SWEET HOME MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, EVANT
Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church
was the third church organized near Langford
Noah Turner Byars organized
this church on 12 April, 1877, in the home of Mr. and Mrs. George
Griggs who lived in Hamilton County about six miles
northeast of the present town of Evant. In addition to Bro.
Noah Turner Byars and Mr. and Mrs. Griggs, other adults present were Mr.
and Mrs. Dave W. White and Mr. and Mrs. Donahue. In 1848 Byars
was the first missionary appointed by the Texas Baptist Convention.
The Sweet Home Missionary Baptist
Church participated in the organization of the Hamilton
County Baptist Association on 4
July, 1877, at the Cottonwood Springs
School. Noah Turner Byars was an
itinerant preacher who traveled from one settlement to another holding
"protracted meetings" and organizing churches. As the
congregation outgrew the Griggs’ log cabin home and a brush
arbor, and then a church building were erected about three or four miles west of the
Griggs’ home. The first pastor was likely Presley O’Keefe,
who also taught school in Langford
In 1885 Sweet Home Baptist Church
built the first church building in the town of Evant. Being paid
for by subscription, the church was dedicated by Dr. R. C. Buckner
on the second Sunday in May, 1892. Since services were held only once a
month, the Baptist congregation shared their building with the Methodist
In 1913 the name of Sweet Home Baptist
Church was changed to Evant Baptist
Church. P. W. Springfield was the first full-time pastor in 1943.
His salary was ninety dollars a month plus rent and utilities. During his
ministry an educational annex and baptistry were added. A second
annex was added in 1948. In 1955 a new brick building was built with 7760
square feet. The first service in the new sanctuary which seated 300, was
held on 2 October, 1955, when Billy Butts was pastor.
Early pastors of Sweet Home Baptist
D. I. Harralson--1881-1886,
D. W. White--1887,
G. W. Herrington--1888
J. C. Combs--1889
W. N. White,
Pinkney Hawkins, 1899
Early church clerks were:
W. B. Wright--1881
J. W. Brooks--1882--1883
S. C. Smith--1884, 1886
S. E. Smith--1885
J. R. Carter--1887--1891
P. H. Young,
J. R. White,
R. S. Griggs,
A. T. Stamp, 1899
Early messengers to the association were:
1878--D. W. White, J. W. Howard,
and W. N. White
1879--D. W. White, J. W. Howard,
and J. P. Murphree
1881--D. W. White, and J. P.
Murphy; Elder D. W. White and W. B. Wright
1883--W. B. Wright and D.
1884--D. W. White, W. B. Wright,
and George Griggs
1885--D. N. White and W.
1887--Elder D. W. White, A. J.
Culpepper, and J. W. Maness
1888 and 1889--D.
1890-- D. W.
White, S. E. Smith, A. J. Culpepper
White, T. W. Kirkland, J. R. Carter
White, P. H. Young
White, W. N. White, P. H. Young, J. R. White
White, W. N. White, Dr. R. L. Howell, P. H. Young
White, W. N. White, J. T. White, P. H. Young
D. W. White, W. N. White, W. M. Howell, Brethren G. H. Singleton, P. H.
1898--Rev. W. N.
White, Brethren P. H. Young, J. A. Sheffield, R. S. Griggs G. H. Singleton
1899--A. T. Stamp, P. H. Young, E. B.
White, and Rev. W. N. White