Saturday, February 23, 2019

This Week in Texas Methodist History February 24

Greenville Preacher Quits Because Church Can’t Support Him, Feb. 29, 1868

Although Texas escaped much of the horror of destruction of military conflict during the Civil War, tough times followed.   Economic conditions in even Hunt County with its famously fertile soils deteriorated to the point that the Methodist preacher in Greenville abandoned his post because of non support.

Green Boyd was the MECS pastor appointed to Greenville.  In February 1868 he used the courthouse as a preaching hall, but failed to attract followers.  The Independent reported that he “preached a fine sermon to empty walls.” 
The Independent went on

We are sorry to learn that Rev. Mr. Boyd, the preacher in charge here, has been forced to abandon his ministrations for want of the necessities of life.  Must everything elevating and ennobling die prematurely in Hunt County?  If the people are so stingy and tight that preachers can’t live among them, we know what they can’t do?  They can’t starve out the lawyers and printers.  They’re starvation proof

What does a Methodist bishop do if the church can no longer support its preacher?   The answer in 1868 and today is to add congregations to the appointment.  The next year in the minutes, “Greenville” is changed to “Greenville Circuit.”   Basically the bishop says, “Boyd, if Greenville can’t support you, go organize some country churches and preach there too.”  

By 1870 Boyd’s name does not appear in the appointments. 


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