Saturday, December 08, 2012

This Week in Texas Methodist History  December 9

Inappropriate Shouting Interrupts  Sermon at Annual Conference, December 9, 1895

19th Century Methodists were known for their enthusiastic shouting during worship sermons, and some of those shouts have provided generations to follow with humorous stories about inappropriate shouting.  One such story comes from the Texas Annual Conference of 1895.  The conference met in Brenham that year and one of the guests was the Rev. John James Tigert III, an editor of church publications from Nashville

Most annual conferences of the era devoted a special service devoted to the missionary cause, and Rev. Tigert was invited to preach for that service.  The title of his sermon was The Call and Work of the Minister.  One section of that sermon included the sacred responsibility of clergy and the sadness that accompanied every incident in which clergy lapsed from such sacred responsibility.  The theme of lapsing clergy was especially pointed since the 1895 conference expelled the host preacher and presiding elder at this conference for their escapades in Galveston earlier in the year.  (See the column on the expulsion December 2006

One of the lines in Tigert’s sermon was “I have thought, my Brethren, what an awful thing it would be, if after having preached to others, I, myself  should be a castaway.”   One of the brothers then shouted, loud enough for all to hear, “Lord, grant it!”  The inappropriate shout disconcerted the preacher.

Tigert is often remembered not as an able author and editor for the MECS, but as a sad footnote in the history of the Methodist episcopacy.  He was elected bishop at the General Conference of 1906 along with Seth Ward and James Atkins.  Tigert’s first assigned duty was to preside over the Oklahoma Annual Conference.  On his was to that post, he stopped at an Indian Missionary Conference church at Atoka.  Fried chicken was on the menu.  A broken chicken bone lodged in Tigert’s throat.  Infection set in and he died before he could hold annual conference.  He was buried in Tulsa and his remains later moved to Nashville.  Seth Ward, who was elected with him and the first native born Texan to be elected bishop, also died before the quadrennium ended.  Ward died in Kyoto while on his second missionary trip to Asia.  1906 was a bad year to be elected bishop.  


Post a Comment

<< Home