Palmvalley Palmvalley
Our History

We are a church rich in history and tradition, yet looks to our future, our mission and ministry to our community and the world. 

In the early 1850’s a small number of Swedish immigrants began settling in an area known then as “Brushy,” located a few miles east of the present day town of Round Rock.  Although there was neither a Swedish Lutheran Church nor pastor in all of Texas at that time, these hard-working pioneers felt it imperative to meet together in someone’s cabin for prayer, Bible reading, and singing of hymns. 

As early as 1854 they met at the home of Sven and Johanna Larson at Kenney’s Fort.  In 1861 A.J. Nelson constructed a log cabin which was used as a school and a church. 

In 1863, Anna Palm’s youngest son died at home of disease, even as his five brothers were away from home during the Civil War. Since there was no pastor and no cemetery, Anna made a request of land from S.M. Swenson, the first Swedish immigrant in Texas (1838) and owner of many acres of land in Williamson and Travis Counties. Swenson gladly donated enough land for a cemetery, and eight years later made an additional donation of 21 acres for a church and school.

After the Civil War, Swedes came to Central Texas in great numbers. Due in large part to the efforts of Swante Palm, Swedish vice-consol in Austin, the Lutheran Church of Sweden sent Pastor D.M. Tillman to lead in the organization of congregations in Austin and Round Rock (Brushy).  On November 27, 1870, the “Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Brushy Church” was officially founded, consisting of 62 men, 33 women, and 61 children.  In 1872 a wood-frame church was built to replace the original log cabin. 

The name remained until 1936, when it was changed to Palm Valley Lutheran Church.  The congregation continued to grow resulting in the construction in 1896 a new red brick Gothic sanctuary. Its steeple soared 96 feet into the sky.  Additions have been made to the historic sanctuary over the years, the latest being the 17,000 square foot multi-purpose building, dedicated in 2003, serving our Contemporary Rejoice Worship, fitness activities and gatherings.

Today Palm Valley Lutheran Church remains committed to proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ in word and deed to a community that has changed over the past 145 years.

Click here to read our complete history.