texas State Cemetery 
  •  Mexican Presbyterian Church, possibly in Taylor 
  •  Mexican Presbyterian Church, Waco 
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  • Texas Mexican Presb... Texas Mexican Presbytery 
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This film features the Texas-Mexican Presbytery's churches in central and east Texas in the 1940s. Footage shot in and around Houston, New Braunfels, Lockhart, Austin, Waco, and possibly Taylor shows various scenes of the Mexican-American community: congregations, ministers at the pulpit, families posing, children playing, and adults gathering in their Sunday best.

The Texas Mexican Presbytery was established in 1908 to develop Mexican Presbyterian churches and religious education programs, particularly in southwest Texas. As it became a focus of missionary work, the presbytery established churches, placed ministers, and disbursed support funds. In addition to establishing a Spanish-speaking department at the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, the presbytery also founded two educational institutions: the Texas Mexican Industrial Institute for Boys (1912) and the Presbyterian School for Mexican Girls (in 1924). The Texas Mexican Presbytery initially helped to support its churches and ministers with funds from the Synod of Texas of the Presbyterian Church. By 1955, however, its churches were self-supporting, and were at that point absorbed into their geographic presbyteries.

This film comes from the Texas-Mexican Presbytery Records in the Austin Seminary Archives at the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. A complete finding aid to the collection is available here: http://www.austinseminary.edu/page.cfm?p=1697.