Lake Jackson United Methodist Church
As remembered by Troy S. Moore (circa 1980)
The Lake Jackson United Methodist Church had its beginning in the late 1800s, according to the best records and words passed down from generation to generation. It was organized in 1897. The area was one of agricultural farms mostly owned by members of the Moore family. Before this, the only services had were those of ministers passing thro’ or a days travel by horse and buggy to other churches in the area.
Mrs. Elizabeth Moore had been gathering the children at her home to read the Bible and tell Bible stories. She and other women in the area wanted a church and regular services, so after a period of time, the men got together and set out to find a minister and get a church. It seems after much searching, they were able to get a Methodist preacher. There was no church building but they met in the one-room school and sometimes the homes of the people.
Eventually, they built a little white frame sanctuary on property given by Mr. Charles Moore who had a saw mill close by and cut some of the lumber for the building. The church became one of a charge of from two to four other churches. This continued for some years.
In the 50s and 60s and after the local university had become co-educational, many young men who were going into the ministry filled the pulpit before going on to seminary. Quite a few had their first experience in the pulpit in that little church. Many have gone on to larger churches and other positions in the Florida Conference.
Other young people from the university were instrumental in getting Sunday School and other young people’s activities started.
A family, the Barfields moved into the neighborhood. They were history buffs and did a lot of research that led them to believe that DeSoto and his party had spent their first Christmas on Lake Jackson. The Barfields became members of the church and wrote and produced a play for the youth to reenact the event about Desoto. This was put on during the Christmas season for several years. Sometimes inside and sometimes in the open so the horses and other animals could be used.
In 1970, the conference decided to move the church closer in on the Old Bainbridge Road as there were more people moving into that area.
The Lake Jackson Methodist Church entered a new phase of its life there. A tract of land was purchased by the Conference District of Missions and Church Extension. A specially built mobile chapel was placed there. A full-time pastor, Reverend Harris Jones was appointed. By the end of 1971, a small trailer was added for Sunday School. In 1972, a parsonage was purchased and another building for Sunday School was added by the congregation for social activities and Sunday School. By 1974, the membership had reached 100 and assumed the full pastoral support.
In 1977, the church was again moved to its present site. Many hours of work by members of the church were given toward the finishing of the church building.
In recent years, Lake Jackson has moved towards a facility that allows a place for reverent worship and the fellowship that Lake Jackson enjoys.