Saturday, June 30, 2007

This Week in Texas Methodist History July 1

Texas Methodist Historical Quarterly Begins, July 1909

Historical consciousness has been part of Texas Methodism from its earliest days. When writing about the establishment of the Texas Conference on December 25, 1840, Bishop Beverly Waugh made reference not to Christmas, but to the 1784 founding of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The editors of the Texas Christian Advocate solicited memoirs from pioneer Texas Methodists for publication. The existence of an East Texas Conference historical trunk can be documented as early as 1866.

One of the most important steps in preserving Texas Methodist history occurred on February 24, 1909 with the organization of the Texas Methodist Historical Association. By the following July the TMHA was able to produce volume 1, #1 of the Texas Methodist Historical Quarterly.

The editor was C. C. Cody of Southwestern University. The assistant editor was E. L. Shettles of the Texas Conference. The first volume provided a wealth of historical treasures and set the pattern for the subsequent volumes. After an introduction by TMHA president John McLean, Claude Cody wrote a biography of Martin Ruter, Mrs. A. J. Lee (John Wesley Kenney's daughter) provided a biographical sketch of her father. Hamilton G. Horton, who had been admitted O. T. in 1858 contributed sketches on Homer Thrall and the 1838 itinerants. There were also reprints of a David Ayres Advocate memoir and of Bishop Joshua Soule's January, 1846, episcopal address delivered in Houston. McLean contributed an article on J. W. P. McKenzie, under whom he had studied. An unsigned article on the Texas Wesleyan Banner was also included.

Membership in the TMHA was $1 per year. A life membership could be purchased for $25. a life membership was also awared to those persons who donated manuscripts, diaries, scrapbooks, etc. judged to be worth $25.

The Association was able to publish only six more issues of the Quarterly, ending with Volume 2, #3. The seven issues that were published constitute one of the most important sources about Texas Methodist history.


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