History of Godley United Methodist Church

Godley, Texas

Revised September, 2010

      The Methodist Church was organized in Godley in 1898.  Reverend Crow was the first minister to serve in Godley. 

      This group met in the Baptist Church until 1904 when the first Methodist Church building was built in the middle of Godley on a lot a block north of Johnny Stewart’s home.

1st church

 The parsonage stood next to the church building.

      Some of the ministers that served this charge between 1900 and 1928 were: Rev. Crow, Rev. Sweeny, Rev. Marshall, Rev. Clark, Rev. Capps, Rev. Story, Rev. Heiser, Rev. Davis, Rev. Harold, Rev. Roper (Rev. Roper served the Godley charge for four years, from 1925 until 1928), Rev. Oliver (1930-1932), and Rev. J. F. Isabell.  Some of the presiding Elders who later became District Superintendents during this time were Rev. Moss, Rev. Porter, and Rev. Cole.  During the time Rev. Crow was pastor many families joined the Church.  Many who are still remembered by the current membership are; Mr. & Mrs. R. L. Anderson and family, Granny Standifer and family, Mr. & Mrs. W. C. Davis and family and Mr. & Mrs. Waldrin.

      Among the teachers at this time were; Mr. Ed Crosier, Sunday School Superintendent, Mrs. Ewing, Mrs. Ruth Glen, W. C. Davis, R. L. Anderson, Mrs. Alma  McCauley, Alton Riggs, and Granny Standifer. 

     Rev. Lacy Standifer is the only person who attended Godley Methodist Church that went into the ministry.  

     During this time there was a very active Epworth League which is now know as the United Methodist Youth Fellowship. The very first W. S. C. S. (Women’s Society of Christian Service) now know as United Methodist Women was organized during this time.

      In 1928 a new two story brick building was built on what is now know as Godley Avenue under the leadership of Rev. Roper.  The Building committee consisted of R. D. Anderson, Dr C. C.  Bradford, J. V. Anderson, John Franklin, Sr., Mrs. R. L. Armstrong, J. M. Homesley, C. Davis and J. A. Pricket. The presiding Elder at this time was Rev. John N. Renfro and the Bishop was Rev. John M. Moore. Trustee were W. C. Davis, John Franklin, Z. M. Gibbs, Mrs. J. T. Dillard and Mrs. C. C. Bradford.

2nd church

      At this time the membership had grow to 240 members. Some of the ministers who served the Godley charge at this time were; Rev. Roper, Rev. Ferguson, Rev. Isbell, Rev. Poteet, Rev. Ray, Rev. Capps (he was moved to another charge and then moved back to Godley to serve again at a later date), Rev. Gardner, Rev. Wisdom, Rev. Robert Walker, Rev. Chester Hearne. Rev. Chadwick was the first full time pastor to serve at Godley.  It was during the leadership of Rev. Gardner that the building was paid off. After Rev. Chadwick, Rev. Archie McCleskey was assigned to the Godley church. Then the Bishop began to send student pastors to serve the Godley charge. Some of the student pastors during this time were; Rev. Don Benton, Rev. Colley, Rev. Tunnell, Rev. Paul Hood, Rev. Jimmy Mobley, Rev. Bill Gill, Rev. Jack Riley (1958), Rev. Jerry Buffington (1960), Rev. Jack Hopkins (1963) and Rev. Arthur Anderson.  During this time Cresson Methodist Church was added and it became the Godley-Cresson Parish.  Rev. Pat Brown was the first pastor to serve after the Godley-Cresson Parish was formed in 1965. Other churches that have been combined from time to time with Godley are Joshua, Tolar, and Bono.

      The building was paid off while Reverend Gardner was pastor.

      Other pastors who served as pastor at this building location were; J. P. Graves, William Nevil, Leroy Reeves (Oct. 1968-June 1972), Glen Jones (1972), Bennie McBride, David Akers, Ray Spooner, Michael Hodnet (1975), and Robert Warden (1976-1978).

      Church officers in 1960 were: Chairman of the Official Board – Bill Hopper; Sunday School Superintendent – Jack Rowland; MYF Counselor – Joyce Ganong; President of W.S.C.S. – Mrs. Edgar Ezell; Church Lay Leader – Bill Hopper; Secretary/Treasurer – Harold Riggs; Chairman of Commission on Membership and Evangelism – Paul Buttrill; Director of Stewardship – L.S. Moore; District Stewards – L.S. Moore and Bill Hopper; Chairman of Commission on Missions – Mrs. Edgar Ezell.

      It was during the time Leroy Reeves was serving as the pastor that the membership decided to purchase land for a future building. The current building was beginning to be in need of some serious repairs. When there was rain the basement would flood and some the men from the church would have to go to the Godley Fire Department and borrow a sump pump to pump the water out of the basement so that Sunday School Classes could meet in the basement. Sometimes there would be so much water that all the classes would meet upstairs in the sanctuary. The church was cooled with window evaporative air conditioners, and was heated in the winter with Dearborn heaters. The seats were theater seats rather than pews and when the building was torn down the seats were purchased by the Historical Committee in Cleburne, Texas and were recovered and refinished for use in the theater of the Historical Layland Museum.

      In the fall of 1969 five acres of land was purchased north of town on FM 2331 from Rosemary and Laverne Fuller. 

      After going through what seemed like a seize of pastors from 1973 until 1975 that were not compatible to the Godley area and a small church, Godley Methodist Church leaders asked the District Superintendent if something very unusual in the Methodist denomination could be done; that was to help him choose and place our next  pastor. It was finally agreed that this could be a possibility, but the District Superintendent and Bishop would have the final say on who would be chosen to serve in Godley.

      After hearing young men who were students and just beginning to serve God in the ministry we decided that we wanted Robert Warden, a young dedicated student who at the time was working at Vance Godbey’s, a restaurant on the north side of Ft. Worth. Robert was a very dedicated person and served Godley as both a pastor and a leader. Robert later joined the U. S. Army as a chaplain and is still a chaplain Robert worked very hard with all ages and it was during his leadership and the first Godley Methodist Puppet Ministry was begun through the youth program under his direction assisted by Annette Booth, church pianist.

  3rd church

      In 1976, under the leadership of Robert Warden the membership decided it was time to build on the five acres.  Architect, Gary Shaw was hired to draw the plans for the church. Several members went about visiting and looking at other church buildings to see what would best suit the needs of the current congregation. Trustees were Jim Myers, John Bridges, and Woodrow Franklin. When the original building was built it consisted of the sanctuary, a nursery room, 3 classrooms, kitchen, fellowship area, an office for the pastor, and two restrooms. The adult classes met in the sanctuary; one at the back and another in the choir and youth classes met in the kitchen and fellowship area.  At this time the Godley Methodist Church building was then the most beautiful and modern building in the town of Godley. On August 28, 1983 the building debt was retired and a dedication service was officiated at by both, the Bishop John Russell and District Superintendent Michael Patison. The pastor at the time of the debt retirement was Herb Marlow.

      Pastors serving Godley at this location have been; Robert Warden (1975-1977) Tony Hargrove (1977-1978), Larry Clayton(1978-1979) , Al Cronk (1979-1981), Ellis Holden(1981-1982), Herb Marlow (1982-1987), Don Johnson (1987-1990), John Hutchinson (1990-1993) Jack Vereen (interim pastor April 1993-June 1993), Bud Ruggia(1993-1997), Dale Wasser (1997-1999), Rick Mang (1999-2001), Jon Mark Fowler (2001-2003), Sally Fleeming, (2003-2006) and Rudy Rudiwick (2006-present).

      During the time Al Cronk was pastor it was decided that we needed more Sunday School classrooms and a larger fellowship area we now had a membership of 153 members.  In 1980 an Educational Wing was added that consisted of three new classrooms, a large room for the quilters to use that could be divided by a folding door and be used on Sunday for two classrooms, and a larger office for the pastor. During this remodeling job a wall was removed between two of the original classrooms to make the nursery space larger.

      Some of the church officers in 1982 were: Chairman of the Official Board – David McMinn; Treasurer – Richard Moore; Sunday School Superintendent – Nancy Smith.

      In 1993 under the leadership of John Hutchinson, a Family Life Building was added to the church building complex. The new building was planned for children, youth, and family activities. It consists of two classrooms, kitchen and a fellowship hall, that could be made into two classrooms by use of folding panels. But, most of all, the youth and children were proud of the half-court gymnasium. They could begin to play basketball, volleyball, and other inside activities.

      However, during the time of construction John became ill and passed away in April 1993 never getting to enjoy the building as he had planned to do.

      Reverend Jack Vereen became our interim pastor and came into Godley ready to work and did everything he could to pull everyone and everything together after the death of John.

      Several pastors have come and gone during the last few years, but as is a custom in Methodism they have only been able to touch our lives and hearts for a short time. In 2003 we had the opportunity to have the first woman minister to serve in the history of Godley United Methodist Church.. Sally Fleeming was appointed to serve Godley at Annual Conference in 2003 and served until 2006.

      The current pastor of Godley United Methodist Church is Rudy Rudiwick. He and his wife Samatha  are very active in the Godley community as well as serving as the pastoral family of Godley United Methodist Church.

      Godley United Methodist Church currently has several active groups and programs going at the present time. 

      On Tuesday’s a group on ladies both members of the Methodist Church and others from the Godley community gather to quilt beautiful quilts both for our annual Lord’s Acre Sale and for people in the community.  The quilt tops have either pieced by, given to, or purchased by the quilter’s or person in the community.  The quilter’s began in 1975 under the leadership of Mrs. John (Edna) Bridges and Mrs. Bob (Yuleta) Yater in the basement of the old two story church building. When the current building was built in 1976 quilt frames hung from the ceiling of the fellowship area and when the new education wing was added the largest room was designed for use by the quilter’s and for a Sunday school class on Sunday.

      A new group began meeting on Monday night in 2009 to crochet and knit pray shawls and blankets for the ill, and those who just need to be reminded; that Godley United Methodist Church cares for them and is praying for them. These shawls and blankets are either crocheted or knitted and after they are finished the group says a prayer over them before they are delivered.

      The United Methodist Women (formally know as the W. S. C. S) has always been an active and dedicated group of women. The group currently has about 20 women that participate in UMW functions. This group is very active in the mission programs and travel to other states to help serve mission work.  They also, prepare sandwiches for the Presbyterian Night Shelter in Fort Worth. They have been know to make from 80 plus sandwiches on a Thursday morning and then deliver them to the night shelter to be served to the residents and those temporarily misplaced. Several different times during the years the women have compiled cookbooks for sale at the annual Lord’s Acre Sale.

      It was through the faith of this group of women that the Education Wing was added to the current building. During a discussion at a UMW meeting about needing more space the women decided to donate $100.00 of their money in their treasury for a new Education Wing and to challenge individuals, and other organizations, as well as Sunday School classes to match the $100.00 to begin a fund for the wing.

      The United Methodist Youth has been a strong group for many years, having ups and downs concerning attendance and programs. The puppet ministry was a large drawing card for the youth in the 70’s and 80’s, they would go to nursing homes and the hospitals to perform as well as performing for the young children on Sunday mornings.  The original puppet team consisted of sisters Kelly and Sue Fuller, Tony Ganong, sisters Pat Ann and Cindy Rowland, Gina McCorkle, Paige McMinn, Randy McKittrick, Janice O’Neal, and Kane Fulfer.  In 1981 the group took their first ski trip to Ruidoiso, New Mexico. Several things including regular church attendance and youth group attendance had to be done and requirements had to be met in order for a young person to go on these trips; all the while, having bible studies, mission projects,  and devotionals lead by both the youth themselves and the youth leaders of the church each Sunday night. The youth group is now very active on the district level and we currently have a youth, Rachel Evans, serving as one of the district youth officers. The youth have gone on mission trips with the district and have served many people in this capacity, many doing jobs that they have never done at home much less in the home of someone needing help. They have had some eye openers. The youth try occasionally to have a youth led service on Sunday morning.

      Our church, as most Methodist churches, is know for it’s cooks and have had several good meals served at our Family Night Meals and Fellowship Lunches after church on Sunday. We currently have a group who cook Breakfast for the entire church on the third Sunday of each month. Breakfast is very well attended with an average of 30 to 40 coming for breakfast.

      Once a month on the fourth Wednesday of each month our “Seniors”, get together for fellowship, food, games, and other activities at “Young At Heart”; a group started several years ago to reach the needs of persons over the age of 60. However, no one has ever checked on the age to be sure they are over 60, and all are welcome to come to attend.

      The men of Godley United Methodist Church have had off and on a group of United Methodist Men meeting for breakfast and listening to a guest speaker. The guests; were usually men; who talked about what God had done for them, and does for them in both their lives and occupations. The group was started by Dub Frye and continued in good, strong strength until Dub’s passing in 1984.

      Godley United Methodist has several people both men and women who have been on the Emaus Walk and Godley hosts the Emaus gathering quite frequently.

      There are several certified lay speakers from Godley United Methodist Church, and on the fifth Sundays of the month a lay speaker brings the message during the church services.

      The Sunday morning choir has always been an active group at Godley United Methodist Church. Though sometimes small in number they have always been faithful in leading the music for the church services. Most of the musicians that have served Godley United Methodist Church have been volunteers, serving and giving back the talent that God gave them.  Pianist and organist have been Louise Carrell, Annette Booth, Sharon and Beverly Hopper, Lisa Ganong Davis, Sally Franklin, Becky Rawdon, Misty Fowler, Cheryl Head, Bill Reitz, and Pastor Sally Fleeming. Godley UMC has only had two paid staff musicians, John Seale and Susan Reitz. Some of the choir and music directors have been John Bridges, Gary Landis, Jan Whitehead, Jan Burrows, W. L. “Dub” Frye, David Head, and Judy Arnold. God takes away and God sends new ones to replace the ones in the past that have left for some reason or another.

      The greatest event in the life of Godley United Methodist Church is the annual “Lord’s Acre”. Once a year people put aside their differences and work solely for the “Glory of God.”  There have been many items donated and sold at these auction sales and many people put their talents to work making items to be auctioned. A turkey and dressing dinner always draws people both near and far back to this event once a year. 

      We have come far as a church and we still have much work to do as we continue to serve God at Godley United Methodist Church.

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