Early History of Churches in Freeport

The history of the Presbyterian Church in Brazoria county began shortly after Texas won its independence. One of the landmarks of the county was the Bethel Presbyterian Church, built by Mrs. Josiah Bell in 1838 along the Brazos River in East Columbia. Attendance at the church required a riverboat trip, with some members traveling for two days and one night to reach the church.

Other Presbyterian churches of the area were established in later years. The Perry family built the Gulf Prairie Presbyterian Church in in 1879, and in the late 1800's the town of Quintana built their church. Quintana was a much larger town at that time, with 1500 to 2000 inhabitants. The major industries included exportation of cotton, crude sugar, cowhides, and salt. The Quintana church was destroyed in the storm of 1900.

Toward the latter part of 1913, J.H. Ross, a Presbyterian, started a Union Sunday School. Meetings were held in a little building on the corner of Broad and Cherry Streets which had been donated by the Freeport Sulphur Company. A short time later, the Sunday school was moved to a newly erected building at West Second and Maple Streets, owned by the Methodist church. This Union Sunday School acted as the nucleus for the formation of nearly all the churches in Freeport today.