Against the backdrop of the dedication and zeal evidenced in the stories of these pioneer Christians in Travis and Hays counties are the histories of brethren who met in Henly, Millseat, Driftwood and Teck. These are the groups from which the church of Christ in Dripping Springs evolved.
In the 1930s and even earlier, brethren gathered for worship at Millseat in the “Old Plank House”. Conditions for worship were somewhat primitive by today’s standards. Light was provided by four Coleman lanterns which were constantly in need of pumping. Wood stoves provided heat. The Lord’s Supper consisted of home-baked unleavened bread and home-canned mustang grape juice. Services were held on Sunday morning only. “A good peaceful fellowship” was said to exist within the church at Millseat. For different reasons the church was moved to Henly and later back to Millseat. The Millseat group later merged with other groups in Dripping Springs when the Dripping Springs Independent School consolidated and took the “Old Plank House”.
Families represented at Millseat were the Combs, the Sorrells and the Keys. The Gages, Spaws and Sheltons also worshiped there. Several different preachers came to speak to these brethren. Among them were brothers Showalter, Ledbetter, Puckett and North. Brother Charlie McCormick, another Millseat member, usually led singing.
Brethren met for worship at Henly in an old school house on the Blanco Highway. This old place of worship has now been converted to a Spanish-style home. Brother J.R. Kelley did most of the preaching. Some of the families represented in the church at Henly were the Beauchamps, the Murrays, the Twidwells and the Felps. Also represented were the Dyers, the Shipps, the Luersens and the Smiths.
Although the beginnings of the church in Driftwood are clouded, there are clear memories of the Gages and Williamsons meeting in each others homes. Brother Ira Gage generally led in the teaching of the Bible. Later meetings took place in the local school house, at “Camp Ben” in buildings owned by denominational groups. Meetings, which attracted many, were held by brothers Ledbetter and Nobels. Baptisms were performed at Schubert’s Crossing on Onion Creek on the Buda to Driftwood road. At no time did the Driftwood group consist of more than four or five families.
The very active church that met in the Teck community also provided some of the original members of the church in Dripping Springs. Of the four groups mentioned here, the Teck group was the largest. The Toungates, the Haydons, the Hudsons and the Cliftons were some of the families who met for worship in the old school house and the open tabernacle at Teck. The old Teck church records indicate that on May 30, 1936, the members donated $10 for a mission meeting at Dripping Springs to help establish the Lord’s church in this community. Brother John Hudson also wrote that they had $1.83 left from donation from that Sunday’s contribution of $11.83. The Teck church also made regular donations to the Bole’s Children’s Home.
The Teck group had a long and notable history. In the early 1900′s they sponsored a debate between brother Kirby Bintliff and a Baptist preacher. Especially touching is the story of the family of orphaned children who remained together because several of the brethren at Teck adopted them.
Many of the brethren who worshiped at Teck lived on and worked the land in the Colorado River bottom. The filling of Lake Travis flooded their land and dispersed their community. Members of the church in Teck began worshiping in Leander and Liberty Hill, as well as in Dripping Springs.
The brethren who met in Millseat, Henly, Driftwood and Teck were familiar with each other long before many of them united to worship in Dripping Springs. Meetings held in any of the four communities were attended by members from the other communities, and when worship was not being held in one or another of the communities, brethren would travel the long distances to worship with saints at the other places. In addition to the other preachers mentioned, brothers Hall and Bradley also preached among all of these brethren.