The United Methodist Church of Whitehouse was organized as The Methodist Episcopal Church South, between the years 1845-49. It first met in a slab building, the first to be built, located where the present Middle School building stands. An immigrant family brought some whitewash with them and donated it for the beautification of this building. This was the meeting place for business meetings, social gatherings, school classes and church services.
Shirley Terry Smith’s book, “Whitehouse, Texas: 1840-60,” is the only known source for historical data. It reflects that Reverend Caleb Smith, a pioneer Methodist preacher in East Texas, preached in this building, and also served the folks at Bascom, organizing a church there in 1857. It became customary to refer to this building as “the white house,” and soon the community itself was known as “Whitehouse.”
The next public building erected was a Methodist Church. This was a log building built in 1848. Charter members were Philip and Mirandy Killingsworth, Anderson and Nancy Lee Burns, Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Rhone, Mr. and Mrs. J.H. Butler. The first church building was 16 x 25 feet, built on logs, two panels to the side. It was tied with pegs in the center, with two shutter windows on each side and one window in the north end. A board door served as the south entrance.
A new white frame church with a bell tower was erected in 1868 and was in use until 1925, when a new church building was constructed at Highway 110 and FM 346.
In 1971, seven acres of land were purchased on FM 346 for the purpose of building a new church plant and parsonage. The present Sanctuary was built on this property in 1975. The Activity Building was added in 1977, and the Education Building in 1980. In 1987, the second floor of the Education Building was completed, adding some much-needed classroom space.
As our church continues to build toward the future, we are ever mindful of our statement of purpose adopted in 1986: “The purpose of Whitehouse United Methodist Church is to glorify God by meeting the needs of the congregation and community though fellowship, service, and worship and by equipping one another for ministry though the proclamation and teaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ.” So to all who stand in the need of the grace of our Lord, we welcome with open arms, open hearts and open minds! Come… and join the family!
Quilt section depicting the Charter Members of the WUMC