Five years after Texas has entered the Union, Bell County was named after Milam County. On the banks of Nolan Creek, County Commissioners are able to select a county seat and has named it Nolandsville. Eventually after two years, the name of the town was then changed into Belton and it has become official then. Belton’s first settlers have built their houses, saloons, stores, hotels, and other infrastructures. When they lined up behind the South, the town has prospered until the Civil War. Things went out of the way for the South during that time and Belton was greatly affected, making it suffer through tough times. When the 1800s came, Belton was able to flourish once again after it was able to recover from the war. Up to this date there are still some historical churches in Bell County, Texas that can still be found.
Bell County has been through an amazing history which greatly involves its churches in town. Texas has been famous for its “cowboys” but despite that idea, many people don’t know that Texas, particularly Bell County, is a home to some historic churches.
Way back in 1828, the formation of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the North took place. After 16 years, the Methodist Episcopal Church in the South was formed due to the consequence of debates over slavery during that time. This separation has resulted to the formation of the Mount Zion Methodist Church.
For 30 years (1844 – 1874), the minister of the Mount Zion UMS was Rev. R. P. Brown. And in 1878, Reverend George Sawyer has served as a pastor and lasted for only two years. M. J. J. Robertson’s property has been purchased by various trustees who included Isaiah Crofford, Robert Blair, Henry White, and Primus Crofford. This site has been regarded originally as being on one of the hills of a black community in the west part of Belton, known as Dangerfield. The house of the church was situated along FM 93 which was formerly named as the Old Nolanville Road.
After some years, Rev. R. H. Ponton was able to relocate the congregation together with the church trustees and has built a stucco building that is located on Nolan Creek’s South Bank.
The year 1939 marked the leadership of Rev. J. F. Muse when an agreement was done between the Methodist Protestant Church and the Methodist Episcopal Church. This resulted in the formation of the Methodist Episcopal Church of America. And in the early seventies the name of the congregation was modified and turned into United Methodist Church.
In 1970, an addition to the old stucco church was developed and completed four years after. Rev. Clifton served as the pastor during the restoration of the old stucco building in 1986. The building was then listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1990 after it was completed. In 1993, the 149th anniversary of the Mount Zion United Methodist Church was celebrated. This is actually the state’s second oldest black church and the oldest black Methodist church in Texas.
The First Christian Church Parsonage, built in the 1900, is also a historic church located at 608 N. Penelope St. The Old St. Luke’s Episcopal Church is another historical church in Bell County that is situated at 438 N. Wall Street. It was built in 1874. These are the historical churches in Bell County, Texas.