Organized religion among the American settlers in Mexican Texas began with itinerant preachers who organized group gatherings called camp meetings. No churches had been built in this sparsely settled wilderness, and the only religion allowed by the government was Catholicism. Most of the immigrants were Protestants, although in order to acquire land grants they had all professed allegiance to the state church.
The first camp meeting in Austin’s Colony took place in September of 1834, organized by Methodist preacher and Texas resident John Wesley Kenney, and itinerant Methodist preacher Henry Stephenson. The site they chose for their meeting was near a reliable spring in northern Austin County on a tributary of Caney Creek that had been a routine camp site on the old Spanish Orcoquisac Road that supplied the presidio and mission complex of that name on the lower Trinity River from 1754 to 1771. A year later a similar meeting was held in which William Barrett Travis participated in his last church service and communion before he left for his destiny at the Alamo. From 1885 to 1917 these Caney Creek camp meetings were one of the largest and most important religious events in Texas. Click on the link below to learn the whole story.