Organization of Lindale Presbyterian Church
At a meeting of East Texas Presbytery at Longview in the Fall of 1880, a Committee was appointed to organize a church at Lindale if the way be clear. Rev. W. R. McLelland and Elders J. M. Shelby and Thos. Niblack were appointed said Committee.
On the twenty sixth (26) day of March, 1881, the Committee met at the above named place.
The following persons were recd by letter from Bethesda Church, Alabama. Viz:
W. T. (William T.) McGahey
M.E. (Martha Elizabeth Henderson) McGahey
W. D. (William Daniel) Henderson
Wm. L. (William Lee) Henderson
E. S. (Eleanor Selina Shelby) Henderson
S. J. (Sarah Jane) Henderson
F. S. (Franklin Smith) Henderson
Jas. (James) McGahey
The following from Tyler:
Thos. A. Love
Francis A. Love
J. A. (Joseph Asmon) Henderson
Mrs. S. J. (Samantha Jane LaGrone) Henderson
Hugh C. Henderson
Mrs. Hugh Henderson
The following were duly elected Elders of Lindale Church.
Wm. L. Henderson
J. A. Henderson
The former, having been previously ordained, was installed. The latter was ordained & installed according to the authorized form.
The following brethren were Elected, ordained & Installed Deacons—
Thos. A. Love
F. S. Henderson
The church was then declared fully equipped for duty and the blessing of The Holy Trinity invoked upon it.
(Session Records, v. 1, p. 1 and 2).
“Bethesda Presbyterian Church is located about four miles northeast of Lindale station on the International and Great Northern Railroad, and sixteen miles northwest from Tyler, the county seat of Smith County. It was first called LINDALE Presbyterian Church, but, in 1885, by request of the church, the Presbytery ordered the named changed to BETHESDA.
The house of worship derives its name from the Bethesda Church, Perry County, Alabama, which obtained its name from the old Bethesda Church, York District, South Carolina.
The Session of this church met first on April 10, 1881, with the Rev. Mr. Paxton as Moderator, and the minute was signed by J. A. Henderson, Clerk. The second meeting was on October 30, 1881, with Rev. J. D. Burkhead, evangelist of the Presbytery, as Moderator.
There is no record in the Session book about the erection of the first building for worship, but a sketch prepared by the Rev. Thomas Ward White, evangelist of the Presbytery, during the summer of 1895, provides this information:
All the members, with perhaps one exception, are children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of one family, which moving to Texas in December of 1879, erected a shelter and obtained the service of a shepherd before building for themselves the plainest residences."
About the Church
In other records from Montreat:
The official files from the Department of History (Montreat), Presbyterian Study Center, Montreat, North Carolina, give this version: