Our Rich History

The Methodist Episcopal Church South of Caddo Mills was organized as a mission station, and was one of several churches in a large circuit in Hunt County.  In 1890 the circuit included Floyd, Caddo Mills, Concord, County Line, Massey (Clinton) and Hendrix, and was called the Floyd circuit.  By 1893 the boundaries had been redrawn, and a new circuit called the Clinton circuit, included Clinton, Hendrix, Caddo Mills, Liberty, Meadowview, Bethel, and Etter Lake.

The Rev. James A. Stafford, who was the founder of all these churches, came from Farmersville. He was born in 1855, was converted in 1865, licensed to preach in 1875, and entered itinerancy in 1880. At age twenty-five he began organizing congregations and served as Presiding Elder of the two circuits mentioned above. Mr. Stafford was a Methodist minister for forty-eight years. He was buried in Farmersville where he had lived most of his life.

Caddo Mills was in the Greenville District of the North Texas Conference. In 1880, Annual Conference was held in Dallas.  In 1881, Annual Conference met inGreenville, Texas, and Bishop Kavanaugh presided. Surely some of the Caddo Mills people attended that session.

If the reader wonders why so many small congregations were established, remember that roads were not good, and that hours instead of minutes were required to get from one settlement to another, and when you arrived your horses had to be cared for.

The settlers in these small communities had come from the older states of Arkansas, Tennessee, Alabama, Missouri and Kentucky to live in the new state of Texas where there was plenty of cheap untilled land, and a chance to start over after a long and bitter war. They had few possessions and almost no money. The nation was in an economic depression called a “money panic”, but these new Texans knew that they could survive with the help of God, and that in time most of them would prosper.  They knew that the churches they built would be small and simple, but they would provide meeting places and a chance to start Sunday Schools. There would be a place for worship and for fellowship. Even though the people tithed some of their money, contributions would be small because there was little cash in the country. Many times the preachers took part of their salary in farm produce.

Each summer, protracted meetings were held either under brush arbors or at Massey Schoolhouse in Clinton, which was centrally located for all the churches in the two circuits. They were called protracted meetings because they had a designated date for beginning, but lasted as long as there seemed to be interest.

The record of the first Quarterly Conference for the year 1891 – 1892, Floyd charge, Greenville District, North Texas Conference, lists seven members present. Among them were E. W. Hearn and John Killian, stewards from Caddo Mills. Representatives from all attend these quarterly conferences.  E. W. Hearn was elected secretary of this one.

The report included the following from the conference year 1890 – 1891:

Asking for P.C. (pastor in charge)…..$ 555.00

Paid P.C  …………………………………….   495.89

Conference Claimants …………………….32.00

For the Bishop    ……………………………..7.00

For the Presiding Elder  …………………. 68.00

Foreign Missions…………………………….56.00

Domestic Missions   ………………………..33.00

Church Extension …………………………..14.00

Total Raised……………………   $705.89

The above amount was for the six churches on the circuit.

In a supplement to this same report, signed by J. M. Peterson, P. C. (pastor in charge) was this concerned comment:

                      Dear Brethren,

                      We have no Sunday Schools in the bounds of this circuit,

                      having no church houses, consequently no S.S. As to the

                      instruction of children, we cannot say we have done our

                      whole duty on that line, but am trying to keep the children

                       interested in the subject of religion by talking to them

                      in their homes. If we are ever to save the world, we are

                      to do it by saving the children.

                                              Resp. submitted,

                                             J.  M. Peterson P.C.

In the second quarterly conference of 1891 – 1892, a building committee was elected for Floyd: J.   H. Paul, S. Shephard and J. M. McFarland. It was noted that:

 We have our church here at Floyd nearly ready for occupancy. Then we expect, by the grace of God, to have a Methodist S. S. in it. We hope to see the day ere long when we will have our own church homes and gather ourown children into our own Sunday Schools.

                                          Respectfully submitted,

                                          J. M. Peterson P.C.

On September 10, 1892, Pastor Peterson reported:

We have only one Sabbath School. We have had splendid revivals at each appointment, and we have had one hundred and fifty conversions during these meetings.  Among the listed converts were Virgie Fagg, mother of Aileen Jenkins, and J. M. Coplin, relative of Jack Coplin. 

In the Fourth Quarterly Conference which was conducted at Massey School House (Clinton), J. M. Killian was listed as trustee, C. F. Stevenson was added andC. L. Streetwas recording secretary. These men were among the founding members of the Caddo Mills Church.

Floyd trustees reported their church building completed “on one acre of land valued at $1,300.  Also a parsonage and one acre of land valued at $800. One calf sold for $5.00 and the money paid for paint to paint the house.” These were the first buildings on church property within the circuit of six congregations.

At the Third Quarterly Conference, held at Caddo Mills July 22, 1893, Supplement C in the minutes of the recording secretary, C. L. Street: The conference granted the privilege of building a church to Caddo Mills, and to Clinton, and the following were appointed committee men: E. W. Hearn, Frank Stevenson, John Killian, and I. A. Thomas Pastor for the Clinton Circuit.

By the Fourth Quarterly Conference, October 21, 1893, three churches on the circuit had Sunday Schools: Floyd, Clinton and County Line.

In the First Quarterly Conference January 20, 1894, there was a change in boundaries, and Caddo Mills was on the Clinton Circuit. J. A. Stafford remained the Presiding Elder. Liberty, Bethel, Meadowview, and EtterLakewere with Clinton, Caddo Mills and Hendrix. Rev. C. M. Keith, P. C. wrote sadly,

“There is no Sunday School in this circuit. This due to the destitution of church houses, there being not one on this circuit.”

At the end of the year 1894, Caddo Mills had a church building, a small, almost square structure facing north on the site of the present Choyce Houser home on Joshua Street, diagonally across the street from the present Hanchey Park. The building lot had been purchased from J. W. Boyle, grandfather of William Boyle, who now lives in Caddo Mills. The Rev. E. S. Williams was minister of the church during the building program and the year following.

The late Mrs. H. F. Royce, who was then Miss Laura Bass, was not a member of the new church, but she frequently served as organist, especially during revival services, until Miss Nona Hearn, later Mrs. Wade Thomas, was ready to play for worship services. Miss Bertha Jennings, later Mrs. Garnet Bowman, served as organist for five years.

Caddo Mills Church

In 1908, when the building was only fourteen years old, it was blown away by a tornado. The minister, Rev. C. W. Jacobs, went to work at once to lead the congregation in the construction of a new building. The ground on which the church had stood was sold to Mr. Walter Clark, and the money received started the new building fund.  On June 1, 1909, bond of title was made transferring the lot on which our church now stands to the Methodist Episcopal Church South, to be used henceforth as a house of worship.

During the construction of the second church building in 1909, the congregation met in the school house which stood on the spot where the present high school building now stands. Worship services were held on even Sundays of the month, since Caddo Mills shared a minister with the Floyd Church, where the minister preached on odd Sundays of the month. Sunday School met every Sunday, and there was much singing of Gospel hymns. Rev. W. A. Clarke was minister, followed in 1910 by Rev. L. E. Conklin.

The first Woman’s Missionary Society for Caddo Mills was organized in 1909. We can be sure that Mrs. C. F. Stevenson was one of its officers.

The new educational building was to have been opened on December 11, 1949. Much of the work on it had been done by members of the congregation. Early in the morning on Monday, December 5, 1949, the church was destroyed by fire. The old building was completely destroyed, and the new educational building was left a blackened shell. Cause of the fire was never determined.

The disaster left the congregation stunned and saddened. Everything had seemed to be going so well.  That Monday evening the official board of the congregation and a number of other persons met together to affirm the fact that the church is not the building, but rather the people who meet there for worship and praise to God. They would begin again to build.

Insurance of $10,000 was the nucleus of a building fund. The shell of the educational building was cut into two parts and sold for approximately $1200. During the planning and construction of the new building the congregation again used the school building for worship and study.

A called session of quarterly conference elected H. V. Jordan general chairman of the building committee. Thurman D. Bethea was chairman of the architectural committee; J. D. Coplin was chairman of finance; H. A. Royce was chairman of construction; Mrs. Lewis Simms was chairman of equipment; and W. L. Sanders was chairman of memorials.

Caddo Mills Church

Others on the building committee were T. A. Vaughan, T. B. Weatherley, Jr., Glen Graham, Rennell Royce, Mrs. M. D. Shuler, Harold Payne, Mrs. Odis Nesbitt, Guy Payne, Edgar Farr, Bob Pinegar, W. C. Dillon, Mrs. Coy Jenkins, Mrs. J. 0. Cotner, Mrs. W. W. Bost, Paul Milam, Mrs. Manless Bearding, T. W. Griggs, and Bruce Newman.  Lewis Simms was chairman of the official board.

James A. Russell of Alexander and Russell, Dallas, was secured as architect for the building. In late April, 1950, the building committee approved plans for the new structure and proceeded with the campaign to raise the necessary funds to finance the work. Among the means used was one that received publicity in the Dallas Morning News for April 23, 1950, and in the Christian Advocate for May 18, 1950. This was the picture of Glen M. Graham and his fat calf, the first of several to be dedicated when born, to be fed for a year and given to the church to be sold for the building fund.

Caddo Mills Methodist Church

On the morning of Sunday, July 16, 1 950, eleven o’clock worship service was held under a big tent which had been erected on the church building site. The sermon topic was Achieving The Impossible. The text was Joshua 6:2-20.  “All things are possible to him that believeth. Vision, courage, effort, confidence–these are the keys to unlock secret doors in our lives, in the church, and in the community.” To the young minister who preached, and to the congregation who heard, this was a challenge to get on with the task at hand, and to build a church, to the glory of God.

That afternoon, the Rev. Earl R. Hoggard, Greenville District Superintendent, preached the sermon for ground breaking ceremonies. On that day, Paul Milam, Odis Nesbitt, and Bob Pinegar rededicated their lives.

On August 11, 1950, the first quarterly conference of the Caddo Mills-Salem Kinser charge authorized the board of trustees of the Caddo Mills Methodist Church to “borrow money not exceeding the sum of $12,500 at an annual rate not exceeding 5% for the purpose of replacing a church building destroyed by fire, with the provision that said loan shall be repaid in a maximum of ten years.”

In the North Texas Annual Conference in June, 1952, a certificate of award was given to the Caddo Mills Methodist Church for being the outstanding rural station church, and its minister, the Rev. Neyland Hester, was selected as the outstanding rural minister of a station church. In 1951, the church had become a full time parish and its ties with Salem Kinser church were ended.

In June 1953, Mr. Hester was assigned to First Methodist Church in Lancaster, Texas where there was need for a minister who could lead a congregation in a program to build a new sanctuary.  The Rev. Kenneth B. Mcintosh came to Caddo Mills from his first charge in Chicota, Texas, where in 1953, he had received the award for being the outstanding pastor of a circuit for theNorth Texas Annual Conference.

On November 20, 1955, with the church indebtedness retired in five years instead of the allotted ten, the church was formally dedicated to the glory of God and the service of man, by Bishop William C. Martin. The church observed its seventy-fifth birthday with a Thanksgiving feast in Fellowship Hall.

During the ensuing five years three ministers, the Rev. Barrett Renfro, the Rev. Bill Weir, and the Rev. Kenneth Smith, kept alive the growing perception that the church must have more space for the religious education of its children and youth.  In 1962, that dream of more space began to take shape with a gift from the estate of Mrs. J. A. Harper (Carrie) who never lost her feeling for her home church. A check for $4000 came to the Rev. Charles R. Peters, and a building committee was formed to begin planning.

Ground was broken as soon as there was $10,000 in the bank to begin construction. The Rev. Sam Smith was pastor when the building was begun.  Mrs. John Pemberton, Senior, who was chairman of the commission on education, turned the first shovel of earth at ground breaking ceremony. The rectangular structure is thirty-eight feet by forty-eight feet, and contains six classrooms. Six classes were able to move out of curtained sections of Fellowship Hall into their own class rooms.

This new building was named Harper Hall, in loving memory of the dedicated Christian woman whose love for her church lives on through her gift.  Harper Hall was free of indebtedness in mid-summer 1967, and on August 20, a note burning service was held on the church lawn, with the Rev. R. David Shawver the “pastor in charge.”  H. V. Jordan was chairman of the administrative board and John Pemberton, Sr. was vice-chairman.

The Rev. William Stephenson, District Superintendent of Dallas Northeast of which Caddo Mills was a member, preached the dedication sermon. For the pastor, the Rev. R. David Shawver and his wife Sandra, the occasion would be especially memorable, because on that day their new son, Casey D. Shawver, was baptized.

In 1978-79, the new building developed structural problems because of the nature of the soil on this blackland prairie during periods of prolonged drought. The main building also had problems and would require repairs. As the administrative board wondered where the money was to come from – – God moved once again in a visible and unexpected way.

Roy Nunn, administrator of the estate of Mr. Clyde Clark, a resident of Arlington, Virginia, whose boyhood had been spent in Caddo Mills, and whose mother, Mrs. Beulah Nichols Clark, had once been a faithful member of the Methodist Church in Caddo Mills, came bringing a check for three thousand dollars left by Clyde in memory of his mother. The gift was undesignated, so the administrative board, in humble gratitude for the two Christian benefactors rechristened the educational building Harper-Clark Hall, and used the latest bequest to repair the building. Rev. Roy W. Bevan was minister at the time.

Since the 1940’s the parsonage had been in poor condition. Refurbished in 1951 with fresh paint and wallpaper during the residence of the Neyland Hesters, it received a coat of beige exterior paint by the Rev. Charles R. Peters assisted by a few laymen. Charles laid a pretty curved brick walk and planter box. In 1965, the Rev. Fred McGee, who had a large family, added a room with his own lumber and labor.

In April, 1972, the Chimes carried the following item:

The Parsonage Fund was begun in October, 1967, with memorial gifts, and added to, first by $50.00 per month paid for cleaning the church, and raised to $60.00 per month in April, 1969. The volunteers who have, over a period of 55 months, done the church cleaning have added a sizable amount to the fund. Personal giving by members who wanted to see a parsonage built has added more.  Broken down, the total is:

Cleaning (gift of the workers) ……….                $3307.00

Bluebonnet Class (toward cleaning)………         412.50

Harper Class …………………………                        110.00

Nursery Class (Mary and Sherry)………….         20.00

W.S.C.S ……………………………..                         100.00

Individuals and families………………                  3215.25

Memorials and accrued interest…………             1981.74

Total (as of April 23, 1972) …………..                $9146.49

When the administrative board met in May, 1972, the decision was made to begin building in early June, 1972. A building committee was elected with Maurice Clack as chairman and Curtis Karr, Manless Beard mg, and Dusty Payne as members. Jodie Nesbitt and Carolyn Swafford were appointed to choose colors for the interior, select floor coverings and draperies, and purchase furnishings.

When the Leonard Tomlinson family moved during the last week in May, Maurice advertised the existing parsonage for sale to be moved from the lot. Within two weeks it was gone, sold for $1,000, and Maurice and sons Jimmy and Gary set about clearing and leveling the ground, and building began. The new parsonage was ready for the new minister and his wife to move into it around Thanksgiving, 1972. During construction, the Rev. Fred Durham and Teresa had lived in the government housing project complex. Cost of parsonage $21 ,000.

On December 16, 1973, an open house reception was held at the parsonage to welcome members and friends of the church to the new home.  By this time the parsonage family had increased.  Young Frederick Leighton Durham Ill, had arrived.

In September, 1974, the Rev. Fred Durham left Caddo Mills. He was followed by the Rev. Michael J. Flynn, who came from an associate pastorate inFirstMethodistChurch, Rockwall. Ahigh pointin his ministry was the church’s homecoming in 1975 when the town had its centennial week. The sanctuary overflowed with friends and former members who had come from far and near.

In 1977, the Rev. Roy W. Bevan came from First Methodist Church in Celina, and for the next two years worked diligently to get the church to plan a church wide repair and refurbishing project.  The first church directory since 1938, was completed. The maroon dossal hanging, the dossal hood, and the hanging cross over the altar table were installed in 1978.

In June 1979, the Rev. Jack Meyer & his wife Ouidga, and three children, Christi, Katie, and Andy came to live in the parsonage. This was the first time in several years that there had been three children in the church’s parsonage. It is a good experience. The church looks forward to another hundred years, with faith in God who has brought us to this day.

THE MEMBERSHIP THROUGH 1980

                 No record has been found which lists the charter members of the newly organized church. Existing records and rolls of the church were destroyed when the church building burned on December 5, 1949, but some can be traced in Bridwell Library at Southern Methodist University, Dallas. Probably not more than six or eight families were represented in the thirty-nine original members whose names were on the first church roll made by the Rev. J. A. Stafford.

The following families were known to have become members during the early years of the church’s life: E. W. Hearn, Burl Killian, John Killian, W. M. Killian, Jim Jennings,George C. Street, A. B. Andrews, Ben Morrison, William Fagg, George L. VanCleave, and C. F. Stevenson.

From its 39 original members in 1880, the church has grown very slowly in numbers, but it has lived in the community as a force for good, always growing spiritually.

The present church membership as reported at Annual Conference in June, 1980, is 196. Church school membership is 154, and the average attendance at worship for the year 1979-1980 was 76.

THE UNITED METHODIST WOMEN THROUGH 1980

                 The Woman’s Missionary Society was organized in the Caddo Mills M. E. Church South in 1909, with the completion of the second church building. From its beginning its attention was focused on the spiritual growth of its members, on the needs of the local church, and on its missional outreach, both “foreign and domestic”.

In 1939 the Woman’s Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, became the Women’s Society of Christian Service of the Methodist Church. This was after the Uniting Conference, when the northern and southern branches of the Methodist Church came together again.

In 1968, at General Conference, which met in Dallas that year, the Methodist Church merged with the Evangelical Church of the Brethren, and the name United Methodist Women was adopted by the women’s organization.

The U.M.W. has four priorities:  spiritual growth, supportive fellowship, local church needs, and missional emphasis. Always a strong force in the Caddo Mills Church, the U.M.W. sponsors Bible study and fellowship, and is the source of much of the church’s giving to missions, local, national, and world-wide.

The U.M.W. has at present about forty members, of whom about twenty are active. Membership is open to any woman who wishes to become a part of the work and fellowship. Each year the women’s group gives from one to four special memberships to people who have served the church. Money from these memberships goes to missions.
 
THE HISTORY CONTINUED
 

In June 1979, the Rev. Jack Meyer & his wife Ouidga, and three children, Christi, Katie, and Andy came to live in the parsonage. This was the first time in several years that there had been three children in the church’s parsonage. It was a good experience. The church looks forward to another hundred years, with faith in God who has brought us to this day. Jack & Ouidga Meyer was again appointed to serve in 1980.

In 1981, Ron Adams was appointed to Caddo Mills UMC and Bethel UMC was added to the charge.  Ron brought an abundance of energy to the Church and almost immediately an increase in attendance and membership occurred but some people thought he also brought pain and division to the Church. Ron worked hard, but seemed to lack the gift that was required for service in his chosen profession.

The current sanctuary structure was, over time, in need of drastic repair, so much so that the insurance company would not insure the building for occupancy. A committee was appointed to determine whether to make the needed repairs to maintain the historical value of the building or tear down and rebuild. While there was disagreement, the decision was made to rebuild, starting with an education building designed to meet the needs of a fellowship hall and be a temporary sanctuary during construction.

In less than a year, however, the Church was split and a majority of our members left and founded another non-denominational Church. This had to be the most painful experience our Church has had to endure. The separation of this congregation was like a divorce when one of the parties was not ready. Why it occurred can be debated, but perhaps it had to do with disagreement over the building decisions and expenses involved, or perhaps some members did not want to be associated with a connectional mainstream denomination, or perhaps it had to do with a Pastor who people disagreed with. Regardless of the reason, the Church and the community took a long time to heal.

In 1982, Henry and Linda Suche came to our Church. They were partners in service to the Church and brought healing to the community after some rough times.  Linda taught an adult Sunday school class and was as much a pastor to the Church as Henry.  Henry was very active in the community, serving on the volunteer fire department and assisting in the High School sports programs. During this time, the Fellowship Hall was demolished to make room for a new Church facility.  Bill Turner was appointed to oversee the construction of a new Fellowship Hall and Sunday school area. The facility was completed in 1984, without the interior walls so that it could be used as a sanctuary while the old facility was demolished to make room for the new sanctuary. The new interim sanctuary was placed in service in 1985 and further plans for a construction of the new sanctuary were put on hold as the membership was changing so rapidly.

Henry and Linda were moved in the fall of 1986 and Bob and Charlotte Warford were appointed to CMUMC. Initially Bob faced the normal obstacles caused by a preacher getting moved when the congregation was not ready for the change, coupled with the normal challenges of a building project but he worked through most of those and tried to serve the Lord and our Church the best he could.

In 1987, we partitioned the facility into a Fellowship Hall and Sanctuary and raised the pulpit area. In that same year, we replaced the pews, added new communion rails and built a back for the communion table.  In 1988, Tony Gavin and Bill Turner added an entry and nave to the front of the Church. Even though it was a temporary addition, it added a lot to the appearance of the facility.

In 1989, Rene and Pam Lawson came to lead the Church.

In 1991, Don and Kay Griffin and family came to the Church for a two year stay. They came from Winnsboro and were a very young family.

In 1993, Lois Cooper was assigned to the Caddo/Merit charge, our first female Pastor. Lois was a retired minister from the Dallas area and she and her husband Dick moved from Richardson. Lois and Dick were active in the community and senior citizens organization. Dick passed away during this appointment. In 1999-2000, we extended the front of the building to include a quiet room and pastor office (these are also used as Sunday school rooms). We also added a steeple and landscaped the front of the complex.

In 2001, the church went from having a full time to a part time Pastor as attendance dwindled after the split of the church. Thom Street was appointed to the Caddo/Merit charge as a student pastor, attending SMU. He and his wife Vicki, & son Jason came to Caddo Mills from Fort Myers, Florida and were here only two years. We added the sound system this year.

In the summer of 2003, Paul, Donna, and Michael Evans moved in as our pastor family. Paul came here from Bront United Methodist Church as a student pastor and also held the Merit Charge. They quickly added a lot of energy to the Church and the community. The first year they were here, Donna taught school in the Farmersville ISD, and then moved to Caddo Mills ISD in the second year. Paul immediately added an after school program for kids “Caddo Kids Club”, which was very successful and helped bring additional families to the Church because of the strong children’s ministry.

In August 2004, we purchased a new parsonage. Mozzell Bearding moved to a retirement home in Greenville, TX and offered to sell her house to the Church for a good price. Considering the foundation problems that existed with the current parsonage, we voted to acquire the house for a new parsonage. The Church applied for a loan from the Texas Methodist Foundation, which was granted.  We also applied for a grant from the New Visionaries to assist with the purchase.  The details are $72,000 to Mozzell Bearding, $68,000 loan from The Texas Methodist Foundation, closing cost, including survey, title policy, etc was $1,993.50, and a down payment of $4,000.

In September of 2004, we received a grant of $10,000 from the New Visionaries program and immediately applied it to the loan, which reduced the principle to under $58,000.

In November of 2004, Mozzell Bearding passed away and left her entire estate to the Church. The estate was probated in January 2005 and we immediately paid off the note to the Texas Methodist Foundation. The Church also returned $10,000 to the New Visionaries program.

In January, 2005, we signed a contract to have the old parsonage removed and started plans for use of the lot. The building was torn down and removed in May 2005. In the weeks that followed, we had the foundation removed and the lot was cleaned and leveled. Also in May 2005, we completely reworked one of the bathrooms in the new parsonage.

At the 2005 Annual Conference in WF, the Church received the Marvin T. Judy Award. Our church along with two others will be recognized for excellence in Town and Country Ministries.

In May 2006, Paul and his family moved to Borne,Texasand we had to use lay speakers for three Sundays. The Church used the extra time to prepare the parsonage for the new pastor.

In June 2006, Heath, Andrea, Annabell, and Ava Bradley moved in as our pastor family. They moved from the Como UMC and continued as a Student Local Pastor. Heath and Andrea were just kids themselves, but were very smart and talented. His messages were very interesting and he made good use of the projector, showing scenes and pictures that added to his sermon points. Heath enjoyed playing softball and the Church had a team in the couple’s league. They were members of theArkansasconference and were only here while Heath attended SMU.

In June 2008, Tim Payne and his wife Mandy came to Caddo Mills/Merit as a Student Local Pastor. They moved from the Dallas area where Tim had been an associate pastor at the First United Methodist in Corsicana.  In preparation for Tim and Mandy, the Church had the ceilings and bathroom painted and replaced the appliances in the kitchen (oven, cooktop, dishwasher, and added a microwave/vent).  In the summer of 2009, we had the parsonage leveled (Perma-Pier Foundation). In July 2010, Tim and Mandy moved to McKinney where they soon had their first baby.

During 2009 the Merit Church disbanded and that charge was terminated. With that, Caddo Mills UMC returned to a single charge assignment. In December 2009,  Harper Hall was torn down and removed. (Chip Vance demolished and removed the building for $4656.34)

Debbie Lyons became our pastor in June 2010. She moved from St Andrew UMC, Plano and was really looking
forward to being in Caddo Mills.  Debbie brings a lot of energy and organizational savvy to the Church which has been needed for some time. During her first year, we had a Blessing of the Pets, Fifth Quarter activity for kids after the home football games, large Halloween party with pumpkin carving, blow-up tunnel, and lots of trick-or-treats for the kids and at Christmas, we had a float in the Caddo Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade. We are becoming very visible in the community again. We also now have regular and ongoing Bible studies, Alpha  classes, an active women’s ministry (Girlfriends of Grace).  Debbie employs all the latest audio and visual tools and we developed our first web site and Facebook page.

In the summer of 2011, we started the Happy Hour on Wednesday nights. This involved a mailing to most residents within a 6 mile radius of the Church and as a result we had several start attending. The Happy Hour services included a meal, good music, and a short message. We also provided a fun night for the kids, which encouraged and supported a family service. For the music, we brought in Jackie Payne, who added a great deal to the success of the Wednesday night program.  Membership continued to grow.

In July 2011, the church energy and membership growth was enough that we decided to take a leap of faith and return to a having a full time pastor.  The decision was endorsed unanimously. In the fall of 2011, we began our second Alpha class, which was large enough for two groups, and Pastor Debbie continued offering ongoing Bible studies.

In February 2012, we remodeled the front bathroom of the Church to make it handicap compliant. In October we repaved the parking lot on TX 66 (apx. $16,000) and landscaped the back flower beds as well. In 2013, following some water damage in the Fellowship restrooms, both bathrooms were remodeled.

Membership continues to grow, and the energy in the church is exciting and the power of the Holy Spirit is amazing!
In 2013 we began an after school ministry at Lee Elementary where we provide a mini-VBS experience for kids in 3rd-5th grades on Tuesday afternoons in the spring and fall.  In 2015, we hired a part time Children’s Minister and we began seeing growth in our young families immediately!  We soon recognized that we had outgrown our current space and began analyzing the growth coming in this direction from Royce City and tried several approaches, finally agreeing to begin looking for affordable land, 6-7 acres, and buying a new portable building, 500 sq. ft., to be used for education in the summer of 2016.
 
Recognizing that we were not large enough to build on new land, The Church Council  also voted to approve a capital expenditure of $65,000 to freshen up the sanctuary, but that changed in October 2016 when a flood led to the closing of Fellowship Hall and need to completely remodel. Between the insurance settlement and cash we had in the bank, the Church Council agreed to COMPLETELY renovate the building, enlarging the sanctuary  and turning it into a multi-purpose space, and converting the former Fellowship Hall into a Welcome Center/Holy Grounds area for coffee and conversation, as well as storage.
 
The new education building consecrated for educational use in January 2017 (CLICK HERE to see a brief video)  and we also added a wonderful new playground for our kids and the community!  
 
In January 2017, we received an AMAZING and 
unexpected blessing!! A former member of our church, Ruby Nesbit, who had left CMUMC when she moved to Colorado MANY years before, left an incredible $70,000 to the Church after her death!  Something in her faith as a child and young adult made SUCH an impact on her life that she remembered it and wanted to give back to God even years 
later! 
 

We are prepared to be amazed by God!