Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local News

July 16, 2013

Historic Cove Springs church forced to close doors

COVE SPRINGS — An historic Methodist church whose roots trace back to 1856 is officially closed.

Nearly a dozen people attended the final service held Sunday at Cove Springs United Methodist Church, said Pastor Fred Worthen, the last to minister there.

Of those present, “only seven actually were members,” and therefore voted – unanimously – to shut down the church, he said. “It went real smooth – every time you close something down, you'll have a little opposition, but our district superintendent (Rev. Sandra Smith) handled it real nicely.”

Founded as the Sand Hill Methodist Episcopal Church, church trustees purchased a parcel of land at Sand Hill, and the congregation met there several years, until 1879, when it moved to a 10-acre site about a mile south of the present site, according to a state historical marker.

The new site was known as “Camp Ground” and a frame sanctuary was erected there, as was  a brush arbor, “built for worship services during the hot summer months,” the marker states.

The one-room church served as a center for education for children of all ages but by 1911, the congregation moved to its current site, a one-acre tract located on County Road 3406.

Another frame sanctuary was built to house the congregation, and in March, 1955, the structure was replaced by a red-brick building that Worthen said featured a 100-seat sanctuary and fellowship area, as well as an adjacent hall also used for fellowship.

The pastor was joined by his wife and several others on Monday in Cove Springs to sift through articles.

Some things, like kitchenware, would used at Mount Selman United Methodist Church – which Worthen oversees and where members of the closed church have been invited to worship – and while others would be left for representatives of the Texas Annual Conference, of which the two churches are part of, to handle.

Other items, which Worthen said donated by members over the years, were requested by their family members as a keepsake.

The church and the one-acre property upon which it sits has been turned over to the Texas Annual Conference, as per church law. Until their trustees decided what is to become of the former Cove Springs Church, they will maintain insurance on the site, and see to its security and physical maintenance, the pastor said.

Sunday's final goodbye was not without sadness or regret, but Worthen said the congregation faced the same decision 10 months ago.

“It's a sad story, but it happens,” he said, reiterating his words from a previous interview; “In Ecclesiastes, we talk about a time to be born and a time to die.

“And sometimes,” he said, “that applies to churches.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Cuney Council cancels meeting, again

    Tuesday's Cuney City Council meeting – in which local alderman were to vote on canceling a May 10 election due to unopposed status of candidates – was canceled because of a lack of quorum, according to City Secretary Brenda Lankford.

    April 23, 2014

  • Sen. Nichols speaking.tif Senator Nichols speaks to Jacksonville Leadership Institute

    State Senator Robert Nichols (R) spoke to the Jacksonville Leadership Institute Tuesday regarding the role of government in Texas.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jacob.tif Local boy recovering from campfire accident in Dallas hospital

    Jacob Sessions of Jacksonville was burned on 71 percent of his body on April 5 from a campfire accident. He is currently in Parkland ICU due to his injuries, according to a representative for the family.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • THOMPSON, CEDRICK.tif Cherokee County woman found dead

    At approximately 9:35 a.m. Sunday,  Kayla Nicole Thompson, 27, was found deceased in the driveway of her residence, located in the 1500 block of County Road 3201,  just West of Lake Jacksonville.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • BullardFUNRUN.tif Bullard Education Foundation sets record with event

    The Bullard Education Foundation hosted its 4th annual 5K /Fun Run, “Strides for Excellence” on Saturday morning, April 19.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fire destroys Sims Avenue residence

    Jacksonville Fire Department responded to a fire in the 900 block of Sims Avenue early Saturday.

    April 22, 2014

  • Community library on council agenda

    The Bullard City Council will met at 6 p.m. today at Bullard First Baptist Church, 1428 S. Houston, for the regular board meeting.

    April 22, 2014

  • Council to mull election, roads

    The Cuney City Council will meet at 10 a.m. today at the Cuney Municipal Building.

    April 22, 2014

  • Christian Rapper 0419.tif Local rap artist spreads the 411 on Jesus

    "I have seen things in my life that would make Dr. Phil crazy," Jacksonville native, ordained minister and aspiring rap artist Stephen I. Crow Jr. said with a laugh. "That's why I don't label my music specifically as "Christian rap" -- yes, Christians who love rap can listen and hopefully be uplifted, but I truly want and am trying to bring the word and Jesus' message to people who may never have heard it or don't believe it's for them.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tomato Bowl flushed to bottom of priorities

    The historic Tomato Bowl, built in 1940, stands strong on the outside, but according to some people the inside needs a lot of work in order to not be an eyesore.

    April 19, 2014