A celebration is planned at First United Methodist Church Commerce to mark half a century in the church’s current location.
A special service and luncheon is planned for Oct. 20. While 2019 is technically the 51st year since the move to the current space on Highway 24 across from Texas A&M University-Commerce, a proper celebration last year was postponed due to multiple renovations to the church grounds.
There are some members who have been there through it all. Harriet Williams has been a member since she was 10 years old, and she recalls the former Methodist Church building, which was located near downtown.
“Towards the end people would bring umbrellas to service because the roof leaked so much,” Williams said. “It was definitely time for something new.”
According to a church history, 25 men of the church pooled their resources and bought the land for the current site from Mr. and Mrs. Lawson Biggers for $20,000 in 1963. A two year fundraising campaign was undertaken by the congregation before ground was finally broken. The first service was held on Feb. 25, 1968.
Williams remembers having a big celebration dinner in the new church after the first service. Harriet and her husband Wyman were one of the first couples to be married in the new building.
Over the decades, multiple additions have been put on the property. Williams says that the current site was a boon for the church.
“I think it was a real shot in the arm for our church, it helped us grow,” Williams said. “Throughout the decades it has been woven into our lives.”
A service will be held at 10:50 a.m. on Oct. 20, with a lunch to follow at 12:30 p.m. First United Methodist Church Commerce is located at 1709 Highway 24 in Commerce.