Monday, May 22, 2006

Thanks, Willie

I was appointed pastor of the Abbott United Methodist Church in 1995, and was there until June of 1999. I remember those years fondly. Attendance varied from 15 to 21 on average, and I remember being excited because we had 54 there one Easter.

We used to eat every Sunday after worship at the Turkey Shop, the once and future icon of the tiny town of Abbott. Abbott also happens to be the hometown of Willie Nelson, who grew up Methodist.

The Abbott United Methodist Church closed on Saturday, May 20. I and other former pastors were invited back for the service. The sanctuary was full, we sang together, and then we each had an opportunity to share memories of that place. Mine were all good.

One of the first things I noticed as we drove up was a "For Sale" sign with a "SOLD" banner across it, standing in front of the church. The Rev. Reed Justus, pastor of the First United Methodist Church of Hillsboro, who hosted the service, shared the fate of the building.

It has been bought by its most famous member, Willie Nelson, and will be preserved.

Thanks, Willie.


At 11:07 AM, Blogger J. Scott McKay said...

Another church closing..."Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain"

At 2:14 PM, Blogger The Methotaku said...

Wow! It's sad to hear of a church closing, but the members are still there, in the Church Triumphant, and the building is safe. Maybie some day it can that building will house a new church.

At 5:09 PM, Blogger Mark Winter said...

Hey, Steve,

What's Willie going to do with the church building? Do you know?

At 5:31 PM, Blogger Dr. Dale Schultz said...

I wish that I could have been there. Twenty-four Annual Conferences ago, our Bishop assigned me to my first pastoral appointment. The Abbott-Brandon Charge. (The Brandon Church closed several years ago; another rural community fading from the Texas landscape.)

Both churches were wonderful. I couldn't have had a better beginning in ministry.

One of my treasures is photograph of Willie Hugh (yes, that Willie), standing in front of the Mrs. Baird's Bread rack in the Abbott Cash Grocery.


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