Capital Comments

In 1957, the Capital Campaign Team at First Methodist prepared a brochure to help members understand the need for and importance of a new construction project. The Midland economy was booming; the community was growing; times were changing. The leaders of the church, Pastor Timothy Guthrie, Music Director George DeHart, Steering Committee Chairman Ben Black and church members such as J. Holt Jowell and George Glass believed the church plant need to grow and change as well.

Pastor Guthrie wrote, “It will take big thinking, big vision and big giving. Anything less is sure to lose the victory we ought to have.”

The primary focus was on creating more space for worship and for the youth of the church and the community. The leaders reminded each reader of the brochure that the true goal was not the additional square footage and new facilities. The half-million dollar investment would be repaid many times “because of the Christian young men and women it will produce.”

Near the center of the brochure, the leadership team counseled each congregation member that “the answer lies within our hearts.” They quoted British writer John Ruskin from his book The Seven Lamps of Architecture, “Therefore, when we build, let us think that we build forever. Let it be such a work as our descendants will thank us for.”

On the pages where they described the pledges, they reminded readers that “A sacrificial pledge is one that has a spiritual impact upon the one making the pledge.”

Today, portions of our current plant exist because of the decisions made in the hearts of those who attended this church over a half-century ago and read and responded to a brochure now faded with age. We enjoy the continued blessings of the gifts they made. We inherited the legacy they left us. Without knowing us by name, they spoke of us when they said, “Our hope for the sane and peaceful Christian civilization of tomorrow rests in the hand of our children. . . and our children’s children.”