In Lone Star Steeples: Historic Places of Worship in Texas, Carl J. Christensen Jr. and Pixie Christensen present sixty-five captivating and historically significant structures in exquisite watercolor illustrations accompanied by brief summaries and convenient, handcrafted maps. Ranging from stately edifices of brick and stone located in urban centers to more humble wood-frame chapels in rural surroundings, the houses of faith shown in these pages have one important trait in common: They have all served as centers of cultural identity, spiritual comfort, and public service to the communities in which they arose.
In their introduction, the Christensens write, “The journey behind Lone Star Steeples crisscrossed the state along back roads, farm roads, and state highways. In these journeys and in the stories that were told, certain patterns began to emerge: the pride of the people in building their churches debt-free, the perseverance of the people who endured their beloved church being destroyed by natural disaster once, twice, or even three times . . . the people’s recognition of the church as their cultural foundation, their moral foundation, their social center.” As the Christensens demonstrate, Texas is home to a remarkable diversity of people, and their places of worship reflect and celebrate that diversity.
CARL J. CHRISTENSEN JR. has worked as a design architect in Texas, Montana, and California. Since 2007, he and PIXIE have been traveling the state in search of places of worship with unique historical attributes. The Christensens live in the Hill Country.