Pilgrim Primitive Church  LbNA # 38312

Placed DateMar 16 2008
LocationElkhart, TX
Found By suzyq
Last Found Jul 8 2011
Hike Distance?
Last EditedDec 23 2015


We checked on this box 3/20/2009 and it is still in place.

The site of this letterbox is Pilgrim Primitive Baptist Church and Pilgrim Cemetery in Elkhart, Texas. The site offers a beautiful drive through East Texas to an area deep in early history.

The Pilgrim Primitive Baptist Church was organized by elder Daniel Parker in 1833 in LaMotte, Illinois. Interestingly, the Church was organized in Illinois because, at the time, Texas was under Mexican authority. The Mexican government forbid the development of religions other than Roman Catholicism.
This did not, on the other hand, prevent the immigration of the new Church to Texas.

Eleven members of the new Church traveled by wagon train and entered Texas in January of 1834. Initial meetings were at several sites, but the members later voted to build a log meeting place at the site of the current Church. A replica (built in1949 and reconstructed in 1997) of this log Church can be found at the site today and is the site of an annual gathering held each spring.

The current Church (built in 1929) remains in use and is the fourth on the site. The Pilgrim Church is the oldest Protestant Church in Texas and has been in continuous service since 1833. A Texas historical marker was placed in 1965.

Directions to the Church/cemetery:
From state highway 287 (7.6 miles from loop 256 in Palestine), take 294 (East Parker Street.) Cross the railroad tracks and take a left on 861 (South Main Street.) Did you notice the sign on your right for Pilgrim Church.) Follow 861 for 3.5 miles until you see Pilgrim Church and Cemetery on your left.

Drive up to the church. While standing at the monument with the reconstruction date on it, look slightly to your left at the door (nearest you) for the church replica. The box is behind the door. Please re-hide well as this site sees a good deal of attention at certain times of the year.

Don’t leave yet! Head to the southwest corner of the cemetery to see the grave of Reverend Daniel Parker. To the right of his marker is a marker for his daughter which is coincidentally the first burial in this cemetery. There is at least one additional letterbox in this area – check out Ingenuity in Elkhart by Barefoot Lucy.