The history of Tennison Memorial UMC is about generations of families who faithfully dedicated their lives to Christ’s work through toil and service in and for the church. Throughout the past 160 years, in difficult times and booming times, the members of the Methodist church gave unselfishly of their time, energies and money to their church and its members. It is a tribute to them that Tennison Memorial UMC has attained what we are today.
A journal entry of the Methodist Conference held in 1847 shows that a preacher was assigned to Mt. Pleasant.
The 1860 census for Titus County reported one Methodist church with a property value of $120.
The first mention of a Methodist church structure was after the Civil War (circa 1864) when Elam Riddle deeded a lot on the Southeast comer of 3rd and Jefferson Streets to the Methodist and Baptists. A wooden structure was erected by the Methodist and both denominations used this church building on alternate Sundays for many years.
In 1893 C.C. Carr, Sr. gave to the Methodist East Church South a large lot on the Northwest comer of East 3rd and Church Streets for church purposes, conditioned upon the erection of a building within 2 years.
The church was constructed on this lot and subsequently burned in 1915. A tabernacle was erected for meetings on the Southwest corner of 4th and North Jefferson which was used until 1921 when the basement was finished in the large brick church building that was erected on the comer of E. 3rd and Church Streets.
This sanctuary was completed in 1924 with an indebtedness of about $25,000 which was paid by Booker Tennison, Jr. in honor of the memory of his parents. Thus, the church has since been named Tennison Memorial United Methodist Church.
It has been documented that in an effort to paint the interior walls a “pleasing pink” to create a peaceful atmosphere, a mistaken purchase was made of a shade of pink not usually associated with worship – HOT PINK! With the budget spent and the walls dry. Worship was conducted surrounded by an ambiance of hot pink.
In 1949 the church was renovated and construction began on the Education Building, which was completed and dedicated in 1955.
In the 1960’s, plans were made to build a new sanctuary. Additional land was purchased north of the church and the new sanctuary was formally opened in 1967. The stained glassed windows and the pipe organ were saved from the previous structure and are still a vital part of the present sanctuary.
In 1990 the newest addition to our facilities, a beautiful chapel, was given by Margaret and John Mullins in memory of their parents and was dedicated as the Broadstreet – Mullins Chapel. Ms. Mullins was the granddaughter of the Tennisons for whom the church is named.
The story of Tennison continues and in 2005, after extensive study, the congregation voted to remain at its current location. To further commitment to its mission the congregation purchased two lots immediately to the west facing East 3rd street.
As part of the commitment to move “Forward In Faith”, the congregation committed to the construction of a Family Life Center which was built in 2007 and houses a commercial kitchen, dining area and gymnasium.