visited nine families, and received $100 for his labor."
"Rev. David Lewis was appointed in October, 1850, as
missionary to the counties of Houston and Anderson, He
has traveled 645 miles, preached 162 sermons, delivered seven
lectures, organized one church, baptized five persons, ordained
one deacon, visited ninety-seven families, fourteen confer-
ences, sixteen prayer-meetings, and delivered seven Sunday-
"Rev. A. Ledbetter commenced his labors as missionary
January 1st, 1851, in Dallas, Ellis, IN'avarro and Tarrant
252 The Life and Writings of
counties. He has preached thirty-nine sermons, baptized two
persons, received five by letter, and traveled 700 miles."
"Rev. Xoah Hill, missionary to the colored people, com-
menced his labors April 1st, 1851, among the slave popula-
tion of AVharton, Matagorda and Brazoria counties. Your
Board deeply feel the importance of this mission, and no man
is better suited to it than Brother Hill. He has traveled 567
miles, visited sixteen families, delivered four lectures, nine-
teen sermons, six exhortations, and baptized thirteen slaves.
Brother Hill received $100 from this Board, $200 from the
Board at Marion, Alabama, and the remainder of his support
is made up by the churches at Wharton and Cedar Lake."
The regular quarterly meetings of the Board have been
Avell attended and exceedingly harmonious.'"
DlSTEIBUTIOI^ OF BiBLES ATTO ReLIGIOUS BoOKS.
"This important subject, so earnestly commended to
your body at the last session of the convention, has received
prayerful attention. At the second meeting of the Board, a
committee, consisting of R. H. Taliaferro, ^N'elson Kavanaugh,
J. P. Gole and James Davis of Houston, was appointed. This
committee, after most vigorous efforts, have not been able
to secure, without the cash, books on such terms as would jus-
tify them in commencing the colporteur system. We recom-
mend that a fund of $150 be raised immediately, to com-
mence a depository."
"The Virginia and Foreign Bible Society at a recent
meeting, donated $500 to aid Texas in circulating the Bible,
and if we could raise $150, we could commence this glorious
work at once. We have not been able until this time to secure
a colporteur, fully prepared and qualified for this work, but
are now happy to state that our beloved brother, Richard
Ellis, has signified his willingness to enter upon this work just
as soon as the books can be procured."
"Communications have been received, which clearly
show the great importance of the convention sending mis-
sionaries immediately to labor in and around Richmond, Fort
Dk. Kufus C. Bl-rlesox. 253
Bend county, and Cameron, the county seat of Milam county,
and also Austin, the capital of the State. There are some
influential Baptists living near these places, each of which
presents a wide field of usefulness, and should be occupied by
pious, intellectual and energetic preachers."
"Letters have been received from Brother Baggerly of
Austin and Brother Wombwell of Brownsville concerning
their fields of labor. Brother Wombwell states that in his
missionary labors he is sustained by the Domestic Board of
the Southern Baptist Convention, and a school under his
charge; that there is in Brownsville no church, there not being
a sufficient number of members to compose one, nor a house
of worship belonging to our denomination; that his time is
employed in studying the Spanish language, and in making
the necessary arrangements for a regular and (systematic
organization, and so far as possible in all the work of an
"Brother Baggerly presents Austin as a proper field to
be occupied by the convention, and asks that a suitable man be
secured and sent into it, which request should be, if possible,
favorably responded to. He likewise requests the convention
to appoint a body of visitors to attend the examination of the
school under his charge, which the Board has deemed proper
to decline as business that does not legitimately come before
The Treasurer's report at this session of the convention
showed the source of every contribution, and how the money
had been applied.
The Finance Committee reported and paid over to the
Treasurer $823.67, with an itemized statement, of whom, and
for what purpose, all collections were received.
Some reference has been made and some comparisons
instituted, showing how the Baptists of Texas had increased
numerically during the past fifty-three years, and how the
work of the convention had enlar2:ed. This enlargement is
noticeable in all lines of work, and a comparison between the
report of Corresponding Secretary Burleson, made at the
fourth session of the convention, in 1851, and the report of
Dr. J. B. Gambrill, Corresponding Secretary, made at the
session of the convention held in Fort Worth, N'ovember the
254 The Life axd Writings of
8th, 1901, exactly fifty years and two months afterwards,
shows the immense strides made in the financial operations of
the convention, and will produce a. feeling of joyful surprise
and gladness from those who are unacquainted with the opera-
tions of that body when it was an infant on the borders of
civilization. The total receipts of the convention in 1851,
from all sources, was $823.67, and five missionaries were
employed. At Fort Worth, Dr. Gambrill says in his report :
"The results recorded for 1900-1 are far beyond any-
thing known in our history. The Education Commission was
able to mark the triumphant completion of the first part of its
herculean task, viz: The liquidation of all indebtedness on
the correlated schools, and the addition of important equip-
ments, not as originally planned, but far beyond. The entire
amount raised for debt paying and equipment is about $400,-
000. During the last year the commission raised in cash
$250,000. The debts, which imperiled all our schools
except one or Uxo, will be kno^vti no more forever.
'The operations of the Mission Board were on a large
scale, j^tore than $50,000 in cash was paid out by the Board
on State missions; 203 missionaries were employed. All obli-
gations were met and a balance left in the treasury. Two
thousand nine hundred and ninety-four people were baptized,
eighty-three churches constituted, and 6,062 brought into
church relations. Forty-two meeting houses were built and
eight others assisted in building. The entire financial opera-
tion of the Board, in all branches of its work, for all purposes,
and in all ways, amounted to $140,000 in round numbers.
That the work of the Commission and State Board could have
each succeeded on such a tremendous scale, on the same field,
at the same time, during a year of State-wide crop failure,
surely ought to awaken thought."
From 1812, the year from which the operations of Bap-
tists in Texas should date, until 1851, when Dr. Burleson
made his report, about twenty houses of worship had been
Dr. Gambrell's report shows forty-two, just double this
number, and two over, erected in one year.
Dr. Burleson's report shows twenty-nine Baptist preach-
ers in Texas in 1849.
Dr. Rufus C. Burleson. 255
Dr. Gambrell's report shows nearly seven times that
number employed solely as missionaries.
There were, approximately, 950 Baptists in Texas in
1848. Dr. Gambrell's report shows 6,062, or nearly seven
times that number, were added to the various churches in the
State in 1901.
The last and most striking comparison is, in one respect,
a deduction; in the other exact figures are given.
There was a time in the history of the world when nearly
all the good Baptists lived in caves and among the mountains.
They had no property, because not permitted to work. These
good Baptists never came out of these caves, nor down from
these mountains, except to be blown up or butchered for loy-
alty to their convictions. They have recovered from these
slight reverses now, however, and are well toward the front in
matters of business. This being the case, it is presumed that
Baptists were as well-to-do in the early times in Texas as other
people. The people at that time owned some land, but this
possessed very little value. Xearly all were poor; a fortune
of $5,000 was colossal wealth. The average fortune was not
far from $1,000.
It is assumed that 250 of the 950 Baptists in Texas in
1848 were slaves, and, of course, owned no property, thus
reducing the number of white Baptists to TOO. ^ow, sup-
pose they had been called on to raise $400,000 ? If they had
contributed $500 each, which would have been perhaps one-
half of all the property they possessed, they would have
needed, $50,000 to finish the amount.
The text for the first conventional sermon ever preached,
as stated, was: "Of the increase of His Government and
Peace there should he no end.''' On that occasion Rev. Z. :t^.
Morrell predicted and drew a word picture of present condi-
tions. As the colossal growth, indicated by these comparisons,
is contemplated, and the soul swells with ineffable joy, our
hearts should turn upward and our faces backward, while we
praise Him for sending Heroes and Heroines to Texas,
through whose sacrifices and self -forgetting the present condi-
tion of the denomination was made possible.
256 The Life akd Writings of
In 1852 CoNVEKTiON Meets in Marshall, 1853 in Hunts-
viLLE â€” At Both Meetings Dr. Burleson Renews His
Efforts for the Establishment of a Paper â€” ^His
Report as Corresponding Secretary â€” Reviews the
Year's "Work â€” Baylor UNrvTERSiTY â€” Meetings of the
Board of Directors â€” J. W. D. Creath, His Consecra-
tion AND Character â€” His Saddle Horse, John the
Baptist â€” Dr. Burleson's Report for 1853 â€” Work
Encouraging Along All Lines â€” Special Committee
Appointed to Visit Baylor University â€” President
Burleson and Prof. Clark Made Honorary Mem-
bers OF THE Convention.
A T MARSHALL in 1852 Mr. Burleson renewed his
' efforts to induce the convention to establish a Baptist
^^^^ paper. In his new relation to the denomination as
college President he felt more sensibly the pressing importance
of this medium of presenting the progress of missions and edu-
cation to the people. He believed in taking his constituents
into his confidence. If the enterprises entrusted to his direc-
tion and management were prosperous, he wanted some means
other than the laborious task of writing personal letters,
through which to apprise the people. If these enterprises lan-
guished, ho wanted the friends to know the truth, as the best
means of inducing them to redouble their -efforts. The con-
vention was not ready to guarantee success in the matter, nor
to assume any financial responsibility, and the effort failed.
Dk. liuFUS C. BURLESOX. 257
His reiDort as Corresponding Secretary presented to the
convention at Marshall was the most voluminous document
vet considered by that body, and a paper of much interest at
the same time. It showed the swelling tide of Baptist progress
in missions, and included also the progress in education, a fea-
ture not embodied in any report up to this time.
"Another year has passed away, and our acts, labors of
love, and shortcomings are all registered in the great book of
God's remembrance, to be unrolled before an assembled uni-
verse in that last day."
"Reviewing carefully the labors and progress of our con-
vention since 1851, we find some things to regret, but many
others for which to be devoutly grateful to God. One of our
most faithful missionaries. Rev. H. P. Mays, has fallen at his
post. God has abundantly blessed the toils of some of our mis-
sionaries in the conversion of many souls."
"The quarterly as well as the called meetings of the Board
have been well attended, and characterized by the spirit of
harmony, love and zeal. Our efforts have been impeded con-
siderably by the pecuniary embarrassments of the State, yet
all the great objects of the convention have been moving on
steadily, and gaining a deeper and stronger hold on the affec-
tions of our churches and brethren."
Here follows a very careful resume of the work of J. W.
D. Creath, A. Buffington, E'oah Hill, A. Ledbetter, David
Lewis and David Fisher, the six missionaries employed by the
convention during that year.
Appropeiations Made to Associi\.Tioxs.
To Trinity River Association $100
To Elm Fork Association 100
To Red River Association 100
To Cherokee Association 100
"We have learned that these associations have already
obtained missionaries, who are engaged successfully."
258 The Life and Writings of
Important and Destitute Fields.
"San Antonio and Seguin present a fine opportunity for
a Baptist minister of deep piety and good intellect. The
former is said to have a population of not less than 6,000, and
the latter of about 1,000 or 1,500; they are about thirty miles
apart. The citizens of these places and vicinity are intelli-
gent and liberal, and it is believed if the right kind of a man
was located there, almost his entire salary could be raised on
the field, even for the first year. But an ordinary man need
not be sent. It will be time and labor lost."
"Bastrop, on the Colorado, presents another field 'white
to the harvest.' It has about 1,000 inhabitants, and the vicin-
ity is densely settled with an enterprising population. There
are several influential Baptists on the field, who made liberal
offers to a minister of our church. Kev. K. H. Taliaferro of
Austin devotes a portion of his time to this interesting field,
but the gro\\dng importance of this section of the State
demands a pious and energetic man, devoted entirely to Bas-
trop and vicinity. The villages and country on the coast,
between the Brazos and Colorado rivers, are becoming daily
more important. In all this wide, fertile and populous region
we have but one preacher."
"The counties in Northern Texas, bordering on Ked
river, is another equally destitute and important field. There
are several small churches here that say they will support a
minister if one can be found. But ivliere is the manf
The counties of Limestone, and Freestone, left destitute
by the death of our zealous and devoted Mays, ought to be
supplied immediately. The interesting little churches he
organized are now as sheep without a shepherd."
"Brownsville, on the Rio Grande, has been abandoned
by Brother J. H. Wombwell, missionary of the Southern
Board. We are fully convinced this point might become a
place of great influence, on the Mexican and American popu-
lation, if we could locate a man there of deep devotion, untir-
ing energy and superior ability. But no other will do.
Brethren, while the Macedonian ciy sounds in our ear from so
many important places, how can we, how dare we, stand idle?
Dk'. Kufus C. Burleson. 259
Something lias been done, we grant, but our hearts are sad
when we see so much undone."
"We are happy to report this institution in a flourishing
condition. It now has an able Faculty, and during the pres-
ent scholastic year has enrolled one hundred and sixty-five
students. The endowment of the Presidency has been raised
to nearly ten thousand dollars. We have abundant reason io
believe that this institution will become an ornament to Texas,
and a rich blessing to our denomination. In accordance with
the recent changes made by the Legislature in its charter, your
Board has elected two Trustees â€” Eev, G. W. Baines, to fill
the place of James Hines, resigned, and J. W. Barnes, to fill
the place of Orin B. Drake."
We return to Corresponding Secretary Burleson's report
for this year to introduce a statement of the results of the
work of one missionary in the employment of the convention.
"At the first meeting of the Board, held on the 19th of
June, Elder J. W. D. Creath was appointed our missionary
agent, at a salary of $400 a year and traveling expenses, whose
duties should be as formerly, travel through the State, organ-
ize new churches, do the work of an evangelist, awaken a
deeper interest among the brethren for Home Missions, minis-
terial education and all the great objects of this convention.
The members of your Board are more and more convinced of
the desirability of having Brother Creath to give his undivided
time to this agency. We deeply regretted that circumstances
seemed to render it impossible to secure his whole time. At a
meeting held in December last, at Independence, at his re-
quest, he was released for one-third of his time, to serve the
Huntsville Church as pastor. Since which he has devoted but
two-thirds of his time to our agency, the church at Huntsville
and the Board bearing proportional parts of his salary.
Though this arrangement has somewhat diminished Brother
Creath's usefulness as our agent, yet he has rendered the con-
vention valuable sendees, as the following report shows be-
260 The Life axd AVritixgs of
Eeport â€” "I have traveled from Jime ITth, 1851, to June
22d, 1852, 3,280 miles, preached 121 sermons, visited 246
families, aided in ordaining two ministers, six deacons, consti-
tuted two churches and witnessed the conversion of more than
forty persons. I have raised $850 in cash and subscriptionss,
including the balance of unpaid subscription of $960. I'or
the endoAATuent of the Presidency of Baylor University I have
raised $320, and collected for this institution $221."
What a showing for only two-thirds of the time of this
sublimely consecrated man of God, and what a lesson it should
teach the modern preacher, who demands much larger pay
for much less and much easier work.
During the years Brother Creath represented the conven-
tion as missionary and financial agent he traveled perhaps
50,000 miles. He never used a A^ehicle of any kind, but rode a
medium size, jet black horse that he called "John the Baptist."
This horse had no fancy gaits, but moved along at the rate of
four miles an hour, in what the old Texans called a "plain,
flat-footed walk." When he visited a town or community, he
paid no kind of attention to the social amenities of life until
the "King's business" was attended to. The object of his
visit disposed of, no man was more agreeable in the family
circle. He did not dress as a ininister, but wore a business
suit of dark gray cloth, broad brim black slouch hat, deerskin
gauntlets, and cloth leggings, tightly laced and fastened 'just
above the knee.
Before entering a town he decided where he would stop,
and on reaching the place he rode to the front gate, dis-
mounted, tied "John the Baptist," and if no person was in
sight he threw his blanket and saddle bags across the fence, and
hastened away to find the man with whom he had business.
Often it would be midnight before he returned, but "John the
Baptist" was as well known as his master, and suffered no
neglect in his absence.
Scores of times has this author, as a little bareheaded and
barefooted boy, been called from his grapevine swing in the
side yard, when this old weather-beaten missionary halted in
front of his sainted parents' residence at Tiidepoiidenee, and
listened to these words :
Dk. Eufus C. Burleson. 261
"Well, my little man, it makes no difference where I
sleep, or what I have to eat, so your mother gives me molasses
to put in my buttermilk, but John the Baptist takes me around
to attend to the King's business, and I want him to have some
water; then put him in a warm stall and give him plenty of
corn and fodder."
This request was always obeyed, but entirely unnecessary,
for if there was one gi-ain of corn or one blade of fodder on
the place "John the Baptist" would be as sure to get it as his
master to get the molasses for his buttermilk.
The operations of the convention for 1853 are very
succinctly stated by Secretary Burleson, from which the fol-
lowing extracts are made :
"It has been the fixed purpose of the Board to avoid pecu-
niary embarrassments, feeling that debt would be a fearful
calamity to our cause; hence we have confined our efforts
entirely within our means, and have accomplished less mis-
sionary labor than was accomplished last year.
At our first meeting, held in Marshall immediately on the
adjournment of the last convention, our indefatigable agent,
Rev. J. W. D. Creath, was appointed General Missionary
Agent. He accepted, on condition that he be allowed to
devote one-third of his time to the pastoral care of the Hunts-
ville Church, which was granted, provided the church would
pay one-third of his salary, which the church consented to do.
"Brother Creath has preached 102 sermons, delivered
thirty-three exhortations, traveled 2,000 miles, attended
twenty-five prayer-meetings, visited 230 families, ordained
one minister, one deacon, raised for convention in subscrip-
tion $1,000 cash, and aided twenty-five churches in procuring
''Elder A. Buffington was reappointed missionary to the
colored population in Anderson and its vicinity. He has
labored during the whole year and has accomplished good. He
has been greatly impeded in his labors for want of a house of
worship. He has baptized five servants, and is still ^villing
to labor gratuitously in this important part of our missionary
"Elder A. Ledbetter was appointed missionary in the
bounds of the Trinitv Eiver Association at a salary of $100
262 The Life and Wkitixgs of
per year from this Board. He lias traveled 1,632 miles, vis-
ited thirty-five families, organized oiie Sunday-school, received
fifteen members by letter, one by baptism, preached eightj-five
sermons and delivered eighteen exhortations.
"Elder David Fisher was reappointed at the meeting in
Marshall for the country lying on the Brazos and Little river.
He has traveled 1,600 miles, preached ninety-eight sermons,
delivered twenty-eight exhortations, attended twenty-four
prayer-meetings, visited 125 families, baptized thirty-two
persons, and received by letter sixteen.
"The above embraces only about one-half of the mis-
sionary work done under the auspices of your convention. The
following appropriations were made : To the Colorado Asso-
ciation, $100.00; Red Eiver Association, $100.00; Soda Lake
Association, $100.00; Elm Eork Association, $50.00; Chero-
kee Association, $50.00.
"These bodies, we learn, have employed missionaries,
who have rendered important service in the bounds of their
respective associations, yet no report has been made to your
Board of their operations.
"We would again urge upon the convention the impor-
tance of a resolution passed last year, that no money be paid
out of the funds in the treasury of this convention until the
full report of the labor performed has been received. Such a
regulation will be indispensable in making out a complete his-
tory of the missionary labor performed under the auspices
of this body.
Ox THE Distribution of Religious Books.
"Your Board has exerted its utmost effort to employ
some suitable agent for colporteur to distribute Bibles and
Baptist books throughout Texas. We regard this work as
being of much importance, and would suggest that this con-
vention would continue its efforts in this direction until om-
denominational books are scattered over the wide State. We
rejoice to be able to state that by the personal efforts of our
general agent about $800 worth of our best publications have
De. Kufus C. Burleson. 263
"There are over one hundred destitute places without
Baptist preaching and earnestly crying to us for the bread
of life. Seguin, New Braunfels, San Antonio and Browns-
ville and the counties in Northern Texas bordering on Red
River, and Southeastern Texas are destitute, and should be
supplied as soon as possible. Your Board would earnestly
recommend that not less than $2,000 be raised especially for
Home Missions, and that four evangelists, two for Eastern and
two for Western Texas, be appointed, whose duties it shall be
to devote their whole time to holding protracted meetings, '
organizing churches, and aiding them when organized to pro-
cure regular pastors. In concluding our report, we can but
express our heartfelt gratitude for the bright prospects around
us. Everything gives signs of a glorious future.
"Our beloved institution, Baylor University, was never
in so flourishing a condition. Several talented and pious
young men in our State are preparing for the ministry."
At this session of the convention' a special committee was
appointed, of which the Rev. James H. Stribling was chair-
man, to report more in detail as to the condition and needs of