Waco’s once thriving Greek community began when a London company sent a Greek cotton merchant to the city in order to purchase cotton for English mills, and soon after he chose to settle in Waco. In the early 1900s Waco’s first Greek family…

On the corner of Eighth Street and Washington Avenue once stood a Catholic school and convent that taught thousands of students during its years of operation from 1874 to 1946. The Academy of the Sacred Heart received its name partially because the…

First United Methodist Church marks its founding year as 1850, when the Rev. Joseph Perkins Sneed, a circuit-riding Methodist minister, preached to the inhabitants of Waco Village at the foot of Jackson Street on the banks of the Brazos River. Legend…

Although born of humble beginnings, Greater Ebenezer Baptist Church has been lifting Wacoans up in worship for over a century. The church now known as Greater Ebenezer Baptist began as Oak Street Baptist Church in East Waco in 1915, when Rev. J. S.…

Tidwell Bible Building stands as a physical memorial not only to the formation of Baylor’s modern Department of Religion, but also as a symbol of the university’s dedication to Christian ideals. Prior to 1910, Baylor’s Bible Department offered…

As one of the first churches built west of Eighth Street, Austin Avenue United Methodist Church has been a center of spiritual growth and community outreach for over one hundred years.  Having decided that the congregation at Waco’s Fifth Street…

First Presbyterian Church of Waco is one of McLennan County’s oldest Protestant congregations, formed several years before Waco’s incorporation as a city. On April 20, 1855, a group of Presbyterians in Waco Village petitioned the Central Texas…

Since 1894, the Methodist Children’s Home has provided a home and family for needy children in Central Texas. Though its role in the community has changed over the years, its devotion to helping the most vulnerable in society has remained constant.…

The plans for F. L. Carroll Chapel and Library were announced in 1901, following substantial gifts to Baylor University from F. L. Carroll for the Chapel and Library and from G. W. Carroll for the Science Hall. While the Science Hall is separate…

Over the years, Hebrew Rest has served as a place of comfort and remembrance for Jews in Waco. More than just a burial place, the cemetery’s headstones speak to the city’s rich Jewish heritage. One of Waco’s founding fathers, Jacob de Cordova,…

For over one hundred years, St. Paul’s has continued to meet the needs of congregants and community members alike from its location at the corner of North Fifth Street and Columbus Avenue. On January 9, 1868, Bishop Alexander Gregg appointed Rev.…

In 1935, the Davidians established the original Mount Carmel Center about two miles outside of the city of Waco. Victor T. Houteff compiled his religious teachings and prophecy into a book called The Shepherd’s Rod, and when he gathered a small…

Organized in 1866, New Hope Baptist Church is one of the oldest African American churches in Waco. Noted throughout its history for its excellent church music programs, New Hope is still a vibrant center of worship for Waco’s black community. The…

On May 31, 1851, four charter members established the First Baptist Church of Waco. These members reached out to prominent missionary and Texan Rev. Noah T. Byers, offering him a salary of seventy-five dollars per year to pastor the church. The…

Temple Rodef Sholom has the distinction of being McLennan County’s oldest and largest Jewish congregation.  Jewish permanent settlers made Waco their home in the mid-nineteenth century. For many years no organized congregation existed; however,…

The founding of St. Francis on the Brazos in 1924 marked the return of Franciscan missionaries to central Texas after a century’s absence. At the invitation of Rev. C.E. Byrne, the bishop of Galveston, Spanish Franciscan missionaries settled in…