First United Methodist Church of Odem
The Rev. F. H. Barnhouse held the first recorded church services in the city of Odem in the home of J. W. Wright in 1909. Soon after, Sunday School services were held in the vacant store that was formerly the site of the Gisler blacksmith shop at 400 Main Street.
In 1910-11 the First Methodist Church of Odem was organized under the leadership of the Rev. J. A. Pledger. The Rev. W. N. Carl organized the congregation's efforts to build its first small church building at 401 Main Street. There were nine charter members: Mr. and Mrs. George Humphries, Sr., George Humphries, Jr., Otto Humphries, Alva Humphries, Zula Humphries, Jarred B. Clark, Mrs. Anna Clark and Miss Lula Williams. The congregation grew, and in 1922 the first parsonage was purchased at 306 Kline Street. The Rev. W. F. Buss was the first pastor to live there.
Through the years several hurricanes damaged the original church building. In 1949 the congregation broke ground to build a new sanctuary. The old frame church was dismantled and its lumber used in the construction of the new building. Services were held in the Odem High School auditorium until the new building was completed in 1951. The new sanctuary had stained glass windows paid for by family donations, and in 1964 an electric carillon was placed on the roof. The sanctuary was badly damaged by hurricane Celia in 1970 but repairs were covered by insurance and volunteer labor.
The First United Methodist Church of Odem continues to thrive and has grown to include educational services and supports numerous civic activities in Odem. (1999)
Historical Marker Location: 1301 Haisley Ave. Odem
Source: Texas Historical Commission