This Church Has Been Named Oldest Church in Texas


The Ysleta Mission, also known as the Corpus Christi de la Ysleta Mission, is a notable historical site in Texas. It was founded in 1680 by Spanish missionaries and Tigua Indians fleeing the Pueblo Revolt in New Mexico. It is located in El Paso’s Ysleta del Sur Pueblo. This hardy community was established near the Rio Grande, establishing a church that is still an important part of their legacy today.

A Testament to Perseverance

The Ysleta Mission, the oldest continuously operating parish in Texas and one of the oldest in the country, has endured floods, fires, and battles throughout its history. Despite these problems, it remains strong, with its latest incarnation going back to 1851, making it the third structure built on this hallowed territory.

Throughout it all, the Tigua people have shown steadfast faith and perseverance to preserve their culture in the face of hardship. Today, the mission serves not only as a place of worship but also as the core of the Tigua community, which has been recognized as a Native American tribe by the state of Texas.

Architectural Splendor

The Ysleta Mission’s architectural appeal reflects its rich origins, integrating Spanish colonial, Mexican, and Native American elements perfectly. The church has a basic yet exquisite architecture, with external walls made of adobe bricks and a roof ornamented with vigas and latillas. Its front has elaborate decorations such as a bell tower, a rose window, and a magnificently carved wooden door.

Inside, vibrant paintings, sculptures, and textiles crafted by local artisans adorn the walls, creating a vivid tapestry of religious imagery. Frescoes representing biblical themes and saints’ lives adorn the ceilings and walls, while the altar houses venerated Catholic icons. From the choir loft to the baptismal font, every area emanates solemnity and creative expression, representing the community’s diverse cultural background.

Cultural Legacy and Community Service

Beyond its architectural and artistic value, the Ysleta Mission is deeply cultural and spiritually significant to the Tigua people and Texas as a whole. It has been designated as a Texas State Historic Site, a National Historic Landmark, and is on the National Register of Historic Places, demonstrating the state’s lasting heritage.

The mission is more than just a place of worship; it also serves as a center for spiritual development and community participation. Regular masses, sacraments, and festive festivities, such as the Feast of Corpus Christi and the Feast of San Antonio, promote a feeling of community and tradition. The mission also sponsors a variety of social and educational activities, including a food pantry, health clinic, senior center, and cultural events, all of which represent the spirit of service and compassion.


Discover the ongoing heritage of Texas’ famous historical monument, the Ysleta Mission. Established in 1680 by Spanish missionaries and Tigua Indians, it is Texas’ oldest continually operational parish. This architectural treasure combines Spanish colonial, Mexican, and Native American features to highlight diverse cultural traditions. Beyond its artistic and spiritual value, the mission acts as a focus for community participation and social services, exemplifying the Tigua people’s perseverance and dedication to maintaining their culture. Join us on a journey through time at this example of endurance and cultural vibrancy.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.