It was December 4, 2022, and the United Methodist Church in the Mabank and Athens communities were in trouble. After months of disunity, acrimony, and heated debate over disaffiliation and the inclusion of all persons to be welcomed in church, the remnant of the United Methodists in Henderson and Kaufman counties finally found refuge. In 2022, many faithful Methodists gathered at a music studio known as Music Play Love on Market Street in downtown Mabank, Texas. On that day, the fractured, hurting, broken community gathered for worship. They gathered for prayer and praise. They met to hear the Word. They assembled to share the hurt and pain for the loss of their churches. They came together and something happened. It was not a feeling that could be described or explained. If you asked one of those present about it, they would say: “I don’t really know what happened, but something did.”
The something that happened was that the Holy Spirit moved among them. The feeling that happened was that Jesus and his love became a reality. The something that happened was that they were touched by God. When this happens, you cannot describe it or explain it. But you know that it happens because from then on, things are different.
Over the next month, the small fellowship outgrew the music studio and then the Tri-County Library also located on Market Street. They welcomed people of many different religious, or denominational, backgrounds but united in their steadfast view that all persons are of sacred worth in the eyes of Jesus Christ, our Lord.
After a time of intense study of the Scriptures and devoted prayer, the new community of Christians began to refer to their fellowship as Market Street Chapel in remembrance of the Holy Spirit working among those attending that evening. Thus, December 4, 2022 celebrates a day of Pentecost for Market Street United Methodist Church. Though we no longer meet on that street in the heart of Mabank we trace our new beginning to this renewal and rebirth.