Monday, 28 November 2011 by Keith Bahlmann
Newest in the Bell County Museum's historic church ornament series is the Ocker Brethren Church. The charming three-dimensional replica sells for $15 plus tax; museum members receive a ten percent discount.
Ocker Brethren Church, established in 1892, received its historical marker in 1994. The church is a member of the statewide Unity of the Brethren.
According to its website, the Unity of the Brethren traces its roots to the work of the reforming priest, John Hus, martyred in 1415. Hus was concerned with bringing the Church back to its spiritual roots and removing distracting influences that tradition and custom had added over the years. The reforms that he suggested met with tremendous opposition from church authorities, although they were popular with the common people. In 1457, the Unity of the Brethren was formed.
This limited edition ornament is the tenth in a series of ornaments showcasing historic church structures in Bell County. Salado United Methodist Church and the First Baptist Church of Temple are the first two in the series. First United Methodist Church of Belton, and Christ Episcopal and First Presbyterian Church in Temple are also part of the series. Other churches are St. John Lutheran Church in Bartlett, First United Methodist Church in Temple, Killeen's Primitive Baptist Church, the Eighth Street Baptist Church in Temple.
"The ornaments are not just for members of a specific congregation," said museum member Margaret Williamson, who developed the project. "They are wonderful collectibles for all members of Bell County who love history and who wish to showcase our unique and historic church structures."