Sunday, March 24, 2019

This Week in Texas Methodist History  March 24

“Most Noble and Triumphant Bible Meeting Yet Held in the Republic,” March 24, 1839

The Rev. Schuyler Hoes, a Methodist preacher from New York spent toured the coastal plains of Texas organizing chapters of the American Bible Society.  On Sunday, March 24, 1839, Hoes was in Matagorda and later reported the “Most Noble and Triumphant Bible Meeting yet held in the Republic.”  Although Hoes was a Methodist, he found strong support among other denominations, including Episcopalians, Baptists,  and Presbyterians.   He reported organizing a “large and intelligent chapter.”  He also reported pledges of between $300 and $400 (in greatly debased Texas currency).    

On Monday the 25th Hoes travelled to Marion where he met Thomas Pilgrim (1804-1877) a Baptist who is remembered as the founder of the first Sunday School in Texas.  Pilgrim was holding $120 Littleton Fowler had entrusted to him from collections in other parts of the Republic. 
From there Hoes went to Velasco where he was less successful.  He was unable to form a society or collect any funds.  A local source blamed the extreme poverty of the community.   

The work fo the ABS shows interdenominational cooperation.  Hoes and Fowler were Methodist; Pilgrim was Baptist and the son-in-law of the Caleb Ives, founder of the first Episcopal Church in Texas.  The Presbyterian missionary, W. Y. Allen also contributed. 

Hoes returned to New York and took an appointment in the New York Conference.  When Littleton Fowler was in New York for the 1844 General Conference, he reported having a meal with Hoes.


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