Local Soup Kitchen Receives Large Donation from First Methodist Midland

The Midland Soup Kitchen Ministry is a busy and lively place at lunchtime. Midlanders of all ages, races, and religions DSC_0079surround the long 
cafeteria-style tables from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day of the week in an old YMCA building near De Zavala Elementary School.
Monday, First Methodist Midland Senior Pastor Dr. Tim Walker, strolled through the front doors for the first time−a smile on his face and a check in his pocket.
Dr. Walker met with Nancy Ivy, daughter of the Midland Soup Kitchen Ministry’s founder, and her husband Jason. The two were brought to tears when Dr. Walker placed a check for $10,435 in their hands. The money was the result of a special Easter Sunday offering collected during worship.



Nancy Ivy told Dr. Walker that her family has been feeding hungry Midlanders for 30 years.

DSC_0077“One day dad said: I want to do more Lord, I want to do more, I feel like I’m not doing enough,” Ivy recalls. “So when you ask the Lord that, be ready because he’s going to answer you and be ready to accept it.”

Ivy says her family started feeding about two or three people a day that her father would just find on the streets.

Through a lot of fishing trips, which is where Mariano did a lot of thinking and convening with God, he realized that feeding the hungry was his calling. From that point on, Mariano new what he needed to do.

“I’ve seen my parents have nothing and still give something and that’s mainly how the ministry began,” she told Dr. Walker.

DSC_0065Today, the Midland Soup Kitchen Ministry feeds about 100 to 120 people every day. Ivy says that number has grown as the local economy continues to struggle due to low oil prices.

From 11:45 a.m. to noon, Jason Ivy leads everyone in worship.


“We always want the spirit of God to be in here. Always. Because that’s what brings comfort. It’s not Jason and I. I’m just the tool. It’s the spirit of God that comes in this place and gives comfort,” she tells Dr. Walker, emphasizing that worship is not an obligation in order to get a meal.

The Midland Soup Kitchen Ministry does not receive any government grants. It only survives upon the generosity of churches, organizations, and individuals.

“This [check] is going to be amazing. This money here, it’s been prayed for and I can say that,” she says, holding back tears, “because our whole kitchen needs new flooring. Things need to happen in this ministry. This is an old building. This [money] helps us buy food, pay the bills, because if the gas is not on and the lights are out, I can’t feed.”

DSC_0083“This helps us in all aspects of the ministry and, like I said, if it wasn’t for [First Methodist Midland] and the Lord Jesus, we couldn’t do what we do.”
For more information about the Midland Soup Kitchen Ministry, visit


So You’re A Midland Methodist: Quiz Answers

You are encouraged to take the quiz on the Reflections Page of the History section before checking the answers below. If you haven’t done that you can get to the original quiz by following this link.

1.  There are currently six active Methodist churches in Midland.


 There are currently five churches. First Methodist was the sponsoring church for all the Midland Methodist congregations. Five remain active: First Methodist, St. Luke, St. Mark, St. Paul, and Hollowell. Two have closed: Asbury and El Calvario.

2.  The Methodists were the first to erect a sanctuary in Midland.


 Methodist were the first to attempt to organize as a denomination, but the Baptists erected the first sanctuary in Midland.

3.  The stained glass windows along the north sanctuary wall depict four founders of Methodism.


 Only two of the are Methodists–John Wesley and Frances Asbury. The other two depict St. Paul and Martin Luther.

4.  The first handbell program was started in the 1950s for young boys in grades 7-9.


 The first handbell program was started to provide a musical opportunity for these boys while their voices were changing.

5.  Midland Methodists are expected to become perfect.


 John Wesley stated that Christian perfection is a heart “habitually filled with the love of God and neighbor” and “having the mind of Christ and walking as he walked. This is the goal for all Methodists.

6.  The current sanctuary is the third one erected on this site.


 There have been FOUR sanctuaries for this church, but the first one was built on a different block (near Wall and Main) then moved to this location.

7.  The Chrismon Tree we erect each Advent Season is a Methodist tradition that spread to other denominations.


 The Chrismon Tree tradition began with a Lutheran church in Danville, Virginia.

8.  The first contemporary services held by First Methodist took place at the Midland Community Theater.


9.  One of the pastors appointed to this church was expelled from the Methodist faith during his time here.


 Walter Spence was expelled in 1897, while serving as pastor in Midland.

10.  The current longest organized active adult Sunday school class is the Fellowship Class.


 The Fellowship Class was organized in 1938.

11.  Boy scout troop 152, sponsored by the Methodist Men, was organized in 1939.


 The troop was organized in December 1947.

12.  Only one person has ever served as pastor for First Methodist more than once.


 Nat Read served as pastor in 1892 and returned in 1906 and 1907.

13.  The tenure, or length of service, of Midland pastors changed dramatically after World War II, beginning in 1947.


 The earliest pastors at the church served single year or two or three year terms until 1954 with the arrival of Timothy Guthrie, who served until 1974 (the longest for any Midland Methodist pastor). Tenures have remained longer than two or three years since that time, often around eight to ten years.

14.  The Midland Methodist Church had a parsonage before it had a sanctuary.


 While the first sanctuary was built in 1889, there was no parsonage until 1898.

15. The chapel contains artifacts from the three previous sanctuaries.


 The chapel is filled with artifacts from the second and third sanctuaries, but there are no documented artifacts from the original sanctuary in the chapel.

16. The first pipe organ in the church was installed in 1955.


 The first pipe organ was installed in 1943 with the completion of the third sanctuary.

17.  The first church plant by First Methodist Midland was St. Mark’s on North Main.


 The church plant order was Asbury (1947), St. Mark (1950), El Calvario (1950), St. Luke (1952), Hollowell (1954) and St. Paul (1955).

18.  The Boone Bible Class, an adult group organized in 1930, was named in honor of the pioneer Daniel Boone, who was a lifelong Methodist.


 The Boone Bible Class was organized in 1930 and named in honor of Leslie Boone, who was the pastor in 1929.

19.  Descendants of two of the original six Midland church founders still attend First Methodist.


 No record remains of the names of the original six founders and no one current members claim descent from them.

20.  Dr. Tim Walker is the 42nd senior pastor of First Methodist Midland.


 For many years, of course, there was only a single pastor until the church grew large enough for an associate pastor.

Groundbreaking Ceremony Celebrates Beginning of Connecting Campaign Construction


On Sunday, November 22, 2015 a brief but heartfelt groundbreaking ceremony took place at 10:30 in the current Meditation Garden. The chill in the air was offset by the bright sunshine beaming down on a beautiful morning. A nice turnout of congregation members and children joined the Building Committee for the event. The children were all given bright yellow hard hats to wear.


Committee Co-Chairman Ron Stroman welcomed everyone and thanked them for their patience in the long and challenging process of bringing this project to fruition. Alan Hale then gave a masterful speech, reminding everyone of the long heritage of First Methodist in being a central part of Midland and the downtown area.


The members of the Building Committee were recognized for their dedication and hard work. In addition to Ron Stroman and Alan Hale, these included Co-Chairman Tim Culp, Burgess Wade, Cathy Norwood, Ed Runyan, Erin Black, Lori Miller, Shan Moon, and Senior Pastor Tim Walker.

Then Shan Moon, Donors Paula and Jim Henry, and Tim Culp did the groundbreaking honors. Applause and smiling faces reflected the energy everyone felt to have the project officially underway.


Dr. Walker briefly donned his hard hat to add his thanks for everyone’s support and led the group in prayer. Associate Pastor Kurt Borden also thanked the congregation for their dedication to creating a new meeting and worship space in a more contemporary style and also offered up a brief closing prayer.

As everyone departed for one of the two worship services there was a clear feeling of joy and energy created by this new phase in the life of First United Methodist Midland.


Pioneer Christmases

From the beginning of Midland’s history, Christmas traditions have been part of the community. Those traditions included First Methodist and its members. Several early residents included memories of Christmas in their accounts in The Pioneer History of Midland County, Texas 1880-1926.


May Estes fondly recalled how, as the holidays approached, local merchants added gift items to their stock. The Midland Hardware and Windmill store had toys for sale. A jeweler named Linz came to town with a trunk of diamonds–brooches, bracelets, rings and other glittering items–and would come display them in people’s homes upon request.

Taylor’s Drug Store offered a wide variety of items and, according to May, Charlie Taylor “had marvelous taste.” The drug store would have Dresden china, Bisque, cut glass and, of course, toys.
Charlie Taylor was also a strong supporter of First Methodist, known then as Midland Methodist Episcopal Church, South. He pledged funds for construction of the 1907 brick church and served as a church steward for a number of years. 

The Methodist church, like all churches in town, added special Christmas events, including worship services. May especially remembered the Christmas trees.

Every church in town had Christmas trees–huge ones for the children. The Sunday School teachers would appoint a committee to decorate the tree and we were not allowed to see it until Christmas Eve. There would be dolls and toys hung on or placed around the tree with a child’s name on each one. Santa would call the names and members of the church would pass out the presents. It was a happy time for us.

In 1917 Beth Fasken, joined her husband Andrew in Midland. Andrew worked as manager of the vast Fasken ranch located west of Midland in country that Beth said, “God had forgotten.” She was glad when the family purchased a home in Midland, across from the Methodist Church.

Her second Christmas in town proved memorable. “The second Christmas in Midland, we had enough snow to have a snowman in all the gardens around town, but that night an overheated stove destroyed our residence by fire.” The family soon recovered however. They moved from town again, fifteen miles to South Camp, “a comfortable, convenient home in every way. Coal oil stove in summer. Wood stove for cold weather.” 

Times and traditions change.  Coal oil stoves are gone. Snowfalls still come at Christmas, though rarely. Often the weather is more balmy than bitter.

First Methodist no longer has a toy tree, but the Chrismon tree is a regular feature of the season, filled with hand-crafted ornaments, each containing Christian symbols and meaning. The culminating event each Christmas eve is a candlelight service, with the sanctuary lit by candles held aloft to the singing of “Silent Night,” providing a beautiful reminder of how each of us carries the light of Christmas and of Christ into the world. Methodists have been doing that in Midland since 1885.


December 2014

December 2014