Saturday, July 24, 2010

This Week in Texas Methodist History July 25

Chauncey Richardson Reports on Church Dedication at Montgomery, July 27, 1851

Montgomery had been a preaching point for Methodist circuit riders while Texas was still part of the Mississippi Conference. Ike Strickland is credited with organizing a church at the home of William Sanders on Dec. 30, 1838. Evidently the church grew slowly because just two weeks later Strickland wrote Littleton Fowler asking for a transfer because the area was too thinly settled.

By 1851 the population had grown large enough to build a church building. Chauncey Richardson wrote about the dedicatory services of the church named Alexander Chapel after Robert Alexander. Today Montgomery is a bustling small city with an attractive Methodist church building, a large high school, and many residential developments on the western shores of Lake Conroe.

Here’s what Richardson wrote about the Montgomery church.

In the flourishing village of Montgomery, Methodism seems to be permanently established. At an early period in the exploration of Texas by the missionaries of the Methodist Church, this place was visited, but of the success of their labors here for several years, we are not prepared to speak definitely. But in our visit to this town on last Sabbath we found a church of some thirty odd members, most of whom are truly devoted Christians, and tetotalists. They have evinced their Christian enterprise in sustaining a stationed preacher, and in the erection of a neat and commodious chapel, which was dedicated to the worship of Almighty God on last Sabbath.

A quarterly meeting was in progress, the services of which commenced on Friday. We were not able to reach the town before Saturday night, being just in time to listen to an excellent sermon from Rev. George Rottenstein, which was followed by a warm and persuasive exhortation from Rev. R. Alexander at the close of which, mourners were called to the altar, and prayers were offered in their behalf.

An interesting and animated love-feast preceded the public services of the Sabbath. The narrations of Christian experience were lively and expressive of deep religious feeling. It was a precious season to many.
It was our pleasure to conduct the dedicatory services of the new chapel, which is to be called Alexander Chapel, in compliment of Rev. R. Alexander, the Presiding Elder, on Ruterville District, who has preached there frequently for his work's sake.

In these delightful services we were assisted by Rev. Bros. Rottenstein and Alexander—the former offered the first prayer and the latter administered the holy sacrament of the Lord's Supper at the close of the sermon.
God evidently accepted the chapel as his dwelling place, the house of prayer and sacrifice for his people, and recorded his name there. Many realized his presence and were made glad by the benediction of his heavenly grace.
Rev. Bros. Ogletree, Johnson and John were present to assist in the subsequent exercises of the meeting. Our first impressions of Montgomery were quite favorable. We learned that a Baptist church has been organized in this town, and that a handsome subscription for a church edifice has been obtained and that the edifice will be erected forthwith.

July 27th, 1851.


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