Sunday, May 28, 2006

This Week in Texas Methodist History May 28

June 3, 1839--Texas Methodists Resolve to Celebrate Centenary of Methodism

Methodists have often used the commemoration of historic events to advance the interests of the denomination. In 1840 they commemorated Wesley's organization of Methodist Societies. In 1884 they celebrated the Christmas Conference in Baltimore. 1919 saw the centennial of Methodist Missions celbrated with a huge fund raising effort for missions. Texas Methodists had state wide celebrations in both 1934 and 1936 to commemorate Texas Methodist heritage.

The first celebration presented some problems to the Texas Mission. There was very little money in the Republic of Texas. Many, if not most, Texans lived by barter. Promissory notes, cattle receipts, and commodities were common substitutes for legal tender. How then should the Texas Mission raise money to celebrate the centennial? One group of preachers devised a solution. They passed the following resolution

Resolved that we recommend to our brethren and the preachers generally to procure before the Centenary selebration donations of land for campgrounds, churches, and parsonages at every appointment on the circuits, and that said donations be considered as commemnoration of the centenary of Methodism.

There may not have been much money in Texas, but there was lots of land. The donations of land did come in. Both acreage and town lots were donated. At least one of the campgrounds (in Burleson County) was named Centenary Campground.


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