McLean-Heald United Methodist
McLean-Heald United Methodist

Heald United Methodist Church

Rev. Thacker Haynes, pastor

Sunday morning worship includes
Worship Service at 9:15 am
Children's Class at 9:00 am



Sunday evening

She-Women Study Group  6:00 pm at McLean UMC

Tuesday evening
Clarendon Rodeo Club Church
leaves the McLean church at 5:00 pm

Wednesday evenings
6:00 pm Youth (Jr and Sr High) at McLean UMC
6:00 pm Children's Bible Program - McLean UMC

6:00 pm Adult Bible Study - One Way Church

The Heald United Methodist Church is located on the Kellerville Road about 3 miles north of Interstate 40.

Heald United Methodist Church History

“The Church in the Wildwood”

There’s a church in the valley by the wildwood, no lovelier spot in the dale;no place is so dear to my childhood as the little brown church in the vale. Oh, come to the church in the wildwood, to the trees where the wild flowers bloom.

The Heald Community was named after Mr. G. A. Heald, who moved to the community early 1900 and established a Sunday school. His home was located one mile west of where the Heald church is now. Other families moving into the community at that time were the Ellingtons, Price Rogers, J. A. Haynes, and the A. P. Rippy family in 1903. Several more families came about the same time: the Earps, Roach, Saye, Cooper, Petty, Wilson, and Bailey. Later the A. E. Carpenters, Ladd, Cunningham. The Landers family in 1914 and the Reneau family moved into the community in 1918 as well as the Orrick and Ware families.

At one time the Heald Community consisted of a school, general store, Model T. dealership, blacksmith shop and Heald Church. Now the only business left is God’s business.

The Rev. George Fort of Clarendon helped organize the church April 5, 1903. (Martha Meek of Wheeler is the granddaughter of Rev. Fort). The potential was small but with 10 charter members and 11 more members including Estelle Rippy Roach, who joined August 9, 1903. When she joined she began a family tradition, for some member of the Rippy family has been active in the church continuously since that time. One of the most beloved members of both church and community was Nida Rippy Green, who has a rich part in the history of both church and the community. Miss Nida, as she was called, was the Sunday School superintendent from 1915 - 1942. Her grand niece, Mickey Lankford Jackson, holds that position today as well as church secretary. Heald United Methodist Church has been a very important part of the Rippy family descendents.

Another well known member of that early church was Martha “Grandma” Rogers. (See History of the NWT Conf., page 1754, by J. O. Haynes. She came to Heald to make her headquarters with her granddaughter, Nida Green, when she was 60 years old. She was a constant attendant at all services at the church until in her nineties when health prevented. She lived to be 101 plus and was known by all who attended annual conferences as the bishop always recognized her and asked her to say a word.

During the summer of 1903, a protracted meeting was held in a brush arbor one mile south of present day church, by first schoolhouse of Heald, constructed by willing workers with lumber borrowed from a firm in McLean. It was reported that “a splendid meeting resulted”. Church and Sunday school were held in the afternoon. In the summer of 1905 Br. Petty taught a singing school from 9am until 4pm. The last week of school we’d take our dinner, sing ‘till eleven and then get out under the arbor and Rev. Harris would preach. Then dinner and singing until four, then a sermon and another sermon at night.

A former resident of community, Orville Cunnigham, remembered the following: "This was a closely knit community, and they enjoyed each other’s company. They looked after the needs of each other in many ways such as sitting up with the sick, going to McLean for medicine, and plowing each other’s fields in times of illness. The revival was a time for me to meet and play with my friends for a short period before the services stared. Once the services began, I was to Abe quiet, sit up straight, and listen. The services started a little after sundown and lasted well over two hours. If mother was not playing the organ, I would lean against her and go to sleep about half way through the service. At some point, they would place me on a flat bed wagon that was made available for babies to rest and sleep. It was placed near the seating area, and two ladies watched over its occupants."

These services were held outside in front of the church building with lanterns hanging from a post to provide light. We traveled to the services in wagons, hacks, and buggies. When I was about five years of age, Mr. Bill Haynes, owner of the mercantile store, introduced T Model cars for sale. Most of us changed to car travel and with the magneto headlights were able to extend the nighttime . -

When the new school was constructed NW of present church, the congregation met there until the present day church was constructed in 1929. This schoolhouse is now located on Kellerville west and is used as a home. Lumber for the new church arrived by wagon from the town site of Ramsdell. Early setters and members of the church helped with the building.

Twelve Chinese elm trees were purchased from Bruce Nursery in Alanreed and planted in February, 1930.

The first Vacation Bible School was in 1934 while Vernon Henderson was pastor. It was combined with Alanreed so both churches could participate.

The kerosene lamps finally could be put away when electricity was added in 1947, the time a lot of rural areas were becoming electrified following WWII. In 1950 two classrooms in the basement were finished.

Perhaps the most radical change occurred in 1992, under the leadership of Rev. Jill Wiley, when members undertook another renovation. A special Aground breaking@ was held February 16, 1992, to commemorate the event B the addition of indoor plumbing, which meant restrooms and a kitchenette could be added. The members had to drill a well and put in a septic tank. A 20 X 30 ft. addition was added to the building and ramps were installed from the sanctuary to downstairs for handicap accessibility. Dedication of the new Heald Community Fellowship Hall was May 3, 1992 as part of the church=s 89th anniversary celebration. Fellowship Hall is used for family reunions!

A monthly church and community newsletter was started in 1992 and circulates to 90 families. Also, a monthly church and community covered-dish supper is enjoyed by all that attend. Gives neighbors a chance to visit! The Fellowship Hall is available for family reunions.

Heald has an annual Christmas Eve Candlelight Service.

Stained glass windows in front of church are given in memory of Mary Rippy and Martha Rogers from family in the 1940's. Stained glass window on the south is given in memory of Virginia Tate in 1994 and in 2002 the Cunnigham family gave stained glass window on the north in honor of Russ and Linnie Cunningham.

Fahoma Ladd Holder, a descendant of early member was honored Sunday, February 17th, 2002 with a corsage and plaque as being a member since August of 1925.

On December 15, 2002, Heald erected a steeple constructed by Kinneth Hambright. Up until now the church has never had one. Ground crew members: Dora Bailey, Bonnie Bailey, Conald & Sara Cunningham, Gabe & Cozy Parson, Tye Thompson, Pastor Thacker Haynes, Mickey Jackson watched as Donnie Basham and Kinneth Hambright attached steeple to church. Earlier in the fall of 2002, the large evergreen shrubs were removed as parts were dying and erosion was occurring close to building. Two blue spruce trees were planted and dirt was hauled in to repair erosion.

Well, the high Texas Panhandle wind blew down the outhouse in December 2002 that was built by the WPA when the church was built! Since the outhouse is part of Heald history ,there was nothing to do but rebuild it! Robert Richards, brother-in-law of member Betty Tate obliged! He also built a windbreak at east door.

Windell Knutson started a Sunday School class for adults first of 2003.

Heald United Methodist Church celebrated its 100th anniversary, Sunday, April 6th, 2003. Celebration began with a continental breakfast at 8:30am followed by visitation. Then church services at 9:15am. There were 110 in attendance at the morning worship service led by Rev. Thacker Haynes, present circuit rider pastor who is a great great grandson of charter member, Louisa Hammack Haynes. Rev. Haynes has been pastor of the Heald/McLean circuit since 1992. He was ordained in June of 1999 at the 90th session of the NWT Conference.

District Superintendent Wendell Horn of Pampa, Garry Nall, NWT Archives & History chairman along with wife Annette of Canyon, and Martha Meek of Wheeler, the granddaughter of G. R. Fort, the first pastor of Heald and McLean Methodist Churches were in attendance. Also, former pastor, Rev. James Merrell and wife Edna of Snyder.

After a covered-dish lunch along with delicious catfish and chicken (served to 170) by Gabe & Cozy Parson, gospel music was enjoyed by all .Music by Conald Cunnigham and daughters, Connie & Leslie, Cozy Parson, Betty Kaiser, Robert Martindale, Terry Williams, Brenda Zedlist, and a gospel bluegrass band from Wheeler area. Special memories were shared during a mock radio program presented by Jana Davis and Rhonda Graham.

The church bulletin included pictures and history of the church, along with list of pastors and members, and memories. Old fashion fans were given to those in attendance along with a candy bar wrapped in special paper depicting the church. Coffee mugs with picture of church were available also. Mary Basham, and pictorial placemats appointed tables with colorful bouquets of flowers. An anniversary cake decorated with crosses and picture of the church was enjoyed!

Heald Methodist Church holds special memories to those that attended, whether they are new members, or were raised in the country church. Those in attendance came from afar to join in the celebration: Oregon, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Kansas, and surrounding towns.

Heald was on air the weekend of April 19th, 2002 on the country church segment of the Farm Report Show with Samuleson Zes.

Heald Church may be a small country church in numbers, 29, but is mighty in the spirit of God and serves God with a purpose, Love.

Heald, a small country church in the wildwood, for those who enjoy the atmosphere of a small church.

From the church in the valley by the wildwood, when day fades away into night, I would fain from this spot of my childhood, wing my way to the mansions of light.

Addition: Heald membership is 47 (2010).

Contact Us Today!

McLean-Heald United Methodist
PO Box 125
219 N. Gray St.
McLean, TX 79057

Phone: 806-779-2337


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phone 806-779-2337~fax 806-779-3132 ~