Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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October 3, 2013

Church News for Friday, Oct. 4, 2013

Corsicana — Blooming Grove United Methodist Church will celebrate 100 years of worship in its present church building on Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013. Although the local church began in 1873 and has held services in two other church buildings, construction of the present edifice was started, completed and dedicated in 1913. The church will welcome family, friends and guests with coffee, juice and donuts at 10 a.m. in its Heritage Hall followed by a worship service at 11 a.m. with guest speaker Bishop Mike Lowry and special music by the Douglas Family. Following the service, lunch will be served in Heritage Hall.

The Church began as a Methodist mission church in 1869 in a building constructed on land on Rush Creek donated by Richard and Susan Gowan. The small white building served in the dual capacity of a school and church where Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians and others gathered for services. The Gowans also established a family cemetery on the land. The church was known as “White Church,” the cemetery “White Church Cemetery,” and the small community was called Blooming Grove. In 1873, the Methodist congregation became a part of the Northwest Texas Conference of the Methodist Church. In the mid 1880’s, the community moved about one mile North due to the Cotton Belt Railroad Company’s construction of a rail line that would connect Corsicana and Hillsboro. Around 1887, the White Church building was relocated by the Methodists to the new Blooming Grove, where the Baptists had already established themselves. In 1893, land was purchased on the corner of Kerr and Third Street for the purpose of erecting a new building for the purpose of erecting a new building for the Blooming Grove Methodist Church. The Church flourished and became overcrowded, thereby causing the second building in its history to be dismantled and a third and more spacious one being built on the same site.

That third building is now celebrating its 100th anniversary. The most beautiful features of the current church building are its stained glass windows and multiple wood trimmings. Three art windows are visible from its porch. The center one of the Guardian Angel guiding a small girl across a narrow bridge was presented by Capt. James Valpeau Hodges and his wife, Terri Edith Gowan Hodges in memory of their 2 1/2 year old daughter, Hattie Dimple Hodges. The art window of the Sower was presented in memory of Mr. J.M. Grant by his wife, Mrs. Ida Grant, and the art window of the Angel writing in the Book of Life was given in memory of Mr. J.M. Grant by the Men’s Bible Class. Mr. Grant was a respected, dedicated and tireless layman of the Church. A fourth art window of an open Bible located in the choir loft was given in memory of Dr. J.A. Greene. The remainder of the 47 church windows are made of beautiful stained glass.

Many pastors filling the pulpit as well as congregations, past and present, have commented on the inspiration and blessings they have received from worshiping in a building adorned with such beauty.

The Blooming Grove United Methodist Church is a church of open hearts, open minds and open doors with an ongoing mission to serve its congregation and community for many years to come and would love for all to join them if not with their presence but at least their prayers as they celebrate this momentous occasion on Oct. 13, 2013.

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