Past Treasure of the Month – September 2006

1871 Communion Set from German Presbyterian Church
Six piece pewter communion serviceSix piece pewter communion service from St. Paul German Presbyterian Church, Galveston.
Made by Adams Chandler & Co. and Adams Hallock & Co., 1871.

For its September Treasure of the Month, the Rosenberg Library exhibited a pewter communion set used by the congregation of St. Paul German Presbyterian Church in Galveston. Organized in 1857, St. Paul’s was located on the south side of Avenue H (Ball Avenue) between 16th Street and 17th Street.

The original wooden church building was among the many structures destroyed by the devastating fire of November 13, 1885. The fire, which began at a foundry near The Strand and 17th Street, blazed its way north to south from the Strand to Avenue O, and east to west from 16th Street to 19th Street. Nearly 600 homes and 42 blocks of Galveston’s East End were obliterated. During reconstruction of its own church, the congregation of St. Paul’s was temporarily headquartered at Trinity Episcopal’s Eaton Chapel. St. Paul continued to serve Galveston’s German Presbyterian community until its dissolution in 1909.

When the church closed in 1909, the communion service was placed in the custody of Elder Charles Angerhoffer. It was the wish of Mr. and Mrs. Angerhoffer that the set be given to the Rosenberg Library after their deaths. In 1951, the Presbytery of Houston approved the request and donated the six-piece communion set to the library. Damage to the communion service was said to have occurred when the church was partially wrecked in the Great Storm of September 8, 1900.