The history of First United Methodist in Royse City dates back to September 1, 1884, when a revival meeting was held by the Miller brothers, one of which was a Baptist. The Elm Grove Church was organized and the Rev. F.O. Miller became the pastor pro-tem of the church until May 1885, when Rev. J.B. Minnis became pastor.
The original church register now in hand, and believed to be the first record of Methodism in the community is entitled “Elm Grove Church.” It is dated March 20, 1885. On the fly leaf is inscribed the following:
“Dear Brethern of the Elm Grove Church, remember, that Friday before each quarterly meeting, to fast and pray.”
In October 1887 in the old school house which sat where Cavitts Gin was located (west end of Lamar St.), there was a group that met and organized the FIRST Methodist congregation of Royse City, with Rev. James McDugald as pastor.
The church’s charter members were early settlers whose descendants are still active in the church today. Named as organizing members were:
- W.A. (Alex) and Mattie Terrell – parents of Mrs. Roy (Ruth) Sisk
- J.R. (Bob) and Mary Terrell – brother to Alex
- Mr. and Mrs. J. Fletcher Johnson
- M.E. Reinhardt – father of Mrs. Carl (Mary Belle) Miller
- Mr. and Mrs. Creal
Soon after the organization, a four point circuit was in operation. It was made up of Royse City, Blackland, Fate and Mt. Zion. Terrell was District Headquarters. The Rev. H.E. Smith was the first pastor appointed by the Conference. Following the organization, the services were held in the school building until 1890. During the pastorate of Rev. J. Marvin McKee, erection of the first building to house the church was started. It was Methodist Episcopal South and was located across the street from the north entrance of the present sanctuary. The land was purchased from R.A. McCasland (per deed records in Rockwall County Courthouse, Vol. L, page 352. Original deed dated July 22, 1894.)
There were three denominations, Baptist, Christian and Methodist, who all worshipped in the old school building, alternately. The Methodists were the first to obtain their own building. A few months later the Christian Church was built, followed by the Baptist Church in 1894.
The construction of the church (the first church built in Royse City) was rushed and the paper donated by W.H. Adams in order that the church could be completed in time for his wedding. He married Annahlee Jones on July 8, 1891. The ceremony was performed by Rev. J.Marvin McKee; this being the first service in the church. The pioneer members gave generously of their time and talents and by 1904 this church building was too small and the second church was built at the present location. The Rev. D. H. Aston was pastor. W. Oscar McGraw was the builder. We still have the old plans Mr. McGraw used in building the church. This was a much larger church building than the first one and today, 106 years later, it is still being used as our present church building.
The first parsonage was located at Old Fate, which was located near the intersection of Highway 66 and F.M. 552. The reason for it being located there was that Fate was headquarters for the circuit riding ministers who served the church, and this was more the center of the circuit.
The first parsonage built in Royse City was built in 1904 from material of the old church building. It was located on the south side of the church lot now cut off by the highway. This building was moved when the highway came through at a cost of $250.00. It served our parsonage families until 1955 when a newer parsonage was built at a cost of $9,555.00 by the firm of J.A. Ballard and W.R. Hudson, Hunt County, Texas.
- wedding in this church was Edna Terrell and Tim Miller.
- funeral service in this church was for Alpha Cline who died December 18, 1904.
- Sunday School Superintendent was Bob Terrell.
- organist was Mrs. H.E. Abernathy
- communion service was a tall silver pitcher, two goblets, and two plates.
This silver communion service is on display in the glass case on the wall of the sanctuary. These names and dates are engraved on one of the plates:
Presented to “The M.E. Church of Royse City: by James Paulk, S.T. Jones, W.H. Adams, G. W. Neeland and H. T.
Jones -August 20, 1905.