Saturday, April 27, 2019

This Week in Texas Methodist History April 28

Ignatz Scholl, German Methodist from Rose Hill Dies, April 29, 1943

When Bishop Charles Mead came to San Antonio in October, 1939 to hold the final session of the Southern Conference of the MEC, participants recognized one of their laity who had been present at the organizing session of the conference at Industry in 1874, Ignatz Scholl of Rose Hill MEC.    All those in attendance believed that Scholl was the only Methodist still alive who had attended the 1874 session.

The Southern Conference was about to be dissolved.  The Uniting Conference of 1939 in Kansas City which merged the MP, MEC, and MECS assigned the churches and pastors of the Southern Conference to the conferences of the various MC conferences in the South Central Jurisdiction.  

The Southern Conference was created by the MEC to serve German speaking congregations in Texas and Louisiana in 1872.   Its original name was the Southern German Conference, and at one time was one of 10 German speaking annual conferences in the MEC.  Over time the Southern German Conference added English speaking European American churches and Swedish speaking churches.  So “German” was dropped from its name.  

The 1939 session was the last session of the annual conference so several legal issues had to be considered.  The main one was the disposition of Texas Wesleyan College---no not the one in Fort Worth—the one in Austin which had been founded by the Southern Swedish Conference.  The will of the conference was to transfer the assets to Texas Wesleyan in Fort Worth, but the will of the conference was not completely fulfilled because of competing claims.  Blinn Memorial College in Brenham had already been lost to the conference and was operating as a public junior college.  Alvin College had also been lost, but Port Arthur College was still a conference institution.  

In addition to these Texas colleges, the conference also had trustees on the board of Southwestern College in Kansas (Not Southwestern University in Georgetown). 

The reading of the appointments was always a highlight of Annual Conference, but at this session Bishop Mead did not read appointments.  Instead a list of the conferences to which the members of the conference were being transferred was printed in the Journal.   

West Texas (Southwest Texas, today Rio Texas)
19 fully ordained elders
6 retirees
1 on trial

Louisiana Conference
13 elders
3 retirees
Texas Conference
15 Elders 
4 retirees
Central Texas Conference
9 Elders
3 retirees
1 On Trial
North Texas Conference
2 Elders
1 retiree
Mississippi, Central New York, and Colorado
1 elder to each conference

Readers of this blog will recognize some of the clergy names of men who had originally been ordained in the Southern Conference:  Deschner, Bohmfalk, Leifeste, Beckendorf,  Lehmberg, Faulk, Heirholzer—just to name a few. 

Ignatz Scholl, the only attendee at the organizing conference in 1874, still alive in 1939 lived another 4 years.  He is buried at Rose Hill in Harris County.


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