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Monday, May 29, 2023

On the Road ? Kennedale United Methodist Church

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This article is part of an on-going series on the oldest businesses in Kennedale.
This intrepid reporter in his quest to find the oldest businesses in Kennedale has made a side trip, down a side road off the main stretch of U.S. Hwy 287 (Kennedale Parkway), down the street from the Kennedale Police Department, to 229 W 4th Street in Kennedale, home to the United Methodist Church. {{more}}
The plaque located on the bell tower outside of the church building reads Kennedale U.M.C. 1903,?

Trustees J.A. Hammack, J.R. Pringle, Charlie Wilson. While this does not qualify in the technical sense as a business, it has been in operation as a religious organization and a ?people?s ?business for a long, long time.?
Entering the Church through the side doors I was immediately met by that feel, that quietness, that coolness that all churches seem to have. Upon walking in the offices, however, I was enthusiastically and loudly met in a welcoming way by the Rev. Dr. Alfie Wines, pastor, and Laurie Middleton Sanders who quickly informed me that I was in the right place.
The story. The Kennedale Methodist Church in its earliest years existed on a circuit not necessarily as a Methodist church as far back as mid-1800?s. Perhaps visited by John Chalk who in 1853 was ?riding horseback from house to house, from settlement to settlement, preaching in homes and public places? One of these places may have well been in the home of T.F. Rodgers on the family farm about two miles east of Kennedale. The W.A. Williamson family on a neighboring farm and J.R. Pringle, noted as a long-time Kennedale businessman, were active members. In its genesis it was officially recorded as an organized congregation, or methodist society, at a place called Center Point around 1861. This was identified as a site approximately two miles southeast of Kennedale between US 287 and the railroad and west of Eden Road. J.T. Stockton was listed as the presiding elder.
More of the story. Soon after 1886 the congregation changed its meeting place from Center Point to the school building in Kennedale, when it probably became known as the Kennedale Methodist Church. The old school building was a two story wooden structure located in the vicinity of the Napa Auto Parts store at Short and New Hope.

And the story continues. In 1903 the Kennedale Methodist church moved into a brand new wooden structure complete with a bell tower, light provided by acetylene gas and with enough room for 100-125 worshippers. The building was located at the present site of the United Methodist Church. The existing sanctuary was build and dedicated in 1956 after the original structured was raised. The present educational annex was added in the 1960?s.
Pictures and information was provided the Kennedale United Methodist Church and Laurie Middleton Sanders. As with all businesses, the Kennedale Methodist Church welcomes visitors.

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