Pastors of FUMC Jasper

Included are the names and any information we have on the clergy who have pastored in Jasper.

1839 – 1840
Daniel Carl
A tutor and native of New York. One of the first licensed to preach in Texas.

1840 – 1841

Henderson D. Palmer
Under Littleton Fowler, was one of the first to preach in Texas. (It has been noted that he, with a wife and four children, received less than $50.00 for his year’s work. His appointments were a hundred miles apart; his only conveyance was horseback; he was away from home a month at a time.)

1841 – 1842

Francis Wilson
Honored as one of “the most remarkable men among the early Methodist preachers in Texas,” his service to Southeast Texas is now commemorated with an official State Historical marker at Belgrade, Newton County, Texas. Native of Virginia; lived in Belgrade, then in Jasper County. Stayed at the home of Gideon J. Goode when in Jasper.


James T. Irvine
Listed as one of the “heroes of San Jacinto.” Born in Tennessee; family came to Texas in 1830.


Jacob Crawford


Enoch P. Chisholm


Harrison Z. Adams


Preston W. Hobbs


Michael J. Cole


James P. Irvine

1850 – 1851

Hugh B. Hamilton (1818-1859)
Native of Tennessee. Engaged in the Indian War in Florida.

1852 – 1853

John C. Woolan (1813-1894)
Licensed to preach under the ministry of Moses Spear while he was serving Montgomery circuit in 1839.


William P. Samson (1812-1858)
Born in Tennessee. Came to Texas in 1837. Licensed to preach in 1842.


L. C. Crouse


James L. Angel


Isaac W. Overall


Solomon Bridges

1859 – 1861

David Stovall
Served in the Civil War, ASC, as captain of Company C, 25th Texas Regiment. Composed primarily of volunteers from Jasper and Tyler Counties, it was known locally as the “Jasper Blues”. Helped build first of the four churches.


J. A. Scruggs


F. C. Dowdy

Thomas B. Norwood

James P. Rogers

Daniel S. Watkins

1867 – 1870
E. L. Armstrong
In 1849 his father purchased half of Sherrod Wright’s league in Magnolia Springs for $1.00 an acre. Early preacher and school teacher in Jasper County. Served as chaplain during Civil War.

A. D. Parks

J. M. Bond

1873 – 1874
James R. Wages

Ramsey C. Armstrong
Brother of E. L. Armstrong. Instrumental in establishment of Peachtree Academy, which flourished in that Jasper County community for a time. Married daughter of George W. Smyth.

1876 – 1878
E. M. Sweet

J. F. Henderson

R. M. Sproule

W. W. Birdwell

W. B. Patterson

J. F. Archer

W. B. Patterson

R. M. Sproule

C. H. Ellis

J. C. H. McKnight

L. C. Ellis

O. C. Fontaine

J. C. Wyche

J. D. Dorcey

J. A. Harvey

J. T. McClure

D. S. Burke

K. P. Barton
Buried in Ryall Cemetery, Jasper, Texas.

J. G. Pollard

Lewis Christian
Born before the Civil War; one of ten children. Ordained in 1880 and served other churches in Jasper County.

1902 – 1903
I. S. Smith

1904 – 1906
M. L. Lindsey
Pastor when “the church the women built” was erected. (Second church)

1907 – 1908
C. W. Hughes

A. G. Scruggs
Died August 3, 1932. Buried Jasper, Texas.

Harold G. Cook

J. A. Moody

W. C. Morris

1913 – 1915
F. D. Dawson
He, son, and grandson, all preachers; all three had same name.

S. A. Weimer, Jr.

R. A. Gates

A. A. Wagnon

1919 – 1920
A. S. Whitehurst

1921 – 1922
John W. Goodwin

1923 – 1925
L. L. Lloyd
Pastor when the third church (the red brick) was built.

1926 – 1928
E. W. Solomon
Son of a Methodist preacher, he was born August 12, 1851, in Georgia. Began teaching school at 16 to put himself through college. Licensed to preach at 19. When he was placed on superannuated list in 1936, after 64 years of continual service, he was the oldest active Methodist minister in Texas. He wrote to a Jasper friend: “…with nothing to do for the first time in my life, it is a trying situation.”

1929 – 1932
A. A. Tharp

1933 – 1937
Jesse Lee

1938 – 1941
Terry Wilson

1941 – 1951
James Thomas Moore
Born 1889 in Trenton, Texas. Retired in 1952 in Jasper where he died.

1952 – 1955
Clyde Woodard
Born July 16, 1896, Tyler, Texas. Deceased.

1956 – 1960
Lamar Clark
Army Chaplain 1940. Born December 19, 1911, Durant, Oklahoma. Married Lenora Fay Newborn, April 26, 1936.

1961 – 1964
Milton S. Jordan
Born November 20, 1897, Rockwell, Texas.

1965 – 1968
Nolan Vance
Born November 1, 1907, Lexington, Texas. Married Gussie Wieting, June 27, 1934.

1969 – 1972
Carl O. Bayer
Born October 20, 1907, Gleason, Wisconsin. First appointment was to Jasper Circuit about 1931.

1973 – 1978
W. E. Dugger, Jr.
Born May 22, 1924, Hillsboro, Texas. Married Dorothy Harriss, June 6, 1948.

James Allen Chapman
Born December 19, 1911, in Malakoff, Texas. Married Marjorie Berry, June 15, 1945.

1980 – 1983
Royce P. Robb
Born September 26, 1933, at Marshall, Texas. Married Betty Lou Hanna, August 2, 1953.

1983 – 1986
R. Eugene Jonte
Retirement date was June 1, 1986 from active ministry. Born and reared in Beaumont, he was educated there; Lon Morris College, Jacksonville; Stephen F. Austin College, Nacogdoches; and Southern Methodist University School of Theology. Married to Juanita Fling, they had four children and three grandsons.

1986 – 1990
John Birkelbach

1990 – 1994
Dr. Clifford Lee
Born in Liberty, Texas, he was the son and grandson of Methodist ministers. Associate of Arts from Lon Morris College; Bachelor of Science from Stephen F. Austin State University; Master of Theology from Perkins School of Theology, SMU ; Doctor of Ministry from McCormick Theological Seminary.

1994 – 2000
Dr. Jerry Neff
Born in Kirbyville, Texas, son of a United Methodist pastor; earned BA in Political Science from University of Texas at Arlington; Masters of Divinity and Doctorate of Ministry from Perkins School of Theology, SMU.

2000 – 2004
Robert Webb

2004 – 2010
Dr. Richard P. White
Born in Nacogdoches, Texas, both parents were educators. Undergraduate degree a BA in History and Political Science from Stephen F. Austin State University, Master of Divinity from Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University, Doctor of Ministry from Houston Graduate School of Theology.

2010 – 2016
D. Fred Willis
Born in Texas City, Texas to a United Methodist Pastor.  Undergraduate from University of Houston, College of Architecture. Masters from Perkins School of Theology, SMU.

2016 – 2020
Drew Weber
Born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio.  Undergraduate degree from University of Mount Union (OH), Masters in Divinity from SMU’s Perkins School of Theology.

2020 – Present
Jacob Smith

Greetings to First UMC, Jasper.  As your newly appointed pastor, I am looking forward to our serving Christ together.  My family is excited about the move and we expect great things for our time in Jasper.

A little about myself, I grew up in Jacksonville, Texas where my family still resides.  After graduating from Jacksonville High School, I attended Stephen F. Austin State University where I studied communications and met my wife, Claire.  I obtained my Masters of Divinity from Perkins School of Theology at SMU in 2009 and began serving as an Elder in the Texas Annual Conference.  I have served congregations in Pearland, Rusk, and Atlanta.  For the past six years, I have also taught theology courses for the Course of Study program that educates local pastors.

My wife and I have two daughters, Adelaide and Felicity.  Claire grew up in College Station where her father was in campus ministry for over thirty years.  She is a CASA advocate, member of PEO, enjoys reading and true crime podcasts.  Adelaide enjoys dance and the outdoors.  Felicity also the likes the outdoors and creating any type of art project she can imagine.  As a family, we enjoy watching movies, traveling, and cheering for the Dallas Stars.

My passions for ministry include preaching, teaching, mission work, and summer camp.  My favorite Bible verse is Ecclesiastes 12:13: “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God, and keep his commandments; for that is the whole duty of everyone.”