About

The earliest record of Protestant Episcopal services in the area were those conducted by officers and chaplains at Fort Duncan (established 1849). In 1874 the General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the U.S.A. set apart from the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Texas the Missionary District of Western and Northern Texas. Bordering this great diocese on the South was the Rio Grande and along that river were a number of small settlements which were growing up around posts established by the U.S. Army to guard the extensive frontier. Eagle Pass was one such settlement included in this new diocese.

The first minister to conduct monthly services, outside the post of Fort Duncan, was the Rev. J.T. Hutcheson. His report, included in the Journal of the Diocese for 1878 gives a short but vivid description of his first work in Eagle Pass: "Eagle Pass is, at present, a good specimen of a frontier town - no Lord's Day and no churches. But a spirit of improvement, moral and religious as well as material, is now taking possession of the minds of many of its people. There is a least a desire to have Churches as well as barrooms and gambling saloons."

Bishop Elliot visited Eagle Pass, June, 1883 and April, 1884 and noted: "The two most desirable lots in the town have been purchased for the Church upon the Plaza de San Juan and five hundred dollars is in hand for the Church which we hope will be erected in the near future."

In January, 1886 funds amounting to $3,150.00 were collected and a contract was entered into in the office of Judge Winchester Kelso with William Hausser for the erection of a church building. Construction was completed sometime in 1887. The church did not open for services until February, 1888. The interval between the completion of the building and the opening for services is not explained in church records but probably was due to the time required to furnish the interior. It was during Reverend A.H. Koll's incumbency that the Church was furnished with pews, carpets, chancel furniture and vestments, and the chancel was painted and decorated - largely the work of the Ladies Aid Society. The Reverend G.Q.A. Rose, ordained in St. Mark's Church, San Antonio by Bishop James Steptoe Johnson, and then commissioned to take charge of the Eagle Pass parish together with the churches at Del Rio and Brackettville. In May, 1890 on Ascension Day, the church was consecrated by Bishop Johnson.

Two years later, the Galveston News reported that "The Church of the Redeemer is one of the most elegant on the frontier, and its services are well attended."