First United Methodist Church
History: The Methodist Church in Albany, Texas
The Methodist Church in Albany, Texas is the oldest congregation of Methodists in the Northwest Texas Conference. Organized as the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1873, it was the first Christian church of any denomination in Shackelford County, Texas.
The first meeting of Methodists was held at Judge J.C. Lynch’s ranch house eight miles east of Albany. Mr. Lynch requested that a circuit rider serve the missionary congregation. Rev. Levi Collins came from the Weatherford circuit to meet with and lead the Methodist pioneers in worship. The founding members were Judge J.C. Lynch, Fannie Lynch, Elizabeth McAnulty, Malinda McAnulty, Mollie Gunsolus, Sarah Ann Gunsolus, and Peter Gunsolus.
In 1881, the first Methodist camp was held for two weeks in the heat of the summer on Hubbard Creek in the pasture of R. E. Burns with Brother John A. Wallace preaching. In that same year, Methodists services and Sunday School were held in Grandma Jacobs’ home or in the yard on the bank of Hubbard Creek.
In 1882, Rev. L.H. Trimble led the congregation to build a small wood-frame church on “School-house Hill” in Albany. In 1888, a tornado destroyed the small building and the Albany Methodists immediately erected a new building on the same site. In 1909, the second building was relocated to Main Street. In 1913, a red brick domed building with modern gas lighting was erected at the corner of Jacobs and S. 2nd Street. The red brick structure was destroyed by fire and replaced in 1947 with current limestone building and copper steeple. In 1957, the education wing was added creating the courtyard with an arched walkway entrance.