This Week in Texas Methodist History October 28
Distinguished Guests Attend 2nd Session of New
Northwest Texas Conference, Nov. 1, 1911
The last great event that defined
Texas annual conference borders was the MECS
General Conference of 1910. It
authorized the division of the Northwest Texas Conference into two new
conferences. The eastern portion which
contained a majority of the population would become the Central Texas
Conference. The western portion would retain the name Northwest Texas
Conference which encompassed a vast area of the Panhandle and Lower
Plains. The new Northwest Texas
Conference could point to a rapidly expanding population as agricultural
settlements grew up along the rail lines.
The new Northwest Texas Conference had its organizational meeting in Clarendon in the fall of 1910, and it was a grand event, but we should not overlook the 2nd session of the conference one year later in
that attracted a dazzling contingent of MECS dignitaries. Bishop Atkins, who had presided in 1910 at
Clarendon, came back for the 1911 session.
There were three future bishops in attendance. W.F. McMurry, General Secretary of Church
Extension was there. So was John M. Moore,
Department of Home Missions and H. A. Boaz, Vice-President of Southern
Methodist University. (Atkins, Moore,
and McMurry had all been at the New Mexico Annual Conference two weeks earlier
in Tucumcari.) George Rankin, editor of the Texas
Christian Advocate, was there in his journalistic capacity. John McLean, manager of the Methodist Home
came. A. J. Weeks, who was later to edit
the Advocate, field secretary for
Home Missions was also there.
In addition to the denominational executives and journalists, Texas Methodist educators were well represented. In addition to Vice-President Boaz, SMU President Robert S. Hyer came to
Plainview. Just a few months earlier he had moved from Georgetown to Dallas
to build a new university. He brought an architectural drawing of the first
planned building for SMU, Dallas Hall, to the conference.
Although much of the conference talk must have been about the denominational plans to build a great university in
’s ties to the Northwest Texas
Conference remained strong. SU was included in the newly created Central Texas
Conference, but it had been in the bounds of the Northwest Texas Conference
from its founding until 1910. President
Charles M. Bishop, Dean Claude C. Cody, and Professor Frank Seay all made the 400
mile trip from Southwestern University Georgetown to Plainview to attend Annual Conference.
We can only speculate about any conversation between Hyer and Cody. They had been colleagues and then on opposite sides of the “removal controversy.” That controversy was now over. It must have been an interesting conversation.