Saturday, April 25, 2009

This Week in Texas Methodist History April 26

Louisville Convention Opens May 1, 1845

Regular readers of this column will be aware of the momentous events of the MEC General Conference of 1844 which eventually resulted in the separation of the northern and southern branches of the denomination.

After the adjournment of the 1844 General Conference, most of the delegates from the southern conferences caucused and agreed to meet again in Louisville, Kentucky, one year hence to lay plans for the separation. The southern annual conferences that met in the winter of 1844-45 passed resolutions in support of the division. In addition the Texas Conference passed resolutions denouncing John Clark, a Texas Conference delegate to the 1844 General Conference for siding with the North. They also selected Robert Alexander to take Clark’s place at the Louisville Convention. Texas was thus represented in Louisville by Alexander and Littleton Fowler, the surviving missionaries who had come to Texas in 1837.

The Louisville Convention met May 1-16. Its most important action was issuing a call for a new General Conference to be held in Petersburg, Virginia, in 1846.

The East Texas Conference met in Marshall during the first week of February, 1846. It convened under a cloud of sadness. Littleton Fowler had died on Jan. 29. If he had lived, he surely would have been elected to the organizing General Conference at Petersburg. The East Texas Conference sent Francis Wilson instead.


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