Many people are surprised to learn that Bellville is located in one of the strongholds of Lutheranism in the nation. But it has not always been so. Bellville was almost forty years old before the Reverend O.W. Hartman, professor at the Lutheran College in Brenham, conducted the first Lutheran service in 1896.
Seven families met shortly thereafter on the 20th day of September, 1896, and organized “The First Evangelical Lutheran Church of Bellville”.
The first fifteen years were rather unsettling with twelve different pastors serving – some were from colleges and served part-time while others were shared with other Lutheran congregations (at Shelby, Welcome, Phillipsburg, and Giddings), and three full-time pastors stayed in Bellville for only a short period of time. Nonetheless, the congregation held together with an ebb and flow of members and was finally able to dedicate the first church building in 1898, an actual church in 1904, and then they were able to purchase the altar vessels and song books in 1907.
A series of dedicated pastors who served for extended tenures began in 1911. And God, working through the pastors and the families, set a course to build the largest church congregation in Bellville. Significant events then quickly followed.