Smith County, Texas

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The beginning of the

FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF TYLER

 

 At a meeting of the Presbytery of Eastern Texas in Rusk, Tex on Oct 22, 1869, they voted to meet next on March 31, 1870 in Tyler, Texas. In accordance with a motion by Rev. W. N. Dickey, a committee was appointed to organize a Presbyterian Church in Tyler -- Action taken Apr. 2, 1870.

 On Apr 4, 1870, the committee appointed to organize the Church in Tyler reported they had performed their duty on Sat, Apr. 3, 1870 --consisted of eight members.

The organizing commission of Presbytery was as follows: Rev. S. F. Tenney, Rev. W. N. Dickey, and Elder, N. S. Brooks with the following members: S. T. Newton, Augustus Niblack, Mrs. Mary Niblack, J. M. Shelby, Mrs. J. M. Shelby, Miss Molly Shelby, Miss Rachel Shelby, Mrs. Margaret Simmons. J. M. Shelby was elected and installed an elder of this church. From 1870 to 1885, the congregation worshiped in a frame building at corner of Line and Spring Streets.

In July 1883, the corner stone of the Church on Ferguson Street was laid and that building was occupied in 1885 and dedicated in 1886.

In 1889, Synod of Texas met in this Church. Membership in 1896 was 160 members.

The Cumberland Presbyterian Church was organized about 1887 and worshiped in a church building on east side of Bois d'Arc between Ferguson and Erwin Streets.

They voted on union with Presbyterian USA Church and split 50-50 to unite or remain Cumberland.

The First Church extended invitation for the new Central Presbyterian Church to unite with First Church, which was finally consummated Apr 16, 1916.

The new Church built on South Broadway on Elm St was dedicated on Jan 4, 1920 free of debt. In this service were participating: Dr. J. L. Bell of Dallas and Rev. Edgar Williams of Bonham. Thell C. Williams, Treasurer, made report on building and lot cost of $45,000. Cancelled notes and mortgages were burned. T. A. Niblack, representing trustees and J. W. Smiley, representing the building committee, formally turned over the church property free of debt. On behalf of the congregation, Mr. S. L. Watts, received the building in words of appreciation.

The two oldest members in point of continuous membership were present: Mrs. M. L. Earle and Mrs. Carrie Pinkerton who lacked by a few months of unbroken membership of 50 years.

 (Copied from collection of books and papers from the estate of Mrs Earle B Mayfield, given to Carnegie Public Library, October, 1979.)

 

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