Thewarley Methodist Church & Bell

Thewarley Methodist Church located 1- miles east of Ragtown.

     The bell at the Thewarley Methodist Church is not the original one. The first one dated back to the late 1800's. Sometime in the late 1970's the bell was stolen and the church was without a bell until a new pastor was hired. Reverend Jackson Deere, from the Seminole area and the Hitchaee church donated the bell around 1992. It is a much smaller bell than the original one.
     The bell is a useful item for the members of the Thewarley church. Each Sunday service begins at 11:00 AM. The bell begins ringing at 5 minutes before the hour to announce to the congregation it's time to move inside. It again rings at 11:00. Church service is held until 12 noon when the members are dismissed and a lunch is enjoyed. After lunch the bell begins to ring so everyone can move back into the church where Sunday School is held. The rest of the day is spent listening to other preachers or "Lay Speakers". They're belief is to keep the day Holy and this is done by fellowship at the church and listening to speakers sometimes until 9:00 PM. "Lay Speakers" are not allowed to give the invitation at the end of the sermon, nor are they allowed to Baptize or give Communion. They are still in training by a Deacon.
     The bell is also used when word of a death of a member is learned. Whatever time of day or night, the bell is rang by a Deacon of the church to announce the death. During the funeral, the bell begins to ring 5 minutes before the hearse arrives at the church and stops only when the car comes to a complete stop. Before the Deacon rings the bell he will say a prayer for the family. At the end of the funeral, the bell again rings when the hearse begins to leave and stops when the car is no longer visible. Chris has been known to ring the bell at 2 AM to announce the death of a church member. The word "Thewarley" means "flying bullets" in the Native tongue of the Creek Tribe.
Story & Pictures sent in by Debi (Burkett) Johnson
[This was told to me by Chris Powell, son of Judy and Bobby Powell.  Chris attended Moss School from grades 1 through 4 and again in 1981 when he was in the 11th grade.]