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GOD & TEXAS: The failure of Louis Ervendberg

Gossip spread quickly when the local minister was caught in adultery. At first, everyone was skeptical. But as rumors became fact, the community shared the common feelings of sorrow and anger. And what about his sweet wife and children?

Born in 1809, Louis Ervendberg was a highly respected minister who graduated from the prestigious German University of Greifswald. This institution was founded in 1456 as part of the Holy Roman Empire, and its school of theology ranked as one of the best in the world.

Ervendberg immigrated to America in 1837 and founded numerous churches in Illinois. In 1838, he married Luise Münch, and moved to Houston, Texas. It was in Houston, on Dec. 22, 1839, that Ervendberg conducted the first recorded German worship service to be held in Texas.

Ervendberg then established churches throughout South Texas including Columbus, La Grange, Industry, and Cat Spring. He co-founded the first synod of German Christian Churches with Joseph Fischer, who is recognized as the first teacher in Industry.

Eventually, Ervendberg began pastoral ministry to the Adelsverein immigrants, and settled in New Braunfels. Because many children were orphaned by various epidemics, Louis and Luise founded the Western Texas Orphan Asylum with 80 youngsters in 1848.

Unfortunately, Louis Ervendberg was easily sidetracked by intriguing notions. He built an open-air theater and started production of silk and unusual varieties of wheat. While opening a college, Louis founded a horticultural society, and served as a probate judge in Comal County. His church finally released him and secured a pastor that would focus on them. Even worse, his preoccupations caused discord in his marriage.

In this chaotic situation, revelation of his shameful immorality with an underaged girl in the orphanage, led to Louis fleeing to Mexico. Several years later, rumors spread that Ervendberg had been murdered by thieves. A sad end to a disgraced life.

This minister of culture and status left behind an unrighteous mess. His family was devastated and dishonored, innocent parishioners were deceived, and the Work of the Lord besmirched. No one can justify his actions. He was wrong.

When the minister fails, people are often hurt, angry, and disillusioned. Regrettably, even ministers struggle with human temptations. While most stand firm in Christ, some fall into sin and lose their ministry.

But the good news is that in humanities' moral collapse, Jesus remains impeccably pure! And it is Christ alone who is the Head of the Church. Colossians 1:18 NLT, “Christ is also the head of the church, which is His body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead.”

A minister or church may fail you, but Jesus never fails. 1 Corinthians 1:9-10 NLT, “He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the Day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns. God will do this, for He is faithful to do what He says, and He has invited you into partnership with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”

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