Saturday, January 28, 2012

This Week in Texas Methodist History  January 29

St. Paul’s Methodist in Abilene Organized After Mulkey Revival

A previous post highlighted the work of evangelists Abe and Louisa Mulkey in securing a strong financial basis for the Methodist Orphanage in Waco.  Lest than a decade after making the orphanage debt free, a Mulkey revival led to the organization of a new church in Abilene

In early February, 1909, at the invitation of Abilene First Methodist Church pastor, Rev. S. J. Rucker, Abe Mulkey preached a revival in the Opera House. On the last night of the revival, there was a collection for a new church building.  The collection totaled almost $18,000 of a projected cost of $30,000.  Then a curious thing happened.  Rather than using the funds to build a new church building for First Methodist Church, it was decided to organize a second Methodist church in Abilene

By annual conference the basement had been dug, and construction started.  By the 1910 session of annual conference, the new church, St. Paul’s Methodist, was able to report 320 members as compared to First Methodist’s 420.  It took three years to build the new church building, and the first worship service held in the new sanctuary was the 1912 session of the Northwest Texas Annual Conference. 

In 1914 Rev. J. W. Hunt was appointed to St. Paul’s.  He stayed two years before assuming the presidency of Stamford CollegeStamford College closed, and Hunt came back to St. Paul’s, and from that post worked to created McMurry College (later McMurry University).   The church website highlights St. Paul’s important role in supporting  McMurry. 


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