Generations of families from the New Hope community outside of Brownsboro gathered for a Texas Historical Marker dedication ceremony at New Hope United Methodist Church on Saturday.
The marker tells the history of the New Hope community, centering around the combination church and school that was built when people moved into the area in the late 1800s.
“We are so excited to have this marker that represents and commemorates the history of not just our church, but the community, the area and the generations that paved the way for us to be here today,” said New Hope United Methodist pastor Rev. Kaylea Van Wettering.
One of the church’s eldest members, Chester Jackson, was in attendance to unveil the marker along with his daughter Jo Ann Peters, granddaughter Kelly Bustos and great-grandson Benjamin Bustos, 1. Jackson’s mother, Velma Jackson, was an early historian of the church, and their ancestors gave the land for the church to be built.
The marker reads: “New Hope United Methodist Church.
Located south of Brownsboro in the community known as New Hope, the New Hope United Methodist Church began as a small gathering in a combination school and church building. Church records began in 1884, but services likely date to the 1860s when several pioneer families moved to Vale Springs from the Friendship Community.
In 1889, members moved their church to land donated by James Thomas Jackson and his wife Mariah ‘Aunt Click’ Jackson. The church and school building was moved to a hill until a new frame building could be erected. While located on New Hope hill, the church was renamed New Hope Methodist Episcopal Church, South. In 1893, the church established New Hope Cemetery when church members’ children contracted typhoid fever. As a small, rural church, Sunday services were limited to once a month. Each summer, members would walk for miles to attend the church’s revival events held under brush arbors.
In 1918, the Reverend B.C. Ansley and his wife, Nannie, donated land for the church. While they prepared to build a new church, members worshipped in a tomato shed on the property. A red brick sanctuary was erected by the winder of 1963.
With an active youth group and activities, community gardens and outreach, and involvement in national and state relief efforts, the church congregation has maintained a bond through the generations. Still on the circuit system, the New Hope United Methodist Church continues its mission of faith and service, significantly impacting the New Hope community.”