Saturday, January 07, 2012

This Week in Texas Methodist History January 8

Fifth Session of Texas Annual Conference Convenes in San Augustine, January 8, 1845

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 Western 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 Wesleyan College 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 Texas.  Both he and his nephew stayed with the MEC after the creation of the MECS. 

The 1844 General Conference also resulted in a call from most of the southern delegates to meet in 1845 in Louisville 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 Ohio 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)

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.   


Post a Comment

<< Home