Sunday, May 21, 2006

This Week In Texas Methodist History--May 21

Alexander Reports on Ruter's Death May 23, 1838

Martin Ruter, head of the Texas Mission of the Methodist Episcopal Church, died at Washington on the Brazos on May 16, 1838. One week later his junior colleague, Robert Alexander wrote to the third member of the Mission, Littleton Fowler, to infom him of the tragic event. Alexander was shaken by the death. "A great man in Israel has fallen. I have never had any thing to afflict me more, not even the death of my own dear father. " Ruter had been in the Republic of Texas only since the previous November, but in those few months had worked tireslessly to plant Methodist societies in the new nation. Alexander summed up Ruter's virtues "Think of learning, weight of character, mildness, prudence, enterprise, energy, &c. " Alexander also informed Fowler that he had started a fund to pay for a grave memorial for Ruter and requested that all Texas churches hold memorial services on June 28.

Enough money was obtained for a suitable tombstone. Alexander asked the Rev. William Winans of the Mississippi Conference to obtain a marble slab in New Orleans, write an epitaph to be carved on it, and then ship the monument to Texas. Washington on the Brazos declined in population so decades later that monument and Ruter's remains were reburied in Navasota where they are today.


Blogger Georgianne Hewett said...

I read your posting from this week aloud at the Aldersgate Day Celebration at Southwestern University. The group remarked about how interesting it is when you layer history on history. There we were celebrating John Wesley's Aldersgate Day experience at a institution which grew out of Martin Ruter's vision to establish a central Methodist college in Texas.

3:14 PM  

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