In 2010, the present Northwest Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church will celebrate its 100th anniversary. At its birth, the conference began with nearly two hundred strong churches and another two hundred part-time 'school house' churches within its charge. During its first forty years, it grew at a rapid pace; but, in the mid-1960s, began to experience a gradual decline which continues to this day. This study explores the conference's reasons for growth, the challenge of conflict and decline, and its efforts to find renewal and revival. At the same time, it celebrates the tremendous achievements of the Northwest Texas Conference in bringing salvation, civility, and institutional services to its vast territory.
DAVID J. MURRAH is well known as a historian of West Texas. A native of Gruver, located in the Texas Panhandle, Murrah has authored or edited six other books, including C. C. Slaughter: Rancher, Banker, Baptist and Lubbock and the South Plains: An Illustrated History. He currently serves as senior historian for Southwest Museum Services in Houston and makes his home on the Texas coast in Rockport.