Fannin County, Texas

First United Methodist Church of Bonham

Read a detailed history of the First Methodist Church of Bonham.

Marker Text:


​Founded in 1844 in the Republic of Texas by a circuit rider, the Rev. James H. Graham (1815-1884), this church met first in a log cabin, which it shared with Baptist and Presbyterian congregations.    Charter members included the families of Bailey Inglish (1797-1867), founder of the town of Bonham, and his brother-in-law, James P. Simpson.  The log cabin was replaced in 1872 by a frame church, which the Methodists shared on alternate Sundays with Cumberland Presbyterians until 1881.  A brick church building was erected in 1887 and rebuilt one year after it was destroyed by a fire in 1898.


The Women's Missionary Society, organized in 1887, enabled Lelia Roberts (1861-1950), a lifelong member of this congregation, to begin a mission school in Mexico.   Miss Roberts, along with her sister, Martha, operated the school for 44 years until it was taken over by the Mexican government in 1930.  A memorial fund, established by the church in 1950, continues the missionary efforts begun by Miss Roberts.


An education building was constructed in 1952-53 and the prresent sanctuary in 1960-61.  With a current (1975) membership of 841, this is one of the largest congregations in Fannin County.