In 1908, the City Mission Board was organized at the First Methodist Church of Fort Worth. The board, comprised of Methodist ministers and representatives of the Womans Home Mission Society, promoted missionary work among the City’s poor and immigrant groups. It employed a female mission worker to conduct a program of visitations, evangelism, and relief. Religious meetings were held at railroad shops and in private homes.
Five years later, the board decided to concentrate its efforts among the immigrants living around and working at the packing houses on the northside. Land was purchased on North Commerce Street, and the Wesley Community House was erected the following year. The House remained at this location for fifty-three years. In 1967, a new building was built at 3600 North Crump Street, which continues in operation today.
Wesley House developed a wide range of activities including a Sunday School, a kindergarten, adult language and home economics classes, organized sports, and welfare assistance. During the 1920s and the 1930s, the population of the area and therefore the patronage of the agency was increasingly Mexican-born immigrants and their children. Wesley House became, and continues today, as primarily an Hispanic institution. Currently, it operates as part of the United Community Centers, which has five locations throughout the City of Fort Worth.
The records were donated to the Library by the Wesley Community House in April 1991; copies were also placed in the Central Methodist Conference Archives at Texas Wesleyan University.
Scope and Contents Note
The collection consists of three boxes of materials dating from 1908 - 1988.
- Series I : Meeting Minutes and Financial Reports - Contains minutes of the City Mission Board (1908 - 1941), minutes and financial reports of the Wesley House Executive Board (1925 - 1926, 1949 - 1950).
- Series II : Miscellaneous - Contains various reports, narrative histories, programs, brochures, newspaper clippings, and other miscellaneous items pertaining to the Wesley House (1914 - 1988).
- Series III : Scrapbooks - Contains two scrapbooks (1946 - 1952 and 1963 - 1964), a photograph of the Wesley House (circa. 1940), a United Community Center poster, and a map indicating the location of the Wesley House.
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Last updated: Oct. 20, 2014