Friday, March 10, 2017

Missionary Baptists and Primitive Baptists meet

When the Mt. Zion (Missionary) Baptist Association met at Beulah Church in Rusk County, Texas in September of 1868, the following resolution was offered by Elder John Sparkman and adopted by the association: "Resolved, That a committee of seven be appointed by this body to meet with a like number to be appointed by the Little Hope Association, for the purpose of adjusting all difference between what is known as Missionary and Primitive Baptists, in order to their union; said committees to meet at Holly Spring Church, Rusk county, on Friday before the 4th Sabbath in October 1868; and that said committee be, and is hereby, required to report the result of their conference to this body at its next annual meeting,and the various churches comprising the same." The committee: Elder John Sparkman, Elder William Sparkman, W. H. Cooper, A. J. Welch, Elder R. M. Humphrey, Elder W. H. H. Hays, and G. W. Butts. Alternates: Elder Ben Griffin, G. W. Harris, W. Lassiter. [Mt. Zion minutes, Sept. 1868, p. 2]

When the association met at New Salem Church, Rusk County, Texas in 1869, the following was reported: "Your Committee appointed at your session in 1868, to meet a like Committee from the Little Hope Association of Primitive Baptists, attended as directed. The Little Hope Association failed to meet us by Committee, but several of its members being present, organized themselves into a Committee with which we consulted and unanimously adopted the following: We believe and agree that a gospel church is the highest ecclesiastical authority on earth. That each church is an independent body, not amenable to Associations, Conventions, Conferences, Presbyteries, Synods, general Assemblies, Elders, Bishops, Priests, Popes, Kings or any or all the Organizations, Institutions, or Combinations of men on earth; she is subject only to Christ, who alone is lawgiver in Zion. That church members are equals and fellow-citizens, and all contributions for the maintenance of the church, or support of the ministry, must be voluntary, as each member purposeth in his own heart." Mt. Zion: Elder G. W. Rogers, Elder John Sparkman, A.J. Welch; Little Hope: Elder Thos. Brittain, Elder J. M. Roquemore, B. H. Barton [Mt. Zion minutes, 1869, p. 4]

Note: At the 1869 Mt. Zion meeting, Primitive Baptist Elder Thomas Brittain preached the introductory sermon from Eph. 4:1-8 (Minutes, p. 1), was among those invited to seats as a visiting minister of like faith and order, preached at 10 a.m. on Saturday (p. 1), and preached following William McCollough on Monday (p. 2). I have not found the relevant minutes of the Little Hope Primitive Baptist Association to see if it is addressed in them. Perhaps Elders Sparkman and Brittain were the driving forces behind this attempt at union. Elder Brittain only of the Little Hope Association attended the Mt. Zion Association. He also attended a conference of the old Union Church in Nacogdoches, where Elder Sparkman was pastor. They both preached, presented the resolution to Union Church, and Union Church adopted it. Evidently nothing much else ever came from it. The Bethlehem (Missionary) Baptist Association, further south in the Jasper, Tyler, Polk Counties areas also elected messengers to attend the October 1868 meeting in Rusk County, but I do have enough information to know whether they did.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Howerton and Perkins update

Updating and correcting information in Mt. Carmel Church Connections.

Simeon Perkins did not die in 1866. Celia A. Howerton and Simeon Perkins were in Rusk County in the 1870 census, and had moved to Comanche County, Texas before 1880. They are buried at the Lockney Cemetery in Floyd County, Texas. According to the 1900 census, they had no children.

Elizabeth Howerton (1844-1914), daughter of William and Mary Howerton, full name is Miriam Elizabeth Howerton. She married James Bailey Lacy, Sr on January 14, 1869 in Rusk County, Texas. They are buried in the Lacy Cemetery, Comanche County, Texas.

According to her tombstone Mary Mickelborough Howerton died in 1895 rather than 1896. She seems to have moved from Rusk County with her daughter Miriam Elizabeth Lacy. She is buried in the same cemetery as her daughter and son-in-law, Lacy Cemetery in Comanche County, Texas. Mary's middle name may not be "Ann". Her tombstone has "Mary C."


A. S. Mickelborough, mentioned in the 1856 Soda Lake Baptist Association minutes, is Mary Howerton's brother Adial S. Mickelborough. According to Laurie Wimberly's family tree, he died June 6, 1862 in Rusk County, Texas. His burial location is unknown. In 1861 Adial S. Mickelborough married Julia Neighbors. Julia is, apparently, a widow, Julia A. Gill who married Thomas J. Neighbors in 1852 in Calhoun County, Alabama. She was born about 1837 in South Carolina, sister of Able and James Gill. Her father's name is unknown; her mother's name is Zany, maiden name unknown but later married a Thompson.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Some Rusk County Church news and info

Hickory Grove Baptist Church receives Texas Historical Marker -- "The Texas Historical Commission (THC) has recognized Hickory Grove Baptist Church as a significant part of Texas history..."
History of Texas Baptists by B. F. Fuller -- "Mount Zion Association was organized in 1857, at Mt. Zion church, in Rusk county..."
Rusk County, Texas Biographies -- "[Harris] was the son and grandson of devout Baptist ministers, who had come to America from Wales..."

Thursday, August 04, 2016

"Choctaw Bill" Robinson

Excerpt from William "Choctaw Bill" Robinson by D. D. Tidwell

William Robinson (1809 – 1898)

“William Robinson was born in North Carolina January 11, 1809, the son of Wallace Robinson and his wife, Rebecca Bishop. Prior to his fifteenth birthday the family moved to Alabama. On April 16, 1828 he married Julia Lucinda Fulford in Marengo County, Alabama, and they had eight children, all born in Alabama except the last two. After the death of his first wife he married Irena Isabel Brent in Hinds County, Mississippi, on November 15, 1846. They had six children, one of whom (Rev. O. B. Robinson) was a Baptist minister.

“About 1842 William Robinson moved to Louisiana and a son states that he owned 100 slaves about this time. In 1848 he moved to Rusk County, Texas, and by 1854 he was a resident of Johnson County. Soon after moving to Texas, William Robinson became a Baptist minister. Information as to his licensing and ordination is lacking although it may have been by the original Henderson Baptist Church. In 1851 he and Rev. Obadiah Dodson held a revival at Mount Enterprise and formed the Holly Springs Baptist Church.”

* Holly Springs was at Pine Hill rather than Mt. Enterprise (though it may have shown up with a Mt. Enterprise address in some records). When we were at Burleson, we saw the Bethesda Baptist church building and cemetery. Bethesda was organized by Robinson in 1855. He is buried in Comanche County.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Soda Lake Baptist Association

The Soda Lake Baptist Association was organized as the Eastern Missionary Baptist Association in 1847 in Harrison County, Texas -- the result of a split in the Sabine Baptist Association over mission ideas and methods. Though there are no Rusk County churches currently in the association, one of the original four founding churches was the Baptist Church in Henderson in Rusk County.

* "Samuel Herrin" in the J. B. Link article should be "Lemuel Herrin".

Saturday, May 28, 2016

L. L. Pruitt

Services for Rev. L. L. Pruitt, 94, of Henderson, will be held Tuesday, July 9, 1991 2 p.m. at West Main Baptist Church with the Revs. Kenneth Stone, Duane Pringle and Raymond Bugg officiating. Interment will be in Long (sic) Star Cemetery, Nacogdoches, under the direction of Bryan Funeral Home.

Rev. Pruitt died Sunday, July 7, 1991, at 8:35 in a Henderson nursing home after a lengthy illness. He was born Sept. 5, 1896 in Laneville. He attended Jacksonville Baptist College, was a member and 65-year minister of Baptist churches. Rev. Pruitt founded the West Main Baptist Church and pastored there for 12 years. He also pastored churches in Texas and Louisiana for 55 years. He is preceded in death by his wife Maggie Pruitt, who died Aug. 23, 1980. They were married for 60 years.

Excerpt from Henderson Daily News, July 8, 1991

* West Main Baptist Church was organized circa 1945


Sunday, May 01, 2016

First Baptist, Henderson

According to its historical marker, First Baptist Church in Henderson: 
Begun in 1845 by the Rev. Lemuel Herrin (d. 1852), pioneer missionary Baptist minister from Tennessee, this church was reorganized in 1850 by Elders John B. Renfro and J. O. Walker, and the Rev. Jesse Witt, who served as the first pastor. Total membership in 1850 was 21. In its early years, the fellowship shared a meeting place with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. The present church building was dedicated April 25, 1954. At least three other congregations have been sponsored by this one. The membership has grown steadily in recent years to the current (1976) total of over 1800.