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Organizational Minutes of Smyrna Baptist Church
Rusk County, Texas

      Sat. before the 3rd Sun. in Aug. 16, 1873.

      A number of Brethren and Sisters met at Chinquapin for the purpose of organizing a Missionary Baptist Church. After divine service by Elder John Sparkman. Solicited brethren called for, none present. On motion Bro. John Deason was called to preside with Eld. John Sparkman, Bro. F. O. Galloway to act as clerk protem. Opportunity then extended to those wishing to unite whereupon 17 came forward with letters of recommendation and were received. Namely E. S. Parker, Rebecca Parker, Jasper Parker, G. A. Parker, M. T. Wells, E. Wells, W. J. Parker, C. A. E. Parker, Martha Moore, J. F. M. Reid, Mary V. Reid, Robert P. Goldsberry, Nannie E. Goldsberry, G. W. McNew, Martha McNew, C. M. Holleman, F. O. Galloway. After letters being read, fellowship for each other called for and was granted, then we extended to each other the right hand of Christian and church fellowship. Prayer being offered by Eld. John Sparkman for the preservation and the unity of the church. We then proceeded in conference, elected J. F. M. Reid church clerk. On motion the meeting was protracted. No farther business. Conference adjourned, Conference approved.

            John Sparkman Mod.

J.F.M. Reid, C.C.


      R. L. Vaughn wrote: My ancestors Wyatt and Eliza Jane (Parker) Vaughn were early members of this church, as well as others of the Parker family. Several folks from Greene County populated the eastern portions of Rusk County, Texas, and some of the western portions of Panola. These folks became members of existing churches and/or organized new ones. They were in Baptist churches such as Liberty, Mt. Carmel, Mt. Zion, Shiloh, and so on. In August of 1873, some of the Parkers from Georgia, as well as others who had been members of the Mt. Carmel Church, organized the Smyrna Baptist Church. On August 19, Martha Frazier (originally of Greene County) joined by letter of recommendation. On February 14, 1874, my great-great-grandmother Eliza J. Vaughn came on letter of recommendation (her husband was already deceased).

      This year, 2023, Smyrna Baptist Church of Rusk County, Texas will celebrate its 150th anniversary, Lord willing.

Pastors and Tenures

John Sparkman Aug 21 1873 - Mar 1882
W M Pruitt Mar 1882 - Mar 1884
W H H Hays Mar 1884 - Jan 1887
Oct 1887 - Feb 1889
John Isbell Feb 1889 - Aug 1893
L R Heflin Aug 1893 - July 1896
J R Carmichael July 1896 - Aug 1899
E D Blankenship Aug 1899 - Oct 1901
James A Long Oct 1901 - Oct 1904
J F McLendon Oct 1904 - Aug 1910
J H Waller Aug 1910 - Aug 14 1930
W G Griffith Oct 11 1930 - Sep 10 1933
Z E Wolverton Sep 19 1933 - Sep 7 1935
E D Kellar Sep 7 1935 - Sep 24 1938
G D Kellar Oct 23 1938 - Sep 20 1941
D C Dunson Sep 20 1941 - Sep 23 1944
R E Rodgers Sep 23 1944 - Aug 20 1949
G D Walters Aug 20 1949 - Apr 8 1950
George Crawford Apr 23 1950 - Jan 26 1952
A D Munsinger Apr 12 1952 - Sep 25 1954
Jack W Smith Oct 10 1954 - Dec 11 1955
Luther Crawford Jan 18 1955 - Sep 15 1957
James T Clark Oct 13 1957 - Jul 2 1958
B A Grant Nov 2 1958 - Sep 14 1969
Gale Wineinger Nov 16 1969 - May 13 1973
R M Thompson Sep 23 1973 - Apr 18 1976

On Smyrna’s 150th Anniversary
A Poem.

On the sixteenth day of August
In Eighteen Hundred Seventy-Three
A church was constituted
By a neighboring presbytery.

From Zion Hill, Sparkman and Deason
Called with an urgent plea.
Seventeen souls with letters
Came forth in covenant to agree.

Elder Sparkman offered prayer,
For preservation and unity.
One hundred fifty years later
Some in covenant still agree.

May God bless these people,
May God be their light —
The Bible be their practice
God’s Spirit be their guide.

[From R. L. Vaughn, Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

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