Fannin County, Texas

History of Clark Memorial of United Methodist Church

The pioneer Methodists of South Bonham met in the Stevenson Home on 100 South Main and organized the church.  It was called The Methodist Episcopal Church South, that being in the year 1893.  Services were held here from 1893 to 1901.  During this time the congregation grew so rapidly that a larger space was needed and on August 6, 1901, the land was purchased from S. W. Bolton for $55.00.  The deeds for this tract of land were signed by the following trustees: namely, J. W. Purnam, J. B. Huton, and J. H. Owens.

The people needed a sanctuary for worship instead of meeting in a home, because it was more convenient for the entire congregation.  So the people went to work and built a one-room frame 40 x 60 feet.  They used wooden benches.  The pastor's study was located on the east end, near the main entrance.  A spiral was above the eaast entrance and in this was a bell.  This bell was donated by a devout and faithful member, and it was known as "The Big Bell."  As time went by the spiral needed repair, and so it was necessary for the bell to be taken down.  Overnight the Big Bell was stolen.  Later the Black congregation whose church was located east of the Old City Lake Property, disbanded and they sold all their property.  The Methodist Episcopal Church South bought the bell we now have from them.  The Tiny Tots of our church ring this bell each Sunday to call people to worship.  The original church is the present-day sanctuary, located at the corner, 600 So. 4th and Gates, and all the rooms above and around this sanctuary have been added at a later date.  The north room was added in the early twenties and at that time is was named Clark Memorial Methodist Church, in memory of Mrs. John Clark, who was a devout and faithful member of the church.  As the attendance grew, five classrooms were added to the present building.  The Educational Building or Annex was built in 1950, during the ministry of Bro. R. E. Porter, better known to everyone as "Papa was a Preacher."  This building in 1970 was dedicated in memory of Frank C. Johnson.

From all accounts the parsonage was built at the same time as the church, in an old cotton patch.  In 1923 it was moved west of the church where the Annex is now located.  In the early '40s the old building was torn down and rebuilt at the present location during Bro. A. H. Logan's ministry.

Some of the outstanding members and well-known in the Methodist circle are: Rev. Kendell White, Rev. Willie Reed, Rev. Grancille Moss, and Frank C. Johnson.

Here are the pastors who have filled the pulpit since 1893:

L. L. Naugle               1893

M. P. Hines                1894

W. D. Hill                    1895

J. D. Hudgins            1896

M. P. Hines                1897

W. J. Bloodworth   1898

T. W. Lovell             1900-1903

L. G. White                1904

J. R. Atchlely            1905

J. R. Bloodworth     1906

E. D. Hursey              1906

J. Coy Williams         1908

A. P. Hightower        1908

R. P. Buck                   1909

I. Ashburn                  1910

E. N. Coburn             1913-1914

J. D. Hidgins              1915

W. E. Barberee         1915

J. R. Wages                1916

C. F. McKinney        1917-1919

Ben Bell                       1920-1922 

A. B. English              1923

B. F. Pritchett           1924-1926

James L. Sandlin     1926

W. J. Wilson               1926-1927

C. J. Graves               1927-1930

D. A. Ross                  1931

Mark N. Terrell       1931

J. W. Griffin              1932

Aristitle Coleman    1933

J. M. Webb                 1934-35

W. T. Smith                1936

W. B. Reeves             1936-1938

F. A. Ray                      1938

A. H. Logan                 1939-1942

Otto Devorak

J. E. Clark                   1942

L. L. Huff and V. V. Lundell        1943

A. L. Roberts             1943

J. L. Hyde                   1944-1945

J. D. Thomas             1946

Wesley Thompson  1948

R. E. Porter                 1949-1952

Wm. M. Robinson    1953-1954

Dan Leander               1955

Larry Eaton                1956

R. L. Cates                   1957

Jack Caldwell             1958--1960

Mervin K. Turner     1960-1961

J. B. Hibbett                1961

Stan Erickson             1961-1962

Ray Wisehart              1963-1964

J. R. Welch                   1964-1968

Charles Hugh Leslie  1969-1972

David Riley                   1972

Bob Cearley                   1972-1973

Bill Payne                      1973-1974

Jim Teeter                     1974-1975

Charles Walters           1975-1977

Rollo Davidson            1977-1979

Ron Campbell              1979-1980

​Ray D. Hennigh           1980-1981

Clark Memorial United Methodist Church

Marker Text:

The organizational meeting for this church was held at the home of Mrs. S. J. Stevenson in 1893.  The new congregation met for worship at the Stevenson home until 1901 when they constructed a small building on this site.  Although many additions to the church complex have been made, the original building still serves as the sanctuary.  During the 1920s the church was name Clark Memorial Methodist Church in honor of longtime member Mrs. John Clark.  The congregation has produced a number of ministers from its membership.

Location:  South Gates and South 4th Street, Bonham.