Saturday, November 22, 2014

This Week in Texas Methodist History  Nvember 23

84th Annual Session of the Texas Conference Concludes in Cameron, Author’s Grandfather Admitted to Full Membership, November 25, 1923

The 1923 session of the Texas Annual Conference that met in Cameron from November 21-25 is a special one in our family heritage.  It was at that session that the author’s grandfather, the Rev. Wesley William Hardt, was admitted into full membership and appointed to Hemphill and Bronson.  

W. W. Hardt was born in 1895 in Medina County; graduated from Yancey High School, and while in his senior year at Southwestern University was appointed to the Bogata Circuit in Red River County in the North Texas Conference.  After riding that circuit in the spring 1919, he came back to Georgetown where he was awarded his SU degree in June.  As the fall 1919 annual conference sessions approached, he attended the Texas Annual Conference held at Marvin, Tyler, and was appointed to the Keltys Circuit for 1919-1920.  While serving Keltys, he married the former Ida Lenora Wilson, also of Medina County.  At the next annual conference (1920) held in Houston, he was appointed to Sugarland-Missouri City.  In 1921 the Annual Conference was held at Beaumont, and Hardt received his deacon’s orders.  

Having served the requisite period on trial, he was ready to receive his elder’s orders at the 1923 Annual Conference.  He rode the train from his appointment to Houston where his friend, William C. Martin (later bishop) was pastor of Grace MECS in the Heights.  The two young men shared the rail journey to Cameron where Bishop John M. Moore ordained both of them elders in the Texas Annual Conference.  

Annual Conference Sessions of the era moved from city to city, and one of the advantages of Cameron was its rail connections.  Those connections allowed visitors from beyond the conference to attend the 1923 session.  The presiding bishop was John M. Moore, but Bishops Hay and McMurry also attended.  Also in attendance were denominational officials such as Paul Kern and C. C. Selecman from SMU (Dean of Theology and President respectively both later elected bishops), the Barcus’s (John, Sam, and E. R. from the Central, North Texas, and Northwest Texas Conferences), and Atticus Webb of the Anti-Saloon League.  Methodist publishing was riding a high tide in 1923, and editors A. J. Weeks of the Missionary Voice and P. E. Riley of the Texas Christian Advocate came, along with W. C. Everett, manager of the Publishing House in Dallas.  

The Texas Conference in 1923 was still experiencing the Progressive Era enthusiasm for missions and was in the process of strengthening the institutions designed to support mission endeavors.  The Conference had only recently assumed ownership of the Methodist Hospital in Houston.  It also supported a Port Ministry at Galveston and dormitories for women at state universities.  One would think that with the success of the campaign for national prohibition of alcoholic beverages, that fight would be over, but the battle continued against bootleggers and intemperance.  The Conference was especially proud of its schools and universities.  SMU was less than a decade old, but was already the most prominent MECS institution in the entire region.  The Annual Conference was delighted to hear the report that the Kirby family of Austin had recently donated funds for the construction of a theological building at the Dallas campus. 

Yes, the 1923 session of the Texas Conference of the MECS was a memorable one for many reasons, not the least of which was the granting of elder’s orders to my grandfather.


Blogger fragrant breeze said...

In the name of Allah,the Most Compassionate the Most Merciful.

Say, "O People of the Scripture, come to a word that is equitable between us and you - that we will not worship except Allah and not associate anything with Him and not take one another as lords instead of Allah." But if they turn away, then say, "Bear witness that we are Muslims [submitting to Him]."
O People of the Scripture, why do you argue about Abraham while the Torah and the Gospel were not revealed until after him? Then will you not reason?
Here you are - those who have argued about that of which you have [some] knowledge, but why do you argue about that of which you have no knowledge? And Allah knows, while you know not.
Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was one inclining toward truth, a Muslim [submitting to Allah]. And he was not of the polytheists.
Indeed, the most worthy of Abraham among the people are those who followed him [in submission to Allah] and this prophet, and those who believe [in his message]. And Allah is the ally of the believers.
A faction of the people of the Scripture wish they could mislead you. But they do not mislead except themselves, and they perceive [it] not.
O People of the Scripture, why do you disbelieve in the verses of Allah while you witness [to their truth]?

Holy Quran 3:64-70

8:38 AM  

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