Central Texas is a melting pot of religious diversity, with the Catholic Church, Southern Baptist Convention, and Muslim faith being the three largest religious bodies in the region. This analysis predates the COVID-19 crisis and the subsequent economic impacts, and provides an overview of the religious landscape of Central Texas. The Catholic Church is the most prominent faith in Texas, with 4,673,500 members and 18.59% of the population. The Southern Baptist Convention follows closely behind with 3,722,194 members and 14.80% of the population.
The estimated number of Muslims in the state has increased to 421,972, making it the fifth largest religious group in the state and making Texas the first in the country in terms of number of Muslims. The Dallas-Fort Worth area is home to several seminaries, including the Perkins School of Theology of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, the Brite Divinity School of the Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, and the Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary of Fort Worth (the largest seminary in the world). The Dallas Theological Seminary continues to promote pre-thousand-year-old dispensational views of Cyrus I. In 1860, when Anthony Bewley, a Methodist missionary from the north, was lynched near Dallas for allegedly encouraging slave insurrections in North Texas, unrepentant Southern Methodists insinuated that he had received what he deserved.
Of the 604,215 residents of Texas in 1860, no more than 12 percent were affiliated with any organized religion. In 1860, blacks made up just over 30 percent of the Texas population, and by 1900 this had decreased to 20 percent. Texas is one of many territories included within the Evangelical Protestant Bible Belt - an informal region within south-central and southeastern United States where evangelicalism plays an integral role both socially and politically. From 1810 to 1830 when Mexico's War of Independence broke out there was a 50% decrease in priests in Mexico and no bishops were present in Monterrey during 1821-1836. In 1861 when Archbishop Michael Muldoon left his position to become archbishop of New Orleans Catholicism was recovering in Texas. However like other Protestant churches in Texas prior to social concerns it had not been excluded at all. In September 1860 when Anthony Bewley was lynched near Dallas for allegedly encouraging slave insurrections in North Texas unrepentant Southern Methodists insinuated that he had received what he deserved.
Of the 604,215 residents of Texas in 1860 no more than 12 percent were affiliated with any organized religion. The Methodist faith was followed by Methodists and their Texas Christian Advocate and Brenham General Advertiser in 1847. This former pastor of the First Baptist Church of Waco (1915-4) delivered the first formal series of sermons by a Texas Baptist on social Christianity in 1914 and throughout his life engaged in public controversy on social issues including racism.45% of Americans living within both Southwest and Southeast regions are highly religious - a ranking based on how important people say religion is to them and how often they attend religious services. Central Texas is home to a wide variety of religious communities that have shaped its culture and history. This article provides an overview of this diverse religious landscape before the COVID-19 crisis and its subsequent economic impacts.