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The date was November 19, 1854. The place was Rocky Creek, two miles south of Independence, Texas. And the occasion? The baptism of one of Texas historys most illustrious political figures: Sam Houston.

Sam Houston have been a general, a president, a congressman, a senator, and also the governor of two states. And the spiritual journey was as extraordinary as his political and military accomplishments.

Houston was born in Virginia in 1793. He endured the Cherokee Indians for some time. Not only did theyname himColonneh, or the Raven, however they also called him Oo-tse-tee Ar-dee-tah-skee, meaning Big Drunk. Houston described his ownfashion for menth as wild and impetuous.

Houston married a teenager named Eliza Allen in 1829,when he was the governor ofTennessee. It had been an arranged marriage that ended after only eleven weeks, amid considerable mystery. During their duration of separation, Houston reportedly sought organized religion. But organized religion failed him. Twice he requested baptism, and twice he was refused.

Following his brief marriage, Houston resigned his office and fled across the Mississippi River to Indian Territory. Again he lived among the Cherokees, in self-imposed exile, for 3 years. In 1830, under Cherokee law, he married Tiana Diana Rodgers Gentry, an Indian woman of mixed blood. Together they established a residence and a trading post, and Houston involved himself within the white world again. Following a number of controversial political and legal events, he left his Cherokee wife and gone to live in Texas.

Houstons knowledge about organized religion included an occupation in the Catholic faith in order to obtain a land grant. As required by Mexican law, he was baptized into the Catholic Church, as Samuel Pablo. Houston later rejected Catholicism consistent with the American Know Nothing Party convictions. The American Party was a political movement empowered with a fear that Irish Catholic immigrants were overtaking America.

After Houston became President of Texas in 1837, he finally divorced his first wife. His Cherokee wife, who had refusedto travelto Texas with him,later remarried. After her death from pneumonia in 1838, Houston considered marriage again. Hemarried Margaret Moffette Lea in 1840. He was 47 and she or he was 21.

Some people thought their marriage was unwise. Inside a letter to Dr. Ashbel Smith, Colonel Barnard Bee wrote about Houston, In all my acquaintance with life I have not met by having an individual more totally disqualified for domestic happiness-he wont live with her 6 months.

Bee was wrong. Sam Houston and Margaret were married for 23 years, the remainder of Houstons lifetime. From the beginning, Margarets influence tempered her husband, and Houstons life took a submit a very different direction.

Before Houston met Margaret, he tried to refrain from drinking. It failed. During the visit to Alabama on which he met his wife, one critic reported that Houston had burned off his coat tail, while in a situation of intoxication, immediately after making temperance speeches.

Instead of nag her husband, Margaret simply reminded him how much his drinking hurt her and the sanctity of the home. As Margarets influence grew, Houston eventually stopped drinking. He was known to whittle during the sermons, but he obviously paid attention. Biographer Sue Flanagan wrote that Houstons study of religion was reflected often by Biblical quotes in his extemporaneous as well as written speeches.

And 155 years back this November,says Independence Baptist Church, throngs of onlookers witnessed the baptism of their most famous member. Rev. Rufus C. Burleson baptized Sam Houston in Rocky Creek near Independence, Texas, in which the family had moved from Huntsville.

Organized in 1839, Independence Baptist Church was a leading supporter of missionary work throughout the Republic of Texas. It is the oldest continuously active Baptist church within the state today. Based on a church periodical of the time,the announcement of General Houstons immersion has excited the wonder and surprise of numerous who have supposed he was past praying for.

Upon hearing of his baptism, a friend reportedly told Houston, Well, General, I hear fashion for men sins were washed away. I hope so, Houston replied. But when they were all washed away, he said, the Lord assist the fish listed below.


Flanagan, Sue. Sam Houstons Texas. Austin, TX: The University of Texas Press, 1964. Retrieved November 19, 2009; Houstons Spiritual Journey. Sam Houston State University. Retrieved November 17, 2009; Independence Baptist Church. Accessed November 17, 2009; James, Marquis. The Raven: a Biography of Sam Houston. Austin, TX: The University of Texas Press, 1988. Retrieved November 17, 2009; Have no knowledge. Wikipedia. Retrieved November 19, 2009; Kreneck, Thomas H. Houston, Samuel 1793-1863. The Handbook of Texas. Retrieved November 19, 2009; Save Texas History. Accessed November 17, 2009; Seale, William. Houston, Margaret Moffette Lea 1819-1867. The Handbook of Texas. Retrieved November 19, 2009.