Music was important to German religious life. In Germany, religious music had its roots in the beloved classical tradition, and church musicians were highly trained and revered. Germans carried this priority with them when they moved to Texas in the 19th century. This was seen in the pipe organ Johann Wantke carved out of cedar in 1867 and donated to the Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Round Top – a burgeoning pioneer community at the time. The organ created a certain gravitas during worship, providing a familiar resonance for immigrants who had attended Lutheran services back in Germany.
Part of the Round Top Area Historical Society Museum complex, the church is still a spiritual and social center of the community it’s served for more than 150 years.
Bethlehem Lutheran Church