No one knows for sure when the first Baptists arrived in Texas, but Joseph Bays preached in the area during the early 1820’s, and his family became part of Stephen F. Austin’s Old Three Hundred. After an earlier scouting trip, itinerant preacher Z. N. Morrell moved his family to the Republic in 1836. Other Baptists settled in Texas and began Sunday Schools and started churches while more established Baptist Conventions in other parts of the United States sent missionaries to the frontier. In 1841, the Texas Baptist Education Society and the Texas Baptist Mission Society were formed, and in 1845, the Education Society founded Baylor University which was chartered by the Republic of Texas. During that same time period, churches banded together to organize Baptist associations.
In September 1848, some 55 men from 22 churches met in Anderson to form a state Baptist convention. The body elected Henry L. Graves, President of Baylor University, as the first president of the Baptist State Convention. Several other conventions were formed between 1853 and 1877, mostly notably the Baptist General Association. By 1885, four remained: the Baptist State Convention, the Baptist General Association, East Texas Baptist Convention, and Central Texas Baptist Convention. After much prayer and skilled negotiation, the divided conventions consolidated on June 29, 1886, at First Baptist Church of Waco, to become the Baptist General Convention of Texas.
The Baptist General Convention of Texas Annuals Collection contains publications of the Baptist State Convention from 1848 to 1885 and the Baptist General Association from 1868 to 1885 as well as those of the Baptist General Convention of Texas from 1886 to 2016. The volumes are variously titled Proceedings, Minutes, or Annuals of the respective bodies, and the numbering varies depending on whether counted since 1848 or since the consolidation in 1886.
The Baptist General Convention of Texas holds copyright to all issues in all formats of the Baptist General Convention of Texas Annuals, Proceedings, and Minutes as stated in the volumes. The Texas Baptist Historical Collection provided some copies of the Proceedings, Minutes, and Annuals to Baylor University for this cooperative digitization project.
McBeth, Harry Leon. Texas Baptists: A Sesquicentennial History. BaptistWay Press, 1998.
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This collection is considered an active collection. Items will be added periodically as they are acquired by Baylor University and processed through the Digital Projects Group.