Saturday, February 23, 2013

This Week in Texas Methodist History  February 24

St. James Methodist in Galveston Converted to Spiritualist Temple February 27, 1902

One of the results of the Galveston hurricane of 1900 was a reorganization of Methodist churches on the island.  Before the storm there were two strong MECS churches, St. James and St. Johns.  After the storm those two churches were consolidated into a new church which eventually became Moody Memorial UMC.   The pastor who accomplished the merger and reincarnation of the churches from the storm debris was Seth Ward.  His reputation was enhanced by his Galveston work.  In 1906 he was elected bishop.

Although the St. James sanctuary on the corner of Postoffice and Fourteenth Streets was badly damaged, it still had value, and Methodists were able to sell what was left of the church building to another religious group.

The old building was sold to the National Spiritualist Association and converted into a temple.  The first service in the repurposed building was on Feb. 27, 1902 when Spiritualist missionaries Mr. and Mrs. George W. Kates provided an open lecture on Spiritualism.  Earlier in the month, J. W. Ring of Galveston, President of the State Spiritualist Association delivered a lecture in Houston in anticipation of the missionary visit.  In it he said, All that can constitute a heaven is right here within his possession now and if we ever have a heaven anywhere we must make it from the means now at our hand. 

Throughout the first decades of the 20th century the National Spiritualist Association counted about 25,000 members in about 300 local associations.  

Friday, February 15, 2013

This Week in Texas Methodist History February 17

Henderson Palmer, First Preacher Licensed in Texas Dies February 17, 1869

Henderson Palmer, the first Methodist preacher licensed in Texas and an original member of the Texas Annual Conference died on February 17, 1869.

This is the way that Macum Phelan wrote about the passing of Henderson Palmer.

Henderson D. Palmer had died February 17, 1869.  Palmer holds a distinct place in Texas Methodist history as he is believed to have been the first Methodist preacher licensed in Texas.  He received his license at Box's Fort Nacogdoches County, July 7, 1838 from Littleton Fowler, presiding elder of the Texas district of the Mississippi Conference.  He was born in Alabama in 1812; ;joined the Methodist church in 1829, and was appointed a class leader.  He attended LaGrange College, at Huntsville, Alabama.  He came to Texas during the days of the republic, and engaged in teaching at Nacogdoches.  After his license to preache, he was admitted into the Mississippi Conference in 1839 (one year before a conference was organized in Texas), and was appointed to Crockett circuit.  He labored some thirty years on circuits in East Texas, locating one time, but was soon re-admitted and in 1866 he took the superannuate relationship. 

Palmer was actually born in Hickman County, Tennessee, rather than Alabama, and Box’s Fort is now in Houston County, later created from Nacogdoches County. Palmer married Jane Wilson in Nacogdoches in 1843.  The couple had three sons, one of whom was named Littleton Fowler Palmer in honor of the man who licensed him to preach.  He was interred in the Old Paron Cemetery between Hawkins and Quitman on the Upshur-Wood County Line.  

Saturday, February 09, 2013

This Week in Texas Methodist History February 10

Martin Ruter Reports on Texas To Mission Secretary February 1838

By February 10, 1839 Martin Ruter had been in Texas for more than two months and had traveled from the Sabine to the Navidad.  He had visited settlements along the Brazos and Colorado Rivers and preached, organized, and married couples.  About the middle of February he reported his observations of Texas.  He wrote in part

Texas is a country where darkness, ignorance, and superstition have long held their dominion.   Profaneness, gaming, and intemperance are prevailing vices against which we have to contend.  The scattered state of the population renders it necessary to travel far between the appointments, and the want of convenient places for public worship serves to increase the obstacles in the way; yet amidst difficulties, dangers, and sufferings, we rejoice in being able to say that the great Redeemer’s kingdom is rising in this distant and destitute land.  . . .  We now reckon four circuits in Texas, namely, Houston, Washington, Trinity, and San Augustine.  These we are trying, with the aid of local preachers, to supply as well as we are able. But we are greatly in need for more laborers for this interesting vineyard.  It has appeared to me that we ought, as soon as practicable, to establish in this Republic a well endowed university and several subordinate schools of different gradations. . . .

Saturday, February 02, 2013

This Week in Texas Methodist History  February 3

Marvin UMC to Host Annual Historical Meeting
Registration Now Open

Marvin United Methodist Church in Tyler will host the Annual Meeting of the Texas United Methodist Historical Society on March 14-16.  Marvin has been one of the outstanding congregations of the Texas Conference for generations.  It combines vital ministries of social service, vigorous evangelism, outstanding music and worship experiences and a deep appreciation of the historical roots of Methodism. 

The planning committee has created a program that combines tours of historic sites, informative lectures,  and inspiration.  The schedule and registration details follow.
Thursday, March 14 
            Noon-1:00       Registration     
            1:00-2:15         Greeting - Dr. Garry Nall
                                    Devotion - Dr. John Robbins
                                     - Rev. Sandra Smith
            2:15-3:30         History and Tour of Marvin Sanctuary
            3:30-4:30         Tour of Marvin Chapel and Herd Worship Center
            6:30                 Banquet
                                    An Evening with Bishop Marvin
                                    Dr. Marty Dunbar and Rev. Richard Seaton

Friday, March 15
            8:45                 Assemble in Elm Street Parking Lot
9:00-4:00         Tour of Oakwood Cemetery, St. Paul UMC, Jacksonville UMC,
Earl’s Chapel UMC
                                    Lunch-St. Paul UMC, Tyler
                                    Snack-Jacksonville UMC

Saturday, March 16     
            8:30-9:00         Music - Marvin Contemporary Band
Devotion - Rev. Barbara Hugghins                               
            9:00-9:45         What’s A Girl To Do:  Missionary Decisions
                                    Bill Hardt
            9:45-10:15       Break
            10:15-Noon     TUMHS Business Meeting




CITY____________________________ STATE_______ ZIP______

Thursday Evening  - Banquet, Compliments of Marvin UMC
_____Number attending, Reservation Required

Friday - Tour of Historic Churches in Tyler and Jacksonville
_____Number riding People Mover, Reservation Required
            _____Lunch at St. Paul UMC, Reservation Required - $10/person                            
Saturday - Box Lunch to Go, Compliments of Marvin UMC
            _____Lunch, Reservation Required

REGISTRATION FEE            $50                                              ____________

TUMHS MEMBERSHIP DUES          $20 a year or
                                                            $300 Lifetime      ____________

TOTAL AMOUNT ENCLOSED                                              ____________

Send registration form and money (check payable to TUMHS) to Stewart Caffey, 5426 89th Street, Lubbock, Texas 79424 by February 28.


Registrants are responsible for making their own room reservations.
A block of rooms are being held until February 27th at Comfort Suites, Tyler.  When making reservations, mention you are attending the United Methodist Historical Society meeting to receive the special rate:  Comfort Suites offers a full hot breakfast and USA Today newspaper. They do not provide shuttle service to the church.

  Comforts Suites                                  1 King Bed-$80/night
              303 E. Rieck Road                             2 Queen Beds-$85/night