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Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church was the third church organized near Langford Cove/Evant. Rev. Noah Turner Byars organized this church on 12 April, 1877, in the home of Mr. and Mrs. George Washington 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 SchoolNoah 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 Cove.


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 congregation.


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 Church were:

Presley O’Keefe--1878-1879

D. I. Harralson--1881-1886, 1886

D. W. White--1887, 1890--1897

G. W. Herrington--1888

J. C. Combs--1889

W. N. White, 1898

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, 1892--1894

James White, 1895

J. R. White, 1896--1897

R. S. Griggs, 1898

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. E. Eliott

1884--D. W. White, W. B. Wright, and George Griggs

1885--D. N. White and W. B. Wright

1886--D. W. White

1887--Elder D. W. White, A. J. Culpepper, and J. W. Maness

1888 and 1889--D. W. White

1890-- D. W. White, S. E. Smith, A. J. Culpepper

1891--D. W. White, T. W. Kirkland, J. R. Carter

1892--D. W. White, P. H. Young

1893--D. W. White, W. N. White, P. H. Young, J. R. White

1895--D. W. White, W. N. White, Dr. R. L. Howell, P. H. Young

1896--D. W. White, W. N. White, J. T. White, P. H. Young

1897--Rev.’s D. W. White, W. N. White, W. M. Howell, Brethren G. H. Singleton, P. H. Howell

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

1907 HCBA Minutes

1908 HCBA Minutes

1909 HCBA Minutes

1910 HCBA Minutes

1911 HCBA Minutes


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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