Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

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July 1, 2014

Henry’s Chapel celebrates 100 years

CHEROKEE COUNTY — In 1870, the community of Henry's Chapel was founded by a group of people looking for land to farm, according to area resident Susan Martin.

A cemetery and a school soon sprang up, as well as a temporary location to worship, Martin said.

In 1914, the town built Henry's Chapel church.

The Henry's Chapel community recently celebrated the 100-year anniversary of the church, and a historical maker was placed at the location. Martin served as the chairwoman of the committee overseeing the celebration.

“About 220 people attended – quite a crowd for our church. We have an average attendance of 55 for Morning worship,” she said.

District Superintendent Rev. Chuck Huffman was the keynote speaker. Elizabeth McCutcheon, Cherokee County Historical Commission chairperson, gave a presentation of proclamation for the Texas Historical plaque.

According to Martin, the church almost closed during the Great Depression in the 1930s, but the farming community saved it.

“A small group of farmers decided to take their chickens to Troup to sell to make enough money to keep the doors open,” Martin said.

“The church founders showed amazing faith in God and dedication to this church. The church family has continued to be a beacon of light and love in the Henry's Chapel community,” she added.

Henry's Chapel is located six miles from Troup. It was named for Cumberland Presbyterian Minister William Henry. Before 1914, many Methodists worshiped at Bethel, located two miles north of Henry's Chapel.

R.E. Barron donated land to the Presbyterian Church, which was then donated to the Methodist Church to establish Henry's Chapel Methodist Episcopal Church South. In 1968, the denomination changed the church name to United Methodist.

Today, the church is lead by pastor James Stroud. A historical committee including

Martin (chairwoman), Rhydonia Clem, Pam Barron and MJ Florence helped plan the 100th year celebration.

A book – “The History of the Henry's Chapel United Methodist Church” was also compiled to commemorate the event, Martin said.

 The book contains a complete history, pictures and articles of all the founders, and a collection of memories of many of the church members. It is available for $12.

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