Hord, Jesse (1809–1886)

By: Norman W. Spellmann

Type: Biography

Published: February 1, 1995

Updated: November 25, 2017

Jesse Hord (Hoard), one of the founders of Methodism in the Republic of Texas, was born on September 3, 1809, in Tennessee. When he was seventeen years old, he was converted and joined the Methodist Church. In 1833 he was admitted on trial into the Tennessee Conference, which ordained him a deacon in 1836 and an elder in 1837. After appointments at Murfreesboro and Memphis, he volunteered for service in Texas and was appointed a missionary on June 4, 1838. He transferred to the Mississippi Conference and was assigned to the Texas Mission District in October 1838. Hord and fellow missionary Isaac L. G. Strickland traveled by horseback to Texas, crossing the Sabine River at Gaines Ferry on November 29, 1838. Hord preached his first sermon in Texas at San Augustine on the following day. His first appointment was to form a circuit in the area of Houston, then the capital of Texas. Between his arrival there on December 23 and April 15, 1839, he established the first Methodist congregations at Richmond, Matagorda, Brazoria, Bay Prairie, DeMoss, Texana, Velasco, East Columbia, and Houston. His 500-mile circuit included twenty preaching places. In succeeding years Hord's appointments included circuits at Washington (1839–41), Brazoria (1841–42), Brazoria mission "to people of colour" (1842–43), and Egypt (1843–45). Although he was eligible for retirement on January 7, 1845, he returned for a final year of active service (1847–48) at Goliad, where he continued to live. In 1859, after the Rio Grande (West Texas) Conference was formed, he transferred to the new conference, which included his home within its boundaries. He married Mrs. Mary Knox in 1841, and they had four children. He died on January 17, 1886, and was buried in Goliad. His journal of his first year in Texas, published in the Texas Christian Advocate (see UNITED METHODIST REPORTER) in 1884–85, is a significant source on the founding of Methodism in Texas.

Macum Phelan, History of Early Methodism in Texas, 1817–1866 (Nashville: Cokesbury, 1924); A History of the Expansion of Methodism in Texas, 1867–1902 (Dallas: Mathis, Van Nort, 1937). Texas Christian Advocate, November 8, 1884-October 10, 1885, February 28, 1886.

  • Religion
  • Methodist
Time Periods:
  • Republic of Texas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Norman W. Spellmann, “Hord, Jesse,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 26, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/hord-jesse.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

February 1, 1995
November 25, 2017