«AUGUST 1877 TO AUGUST 1997 FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH Burnet, Texas We have no record of the circumstances which led the organizers of this Church to the ...»
AUGUST 1877 TO AUGUST 1997
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH
We have no record of the circumstances which led the organizers of this Church to the
final conclusion to form a Baptist Church in Burnet, however, we do feel it was the
leadership of the Holy Spirit in the lives of a few Christens who made this decision——
and we have the original Certificate of organization, which we quote verbatim, as follows, intimated to us their desire to be organized into a Church of Christ, to keep the ordinances as they have been delivered by our Divine Master, we did, after examining their respective claims to member-ship. recognize them as fit subjects for a Gospel Church and. in testimony of the same, extended to them the right-hand of Church Fellowship and recognition, their basis of organization resting upon the "New Testament Scriptures" as construed by the "Articles of Faith" of the Austin Baptist Association."
(Signed) H. M. Burroughs! Presbytery W. W. Mond Burnet, Texas, 12th August, 1877
NAMES OF MEMBERS IN ORGANIZATIONMales Females S. R. Crews Eliza A. Crews James. M. McDonald Sarah E. Owens James Martin Sallie Blackburn J. Thornton M Sallie Martin W. A. Blackburn
MINUTES OF ORGANIZATION
The following brethren and sisters were admitted to membership by letter; i.e.: S. R.
Crews and wife Eliza Ann Crews from LaMotte, 30th April, 1859; Sarah E. James, now Sarah E. Owens, from Greenville, Alabama, March 10, 1866; James M. McDonald from Bastrop County, Texas, Saturday before the First Lord's Day in May 1874.
James Martin from Boccy Valley, Wilson County, Tennessee, Saturday before the second Lord's Day in August 1866, J. Thornton Motley, from Massaponex Church, Spottsylvania County, Virginia, October 22, 1866.
Page No. 1 The following Brethren and Sisters were received into membership by relation, i.e. W.
A. Blackburn and wife, Sallie Blackburn, Sister Sallie Martin was received into fellowship by relation, on Monday Evening August 13, 1877. On Tuesday night, August 14, l877, Bro. N. D. Nelson was received into fellowship and baptized on Friday afternoon, August 17, 1877.
The next recorded minutes of the Church are of a conference held on May 5, 1878.
Bro. J. H. Stapp, Sr. was received into the Church by letter and was appointed the first Collector and Treasurer to look after the financial condition of the Church. Bro. J. T.
Motley was elected clerk and Bro. A. Weaver was called as pastor.
On Sunday, July 7, 1878, the Church agreed that the regular conference for transacting Church business should be held on Saturday night before the first Sunday in each month after preaching. The matter of holding a protracted Meeting being canvassed, it was agreed to begin such a meeting on Saturday night before the first Sunday in August.
The Burnet Church was in the jurisdiction of the San Saba Association and on August 3, 1880, Brethren Blackburn, Martin and Stapp were elected as messengers to attend the Association which met with the Richland Church on Richard Creek, San Saba County, on Friday before the second Sunday in September.
For several months the Church discussed the need for electing deacons. On January 4, 1880, J. H. Guthrie, H.R. Sauls and J. H. Stapp were duly elected to act as deacons. However, they were not ordained until March 6, 1880. Before the ordination service on that date, Bro. L. R. Millican was elected pastor.
In the early days of this and all other Baptist Churches there was very strict discipline among the members and on March 6, 1880, the first membership withdrawal is recorded.
On April 13, 1880, the church voted to extend an invitation to Maj. Penn to come to Burnet to hold a revival. The matter was mentioned again later: however, there is no record o f his coming except by information received many years later by word of mouth, from some older members. Evidence of a great revival having been conducted here about this time is shown on the Church Roll when seventy-five adults were received into the Church by baptism in August 1881, and it is practically certain that they were received during a great revival held by Major Penn.
The Articles of Faith and Church Covenant were adopted on July 3, 1880.
In June 1881, a committee was appointed to see about purchasing a lot for building a house of worship. The Burnet County Deed Records show that on August 6, 1881, the Baptist Church purchased lots 1 and 2 of Block 15, Kerr Addition, and this property being the 100 block of North Boundary Street.
Page No.2 On November 5, 1881, Bro. C. R. Douglas was elected pastor and Bro. Joseph Booth was elected Church Clerk.
On December 3, 1881, Bro, G. M. Hayden was invited to preach until a pastor could be called. On February 4, 1882, Bro. L. R. Millican was unanimously elected pastor for the ensuing year.
By request of the North Gabriel Church, Bro. A. M. Yeager was ordained to the full work of the ministry on April 1, 1882 by this Church.
On May 6, 1882, the deacons were appointed to sell or exchange the lots now owned by the Church for one more suitably located. On September 2, 1882, the Church purchased lot 2, block 13 of the Kerr Addition to the City of Burnet. (This is the property on which the present sanctuary now stands).
On December 2, 1882, a resolution was passed by the Church authorizing the pastor to ask the American Baptist Home Mission Board of New York for financial aid to build a house of worship. The paper work being completed on July 25, 1884, the American Baptist Home Mission Society mailed the two hundred dollars to this Church. The building was completed in 1884 and served the congregation until 1949. The records show that the Church was incorporated in order to qualify for this loan. Prior to this time, the Church rented the school house for $5.00 per month for worship services.
During these years the minutes show that committees were frequently appointed to contact members who absented themselves from services three times in succession.
No one, no matter what his position in the Church might be escaped the net of this discipline. On May 5, 1883, H. R. Sauls, one of the first deacons ordained by the Church, was charged with conduct unbecoming a Christian. Mr. Sauls refused to come before the Church and make apologies; therefore, fellow-ship was withdrawn from him. The records do show, however, that he later came to the Church and apologized for his waywardness, was forgiven and was granted a letter to a Church in another community where he had moved.
In early days the question of finances troubled the Church and committees were appointed to solicit money to pay the pastor and to carry on the activities of the Church.
Bro. H. F. Prince and Bro. R. Foster were elected deacons on June 30, 1883. Bro.
Lackey and Bro. Bullock were granted a License to preach the Gospel on December 1. 1883.
On December 6, 1884, Bro. W. H. Russell was elected clerk and conference time was changed to the third Saturday.
On February 1, 1885, a communication was read informing the Church of the rumor that some of its members attended a masked ball. On a motion the Clerk was instructed to ascertain and notify all who did attend to be present at the next conference and answer to the charge of disorderly walk in attending said ball. On March l4, 1885, the following resolution was adopted; "Resolved, that we regard the attendance of balls, whether participating in the dance or not, as being contrary to the teaching of the New Testament Scriptures in regard to the duties of Church members".
W. H. Russell resigned as clerk on June 20, 1885 and J. T. Motley was elected. It was agreed to take up a collection at each preaching service for church expenses.
On October 17, 1885, Bro. C. E. Simmons and Bro. A. W. Johns were elected as deacons. Sisters E. A. Booth and S. J. Collins were elected agents to collect mission funds for the Church.
On October 18, 1885, it was agreed to thank the 'unknown donors' for the beautiful pulpit, the thanks of the Church being made known through the columns of the Burnet Bulletin.
Bro. Isaach Sellers was called as pastor on March 21, 1886. Bro. C. E. Simmons was elected clerk on June l8, 1886, after Bro. Motley resigned. Bro. Thomas Marrall was called as pastor on June 19, 1886. On July 11, 1886, his salary was Set at $350.00 for one-half of his time for one year.
On August 15, 1887, Bro. G. E. Green was elected clerk and Bro. J. A. Arbuckle was elected pastor.
During January of 1888, the Church purchased two dozen Baptist Hymnals for $7.10.
Bro. Green resigned as clerk on July 6, 1889.
On March 24, 1888, the Burnet Church voted to withdraw from the San Saba.
Association and join the Austin Association. The Church remained in the Austin Association until 1913» when the Burnet-Llano Association was organized.
An outstanding service was rendered by the Burnet Church when, on September 9, 1888, following a series of services at Marble Falls, conducted by Bro. J. A. Arbuckle, pastor of the Burnet Church, a regular Baptist Church was organized at Marble Falls with eighteen charter members.
Page No. 4 On April 27, 1890, Miss Kate Blackburn presented herself for membership by letter from the First Baptist Church, Austin, Texas. Miss Kate was for many years the organist, the old foot-pedaled kind. She will be remembered by many for her activity in sponsoring and soliciting funds for the purchase of and installation of the beautiful Memorial Window that is over the present baptistery. This window as installed in the old Church building in memory of those who have gone on to their eternal reward.
On Friday night, August 29, 1890, a series of meetings began in the Church with Bro.
W. C. Friley, pastor of the Baptist Church at Taylor assisting Bro. Arbuckle. The Church minutes refer to this revival as follows; "Bro. Friley did all the preaching up to and including the morning service on Wednesday at which time he returned home.
Our regular preaching was on Sunday, August 24th and we held regular prayer meetings every night -- until Bro. Friley came when he found the Church united and ready to work in the Master's cause, and from the very beginning there was a lively interest in all the services by the Church. The "leaven" soon spread till many Christians of other denominations became zealous workers in the Master’s cause.
The result was, as it always has been and ever will be, when Christians do their duty, God convicted and converted sinners – (9 by baptism to date). Wednesday night of the day that Bro. Friley left us was our regular night for holding our prayer meeting at which time it was expected our services would close, but upon assembling at the Church and singing and praying and having a short sermon by Bro. Arbuckle upon the Love of God, it.as very plainly to be seen that the soldiers of the cross did not want either a discharge or furlough but were eager to wave the banner of Prince Immanuel in the face of the enemy a little longer as they believed it was His will, and so, upon taking a vote the Christians and sinners too seemed to be almost, if not altogether, unanimous in desiring to protract the services indefinitely; and it was so decided and is no matter of wonder that such was the decision for during the services immediately proceeding the vote there were tw0 professions and a number of new inquirers after the way of salvation. – And thus with the Solemn ceremony of baptism in the likeness of our Savior (Sept. 15), burial and in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, close a meeting long to be remembered by the Christian people of the town of Burnet resulting in the reception of twenty-one happy converts by Baptism and two by letter for all of which we offer Grateful thanks to the Giver of All Good.” Bro. J. H. Stapp was elected clerk on January 10, 1891. The report sent to the Austin Association on August 5, 1891, showed a membership of 125, Pastor’s salary of $400, and a total budget of $514.75.
On October 4, 1891, Bro. Arbuckle stated that several of the young members had been engaging in dancing which is a violation of the rules of the Church. After talking with those involved, fellowship was withdrawn from one member.
A series of meetings was held in June 1892, by Bro. T. J. Walue. According to the minutes, “Sinners were wrought upon by the Spirit of God; backsliders were reclaimed and the faithful old Soldiers of the Cross were greatly revived and strengthened."
Page No. 5 On September 4, 1895, Bro. Arbuckle stated that he had been feeling impressed with the great importance of a revival in the Church. The Church voted to hold a revival with Bro. W. 0. Baker preaching. The services lasted almost three weeks with twenty coming by baptism and six by letter.
On November 15, 1896, Bro. Arbuckle formerly tendered his resignation as pastor of the Burnet Church, having accepted permanent work with the State Mission Board.
The Church immediately called Bro. W. 0. Baker of Florence. Soon after his arrival, Bro. Baker conducted another revival and on April 14, 1897, Charles F. Stapp was received for baptism. In 1909, Bro. Stapp left the United States for Brazil where he served as a missionary for forty-two years. On October 3, 1897, Bro. Baker resigned as pastor.
In the early days the Church Baptistery was located on Hamilton Creek, near the old flour mill in the western part of town. Many of our elder citizens were baptized there, not only those who joined the Baptist Church but some who joined other denominations as well.
In January 1898, the public school building was destroyed by fire and the Baptist Church building was tendered to the Burnet Schools for conducting classes until another school building was erected.
On March 23, 1898, it was voted by the Church to cooperate with the Marble Falls Church in calling a pastor for half time at each place. As a result of this agreement Bro. J. T. Bell was called by the two Churches. On October 11, 1899, Bro. Bell resigned and Bro. J. E. Bell (no relation) was called as pastor for both Churches.