Saturday, January 13, 2018

This Week in Texas Methodist History January 14

SU Board Rejects Presidential Resignation,  January 18, 1918

Because of its connectional system in which preachers are subject to annual appointment, and churches receive preachers from by the appointment process, a vacancy in one pulpit almost always sets off a chain reaction. 
On December 28, 1917, the Rev. and Mrs. Allen Lewellyn Andrews (Lewis) and their son William, were riding on the Fort Worth Pike when their auto was struck by the eastbound Texas and Pacific Sunset Special passenger train.   Allen was killed instantaneously.  Hassie Allen survived.  William did not. 
Andrews was the pastor of First Methodist Church Fort Worth, a leading church of the Central Texas Conference.  He was born in 1869 earned a Master’s Degree at Southern University where his father was president.  He served appointments in the North Alabama and Alabama Conferences before transferring to the North Texas Conference. He served Dallas Grace, was Presidng Elder of the Sherman and then the Terrell Districts then returned to the pulpit at Wichita Falls.  He transferred to Central Texas in 1916 and was appointed to Fort Worth.  He was a delegate to three General Conferences.

The tragic death created a vacancy that needed to be filled.  Bishop Mouzon sent Rev. F. P. Culver who was finishing his fourth year at Austin Ave. Methodist in Waco to Fort Worth First.    Bishop Mouzon announced that he was appointing President Charles Bishop of Southwestern University to the Austin Avenue Methodist Church in Waco.

President Bishop’s tenure at Southwestern had been rocky, to say the least.  In June 1917 a group of disaffected faculty presented a series of resolutions calling his administrative abilities into question.  World War I had hindered enrollment, and therefore finances.  Bishop admitted that some faculty members were at the “bread line of poverty.”  Leaving SU for a church such as Austin Avenue seemed like a good way out.
The Board met on January 18, 1918, and Bishop tendered his resignation.  The appointment had already appeared in the newspapers of the state.  The Board asked Bishop to leave the room.  When they invited him back in, they urged him to reject the appointment and stay at Southwestern.   That is what happened.  Charles Bishop’s resignation was not accepted. 
He informed the Board in June 1921 of his intention to resign, and the following December told them of his appointment to St Paul’s in Houston.   A committee of professors administered university affairs  until his Bishop’s resignation became effective in 1922.  Bishop later taught at SMU, but came back to Georgetown in his retirement years and died and was buried there. 


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