Monday, September 15, 2008

Mt. Carmel location

The following would probably apply only to an intended location of Mt. Carmel's building near the end of its existence.

John Sparkman's well. "Sat. before the 3rd Sun. in March 1868...By motion a committee of five was appointed to select a suitable location for Mt. Carmel church. The committee selected John Sparkmans well, which was agreed on by the church."

In 1870 John Sparkman and wife sold land in southern Rusk County to D. H. Wood (recorded Rusk County Book S page 45). In 1868 Mt. Carmel considered building a church building near "John Sparkman's well". I would assume this to be somewhere on the above mentioned parcel of land. I don't know enough about deeds, but it was in the Maria Soprona Gonzales league, about 15 miles south of the town of Henderson and "on the tributaries of the west fork of the Angelina River." None of that locates it too specifically, but it would have been between Laneville and Glenfawn. Some adjoining property owners mentioned are: Mrs. S. S. Buckner, Simeon Perkins.

John Sparkman. John Calloway Sparkman was born in Jasper County, GA, 1881. When he was 18 years of age, he professed faith in Christ and was baptized by Elder John Dodd into the fellowship of the Bethesda/Bethsaida Baptist Church. He later united with the Flint River Baptist Church in Henry County before moving to Texas. When he first came to Texas, the family settled in Pine Hill circa 1853 and joined the Holly Springs Church there. He was licensed by Holly Springs in 1860 and ordained in 1861, Elders William Gwin, George Washington Rogers and Merritt Matthew Melton forming the presbytery. He probably joined the Mt. Carmel Church when he became pastor there, then joined Zion Hill Baptist Church in 1870 (which he helped organize in 1868). He was moderator of the Mt. Zion Baptist Association from 1872-1881. "The Bible was his dictionary, geography, grammar, rhetoric and logic. He was a man of strong convictions, devotedly pious, and earnest and forceful as a speaker, carrying the masses with him in his plain, scriptural arguments, drawing his illustrations principally from the common field of nature, his leading theme being the doctrines of grace, while he was well posted in the distinctive principles of the denomination, and ably defended them when it became necessary." John Sparkman died in 1882. "He was afflicted with cancer of the face, about one year before his death. Amidst his great affliction, which confined him to his room almost continually, his faith was unshaken, and his principal conversation was upon the love of Christ and the fulness of His great atoning sacrifice."

* Link gives Bethesda, but this possibly should be Bethsaida. Robert G. Gardner, Georgia Baptist Historical Society and Senior Researcher in Baptist History, Mercer University, wrote, "The only Bethsaida church was in Fayette County, with J. S. Dodd as pastor in at least 1849-1853. His post office address was Fayetteville (1849-1850) and Fairburn (1852-1853)."