First United Methodist Church Diboll
Monday, April 23, 2018

Church History

Church History

Diboll, Texas was established in Angelina County in 1894. It was a sawmill town populated mostly by men who later brought their families as housing was provided. With stacks of lumber for pews, Sunday worship began at the mill for all the people and among them were Methodists.
 
Tradition has is that the Diboll Methodist Church began in 1897. A quarterly conference report makes reference to the church in March, 1898. It was recorded that the Diboll Church paid $11.20 for the “support of ministry.” It started as a mission church in the Homer Charge, as a part of the Palestine District in the East Texas Conference, with W. W. Nunn as the preacher in charge.
 
After Southern Pine Lumber Company built a school, meetings were held there. In 1907, a two-story lodge hall was erected and the Methodists and Baptists met there at alternate times. It was referred to as a Union Church. By 1914, the Methodists were ready for a church of their own. The Copes-Diboll heirs who owned most of the land in town, gave a perpetual lease for one dollar. The trustees who signed the lease were Dr. H. C. Cook, W. M. Ashford, and J. B. Weeks. The building was finished in November 1914 with the building committee being P. H. Strauss, Dr. H. C. Cook, J. M. Fairchild, J. E. Woods, I. O. Warner and O. H. Weise. Mr. Strauss designed the building which cost $3,000 and Rev. L. F. Smith dedicated it. The building was erected on our present property at 401 S. Hines Street.
 
In 1922, the Copes-Diboll heirs gave the church a deed containing 44/100 acres of land on which the church and parsonage had been built. New Sunday School rooms were built in 1928. Then, in 1948, a two-story Sunday School wing and fellowship hall was added. The building of 1914 was razed in 1958 and our present red brick sanctuary was erected on the same site. It was consecrated in 1960. The building committee was Rev. Joe Bisby, pastor, J. H. Byerly, Mrs. J. R. Dale, Mrs. W. D. Fogg, Mrs. E. F. Hendrick, Ralph Magill, W. F. Pate, Robertt Ramsey, and Doug Warner.
 
In the 1980’s, the congregation grew again and needed more space. On May 15, 1987, a ground breaking ceremony was held for a larger fellowship hall and church offices. The Consecration Service and the 90th Anniversary celebration were held on December 13, 1987. The next year the old fellowship hall was renovated into much needed classroom space. In 1989, all the church facilities were dedicated debt free.
 
On November 3, 1991, a Texas Historical Marker was dedicated and placed on the church grounds facing Hines Street. Later, more renovations took place in the Education Building. Under the program, “Bild Me a Fewchr,” (1995-95) child-care nurseries were enlarged, which included two “wall-size” paintings, the enlarging of the Strauss Class and moving the youth upstairs to an enlarged room with a moveable dividing wall. The ground floor has a new carpet in addition to the youth room and the two adult classes upstairs.
 
The various ministries of First United Methodist Church Diboll have enriched many lives throughout the town and the world. We thank God for all the Christian men and women who have contributed their prayers, presence, gifts and service in proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ.