First United Methodist Church, Bastrop, generally recognized as the second oldest Methodist congregation in Texas, celebrated its 180th anniversary on September 20, 2015. After worship, about 200 members and guests had lunch, sang old hymns and browsed among old church furniture pieces, pictures and vestments.
The church story began in 1835 when eleven people joined together in a general merchandise store to worship. The pulpit was a barrel and the pews were planks laid upon small barrels or boxes. The congregation has had only occupied two churches during that period. The first was constructed in 1851 and the newest in 1925. The first church featured Venetian stain glass windows that were moved to the new church when it was built.
The anniversary celebration included a history of the windows and the families who gave them. This presentation by member Robbie Sanders explained the symbols represented in the windows and the colorful stories of the pioneers who graced these buildings with the windows.
District superintendent Robert Lopez and district co-lay leader Fritzi Simon were present for the celebration.
This article was written by Mike Helmick