J. D. Smith.
Rufus C. Burleson, R. S. Blount, E. B. Noble, D. S.
Terry, J. JST. Joiner and H. Bowles.
A. M. Tandy. M. B. Bennett and B. vStribling.
Wm. Scallorn, G. W. Tuttle and J. Price.
Post Oak Grove.
J. AV. D. Creath, A. McRae, J. King and N. H. Davis.
Antioch. â€” (Anderson) .
A. Buffington, O. H. P. Hill, A. G. Perry, J. W. Barnes
and J. M. Camp.
B. E. Ellis and J. L. Ellis.
240 The Life and Writings of
New Years Creek. â€” (Brenliam).
D. Fisher, J. Allcorn, J. Clark, J. Brown and W. G.
Noah Hill, A. C. Horton, W. Baxter and J. Yeaman.
R. Andrews, E. B. Jarman, S. S. Hosea and S. E.
E. Ellis, B. Weeks, J. L. Johnson and J. Mullin.
E. H. Taliaferro.
J. Stephens, D. B. Dillard and N. Biirgett.
T. Davis, W. Stone, C. S. Gorbet.
E. D. Heck, W. P. Darby, G. M. Buchanan, W. W.
Galveston. â€” (First Church).
J. F. Hillyer, Gail Borden and D. B. Morrill.
Jesse Witt, J. Goodwin and S. Sanders.
P. B. Chandler, J. S. Lester.
Providence. â€” (Burleson County).
Eepresented only by letter.
The provisional organization of the Convention, was con-
tinued until the adoption of the constitution.
Hosea Garrett, Eufus C. Burleson, James Huckins, H.
L. Graves, J. W. D. Creath, Eichard Ellis, P. B. Chandler,
E. S. Blount, A, C. Horton, J. G. Thomas, to which the chair-
De. Rufus C. Burleson. 241
man, E.. E. B. Baylor, was added by motion, were appointed to
draft a constitution.
E, H. Taliaferro, ISToah Hill and A. G. Haynes were ap-
pointed on a committee to prepare rules of order.
Saturday, the 9th, at 9 o'clock the committee on constitu-
tion of which Rufus C. Burleson was a member, submitted its
report to the convention, which was adopted without amend-
ment or change, as was also the report of the committee on
rules of order. It is related that both these committees
worked until nearly daylight, to have their reports ready to
present to the convention at the opening of the morning ses-
sion of the second day.
Report of Committee on Constitution.
1. This body shall be called the Baptist State Conven-
tion of Texas.
2. The objects of the Convention shall be Missionary
and Educational, the promotion of harmony of feeling and
concert of action in our denomination, and the organization of
a system of operative measures, to promote the interest gen-
erally of the Redeemer's Kingdom within this State.
3. The convention shall be composed only, of members
of Baptist Churches in good standing.
4. Any member of a Baptist Church may be a member
of the convention, upon the payment of $5.00, and will be
entitled to life membership, upon the payment of $25.00 at
one time. Any association, church or society, shall be en-
titled to one representative in the convention, for every $5.00
contributed to its funds ; and any church belonging to an asso-
ciation shall be entitled to one representative without a con-
5. All donations to the convention shall be sacredly
appropriated in accordance with the msh of the donor.
6. The officers of the convention shall be a president,
three vice-presidents, a corresponding secretary, a recording
secretary and a treasurer; who shall be annually elected by bal-
lot, but shall hold their office until others are elected, which
officers shall be ex-officio members of the Board of Directors.
7. It shall be the duty of the President to preside over
the deliberations of the convention, and Board of Directors,
242 The Life a^d Writings of
and discharge such other duties as are generally incumbent
upon this officer in deliberative assemblies. He shall appoint
the committees in all cases, except when the convention shall
In the absence of the President one of the Vice-Presi-
dents shall preside, and the one entitled to the office shall be
determined by seniority of age.
8. It shall be the duty of the Corresponding Secretary
to conduct all the correspondence of the convention, and
Board of Directors. He shall make an annual report in writing
of the same, embodying therein, such matter or information
as he may deem important.
9. It shall be the duty of the Eecording Secretary to
keep in a book suitable for the purpose, a correct record of the
proceedings of the convention, and Board of Directors, and to
file and keep such papers as are important to be preserved.
10. It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to take charge
of all moneys, specialties and property belonging to the con-
vention, and to make such disposition of the same, as he shall
be directed by the convention or Board of Directors. He
shall not make any disposition of money or property, without
an order signed by the presiding officer and Recording Secre-
tary. He shall make an annual statement in writing, to the
convention,' of his official acts, and of his receipts and disburse-
11. The convention shall annually elect by ballot a
Board of Directors, of not less than twenty members, whose
duty it shall be to act in the recess of the convention, and
whose powers shall be the same as those of the convention;
they shall not do anything inconsistent with the constitution,
nor contrary to the objects and intentions of the convention.
It shall be their duty to meet once in every four months, and
oftener if they deem it necessary. They shall keep a record of
their proceedings, and make an annual report of the same in
writing to the convention. They shall make their own By-
Laws. Eight members shall constitute a quorum to do busi-
ness. Five additional members of the Board of Directors,
shall be nominated at the same meeting by the President, sub-
ject to approval by the convention. Any life member of the
Dk. Kufus C. Burleson. 243
convention may be an honorary member of the Board of
The Board of Directors shall have the exclusive power of
appointing agents and missionaries, and ordering the disburse-
ment of money in the recess of the convention. They may call
a meeting of the convention.
12. The convention shall never possess a single attribute
of power or authority over any church or association. It ab-
solutely and forever disclaims any right of this kind, and
hereby avowing that cardinal principle, that every church is
sovereign and independent.
13. The election of officers shall take place immediately
after the convention is organized, and the Recording Secre-
tary shall have ascertained the names and number of members
present. The highest number of votes shall constitute a choice
in all elections, except for President and Treasurer, in which
elections a majority shall be necessary.
14. No officer of the convention shall receive any com-
pensation for his services.
15. Visiting brethren may be invited to seats in^the con-
vention, and participate in its deliberations, but shall not be
allowed to vote.
16. The annual sessions of the convention shall be held
on Friday before the second Sabbath in May.
lY. This constitution may be altered or amended at an
annual session, by a vote of two-thirds of the members
The constitution was considered seriatim, and adopted
as the organic law of the body. And just as the constitution
of the Republic of Texas adopted in 1836 has, with slight
elaborations and enlargements, been re-affirmed, by every
constitutional convention held since, so this first constitution
of the Baptist State Convention, has been substantially re-
adopted by that body from that time until now.
Dr. Henry L. Graves, who it will be remembered was the
first President of Baylor University, was elected President.
Dr. Graves was a man of commanding personal appearance,
deliberate and dignified in manner, a fine parliamentarian, and
as a presiding officer has had few equals. He filled the posi-
tion until 1851, when he was succeeded in office by Judge R.
244 The Life and Wkitixgs or
E. B. Baylor. J. W. D. Creath, Hosea Garrett and Jamea
Huckins Avere Vice-Presidents; Rufus C. Burleson, Corres-
ponding Secretary; J. G. Thomas, Recording Secretary, and
J. W. Barnes, Treasurer,
The President appointed committees on Education,
Printing and Papers, Missions, Finance, Bibles and Colored
Population, all of whom made interesting reports, that could
be very properly inserted in this connection if this was a
history of the convention; but since it is only intended to show
Dr. Burleson's connection with it, only his acts are noticed.
The committee on Printing consisted of J. W. Barnes, R. C.
Burleson, J. E. Hillyer, Gail Borden, R. S. Blount and B. E.
Ellis. In their report the comixdttee discussed the value of
the ptess with so much wisdom, that it is reproduced entire.
It shows that the Baptist Fathers of Texas, were not only im-
pressed with the importance of Missions and Education, but
also every adjunct and accessory tending to promote the
growth of the denomination, and development of the state.
"It is a fact known to all of you, brethren, that among
the individuals composing our churches, there are persons
from almost every state in the Union. It is a fact also known
to you, that these brethren, owing to the sparseness of our
population, are scattered in every direction over our extensive
territory; and it is also well known, that we have brought with
us impressions upon our minds, durably made, of the customs
and practices of those with whom we were formerly associated.
"There is in this scattered mass an exceedingly valuable
material. It is a very desirable, and highly important object,
to bring together and concentrate this material, so as to raise
a superstructure that will be at once beautiful and useful.
This object, we firmly believe can be accomplished, but the
mode or plan of effecting it, presents itself with great force to
our prayerful consideration. With a view of accomplishing
this object your committee would suggest, as one of the most
efficient means, the issuing, and widely circulating, a paper
devoted to the views and interest of our denomination. "We
believe it to be the most efficient means of producing concert
Dtj. Rufus C. Burlesox. 245
of feeling and action, and creating unison in our future pro-
gress and benevolent effort.
^'But if these reasons are insufficient, we would urge its
utility for the reason, that our brethren need and desire, more
religious matter in the form of newspapers than they now
possess, or can obtain without great inconvenience and ex-
pense. A paper would be a valuable auxiliary to the conven-
tion, and will also promote the interest of our Baylor Insti-
tute. We believe it will be made a medium of communication
between our ministers and missionaries throughout the State.
Through it we can all learn of the progress and prosperity of
our churches and associations; and what is, if possible, still
more important, it will be the means through which our
brethren can disseminate the great principles of our denomi-
nation; and the better to disseminate these great truths, your
committee are of the opinion, that if four or five of our tal-
ented ministers in different parts of the State were appointed
by this convention, or would voluntarily prepare for publica-
tion in this paper, suitable articles upon our Doctrines and
Practices, that great good would result from it.
"These are only in part the reasons that might be urged,
and which readily suggest themselves to your minds, why it
is desirable, if possible, to have a paper for our denomination
in this State.
"As regards the practicability of the measure, your com-
mittee have not failed to possess themselves of such informa-
tion as is highly important to the object contemplated. It is
not considered necessary in a condensed report of this kind,
to enter into details and minutiae, but they are fully con-
vinced, that if 500 paying subscribers can be obtained, a
paper can go into successful operation.
"Your committee would suggest, that it is not contem-
plated, so to connect the paper with this convention, as to incur
any pecuniary responsibility whatever, on the part of this
body, but that it shall be managed entirely by individual en-
terprise. At the same time they are satisfied, that in order to
insure success, the hearty co-operation of the friends and
brethren of the convention are indispensable; and with that
co-operation, our movement is onward. We must appeal to
Him who guides and governs, for blessings upon this effort."
24G The Life axd AVeitixgs of
De. Bukleso>-'s Appearance ix the State Coxventiox,,
September 8th, 1848, Marks His Extraxce Ixto Pub-
lic Life in Texas â€” Report of Committee ox Educa-
Tiox â€” EiRST Baptist Paper ix Texas â€” Mr. Burlesox
Invites the Coxyextiox to Hold Secoxd Sessiox in
Houston â€” Coxvextion Met May 11th, 1849 â€” ^Re-
elected Corresponding Secretary â€” Mr. Burleson's
Report as Corresponding Secretary â€” List of Baptist
Preachers in Texas in 1849 â€” Conditions in 1849 and
1901 Compared â€” Early Texas Heroes and Heroixtss
â€” Their Sacrifices M-\ke Present Coxditions Pos-
ITH ten thousand miles of railroad in Texas, upon
whicli hundreds of passenger trains move to every
point of the compass every hour; with one thousand
daily and weekly newspapers, circulating in every community;
mth the State a perfect interlacement of telegraph and tele-
phone wires; with the most perfect postal facilities the world
ever saw, postage at a trifle, and stationery at a song, it would
not be a difficult matter to introduce a man to the three mil-
lion people of Texas in a day. In 1848, when Dr. Burleson
came to Texas, it was a vastly different proposition. Acquaint-
ances were formed, and distinction achieved, almost entirely
through the slow process of personal contact. Dr. Burleson
had been in the State since January the 5th, had confined him-
self to pastoral work in Houston, and while he had made some
reputation, he was very little known personally. His appear-
Dr. Eufus C. Buklesox. 247
ance in the convention marks his entrance into public life m
Texas; and when he arose on the floor of the convention to
discuss the report on education, the delegates present looked
inquiringly at each other and many of them asked :
"What distinguished looking young brother is that?"
The report of the committee, in which was so strongly
set forth the necessity of a Baptist paper in the State, was
adopted, and the following resolution, introduced by Gen. J.
W. Barnes, passed :
"Kesolved, That, concurring in the views of the forego-
ing report, we recommend our brethren to use their best
efforts in sustaining a paper to be devoted to the interest of
our denomination in Texas."
N'otwithstanding the fact that Texas Baptists thus early
saw the importance of establishing a newspaper in the State,
as a means of communication and stimulating denominational
growth; and notmthstanding the report of the committee, and
subsequently the passage of the Barnes resolution, expressive
of the sentiment of the convention on this subject, it was not
until 1855 that the paper was started. In January of that
year, seven years after the convention had taken action. Dr.
G. W. Baines, one of the profoundest men in the denomina-
tion, established the "Texas Baptist" at Anderson. Rev. J.
B. Stiteler, W. H. Stokes and R. H. Taliaferro were asso-
ciated with Dr. Baines in the editorial management of the
paper, which was conducted with marked ability until publica-
tion was suspended as a result of the war of 1861.
Rev. James Huckins, Gov. A. C. Horton and Hon. Rich-
ard Ellis composed the Committee on Education. The first-
named was a leading spirit in projecting Baylor University,
and his efforts to build it up had been ceaseless, as we have
seen, and unremitting. Through his influence the Union
Association had exercised fostering care over it. The new
made friend of the school, found in Dr. Burleson, was no
less ardent than the veteran Huckins, so he warmly supported
the following report made by the committee :
"Whereas, The tendency of sound learning is to increase
moral power, and hence the future prosperity and influence
of the Baptist denomination in Texas will greatly depend
upon their efforts to advance the cause of education in their
248 The Life axd AVriti^tgs of
own families, and in the community generally; now, there-
fore, be it
''Resolved, By the Baptist State Convention, That we
regard the efforts of the Board of Trustees of Baylor Univer-
sity to build up and endow, and furnish that institution, so
that it shall be able to give a thorough and polished educa-
tion, as a subject deeply interesting to every Baptist, and that
we commend the institution to their prayers, their affections
and to their liberal support.
'â€¢'Resolved, That in view of the increased and still increas-
ing demand for a holy and learned ministry in this country,
and confiding in the success of the prayer of faith, in securing
this blessing; and believing that the church contains within
itself all those gifts, which, if drawn out and cultivated, would
be equal to its demands, we do solemnly and earnestly recom-
mend to our ministers and brethren generally that while they
obey the injunction. Tray ye the Lord of the harvest to send
forth more laborers,' that they take up at least one collection
yearly for the purpose of aiding those young men in procuring
a suitable education who shall give evidence of being called
of God to preach the gospel."
On the 3d day of September, 1848, at a regular confer-
ence meeting of the church in Houston the following reso-
lution was passed :
Resolved, By the members of this church. That Ave do
invite the Baptist State Convention to hold its next meeting
at this place."
This invitation w^as presented by R. C. Burleson and the
other delegates from the Houston Church to the convention
at Anderson, and accepted. Pastor Burleson and his church
and congregation have the honor of entertaining the conven-
tion in its second annual session, l^ot only the members of
the Baptist Church, but all Houston was gratified, and the
pastors of the Methodist and Presbyterian Churches opened
their doors and volunteered every assistance in their power
The convention met in Houston on Friday, the 11th of
Ma}' and continued in session until the 14th.
Rev. James Huckins preached the convention sermon.
Dk. Rufus C. Buelksox. 249
J. W. D. Creath. was elected President, and R. S. Blount,
a member of the Houston Church, Recording Secretary.
The Corresponding Secretary, R. C. Burleson, reported
the proceedings of the Board of Directors during the year as
"It is deeply regretted that there is so little of interest in
our proceedings to lay before your body.
"On the 12th of September, 1848, immediately after the
close of the convention at Fanthorpe (Anderson), the Board
held its first meeting, in accordance with the instructions of
the conA^ention, and appointed a committee, composed of
myself, R. S. Blount and ISTelson Kavanaugh, to select a col-
porteur, for the distribution of Bibles and religious books in
Texas. The chairman of the committee has corresponded
with four different brethren, with reference to engaging them
in this important work, but no one has yet been obtained.
The second meeting of the Board was held at Indepen-
dence on the 30th of September, same year. At this meeting
$150 was appropriated for home missions, provided a minis-
ter could be obtained. But no one has yet been found to
engage as missionary of the Board.
"The amount of money for Foreign Missions was for-
warded to the Board at Richmond, Virginia, $11.50 to be
devoted to Chinese Missions, and $11.50 to African Missions.
The headquarters of the Board was located at Independence.
"The Board ordered $175 of the funds for educational
purposes to be paid by the Treasurer of the convention to the
Treasurer of the Education Society. The meeting in March
was an entire failure, and there has been no meeting of the
"RUFUS C. BURLESOX,
As chairman of the committee appointed at the first ses-
sion of the convention to collect data as to the number of Bap-
tists in Texas at that time, Mr. Burleson made a partial report
of his efforts to gather reliable statistics, in which he gave a
list of the preachers :
Reverends J. F. Hillyer, Richard Ellis, J. J. Wells,
ISToah Hill, P. B. Chandler, A. S. Mercer, James T. Powell,
J. ]Sr. Joiner, W. H. Vardeman, Hosea Garrett, H. L. Graves,
250 The Life and AVritings of
R E. B. Baylor, David Fisher, James H. Stribling, D. B.
Morrill, Luther Seaward, B. B. Baxter, A. Buffington, J. W.
D. Creath, J. Pcaree, Z. X. Morrell, X. T. Byars, James
Huckins, R. H. Taliaferro, A. E. Clemmons, William Pickett,
Jesse Witt, J. M. Perry and R. C. Burleson. Total, 29. Of
the whole number twenty were filling regular pastorates. The
number of churches was in excess of the number of preachers,
and for this reason, while nine ministers were not in the pasto-
rate, many others had several charges.
Judge Baylor was a lawyer, in almost constant discharge
of his duties on the bench, and only preached as he had oppor-
tunity. Eev. Hosea Garrett was not fond of the pastorate,
but very active and useful in every other department of
Christian work. Dr. Henry L. Graves was giving his whole
attention to the interest of Baylor University. Luther Sea-
ward was giving his entire time to missionary work. Eev.
E". T. Byars was also devoting his entire time to missionary
The number of churchless preachers was thus, therefore,
reduced to four, who, it seems, were more interested in farm-
ing than in preaching the gospel.
As this list of twenty-nine ministers, reported by Corre-
sponding Secretary Burleson as being in Texas on the 12th day
of September, 1849, is scanned, let the reader bear in mind
that on the fifty-second anniversary of that report, September
the 12th, 1901, there are about four thousand, and the ratio
of Baptist growth in the State during the past fifty-three
years will be readily grasped. A still clearer grasp of the
marvelous numerical increase among Baptists in Texas will be
had if it is recalled that when the Baptist General Convention
of Texas met in Port Worth, l^ovember the 8th, 1901, just
fifty-three years and two months after it was organized, there
were three times as many delegates and visitors in attendance
upon that body as there were members of the denomination in
the entire State in 1848. The increase during the last half
century \vill be more clearly grasped still if it be understood
that if all the Baptists in Texas at the time Mr. Burleson
made the report' had been gathered into one congregation, it
would just about equal the present membership of the Pirst
Baptist Church of Dallas or Waco.
Dr. Rufus C. Burleson. 251
In 1850, at a session of the convention, held in Hunts-
ville, Secretary Burleson presented an interesting report of
the work of the convention for the year, which is summarized
"The increased interest and prosperity of the work is
chiefly owing, under God, to the arduous and efficient labors
of our agent. Elder J. W. D. Creath was appointed to this
important work at our second meeting, June 15th, 1851.
His duty was to collect funds and awaken a general interest
for the convention, to organize new churches in destitute
places, and aid them in securing and supporting pastors. He
was released from his churches, on the earnest solicitation of
the Board of Directors, and entered on his labors August 22d
1851. Since that time he has traveled 3,000 miles, delivered
ninety-three lectures and exhortations, preached 137 sermons
visited 240 families, attended sixteen prayer-meetings
ordained one preacher and four deacons, organized one Sab
bath school, raised in cash $843.37, His expenses, $34
Your Board is deeply impressed with the importance of con-
tinuing Brother Creath as missionary agent, and urge his
"Eev. IS". T. Byars was appointed missionary in 1849,
to labor in the county of ITavarro, for three months. He
preached twenty sermons, constituted one church, baptized
three persons, traveled 500 miles, and received $25 from the
Board as compensation for his services."
''Rev. Luther Seaward was appointed in October, 1849,
to labor principally in Burleson County. He has traveled
700 miles, preached nineteen sermons, constituted one church,