It was curiosity and boredom that led Frank Kiefer to leave his cake and beer stand in Independence and duck into a Baptist revival meeting in 1854. Though the German boy couldn’t understand Dr. R.C. Burleson’s sermon, “he felt a yearning desire for the unseen power that made those Christians happy.” In 1861, Pastor Kiefer – now an ordained Baptist minister – helped found Ebenezer Baptist Church in Burton – one of the first German Baptist churches in Texas. Kiefer is considered the father of the North American Baptist movement in Texas. By 1900, there were 16 German Baptist churches spread across Texas. Canaan Baptist Church in Crawford was founded in 1891, and remains an active congregation today.
One mile east, the 1908 Prairie Chapel School is under development as a community museum.
Watch our Religious and Ethnic Diversity in German Texan Communities video to learn more about German Texan cultural heritage in Texas. This video was produced for inclusion in our German Texans mobile tour found in our Texas Time Travel Tours mobile app. Download the app for more videos and travel information: