Monday, September 25, 2017

Free Will Churches, including Old Prospect


Our information is scant about the early history of the [Free Will Baptist, rlv] movement in Texas. Elder A. M. Stewart seems to be the earliest worker of whom we have an account.

The Texas Association

This is the oldest body that we have an account of and is located in and near Rusk County. It was formed in 1878. Through the ministry of Elder Stewart the Good Hope and Union Springs Churches in Rusk County, Union Chapel and Beckville in Panola County; Lone Star in Cherokee County, and Rape’s Chapel Churches were all gathered by Elder Stewart.
The Bright Light and Christian Home Churches were gathered by Elder T. H. Adams, in 1886. The Old Prospect in Rusk County, by Rev. James R. Lunsford, in 1887. The Beckville and Rape’s Chapel had been scattered before 1888, and at that time there were seven churches in this Association.

Excerpt from A Brief History of the Liberal Baptist People in England and America, From 1606 to 1911, G. W. Million and G. A. Barrett, editors, Pocahontas, AR: Liberal Baptist Book and Tract Company, 1911, p. 298 (I noticed in some genealogical research that Elder Stewart also pastored the Bright Light FWB in or near Bryan, Texas. He is buried at the Odd Fellows Cemetery in Carthage, Texas. The "R" initial is incorrect on Elder Lunsford. This is James Pierce Lunsford.)


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