Historic Bonham churches host celebrations
By Allen Rich
Nov 8, 2019
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Bonham, Texas -- First settled in 1836, few Texas towns can rival the rich history of Bonham. To give you an idea of the vital role churches have played in the heritage of this city, on Sunday, October 27, 2019, three historic churches held special events. One of those churches was founded in 1871 and another church was founded a year later in 1872. And the oldest of the three churches dates its modest beginning back to 1844 and a log cabin one block east of the Bonham Square.

This past Sunday, Bethlehem Baptist Church, organized in 1871 in a log cabin on the estate of Mrs. Annie Garrett, held it's 13th Pastoral Anniversary to honor Pastor Stuart P. & First Lady Deadra Courtney. Pastor Robert Townsend from The Rock - Mt. Pisgah Missionary Baptist Church from Richardson, Texas, was the featured speaker Sunday afternoon at Bethlehem Baptist Church.

First Presbyterian Church of Bonham, organized in 1872, held it's third annual Kirkin' o' the Tartans, a traditional Scottish ceremony.

Kirkin' is the Scottish word for church and tartan is the traditional crisscross pattern of Scottish cloth often associated with colorful Scottish kilts, so Kirkin' o' the Tartans" translates as the "churching of the tartans." The legends say that during a period of English suppression of Scottish culture, when tartan could not be worn in public, Scots would hide a fragment of tartan in their apparel and then secretly clutch the symbol of their clan pride while the minister said a prayer in Scots Gaelic, which the English couldn't translate.

Sherman Police Regional Pipe Band prepares to lead the Kirkin o' the Tartans procession into First Presbyterian Church in Bonham.

Nearby, at First United Methodist Church in Bonham, the congregation would gather on the front steps for a photograph to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the church. Bonham Mayor Roy Floyd read a proclamation honoring the founding of the church in 1844. Former pastors at the church, Roy Spore, Bob Bush and Liz Talbert participated in the service and the benediction was given by East District Superintendent, Pastor Vic Casad.

The congregation gathers on the front steps of First United Methodist Church in Bonham to celebrate the church's 175th anniversary.

Kirkin' o' the Tartans photos...

Organizers of Kirkin' o' the Tartans: (L-R) Robbie Ashcraft, Reagan Fletcher and Nancy Wittstruck

Rev. Lisa Reece leads the concregation into the sanctuary at First Presbyterian Church in Bonham.

Sherman Police Regional Pipe Band play "Amazing Grace."

First United Methodist Church celebrates 175 years


First United Methodist Church in Bonham.

First United Methodist Church Pastor Dana Coker leads the service.

(L-R) Liz Talbert, Bob Bush and Roy Spore

Bonham Mayor Roy Floyd (right) reads a proclamation as Bonham City Councilmember Wayne Moore looks on.

Wayne and Brenda Moore walk next door to a catered meal following the service.

It Was also a day for family reunions. (L-R) Craig Danner, Cathy Danner, Gene Danner and Joann Danner

photos by Allen Rich