Collection on the North Texas Conference Epworth League
A Guide to the Collection
The Epworth League was a ministry to and by youth and young adults started by the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1889 and adopted by the Methodist Episcopal Church, South in 1890. The League’s object was “to promote intelligent and vital piety in the young members and friends of the Church, to aid them in the attainment of purity of heart and constant growth in grace, and to train them in works of mercy and help.” (Source: The Doctrines and Disciplines of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1892.)
In Texas, the movement to establish Epworth Leagues began at the local level. The Texas State Epworth League formed in 1892. Annual Conference-level leagues began in 1893 when Bishop Joseph S. Key organized the North Texas Conference Epworth League.
The North Texas Conference Epworth League encouraged its members to support missionary work and to consider entering the mission field. Among the many North Texas Epworthians who volunteered for missionary service, Ruby Rachel Kendrick of Plano is noteworthy. Kendrick dedicated her life to foreign mission work in 1904 at the age of 21. After addressing the 1907 annual session of the North Texas Conference Epworth League, she traveled to Korea. During the 1908 annual session, an enthusiastic letter from Ruby Kendrick was read to the gathering. One day later the conference received word of her death. In her memory, the North Texas Conference Epworth League established the Ruby Kendrick Memorial Fund and later renamed its Department of Missionary Work the Ruby Kendrick Council of Missions.
In 1930 the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South directed its Board of Education to take over the work of the Epworth League. This transition eventually led to the development of the Methodist Youth Fellowship.
Vernon, Walter N. et al. The Methodist Excitement in Texas. Dallas: The Texas United Methodist Historical Society, 1984.
Methodist Episcopal Church. The Doctrines and Discipline of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1892. New York: Hunt & Eaton, 1892.
North Texas Conference Epworth League. Journal and Yearbook. 1921.
Bridwell Library’s collection on the North Texas Epworth League documents the history and work of a regional youth and young adult ministry within the Methodist Episcopal Church, South during the first three decades of the twentieth century. Materials in the collection include annual session programs, yearbooks, a group portrait, a delegate ribbon, and three felt pennants.
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[Identification of item], Collection on the North Texas Conference Epworth League, Bridwell Library, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University.
Acquired. Collection created in 2011 from internal holdings. The 1919-1925 print items were given to Bridwell Library by Lois Todd Johnson and Margaret Todd Shugert in 1956. The group photograph in file 9 was given by Lois Todd Johnson in 1968.
Processed by Timothy S. G. Binkley, 2012
Timothy S. G. Binkley, 2012
Ada Negraru, 2012
Detailed Description of the Collection