Saturday, October 21, 2017

This Week in Texas Methodist History  October 21

Texas State Fair Shows Denominational Cooperation October, 1887

October in Texas means the State Fair, Big Tex, and ridiculous fried foods, but when Texas was a predominately agricultural state, the celebration assumed a more important role than it does today—except perhaps for loyal alumni who enjoy the traditional UT-OU football game.

The fair began in 1886 as great commercial and entertainment festival.  Agricultural implement dealers and livestock competitions drew huge crowds from the start, but the real revenue generator was the horse racing which was then legal.  

This was the same era as the beginning of another Dallas institution, the Buckner Baptist Children’s Home also in East Dallas on a 44 acre tract.  Six children moved into their new home in 1881.   

Texas Methodists had not yet begun their home for orphans in Waco (1890) and many of the ladies of what is today First Methodist Church in Dallas actively supported the Baptist Home.  They did so by volunteering at the lunch stand.  As the Dallas Times Herald for Oct. 27, 1887 cheered on the Methodists for helping the Baptist orphanage.  

One finds many stories of denominational rivalry between Baptists and Methodist, but we should not overlook the many examples of denominational cooperation.  Supporting each other’s institutions was common.


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