Sunday, June 25, 2006

This Week In Texas Methodist History June 25

Drought Prompts Methodist to Debate Praying for Rain June, 1879

The Texas Christian Advocate of the late 19th century was quite a bargain. a regular subscription was $2.00 per year. Preachers paid only $1.00. For that small sum the subscriber received eight pages of religious news, opinions, advertising, letters, obituaries, marriage notices, reports from correspondents around the state, and items copied from other regional editions of the Advocate and secular newspapers. By 1880 the publishers, Shaw and Blaylock of Galveston, reported a subscription list of 6,000.

Controversies in the church naturally found their way into the columns of the weekly. A local church dispute found its expression in the letters to the editor column in June, 1879. J. W. Billingsley of Iola in Grimes County wrote the following

No rain since May 5. Corn greatly damaged. Cotton not suffering much yet. Should we pray for rain? There is a wide difference of opinion on the subject among religious people. Will you give us the Scriptural grounds, pro and con?

There is no record of a reply.


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