Sunday, October 22, 2006

This Week in Texas Methodist History October 22

San Augustine Church Building Specifications October 26, 1837

Early Texas Methodists met in a variety of settings. Services were held in private homes, brush arbors, court houses, and the Capitol of the Republic of Texas. In one famous example, services at Washington on the Brazos were held in a tavern, much to the consternation of the tavern patrons who preferred billiards to the Word of God. One of the earliest documents relating to the construction of a church building comes from October 26, 1837 in San Augustine. The specifications for a church building read in part as follows:

The house is to be 34 feet wide and 45 feet long, one story high, 14 feet from the floor to the ceiling overhead. . . .
The doors to be four feet wide and filled with pannel shutters. . .There are to four windows on each side and two fronting. . . .each window to have venecion (sic)shutters. . . .the roof is to be framed according to the purlin order of architecture well covered with shingles of pine or cypress and to have a plain neat base and cornice. . .there is to be a belfray (sic)suitable to hang a bell of 250 pounds. . .The pulpit and alter (sic) to be of circular form both to be enclosed by bannisters of neat, plain, and tastey (sic) appearance. . . .The above building is to be completed by June 1, 1838.

Calling for milled lumber and manufactured appointments all demonstrate that as early as 1837 Texas Methodists were already moving beyond the log cabin.


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