YEAR BY YEAR 1926 - 1950

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1926 - 1950




See also:  First Baptist Church, Hamilton, TX
Includes pictures



There were 833 Home Missionaries, 400 State Missionaries, and 544 Foreign Missionaries representing the Baptists of Hamilton County around the world through the SBC and BGCT. The first report of the Co-Operative Program was presented. This organized effort unified all Baptist causes--Foreign Missions, Home missions, Christian Education, Hospitals, Orphanages, Old Ministers Relief, and State Missions into one financial endeavor. Until this time each organization had to make appeals to each church and association for support. A distribution formula insured that every dollar given through the Cooperative Program would help every Baptist cause.

Summer assemblies were held at Leuders, Southeast Texas, Port Menard, Palacios, Lampasas, and Cristoval.

The association voted to charter a car (railroad) to collect provisions to be sent to Buckner Orphan Home.

Local expenses of Hamilton Baptist Church were $2,800.


W. L. Stewart was the associational missionary. There were sixteen summer assemblies, with Clifton being the newest. Baptists schools in Texas were:  Baylor University, Baylor College, Howard Payne College, Marshall College, Burleson College, Decatur College, Rusk College, Maryland College, and San Marcos Academy.

Sweetwater Baptist Association operated Simmons University, while the SBC owned Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and W. M. U. Training School in Fort Worth.

The Laymenís movement had a new name--Baptist Brotherhood of the South. The association planned to charter a car (railroad) to send meat, lard, flour, meal, canned or dry vegetables, fruit, syrup and honey, feed stuffs, and a box of turkeys about November 20 to Buckner Orphans Home. The Cotton Belt Railroad provided the railroad car without charge to the association. Stephen Anderson Rains was recognized as the pastor with the longest years of service--33 years, while Donavon Duncan Tidwell was the youngest pastor with four years of service.

Local expenses of Hamilton Baptist Church were $2,746.74.


The Cooperative Program provided a means for every Baptist to support all facets of SBC and BGCT work. Still recovering from the throes of financial crisis as the result of overspending (borrowing money to finance mission efforts) the Home Mission Board had reduced its staff by one-third in Independent and Direct Missions and had not filled other vacancies leaving only 105 Home Missionaries. The crisis was heightened when the discovery was made that Clinton S. Carnes, Treasurer of the Home Mission Board had embezzled more than $900,000.

There were 513 Foreign missionaries who each received a salary of $800 annually. The Relief and Annuity Board was organized in July, 1928. W. L. Stewart was employed as associational missionary for both Erath and Hamilton Counties. More than 800 children lived in Buckner Orphans Home.

Local expenses of Hamilton Baptist Church were $3,370.25. Hamilton was one of only three churches in HCMBA which had services every Sunday. The other two were Hico and Carlton.


R. W. Bynum was employed as the associational missionary on April 15. The estimated population of Hamilton County was 15,000 with half of that number unsaved. Local expenditures of Hamilton Baptist Church were $1,084.49.

If the Social and Civic Righteousness Report presented to the association had been heeded, many of the current moral and social problems of 1998 would have been averted.

Social and Civic Righteousness

"Righteousness exalteth a Nation but Sin is a reproach to any people." Proverbs 14:34

"The righteousness of any community will be determined solely by the righteousness of the individual lives of the people of the community. Since this be true, your committee makes the following recommendations, and prays that this Association body go on record as advocating the same:

"1. A strict observance of the prohibition law, and a stand against any person, group of persons, or political party who would attempt to defeat the letter of the spirit of the 17th Amendment.

"2. A return to the observance of the Lordís Day as a Holy Day and not a holiday to be contaminated by Sunday baseball, motion pictures, and all forms of Godless amusement.

"3. A definite stand against anything that would tend to destroy the God-given modesty and purity of the sexes, such as mixed bathing, dancing, etc.

"4. The closing of the doors of our homes to any worldly amusement that would tend to weaken character and lead our homes away from God.

"5. The demand on the part of our churches of its members for a clean life of separation from the world, 2nd Cor. 6:10. We believe this to be necessary, for if the Church of Jesus Christ fails to condemn that which is sinful, it stands to reason that no one else will do so and largely upon the shoulders of the Christian people shall fall the task of promoting civic righteousness and temperance."

Respectfully submitted,
Maynard Winningham
Allen DeHart
Thomas Edwin Stribling,
Your Committee

The financial crisis of the Home Mission Board was further explained-- "The Home Mission Board has passed through a serious crisis in the defalcation of our treasurer, Clifford S. Carnes, to the amount of $909,461." This was a devastating blow to the image of the convention and damaged the trust Baptists had in their Boards.


Local expenses for Hamilton Baptist Church were $4,270.80. R. W. Bynum remained the associational missionary. Many of the small churches were able to have church services only when Bynum could preach for them. The association was in arrears in paying Bynumís salary. Messengers were assigned homes in Agee to stay overnight during the annual meeting.


1931 and 1932

The impact of the Great Depression hit Hamilton County in 1931; hence, the 1931 and the 1932 minutes of the annual meetings were not printed until 1933 when they were included with the minutes of that year. Consequently the 1931 and 1932 minutes were compressed.

For the first time (and apparently the only time) in the history of Hamilton County Baptist Association/Hamilton County Missionary Baptist Association, the annual session was convened in 1931 by a lady, my great-aunt, Anna Jane Stribling, who was the ranking associational officer present at the beginning of this session at the Ohio Baptist Church. A. J. Quinn was soon elected moderator pro tem. The association appointed a committee to oversee sending a car (railroad) of goods to Buckner Orphans Home. Pledges were made to pay the delayed salary of R. W. Bynum, the associational missionary.


Dr. J. Howard Williams, General Secretary of the BGCT attended the 1933 annual session of HCMBA. The depression caused the work of the Foreign Mission Board to be reduced drastically. Missionaries on furlough could not return to their fields, and missionaries who were due furloughs could not come home. Schools, seminaries, and hospitals were closed. The FMB paid $65,000 interest on borrowed money.

Buckner Orphans Home reduced the number of children being cared for from about 750 to 568, cut staff, reduced salaries for the remaining staff, and needed repairs could not be made.

Baptist hospitals in TX included: Baylor University Hospital, Dallas; V. L. LeTulle Hospital at Bucknerís Orphan Home; Valley Baptist Hospital; Memorial Hospital, Houston; Central Texas Baptist Sanitarium, Waco; and West Texas Baptist Sanitarium, Abilene.

Frank Tripp, pastor of First Baptist Church, St. Joseph, MO, organized in 1933 and led a fight--the Hundred Thousand Dollar Club-- against the indebtedness of the SBC. The members of this club were Baptists who pledged to give $1.00 per month above their usual contributions to be used to pay off the debt. Some loans were re-negotiated at lower rates. Tripp promised that SBC would pay all of their debts--and we did.


Determined not to exceed funding Buckner Orphans Home could admit only the children most desperately in need. The home was caring for 525 school-age children whose care per day cost a minimum of sixty cents. Churches were urged to take birthday offerings through the Sunday School so that there would be monthly offerings for the benefit of Buckners.


Julius King made a report of his first eight months as District 16 Missionary. HCMBA voted to cooperate with the District in developing an encampment at Menard. Two hundred people served as Home Missionaries.


Dr. R. C. Campbell, Secretary of the BGCT attended the annual association as well as Mr. Bohannon, a representative of the Baptist Book Store. Judson Prince made a report about the Hundred Thousand Club. First Baptist Church, St. Joseph, MO, had allowed their pastor, Frank Tripp, to lead the movement to raise money to pay the indebtedness of various agencies of the SBC. Every penny raised through this club was used in debt-retirement.

Every church was urged to have a standard Sunday School and to have a Vacation Bible School. The Sixtieth Annual session passed the following resolutions:

"1. That we, the people of God, set an example of Sabbath observance. We feel that Sabbath desecration is one of our greatest evils.

"2. That the frequenting of beer joints be looked upon as one of the great sins of our day.

"3. That we look with disdain upon bridge and card parties, playing for prizes or otherwise.

"4. That our socials be under church control for our young people so they may be tied on to our church program instead of a worldly program."

Randolph Hunter "Randall" Gibson 
C. C. Onstott



The original name of the association was restored-- Hamilton County Baptist Association--by a constitutional revision.


The number of Home Missionaries had increased to 235 and Foreign Missionaries to 417. Baptist hospitals in Texas were: Baptist Sanitarium, El Paso; Baylor Hospital, Dallas; Memorial Hospital, Houston; Hillcrest Memorial Hospital, Waco; Fort Worth Hospital, Fort Worth; West Texas Sanitarium, Abilene; and Valley Hospital, Harlingen.

Two revivals were held during the year, the Lordís Supper was observed twice; and 62 families of Hamilton Baptist Church received the Baptist Standard. The eighteen-room brick church building was built in 1925. The auditorium would seat 500 people. The pastorís home was valued at $2,000. Church indebtedness was $1,800. Insurance was not carried on either the church or the parsonage.


The W. M. U. was not separate from the Association, the BGCT, or the SBC, but rather an auxiliary to these organizations. In the local church it included the Womanís Missionary Society (WMS), the Young Womanís Auxiliary (YWA), the Girls Auxiliary (GAís), the Royal Ambassadors (RAís), and the Sunbeam Band, and its purpose was to provide training in missions, Christian Education and benevolence. Within the past nine months the W.M.U. of Hamilton County had gathered $1,538.84 for missions, Christian Education, and benevolence. Six hundred and fifty children were residents of Buckner Orphans Home and hundreds were being turned away each year.

Conditions existing in some countries in the world had caused curtailment of Baptist Foreign Missions.

Church indebtedness on church property was $1,200. Insurance coverage was $26,250. Total number of rooms in the church building was reported as 16 with 7 department rooms.


Report on Civic Righteousness

"1. Sabbath desecration. In view of the fact that the day was set apart by God for rest and worship, we may well decry two lines of Sabbath desecration which are being practiced today. One is the common Sabbath desecration of the worldly type, as carried on by the great unbelieving world, and which the Christian world must strive to overcome. The other is the non-religious use of week-ends, including the Sabbath, by church people. Sunday trips, Sunday visiting, Sunday reunions and other Sunday gatherings, though without any evil intention, draw seriously on the spiritual life of our churches. And so long as church people thus turn away from church responsibilities to attend such things we cannot grow strong churches.

"2. Gambling. This is trying to get something for nothing on the basis of chance. There is much of this in civic circles, social circles, and even in the home. So-called innocent beginnings like these often start people off on courses that culminate in the rankest of gambling and its attendant evils. Let every home, especially, be free from such beginnings of evil.

"3. Questionable pictures. After all that has been said about the supposed uplifting influence of the movies, it still remains that our young people, as well as older ones, see pictures which mar the purity and uprightness of their thoughts and lower their ideals of morals and religion. We insist that this unfortunate tendency could be greatly changed if our fathers and mothers themselves would consider the seriousness of the matter and strive for improvement especially in behalf of their children.

"4. Drink. The enemies of soberness and total abstinence have always been busy at their iniquitous business--as much today as at any other time. Godís people have it as their responsibility and by every available means, the building of sentiment against this world-wide enemy that never fails to bring unmeasured harm to body, mind, and soul.

"And in conclusion, the unsettled state of the world at this time, and the war prospect that hangs over us as a possibility, make it urgent that for all interests of civic righteousness, our people be at their best physically, mentally, morally, and spiritually, at any and all times, and surely in the testing days that may be coming on."

Signed, Alvin Swindell

There were 8 Baptist colleges/universities in Texas. Baptist hospitals were Baptist Sanitarium, El Paso; Baylor Hospital, Dallas; Memorial Hospital, Houston; Hill Crest Memorial Hospital, Waco; Fort Worth Hospital, Fort Worth; West Texas Sanitarium, Abilene; and Valley Hospital, Harlingen.

The minutes of this year reflected that the 18-room-church building was erected in 1924. Insurance coverage had been increased to $27,000, and indebtedness on the church had been reduced to $500 although the total church debt was $1,263. This was the first year for Vacation Bible Schools to be reported in the associational minutes. During the year there had been two revivals.


There were 446 Foreign Missionaries and the last Lottie Moon Offering set an all time high at $300,000 for the SBC. $35,000 of the Foreign Mission Board debt (from the $75 Million Campaign) was paid. The goal was to complete paying an indebtedness of $214,000 by 1945. In the 110 Baptist associations in Texas there were 3,221 churches and 2,308 pastors. Christian education was provided through

Baylor University, Mary Hardin-Baylor College, Hardin-Simmons University, Wayland College, Howard Payne College, The College of Marshall, Decatur College, and  San Marcos Academy.

Littleville Baptist Church was established on 11 September, 1941, and was admitted to the Hamilton County Baptist Association on 20 August, 1942. On June 17, 1940, a small group of people met in the yard of Bro. Sam Thompson for a revival meeting. T. Lynn Stewart, pastor of First Baptist Church, Hamilton, preached and Arvord Abernethy led the music. Cottage prayer meetings began in August, 1941, in various homes and by 11 September, 1941, Littleville Baptist Church was organized into a church with Bro. John Dempsey West serving as moderator. Charter members were Frances Thompson, Sam Thompson, Mamie Thompson, Buck Anderson, Bethel Anderson, Grace McCaleb, Crea McCaleb, Martine Hoard, Jimmie Hoard, Grace Rigsby, Laura Jo Rigsby, Carolyn Rigsby, and Deaton Rigsby. Jimmie Hoard was the first pastor and a building was completed by 7 December, 1941, on land donated by Omer Little.

Hamilton Baptist Church had a weekly prayer meeting, two revivals, and 70 families who received the Baptist Standard. Insurance coverage was $27,800. There were 90 men in the church over age 20.


Julius R. Hickerson, Sr. was the new missionary of District 16 on June 18, 1942. Monthly Workers Conferences were inaugurated with the first conference to be held with the North Lampasas Baptist Church at McGirk. Six hundred children lived in Buckner Orphans Home which had a long waiting list of children needing placement. There were over 150 stars in the service flag of Buckners .(Each star represented one former resident of the home who was in a military service.)

Report on Civic Righteousness, August 20, 1942

To the Hamilton County Association:

"We are thankful to God today that even though there is world-wide chaos with gross suffering and trouble on every hand, that Baptist still stand for something. We all agree that if an individual does not have convictions of his own and really stand for noble principles, he is practically worthless to society. Baptist, likewise, would be worthless in society and also to Godís kingdom unless they had the courage to stand for the godly principles of righteousness. In this brief report we cannot even touch every evil of the day, but there are several in particular that we cannot refrain from talking about.

"Instead of being mum and complacent every Christian ought to shout from the house top, as it were, that it is wrong to drink liquor. Even though some may say that it is popular to drink, it certainly is not Christian. Even though our government sanctions the liquor traffic and it runs loose in nearly every town and city of our nation, seeking whom it may devour, we just cannot believe that Jesus is pleased with any part of it. Even plain old "horse sense" tells us that a drunken army just cannot be accurate and effective against the enemy as a sober army. God hasten the day that America will come to her senses and realize that Hitler, Italy, and Japan are not our only enemies but that this alcoholic saboteur is taking precious lives, by the score, every day.

"Is it wrong to gamble?" That question is asked thousands of times every day. On the other hand, we logically ask: Is it wrong to cheat? Is it wrong to lie? Is it wrong to steal? All of these evils go hand in hand together. Maybe we are just thinking in terms of so-called "small-scale" gambling. But I say that gambling is gambling regardless of its so-called mildness in form; if it is gambling at the bridge table or if it is gambling at a horse race.

"When we think today of the separation of our boys from their families, sweethearts, wives, and children, because of the war, our hearts are made sad. But I just wonder if we realize the tragedy of the separation brought about by divorce in our civilized America. "God is love." He instituted the home. He sanctioned marriage. He will be the head of every home that will permit him to be such. Therefore, God surely is displeased and broken-hearted when He sees the thousands of homes being dissolved every year in our civil courts, and even more so when He sees innocent children scattered and suffering like lost sheep. Marriage is not just something to try out, but it is to last until death. May God help us to have more Christian homes with the holy vow of marriage exalted to its rightful level all over our land.

"When we turn our radios on today we are lucky if "Grand Prize" beer is not the first phrase that we hear. "Drink a quart to help the war effort conserve caps" or "smoke Camels for your nerves" or "come to the Hill Top Tavern to dine and dance." "Eat, drink and be merry, because we donít believe that we will ever die,"í seems to be the theme and attitude of America. I say, God pity us in this evil day. Things just cannot go on like this forever. We claim and boast that we are the most Christianized nation in the world, while our crime record shows that we are the most criminal nation in the world. Why, our drink bill for 1940 was conservatively estimated at $4,500,000,000 and the average individual alcoholic beverage consumption for the same year was 14.14 gallons. My fellow Christians, let us stand for righteousness because "all unrighteousness is sin."

Respectfully submitted, 
W. T. Lewis

The indebtedness of the Foreign Mission Board had been reduced to $128,000. The Extension Department of the Sunday School was revitalized to reach all young men and women in the U. S. Service. The Sunday School lessons were published in pocket-size quarterlies, "On Duty for God and for Country."

West Texas Sanitarium had become Hendrick Memorial Hospital in Abilene. No longer was there a Baptist hospital in Fort Worth.

Seventy-two families in Hamilton Baptist Church were receiving the Baptist Standard. The WMU contributed $2,034.42 to missions. Insurance coverage on church property remained the same as in 1941. Church debt was $728.51.


The annual associational meeting was shortened to one day because of gas rationing in effect during World War II. To conserve time all reports were presented without being adopted individually. I remember that lunch was served in the Indian Gap School, across the road from Indian Gap Baptist Church. The Executive Board voted to continue monthly Workers Conferences.

Baptist Book Stores in Texas were located in Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. The Home Mission Board had 435 missionaries. At this point in World War II the Allies had taken the offensive and the defeat of the Axis Powers was anticipated. Seven hundred children lived at Buckner Orphans Home with 150 being admitted within the past year. War conditions made it difficult to maintain an adequate staff. All of the older boys had enlisted in the armed services, and the younger children bought War Saving Stamps with almost all money sent to them by relatives and friends.

Mrs. Arvord M. Abernethy [nee Anna Belle Durham] presented the WMU report in which she stated that it was "the responsibility of women as Christian citizens to stand for family altars, total abstinence, Christian observance of Sunday, high standards of speech, dress, and conduct, law observance, improved industrial conditions, child welfare, public health, patriotism, prohibition, Christian Americanization, universal education, international and interracial justice, and world peace."

The following excerpt from the report on Christian Education pinpoints what can happen without Christian education and Christ.

"Whatever proof is needed as to the desirability of Christian Education is found in the present chaotic condition of this war-torn world. For the half century preceding World War I, Germany was the acknowledged center of the highest academic learning. It was conceded that one in order to claim the highest attainment in scholarship [one] must do graduate work in a German university. Yet Germany in cold blood and in pitiless greed prostituted her knowledge to murder, rapine[sic], slavery, degradation, and ruin, not only to her own land and youth. The soulless learning of Germany became a scourge and a curse which but for Christian England and America had set back the hand of civilization a thousand years. Scholarship is desirable, but Godless scholarship withers and blights the soul....

Respectfully submitted
J. B. Pool, Committee

"Righteousness exalteth a nation; but sin is a reproach to any nation." Arvord M. Abernethy skillfully noted in the Civic Righteousness report that these sins were a reproach to our nation--liquor--Public Enemy #1; young girls sacrificing virtue in the name of patriotism; and youth delinquency. It is the responsibility of the home, the church, and the school to teach righteousness.

The value of a mission chapel was recorded as $1,000. Mission gifts through the WMU were $2,148. No indebtedness on church property was reported, although there was a church debt of $117.68.


Visitors at the annual associational meeting included Rev. Grayson Tennison and Miss Betty Waters. Mrs. John D. West died during this session which convened in Providence Baptist Church.  I remember the sadness which flowed throughout the congregation when someone arrived on October 12, to bring this news to Bro. West who was the host pastor. The association voted not to include reports in future minutes to reduce expenses.

Seating capacity of the auditorium was reported at 600 and Hamilton Baptist Church still owned a mission chapel valued at $1,000. Insurance coverage for church property was $22,500 on the 22-room church building. The WMU contributed $293.57 to missions. Sixty people were enrolled in the church extension department of the Sunday School. Wednesday prayer meetings continued and 80 families received the Baptist Standard.


Building and repair costs were $3,204.34. The twenty-two room church plant had 7 department assembly rooms with 15 separate classrooms. Insurance coverage was $20,000. Average attendance for Wednesday night prayer meeting was 52. Ninety-seven families were receiving the Baptist Standard; and the church had both a music director and a library. The WMU contributed $2,522.69 for local work and $643.20 to missions.


Expenditure for the church library was $577.40. The building fund was $1,480.The Baptist Standard was included in the church budget to which 345 members had subscribed. The WMU contributed $712.27 to missions. Girls Auxiliary had an enrollment of 36; Royal Ambassadors, 14; and Sunbeams, 32. Twenty-seven people were served through the Sunday School Extension Department. The church did not own a 16mm projector. The pastorís home was valued at $5,000.


Minutes of the Hamilton County Baptist Association were published for the first time as a part of the District Sixteen of BGCT Minutes. Hamilton Baptist Church was now recorded in associational minutes as First Baptist Church, Hamilton. There were 75 additions by letter during this church year. The WMU contributed $204.27 for Local Work and $492.03 for Missions.


This was the first annual associational meeting since 1906 that Rev. John Dempsey West was not able to attend. Within HCBA there were 1,802 enrolled in Sunday School, 392 enrolled in Training union, and 657 enrolled in Vacation Bible Schools.

First Baptist Church, Hamilton had 50 additions by letter during the church year ending in October, 1948. Six hundred and six of the membership of 797 were resident members. Within the church were 50 tithers and the Baptist Standard was being sent to each family in the church. The pastorís home was valued at $9,000 and $8,517 had been spent on building and remodeling. Total church debt at the end of the year was $500, although there was a surplus of $800.16 in the building fund.


BGCT had two orphans homes--Buckners in Dallas and Mexican Orphans Home in San Antonio. Within HCBA 2,073 were enrolled in Sunday School, 469 in Training Union, and 729 in Vacation Bible Schools. During the year $681 had been spent on a new building and $576.30 was paid on church debt.


The first "M" Night--Association-wide Training Union Monday Night-- was planned for December 4, 1950, in cooperation with a SBC-wide emphasis on Training Union. The District XVI Baptist Encampment at Lake Brownwood had been opened. A new Baptist orphans home had been opened at Round Rock. FBC built a cabin at Lake Brownwood.

C. Applegate, editor of The Hamilton Herald-News frequently wrote about Raymond Columbus Tennison, better know as R. C. Tennison, pastor of First Baptist Church. On one occasion he quoted Bro. Tennisonís prayer before preaching, "Lord, fill my mouth with worthwhile stuff, and nudge me when Iíve said enough." On another occasion he made a comment that Bro. Tennison was a very friendly person whom everyone in Hamilton knew, and even all of the dogs in town exchanged friendly greetings with him each time they met him on a street.




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




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People and Places: Gazetteer of Hamilton County, TX
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Copyright © March, 1998
by Elreeta Crain Weathers, B.A., M.Ed.,  
(also Mrs.,  Mom, and Ph. T.)

A Work In Progress