The photo and the following text are from The History of Fannin County Texas Church, compiled by the Fannin County Genealogical Society.
The Lannius United Methodist Church was organized in 1882. At that time there was only one church at Lannius, the Presbyterian Church. The early settlers came several miles from the east, west, and north to this church. The church drew a large membership. Naturally, opinions began to differ on certain doctrines and separation became evident. Finally, one group pulled away from the Presbyterian Church and organized the Methodist Church. However, some decided to go to a Baptist Church nearby, probably Dodd City.
We are told that the charter members first met in a schoolhouse. Later a small building was erected, which was used until the present one was built. Storms have caused the structure to be repaired, and the steeple and belfry were taken down about 1923. A list of members may contain errors because much of this information comes only from memory, and may not even be in sequence, but as the writer felt: “We need to know and bring to memory these Christian people who sacrificed so much that we may take for granted."
The John Wolfe family were charter members of our church. Mr. Wolfe was the main carpenter in building it. His wife’s name was Lou and their children were Reed, Mattie, Clarence, Leta, Ruth, and Bud. Leta and Ruth lived in this community a number of years. Bud passed away early in life and the others moved elsewhere. The Earle family were also charter members of the church. They resided where the Fletcher Horton's later lived. He and his wife Ann had two sons, Bennet and Willie. He was the Superintendent of the Sunday School for a while.
The William Cappedge family were also early day members. Their children were Myrtle, Willie, Susie, Otis, and Virginia. Mr. Cappedge preached here for several years and was known as "The Marrying Preacher."
The George Newsom family attended church at Lannius Methodist for some time after the Presbyterian Church closed. Their daughter Edna was a music teacher and pianist for the church. The B. A. Gravley family was also instrumental in organizing and were members for a number of years. Their children were Bessie, Kee, Barney, Clara, Clyde, and Loa. Mr. Gravley was Superintendent of Sunday School for several years.
The Bob Toler family played an integral part in the life of our church. Their children were Margaret, Jessie, Audrey, and Janice. All are deceased except Audry, who lives in San Antonio, Texas. Mr. Toler was Teacher and Superintendent of Sunday School for several years. The Mac Moore family resided here and attended our church for several years. Their children were Tom, Alton, Gene, Gertrude, Esta Lee, Pearl, Ruby, and Virginia. Gene, Esta Lee, and their parents are deceased. Mrs. Moore and Ruby kept their membership here. The others moved to other places. Ruby is still an active member.
The Fletcher Horton family are among the early-day and present-day members of the Lannius Methodist Church. Their living children are Thurman, Everett, Vaden, Oscar, Belle, Irene, Estelle, and Lois. J.B. and Earl Horton are deceased. Six members of this family still claim this their church home. Also, some of the Horton grandchildren have membership here. Irene's husband Clyde attends our church. The Ben Taylor family are also early-day and present-day members. Their children are Christine, Aline, Gladys, Evelyn, Nelda, Jack, Ben Jr., and Sallie. All but Aline still reside at Lannius. Buck Smith, Nelda's husband, is a member of our church and Superintendent of Sunday School. Most of the Taylor’s and their spouses attend here.
The Allen Bowman family became members of Lannius Methodist Church in the early 1940's. Their children are Leon, Laverne, and Loren. Mr. Bowman was Superintendent of Sunday School, and was active in civic affairs for several years. Mr. Bowman is now deceased. The Verne Renfro family has been active and faithful for many years. Their children Oma and Ray are present-day members. Oma's children Mike and Patricia are still members
The Alfred Gilbreath family attended church here for many years. Their children are Denton, Ray, Joe, and Ben. Mrs. Gilbreath was pianist for several years. The Abner Deets family attended our church for several years. Their children were Grace, Iva, and Lucille. Grace and Iva are deceased, as is Iva's son Freeman Howell.
The J.R. Marchant family worshipped at Lannius Methodist Church for a number of years in the 1920's, 30's and 40's. Their daughter Nola was pianist at that time and later in early 1970. The A. M. Howell family attended our church for several years. Their children were Alvin, Erwin, Ernest, Curtis, Homer, Manie, and Ruby. Several of them were members. Mrs. Zoe Cross and daughter Estelle also worshipped here for several years after the Presbyterian Church closed.
The Jake Cluck family made Lannius their place of worship during the 1920's. They had a son and two daughters. Mrs. Cluck was a schoolteacher. The Carmichel family were members in the 1920's and 30's. They had several children. Mrs. Carmichel taught Sunday School. Mrs. Bessie Mooney and her children also attended church here in the 1920's after the Presbyterian Church closed. Mrs. Mooney was pianist and also a Sunday School teacher. Mrs. Cindy Maxwell and daughters Rachel and Candace joined Lannius Methodist Church in 1982. The author of this history, Verna Brewer, became a member of Lannius Methodist Church in 1968.
Following is a list of pastors who have served Lannius Methodist Church as pastor. Also note that these may not be in sequence.
R. J. Davis, Marvin Ely, Charlie Kavanough, Henry Vail, Kirk M. Baird, Raymond Morgan, J. L. James, O. B. Rogers, Jesse E. Marlin, Rev. Granville T. Moss, James E. Garrett, Harvey Hazelwood, Ben H. Terrell, Jeff Campbell, Jack McNabb, Delbert Tyler, Milford Thompson, Frank Jackson, Charles Scott, Mobley Holbert, Lewis While, Don Jones, Bob Carrol, David Griffin, David Nicholson, Barry Boulware, Freeman Pearson, Bill Wyman, Roger Decker, Edward Cherrholmes, Sherry Kingston, Rollo Davidson, James M. Miller (pastor at the time of this written record).
Several other preachers and laymen have occupied our pulpit at different times. Reverend Cardwell, a former Bonham pastor, served during 1983. Red Pope, a layman from Bonham, was guest speaker for one service.
In the bygone years, the Lannius Methodist Church was the scene for a number of weddings. Before the funeral home came into being, many funerals also were held here. Showers are still held at our church.
Several individuals have been a source of this compilation: Mrs. Bess Mooney gave me all the early history; Bell Horton provided the list of pastors. Many gave other vital information in the compilation of this history. A lot of thanks and credit go to them.
By: Verna Brewer