This Week in Texas Methodist History January 8
Fifth Session of
Annual Conference Convenes in San Augustine, January 8, 1845 Texas
The Texas Annual Conference convened for its fifth session on January 8, 1845 in San Augustine. In addition to the usual business of committee reports, appointments, and worship, conferences members also dealt with emotional issues of separation and division.
The MEC General Conference of 1844 authorized the Texas Conference to divide into two new conferences, the
Texas and Eastern Texas Annual Conferences. The dividing line was to be the Trinity River. The
General Conference also directed the two new conferences to meet
concurrently. As preachers arrived in
San Augustine, many of them faced uncertainty about their annual conference
affiliation. Appointment to either new
conference would mean separation from beloved colleagues.
San Augustine was the chosen site. Sessions were held at
and the San Augustine church. The
presiding bishop was Edmund Janes whose nephew Lester Janes was president of Wesleyan College .
This was to be the bishop’s only trip to Wesleyan College .
Both he and his nephew stayed with the MEC after the creation of the
The 1844 General Conference also resulted in a call from most of the southern delegates to meet in 1845 in
to begin the organization of the
MECS. The two Texas Conferences were
thus tasked with electing delegates to that meeting. Littleton Fowler, Robert Alexander, and
Francis Wilson were elected as delegates.
Bishop Janes read the appointments, and it was reported that
The members of the conference received their appointments with cheerfulness, resolving to devote themselves fully to their holy calling, not counting their lives dear unto themselves, so that they may finish their course with joy, and the ministry which they have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
As the annual conference adjourned, the Conference Missionary Society convened. A special guest preacher addressed the Missionary Society. The Rev. Adam Poe from
had come with Bishop Janes. Besides
attending the annual conference and Missionary Society, he had come to San
Augustine to get the three children orphaned by the death of his brother and
sister-in-law, Daniel and Jane Poe. (see post for Sept. 16, 2007) Ohio
The combined annual conference and Missionary Society sessions lasted eight days. The preachers then started for their new appointments. They faced many uncertainties. Upon the creation of the MECS the Western Texas Conference reclaimed the name “Texas Conference.” The Eastern Texas Conference became the “East Texas Conference.” Fifty-eight years later the MECS General Conference of 1902 reunited the Texas Conference and the East Texas Conference into what we know as the Texas Conference.