Association was almost an exact reproduction of his official
capacity with the old State Convention, the only difference
being, he served the Association three years longer. He was
Corresponding Secretary and President of the Convention,
from its organization in 1848 to 1856; and Corresponding
Secretary and President of the Association from its organiza-
tion in 1868 to 1879.
Up to this session of the Association, there had been much
private discussion indulged in by the members as to the desira-
bility of organic connection between the Association and Waco
University, but the question had never come before the body
A committee on Schools and Colleges was appointed,
consisting of J. L. Whittle, L. W. Coleman, L. H. Tilman, D.
1. Smith, W. H. Parks, E. P. Brown, G. W. Good, and J. Pt.
Johnson. In its report, wliich is an eloquent document, the
committee declared that after the Ministry, and pious family
training, nothing transcended in vital religious culture the
Christian College or School, used this language :
"These premises considered, your committee would earn-
estly recommend that, as an auxiliary to the mission work in
our bounds, schools and colleges controlled by pious Baptists,
wherever located, should be heartily approved and encouraged.
But we especially recommend that this Association should join
hands, hearts and purses, in the establishment, upon a firm,
immovable basis, within our bounds, one first-class university.
Dr. Rufus C. Burleson. 409
for the culture of all our boys and girls, second to no other
university from Maine to Mexico, and from the Gulf coast to
British America, to the end that Texas parents will not be en-
ticed out of our State, seeking a place for the education of her
children, but that we may have, as we can, if we will, a grand
educational center, around wdiich we can rally our forces, led
by Christian men and women to wage a successful aggressive
and gloriously triumphant warfare against Ingersollism, free-
lovism and all other God-dishonoring isms that infest and eat
upon our common country.
Brethren, we have, in this struggle for educational su-
premacy in Texas, much to encourage us. We have our Sher-
man school, presided over by our noble and worthy Brother
JSTash, and others of equal merit; but we have a school at
Waco, known as Waco University, which has stood the pelting
storms of adversity and the cyclones of opposition for years,
which, instead of superinducing a failure in its work, has
caused its roots to deepen and its top to grow taller and wider
until it has gained the sympathy and admiration of a host of
friends, and put to silence its most determined and merciless
enemies. Here we have a nucleus around and upon which we
may lay our educational sacrifices with the full assurance that
we shall reap lasting benefits both for time and eternity for our
children and our children's children, and for generations
along the ages to come. Waco University comes to us em-
balmed in the tears and prayers and toils and hopes of our
fathers in Israel, some of whom have passed over to God to
rest from their labors, others nearing the shores and will soon
step off the old tempest-tossed ship into the serene haven of
rest; and if there is such a thing as communicating scenes of
earth in heaven, let those who have gone before have the joy
of hearing that we who are left behind, still to toil in labors
of love, appreciate the foundation of an educational institu-
tion laid by them in the Waco University. This University,
along with Georgetown, Mercer, Howard, Richmond, Brown,
etc., can truthfully boast of children, young in years, but old
and rich in wisdom, piety and toils for the cause of Christ's
religion and general progress among men, for their promo-
tion, usefulness and happiness on earth and their everlasting
joy in heaven.
410 The Life and Weitings of
We recommend that our Baptist brethren and sisters in
all our bounds resolve themselves into one grand committee
on schools and colleges, and that if they hear of any one, and
especially of Baptists, who design sending their sons or
daughters to college, that they urge the claims of Waco Uni-
versity as our school, emphatically a Baptist school, belonging'
to the great Baptist family of Texas, with Brother Burleson
and others to do our bidding in its faithful and efficient man-
agement, whose faithfulness deserves to be held in sacred
This report was read by J. L. Whittle, and discussed by
W. J. Brown, E. C. Burleson, B. H. Carroll, J. K. Bumpass,
W. H. Park, and resulted in the adoption of the appended
Resolved, That a committee of five be appointed by this
body to confer with the Board of Trustees of Waco University
and with Waco Association with reference to organic connec-
tion of this General Association with Waco University as her
denominational school provided such transfer of property as
shall be satisfactory to all parties can be secured and report
to this body at its next annual meeting.
Provided further, this General Association assumes no
At a meeting of the Association held in Waco, July 22,
1881, the question, "Shall there be organic connection be-
tween this body and Waco University?" received a double
The committee on Schools and Colleges, of which W. A.
Jan-el, S. B. Maxey, K. C. Burleson, W. H. Parks, W. G.
Calloway, G. D. Fulton and T. H. Compere were members,
after emphasizing the value of Christian schools, reported in
part as follows :
"We are rejoiced to hear of the success of the Baptist
schools in the bounds of our General Association. Among
the many we feel that we must call especial attention to Waco
University so long and widely known. Waco has four brick
buildings completed, and matriculated last year about 300
students. Waco University was never so justly the pride of
her friends and worthy of their confidence and patronage as
Dr. Rufus C. Burleson. 411
now. We trust, therefore, that the organic connection of the
University with the General Association as recommended at
the last session of that body, will be taken under prayerful
The committee on the organic connection between the
Association and University, appointed at Ennis, through L.
IT. Tilman and W. K. Posey, after reciting the history of the
Inr-titution, expressed themselves in these terms :
"At the organization of this General Association, the
lamented D. B. Morrill and others urged that an organic
connection be formed with Waco University. This was op-
posed by the President and officers of Waco University, solely
on the ground that it might injure the General Association as
a missionary organization; but after twelve years' experience,
we find the enemies of Waco University just as bitter against
the General Association as though organic connection did
exist, and as they have ceased their connection with our body,
it is believed that organic connection should be formed."
At Sulphur Springs in 1882, the transfer of the property
of Waco University was accepted by the Association, and a
Commission appointed to raise an endowment of $60,000, the
citizens of Waco to add $20,000 to a building fund of $20,000
already on hand.
The school at Waco, it may be said, had all along been the
protege of the Association practically, but it now became
so legally and technically, and this body was in the arena with
all the appendages, accessaries, missionary and educational en-
terprises, as a rival and competitor with the State convention,
the Association covering I^orth Texas, and the convention the
southern portion of the State. There were other bodies in the
State, Lo be sure, but their operations were feeble, and their
territory incognizable. At Cleburne on July 20, 1883, Dr.
B. H. Carroll presented the report to the Association on "The
Eelation to other Bodies." He stated the subject to be one
of great delicacy and difficulty. There were the North, East,
Central an South Texas Conventions, having in a measure
vague and undefinable boundaries. "Associations," he said,
"have been divided in counsel, some rent asunder; churches
have been torn by factions, brethren alienated and strife en-
412 The Life and Writings of
gendered." It was decided in view of these facts to appoint h
committee of five, whose business it was made, to convey
fraternal greetings to all the bodies, to confer with them on
the subject of unification, under three heads. 1st. Is it de-
sirable and expedient. 2d. Is it practicable. 3d. If so,
under what form?
Unification was comparatively a new word in Baptist
literature up to this time, but now it became the slogan of a
mighty campaign, and was on all tongues. It became the
subject of newspaper articles, the text of sermons, the theme
of debate, and the subject of general conversation.
At the meeting of the association in Paris, July 24th,
1885, Eev, T. S. Potts introduced the following resolution,
which was unanimously passed :
''Resolved, That it is the sense of this association that,
under existing circumstances, the interest of our denomina-
tion in Texas would be best subserved by the existence of one
General Body, and that this Association is willing to co-operate
with other general bodies for the accomplishment of this end
on terms honorable and equal to all."
L. L. Poster, H. M. Furman and S. L. Morris were
authorized to convey this resolution to the State Convention
This resolution was presented October 3d, 1885, and
responded to by the passage of the subjoined preamble and
resolutions, introduced by G. W. Smith :
""Whereas, a desire has been widely expressed for the
consolidation of our missionary bodies in the State; therefore,
"Eesolved, That a committee of five be appointed to con-
fer with any like committee that may have been or may be
hereafter appointed by other bodies, and report some suitable
expression to this body on this subject."
This committee was appointed, and consisted of G. W.
Smith, J. B. Link, A. S. Broadas, Abram Weaver and E. T.
Hanks, who reported as follows:
"The Baptist State Convention, having considered the
importance of consolidating our general bodies, and believing
that the interest of our educational and missionary work, as
Dr. Rufus C. Burleson. 413
well as the peace, harmony and prosperity of our denomina-
tion in the entire State, will be promoted thereby, we
announce our readiness to meet like committees from the
General Association and East Texas Convention, for the pur-
pose of securing organic unity on terms of equity and fairness
to all parties; and we hereby authorize our committee to meet
with committees named from other bodies for like purposes,
and to enter upon terms of consolidation; and if these terms
are endorsed by these bodies, or either of them, the same to be
reported back for our ratification."
A joint meeting of the committees from the State Con-
vention and General Association met in Temple, December
9th, 1885, and adopted the following basis of union:
First — That the Baptist General Association of Texas be
consolidated with the Baptist State Convention of Texas.
Second — That the name of the consolidated body be The
Baptist General Convention of Texas.
Third — That the basis of representation in the first meet-
ing of the consolidated body shall be the same as heretofore.
Those coming from the State Convention territory enter the
consolidated body on the same terms they formerly entered the
State Convention, and those from the General Association
have membership upon the same terms upon which they for-
merly entered that body.
Fourth — That the mission work be continued until the
first meeting as heretofore, under the direction of the two Gen-
eral Bodies, respectively, and be reported to that meeting.
Fifth — That the first meeting of the consolidated body
be held at "Waco, beginning Tuesday after the first Sunday in
Unification had now swept the State like flames of fire
across a dry mow, and every Baptist State organization in
Texas fell into the mighty folds of consolidation and unifica-
tion, and thus forever disappeared from view. We shall not
give the details of the adoption of the onward movement by
other bodies, but dispose of it in a few sweeping sentences.
The East Texas Convention was organized at Overton
December 12th, 1877, worked with some success for eight
years, and merged itself into the General Convention at Cen-
ter in July, 1885.
The Life and AVritings of
The Xorth Texas Convention was formed at Piano, July
3d, 1879, and at a meeting held at Bells, August 3d, 1883,
resolved to unite with the Baptist State Convention, and thus
dropped into consolidation indirectly.
The Central Texas Convention was organized at Dublin,
ISTovember 12th, 1880. The fifth session was held at Hico, in
August, 1885, at which time a resolution was passed to enter
the consolidation movement, and the organization dissolved.
The five missionary and educational conventions in the
State thus, and in this way, became one, but this was not the
last to be heard of unification. It touched some other inter-
est over which Dr. Burleson presided, which will be duly
noticed when that period is reached.
THE R. C. AND K. A. BURLESON HOMK, WACO.
(This is " The Old Home Place" of Dr. Burleson located on Tenth and Baylor
Streets. The present house is the work of Mr. R. A. Burleson, who entirely remod-
eled and greatly improved the place in July and August, 19(J0. The house is a sub-
stantial brick and frame structure containing ten rooms. It is located on a plot of
land containing four lots and when entirely completed will be among the best homes
in the city. Here Dr. Burleson lived until his death in 1901.)
Dr. Kufus C. Burleson. 415
First Session of the Consolidated Convention in Waco,
June 26th, 1886 — Dr. Burleson Member of the Board
OF Directors — Constitution of the Convention — Dr.
Burleson Continued on the Board of Directors at
Dallas in 1887, and M!ade Chairman of Committee on
Colored Population — ^Bishop College — Vice-Presi-
dent in 1889 AND 1890 — Elected President in 1892
at Belton and Re-elected at Gainesville in 1893.
INCE the State Convention was one of the largest
components of the consolidated or composite body,
Dr. Burleson, it may be said, had returned to his
first love, or, rather, his first love had returned to him. He
had been separated from the convention since 1861, twenty-
four years, and while devoting himself to accomplish substan-
tially the same great purpose, still his co-laborers from 1848 to
1861 were in another portion of the State, building on founda-
tions he had helped in laying and developing plans he had
helped to formulate. ISTow, however, after a separation of a
quarter of a century, they were supposed to be reunited, but
when he came to survey the personnel of the new body scores
of the familiar forms and faces and noble spirits with whom
he had affiliated in past years were gone. Huckins, Hayne?.
Baylor, Holmes, Shannon, Creathe, Houston, Jackson and
others, numbering hundreds, had crossed to the other shore.
Dr. Burleson loved the past, felt an undying attachment
for those who had worked with him on the outposts in the
early days in Texas; he was also proud of recurring to past
events and recounting bygone achievements; but this in no
410 The Life and Writings of
way affected Lis interest in the present or future, as is the
case with some persons. He missed these old men, and sor-
rowed because they were not present to join their shouts with
his, while the Baptists of Texas were unfolding plans for
grander triumphs; but this was neither discouraging or demor-
alizing^ in its effects on his disposition. The command was
forward, upward and higher, and he obeyed without hesita-^
tion or reluctance, but with caution, and moved well toward
the front of the advancing column.
The first session of the Baptist General Convention of
Texas, the consolidated body, was held in Waco, June the
Dr. A. T. Spalding has the honor of being the first Presi-
dent, and Judge O. H. P. Garrett and Dr. S. J. Anderson,
Secretaries. Dr. Eeddin Andrews, Dr. Frank Eaefer and
Kev. TuUy Choice were Vice-Presidents. Dr. A. J. Holt
was elected Corresponding Secretary and Superintendent of
Missions. The first Board of Directors of the Convention was
composed of Dr. R. C. Burleson, B. H. Carroll, Warmck H.
Jenkins, J. B. Link, F. L. Carroll, J. S. Allen, A. W. Dunn,
C. Faulkner, S. B. Humphries, J. T. Battle, G. W. Pickett,
F. M. Law, M. V. Smith, J. H. Stribling, E. E. Clemmons, J.
T. Harris, W. E. Tynes, R. T. Hanks, W. L. Williams, R. J.
Sledge, George Yarborough, J. A. Hackett, G. W. Smith,
William Wedemeyer, W. H. Dodson, S. L. Mullins, J. M. C.
Breaker, A. E. Baten, B. W. ^t. Simms and F. S. Potts.
The members of the Board were selected from the terri-
tory of all the bodies composing the convention, whose juris-
diction and authority was now co-extensive with the State.
The officers of the body were made ex-officio members of the
Board of Directors. The magnitude of the convention may
be gathered from the statement that there were two hundred
and fifty churches and twenty-two associations represented in
the meeting. Some partiality is expressed, for indicating the
growth of Texas Baptists by comparison. By this method it
is quickly grasped and without effort. An association, it will
be borne in mind, is often composed of fifty or more churches.
At this first meeting of the consolidated body there wero
twenty-two associations represented, which is exactly the num-
ber of churches represented in the organization of the State
Dr. Rufus C. Burleson. 417
Convention in 1848, tliirty-eiglit years before, and wants only
six of being twice the num'ber of churches represented in the
organization of the General Association in 1868, seventeen
years before. Another and a more general and, therefore,
more interesting comparison indicative of this increase may
be made. There were twenty-two churches in the organiza-
tion of the State Convention in 1848, fourteen in the General
Association in 1868, nineteen in the East Texas Convention
in 1877, seventeen in the Central Texas Convention in 1880,
and about thirteen in the :N"orth Texas Convention in 1879, a
total of eighty-five, taking part in the organization of these
five bodies. Two hundred and fifty, or within a fraction of
three times this number, were represented in the organization
of the General Convention in Waco in 1886, not to mention
the twenty-two associations.
The constitution of the convention was prepared and
presented for adoption by B. H. Carroll, F. M. Law, R. T.
Hanks, W. H. Dodson and E. Z. F. Golden.
Section 1. The name of this body shall be the Baptist
General Convention of Texas.
Section 2. The object of this convention shall be mis-
sionary and educational, the promotion of harmony of feel-
ing and concert of action among Baptists, and a system of
operative measures for the promotion of the interest of the
Redeemer's kingdom; but no individual enterprise shall be
formally entertained or acted on by this body.
Section 1. This body shall be composed of messengers
from regular Baptist Churches, and associations of Baptist
Churches, and Baptist missionary societies, co-operating with
Section 2. Each church shall be entitled to two messen-
gers, and one additional messenger to each $25.00 contrib-
uted to the funds of the convention, and in no case shall any
one church be entitled to more than eight messengers.
418 The Life axd "\^"ritings of
Section 3. Each association shall be allowed two mes-
sengers, and one additional for each $100.00 expended in
missionary work, done within its own bounds, and one addi-
tional for every $100.00 contributed to the funds of this con-
Section 4. Every Baptist missionary society shall be
allowed one messenger for every $25,00 contributed to the
funds of this body, and in no case shall any society be entitled
to more than four messengers.
Donations and Powers.
Section 1. All donations to the objects of this conven-
tion shall be strictly applied according to the expressed will
and direction of the donoi'S.
Section 2. The convention does not have and shall never
attempt to exercise a single attribute of power or authority
over any church, but it cheerfully recognizes the absolute
sovereignty of the churches.
Officers and Their Duties.
The constitution proceeds to give a list of the officers of
the convention and defines their duties. The officers are a
President, three Vice-Presidents, Corresponding Secretary,
two Recording Secretaries, and a Treasurer. The duties
imposed on these officei*s are such as is indicated by their
Section 1, The conA^ention shall appoint five Boards, as
(1) The Board of Directors of the Baptist General Con-
vention, to consist of thirty members, three of whom shall
be nominated by the President and approved by the conven-
tion, and seven of the Board shall constitute a quorum.
(2) A Board of Trustees of Baylor University, to con-
sist of not more than thirteen.
Dk. Rufus C. Burleson. 410
(3) A Board of Trustees of Baylor Female College.
(4) A Board of Trustees of the Baptist General Con-
vention, to consist of five members, who shall hold in trust all
properties and invested funds.
(5) A Ministers' Relief Board of the Baptist General
Convention, consisting of thirteen members, five of whom
shall be a quorum.
The Board of Directors shall have power to appoint an
Assistant Superintendent of Missions, to aid the Correspond-
The convention shall meet annually at such time and
place as the convention may appoint, and the Board of Direc-
tors shall have power to call a meeting of the convention.
This constitution shall not be changed or amended, unless
the change or amendment be offered on the first day of the
annual session, and lie over to some subsequent day, and then
only by a two-thirds majority.
In Dallas, in 1887, Dr. Burleson was continued on the
Board of Directors, and also made chairman of the committee,
and presented a very interesting report on the Colored Popu-
lation, from which one paragraph is taken :
'•'There are at least 70,000 colored Baptists in Texas.
They have a Baptist State Convention, a Sunday-School Con-
vention, and about thirty associations. They have also a col-
lege at Marshall, sustained by the donations of lion, and Mrs.
N'athan Bishop of 'New York and other ISTorthern Baptists.
Bishop College is doing a noble work in educating the colored
preachers, teachers and youths of Texas."
It may be stated in this connection that Dr. Burleson
was instrumental in founding the college mentioned in his
report. In 1872, while in Xew York, he presented the neces-
sity for an institution of learning for the colored people of
Texas to Hon. Nathan Bishop, who donated $10,000 toward
420 The Life and A¥eitings of
establishing the school at Marshall, which the Trustees chris-
tened "Bishop College" in his honor. Mr. Bishop afterward
increased the amount to $25,000, which insured the success
of the institution. The American Home Mission Society is
now extending some aid to the school, which is prosperous in
In 1889, at Houston, Dr. Burleson was left off the Board
of Directors, and made one of the Vice-Presidents, and con-
tinued at the head of the Committee on Colored Population,
in whose welfare he always evinced great interest. In the
report submitted at this session of the convention he takeA
high ground in favor of Christianizing these people. "To the
statesmen," he says, "the race problem, or the destiny of the
colored people, increases daily in importance. But to the
Christian the salvation of these people involves a responsi-
bility of transcendant importance. We rejoice that the glo-
rious work of evangelizing and educating our colored people
is advancing rapidly."
The report closes with a statement of the success of Rev.
A. R. Griggs, Superintendent of Colored Missions, and the
prosperous condition of Bishop College at Marshall, Guada-
lupe College at Seguin, and Hearne Academy at He^rne.
Dr. Burleson was re-elected to the Vice-Presidency of
the convention at Waxahachie, October 10th, 1890, and also
at Waco, October 9th, 1891. At the last-named place, the