The Influence of Two shares the history of the First United Methodist Church of Minden, Louisiana that was founded in 1839 (meaning they’re celebrating their 170th year). John Agan’s December 26 article focuses on the “careers and legacies of George Washington Bains, pastor of the church from 1845 until 1850 and William Carey Crane, pastor during 1861-62.” Each has some interesting Huntsville connections:
In 1850, the Bains family moved to Huntsville, Texas, where he preached and began a lifelong friendship with Sam Houston. It was after crossing the Sabine River and becoming a Texan that he added the “e” to his last name, for reasons unknown. From that point forward he was known as George Washington Baines. During his ministry in Texas he was the pastor of churches at Huntsville, Independence, Anderson, Fairfield, Springfield, Butler, Florence, and Salado.
William Carey Crane served as pastor of the Independence Baptist Church for eighteen years and was active in the Texas Baptist State Convention. He was a prolific author and wrote a classic biography of Sam Houston. Crane was the first president of the Texas State Teachers Association and was chairman of the committee that recommended the founding of Sam Houston Normal Institute (now Sam Houston State University). He was a leader in the reorganization of the Texas public school system after Reconstruction.


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