Saturday, February 28, 2009

This Week in Texas Methodist History March 1

Building Committee Organized in Houston March 2, 1842

On The sixth anniversary of the Texas Declaration of Independence Robert Alexander, Presiding Elder of the Galveston District of the Texas Conference, held a quarterly conference in Houston. One business item at that conference was the appointment of a building committee. Charles Shearn chaired that committee, and exactly one year later, March 2, 1837, the cornerstone for the first (later First) Methodist Church in Houston was laid.

Charles Shearn had been born in Bath, England, in 1794 and immigrated to Texas in time to participate in the Texas Revolution. He was captured by General Urrea’s forces, but his British citizenship saved him. Mexico did not wish to anger Britain by killing one of its subjects. Shearn moved to Houston in 1837 and became active in the civic and commercial activity of the young city. He was a staunch Methodist and served as financial agent for the Texas Christian Advocate. He also served as Chief Justice (county judge) of Harris County for six years.

Shearn was recognized as the leader of the Methodist church in Houston so that the church was named in his honor until 1910 when was renamed on the occasion of its moving into new building. Shearn died in 1871.


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