History of FUMC of Tom Bean
The First United Methodist Church of Tom Bean traces its origins all the way back to the mid–1800s. The Old Cedar Community was settled in 1848 by Grayson County pioneers. Two weeks each summer, people would come from miles around, to pitch their tents under the great trees which covered the grounds. An arbor was built- first a brush-covered one, and later a permanent one which was shingled, and would seat a large audience. People would forget all worldly responsibilities, and launch forth in a campaign for saving souls. The meetings at the campground were discontinued in 1914. Cedar Methodist Church was organized in 1871. A Methodist congregation at the Whitemound community arose from the Cedar Campground meetings in 1885. A two-story building was built. The first floor was used for worship and the upstairs rooms were used for lodge meetings. In 1903, the Whitemound Methodists purchased a lot in Tom Bean and in 1906, the two-story Whitemound Methodist church was moved to its new location. The upstairs rooms were again used for lodge meetings and during WWI they were used for Red Cross workrooms. The church burned in 1924 displacing the Methodists. The Tom Bean Presbyterians invited their neighbors to join them and the two congregations began sharing the Presbyterian Church building until 1928, when a tornado destroyed the church building. By the early 1960’s, the number of Presbyterians in the church had dwindled to three and the Presbyterian governing body wanted to sell to the Methodists. That is how we became The First United Methodist Church of Tom Bean.
Perrin Air Force Base had announced its closing and was in the process of selling off its buildings, and the committee decided to attempt to purchase the chapel. The price for the chapel on base, complete with pews was $500. The $500 and a letter with the promise to preserve the heritage of the Perrin Air Force Base Chapel were sent to the Senior Chaplain of the Air Force. The First United Methodist Church of Tom Bean was awarded the right to purchase the Perrin Air Force Base Chapel in early 1973. The entire Tom Bean community- not just the Methodists, got involved in the project. The chapel was set on its foundation on May 21, 1974. The first worship service was held in the chapel on March 9, 1975. Ultimately, the church paid $42,000 for the chapel, two barracks, setup, brick, and cleanup of the former site. The church was able to create Sunday school classrooms, a Fellowship Hall with kitchen, as well as a beautiful new sanctuary. Over the years additional renovations to the space have been made. On April 20, 1986 there was a joint Charge Conference held for the purpose of approving a merger with the Cedar Methodist Church. The merger was unanimously approved and the Cedar members were happily welcomed into our congregation. On June 1, 1986 the first service of the merged First United Methodist Church and the Cedar Methodist Church was held in our facility bringing the Methodist Community full circle.