On Shoulders of Giants
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A Brief History of Henning Memorial United Methodist Church
The congregation was organized in 1884 under the leadership of Rev. John Henning. In the years preceding the organization of Henning Memorial United Methodist Church, Rev. Henning, zealous to preach the gospel, organized three Methodist societies in the area. In 1883, the presiding elder of the Opelousas district, the Rev. Louis Reed, held conferences at all three societies. And, out of these societies, it was decided that there would be a Methodist church in Sulphur.
Through the efforts of Rev. Henning's son, John T. Henning, the church grew. In 1865, the "little black church" was built. It was the fourth building in town and it was the first church. It was built by John T. Henning and two men in town. The church is named after John T. Henning.
In 1887, Pastor Robert Howell reported "We have a small congregation in Sulphur City, but some great big meetings. The few who attend are among God's chosen people." (From On Shoulders of Giants, p. 13) We are a much larger congregation. We are still in the city of Sulphur. We still have some great big meetings. We still believe that those who attend are among God's chosen people.
We are, however, no longer "the little black church." We are a thriving, growing congregation that continues to seek and answer God's call. Our history is a rich history, and our belief is that our future will be even richer, stronger, and greater still. From the quote from which the history was named, by Sir Issac Newton, the bell still rings true for us today. "If I have seen further, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants."
Copies of On Shoulders of Giants can be found in the church's library.