In 1851, the St. Chrischona School sent their entire graduating class of six. Among them was Johann George Ebinger. Ebinger sailed on the Franziska from Bremen on September 2, and arrived in Galveston on November 5, 1851, at a time when immigration was completely open, except for the occasional mobs of thugs who would scare away whoever they thought were the wrong kind of people.
Ebinger was present for the organization of the Texas Synod on November 10, 1851, Martin Luther’s birthday. The day after the synod assembly, Ebinger headed to Rose Hill, now Tomball, Texas.
On December 24, 1954, Pastor Ebinger conducted the first Lutheran worship service in Washington County. Then, on July 5, 1955, Eben Ezer, the first Lutheran Church in Brenham was organized in the Berlin community.
A conflict arose between Pastor Ebinger and the leaders at Eben Ezer in 1956. So Pastor Ebinger and a few members went three miles south to “the prairie,” where they formed Salem Lutheran Church.
Today Eben Ezer is served by Pastor Ken Weiss, who served them while in candidacy, starting January 1, 2010. He was ordained February 17, 2013. Although Eben Ezer’s attendance is stable and has even grown a bit, this year (starting March of 2018), Ken agreed to also serve Immanuel of Wiedeville in Brenham, at the encouragement of Assistant to the Bishop Blair Lundborg.
Eben Ezer has been served by many pastors in its 163-year history.
Below are some (not all) confirmation photos, hastily taken, to share some perspective.