| In 1840, the Friendship Methodist
Church was organized. Mark McCutcheon donated land on the south side
of Colquitt Road about four miles west of Mansfield Road and a log structure
was built by Mr. McCutcheon and J.D. Henderson.
After R.L. Gilmer gave the church
three acres of land in 1873, a new church was built on the property.
That site about three miles south of Keithville and is adjacent to the
present Fairview Methodist Church. As the congregation grew, a larger
church was built in 1895.
As the population of the area
shifted, the membership voted to change the location in July 1903.
Four new churches were formed. One of these was Keithville.
The old church was torn down, and all that remains in the area is the cemetery.
When Rev. J.M. Alford arrived
in Keithville, he discovered about the split and found members meeting
at the Keithville schoolhouse. Perry Polk Keith, for whom the town
was named, was instrumental in changing the location of the church and
donated land for the church. The church was constructed in 1904 by
Tom Hudnall. The first service was held on October 4, 1904.
The dedication took place in December 1905. It had a brass bell in
its tall steeple. The bell, which was originally on a locomotive,
came from the Teer family plantation in Coushatta.
Though the exterior looks much
the same, there have been improvements inside the building over the years.
The ceiling was lowered. The altar was moved forward. Two side
aisles were converted to one center aisle.
In 1955-56, an addition was
added to the rear (north) side of the building. The space was used
as classrooms and recreation space. On November 20, 1983, the building
was rededicated and named Pledger Hall after member Dr. W.F. Pledger.
In 1959, Stonewall and Keithville joined efforts to build a parsonage,
located by the Stonewall church. In 1966, a plaque was presented
to the church honoring it as the oldest continuing congregation in the