Voices: Celebrating a long history of Baptists in Texas

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Celebrating a legacy at First Baptist Church of Sulphur Springs

This past Sunday, I had the privilege of participating in the 160th anniversary of the First Baptist Church in Sulphur Springs. I served as the pastor of this great church from 1990 to 2004.

Several other notable Texas Baptists also served First Baptist Church of Sulphur Springs as pastor, including J. Howard Williams, former president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Darold Morgan, former president of the Annuity Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, what is now Guidestone.

Former pastors C. Wade Freeman, who later was director of evangelism for the Baptist General Convention of Texas, and Richard Jackson, who went on to become pastor of North Phoenix Baptist Church, came to the celebration.

Other prominent and current Texas Baptists who led First Baptist Church of Sulphur Springs include Charles Redmond, now at First Baptist Church in Pasadena, and Bob McCartney of First Baptist Church in Wichita Falls.

Jeff Gravens, the current pastor of First Baptist Church of Sulphur Springs, is doing a wonderful work there.

More celebrations ahead for Texas Baptists

This coming Sunday, I will help the First Baptist Church of Riesel celebrate its 125th anniversary. Others on the Texas Baptists staff will help First Baptist Church of Huntsville celebrate 175 years of missions and ministry.

Later this year, I will be in Conroe for the 20th anniversary of River Pointe Baptist Church. In November, we will honor the Anderson Baptist Church for 175 years, and New Beginnings Baptist Church in Lewisville will recognize its 10th anniversary. A past second vice president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, Joe Fields, is the founding and current pastor of New Beginnings.

Collecting a long history

Your church’s history is important to you and us. Texas Baptists, through the Texas Baptist Historical Collection, want to collect and preserve your church’s history. Alan Lefever oversees the collection in downtown Waco. Please contact the collection by email at [email protected]or by phone at (254) 754-9446 and discuss this with him and his staff.

We invite you to visit the collection, along with the museum of Texas Baptist history at Independence.

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The Baptist General Convention of Texas has been around since 1886. A lot of history has happened since then. Please help us preserve our history and your history for future generations. They will thank us for it.

Blessings to you all.

David Hardage is the executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. The BGCT and Baptist Standard are independently related partners.

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