CLICK HERE for a list of the membership roles of First United Methodist Church prior to 1913. The church was not a United Methodist Church at that time. It was a Methodist Episcopal Church, South during this period of history. This list may be of interest to person who research genealogy or for those who have family members who were members here in the past. Any one seeking more information regarding this list may contact May Lou Meyers through the the church office: 903.586.2494
HISTORY OF FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH AS PRINTED IN THE JACKSONVILLE DAILY PROGRESS
Having at one time been banned from worshiping as Methodist followers, believers gathered in private homes and sometimes held secret worship services to practice the Methodist religion.
“When Texas was under Mexico, only the Catholic religion was allowed in the area,” Barbara Hugghins, associate pastor at First United Methodist Church of Jacksonville, said.
“When the Protestant faith was allowed in the area, the Methodists were some of the first to come into East Texas.”
Through Mexico’s reign, Indians and the Texas Revolution, the Methodists prevailed, and when the revolution ended in 1836, the Methodist Mission Board decided it was safe to send Methodist missionaries to Texas.
In 1845, eight years after the denomination’s establishment in Texas, the church, which would later become known as the First United Methodist Church of Jacksonville, was established on Gum Creek (which is now the vicinity of Lake Jacksonville).
In 1853, the congregation established a second church building, due to Gum Creek’s demise with the establishment of a new settlement by Jackson Smith. But by 1856, the Methodists had outgrown the building, and another building was built on an adjacent lot.
According to a history of the church that was recently published, in 1908, the church conveyed all of its property to First Methodist Episcopal Church, south of Jacksonville. FUMC is now located at 1031 SE Loop 456 (Corner of Corinth Road & Loop 456).
The 208-page book regarding the Methodist church’s 160 year history began when, then historian, John Allen Templeton researched and recorded information about early church buildings, church music, and a bit about early members. His document was a 26-page narrative titled, “The Methodist March In Jacksonville, Texas.” This document served as confirmation of historical data warranting that the church was eligible for two historical markers: (1) from the Texas State Historical Commission and (2) from the General Commission on Archives and History of the United Methodist Church. It was John Allen’s dream that a more complete, hardbound volume including more topics about the church would be forthcoming, but that didn’t happen in his lifetime.