Friday, September 29, 2006

Mt. Carmel Church - Introductory Matters

Introductory Matters

Mt. Carmel Baptist Church was constituted before October 30, 1857. Mt. Carmel was a charter member of the Mt. Zion Baptist Association when that association was organized at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Rusk County on October 30-31, 1857. Several charter members of the Mt. Zion Association – Bethel (Panola Co.), Cool Springs, Holly Springs, Mt. Moriah, Shiloh (Rusk Co.), New Salem, Union (Nacogdoches Co.) – were members of the Judson Baptist Association in 1856. Mt. Carmel was not, possibly indicating they were not yet organized. But it is also possible they were in another area association, such as the Soda Lake Association, or were not in any association previous to 1857.

Transmission of records
The records probably came into the hands of Smyrna Church through either Robert P. Goldsberry or F. O. Galloway, who were members of Mt. Carmel and charter members of Smyrna Baptist Church. Robert P. Goldsberry was the clerk of the last meeting of the Mt. Carmel Church, when they voted to disband and grant letters to all who called for them. He was a charter member of Smyrna Baptist Church. They had probably used only a few pages in the Mt. Carmel book, so started recording the Smyrna minutes in the same book. This is just a guess since all we have is a photocopy of the handwritten copy. It is not known whether originals still exist, or whether there were two books or just one. Another possibility of transmission would be through F. O. Galloway (Frank Owen Gallaway), who was the regular church clerk of Mt. Carmel and also a charter member of Smyrna. But Galloway had moved his membership from Mt. Carmel over a year before the church disbanded, so it is more likely that the transmission of the Mt. Carmel minutes to Smyrna was through Goldsberry. Note, though, that F. O. Galloway was clerk of the organizational meeting of Smyrna Baptist Church. After the church was constituted, J. F. M. Reid became the first church clerk of Smyrna Church.

M. L. Vaughn was clerk pro-tem of Smyrna at the last two meetings recorded in the first book of minutes of Smyrna Baptist Church, and this is probably how he came into possession of that book.

Location of Mt. Carmel church building
The location of the meeting places of Mt. Carmel Church has not been determined. In fact, the last minutes seem to indicate that the Church met in several different locations. The 1858 minutes of the Mt. Zion Baptist Association state that Mt. Carmel is 18 miles south of Henderson.

Place names and/or post offices associated with Mt. Carmel Church are:
(1). Iron Mountain. Post office “Iron Mountain” is on a handwritten sheet about the 1857 Mt. Zion Association in the Pauline Shirley Murrie collection at Stephen F. Austin University’s East Texas Research Center.
1 Iron Mountain is south of Laneville in the area of the Gould Cemetery.2
(2). New Salem. In three different years of minutes of the Mt. Zion Baptist Association, the post office is given as New Salem. New Salem was possibly the post office of the church clerk.
(3). Henderson. In two different years of minutes of the Mt. Zion Baptist Association, the post office is given as Henderson. This might be the post office of the church clerk.
(4). Garland school house. In April of 1870 the church voted to change its meeting location to the Garland school house. The location of Garland school house is yet to be discovered.
(5). John Sparkman’s well. In March 1868 the church selected John Sparkman’s well as the location to build a church house. It is not clear from the minutes, but it seems the building was never built. So this may have not been an actual meeting location of Mt. Carmel Church. This location is also debatable. John Sparkman settled “first at Pine Hill, then Laneville, later moving to Minden.”
3 His last residence was north of Minden. Laneville was likely his residence in 1868 (son Amos probably born there in 1869), and for a location the church might consider building a house of worship during this period.
(6). Glenfawn. There was once a church building located across the road from the Glenfawn Cemetery, and some believe Mt. Carmel may have met there. Though the denomination is not known, Julien Sidney Devereux wrote, “I and my family went to a little church about a mile from Monte Verdi.”4

(7). Mt. Enterprise. In 1871, the name of the Mt. Carmel Church is printed in the statistical table, with the post office as Mt. Enterprise. There is no other information. This could be the post office of the church clerk, indicate the move to the Garland schoolhouse put the church on a Mt. Enterprise route, or it might simply be a mistake.

In January 1868 the church selected a committee to confer with the Masons about building a lodge “at Mt. Carmel Church”. It is not known where this was. The minutes do not record the substance of their report, but evidently nothing ever came from it.

One can get a rough idea of where Mt. Carmel was probably meeting based on the location of her membership. They seem to have ranged from about Sulphur Springs east to New Salem on the west, and perhaps from the Laneville area north and towards Cushing south. Reuben and Frances Carmichael lived “…beyond and to the right of Sulphur Springs about 8 miles from [unreadable]”.5 William Howerton is buried at Glenfawn. Martin Baysinger is buried in an abandoned cemetery in Rusk County near the Nacogdoches County line. The Galloways lived near Laneville. The Fraziers and Vaughns lived in the Oak Flat community. Both the Gould/Iron Mountain area and the Glenfawn area are fairly central to the residences of the membership. It is quite likely that both places were home to the Mt. Carmel congregation at some point in the church’s history. The connection of several early families to the Devereux plantation lends weight to the idea that the church originally met in that area.6
1 I found no address given in the 1857 minutes. Is it possible there were two printings of the Mt. Zion minutes? I have seen two printings (different booklet sizes) of the 1856 Judson Association minutes.
2 “About seventeen miles south of Henderson, at Gould Postoffice, is the northeastern exposure of Iron Mountain, formerly Elkins Mountain.” Second Annual Report of the Geological Survey of Texas, 1890, p. 260, 261. (Also known as Bagley Mountain, Surrey Mountain)
Second annual report of the Geological Survey of Texas, 1890
3 The Rusk-Panola Missionary Baptist Association, Merline Moon, research paper, Stephen F. Austin State College, 1948, p. 14. These locations fit geographically and chronologically with the churches of Sparkman’s known membership – 1st Holly Springs, then Mt. Carmel, and finally Zion Hill.
4 Ninety-One Years of History, Glenfawn Baptist Church 1892—1983, Louis F. Asher, 1983, pp. iii, 3; Perhaps the church he mentions was Baptist. In his book on Devereux, Dorman Winfrey writes, “[Sarah Devereux] went to quiltings and sometimes Julien would share her company at a Baptist preaching.”, p. 91
5 In a letter dated April 1, 1866, from Nancy Jane Parker Pierce to her son Wiley Matthew (Doc) Pierce
6 John Landrum was father-in-law of Julien Sidney Devereux; William Howerton was Devereux’s overseer; Martin Baysinger was probably a hunting companion. On January 30, 1852, Devereux wrote, “Basinger, Howerton & myself went hunting in swamp. killed a Panther & Bear, both very large and fat.” (Winfrey, p. 90) Elizabeth Ann Stamps, a daughter of Mt. Carmel member B. F. Stamps, married Albert Devereux in 1869. In an 1852 will, Julien Devereux mentions a cemetery and a Baptist Church at nearby Anadarco.
© August 2006

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Mt. Carmel Church - Preface

Minutes of the Mt. Carmel Baptist Church Rusk County, Texas October 1867—November 1871
Compiled and edited by R. L. Vaughn
© August 2006


For almost 25 years I have had in my possession a copy of the only known minutes of the Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, Rusk County, Texas. I obtained a copy from the files of Dr. J. W. Griffith, who had written a history of the Smyrna Baptist Church. Only in recent months have I really considered that these bits of information would prove worthwhile to other researchers. With this booklet I hope to preserve and distribute information about the Mt. Carmel Baptist Church and its life in southern Rusk County. What we know of this early Rusk County church is sketchy at best. But the presentation of this material should nevertheless help broaden our knowledge of the Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, the Mt. Zion Baptist Association, Baptist history in Rusk County and East Texas, as well as be helpful to those engaged in genealogical research. The booklet will present the rules of decorum, membership roll and minutes of the Mt. Carmel Church 1867—1871, information on the church from the Mt. Zion Baptist Association minutes, and some information about the people of Mt. Carmel Church.

These minutes and membership roll are transcribed from a handwritten copy of the original Mt. Carmel minutes. The Mt. Carmel minutes were prefixed to the first book of minutes of the Smyrna Baptist Church, beginning with “Rules of Decorum” on pages one and two. The membership roll and minutes comprise pages 3-12. The Smyrna minutes follow, with this notation on page 86: “Copied in Oct. and Nov. of 1947 by Mrs. Ada Woolverton. Part of the original minutes found in the trunk of her father Rev. M. L. Vaughn After his death, last May.” Based on the copies, the book used by Ada Woolverton appears to have been a ruled ledger type book about 8” X 12”.

I have used information in brackets – such as [Begin page 1→] – to indicate the original page numbers in the Ada Woolverton copy of the Mt. Carmel minutes. The original spelling in the rules of decorum, minutes and membership list have been maintained, rather than attempting to update or correct them.

Other sources that should be considered in the future are: records of other early East Texas Baptist associations (such as Sabine and Soda Lake), the history of the Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church south of Laneville, and the Julien Sidney Devereux papers in the archives at the University of Texas. The mention of a Baptist Church at Anadarco in Devereux’s 1852 will needs to be researched. I did not have time to look at these items before the deadline I set, but recommend them to others for future research.

I would like to thank my brother for help with censuses and other research to help identify some of the families; and my wife for help with proofreading the document. We earnestly solicit information for any corrections or additions that need to be made.

R. L. Vaughn
Mount Enterprise, Texas
August 1, 2006

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Mt. Carmel Church - Contents

Today I will begin posting some information from my book on the Mt. Carmel Baptist Church. The following list of contents will show something of what is to come.

Introductory Matters
Transmission of records
Location of Mt. Carmel church building
Mt. Carmel Church Book
Rules of Decorum

A list of the members of Mt. Carmel Church
Mt. Carmel Church connections
Comments on omissions, discrepancies and errors
Black members of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church
The Demise of Mt. Carmel Church
Mt. Carmel Legacy
Known pastors, church clerks and deacons
Members of Mt. Carmel who joined Smyrna Church
Mt. Carmel and other churches
Resolutions to the Mt. Zion Association
Mt. Carmel Chart
Faith and Order

© August 2006

Monday, September 25, 2006

About me

I am a Baptist preacher who lives near Mt. Enterprise, Texas. Ordained in 1983, I am a “tent-making” minister, and work in the education industry. In addition to family, church, and work, I am active in Sacred Harp singing and write songs in this style. I am the former editor of a Baptist newsletter styled The Baptist Waymark.

Two important mentors to me were Louis Asher and J. W. Griffith, both of whom were once my pastors. They were historians and seminary professors who did much to nurture my predisposition toward things historical. Though I rejected the seminary path as outside the pale of New Testament orthopraxy, I hold them in very high esteem as men, preachers, teachers, and historians. Above all, in the flesh, I honor my father as the great influence in my life.

• Minutes of the Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, Rusk County, Texas: Oct 1868–Nov 1871, 2006
• Approaching 150: a Brief History of the East Texas Musical Convention, 2005

rl_vaughn -AT-

The purpose of this blog is to post the history of the Mount Carmel Baptist Church, and history about Baptists in Rusk County, Texas. Announcements and such like may creep in from time to time.

(If you wish to know more, please contact me by e-mail.)

Sunday, September 24, 2006

New Mount Carmel blog

I am beginning this blog to post information about, discuss, and otherwise look into the old Mount Carmel Baptist Church of Rusk County, Texas. I will begin by posting portions from my book, "Minutes of the Mount Carmel Baptist Church, Rusk County, Texas 1867-1871".

Be on the look out. I will start soon.