Christ Church is the oldest Episcopal parish in Texas. At the time of the church's founding in 1839 by the Reverend Caleb S. Ives, a missionary who came to the Republic of Texas from Vermont via Mobile, Alabama, it could claim to be the southwestern-most Episcopal church in North America. Ives's original church building of 1841 was destroyed in a hurricane in 1854; an engraving of 1850 implies that the 1841 church was far more ambitious architecturally than this replacement, a Southern vernacular type, wood-clapboard-faced church with round arched rather than pointed arched windows. Such interior fixtures as the altar, communion rail, and pews were salvaged from the 1841 church.
A block away, the Matagorda United Methodist Church, also established in 1839, lays claim to being the oldest Methodist congregation in Texas. Its first church, of 1851, was also destroyed in that hurricane in 1854. The present church at Cypress Street and Fisher Street was completed in 1893.