This church organization might be truthfully compared to a mighty oak, whose roots dig down deep through the soil, drink in and transmit the food to the trunk, limbs, branches and leaves, and forage for the minerals that help color the foliage and make it a thing of joy and beauty, as well as a protection from the sun's fierce rays and the storm's beating rain. Nor is this all, it affords the songsters of the forest a sheltering place for their young.
As this mighty oak has grown from a tiny acorn and is now able to withstand the terrible wrenching of storm and tornado, so the Baptist Churches have grown in Eastland County.
Away back many years ago Mr. McGough does not remember the date, under a brush arbor, the Rev. W. H. Brashears organized the first Baptist Church in Eastland with seven members, C. Brashears, J. R. Higgins, Enoch Dawson. Amanda Dawson, W. C. McGough and wife and the preacher. This was known as Providence Baptist Church, and was one of four in the county when the Rev. C. G. Stevens of sainted memory projected and accomplished the organization of that wonderful body known as the Red Gap Baptist Association, which not only included the churches in this County, but finally embraced all the territory to El Paso and New Mexico. There now exists a Cisco Baptist Association which includes all the organizations in the County with two or three exceptions. The locations, names of pastor and present membership follow:
Carbon - W. B. Cobb, 83.
Cisco - G. W. Sherman. 239.
Corinth - E. M. Hunt, 67.
Curtis - G. P. May, 46
Eastland - J. L. Mayes, 115.
Elm Creek - J. H. Vinson, 78.
Gorman - J. H. Vinson, 182.
Harmony - J. L. Mayes, 48.
Jewell - W. L. Ayers, 59.
Liberty Hill - S. C. Steel, 34.
Long Branch - E. M. Hunt, 114.
Meriman - J. L. Mayes, 59.
Midway - J. J. McCord, 91.
Monroe - D. G. Wells, 113.
Mount Olive - J. J. McCord, 49.
New Hope - E. M. Hunt, 35.
Pleasant Hill, No. 1 - George W. Parks, 56.
Pleasant Valley - E. M, Hunt, 68.
Hanger - Z. H. Reagan, 41.
Rich - I. Lamb, 10.
Rising Star - D. G. Wells, 29.
Round Mountain - G. W. Parks, 61.
Union - G. P. May, 41.
Union Grove - D. G. Wells, 29.
There is an organization at Desdemona, one near Pioneer and one at Ellison's Springs. Rev. C. Brashcars is pastor of the last named.
One interesting feature of the work of this association is that it keeps a missionary continually in the field. Rev. I. D. Hull, the present Associational Missionary, has served several years. Last year the amount reported paid to missions, home and foreign, was $875.31. This did not include the $295.18 paid to the Buckner Orphans' Home, $52 for ministerial education, nor $29.30 for the poor.
Rev. J. M. Reynolds, one of the Missionary Evangelists appointed by the State Board of the Baptist Convention, lives in Cisco.
Source: History of Eastland County, Texas, by Mrs. George Langston, A. D. Aldridge & Company, Dallas, Texas, 1904.