This Week in
Texas Methodist History May 5
One of the great successes of the Texas Annual Conference in the post-World War II era was the acquisition and construction of a conference center in
County near Palestine.
The first cabins opened in 1949, and the demand for camping experiences
quickly led to more construction. The
facility was named Lakeview.
In April 1956 the
opened as the grandest structure on the campus.
The Central Building was by no means
rustic. It was a modern comfortable
hotel-style building with an assembly hall, diner, offices, and sleeping
facilities. The main hall featured a
most pleasing view of Central
Building . Lake
One month after its opening, one room in the
Central Building was officially dedicated as the . The featured speaker was Bishop A. Frank
Smith whose message was “Our Glorious Heritage.” Bishop Smith was a history buff who was quite proud of his Texas Methodist ancestors. He had presided over the Texas Annual Conference since 1934, the year Texas Methodists celebrated their centennial. Texas Conference
The new facility thus provided what was intended to be a permanent home for the contents of the Conference Trunk and other significant materials relating to the history of the Texas Conference. The first donors of historical materials included S. S. McKenney, Mrs. J. Walter (Kate) Mills, Joe Z Tower, F. W. Dibble, Mrs. A. A. Wagnon, F. C. Woodward and Dr. and Mrs. W. C. Windham.
The Texas Conference Historical Society managed the Center and actively solicited donations of historical materials and bought volumes for a rudimentary library.
In 1968 with the creation of the
Church by merger of the Methodist Church
and the , a Texas Conference Commission on
Archives and History was created. The
new Commission replaced the Historical Society as the custodian of the
materials in the EUB Church . The Discipline of the new UMC also mandated
that each annual conference have an archive so the Historical
at Lakeview was given that role. Historical Center
Facilities at the
in the Central Building
had not been constructed to archival standards and were not large enough to accommodate
the archives so the Historical Center and archives were later transferred to Lon Morris College in Jacksonville.