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Leo T. Crismon
President, Kentucky Baptist Historical Commission

      Leo Taylor Crismon, son of Frederick Pinkney and Sarah Elizabeth (Shelton) Crismon, was born February 24, 1906 near Iberia, Missouri. He received his elementary education at the White School in Miller County, the Cleveland School in Maries County, and the Dixon School in Pulaski County. He attended Iberia Academy 1919-1920. Dr. Crismon was converted at the age of 16 when Simon P. Cox held a meeting in the Post Oak School House, April, 1922. The Osage River was flooded at this time having reached its highest peak since 1895, and the young Christian was baptized in its back waters. Since the Post Oak School House gathering was an arm of the Elm Springs Baptist Church, Dr. Crismon's membership was with the sponsoring church. His family moved to Eldon, Missouri and a little later to Jefferson City.

      Dr. Crismon's high school days were spent at Eldon High and Jefferson City High School from which he graduated in the spring of 1927. In the fall he entered William Jewell College at Liberty, Missouri from which he received an A. B. degree in 1931 after having done some correspondence work from the University of Kansas. Preacher Crismon was licensed by the First Baptist Church,

Jefferson City on June 6, 1928, and was ordained for the Gospel ministry by the same church on December 30, 1929.

      Leo T. Crismon entered the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in September, 1930, from which he received the Th.M. degree on May 2, 1933, and the Ph.D. degree on April 30, 1935. While a student at William Jewell College he served churches as pastor and as a student at Southern Seminary he served several Kentucky and Indiana churches. Upon completion of his work at Southern Seminary he returned to Missouri where he served a number of churches through 1937. In August, 1937, he returned to the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary where he served in the library until his retirement in 1973 after which he was named Librarian Emeritus.

      The young man, Leo T. Crismon, was married to Viola Fowler on May 31, 1931. They have two children, Leola Jo, born September 5, 1933, and Frederick William, born July 10, 1936. Gardening is his hobby.

      Crismon, the writer, has penned numerous Baptist Historical or biographical articles for periodicals. He is the author of the following: The Boone Family and Kentucky Baptists, 1946: Brownstown Baptist Association (Indiana) and the cause of Missions 1946; History of Crescent Hill Baptist Church, Louisville, Kentucky; History of New Liberty Baptist Church, Indiana, 1947; Translation of Johan Faber's Latin work against Balthasar Hubmaier (1528).

      Dr. Crismon is a life member of the Filson Club, Louisville; the Kentucky Baptist Historical Society and the Southern Baptist Historical Society. He has been a member of the Kentucky Baptist Historical Commission since its beginning in 1966. He served as Clerk of Long Run Association from 1951-1970. He has served the Kentucky Baptist Convention as Secretary since 1958. Kentucky Baptists are greatly indebted to Leo T. Crismon as a faithful servant not only of Baptists in Kentucky but also of his Master, the Lord Jesus.


[From The Kentucky Baptist Heritage Journal, Vol. 7, #1, November, 1980, pp. 1-2; via E-Text of SBTS, Adam Winters, Archivist. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

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