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


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