Historical Markers from 2021

Billy Daniels

Bro. Billy Daniels was called home to his Lord and Savior Saturday morning, July 25, 2020. He began his earthly life on September 26, 1938 in Grand Saline, Texas the son of Fred D. and Eula Mae (Smith) Daniels. Bro. Daniels was called in to the ministry at an early age, he began pastoring in 1964 until 2016. He attended the Texas Baptist Institute in Henderson, his pastorates include Liberty Missionary Baptist Church at Blodgett, Texas, Gum Springs Missionary Baptist Church in Henderson, Texas, Lee Hi Missionary Baptist Church in Sulphur Springs, Texas, Johntown Missionary Baptist Church in Johntown, Texas, Walnut Street Baptist Church in Hillsboro, Texas and Bogata Missionary Baptist in Bogata, Texas. Bro. Daniels was very active and served in many different capacities of the American Baptist Association during his 55 years as a dedicated servant of the Lord. He served as a trustee of the Texarkana Baptist Children’s Home, and the Rivercrest ISD School Board, he held the position of Secretary/Treasurer of the Missionary Baptist Association of Texas, and on two occasions was the Secretary/Treasurer of the North East Texas Missions Counsel. Bro. Daniels went on to receive his doctorate in Theology. He served as a Chaplin at McCuistion Hospital, Director of the youth camp, Lions Club, and Red River County CPS.

Location: Bogata Missionary Baptist Church - Bogata Texas

Historical Markers from 2012

Larry Romero

Bro. Larry Romero was born April 30, 1915, in Trinidad, Colorado, the son of Manuel and Clorinda Romero. He married Nora Martinez in Raton, New Mexico on Nov. 27, 1940. Together they had six children, 19 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. He died April 8, 1999. During WW II, Bro. Ramero served in the U.S. Navy. In was in Hawaii in 1943 that he was saved and had Bro. E. K. Begley as his first Bible teacher. He went to seminary at the Missionary Baptist Seminary of Little Rock, Arkansas. He was first sponsored to do mission work on the Mexican border by the Missionary Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas, Vernon L. Barr pastor. He served as a missionary endorsed by the American Baptist Association from 1948 to 1996. For many years, Bro. Romero pastored the Iglesia Bautista del Monte Calvario of Pharr, Texas. Along with this church, he helped establish three others churches in the Rio Grande Valley and five churches in Mexico, of which numerous other missions have been established. In addition, he was one of the original founders of the Mexican Baptist Institute which began in McAllen, TX. Bro. Romero pioneered the work of Missionary Baptists on the Texas Mexico border. His beginning there was very slow and quite a struggle, but his faithfulness to the Lord has resulted in many churches established and thousands saved. Only eternity will determine the impact Bro. Romero had on the Lords work.

Location: Campus of TBI Henderson Texas

Historical Markers from 2007

Oran Heaton Griffith

Bro. Oran Heaton Griffith was born to Greer and Ethel Griffith on Nov. 24, 1914. He was saved and baptized at Mt. Bethel M.B.C. in Gary, TX in 1928. In 1934, he married Alice Marie Bradbury on the front porch of his fathers house. His father performed the ceremony. Bro. O. H. Griffith was licensed to preach in 1936 and ordained in 1938 by Smyrna Church in Mt. Enterprise, TX. During his early ministry, he pastored small rural churches in Panola and Rusk counties. He remained bi-vocational and along with preaching he was a public school teacher. In 1948, he was called to pastor his first full-time pastorate at White Oak, TX. He pastored White Oak M.B.C. until 1955 when he was elected to be the Editor-in-Chief of the American Baptist Sunday School Committee. During his ministry there, he additionally served as the first pastor of Lowell Street B.C. until 1985. Bro. Griffith received a Bachelor of Science Degree from Stephen F. Austin and a Doctor of Theology from Texas Baptist Institute and Seminary in Henderson, TX. In 1985, he retired from the B.S.S.C. and moved back to Laneville, TX. He taught Sunday School, continued to fill preaching appointments, conduct lectures, write books and generally enjoyed staying active in his retirement. Bro. Griffith went to be with the Lord on Jan. 28, 2004. He had reached the age of 89 years. His wife had preceded him in death and he was survived by a son, 3 brothers and 1 sister.

Location: Holleman Cemetery Oak Flats Rusk County Texas

Historical Markers from 2006

William Herbert Brown

Bro. William Herbert Brown was born in Clark County, Arkansas on Jan. 5, 1913 to William H. and Mittie Elliot Brown. He married Mary E. Elkins-Brown in 1932 in Gurdon, AR. At age 23, he and his wife sold his barber business and enrolled in the Missionary Baptist Seminary in Little Rock, AR. While in Arkansas, during his seminary years, he pastored the following churches: Springdale M.B.C., Arkadelphia; Guy M.B.C. in Guy; Holly Springs M.B.C. in Star City; Harmony M.B.C. in Stevens and First B.C. in Taylor. He was ordained to the ministry by the Antioch M.B.C. of Little Rock, AR. He also was an assistant instructor of the seminary. After graduation, he was pastor of three other churches in Paris, Van Buren and Texarkana. He pastored Longview M.B.C. in Longview for sixteen years (1952-1968). Other pastorates in Texas were Waterview M.B.C. in Richardson; Liberty M.B.C. in Texarkana and Liberty M.B.C. in Blodget. Bro. Brown lectured to seminaries in Texas, Arkansas and California. He was awarded the Doctorate Degree by Texas Baptist Institute in Henderson, TX. He authored several sermon books: The Purposed Life, Volumes 1 and 2; The Christians Jubilee, Mysteries of the New Testament and coauthored What Young Preachers Need to Know. Bro. Brown is survived by one son, three grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren.

Location: Campus of TBI Henderson Texas

Historical Markers from 2003

George Crawford

Bro. George Crawford was born Nov. 6, 1924 in Hedley, Texas to W.S. and Lena Crawford. He was promoted to glory Jan. 17, 2000 at the age of 75 years. He married Mary Ellen (Edd) Crawford. They were married for 54 years. Bro. Crawford was a veteran of World War II. He was a graduate of Texas Baptist Institute, receiving a Doctorate of Theology. For over 30 years, he served as an instructor for TBI. His faithful ministry spanned over 57 years. During this time, he pastored seven churches: Gum Springs M.B.e., Henderson, TX; Pleasant Hill M.B.C., Overton, TX; First B.e., Arp, TX; Mt. Pleasant M.B.e., Denison, TX; Carthage M.B.e., Carthage, TX; Texas City M.B.C., Texas City, TX; and Longview M.B.e., Longview, TX where he pastored for 28 years until he retired in 1996. Longivew M.B.e. elected him as Pastor Emeritus after his retirement. Dr. Crawford was a great evangelistic preacher, and was invited to lead in many revival meetings during his ministry. He served as the moderator of the Mt. Zion Association several times, and also moderator of the Missionary Baptist Association of Texas. He was elected to preach annual sermons for both the M.B.A. of Texas and the American Baptist Association. Bro. Crawford loved preachers and was a preachers friend. His ministry will live on through those who knew and loved him, and through the Dr. George B. Crawford Scholarship Fund, an ongoing fund to benefit students of T.B.I. His favorite slogan was: Stay by the Word of God, and the God of the Word will stay by you.

Location: Henderson Texas TBI campus

Historical Markers from 2001

William (Bill) Hitt

W. H. "Bill" Hitt was born June 1, 1925 in Red Springs, TX to Roy Virgil and Grace (Bennett) Hitt. He passed away on Jan. 15, 1999 in Longview, TX. He married Lola Fac Barber on Dec. 8, 1945. To this marriage was born three sons: W.H. "Billy" (Spooky) Hitt, Jr., Larry Dale Hitt and Lynn Hitt. He made a public profession of faith to the West Tyler Baptist Church in Tyler, Texas in 1947. He announced his call to the ministry to the Unity Missionary Baptist Church in Tyler (now the University Missionary Baptist Church) in January of 1951. He was ordained in April of 1951 by the same church, which was also his first pastorate. He also pastored Mt. Bethel Missionary Baptist Church of Gary, Texas; South Union Miss. Baptist Church of Daingerfield, TX; Grace Temple Miss. Baptist Church of Mt. Pleasant; First Baptist Church of Lone Star; Calvary Baptist Church of Henderson, TX; Oakland Miss. Baptist Church of Rusk, TX; and the East Side Miss. Baptist Church of Mt. Pleasant. Bro. Hilt was elected as the first full time Secretary-Treasurer of Missions for the Missionary Baptist Association of Texas in 1963. He served in that office until the Spring of 1972, when he became pastor of Calvary Miss. Baptist Church of Henderson, Texas. While he pastored Calvary M.B.C., he was the Vice-President and an instructor at Texas Baptist Institute and Seminary. He served many years on the Missionary Committee of the American Baptist Association and several of those years, he served as the chairman of the committee.

Location: Gilmer

Historical Markers from 2000

James Wyatt Griffith

James Wyatt Griffith was born November 1, 1923 in Panola County, Texas. He was the fifth son of W. G. Griffith and his wife Ethel. On August 10, 1946, he married Mae Chapman of Oak Flat Community, Rusk County, Texas. Together they had four children. Brother Griffith was saved June 18, 1939. Mt. Bethel Baptist Church of Panola County, Texas baptized him. August 27, 1952, at age 28, Bro. J. W. answered the call to the ministry at Nacogdoches Missionary Baptist Church. In less than a month, he was pastoring Nacogdoches Baptist Church which, also, ordained him in October of that year. Bro. Griffith pastored several other churches in the East Texas area. He served as a minister to the Senior Adults and was actively teaching Sunday School at Calvary Baptist Church, Henderson, Texas at the time of his death. In the fall of 1952, Bro. Griffith enrolled in Texas Baptist Institute & Seminary. He earned both his Bachelor of Theology and his Master of Theology degrees. In 1959, he was awarded the Doctorate of Theology degree. Since 1952, he was affiliated with T.B.I. first as a student, then Instructor, Trustee, Treasurer, and finally Registrar-teaching in the fields of Old Testament and Church History when he died. Brother J. W. Griffith was incredible with the pen, too. His writing ministry spanned into many areas. For 19 years, he wrote for the Baptist Sunday School Committee. He has written a popular series of book-by-book Old Testament study manuals, along with student workbooks. His latest works are "The Old Testament in Matthew." Because of his pastoring, writing and teaching ministries, Bro. Griffith affected countless lives. Like many other great men of faith, he will not be soon forgotten. God, through James Wyatt Griffith, has blessed many lives.

Location: Holleman Cemetery Oak Flats Rusk County Texas

Historical Markers from 1999

Cub Havis Mcbryde

Bro. Cub Havis McBryde was born October 23, 1914 in Palmyra, Lincoln County, Arkansas. On November 2, 1935, he married Eunice Collins in Star City, Arkansas, to whom he was married for 60 years. Together, they had three children. Bro. McBryde was saved on August 13, 1939. On Sunday night, December 7, 1940, he made known to Pauline Missionary Baptist Church his calling into the ministry. This church both licensed and ordained him. In September, 1941, he moved his family back to Palmyra in order to attend the Missionary Baptist Institute and Seminary in Little Rock, Arkansas. While in seminary, Bro. McBryde served as chaplain of the Arkansas Legislature. He graduated from seminary in May, 1945. Bro. McBryde began preaching in a school house in Tyro, Arkansas. He often pastored one church and preached for other churches on Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons, in addition to helping establish missions. He pastored and preached to several churches in Arkansas and Texas. He spent more than fifty-five years in the ministry. In September, 1948, he helped in the organization of Texas Baptist Institute. He taught classes in the seminary and worked to earn his Doctor of Theology Degree. He served as a trustee of the Texarkana Baptist Orphanage for 42 years. He helped organize the A.B.A. Credit Union. While pastor of the Fellowship Baptist Church of Pasadena, Texas he led the church to organize seven churches with two missions not yet organized. Bro. McBryde set an example of leadership among the brethren of the Missionary Baptist Association of Texas and is greatly missed.

Location: Campus of TBI Henderson Texas

Historical Markers from 1996

Vernon L. Barr

Vernon Lee Barr was born to John and Lydia Barr on November 18, 1906 in Jacksonville, Texas. At the age of three, while living in Madisonville, Texas he was afflicted with polio. From that time forward he would spend the rest of his life on crutches. After a rough life of 24 years, Vernon Barr, an avowed atheist, came to know Jesus as his saviour and Lord. This came about through the witnessing of his brother, Jim. Three days after his conversion he was compelled to preach. He began and never stopped until December 3rd, 1982, at the age of 76. His ministry was primarily in Texas, with the exception of pastoring eight years in Oklahoma. His preaching went out over radio stations while he pastored in Oklahoma and then later while pastoring in Dallas, Texas. His radio ministry began in Ardmore Oklahoma and continued in Texas over KSKY in Dallas and XEG in Del Rio. Early in his ministry he held his first debate with a Jesus Only movement preacher. For the next forty years Brother Barr held debates defending the faith once and for all delivered unto the saints. In October 1976 Brother Barr resigned a 32 year pastorate at the Missionary Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas. Even though he resigned the church pastorate, he remained a pastor to pastors. This pastor, as well as many others, found him to be a great encouragement, a man of wise counsel , and even more, a loving friend . He indeed was a pastors pastor. James Kirkland recently wrote, I was often impressed with Vernon Barrs energy, his fierce loyalty to the Word of God, his faith in the face of adversity, his power in the pulpit, his courtesy in debate with false teachers, his humor, his wisdom, his patience with young preachers, his impatience with duplicity, his love for sports, his high regard for the churches of Jesus Christ, his sensitivity to your hurts because he had hurt so much himself, his great love and respect for that lovely lady whom he called in a comfortably old-fashioned way MRS. BARR, his gentleness with children and his unqualified gratitude for the grace of God which had saved him and called him into Christs service. Nothing ever gripped me more, though, than his passion for the lost . No sooner had he led one to the Lord than his heart yearned to go after the next man, as he once put it. Brother Barr was indeed a doctrinally sound pastor as seen in the records of his debates and in the soundness of those whom he taught. Brother Barr was indeed a missionary pastor as seen in the many churches begun under his ministry in the Dallas Ft. Worth area and in the ministry of the A.B.A. Mexican Baptist Institute. Brother Barr was indeed a compassionate pastor as seen in his personal witnessing and in his fiery preaching. Brother Barr was a great defender, pastor, teacher, friend, and lover of souls. But he told this pastor a few months before his departure, Preacher, I hope my brethren remember me as an evangelist more than a debater. For you see, even his debating was evangelistic. His life, ministry, and burden for lost souls lives on in their challenge unto us all.

Location: Henderson Texas TBI Campus

Historical Markers from 1994

Andrew Findley

Bro. A. J. Findley was born at Hartsville, Alabama in 1884. He was ordained to the gospel ministry at the age of 27. He pastored several churches in the North East Texas area. His longest pastorate was with the Wards Creek Missionary Baptist Church in the Hopewell Missionary Baptist Association. He pastored this church for 24 years. Bro. Findiey was Moderator of the Missionary Baptist Association of Texas in the years 1952-53 when the messengers convened at Longview and Snyder respectively. Bro. Findley departed his earthly home and went to Gods House on Sunday, August 25, 1974. He was preceded in death in the same year by his wife, Louella, who was his companion for 71 years.

Location: Bradfield Chapel Cemetery Daingerfield Texas

Historical Markers from 1988

R. E. Rodgers

Dr. R. E. Rodgers was born January 27, 1901 in the Zion Hill community of Rusk County, Texas. His parents were Jim and Larisa Rodgers. He married Genetta Deason. They were blessed with five children, three daughters and two sons. Buddy, the eldest son, is a deacon in Calvary Baptist Church of Henderson, Texas. Roddy, the youngest son, is a minister and began his schooling in Texas Baptist Institute and Seminary in the fall of 1968. Dr. Rodgers spent most of his early ministry pastoring churches in the Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Association, After being called to pastor the Calvary Baptist Church of Henderson, Texas, he led this church in sponsoring The Texas Baptist Institute, He was elected the first president of the school, This position was held for two years. Dr. Rodgers was saved in his youth and joined Zion Hill Baptist Church of Rusk County, Texas, He was later ordained a deacon in this church. At age 34 he answered the call of the Lord to preach the gospel and was liberated by the Zion Hill Baptist Church near Henderson, Not long after leaving the school, Dr. Rodgers answered another definite call of the Lord to give himself to the work of organizing churches, He was sent out by the Calvary Baptist Church of Henderson, Texas, and served the churches of the Missionary Baptist Association of Texas as a salaried missionary for many years, While so serving, he led in the establishing of sixteen churches, In 1967 the Texas Baptist Institute and Seminary conferred the degree of Doctor of Divinity on faithful service. Bro. Rodgers in recognization of his many years of His last years were spent as pastor of the Maple Grove Baptist Church of Minden, Texas.

Location: Henderson Texas - Zion HIll Cemetery

Historical Markers from 1986

Jame W. Harper

J. W. Harper, D.D., statesman, preacher, pastor, Baptist financier and leader in Baptist affairs, entered the ministry in 1924 and served the cause he loved faithfully for forty-one years. His two terms in the Texas State Legislature gave him a keen insight into human nature and, along with the grace of God and his love for God and for men, peculiarly fitted him for his useful and fruitful life. Baptists honored Brother Harper for his abiding convictions, his courageous stand and persistent purpose of life. He served as President of the American Baptist Association, president of two state associations, manager and promoter of a Texas Baptist Orphanage, Chairman of The Baptist Sunday School Committee. He has been interstate missionary, state evangelist and served thirteen consecutive years as Secretary-Treasurer of The Missionary Baptist Association. In his declining years he was elected as President Emeritus of The Missionary Association. We thank God for his great and fruitful life, we mourn his departure from our midst, we extend our most sincere sympathy to his family and pray that we may continue the good fight of faith as did our beloved brother. -A. J. Kirkland, prepared by request

Location: Taylor Cemetery Gallatin Texas

Historical Markers from 1984

Allen John Kirkland

Bro. Kirkland was a native Texan and spent his life and ministry in Texas. After public schools, he graduated from the Jacksonville Baptist College of Jacksonville, Texas and the Missionary Baptist Seminary of Little Rock, Ark. His active ministry extended beyond 48 years. He was the second President of Texas Baptist Institute and Seminary, Henderson, Texas and served for 22 years. He excelled as preacher, pastor, evangelist. writer, debator, and leader. He founded "The Baptist Monitor" which he edited for 44 years. Among his pastorates were: Ebenezer, Roquemore, and Calvary of Henderson; First Baptist of Ennis; White Oak of Longview; Missionary of Corsicana; Walnut Street of Hillsboro; Missionary of Gallatin; and Ozias of Huntington (which his father organized and pastored). He was a member of the Baptist Sunday School Committee for 36 years and served as President of the American Baptist Association in 1953 and 1954.

Location: Henderson Texas