Church History

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Remember the days of old,
Consider the years of many generations.


Ask your father, and he will inform you,


Your elders, and they will tell you.

Deuteronomy 32:7

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church history
Meadowbrook-Poly United Methodist Church

On December 1st, 2019, the members of Meadowbrook United Methodist Church and Polytechnic United Methodist Church voted affirmatively on the Resolution to merge, effective January 1, 2020. We are blessed to be a part of this new congregation and to create a vibrant United Methodist presence serving many communities on the East Side of Fort Worth. We are all truly thankful for the legacy of those faithful members that came before and are excited to see what God’s plan is for our future. We are now one congregation with two campuses. Worship and Christian Education classes along with church offices will be located at our Meadowbrook campus. Missional activities, programming, and occasional worship services will take place at the Poly campus. 

We seek to deepen our faith with Christian Education classes, bible studies, book studies, prayer teams, and small group sharing. 

We praise the Lord with thanksgiving through uplifting sermons, beautiful music (piano, organ, choir, bell choir, solos), and sharing our joys and sorrows. 

We continue to reach out into the community, supporting Texas Wesleyan, D. McRae Elementary, Meadowbrook Elementary, Eastside Ministries, United Community Centers, Project Transformation, Presbyterian Night Shelter, Union Gospel Mission, ACH, TXWES Food Pantry, Troop 12 Boy Scouts, East Fort Worth 4-H Club, Early Childhood Matters, and host an annual Halloween Carnival. 

2020 proved to be very challenging as the Covid-19 pandemic swept through our area. Some staff and parishioners fell ill and were hospitalized.  Many in our area were sick, looking for work, and food insecure.  The church stepped up efforts to give volunteer hours and money to community assistance and try to stay connected with social distancing.  We look forward to being together again soon. 

Polytechnic United Methodist Church

On Sunday, January 2, 1892, in the auditorium wing of Polytechnic College building, Texas Wesleyan University’s Ann Waggoner Hall, Rev. C. A. Evans and 36 members organized Polytechnic Methodist Episcopal Church South. As the college and community grew, so did the church. They moved services to a wooden building in 1893. Within a few years, the congregation built their first permanent building, the current Fine Arts building, and occupied it in 1902. 


By 1920, they had once again outgrown their building and started their third building on Annis Blvd. In this building Boy Scout Troops 2 and 3, family nights, mission funds were started. Baccalaureate and Commencement exercises for Polytechnic High School and Texas Woman's College were held here. The church programs included a softball team, a championship basketball team, Wesleyan Service Guild, Women’s Society of Christian Service, Fisherman’s Club, and Vacation Bible School. The religious artist, Warner Sallman visited three times, each time creating chalk pictures, two versions of the “Head of Christ” and “Christ Our Pilot”. 


By 1944, Poly had once again outgrown its building. On December 24, 1950, the ground was broken for Poly’s fourth and last building at 1310 Collard.  By the 50th anniversary in 1952, the church had a total membership of 2,029. The congregation left the old building and moved into the new Polytechnic Methodist Church building on August 24, 1953. Originally only the Sanctuary, Parlor, and Chapel were air-conditioned, with air-conditioning installed in the rest of the building in 1958. In 1967, an addition was built to provide two new classrooms and a Youth Activity Center.


In 1982 when TWU announced it was considering moving, Poly adopted the resolution, “The goal of Polytechnic United Methodist Church is to be a vital missional congregation based at the present site”. 

Polytechnic UMC

During Poly’s 127 year history, Poly has continued its ministry to the college and to the community. The building across Collard was rented at nominal cost to Neighborhood Housing and later to Southeast Area Churches (SE.AR.CH.) alongside Shalom Park. We have held Old Time Nickel and Dime Fairs, Street Fairs, Health Fairs, and Halloween parties for the neighborhood. We’ve supported the Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts, United Community Centers, Presbyterian Night Shelter, Metropolitan Board of Ministries, Tarrant Area Community of Churches, Shalom Zone, Polytechnic Neighborhood Advisory Council, Justice for Our Neighbors and Central Texas Project Transformation. We held English-as-a-Second Language Classes for many years and started a Hispanic Church, El Buen Samaritano. We have hosted TWU’s Robing ceremony, Annual Conferences, Conference meetings, Entre Nous Study Club, Lion’s Club, AARP, Polytechnic Women’s Club, and Church Women United. Our church programs have included various music programs including the Chancel Choir, Bell Choir, Children and Youth Choirs, and Praise Ensemble as well as instrumental groups.  Other programs included United Methodist Men, United Methodist Women, Camera Club, Gadabouts Travel group, church campouts, Vacation Bible Schools, Jesus and Me Saturday Ministry, I Have a Dream Youth, and various sports groups.

Poly has shared its space not only with Texas Wesleyan University but also with Professional Youth Conservatory, Weed and Seed, Job Bank, Volunteers of America, Santa Fe Counseling, John Peter Smith’s Mon and Baby program, Abyssinia Baptist Church, Boys and Girls Club, Advocacy program, Southeast Federal Credit Union, Justice for Our Neighbors, Central Texas Project Transformation Office, and Central Texas Conference Archives among others. Our basement was even a part of the Civil Defense program. 


In 2019, after much work and prayer, members of Polytechnic United Methodist Church decided to merge with Meadowbrook United Methodist Church to create a new, forward-looking congregation, Meadowbrook-Poly United Methodist Church. Through all of its 127 years, Poly Methodist has been filled with kind, loving, open-hearted, energetic, generous people. Poly has endeavored always to live up to the motto “Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors”.
 

Past Senior Ministers for Polytechnic

 

1892-93    C.A. Evans
1893-94    W.E. Caperton
1894-97    E.V. Cox
1897-98    J.G. Miller
1898-99    M.K. Little
1900-04    E.P. Williams
1904-06    J.H. Stewart
1906-07    C.L. Browning
1907-10    H.M. Long
1910-12    J.W. Downs
1912-14    F.P. Culver
1914-16    Clovis G. Chappell
1916-20    E.B. Hawk

1920-22    P.E. Riley
 

 


1922-25    F.E. Singleton
1925         C.Q. Smith
1926-27    J.W. Fort
1927-28    Charles M. Crowe
1928-31    Virgil Fisher
1931-33    W.H. Coleman
1933-36    John N. Rentfo

1938-44    W.W. Ward
1944-47    Hubert C. Smith
1947-55    Hayden Edwards
1955-60    H. Brown Loyd
1960-64    Maggert B. Howell
1964-66    L. Stanley Williams
1966-70    C.C. Sessions

 


1970-76    Robert Turner
1976-78    Dean Franklin
1978-80    Tom Graves
1980-85    Gilbert Ferrell
1985-87    John Luckert
1987-89    Mike Phillips
1989-95    E. Frank Leach
1995-98    Mike Madden
1998-01    Charles Holland
2001-05    Georgia Allen
2006-08    Martha Bessac
2008-15    Robert Flowers
2015-17    Judy Richmond
2017-19    Ginger Watson

Meadowbrook United Methodist Church

In 1911 two groups of Methodists started two congregations, the Sycamore Heights Methodist Church and Sagamore Hill Methodist Church, both located in the Meadowbrook area of Fort Worth. The merger of these two churches in 1928 formed what is now Meadowbrook United Methodist Church. The first worship service for the new church occurred on November 18, 1928. Over the next two Sundays, 475 persons joined the new church as Charter Members.

 

"We are a Christian fellowship embracing our community with hope, acceptance, and unconditional love." This mission statement illustrated the decision that MUMC members made several years ago when given the opportunity to move to a new area. The decision was made to remain in the neighborhood and be a center of activity and service to our neighbors, utilizing all available resources for this purpose.

Though members were sometimes identified by various groups within the church - Sunday School classes, United Methodist Women, Choir, Preschool Enrichment Program, Prayer Shawl Ministry, Youth Group, Staff and volunteers, MUMC also was host to community organizations such as Troop 12 Boy Scouts (the oldest existing scout troop in Longhorn Council), East Fort Worth 4-H Club, Girl Scouts, West Meadowbrook Neighborhood Association, Eastside Rotary Club, Texas Wesleyan Basketball Team, and Karate classes. There was a long tradition of the church supporting sports teams, including the famous Meadowbrook fastpitch softball team, bowling leagues, basketball teams, and Upward Sports. Family camps were a highlight of many summers. Church picnics, retreats, health fairs, Stephen Ministries, blood drives, Roadrunner trips, senior game days, and Bible studies have nurtured us.

We interacted with the larger community with active outreach through Meadowbrook in Mission, Meadowbrook Meals for the homebound, Adopt-a-School at Meadowbrook Elementary, Eastside Ministries, the Metropolitan Board of Missions, United Community Centers, prison ministry program, Alliance for Children, New Lives School, Harris Hospital Volunteers, Church Women United, Union Gospel Mission, Presbyterian Night Shelter, Habitat for Humanity, Safe Haven, Day Resource Center, Adopt-a-Family, the Kairos program in three prisons, Emmaus weekend retreats, and United Methodist Women sponsored mission projects, both local and global. Teddy bears by the hundreds were donated to Alliance for Children, New Lives School, and emergency responders.

Meadowbrook United Methodist sponsored youth and adult work mission trips each year and hosted other mission teams. Being a connectional church, we reached out to a vast community through district, conference, and global ministries. The Justice for our Neighbors program assists immigrants in the naturalization process. For over 37 years we hosted the two-night Optimist Spaghetti Supper, where approximately 750 Eastsiders enjoyed a meal and helped support programs for Eastside youth. Our Broadway style musical and drama productions were unique among churches, and created a joyous atmosphere through entertaining shows such as "Camelot," "Oklahoma," "Bye Bye Birdie," "Annie," "Hello Dolly," "Mame," & "Music Man."

We are a congregation of Invitation, Inspiration, Celebration, Restoration, and Dedication.

As quoted in the 1946 Building Fund Brochure: "Let us have a church for the whole person: Truth for the mind, good works for the hands, love for the heart; and for the soul, that aspiration after perfection, that unfaltering faith in God, which, like lightning in the clouds, shines brightest when elsewhere it is most dark." ---Theodore Parker

The purchase of land and building of facilities has gone on through the years to meet the needs of the congregation and outreach to the community. In 1928, the 3900 block of Meadowbrook Drive running through to Mt. Vernon Street was purchased. A new frame sanctuary was built relying heavily on volunteer carpenters, using some building materials from the other two churches. Several smaller buildings were relocated to serve as Church School classrooms. The present sanctuary was built in 1948 and 1949. The congregation had worked hard collecting money to build as soon as materials were available after World War II. In 1951, a two-story educational unit was built joining the sanctuary to the east. The Fellowship Hall was built in 1958. The next building joined the Fellowship Hall to the sanctuary. It included adequate educational space, a parlor, a Youth Center, and administrative offices. This building was used for the first time on June 9, 1968. At this time, the Scout Hut was built on property across Mt. Vernon Street and seven residential properties were acquired for parking lots.

On May 8, 1995, the church was badly damaged by a severe hail storm. An extensive renovation was needed to restore the building.

In 2004, the building was updated with the addition of the Taylor Memorial Elevator, a new ladies restroom, a lift between the Bright Corner Room and the Fellowship Hall, and renovation of the air conditioning/heating system. At the same time, the Community Life Center was built. It consists of a gymnasium, kitchen, two classrooms, and restrooms. It was built to provide facilities for basketball and volleyball, and space for dinners and other large gatherings for church or community events. It has been used for the Halloween Carnival, health fairs, the church-wide garage sale, Methodist District meetings, church picnic, county 4-H dance, neighborhood meetings, Meadowbrook Elementary student activities, PEP activities, a residence for visiting work mission teams, and even as a place for people to sign gas leases.

 

Meadowbrook United Methodist has reached out in celebration, inspiration, congregation, and dedication, we have been the neighbor, benefactor, activity center: and invited our neighbors to join us in following Christ's teachings.

We remember the faithful, dedicated service that was rendered by our members in the past. Our foundation was laid by those who have gone before us. Meadowbrook's ministry has been and continues to be an adventure of faith. In December 2019, we merged with Polytechnic United Methodist Church to become Meadowbrook-Poly United Methodist Church.  Together, with renewed energy, we look forward to serving God and His beloved community. 

Past Senior Ministers for Meadowbrook

 

1928-30   Jesse Herman Baldridge

1930-33   George Waverly Davis

1933-35   John Wilson Mayne

1935-38   Robert Cleveland Edwards

1938-39   James Bruce Curry

1939-41   Dr. William H. Coleman

1940-47   Joseph Isham Patterson

1947-50   Charles Offutt Shugart

1950-56   J.W. Sprinkle

1956-59   Charles Hutcheson Sisserson

1959-61   John Wesley Ford

1961-63   Dwight Lyman McCree

1963-66   R. Bruce Weaver

1966-70   H. Brown Loyd

1970-77   Morgan Garrett

1977-80   Bob F. Weathers

1980-83   Leslie Warren Olliff

1983-87   James Reid Porter

 

1987-92   L. Michael McKee

1992-94   Dr. Leonard Radde

1994-96   Gary A. Whitbeck

1996-01   J. Neil Norman

2001-07   Larry M. VanZile

2007-14   Jim D. Chandler

2014-18   Marilyn L. Jones

2018-19   Ginger Watson