People often wonder why there are two Methodist congregations in Taylor, and the answer may surprise people who are unfamiliar with regional history.
A wave of Swedes immigrated to Texas during the second half of the nineteenth century, largely as a result of shrewd land acquisitions by S. M. Swenson. Many of these immigrants settled in Williamson County, and Tenth Street UMC originated as a small but vibrant congregation of Swedes who worshiped in their native tongue. We share this heritage with several other congregations in Williamson County, including St. John’s UMC of Georgetown, where visitors can still participate in cherished Swedish traditions like the annual Julotta Christmas service.
Our congregation has occupied its present sanctuary at Tenth and Hackberry since the early 1900s. Few vestiges of our Swedish heritage remain today, but we like to think that our history witnesses to the diversity of paths that bring God’s people together. As we frequently remind one another, the state historical marker posted near our front entrance commemorates, not our building, but the Christians who have faithfully worshiped here for more than a century.
TEXT OF OUR HISTORICAL MARKER: Services conducted in 1896-98 by the Rev. C. Charnquist in homes of Taylor’s early settlers let to the founding (1900) of the Swedish Methodist Church, North. Buying the chapel of a disbanded group, the congregation increased, moving their church to this site in 1911. Membership stabilized at about 240 in the 1920s. In 1935 English became the language in regular use. National religious trends led to name changes. The interior of the sanctuary was remodeled in 1950; annex added in 1963. Twenty-eight pastors have served this church. (As of date of marker installation (c. 1976).