First Methodist Fort Worth Breaks Ground for New
First Methodist Fort Worth was one of the outstanding churches of Texas Methodism. Several of its pastors went on to become bishops and presidents of Methodist colleges. Hiram Boaz, Hoyt Dobbs, E. D. Mouzon, Horace Bishop, and J. W. Bergin were only a few of the distinguished pastors at First Methodist.
Eugene B. Hawk was appointed to
The previous Thursday is known as “Black Thursday” as the New York Stock Market lost 11 per cent of its value at the opening bell. The losses continued. On Monday the NYSE lost another 13% and on Tuesday as Bishop John M. Moore was breaking ground for the new church, it lost another 12%. The Great Depression was beginning.
It was not an auspicious time to begin an expensive building campaign, but First Methodist Fort Worth was already committed. Construction continued through the rest of 1929 and 1930. Rev. Hawk laid the corner stone on Oct. 5, 1930, and formal opening service was conducted on Sunday, June 14, 1931. The Methodists of Fort Worth had pulled it off. Not only had they built one of the finest churches in
Eugene B. Hawk (b. 1881) did not stay long to enjoy the new facilities. In 1931 he moved Louisville to pastor Fourth Street Methodist Church. In 1933 President Charles C. Selecman invited Hawk to become Dean of the
He held the deanship until 1951 and served as interim president of SMU during the transition from the Selecman’s presidency to that of Umphrey Lee. It was during Hawk’s deanship that the
The Great Depression and World War II severely hampered new church construction for the next decade and one-half. First Methodist Fort Worth stood as the most recent example of an era of heroic church construction for years. It continues to provide a home for a vibrant, caring congregation to this day.