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She was christened in the church 84 years ago, and married there, too.
She remembers when the church had big barbecues, with men staying up all night to cook.
And at that prayer meeting, they founded a Lutheran church named for St. They called a pastor, started a school, sawed new logs for a new building.
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A few from Cathedral of Hope grumbled that they’d miss the church’s name, but most agreed that St. The Cathedral of Hope congregation would get a “forever home.” And St.
Peter’s would get the vibrant young people its congregation had prayed for.
The church he was envisioning built on no one’s tradition. He knew what a big change he was asking for, and from his management studies, he knew how hard change comes for any organization. As the two churches discussed the details, the idea began to seem almost inevitable.
But in the first months, when membership dropped from 23 to 15, he and his husband worried they’d made the wrong bet. And at last, the people they’d imagined began to show up: people of all ages, different races and ethnicities, straight and gay and transgender. By the end of 2018, Cathedral of Hope Houston had 85 members — a long way from a megachurch, maybe, but growing. Peter’s sanctuary, and last year, as his church began taking off, Jackson was considering yet another a move. Peter, as a landlord, would or could make the physical upgrades that his growing congregation needed. Peter’s counterpart with a list of fixes they’d need if they were going to renew their lease. Jackson would be head minister and would continue to command the big brick sanctuary on Sundays, but Sheil-Hopper would stay on, and would continue leading the restrained traditional services in the chapel.
But the third surprise cuts the deepest: It’s where, exactly, that Jackson is preaching. Peter, founded in Spring Branch by German immigrants in 1848, is among the oldest churches in Harris County, and until recently, one of the most traditional — a place whose elderly congregation still hewed to their German forebears’ restrained style of worship, a place where hymns are accompanied by a small woman pedaling away at an old-school pump organ. Peter will celebrate Christ’s resurrection and transfiguration — and also the church’s own.