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Texas Plains Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

Clarendon: St. John The Baptist Episcopal Church


The Episcopal Church established an early foothold in Texas, tracing its roots to 1838 and Christ Church located in the coastal community of Matagorda during the state’s Republic era. The Episcopalian doctrine finally arrived in the Panhandle much later in the century with its first congregational gathering on the J.B. McClelland Ranch. The Panhandle, considered “a wilderness for religion” by Episcopal clergy, harbored a devout colony of Episcopalians centered around the community of Clarendon, Donley County seat. Undaunted by the remote location, local parishioners constructed a handsome church patterned in the Gothic Revival tradition and designed by C. H. Bulger and Isaac Hamilton Rapp, Colorado-based architects also responsible for the Romanesque Revival Donley County courthouse completed in 1891. The church, consecrated on April 24, 1893, hosted its first services courtesy of the Reverend Townsend of the Dallas Episcopal Diocese. A Mrs. Goff, who donated $ 350. to the church construction fund, was asked to name the church, choosing St. John the Baptist as it represented “a lone voice in the wilderness”, a reference to the Biblical story of John the Baptist’s years in Judaea. The churchcontinues to hold services today, making it the oldest continuously used Episcopal Church in the Texas Panhandle.


Location

  • 310 S. Parks
  • Clarendon, Texas
  • 79226

Contact

Hours & Fees

  • This is an active church, please be respectful of services.

  • Free


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