South Plains Electric crews participated in the move of the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church by raising lines along the route.
The church was originally built over 100 years ago in the new town of Spur, Texas, on the Spur Ranch property and was called Trinity Mission Episcopal Mission. In 1949, the church was moved to Hereford and the name was changed to St. Thomas Episcopal Church. The Diocese of Northwest Texas moved the church to Brownfield in 1955, and it remained there until it was moved to the National Ranching Heritage Center.
The diocese recently donated the building to the NRHC. The little church, which will be the 52nd structure in the historical park, will be located at the National Ranching Heritage Center on the campus of Texas Tech University. The mission of the NRHC is to preserve and interpret the heritage of ranching in North America. “We hope to use this little church to talk about how religious institutions were part of the expansion into the Western frontier,” Dr. Scott White, Director of Collections, Exhibits and Research said. These churches and missions were spiritual shelters for the people living and working in sparsely populated areas.
This particular building exists because of the efforts of the Spur Ranch and the Swenson family who decided to populate the emptiness of West Texas as the railroad arrived and the edge of the frontier settlements moved closer. This building represents the community, and many other small churches that were used as community centers, schools, meeting halls and a place to turn to when seeking a higher power.
Visit the NRHC to find out more information and plan your trip today.