Reunion Celebrates History Of Pleasant Mound UMC
New book charts 144 years of worship in southeast Dallas community
Bill Sanderson grew up in Pleasant Mound as a third-generation member of Pleasant Mound UMC. Since 1875, the Pleasant Mound community has seen many changes, and Sanderson captured stories between 1950 and 1980 in the book: A Journey of Faith and Friendship: Pleasant Mound Methodists. On May 19, Pleasant Mound UMC held a church reunion to release the book written from 41 oral histories.
“This was a true homecoming to Pleasant Mound,” said Rev. Owen Ross, director of the North Texas Conference’s Center for Church Development.
An estimated 250 people attended the event and waited in line for autographed copies of the book. The gathering included current church members, those who had grown up in the church but moved away and former pastors.
“The sanctuary was filled with generations of families,” shared Kent Roberts, chair of the Conference Commission on Archives and History.
The reunion celebrated the book and its reflection on the 144 years of the church. In 1949, Pleasant Mound was annexed into the city of Dallas. However, the town and church still kept its own identity as a small town with people of all demographics coming together to worship.
“Ninety percent of the book is interviews, but a short introduction traces the historic narrative to the church’s wild west roots … surrounded by outlaw legends Belle Starr and her admirers, the James and Younger brothers,” Sanderson said.
“You were either a church member or outlaw back in those days.”
Tish Kenny Sutton led music, which included the hymns “Blessed Assurance,” “I’ll Fly Away” and “Bless Be the Tie That Binds.” The Ragsdale family, longtime members of the church, provided special music for the event, including son Cole – a singer in New York who returned for the reunion.
Featured speaker Rose-Mary Rumbley, noted for lively speeches and her knowledge of Dallas history, gave a review of the book. She entertained the congregation with her ability to make a good story better.
“Rose-Mary Rumbley had one of her memorable book reviews that had folks laughing and applauding as she shared thoughts from the interviews within the book,” said Rev. Ben Shinn, a retired pastor and member of the Conference Commission on Archives and History.
The event ended with informal remarks and a closing prayer by Bishop Michael McKee. People took time exiting as they reminisced.
“The memory of the joy of the church came alive in the moment,” Sanderson said.
Published: Wednesday, May 22, 2019