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FM Presbyterian Church celebrates 160 years

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Flower Mound Presbyterian Church is celebrating not only 160 years since being founded, the church also is celebrating the 100th birthday of Miss Oleta Simmons Greer, one of the longest serving members of the church and a member of one of the town’s founding families.

“This is a big deal,” said Sue Ledbetter, an elder and librarian with the church at 1501 Flower Mound Road. “At our 150th, we had quite a celebration. This is mainly to thank our founding families of Flower Mound.”

Greer’s family, for which Simmons Road is named, is among the earliest families in the town that voted for its existence with 150 for to 1 against in the sanctuary of the church in February 1961.

Even at 100, Greer continues to grace the pews of the once log cabin-style church founded in 1854 by the Rev. Matthew B. Donald, a name carried on with the founding of the Donald School in 1877.

“She still goes to church every Sunday,” Ledbetter said, adding that Greer is the glue that keeps the church going. She shares stories of days gone by, walking to school every day during the week and how the boys were usually always barefoot, Ledbetter added.

The celebration of both milestones is set for Aug. 24 with a special homecoming service at 10:30 a.m. that will include a “Blessing of the Backpacks” for all school children. A potluck lunch follows at 11:30 a.m.

Worship at the church began in members’ homes until the first building, a log cabin, was built in 1957-58. A frame building was later built with the current church built in 1901.

Ledbetter, who has researched the church’s history using her lifelong librarian skills, said she has enjoyed reading the historical references of years gone past.

“It’s quite interesting reading what issues they were dealing with back then,” she said, adding that some discussion about who should and should not be members was among the records beginning in 1859 when the first church minutes were recorded.

Records also show the first documented meetings of the Masons which took place in 1856 in a barn that was also used as a public school and church, built on the M.B. Donald Farm where the current Presbyterian Church and Cemetery are located on FM 3040 in Flower Mound.

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