History of our Church
Methodists in Nacogdoches trace their history to 1837 when the Reverent Littleton Fowler, a missionary to Texas, first preached here on October 16, 1837. As a result of his preaching, a Methodist “society” of eighteen members was formed. The small congregation raised funds for a church; however, the amount was not sufficient, so they met for several years in various buildings around town. Historical documents show that the Methodists were the most active Protestant group in the community for several decades.
In 1860, the first Methodist church building was erected on the corner of Hospital and Pecan Streets. That frame building served the congregation until, in 1887, a larger frame building was erected across the street at the location of the present sanctuary. This building burned to the ground in 1907, so the membership decided to replace the building with a brick structure. It was dedicated in 1910.
Over the years, the First Methodist congregation supported the establishment of Perritte Memorial Methodist Church, which opened across town in 1925, as well as a Wesley Bible Chair at Stephen F. Austin State University.
In 1952 an educational building and chapel were constructed on the church property just east of the sanctuary. In 1969, the red brick church was demolished and the present sanctuary was built to connect to the education building. Bricks from the 1910 building were preserved and used to face the walls of the sanctuary. Similarly, the stained glass windows from the 1910 building were saved and placed in the narthex of the present sanctuary. The addition of a family life center in 1989 greatly increased the church’s capacity for local ministry.
The first parsonage for the church was built in 1901. It was located at the site of the present chapel. (Today that house is among the collection of historical buildings at Millards Crossing.) In 1936, the Hazelwood Family gave the church a house on Mound Street, and it served as the pastoral residence until 1972 when the present parsonage was built on Raguet Street.
For more information, see historical documents in the church library as well as selected artifacts that are on display in the narthex.