Historical Markers
in Runnels County, Texas
First Methodist Church - Winters
Winters - Church and Parsonage Streets
Site of the first church building at Winters and Old St. Methodist church site in Runnels County. The congregation was organized in 1891, under George D. Wilson, pastor. For eight years, they shared the local school building with other denominations. The first church building -- a frame structure -- was erected on this site in 1899 under the pastorate of John Wesley Bowden, pioneer circuit rider. In 1911 a large tabernacle, also frame, was built near the first church, which was moved to Hatchell in 1912. The tabernacle was unique in that its sides could be opened to receive cool breezes in the summer. It was used for services until the third church was erected, in 1913. Subsequently, it housed summer revivals and large community gatherings. It also substituted as a sanctuary at necessary times. The third church -- a steepled, red brick building -- served for 11 years, until the present brick church was erected, at a cost of $40,000. In 1925 parishioners literally placed $8,500.50 in cash on a barrelhead one Sunday to retire the church building debt and, incidentally, to act out the familiar saying. A church building has stood on this corner -- and worship has been held here -- each Sunday since 1899.
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