Randy Carrion is the pastor of Wildwood/Village Mills United Methodist Church. He was appointed in July of 2013.
He was born in Newark, Delaware and graduated from Newark High School. He then graduated from Columbia Bible College in Columbia, South Carolina. He married René Council and they have 7 children, 17 grandchildren, and 1 great grandchild.
He joined the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church in 1985 when he was appointed to Sabine Pass United Methodist Church. He and René have served a number of United Methodist churches in Southeast Texas and are happy to call Wildwood home.
TO BUILD A CHURCH
Photos courteos of Alice Krupa.
Methodism came to the Village Mills area of East Texas in August of 1921 when Brother Minter, a Methodist preacher, came and held a series of meetings in a clearing in the woods. From those meetings a Methodist Church was organized with 37 members. Kirby Lumber was instrumental in providing land, materials, and some funding to help the church begin operations.
The community of Village Mills was bordered by the community of Long Station to the south. Alternating Sundays, the two communities shared a building and services with the Baptist Church. J.T. Everett was the first Methodist pastor hired in 1929.
The Saw Mill closed in 1930 and much of the Long Station (Village Mills) community moved to find work. Four Methodist women began praying for a new church to start in the Village Mills area. Mr. and Mrs. Whidden went to the Methodist Conference Center in Houston and obtained a loan to build a church in the Long Station (Village Mills) area. They leased some land near the Post Office and began building their new church. The Church was named Long’s Methodist Church. The first Sunday School class began on August 24th 1941 and the first church service was held on September 21st 1941. Mr. C.L. Wiggins was the first pastor appointed to the new church.
In 1968 the church was moved about a mile to the north the Village Mills community. In 1969 Long’s Methodist Church was renamed Village Mills Methodist Church as the Wildwood Resort City began building homes. Then in 1979 the named was changed again to its present name, Wildwood/Village Mills United Methodist Church.
A building committee was formed and plans for the new church were subitted to the congregaton in October 1989. Money was pledged for the new facility and the building was completed in 1991. The congregation moved into the new facility in June 1991. The building was dedicated on June 16, 1991.
By 2003 the space was outgrown, and a building committee was formed, making plans for an education addition. The education wing was built in 2003, and by 2004 the project was finished and dedicated.
During the same time, a bell tower was erected. It contains two bells that the church had aquired many years ago. A Carillon system was added to the bell tower, also in 2004.