Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Free Will Baptists in Rusk County: Berry and Brashier

In 1955
Berry, Hubert Ray (1912-1999) son of Fonza Monroe Berry and Mary Ann McGehee of Rusk County; married Asa Hillin. According to an article in the San Antonio Express, Hubert Ray Berry was ordained about 1932.[i] The 1932 Annual session met at Harper’s Union Church in Rusk County, but the minutes do not mention his ordination. Berry pastored several Free Will Baptist churches in Texas, including Pine Prairie near Huntsville circa 1952; Fellowship, Bryan, beginning in 1955;[ii]  Faith FWB in San Antonio beginning in 1962 at least until 1975.[iii] He was instrumental in organizing First FWB, Houston and First FWB, Nacogdoches.  In 1967 “H. Ray Berry, pastor of Faith Free Will Baptist Church, 704 W. Gerald Ave., was chosen ‘Minister of the Year’ by the Texas Association of Free Will Baptists.”[iv]

Brashier, Lewis K. (1905-1990) son of James Plinie Brashier and 
In 1967
Lillie Curry; married first, Grace Spillers; second Clover Phillips. He was born in Greenville County, South Carolina and left there sometime after 1940. He was in Sebastian County, Arkansas in 1942, when he married Clover Phillips and also enlisted in the Army for World War II. Brashier pastored at least Union Arbor and Stewart, and probably others. Brashier was living in Nacogdoches in 1957, but it is not known where he was pastoring at the time.[v] When I was a child attending singings at Stewart (sometime in the 1960s), he was the pastor or at least a member there. He was also a carpenter and a member of Carpenters’ Local 1097 in Longview, Texas.[vi]


[i] “Rev. Berry is Chosen by Baptists,” San Antonio Express, Saturday, September 2, 1967, p. 10-A “Ordained 35 years ago in Harpers Grove, Henderson, Rev. Berry has been pastor of Faith Church since its organization in 1962. He also has been instrumental in organizing churches in East Texas, Pine Prairie and Huntsville. Rev. Berry served on the General Board of the National Association of Free Will Baptist, and has been moderator of his district association, a member of the ordaining council and was secretary-treasurer of the Missions and Church extension Board.” [Note: H. Ray Berry did not organize Pine Prairie, but was pastor there when they built a new building. See Pine Prairie Free Will Baptist Church brings new building to community.]
[ii] The Bryan Daily Eagle (Bryan, Texas), Friday, October 28, 1955, p. 4
[iii] “Church News,” San Antonio Express, Saturday, August 23, 1975, p. 9-A
[iv] “Rev. Berry is Chosen by Baptists,” San Antonio Express, Saturday, September 2, 1967, p. 10-A
[v] Obituary of Rho Hutchison, who died September 22, 1957
[vi] The Carpenter, Vol. XCIII, No. 3, March 1973 (page 21) Official Publication of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America

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