Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Bethany Baptist Church, 1853

The excerpt below from the diary of Elder Holloway Power relates the organization of the Bethany Baptist Church in Nacogdoches County. He attended an association meeting at the “north meeting house” (Union Church, now Old North Church) October 8-10, 1853. Power described the introductory sermon at the association “as a worthless a discourse as is commonly heard and far from the gospel...” On the other hand, on Sunday he “heard Elder Lucas preach a [firey] missionary discourse from Is., he had great liberty of speech and made as affecting an effort in behalf of missionism as I have ever heard...” The business included begging aid from the “S. baptist miss. society & of the State conv. of Texas” and to request the legislature pass the Maine liquor law. Because of this, Power “sat amazed to hear an asso. of baptist thus spending their strength in money & politicks” and wrote, “I returned home striped (sic) of all missionary propensities.”
[Sunday October] 30 [1853] Sunday Attended meeting at the N. meeting house br. Brittain Preached a very interesting discourse from mat 1 br. Davis followed and as br. Brittain could not stay on tomorrow it was agreed to go into a constitution whereupon H. L. Power & wife, J. Burns & wife & E. Young presented letters Some others who have not their letters present could not go in An abstract compiled by myself was offered and unanimously adopted & the Presbytery being satisfied declared us a church of Christ
31 The church met at the school house and after br Davis Preached conference was held and br. I. Fowler received by experience and baptized in the [???] we adopt the name Bethany and agree to hold our Monthly meetings on the [??] Sunday & day before  O Lord grant thy kind Providential care and in blessing bless us and glorify thy name by us for Jesus sake.
From the Holloway Lee Power Diary, pp. 149-150


  • Words in brackets [] are those which are hard to read, uncertain, or unreadable.
  • Power had been affiliated with a Bethany Church in Madison County, Alabama, so that may be the origin of the name choice.
  • Basil Eli Lucas was pastor of Union Church at the time Bethany Baptist Church was formed.
  • Bethany Church was a member of the Little Hope Association of Primitive Baptists.
  • Brother Brittain above is probably Thomas BrittainElder William Brittain was already deceased. Thos. Brittain was later active with John Sparkman in trying to reconcile the Little Hope and Mt. Zion Associations.
  • Holloway Lee Power, Elizabeth Meals Power, J. Burns & wife (possibly James & Martha Burns, buried at Old North Cemetery), and E. Young. A J. R. Burns is mentioned as a correspondent to the Union Association from Little Hope Association, October 1868, and seems to be a preacher. It is not clear whether he could be the same as “J. Burns” who was a charter member of Bethany.
  • His brother, James Isaac Power, pastored Union Church (now Old North) circa 1866-1872.
  • Holloway Bunyan/Bunyon Power was a son of Holloway Lee Power. He was born in 1834 in Alabama. After his father died, he became a pastor for Bethany Baptist Church.
  • Quote: “A man may be very tenacious for doctrine but lax in his conduct or christian walk and thus destroy all the effects of his sound doctrine.” -- Holloway Lee Powerp. 35

No comments: