The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 69, July 1965 - April, 1966 Page: 140
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
century and a quarter in the life of the congregation and the com-
munity. Art work was under the direction of Jim Culbertson.
This sort of commemorative volume is published generally
for the enjoyment of the members of the congregation, and that
obviously was the primary purpose of A Happy Worldly Abode.
It is tremendously difficult to write the history of a local church
congregation in a fashion that makes it interesting to those out-
side the flock. To do so requires a depth of knowledge about the
history of the community, and of the state and nation as well.
One must demonstrate interaction between the church and the
society within which it is set. Since the Christ Church congrega-
tion was organized principally by Colonel William Fairfax Gray
and included in its membership so many other men prominent
in the affairs of the Republic of Texas as well as in the leadership
of the City of Houston, the task was not so hard. Yet this takes
nothing from the skill with which the author handled her ma-
terial in the earlier periods covered. She demonstrated convinc-
ingly that Christ Church and the City of Houston grew up to-
gether, shared the same leadership, and suffered alike from the
amount of time and attention which leaders had to divert
to the affairs of Texas at large. One cannot forget, reading the
first three sections of the narrative, that the congregation was a
vital part of the life of Houston and 'Texas. It is not entirely the
fault of the author that that does not come off as well in the last
two narrative sections. For one thing, by 1885 Houston was
becoming a little too large to trace out the influence of one con-
gregation in its midst, and for another, the method of listing
names of persons baptized, married, or buried, which worked
advantageously in the period when the congregation was small,
giving a true cross section of the flock, becomes tiresome to the
outsider and obviously too selective in the later sections. Then,
the chronicle of the recent past is really quite difficult, because
one lacks the perspective to give it meaning. For all of this, the
narrative of the earlier years compensates for any failings of the
Errors of any sort, even minor ones, are too rare to deserve
notice. One annoyance to this reader, however, is the use of mar-
ginal notations of events contemporary with the course of the
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 69, July 1965 - April, 1966, periodical, 1966; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117144/m1/160/: accessed March 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.