Saturday, December 03, 2011

This Week in Texas Methodist History December 7

Bishop Hay Unveils Monument to Sarah Philpott, December 7, 1928

1928 was a special year for the Texas Conference Woman’s Missionary Society. They celebrated their Golden Jubilee of fifty years of organized missionary work. The celebration took several forms. Each of the MECS annual conferences published a history of woman’s missionary work. The Texas Conference Missionary Society met in Marshall in April for the Jubilee and honored Sarah Martha Bishop Philpott with a special memorial service. ‘Sallie” Philpott had died the previous February 10 at her home at Dew in Freestone County. She had been a past president of the Society and was honored as not just a charter member of the Texas Conference Missionary Society, but as the first member of the Society. She had been born in Virginia in 1839 and moved to Texas in 1860. She married B. A. Philpott in 1875 and lived the rest of her life (53 years) in the same house in Dew.

The memorial service in Marshall in April was not the last of the honors accorded to Sallie Philpott. On December 7, 1928 Bishop Sam Hay conducted another memorial service for her at Dew. Mrs. J. W. (Kate) Mills, the Texas Conference president, delivered the memorial tribute. I cannot find documentation, but assume that Sallie’s brother, the Reverend Horace Bishop would have attended if able. (Horace Bishop, 1843-1933, admitted North West Texas Conference 1868, prominent member of Central Texas Conference.) One highlight of the event was the unveiling of a monument to Sallie Philpott at her grave in the Fairfield Cemetery.

Sallie Philpott made the Woman’s Missionary Council a beneficiary of her estate. The Council used the bequest to enlarge the Bethlehem Center in Nashville. That social service agency (est. 1894) provided services to both African American and European American Nashville residents and served as a training location for students from Scarritt. It has adapted and expanded its mission and still exists. Sallie Philpott’s legacy continues to provide missionary ministries.


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