El Buen Pastor Presbyterian Church
1200-1208 Willow St.
In 1908, Rev. Elias Treviño, a Presbyterian Evangelist, came to Austin. The Texas-Mexican Presbytery allowed him to organize the Iglesia Presbiteriana Mexicana at E. 6th and Navasota Streets, founded on April 23, 1910, with 20 charter members. The church moved downtown to the corner of 4th and Nueces in October 1918. In 1921, an adjacent lot was bought extending it to San Antonio Street. In 1932, the church was relocated to the corner of E. 8th and Navasota Streets where it remained for the next 27 years. In 1951, the name of the Church changed to “El Buen Pastor” Presbyterian Church, which means “The Good Shepherd.” The purchase of the present property, including the 1902 traditional Mission Revival style church building, was made in 1959. The church has an attractive sanctuary with beautiful stained glass windows. The Fellowship Hall is used for conferences, family nights and other gatherings. Next to the Hall was the pastor’s manse.
A program initiated by the congregation, Manos de Cristo, has provided support and care to the East Austin community through a service ministry. Using the Mexican border concept of servi-iglesia, or serving church, Manos de Cristo challenges the Presbyterian community to join together to assist others. The program opened its doors in 1988 under the direction of Rev. Frank Diaz and Roland Castaneda. The program moved into a bigger space in North Austin in 2014, its former dental clinic which faced East Cesar Chavez Street is now a bicycle shop.
The adjacent lot was bought for the site of the El Buen Pastor Early Childhood Development Center. The Childhood Development Center originated from a 1974 needs assessment conducted by United Urban Council of Churches (now Austin Metropolitan Ministries). On September 2, 1975, the Center opened its doors and began serving its first class of eight children in the fellowship hall. Shortly thereafter, in 1978, parents eagerly raised the funds through car washes and tamale sales to relocate the Center into the pastor's manse, permitting expansion of childcare services. Similar efforts increased the Center's service capacity from a dozen children in 1975, 62 children in 1991 and to its current licensed capacity of 117 children.