YEAR BY YEAR
1900 - 1925
HAMILTON BAPTIST CHURCH, 1873--1946
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, HAMILTON, 1947-199
See also: First
Baptist Church, Hamilton, TX
By 1900 there were 13 Sunday Schools in HCBA with an
average attendance of 438. Hamilton Baptist Church contributed $4.75 for
missions (Associational Missions) during the year. The church also had a
Sunday School and Prayer Meeting.
Services were held in Hamilton Baptist Church on the
second Sunday of each month. The church pledged to contribute $10 to State
Missions and $10 to Buckners Orphans Home during the ensuing year.
A long debate ensued at this annual association meeting
concerning where churches should send contributions for home missions.
Proponents of sending such contributions to the Home Board were defeated by
those who felt that each church should be free to determine the recipient of
"Your committee beg leave to make the following
report: we believe that the Baptist denomination of Texas is under a debt of
obligation to the Home Board of S. B. C. That it can never repay.
"When the whole state was a wilderness and rapidly
being settled by all classes of people, the Home Board sent what has been
classed as a "boat load of preachers" and supported them under its
fostering care until the principles of Baptists and of missions was deeply
imbedded in the hearts of the entire denomination.
"The work of these consecrated men of God has
continued to deepen and widen, until Texas is now numbered as one of the
leading Baptist states of the Union. To show our appreciation of the noble
work done through the Board by its annual contributions to the cause of
missions in Texas, we recommend that at least one monthís contributions of
all our churches be given to the H. B. And we would further recommend that
each church be left free to send her contributions through whatever channel
she thinks best and that such freedom be not construed as opposing the
Dave W. White
The following report from the Committee on
State Missions well portrays the development of Baptist work in Texas.
"The destitution which is sought to
be relieved by State missions through the medium of the Baptist General
Convention of Texas is as wide as the State. Principally however, it extends
700 miles along our Gulf Coast, a thousand miles up the Rio Grande, and
2,000 miles around the Panhandle and also over many counties of the interior
of the State, embracing both country and towns and cities, where are to be
found, according to the best information, very many thousands of English
speaking people, approximately 200,000 Germans, 175,000 Mexicans and 200,000
other foreign born people, who know not the Gospel, as well as numerous
small and feeble Baptist churches that are unable to procure regular
preaching of the Gospel except they are assisted.
"The first efforts to evangelize the
places of that destitution were so inadequate to meet the want that they
seemed but as drops to the Ocean or as grains of sand to the Desert.
"Those efforts originated for the
most part outside of the State of Texas and were characterized then as Home
Mission work. That was long ago. Among the heroic pastors of Texas to whose
support Home Mission funds from the older States were sent about that time
we are told were Huckins, Tyron, Burleson, Taliaferro, and others, the
salaries of all of whom were supplemented, as we are informed, by the Home
"But as Baptists multiplied in Texas
and a few Churches became self-sustaining, they began in a very small way to
contribute for aid to the more destitute neighboring places, and thus
inaugurated State Missions, now become a majestic power. It was many years
however before their efforts assumed large proportions and became
"It goes without saying that
twenty years ago the collections of funds for state missions by the Baptists
of Texas all told did not amount to $4,000 a year, a tenth of the amount
contributed the last current year for that work through the Baptist General
Convention. Of the small amount then collected full fifty per cent was
consumed in the expense of collection. But, in the 20 years since, Texas
Baptist contributions for State Missions have grown from about three
thousand dollars to over forty thousand per annum. During the same time the
annual contributions of Baptists in Texas for both Home and Foreign Missions
have grown from merely nominal sums to many thousands of dollars and
simultaneously grand strides have been made in the march of their
educational enterprises which themselves, standing as they do for the
training of preachers of the gospel and our children in science and
literature under the influence of Biblical knowledge, are so many missionary
agencies fighting the battles of Divine Revelation against the onslaughts of
infidelity and agnosticism.
"Formerly Texas Baptist Missionary effort had for
its mediums for the collection of supporting funds, two general bodies, the
General Association and the State Convention, and two separate agencies for
Home and Foreign Missions and an agency for each separate Educational
institution and another for old ministersí relief, and these having little
or no co-operation were often found in clashing rivalry. But within a few
years past all of these missionary efforts and other kindred enterprises
have been consolidated under one general agency for raising funds, their
purposes being so germaine to the one great purpose of evangelizing the
world as to admit of and even demand perfect co-operation. So that eleven
separate costly regimes of official management have been reduced into one
great economic system, known as the Baptist General Convention of Texas.
This convention sets for the collection of funds through a board of 37
directors for State, Home, and Foreign Missions, Old Ministersí relief,
and closely kindred work and for the relief of our University and Collegiate
institute through a Committee or Commission of thirteen persons, all
appointed by the Convention. Of the thirty-seven directors for State, Home,
and foreign Missions, Old M. Relief, etc., only one, who gives all his time
to the work, receives any salary, the Corresponding Secretary, who is paid
$2,000 per annum, his position requiring great labor and talent. The other
directors pay all their own expenses and give their time without pay, in
attending to the meetings of the Board.
"The fruits of this Consolidation have been more
economic management and greater efficiency all around the circle, and great
progress in general benevolence among us. Out of it grew directly the vast
effort, undertaken three years ago at San Antonio by the General Convention
and already about completed, of raising about $240,000 to free from debt,
furnish, and equip, and firmly establish and harmonize the work of
Denominational colleges of Texas Baptists, and out of it has grown also a
complete and harmonious co-operation between our efforts usually termed
Missionary and the Sunday School Board and our other state work essentially
missionary to its character, such as the colportage of religious books and
Bibles. This last mentioned work has been made co-extensive with the State
Mission work of the General Convention and is meeting a want never before
supplied in Texas and promises immense results for good. Out of the
consolidation too has grown a systematic and efficient effort to build
houses of worship for weak churches, and a harmonious co-operation with the
great benevolence of Bucknerís Orphan home of which the President of the
General Convention is the founder.
"Some of the results of this great consolidated
State Missionary enterprise, which has taken in its arms both Home and
Foreign Missions and those other kindred works, and to which our Hamilton
association annually contributes, have been summarized for last year thus to
wit: Missionaries employed 164; Stations supplied regularly and irregularly,
583; Sermons and addresses 24,280; Baptisms for mission churches 2,049;
churches assisted in organizing 71; assisted in organizing 200 prayer
meetings and 197 Sunday schools, in ordaining 35 Bishops and 107 deacons,
distributed 406,501 pages of religious literature, secured 41 church lots,
built or repaired 21 meeting houses at a cost of $15,000; distributed 2,885
books, Bibles, etc at a cost of $1,113.55; funds raised for Home, Foreign
and State missions, church buildings, ministers relief etc, $66,877, the
total expense of raising which is reported officially at only $3,766.23,
this being 5.6% of the amount raised; funds raised in three years to furnish
and equip Baylor University and free from debt Baylor Female College, Howard
Payne College, Decatur College, East Texas Baptist Institute, and Burleson
College [editorís note: in Greenville], $240,000, approximately.
"It is well worth our attentive consideration that
it cost the General Convention as the agent of State, Home, and Foreign
Missions only about one third as much to collect the $66,000 mentioned, as
it cost these three departments of mission work to collect about one tenth
that sum, when years ago they worked through three separate sets of salaried
agents, and frequently clashed in their efforts for want of co-operation.
The results we have noticed as emanating directly from the great system of
the General Convention seems to be indubitable signs that God is in the
work. Each successive year the General Convention has grown in membership
and power Ďtill it is recognized as the greatest religious convention of
the World. By the fruits we may judge it..... .... ...
G. R. Freeman, Committee
There were 26 churches in HCBA in 1902
with a membership of 1,437 members. Twelve of the 26 churches had Sunday
Schools. R. O. Hood was employed as the Associational Missionary at a salary
of $40 per month.
Hal F. Buckner noted in his report of
Ministerial Consecration and Support that nearly all of the pastors in HCBA
had to make a large part of their income through farm work. Further he
stated, "...that if we, as churches, would do a better part by our
preachers, we would have better preaching and if the preachers would do more
teaching the people would give them a better support." The Baptists of
Texas supported each old retired ministers and wives, as well as widows of
retired ministers with $23 per annum. During the 1903 church year, Hamilton
Baptist Church budget was $362.20.
In the 1904 church year, Hamilton
Baptist Church paid the pastor $56; gave $7.75 to Home missions; $12 to
Association missions; $7.75 to Foreign Missions; and $5.25 to Bucknerís
Following the first session of the
Annual Associational meeting on Wednesday morning in the Cow
House Baptist Church at Pottsville, the Association adjourned to an
abundant dinner on the ground served to both man and beast. The Wednesday
evening service was held at "early candle light," and the
following hymns were sung: "Amazing Grace," "When the Saints
Go Marching In," "Washed and Redeemed," and "When I can
Read My Title Clear."
In 1905 Hamilton Baptist Church gave to
Old Ministers Relief, $50; and Baptist Schools, $57; with the total church
budgetís being $1,065.65.
The work of the Baptist General Convention of Texas had
been impacted by the organization of the B. M. A. in 1901 which had
attracted 325 churches which had supported the BGCT. Eld. A. E. Baten
presented the work of the BGCT followed by J. F. McClung who reported on the
BMA. Following the debate collections were taken resulting in $10.40 for
BGCT and $17 for BMA.
Total disbursements for the church year
of was $248.62 (There was no designation for a pastorís salary.) The
annual association meeting was held at Shiloh
Baptist Church in Adamsville which provided an abundance of food for
both man and beast.
Cooperation with the BGCT had increased
significantly from 1898 through 1908. Beginning in 1908 there were reports
to the association about "Womanís Work" (later to be come WMU).
Hamilton Baptist Church gave $84.75 for Ministerial help and had a total
budget of $799.35.
The first train to Hamilton, the Stephenville
North and South Texas Railway, which connected Hamilton with
Stephenville via Spurlin and Carlton,
arrived in Hamilton on December 25, 1907. This ensured that Hamilton had a
reliable contact with the remainder of the world. An avenue which was not
dependent upon the weather and muddy roads.
Southwestern Baptist Theological
Seminary was located in Waco headed by Dr. B. H. Carroll, dean. BGCT had 8
schools (colleges) with about 3,000 enrolled. James C. Newman remained the
associational missionary. There were also 66 state missionaries, 231 foreign
missionaries, and 1,066 home mission workers. In HCBA there were 983 people
enrolled in Sunday School with an average attendance of 616. Buckners
Orphans Home provided care for 600 children. For the first time the minutes
of HCBA provided a place to report the value of the parsonage and the
parsonage of Hamilton Baptist Church was valued at $1,800.
Before the Cooperative Program was
developed, each Baptist institution presented reports followed by
collections/offerings/pledges to support their work. It well behooved each
institution to strive to make a presentation early in the session before the
money in purses and pocketbooks dried up. Early reports at this annual
meeting were presented by Miss Breedlove of the Girls Industrial Home of
Simmons College, and Miss Lucy Adams for the Cottage Home Department of
Baylor Female College in Belton.
Special objectives of B.W. M. W.
(Baptist Womanís Missionary Workers) included the Willeford-Miller
Training School in China, The Training School, Louisville, KY, The Margaret
Home for children of Home and Foreign Missionaries, and the training school
to be set up in connection with Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary,
which had been relocated to Fort Worth.
Total budget of Hamilton Baptist Church
By 1911 the worship services (i.e.
singing, praying and preaching) were called "Divine Service."
There were 18 Sunday Schools in the association with 1,080 enrolled with an
average attendance of 651. W. T. Conner preached at one service of the
annual meeting. The first report of B.Y.P.U. (Baptist Young Peopleís
Union) was presented by A. M. Smith
On February 14, 1911, the first train
on the Cotton Belt Railroad from
Gatesville arrived in Hamilton. The Cotton Belt rail line extended to
Comanche on September 3, 1911.
Three hundred and sixty-nine
missionaries served in the four divisions of State Missions-- Evangelism,
Assisting Weak Churches, Assisting Associations, and Colportage. Recipients
of Old Ministers Relief received about $30 per quarter.
Sumptuous meals were served under Ageeís
tabernacle at the annual association meeting. Messengers were assigned homes
in which to stay at night during the annual meeting.
Wade D. Vinson, Associational
missionary identified in his report some of the needs of Hamilton County
Baptists. Included in the needs were: knowledge, church buildings and better
church buildings; a consecrated ministry; a financial system; Sunday Schools
and better Sunday Schools; more B. Y. P. U.íS; Womenís Work; prayer
meetings; preachers conference; a gospel tent; the circulation and reading
of Baptist papers, and Colportage work. Two of the things which hindered
Baptist work in 1913 were indifference and severely cold winter weather.
Home Mission work included 30 mountain
schools in the Carolinas, Virginia, Kentucky, Georgia, and Tennessee with
5,118 students; evangelism; establishing a church building loan fund; work
in Cuba and the Canal Zone; work with Indians, Negroes, and foreigners.
Retired ministers received only $10 per month through Old Ministersí
The first BGCT sanitarium (hospital)
was almost a year old. Texas Baptist Memorial Sanitarium (now Baylor
Hospital) opened in Dallas to be "a modern, scientific institution
where the sick may get the benefit of the highest medical and hospital
advantages" instead of a boarding house for sick people. The sanitarium
was within a block of Baylor Medical College and a school for nurses.
Some of the hymns used during the
annual association meeting were "Higher Ground," "We Shall
See the King," "God Is Able to Deliver Thee," "All the
Way My Savior Leads Me," "Channels of Blessings," "Where
He Leads Me," "On Jordanís Stormy Banks," "Will There
Be Any Stars," and "What a Friend We Have in Jesus." Foreign
Mission work focused on four divisions: Evangelism, native Day School work,
Preacher training, and Medical missions. An appeal from China was
presented--for knowledge of the "Jesus Man," who would deliver
them from their evil practices.
Wade D. Vinson, associational
missionary, reported that he had raised funds ($47.95) via letters to Sunday
Schools and Ladies Aid Societies to pay for a gospel tent, which he
presented to HCBA. Colportage work (pre-Baptist Book Store on wheels) had
been profitable under Bro. Wadeís leadership and colportage funds had been
loaned to HCBA. Bro. Vinson resigned as associational missionary with $195
due in back salary. (He had been paid $432.50 for the year.) The Thursday
evening service of the annual meeting was canceled by heavy rains and
C. Ross Payne was appointed county
missionary for the summer for which he and his wife were paid $87.80 and
with $62.20 unpaid salary. SBC Foreign missions served people in China,
Japan, Italy, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, and Africa baptizing 5,252 people
during the previous year. The Judson Centennial goal for the state of Texas
was $250,000 to provide urgent equipment for foreign fields. Retired
ministers still received $10 per month. Inclement weather delayed the
beginning of the Friday morning session of the annual meeting until 10:10
J. B. Perry was employed as county
missionary for the summer of 1916. As a fore-runner of the Cooperative
Program, HCBA received the following letter from J. B. Gambrell,
Corresponding Secretary and B. A. Copass, Assistant Corresponding Secretary
of the BGCT.
Hamilton County Association
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
We send greetings in Christís
name. It is our hope that the present session of your body may mean a
great advance in the affairs of the kingdom of God. As you know, the
Baptists of Texas have committed to this office the task of directing
our larger co-operative work. If we mistake not, two things are
necessary in order to a continuous and well-balanced denominational
development. The supreme problem is that of the enlistment of more of
our people permanently in these larger affairs. The other problem is,
that of efficient leadership. This latter is a means to an end. Nothing
will be stable in its development, if it has to depend upon outside
leadership. Last year because of the pressure and rush of unusual
conditions, we were compelled to ask certain brethren and sisters to
lead in their associations during our great campaigns. When we did it,
we knew that it was not the best way and that it was only temporary.
We now suggest to you what we
believe to be wise and constructive. Our request or suggestion is, that
you appoint from your number a committee on co-operative work. Let that
committee be composed of your most Godly and most alert men and women.
As far as possible, they should be connected with or should represent
the several organizations in your associations; as for example, a leader
in the womanís work, in the B. Y. P. U., in Sunday School work, a
leader in missions, one in education, a leading deacon and so on. It
will be understood, that committee is our main avenue of approach to
your people. It will keep in touch with our co-operative work and will
bring the claims and needs to the people in the churches. In other
words, the committee will see to it that every cause is presented to
every church, and as far as possible to every member. We believe this
plan to be sane and scriptural. We believe it will do the two things
most needed, i.e. develop leaders and enlist the greatest number of
When your committee is appointed we
desire, that the names composing it be sent to this office, at once, in
order that we may communicate with its members as concerning the mighty
tasks with which God has honored us and to which He is calling us. As
Baptists, we are free in Christ Jesus. We co-operate only as we believe
the Spirit of God leads. At the same time, this freedom is divine
compulsion, the only compulsion that holds and sways through the years.
Our prayer is, that we may learn
more and more to strive together in an organized, compact, and yet
deeply spiritual way for the faith of Him who loved us and gave Himself
Yours for service,
J. B. Gambrell, Cor. Sec. B.A. Copass, Assít
Texas Baptists were providing Christian education in
these 16 institutions:
First Class (4-year colleges/university)
Baylor University, Waco
Baylor Female College ( now University of Mary
Howard Payne College, Brownwood
Burleson College, Greenville
Decatur College, Decatur (now Dallas Baptist
Wayland College, Plainview
Goodnight College, Goodnight
Marshall College would open in September, 1917 (now
East Texas Baptist University)
San Marcos Academy Palacios Academy Bryan Academy
Rusk Academy Westminster Academy
Baylor University College of Medicine and Pharmacy,
school for nurses, Dallas
school for nurses, Houston
Correlated Baptist schools were
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort
Simmons College (a 4-year college), Abilene
(operated by Sweetwater Baptist Association) (now Hardin Simmons
Both Howard Payne and Baylor Female
College had a Cottage Home system where girls who could not afford a college
education could live, and work their way through school. By 1916 there were
650 children living in Buckners Orphans Home in Dallas. Dr. S. P. Brooks,
President of Baylor University preached at the Thursday evening session of
the annual association meeting. Texas Baptists provided medical care in the
250-bed Dallas Sanitarium and the 150-bed Houston Sanitarium.
Seven hundred children lived at Bucknerís
Orphans Home and the cost for food for one day was $200 or $6,000 a month.
Texas Baptists were in the process of building a third sanitarium
(hospital.) Three new churches-- North
Lampasas (at McGirk), Ohio,
and Providence--were established in the
association. There were 337 missionaries involved in state missionary
efforts. Foreign missionaries were facing crisis produced by the war in
My dear friend and encourager, William
Lewis "Willie" Rodgers, preached his first sermon to an HCBA
assembly on 31 August, 1917. His text was John 3:3 and John 3:16 and his
outline was (1) Manís Great Need, (2) Godís Great Plan, and (3) Godís
Great Purpose. Following a long pastoral ministry Willie and his wife Zula
retired in Hamilton and Willie was the first pastor of Calvary Baptist
Mission which was formed by this church in the early 1950's.
There was a severe drought in Hamilton
County in 1917 and 1918.
A third Baptist sanitarium was being
erected in Waco. World War I left millions of starving and suffering people
in Europe. R. J. Fletcher was employed for five months (April through
August) as the associational missionary at a salary of $125 per month. The
Executive Board of HCBA was authorized to borrow money from a bank to pay
Bro. Fletcherís last month of salary.
A drought of two years made employing
an associational missionary during the past year unfeasible. The return of
rain and a good harvest increased the possibility of employing another
missionary for the county. Dr. F. S. Groner, of Waco, replaced Dr. J. B.
Gambrell as Corresponding Secretary of the Executive Board of the BGCT. The
Relief and Annuity Board of the SBC had been organized. On March 4, 1919, a
meeting of all Baptists (B.M.A. and BGCT) in the state was held in Dallas.
Lines of communication between the two groups were opening and the B.M.A.
agreed to support the Seventy-Five Million Campaign. The Seventy-Five
Million Campaign to raise that amount in five years was adopted by the SBC
at the May, 1919, convention in Atlanta, GA, to increase work in missions,
education, and benevolence. Dr. George W. Truett, of Dallas, chaired the $75
Million Campaign Commission. Dr. L. R. Scarborough, president of SWBTS was
given a yearís leave of absence to be the chairman of the south wide
division. Texans were expected to raise $16 million and in turn HCBAís
apportionment was expected to be $75,000. The assigned goal for Hamilton
Baptist Church to raise within the five-year time-period was $13,500. Using
techniques developed by the government in selling Liberty Bonds during World
War I, Baptists and many other denominations expected to follow suit. Over
$92 Million was pledged and Baptist entities immediately made began spending
their share of the money before it was received.
Texas Baptists were supporting and
ministering through Buckners Orphans Home, the Dallas Sanitarium, the
Houston Sanitarium, the old Preachers Home, eleven schools, several summer
encampments, and the Baptist Standard. Russia, Bohemia, and Manchuria were
open to Christian evangelism. Dr. R. C. Buckner had died but his work
continued in Dallas and at Bucknerís annex at Goodnight, TX. Buckners was
the second largest orphanage in the world. Land had been purchased in San
Antonio for a fourth Texas Baptist sanitarium. Retired ministers still
received a pension of only $10 per month.
The name of the association was changed from Hamilton
County Baptist Association to Hamilton County Missionary Baptist
Approximately $37,000 was pledged by churches in HCBA
to the $75 Million campaign. Members of Hamilton Baptist Church pledged
$8,826. Baptists in Texas had:
University, Waco; Baylor College for Women at Belton; Howard Payne College,
Brownwood; and Simmons College, Abilene;
colleges--Burleson, Wayland, Decatur, College of Marshall, and Rusk
one academy--San Marcos
Theological Seminary-Fort Worth
Baylor University Medical,
Pharmacy, and Dental departments in Dallas
There was great anticipation that the $75 Million
Campaign would solve all of the financial needs of every Baptist endeavor
W. A. Todd, a young inexperienced preacher, was
employed on March 15, 1920, to be the associational missionary. During 119
days of employment he preached 99 sermons, organized 4 Sunday Schools, one
B.Y.P.U, and a prayer meeting. Gatesville Baptist Church ordained Todd on
March 21, 1920. Thus began a relationship with HCBA which would endure for
many years, even after Dr. W. A. Todd became a Bible professor at Howard
There were 600,000 Baptists in Texas in 3.647 churches
and 145 associations.
A copy of the 1921 minutes was mailed (sans envelope)
from R. O. Henley, HCMBA Clerk in Hico to my grand-uncle, Neil Augustus
Stribling, who was church clerk at Blue
Ridge with a five cent, a two cent, and a one cent stamp attached to the
back cover of the minute book. During the past year Baptist schools in Texas
had an enrolment of 6,563 students.
A committee of Pete Curry, R. Adams, and Stephen
Anderson Rains was assigned the task of reporting on the Central Texas
Baptist Sanitarium at Waco. Their report revealed that this 80-bed hospital
was located in a 5-story fireproof building situated on an elevated plateau
in the northwest part of Waco where. "The cool prairie breezes bring
comfort and health-giving ozone into every room." ... "In
semi-private wards the rate is $3.25 per day, which includes board, beds,
general nursing, and also includes services of the house physician."
... "The prices for private rooms range from $3.50 to $7.00 and
includes board and other services as above." This hospital opened in
W. A. Todd continued employment as the associational
missionary with a salary of $2,000 per year (half of the salary was paid by
BGCT.) Under his leadership an associational B.Y.P.U. was organized and met
on each fifth Sunday. Plans were also made to instigate monthly workers
conferences. Sunday schools were organized in March, 1921, at the Old
Hico and the Eidson school houses.
From the Eidson Sunday School, the Pleasant
Grove Missionary Baptist Church was organized and was admitted to HCBA
on August 31, 1931. Miss Iva Brister, a student from SWBTS, worked as in
HCBA as a summer missionary. With the exception of one church, all churches
in the association had Sunday Schools, one of which was rated A-1. Five
churches used the Six Point Record System. The Home Church Campaign was
adopted as a method to systematize collecting funds already subscribed to
the 78 Million Campaign.
The $75 Million Campaign provided $350,000 for state
mission work in Texas. Dr. Beville, of Brownwood, was the district
missionary for this area. Texas Baptist contributed $2,300,117.49 to this
campaign during the past year. The capacity of Buckners Orphans Home
increased to 700 under the direction of Joe D. and Hal F. Buckner.
W. A. Todd resigned as associational missionary on
February 8, 1922, because the associational and churches were in a time of
financial stress and in August had not paid $148 (or $152.17) of his salary.
An offering was taken at the annual meeting with enough being collected and
pledged to cover his salary.
Christian education was promoted through Baylor
University, Waco; Baylor College, Belton; Burleson College, Greenville;
Howard Payne College, Brownwood; Decatur College, Decatur; College of
Marshall, Marshall; San Marcos Academy, San Marcos; Rusk Junior College,
Rusk; Wayland College, Plainview; Simmons College, Abilene; Baylor College
of Medicine, Baylor College of Dentistry, and Baylor College of Pharmacy,
Dallas; Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and the B.W.M.W. training
school at Seminary Hill.
Support for missionaries (association, state, home,
and foreign) was undergirded with funds secured from bank loans, which would
be repaid at the close of the convention year by monies received through the
$75 Million Campaign. The million dollar mark was reached in the Church
Building Loan Fund in loaning money to churches for the erection of church
buildings. There were 1,188 home missionaries who worked in these
departments--Co-operative Missions, Enlistment, Evangelism, Mountain
Schools, Foreigners, Indians and Negroes, Cuba, Panama, Soldiers and Seaman,
Publicity, Southern Baptist Sanatorium, and Church Extension. The Home
Mission Board was heavily in debt as the result of the enlargement of work
at the beginning of the $75 Million Campaign and a significant decrease in
gifts. Four hundred and sixty-two foreign missionaries served in sixteen
countries around the world--253 in China, 28 in Japan, Mexico, 98 in Brazil,
Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Nigeria, Italy, Spain, Yugoslavia, Romania,
Hungary, Russia, Syria, and Palestine.
Texas Baptist had 4 hospitals in 1922--Baylor
Hospital, Dallas; Baptist Sanitarium and Hospital, Houston; Central Texas
Baptist Sanitarium, Waco; and Tarrant County Baptist Sanitarium and
Hospital, Fort Worth (owned by Tarrant County Baptist Association.) New
hospitals were being planned for San Antonio, Harlingen, and Abilene. The
hospitals accepted all cases whether the patient could or could not pay for
Buckners Orphans Home (located six miles outside of
Dallas) was filled with 700 children. Daily operating expenses was $500. The
$75 Million Dollar Campaign made it possible to establish a standard high
school at the home.
SBC owned 19 hospitals, one of which was the Southern
Baptist Tuberculosis Sanitarium at El Paso. BGCT had four hospitals: Baylor
Hospital, Dallas, Baptist Hospital, Houston, Central Texas Baptist
Sanitarium, Waco; and Baptist Hospital, Fort Worth. Construction of a
hospital in Abilene was almost complete while plans were still in progress
for hospitals in San Antonio and in Harlingen.
Holy Bible, Grace Truman, What Baptists Believe,
Mable Clement were recommended reading for children Churches were
urged to establish Sunday School and B.Y.P.U libraries. As the result of
action taken at the SBC meeting in May, 1923, Stewardship became a major
emphasis at state, associational and local levels.
A. L. Heath was employed by Hamilton County Missionary
Baptist Association from March 17, through August 21, 1923, as the
associational missionary. Miss Bernia Tyson was employed by the State Board
to do B.Y.P.U. and Sunday School work in the association.
While home and foreign missionaries were seeing
unprecedented results from their labor, both the Home Mission Board and the
Foreign Mission Boards were experiencing desperate financial crisis.
Recommendations were made urging an every member canvass so that all of the
$75 Million Campaign funds could be collected in haste. The Foreign Mission
Board was facing a $2,000,000 indebtedness and the possibility of having to
The Laymanís Union was a movement to involve all men
in an effort to "bring in the Kingdom of Christ." It was a
counterpart to the W.M.U. for women and B.Y.P.U. for young people. All
twenty churches in the association had Sunday Schools.
hosted the 47th Annual Session of HCBA on August 22 to 24, 1923. It was at
this associational meeting that two mischievous church women ( Anna Jane
Stribling and Sarah Bertie Sparks Grisham), served fried chicken gizzards to
a visiting pastor, Clarence Allen Morton--pastor of Hamilton Baptist Church,
who fondly loved these "delicacies." The ladies gathered the
gizzards from the 49 fried chickens brought for lunch that day and strung
the gizzards together with needle and thread, then placed the connected
gizzards on a platter with some other pieces of chicken on top. The ladies
took this platter of chicken to the gizzard-loving-preacher and asked if he
would like a piece . Spying a gizzard peeking out, Bro. Morton inserted his
fork into the protruding gizzard and immediately the lady withdrew the
platter leaving this preacher holding a strand of 49 fried chicken gizzards.
The scope of B.Y.P.U. had been enlarged to provide
Primary, Junior, Intermediate, Senior and Old Peopleís Unions. To improve
the ministry of Sunday Schools, a county superintendent and four district
superintendents were appointed. A. L. Heath resigned as the associational
missionary on May 1, 1924. R. W. Bynum was employed on May 11, 1924, as the
Hamilton County missionary. Miss Koller was the summer Sunday School and
B.Y.P. U. worker.
Summer encampments were held at Palacios and at Lampasas,
as well as in 21 other locations. The Laymanís Movement continued efforts
to organize interests and activities of men in Christian pursuits. Baptist
Student Work had begun in an effort to enlist Baptist students into Baptist
work on college campuses. The slogan for the Relief and Annuity Board was ,
"A pension for every Baptist minister, and from every Baptist Church a
full share of the cost."
SBC had 544 foreign missionaries and had medical
missionaries in China, Africa, and Mexico. At the June, 1924, SBC
Convention, the Foreign Mission Board ascertained that no new missionaries
could be sent out during the next year and pleaded for payment of pledges
made to the $75 Million Campaign.
The first church building owned by FBC was destroyed by
fire on February 6, 1924, and six days later the Ladies Auxiliary began
prayer and preparations for a new building. Church services were held in the
court house, as well as in a tent. Other local expenses (excluding pastorís
salary and gifts to missions) for Hamilton Baptist Church was $22,170.50.
State mission work in Texas received $687,494.66 from the
$75 Million Campaign. Summer assemblies held in Palacios, Lampasas,
Christoval, and Leuders were attended by about 50,000 people. The new
Baptist college being built at McAllen was to be named for the Carrollís.
This was the sixth year of operation for the Baptist Student Union in Texas.
The purpose of BSU was to train students in state as well as Baptist
colleges in church and denominational work.
There were seven Baptist hospitals in Texas--Baylor
Hospital, Dallas; Houston Hospital; Fort Worth Hospital; Abilene Hospital;
Arlington Hospital--just opened; Waco Hospital; and El Paso T. B. Hospital.
R. W. Bynum was the Hamilton County missionary.
Anticipating that the $75 Million Campaign would amply
fund mission work, money was borrowed by both Home and Foreign Mission
Boards. Mismanagement of the campaign and fraud in some instances, curtailed
giving to the campaign by many churches. Hence both boards were faced with
the necessity of maintaining programs, advancing to meet new needs and
opportunities to share the Gospel of Christ, and the obligation to repay
loans without money to repay them. The "fields were white unto
harvest" but money had to be used to pay loans instead.
Local expenses of Hamilton Baptist Church were
$35,588.52. A new church building was completed in February, 1925. William
H. Tomlinson built the new church at a cost of $40,000. George Morrow
Carlton gave a pipe organ to Hamilton Baptist Church in memory of his first
wife Fronia Adams Carlton.
THE BEGINNING OF BAPTIST WORK IN HAMILTON COUNTY
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, 1896-1897
YEAR BY YEAR, 1873 - 1899
YEAR BY YEAR, 1900 - 1925
YEAR BY YEAR 1926 - 1950
YEAR BY YEAR 1951 - 1975
YEAR BY YEAR 1976 - 1998
A HISTORY OF FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, HAMILTON