History of the Church

In 1849, Jacob and Mary Haller, dedicated an acre, adjacent to the Chappell Hill Academy, for a church site. The first church building was erected in 1853 and continually served as a house of worship until September 9, 1900 when it was destroyed by the Great Storm of 1900. The present building was constructed in 1901 by Henry Brandt, Church Trustee, Builder and local businessman.

How we became United Methodist:

  • The first official organization of the Wesleyan movement in the United States occurred in Baltimore, Maryland in 1784 with the formation of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
  • In 1844 the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church allowed for the split into two conferences (North & South) which took place in 1845.
  • In 1849, land was dedicated for a church site of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South in Chappell Hill, Texas and the church was founded in 1851. The first church building was erected in 1853.
  • The two General Conferences, Methodist Episcopal Church (or northern section) and Methodist Episcopal Church, South remained separate until the 1939 merger of these two denominations plus a third, the Methodist Protestant Church, the resulting church being known as The Methodist Church.
  • On April 23, 1968, The United Methodist Church was created when The Evangelical United Brethren Church and The Methodist Church joined hands at the constituting General Conference in Dallas, Texas.

The founder, Rev. Robert Alexander:

Prior to 1836, Texas was part of Mexico, whose official religion was Roman Catholicism. Public Protestant worship was banned. In September 1835, when Texas’ war for independence was imminent, letters requesting Methodist Missionaries were sent to the Mission Board. The writers included David Ayres, Lydia McHenry, Rev. John Wesley Kenney and William Barrett Travis who wrote his letter before leaving for his assignment at the Alamo. In 1837, three Methodist Missionaries, Dr. Martin Ruter, Reverend Littleton Fowler and Reverend Robert Alexander, arrived in Texas to “Preach the Gospel, marry the living, bury the dead and establish churches.” Alexander was assigned to the Washington district and rode circuits from Gay Hill to Brazoria and from the Trinity River to Bastrop. He rode horseback from Natchez, Mississippi, and arrived in Texas in 1837 at age 26. At almost seven feet in height, with red hair he was conspicuous as he rode his circuit wearing two single-shot pistols, and carrying a shotgun. Asked about his armament, he replied, “It would be imprudent to do otherwise”. Wise, considering the conditions under which he had to travel while “fighting the Devil on his own ground, Texas.” Assigned to various Districts, Alexander served in Texas 45 years. Rev. Alexander was the founder of this church and with his wife, Eliza Ayres, they maintained a farm on Caney Creek in Austin County, a short distance from Chappell Hill. In 1882, Rev. Alexander died in the Applewhite House, just north of the little church he founded some 30 years earlier. His remains were interred in Atkinson Cemetery, and later re-interred in Prairie Lea Cemetery in Brenham, Texas. The 1851 Chappell Hill Methodist Episcopal Church, South, now Chappell Hill United Methodist Church continues as an active and growing congregation in the twenty-first century… with a full-time ordained pastor, weekly worship services and faith-based activities almost every day of the week.