Our Roots

Jacob’s Chapel Church History Highlights

  • In 1895, a few members of this community began to meet in the home of Mrs. Eliza Napier Thomas, on the corner of Hedges and South Gevers streets, just two blocks east of the present edifice. There they held a prayer service that was the embryonic beginnings of what was to become known as “The East End Mission” and what is now Jacob’s Chapel United Methodist Church.
  • It had come through a number of evolutions before it reached this point.  Sensing the potential of the movement of 1895, Rev. Emmanuel Henderson, Presiding Elder, requested that a pastor be appointed to this work.  At the annual conference held at Calvert, Texas, on December 2, 1895, Bishop E.G. Anderson appointed Rev. F. Wadkins to the pastorate of the new San Antonio Mission.  

  • In his report to the annual conference at Cuero, Texas, held on December 2, 1896, the Presiding Elder said, “The San Antonio Mission had not done as well as we had hoped—There is much work to be done on this Mission and with proper care this Mission will become a Grand Work.”  These words proved to be prophetic.  Rev. Riley Sodia was appointed to the Mission, which had become a three-point circuit by now.

  • At the annual conference in Austin, Texas, on December 2, 1899, Rev. J. T. Jacobs was appointed to the Mission.  From its inception to the appointment of Rev. Jacobs, the little Mission worshiped in an old deserted saloon.  Under his leadership, the first church was built.  It became known as “The East End Methodist Church” in 1904.

  • In 1911, following the death of Rev. Jacobs, a resolution was drawn in the quarterly conference of the East End Methodist Church requesting the annual conference change the name of the church to Jacobs Chapel Methodist Church in his honor.  When the annual conference met in San Antonio on November 23, 1911, it voted for approval of the resolution.

  • Thus at the annual conference held at Luling, Texas, in 1912, Rev. A.M. Mason, presiding Elder, gave the first report of record of the Jacobs Chapel Methodist Church.  He said, “Brother Carmichael has worked very hard in building up our church here.  He has succeeded nobly.  The church has been made larger, a new parsonage built, a new fence put around the property, and many added to the church roll.”

  • From the ministry of Rev. Carmichael to the coming of Rev. Weakly, a number of ministers served the church with distinction, which became apparent in the growth of the church.

  • From 1923 until 1940, Rev. J. W. Weakly assumed the leadership of the rapidly growing congregation in building its third church.

  • From 1941 to 1951, when Rev. Lucky E. Muse was appointed to the pastorate of Jacobs Chapel, the edifice was sufficient to serve the congregation. In 1948, amid much enthusiasm, the foundation for the present beautiful structure was laid.

  • In June 2004, the Southwest Texas Conference appointed Rev. Johnny R. Toy as pastor.  Jacob’s Chapel was taken to new heights.  Jacob’s Chapel is now classified as a 5-Star church by the Southwest Texas Conference (now known as The Rio Texas Conference).  Our Conference Apportionments have been paid in full every year.  He devised a program whereby a renovation loan taken in 2002 from The Texas Methodist Foundation and to be paid in full in 2025 was actually paid in full in the year 2013!  Paid off in 12 years!!  A note-burning ceremony was held on July 21, 2013, to commemorate this joyous occasion. 

  • In June 2019, the Southwest Texas Conference appointed Rev. Matthew A. Edison as pastor.  We moved to higher heights in the latest technology under his leadership which was especially helpful when the Covid-19 pandemic hit. 

  • 2014-2016: Focusing on the future, Jacob’s Chapel put in a new sound system, upgraded computers, developed a web page and a Facebook page.

  • 2019:  Our Minister of Music, Benson Spencer, celebrated 47 years of music ministry at Jacob’s Chapel. Sadly, Mr. Spencer passed away in October of 2021.  A new musical director, Gayla Murray, was hired in October of 2022.

  • 2019:  Gwendolyn Hodge, 46 years as Director of the Sanctuary Choir. 

  • July 2021:  Rev. Robert E. Glenn, Jr. was appointed to Jacobs Chapel, and our future looks very bright under his leadership.  Feeding the homeless endeavor, Project Feed 5000, was implemented, and Thanksgiving baskets with turkey giveaways were also started under his leadership. 

  • November 13, 2022:  127th Anniversary of Jacobs Chapel United Methodist Church. We are truly blessed to continue the history of the little prayer service that started in 1895.  

Leadership Over The Years