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On the back porch

Early April finds my young bride Stella and the First Baptist Church of Marlin sharing birthdays. The church body celebrates on April 10th some one hundred sixtyseven years. In Texas, there are some questions you never ask a young lady, so I am just going to say, “Happy Birthday, Darlin’ and many more!

My good friend Gary (JC) Penney gave me a book titled The Trail Drivers of Texas. One selection was about a pioneer Texas Preacher named Z. N. Morrell. Not only was this early Baptist preacher prominent in Texas history, he was the preacher that founded and became the first pastor for what is now The First Baptist Church in Marlin, Texas. Looking back in history, I find an old Falls County record showing that in August 1851, three Marlin city lots were designated by the Falls County Commissioners Court as sites for churches. These churches were the Methodist, Presbyterian, and Baptist denominations. The Baptist’s first pastor, Reverend Z.N. Morrell, selected a lot for his church, the Baptist Church of Christ. He had been holding worship services in the log courthouse and later at a school. His church started on April 10, 1852 with 10 charter members and eventually became the First Baptist Church of Marlin in 1902. Z. N. Morrell, the first pastor of Marlin’s Baptist congregation, was a pioneer Baptist preacher that came to Texas to bring the Protestant religion to its early settlers even though Mexican law stated that Anglos had permission to colonize this area but by law everyone had to worship as Catholic. Thus, all religions were forbidden with the exception of Catholicism.


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