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…

Fort Fisher is an excellent example of how a historical site can be reimagined to fit contemporary needs. Comprised of a few shanties in themid nineteenth century, more than 130 years later the Waco Chamber of Commerce breathed new life into 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 Waco…

When Stephen F. Austin led the first Anglo-American settlers into Texas including areas along the Brazos River, they brought with them their strong agricultural tradition based on cotton-growing. From the period of annexation until well into the…

Built in 1901, the McLennan County Courthouse holds pride of place within Waco as not only a functioning center of justice but also the city’s most impressive civic building. Designed by James Riley Gordon, the renowned architect responsible for the…