This Week in
Methodist History April 14
When Presbyterians moved
College from Tehuacana to Waxahachie in
1902, Methodist Protestants decided to relocate Westminster
to the fine facility made vacant by the move.
Methodist Protestants established a college seventeen miles northeast of
McKinney and obtained a
charter in 1897. They named their
and stressed pre-ministerial education. Westminster consisted of
a two story frame building and two instructors.
President James Lawlis taught Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Bible, Ancient
History and Ancient Geography. The other
instructor, Addie Johnsey, taught music and “any other subject the students
needed.” Although it had been founded primarily for
pre-ministerial education, only three such students enrolled for the first
In spite of its modest start,
prospered. In 1898 enrollment justified
a staff of 6 instructors. Course offerings
expanded to include mathematics, French, and art. The increased enrollment strained the
facilities so when Trinity relocated from Tehuacana (near Mexia) to Waxahachie,
the Westminster College Westminster
trustees accepted the offer of the Presbyterians to take over the fine
limestone building that had been constructed in 1872.
The creation of the
Church in 1939 by the union of the
Methodist Episcopal Church, the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and the Methodist Protestant
Church meant Westminster’s potential constituency
increased dramatically, but the 1940s brought hard times. One solution was to become a junior division of Southwestern University. That relationship lasted only until 1950 when Southwestern trustees closed Westminster.
The Congregational Methodist Church then obtained the property and operated a school in Tehuacana from 1953 to 1972.