| In 1839, Methodist Missionary Samuel A. Williams (1810-66) conducted first religious service in Beaumont, followed in 1840 by another Methodist minister, Henry Stephenson (1772-1841), organizer of first Protestant church in Texas (McMahan's Chapel near San Augustine in 1834). Early congregations met under brush arbors, in homes, and in a frame schoolhouse, and listened to sermons of itinerant riders of the Alligator Circuit -- as the ministry called this river and bayou region. John Fletcher Pipkin (1809-90), a lay preacher from just across the Neches River, began holding regular worship services in Beaumont in 1852, and took up permanent residence here in 1859. During the long intervals between visits of the circuit riders, he performed marriage and funeral services for all faiths. The schoolhouse-church building, destroyed in an 1865 hurricane, was not replaced, due to lack of money in the post-Civil War period, until 1877, when Methodists and Baptists pooled resources to erect a common church. In 1885, the Baptists relocated and sold their interest in the structure to the Methodists. In 1890, a steepled church was constructed, which was replaced by a domed building in 1907. The present spired edifice was consecrated in 1968. |
This page last updated: 7/15/2008
First United Methodist Church of Beaumont Historical Marker Location Map, Texas
Related Themes: Texas C.S.A., Texas Confederate States of America, Confederacy
Texas Confederate Historical Markers.