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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.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.Mosquitoes and malaria In 1848, a leaky ship carrying German immigrants to Galveston nearly sank in the Gulf of Mexico. Underscoring stressed syllables, his arms slashed the air like a symphony conductor’s.But Jackson is both African-American gay which is rare in church hierarchy.
At the weekly call to stand and greet your neighbors, the congregants swarm the church’s aisle, everybody hugging everybody — the white-haired woman with an oxygen tank, the lesbian couple visiting from Lubbock, the buff T-shirted minister with a man bun carrying his toddler daughter.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.It wasn’t easy, starting a church in the immigrants’ new land. Wet weather brought mosquitoes and malaria, leaving people too sick to care for their cattle. Twice — once in 1859, once in 1867 — yellow fever struck Spring Branch, wiping out so many people that they were buried in mass graves in the church’s cemetery. The prim white clapboard building looks a lot like the churches that similar German settlers built in small towns across Hill Country.But wedged among Long Point Road’s car lots and fast-food joints, its white steeple comes as a jolt.