Update: Unfortunately, the vote was to close. Sandra Smith, our Bishop for the East Texas Conference of United Methodist Churches opened the meeting Sunday with prayer and fond remembrances of the many people who built and served the Cove Springs United Methodist Church over the past hundred and thirty four years. The building was decommissioned and will be put up for sale. The proceeds from the sale and liquidation of all the churches assets will be gifted to the Methodist Hospital, Children's Wing in Houston Texas, in memory of the church. Records and memorabilia not returned to founding families will be archived by the conference. Most of the active members will move their membership to the Mt Selman United Methodist Church where we will continue to serve the community.
Brother Worthen and I want to take this time to personally thank everyone who prayed and supported the Cove Springs United Methodist Church over the years. I want to encourage everyone to attend church wherever you live. Take your children, your grandchildren to church. If we fail to raise our children in the heritage of God's love we will spend our retirement under the yoke of despotism.
COVE SPRINGS (KYTX) - We often hear of companies and restaurants shutting down because of slow business, but what happens when a church is forced to do the same thing?
Down County Road 3406, sits an old, country church with stain glass windows engraved with messages of hope.
But the old, brown board that hangs on the church wall probably tells this story best.
"The pastor was here, his wife was here, I was here...and all the seats were empty," said Calvin Howell.
Last Sunday, Calvin Howell was the only member who came to church.
The numbers on this board have constantly dropped since January, down to 3 this past Sunday with an offering of only $20.
"There was a time when the church was the core of the community and that's one reason this church stayed for so long," said Howell.
But over time, the core of this church fell apart.
Members passed away or simply became too old to make it to church. Their children moved to larger cities to raise their families.
"They followed the work. You have to feed your family," explained Howell.
Cove Springs United Methodist Church started off as the Sand Hill Methodist Episcopal Church in 1856.
It was renamed sometime after, and in 1955, this red, brick building replaced the old wooden church.
Ten months ago, Calvin came here to help the church grow after it was considered for closure by the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.
"This Sunday, we need to make that decision again," said Howell.
A decision he doesn't want to make.
"We pray for a miracle actually," added Howell.
A miracle that would fill these pews once again.
A representative from the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church will address members after the church service to determine what happens next.
If you would like to see this historic church remain open, Calvin Howell wants to see you at church this Sunday, July 14th.
Service starts at 11 am. He says, if enough people show up, the Cove Springs United Methodist Church may be able to keep its doors open.
Cove Springs UMC
527 C.R. 3406
Jacksonville, TX 75766