“Dr. Jesse Mercer, of Georgia, in 1838 gave $2,500 to the Home Mission Society of Northern Baptists to send two Baptist preachers to evangelize Texas.” -L. R. Scarborough, With Christ After the Lost, Southwestern Library of Centennial Classics, revised by E. D. Head; 1942, 2008.
These were “foreign” missionaries. In 1838 Texas had won its independence only two years earlier and was its own country, the Republic of Texas. It would join the United States of America in 1845.
In 2010, 172 years later, there are (Southern Baptists of Texas Convention statistics):
* 2332 Baptist churches in the SBTC.
* An average of 237,313 in worship each Sunday.
* 16,988 Baptisms each year.
* $37,700,000 given to the Cooperative Program, International Mission Board, North American Mission Board and other missions through the SBTC.
* Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, one of the largest seminaries in the world, is in Fort Worth, Texas.
And this does not even come close to counting all the other Baptists and Baptist institutions in the state of Texas.
Thank you Jesse Mercer, and Georgia Baptists. Thank you Northern Baptists. Thank you for giving to the Lord, and giving to Texas.
Note: L. R. Scarborough, then president of SWBTS, went on to give Texas Baptist statistics for about 1940. I updated them with recent SBTC statistics. Thanks to Lane Rice for help with the SBTC statistics.
-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, August 18, AD 2011.