James Hart Family Genealogy Churches


Texas County MO
Contributed by Marguerette Powell
Partial Source - The Texas County Heritage

Houston Herald, Houston, MO June 23, 1927
Record of Organization of the Union Baptist Church in August, 1847
Without Doubt the Earliest Church to be Instituted in Texas County.

"Met according to appointment at the house of Michal (Michael) Killion and went into the constitution of a church. G. Cole and John Springer, preachers of the Gospel of Christ in the Union Baptist Church and in good standing. This being done the Saturday before the fourth Sunday in Aug. 1847, G. Cole, pastor of Union church. (Members): Joseph Butler, Barberry Butler. ____ McKinney, Dabney Lynch, Church Clerk."

The above is the record of the organization of Union Baptist Church, now located nine miles southwest of Houston. The record is taken from the original recorder minute book of the church, which is in excellent state of preservation and written in the beautiful, plain hand-writing of that time. This is the oldest church now in existence in Texas County and no doubt was the first church organization of any denomination in this county. Union Church was a part of Gasconade River (now Texas County) Baptist Association, also organized in 1847, the Association being composed of churches in several different counties.

As stated in the record, Union church was organized at the home of Michael Killion, who was the father of Aunt Nan Sutton, of Houston. The Killion farm was later owned by J. B. Nevill and is now the home of J. M. Yates, on Hog Creek, about six miles south of Houston. The date of the organization was Saturday, Aug. 21, 1847 almost 80 years ago.

Membership roll for 1847 besides those names above were: Mary Hamilton, Elem, Mariller, Telethe and James Martin; Charley and Malinda Millican; Elizabeth Rector; Anna Johnson and James Childers; James and Elizabeth Coats; Nancy Hilterbrand, Mahala Johnson, Mary Boman, James and Mahala Randolph.

Additional members in 1848 were Barberry McClellan, W. J. Morris, Aggy Morris, (***Note from Marguerette: This is William Jasper Morris, Agnes (Hart)was, according to family history, supposed to have died just before they arrived there so who is Aggy? **My Note: Family lore is often misrepresented.. perhaps she lived awhile after they got there.) Loadwick Moad, Senath Moad, Thomas Ross, Elizabeth Ross, Thomas Johnson, Polly A. Coats, Iven Shelvey, Mary Shelvey, Wm. Coats.

Members in 1849 - George Darty, Peter Sanders, Francis Daugherty, Martha Stinith, Micagah Morris, Jane Morris, Mary Spragan, Mary Morris, Rebecca Coats, Thomas Knight, Nancy Knight.

The spelling of names is given as used in the record book.

September, 1847, the church voted to hold its next meeting at sister Butler's.

Church next met at Elem Martin's.

Brother Childers was the first of the members to acknowledge a wrong to the church and asked to be retained in fellowship.

At a meeting held at "Brother Wm. Martin's, on right hand fork of Piney", in June, 1848, the church chose James Randolph as Deacon.

In July, 1848, James Randolph and Dabney Lynch were granted the privilege to "Use their gift of exhortation."

James Coats was elected deacon in August, 1848. April, 1849, the home of Mr. Bowman was selected as a regular meeting place.

October, 1849, James Randolph ordained and Dabney Lynch licensed to preach. Thomas Johnson chosen as Deacon. In later years Rev. Johnson was also a minister.

In November, 1849, the church held meeting at "Brother House's on Jack's Fork." December, 1849, met at "the schoolhouse on Hamilton creek."

March, 1850, church met at "Bro. Shelvy's on Roubidoux" and heard a sermon by Rev. John Sullens. May, 1850, "observed the ordinance of washing the saints' feet."

May, 1852, church "extended an arm at Houston" for reception of members.

At nearly every meeting some sister or brother was cited to "appear before the church and make acknowledgement" for some neglect of duty as a member and Christian.

(Note from Marguerette)This was several years before John Lee and Sarah "Sallie" H. Coats Fielden were married. John Lee Fielden later served as Clerk of the church. James House, wife Mary Eunice Byrd Florida were not married yet at this time. That leaves my g grandparents, John and Martha Emaline Wood House where the meeting at House's "probably" was. I am also wondering about at "Brother Wm Martin's and if that was William and Leatha Hart Martin family. Rev. Thomas and Mahala Johnson were the parents of Phamy Johnson who married Wilson Coats.

Thursday August 28, 1947
The Houston Republican, Houston, Missouri

(Part of the article)
Not only is 1947 the centennial year of Texas County Baptist Association, but it is also the 100th anniversary of the oldest church in the Association. Union Baptist Church, located about 12 miles southwest of Houston, was organized August 21, 1847. Elders G. Cole and John L. Springer led in the constitution of the church, the first meeting being at the home of Michael Killion, four miles south of Houston, near the present home of Judge J. E. Killion. Elder G. Cole was the first pastor. The charter members were Mrs. Butler, Barbary Butler, Sarah McKinney and Dabney Lynch. Mr. Lynch, later a minister was first Church Clerk. Other early members included Joseph Butler, Elem Martin and wife, Charles Millican and wife, James Martin, James Coats and wife, Teletha Martin, Nancy Helterbrand, Mahala Johnson, James Randolph, W. J. Morris and wife, Barbara McCleldon, Thomas Ross and wife, Thomas Johnson, Polly A. Coats, William Coats, Peter Sanders, Frances Daugherty, Rebecca Coats, Thomas Knight and wife, James Childers.

The early church met at various homes on Indian Creek, Piney, Roubidoux, Jacks Fork, Hamilton Creek and other sections.

James Randolph and James Coats were the first deacons. In March, 1848, a committee was appointed to select grounds for a church building. The vacated residence of Mr. Bowman was selected as temporary meeting place. In 1849 Thomas Johnson and James Randolph were ordained and Dabney Lynch licensed as ministers.

May 26, 1850, the church met at "the meeting house on Hamilton Creek," the first record that a meeting house had been erected.

Various members were brought before the church on charges preferred -- some for drinking and dancing, some for failure to attend services, others for refusing to pay debts, and other offenses. The church has thrived throughout all the years and at all times stood loyally for New Testament church principles.

The old record book, 100 years old, is in good condition and the proceedings of monthly meetings are very interesting.

Pastors of Union Church have been Elders G. Cole, James Randolph, Dabney Lynch, Thomas Johnson, W. J. Morris, W. M. Briggs, Austin Fansler, J. A. Lane, Levi Fitsgerald, W. F. Thornton, R. C. White, M. Seber, W. R. Long, J. J. Bay, L. L. Johnson, J. C. Hicks, E. A. Coats, A F. Patterson, J. C. Hutsell, E. S. Baty, J. A. Francis, William Hale, T. R. Allen, J. W, Roberts, Ivan L. Coyle, C. H. Ormabee, Henry Butts, Charles, W. Halbrook, Jesse Baker, Kirby Fletcher, and Ray Altis, pastor last year.

Membership reported in 1948? was 83. Wade Sterner was Sunday School Superintendent and Mrs. Mansel T. Coats, Clerk.

Houston, Mo., Nov. 16 1989
Houston Herald newspaper
Work has begun to place a historic landmark - the oldest Southern Baptist church in Texas County - on the National Register of Historic Places. Initiated about a year ago, the work would lead to a listing for the Union Baptist Church, which is located on Highway Z west of Houston. The effort has the backing of those who have had some association with the church over the years, as well as the Texas County Baptist Association.

On behalf of organizers, Rep. Jim Montgomery has initiated the request with the Missouri Department of Resources, Division of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Hugh Davidson, preservation planner for the agency, said an eligibility assessment has been made by his staff. A decision has been deferred because there is no comparative information on similar structures. "Without a systematic survery of a local community's historic properties it is difficult for us to judge if the characteristics displayed from other properties within your area,' he said. "Without the comparative context that a historic survery provides, we have little basis from which to make an evalulation of its unique historic qualities or associations." The National Register also places restrictions on the listing of historic churches. Davidson said his office is currently compiling information on historic churches in the state in hopes of developing a system that would determine eligibility in the National Register program.

The information submitted with guarantee that the Union Baptist Church is included in the review. The Union Baptist Church has a rich history. James Coats and his wife were charter members of the county's first Baptist Church, which was organized in 1847 in the Hog Creek area. According to church records, the institution was organized at the home of Michael Killion. Attending the organizational meeting were Joseph Butler, Barberry Butler, Sarah McKinney and Dabney Lynch. Church pastor was G. Cole. Meeting in homes, the church later moved to Coats' log cabin that he had built for a school. Coats - who couldn't read or write - is said to have constructed the cabin so that his children would have a better education than he had, said Mansel Coats, his grandson. James Coats had 20 children by two marriages. Jasper Morris was one of the first preachers at the Union Church. Members met there until about 1882, when the church that now stands was built. According to church documents, Wolford-Matthews was the contractor. The project cost $468.70: $127.65 for lumber and shingles, $250 for the carpenters and $91.05 for nails, paints and brushes.

Under Pastor J. C. Hicks' leadership the church flourished, records show. Hicks also was instrumental in missions work in the county. As society become more mobile services were eventually halted at the small church. Church records dating to 1983 show the board is composed of Mr. and Mrs. Roland Sterner, Lola Sponsler, Mr. and Mrs. Newton Crawford and Edna Coats. James Coats, a church deacon, died of pneumonia in 1893.

A frame school building was built near there later and was used until about 1908, when the present school south of the church was constructed.

The music is an old time favorite - "It Is No Secret"