Saturday, March 16, 2013

This Week in Texas Methodist History March 17, 1844

Reverend Thomas Brown Preaches First Methodist Sermon in Dallas Area, March 19, 1844

Texas Methodist history and the history of Dallas have been intertwined since the city was surveyed into lots in 1844.  The first recorded preacher in Dallas was the Rev. Thomas Brown.  Isaac Webb’s diary entry for March 19, 1844, reads in part, “Thomas Brown, the first traveling Methodist preacher that visited the Colony, stayed all night with me and preached at Wm. M Cochran’s the first sermon in the neighborhood.  From Romans 1:16, hymn, From All that Dwells Below the Skies, tune, “Kedron,” .    Webb was referring to William and Nancy Jane Cochran.  Webb was married to Nancy Jane’s sister, Mary. 

The next year, 1845, the Rev. Daniel Shook formed a circuit in the area.  In 1846 Isaac Webb built a chapel and Dallas was designated the temporary county seat until an election could be held.  In 1851 the Cochran family bought a section of land on what is today called Bachman Branch.  In 1856 Jane Cochran deeded land to the Methodist Episcopal Church South for a church building and cemetery. 

Cochran Chapel and the cemetery still exist.  The location is on Northwest Highway near Love Field.  The congregation at Cochran Chapel UMC is proud of its history.  It honors its heritage by providing vital ministries too numerous to list here.  I invite you to visit the Cochran Chapel UMC website to learn more about its history.


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