This Week in Texas Methodist History--September 24
Bishop Enoch M. Marvin gavelled the organizational meeting of the Northwest Texas Conference to order on September 26, 1866 in Waxahachie. Thirty-five preachers who received appointments were divided among four districts--Waco, Fort Worth or Waxahachie (General Minutes do no agree), Springfield, and Lampasas. Large membership charges included Corsicana (300), Grand View (340), Springfield Circuit (308), and Weatherford (218). The total conference membership was 3870.
The Northwest Texas Conference had been authorized earlier in the year by the General Conference meeting in New Orleans. The Texas Conference had petitioned that its northern territory be struck off into a a new conference. The boundary proposed by the Texas Conference was adopted. Almost immediately the Texas Conference peritioned General Conference for the return of Milam, Falls, Robertson, Leon, Freestone, and part of Limestone Counties from the Northwest Texas Conference. The Northwest Texas Conference had little objection since the westward expansion of railroads and towns into western Texas was providing plenty of population growth in its territory.
In 1910 the Northwest Texas Conference was itself divided. The Central Texas Conference was created from its southern territory while the northwestern territory retained the name of Northwest Texas Conference. We can thus celebrate the 140th anniversary of both the Northwest Texas and the Central Texas Conferences on September 26, 2006.