Saturday, January 17, 2015

This Week in Texas Methodist History   January 18

W. P. Smith Reports on Camp Meeting and Sunday School in Texas Presbyterian, January 22, 1848

Andrew Jackson McGown (1817-1871) provides a good example of interdenominational cooperation in early Texas.  Although McGown was a Presbyterian minister, he often included materials about other denominations in his newspaper, the Texas Presbyterian. 

The January 22, 1848 issue of that publication contained a long, informative flowery letter from W. P. Smith, pioneer Methodist preacher, physician, and post master.  The letter recounted a successful camp meeting and other religious news from Fayette County.
It is reproduced here.

Dear Bro. McGown,
Though a Minister of a different branch of Christ’s church than that to which you belong, I doubt not that you, with the readers of your excellent publication, will be pleased to hear of the prosperity of Zion from any quarter; for we have lived to see the day where error is receding before the light of the Gospel—when the ultras of sectarianism are being merged into the gulph of oblivion.  . . .We have had some glorious camp meeting in this section. . .the one in which the Divine power was most signally manifested , was the Methodist camp meeting near LaGrange, in this county.  It was conducted under the direction of the Rev. Mordecai Yell, P. E. of this district.  The meeting continued nineteen days, and from the least estimates one hundred and fifty souls emerged out of natures’ darkness, to walk in the light of the immaculate Son of God.  May the gracious work continue until Satan’s Kingdom shall totter to its dark centre and fall; and the Kingdom of King Emanuel be built on the ruins thereof; when knowledge shall spread to the four corners of the world, and universal righteousness pervade the earth.

In the midst of the benevolent institutions of the day, we have a Sabbath School operation, in our neighborhood.  It commenced last year without a regular organization under any distinctive head, for the sole purpose of doing good to the children and youths of this section by imparting moral and religious instruction.  

Bro. J. M. Callar was our first superintendent; but his engagements being such as to preclude his regular attendance, he resigned. 
The school is taught in my office, and for the accommodation of the different denominations is now organized under the Union head.  The following is a list of officers:
Clement Allen, Superintendent
W. P. Smith, Teacher of Bible Class
R. L. Buncan, James A. I. Smith, male teachers
Theodosia C. Scates, Mary M. Callar, Female teachers
I.        M. Callar, Treasurer and Librarian.

The regulation for the winter season is that the Sabbath School commences its exercises at 2 o’clock  p. m. of each  Sabbath evening and at the conclusion of which our prayer meeting begins. 

Our prospects in a moral and religious point are onward—may they continue their march until righteous becomes the motto of every heart.

Your brother in Christ,

W. P. Smith


Post a Comment

<< Home