Welcome to MEM1

Many of the principles articulated by Martin Luther and John Calvin are still at the core of Lutheran and Presbyterian beliefs. Among these are sovereignty of God, the authority of Scripture, justification by grace through faith and the priesthood of all believers. What these tenets mean is that God is the supreme authority throughout the universe.

We believe and teach that there is a triune God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) who loves every person. To show his love, Jesus died on the cross for all of us!

We Are A Unique Inter-Denominational ELCA/PCUSA Congregation

Many of the principles articulated by Martin Luther and John Calvin are still at the core of Lutheran and Presbyterian beliefs. Among these are sovereignty of God, the authority of Scripture, justification by grace through faith and the priesthood of all believers. What these tenets mean is that God is the supreme authority throughout the universe.

We believe and teach that there is a triune God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) who loves every person. To show his love, Jesus died on the cross for all of us!


View our leadership members below and click on each name for more information.

Email: pastorchon@mem1.org

Job description: Pastor of Word and Sacrament, including Theological Education, Service, and Mission, Youth and Family

Start Date and other careers: Began at Mem1 September 2020, served congregations in Arizona for 15 years as a pastor and in North Carolina for 2 years as a deaconess. Served congregations in Texas as preschool teacher and director.

Passion: Preaching, Teaching and Reaching – the Word and Mission of Christ; The beach, travel

Family: Married 1976 to Danny. We are blessed with four married children and 18 grandchildren.

Email: office@mem1.org

Job description: Greeter/Answers church phone, preparation of Sunday Service worship media/tools, prepares Annual Congregational Report, annual parochial report to Synod, attendance reports, church directory, updates website & electronic outdoor sign, prepares correspondence/documents as requested, keeps log of all official acts of the church, maintains member database, and other administrative duties as assigned.

Email: tech@mem1.org

Job Description: AV Support, Social Media, Video Production

Start Date and other careers: Began Mem1 February 1, 2021; Currently working for the Educational Technology Department at College of the Mainland.

Passions: Coffee, playing music, spending time with family

Family: Dad to two teenagers

Job Description: Provide organ music to support Sunday worship and other special services

Start Date and other careers: Church organist since 1963, serving Memorial Lutheran, St. John’s Methodist, Peace Lutheran, and St. Paul’s Lutheran-Galveston; Substitute teacher

Passion: Playing organ and piano, painting, sewing, and yard work

Family: Married, three grown children, 6 grandchildren, and 4 great-grandchildren

Pianist for services and for our Praise Team

Job Description: Youth Director, Teacher, Youth Events Coordinator, Education Director

Start Date and other careers: Began here on April 2, 2022; homeschool teacher; Custom fiber arts and jewelry; Praise Team and choir vocalist.

Passions: Teaching, singing, re-learning violin, fiber arts, jewelry making, gardening, baking

Family: Married with three boys (8, 11, and 13)

Vocal leader for all services including our Praise Team

Memorial Lutheran Council

President: Randy Dietel
Vice President: Arthur Lowe
Secretary: Joyce Palmer
Treasurer: Barbara Silvertooth
Administration: Karen Bernhardt
Education/Youth: Leigh Ann Jacobs
Fellowship: Peggy Dietel
Technology: Danny Pugh
Outreach: Billie Hansley/Mike Allison
Property: Jim Kees
Stewardship: Ginger Thomas/Don Pollock
Visionary Team: Mary Kees
Worship: Sue Edrozo

First Presbyterian Session

Moderator: Chon Pugh
Clerk of Session: Peggy Dietel
Class of 2023: Paula Smith, Treasurer
Class of 2022:  Mike Allison & Sue Edrozo

Mem1 History

Memorial Lutheran History

  • 1942 – a small group of people met to worship in the home of Mr. and Mrs. R.H. Koepke.
  • 1942 – worship moved to the Old Fellows Hall
  • October 1, 1944 – constitution and bylaws were adopted. Pastor E. A Heye served as organizing pastor.
    Charter members 19 adults, 19 children, “Texas City Lutheran Church”
  • Nov. 1944 – property at 518 Fourth Ave N was purchased for $4,000.00.
  • Feb. 11, 1945 – first baptism – Betty Joe Adkins
  • January 30, 1946- first child born to congregation – Joseph Edwards (Pete) Parker
  • May 19, 1946 – first resident pastor installed – Reverend R.H. Trojan
  • October, 1946 – Pastor Trojan resigns
  • February 23 1947 – Pastor Pempeit was installed as pastor
  • April 16, 1947 – Grand Camp exploded – Church damaged beyond repair
  • March 18, 1948 – Land was donated at Ninth Avenue and Fourth Street and land was broken for a new church
  • May 1948 – Church was renamed from Texas City Lutheran Church to Memorial Lutheran Church of Texas City
  • June 1948 – Pastor Pompeit left to minister in New York
  • 1948 – First Confirmation class and first choir
  • 1948 – 1949 – Reverend A.L. Pfennig presided
  • December 19, 1948 – New church building was dedicated
  • February, 1949 – Reverend Henry Engeling – ordained and installed as pastor
  • 1949 – First Acolytes
  • 1949 – First Funeral – Mr. Elmer v Dever – killed in a boating accident
  • 1950 – First weddings – Emil Stock and Dorothy Black and Evelyn Mewis to Bruce Jolly
  • 1951 – First Luther League
  • 1955 – Ground broken for Phase I Educational facilities, first organ dedicated.
  • 1955 – Elizabeth Pfennig first organist, Karen Reinhart first Parish worker
  • 1956 – Education building was dedicated
  • 1957 – parsonage built 1215 San Jacinto
  • 1958 – Kindergarten established
  • 1960 – decision to expand facilities
  • 1960 – ALC, UELC,ELC merged to form The American Lutheran Church (TALC)January 1961 – Pastor Engeling resigns to accept call in Forth Worth
  • 1961 – Interim time served by Pastor T.J.Roth
  • July 16, 1961 – Reverend Hilmer Krause installed as pastor
  • September 11, 1961 – Hurricane Carla Hit – 3 inches water in sanctuary and 16 inches in parsonage
  • 1962 – NASA locates to Clear Lake
  • August 14, 1966 – Phase II of education building was finished and dedicated. Manske Memorial Chapel was dedicated. Fisherman’s Cross was used in design.
  • 1966 – Pastor Krause resigns to teach in a Mexico City Seminary
  • September 1966 – Reverend Richard Jones installed as pastor
  • December 2, 1966 – Reverend Jones and wife were killed in a car wreck
  • December 5, 1966 – First funeral in new sanctuary – Reverend Jones and wife
  • December 27, 1966 – Mariana Larson married John Vesey – first wedding in new sanctuary
  • February 1967 – Reverend J. Weldon Smith was installed as pastor
  • 1967 – Stained Glass windows installed in sanctuary
  • 1970 – Wayne Craig – member – killed in active duty in Vietnam
  • August 17, 1975 – Douglas Guthier, a son of the congregation, was ordained at Memorial
  • June 1979 – Arthur Lowe, a son of the congregation, was ordained at Memorial
  • January 1976 – Pastor Smith resigned accepting a call to McGregor, Texas
  • 1976 – Pastor L.G. Wehman accepts call
  • 1977 – a refugee resettlement committee is formed and the Thao family is welcomed from Vietnam
  • February 1985 – Pastor Wehman resigns
  • 1985 -1988 – Pastor Scott Cigich serves as pastor
  • 1988-1991 – Pastor Donald Cole serves as pastor
  • 1991 to 1992 – Pastor James Bezaire serves as pastor
  • August 1993 –1998 Pastor Ralph Reitmeyer serves as pastor
  • April 1999 – 2006 – Pastor Veit serves as pastor
  • February 9, 2004 – The sanctuary catches on fire due to a faulty heating element. Worship meets in activity center.
  • July, 2004 – purchased 9.2 acres at 2021 29th St N
  • August, 2004 – former church sanctuary was razed
  • February 2005 – Began work on new church building and campus
  • Easter Sunday 2005 – First Service on new property
  • December 3,2006 – new building is dedicated
  • 2006-2008 – interim time served by various pulpit supply
  • 2008 – 2014 Wayne Clement begins serving and attending seminary
  • 2014 – 2015 Reverend Wayne Clement serves as ordained pastor
  • October 2014 – Presbyterians arrive
  • 2015-2017 – Reverend Richard Kleiman serves as pastor
  • 2018 – 2019 – Kari Niedermaier intern and Reverend Liz Stein Supervisor interim
  • 2019-2020 – Pastor Steve Stutz – interim
  • 2020-present – Pastor Chon Pugh

First Presbyterian Church History

  • 1920s-1930s – Presbyterian Church met for worship in Texas City until economics caused the organization to fail.
  • March 16, 1941 – Organizational Meeting conducted by Rev. R. L. Owens, Supt. of Home Missions, Brazos Presbytery. Church chartered with pastor Albert E. Rhumann and 35 charter members.
  • 1941-1943 – Church met at the old City Hall/Jail (200 Texas Ave), then at the American Legion Hall (3rd Ave & 3rd St)
  • 1943 – First permanent facilities completed (1112 7th St) including a small sanctuary, pastor’s office and home, and 3 classrooms. No Sunday school held in summer due to polio epidemic. Rev. Rhumann departed in 1943 to become a WWII Navy chaplain.
  • 1943-1950 – Rev. Henry W. Quinius served as pastor.
  • 1944 – Manse purchased (818 11th Ave N).
  • 1945-1946 – Sanctuary expanded, classrooms added; membership was 149 with 6 elders and 10 deacons.
  • April 16, 1947 – Texas City Disaster; 10 members killed, 6 injured including Griz Eckert, (Monsanto Plant Manager), who asked the pastor for the most thankless task in the church and took over teaching Junior High Sunday School.
  • 1948 – Memorial organ dedicated honoring members killed in the 1947 explosion
  • Early 1950s – Chartered Boy Scout Troop 232
  • 1951-1953 Rev. Wentz J Miller served as pastor.
  • 1953 – No Sunday school held in summer due to polio epidemics.
  • 1954-1963 Rev. David M. Currie served as pastor.
  • 1954-55 – 2 story education building added
  • 1958 – Bonds sold to finance the new sanctuary
  • 1960 – New 400 seat Sanctuary, church offices, library and choir room completed
  • September 11, 1961 – Hurricane Carla (Cat 5) flooded much of Texas City including church property.
  • 1963-1969 – Rev. Herb Meza served as pastor.
  • Early 1960s – Several members were commissioned to plant a new church that became LaMarque Presbyterian.
  • 1967 – The Interlude, a teenage coffee house, became a popular gathering point for the youth community, so popular that the fire department had to limit the gym occupancy numbers.
  • 1969-1990 – Rev. Allan C. Anderson served as pastor. During his tenure, the Texas City Ministerial Alliance was formed along with Church Women United, who were key in founding the Texas City Day Nursery, which provided child care on a sliding scale to working parents. Counselor Archie Faires offered community counseling on site.
  • 1972 – Hosted Presbytery meeting; Clark Chamberlain, son of the congregation, was ordained.
  • Late 80s-early 90s – the Church combined efforts with Memorial Lutheran and First Methodist to co-sponsor Vacation Bible School, pooling volunteer resources to serve the community.
  • 1991-1998 – Rev. Rick Elliott served as pastor. Hosted Presbytery meeting in 1996.
  • 1999-2000 – Rev. Pat Clark served as interim pastor over the Turn of the Century – Millenium. New Years Eve into 1/1/2000 was a time of prayerful excitement for computer date tracking.
  • 2000-2005 – Rev. Kathryn Morton served as pastor.
  • Early 2000s – Boy Scout Troop 232 celebrated 50 year anniversary on the church grounds
  • Early 2000s – Connectional conversations with LaMarque and Dickinson Presbyterian churches built relationships and resulted in some shared ministries including youth conclaves and mission trips to Mexico through the Communities Unidad Pro Solud (CUPS – Communities United for Health)
  • 2005-2006 – Rev. Rich Lounsbery served as interim pastor.
  • 2006-2008 – Rev. Skip Ehrlich served as pastor. Small group studies were initiated.
  • 2009- Rev. Helen Deleon served as Session Moderator, using pulpit supply for worship
  • 2010-2012 – Rev. Leigh Wisner served as part-time Stated Supply pastor. The church continued to struggle with declining membership and escalating building maintenance costs.
  • 2012 – LaMarque Presbyterian Church closed; some of their members joined FPCTC.
  • 2012-2018 – Rev. Richard Kleiman served as part-time Stated Supply pastor.
  • 2014 – The congregation used the New Beginnings discernment tool to prayerfully assess congregational and community strengths, needs, challenges, and connections. We determined to remain together as a congregation, depart from and sell the building, and “nest” in a temporary location while discerning a path forward.
  • September 28, 2014 – We held our final service at 1112 7th St, exited the building, and on October 5, 2014 began sharing space with an early worship service followed by Sunday school at the Memorial Lutheran building at 2021 29th St.
  • 2015 –Rev. Richard Kleiman began serving both First Presbyterian and Memorial Lutheran, which quickly resulted in a combined single worship service reflecting both traditions. Both the New Covenant Presbytery and Lutheran Gulf Coast Synod endorsed the churches exploring how to serve our community in ministry together.
  • August 25, 2017 – Hurricane Harvey impacted Galveston County while Texas City was protected by the levee system; FPC gave Dickinson Presbyterian many of our stored liturgical items.
  • 2018 – The building at 1112 7th St sold, and the proceeds were placed into savings for future ministry.
  • 2018-2019 Intern Kari Neidermaier and her supervisor Rev. Liz Stein served as interim to both churches.
  • 2019-2020 – Rev. Steve Stutz served as interim to both churches
  • September 2020 – Rev. Chon Pugh called as full-time pastor. An agreement of financial support was formalized by First Presbyterian with Memorial Lutheran. The two churches continue becoming one ministry, “Mem1”, with continued interest and positive feedback of New Covenant Presbytery (PCUSA) and Lutheran Gulf Coast Synod (ELCA).