Date Founded: 1879
The exact founding date of the Winnfield church is not known, but it is believed to date back at least to the 1850s. From 1859 to 1865, Rev. J.F. Bellany served as the chaplain of the local Masonic Lodge. He was a Methodist minister and is believed to have held services in the area.
The first church was built when Daniel Kelly, a local lawyer an acre of land to the church in 1870. The frame building served as the Methodist church and was also used for Baptist services and as a schoolhouse.
The original church was torn down in 1900 and replaced by another frame church. In 1918, the second church was torn down and construction of a new brick edifice began. Once Sunday while the pastor, Rev. R.S. Walton, was away the church collected $12,500 towards the new church … mostly in Liberty Bonds and War Savings Stamps. Rev. Walton was replaced by Rev. Jordon, under whose leadership the majority of church construction was completed.
The church continued to grow, and it hosted the Annual Conference in 1933. Under Rev. Fred Flurry’s pastorate (1945-1950), the church embarked on several building projects. A new parsonage (dedicated October 15, 1950) and an education building were was built in the late 1940s. Construction plans began on a new sanctuary. Rev. Porter Caraway succeeded Rev. Flurry and led the congregation in the construction of the new sanctuary, which was finished by 1952. It was paid for and dedicated in February of 1958.
Source: First Methodist Church, Winnfield, 1964 – Christian Symbolism and History
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