Saturday, March 09, 2013

This Week in Texas Methodist History  March 10

Rev. Charles H. Brooks Leads Houston in Revival, March 10, 1856

Rev. Charles H. Brooks was appointed to Shearn Methodist (today’s First Methodist UMC) in Houston at the Texas Annual Conference in December 1855.  When He arrived at his new post, he found the church had stagnated.  Rev. T. O. Summers had instituted pew rents as way of raising the church’s budget.  The church membership roll had disappeared.  When Brooks re-organized the rolls, he found the church membership numbered 70 fewer members than had been reported at annual conference.  It was clearly time for action.  As the weather warmed, Brooks called for a four week protracted meeting.  The four weeks of preaching resulted in 100 professions of faith, love feasts, reorganization of the Sunday School and class meetings.  At least one German immigrant was “slain in the spirit” and fell to the floor unable to move. 

Rev. Brooks described part of the protracted meeting in a letter dated March 10, 1856.
(Spelling and punctuation as in original)

My prospects for doing good in Houston are increasing.  I preached to a large congregation on Sabbath, on the depravity of the human heart, which I illustrated 1st from the bible 2dly from the City of Houston.  Sabath night the house was crowded.  I preached an hour & a half from Hbrs 11th and 7th.  I am laboring night and day for a revival of religion.  Without it Houston is gon. Pray for us.


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