The Dallas Journal, Volume 53, 2007 Page: 81
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Trinity Methodist Church, Dallas, Texas, History
In 1883 a small group of people was meeting
weekly at the home of Mrs. McKinnon, located
at Cedar Springs and McKinnon. Trinity
Methodist Church was organized out of these
meetings with nine charter members: Mr. and
Mrs. N. A. Yeargan, J. H. Yeargan, Powell
Yeargan, Mrs. M J. McKinnon, Mr. and Mrs.
William Rogers and Mr. and Mrs. S. A.
They decided on the name "Trinity" because it
was the third Southern Methodist Church in
Dallas.2 The formal organization of the church
came with the appointment of W. F. Clark as
minister in 1884. Trinity was part of a circuit
that included Oaklawn and Dallas City Mission.
When the preacher was at one of the other
locations, Dr. W. H. Howell and Dr. Gibbs, two
laymen, officiated at the meetings.3
The church moved to a small building on the
corner of Trinidad and Phelps. This building
soon proved to be too small for the growing
congregation and it was sold to the City of
Dallas. The church moved to a triangular lot on
McKinney Avenue opposite the present site of
William B. Travis Elementary School.4 In
January 1895, property at McKinney and Pearl
was purchased, and this became the home of
Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church South.
At the turn of the century there was a new
movement emphasizing the "neighborhood
church". People were urged to join the church
nearest them, and were told from the pulpit that
it was almost a sin to pass a struggling
' Unknown author, Brief History of Trinity Methodist
Episcopal Church South -Dallas, Texas. Archives First
United Methodist Church, Dallas.
2 Gilbert H. Irish, The Messenger (Official Publication
of Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church, South.) Vol 1, No
8 Dec. 1, 1912.
3 Adolphus Werry, History of the First Methodist
neighborhood church to attend a larger
downtown church. At the General Conference
of 1902 the Bishop instructed all members of
First Methodist Church who resided north of
Ross Avenue, to transfer their membership to
By 1906 Trinity, First, and Grace Methodist all
had memberships over 1000, attractive brick
structures, and were paid for. A declining
membership was seen during the years of 1910-
1914. In 1915 Samuel H. C. Burgin was
appointed pastor, being the last pastor of Trinity
Methodist and the first pastor of the newly
consolidated churches of Trinity and First
On June 1, 1916, representatives of the Trinity
and First Church met. A motion was made, and
unanimously passed, that the two churches
would unite and build a great downtown church,
giving consideration to the requirements and
needs of SMU and the Highland Park
neighborhood. The agreement was given to
Bishop James H. McCoy, who in August, 1916,
confirmed the proposed merger and appointed
Dr. S. H. C. Burgin as pastor of First Methodist,
with Rev. Sam R. Hay and Rev. A. Frank Smith
as junior pastors. At the annual conference, held
that year in Greenville on November 1, 1916,
the two congregations were officially merged
under the name of First Methodist Church. At
the same time, the transfer of certain property to
the newly organized Highland Park Methodist
Church was also approved. Later, the old Trinity
Church building was sold for approximately
$65,000 and the proceeds were turned over to
the Highland Park Church for its use and
' Unknown author, BriefHistory of Trinity Methodist
Episcopal Church South -Dallas, Texas.
6 Church at the Crossroads, A History of First United
Methodist Church Dallas, UMR Publications, Dallas,
Dallas Journal 2007 81
Dallas Journal 2007
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Dallas Genealogical Society. The Dallas Journal, Volume 53, 2007, periodical, October 2007; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth186866/m1/85/: accessed May 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Genealogical Society.