Friday, March 17, 2017

This Week in Texas Methodist History March 18

Martin Ruter Licenses Robert Crawford to Exhort, March 18, 1838

On March 18, 1838 Martin Ruter, the head of the Texas Mission, licensed Robert Crawford to exhort at Washington on the Brazos.  That licensing was the first step in full ordination for a man who would spend the rest of his life in Texas Methodist ministries in four different conferences.

Crawford was born in Abbeville District, South Carolina, in 1815.  He was orphaned by the age of 15 and at age 19 was converted from his Calvinist faith to Methodism.  About the same time as his conversion he also experienced a call to preach and was preparing to enroll in LaGrange College to prepare himself for the ministry when he was inspired by the stories of the Texas revolutionaries.  He chose the Texian Army over college and arrived in Texas in time to fight in the Battle of San Jacinto. 

Less than one year later, came the licensure.  In September 1839 he was licensed to preach by Joseph P. Sneed and admitted on trial in the Mississippi Conference and appointed to Montgomery when it met the following December.  He attended the organization of the Texas Conference the next December and was appointed to Nashville.  At the Texas Annual Conference of 1843 he was ordained elder.    When the Eastern Texas Conference was organized in San Augustine in 1845, he went with that conference.  He served various circuits in East Texas and was elected delegate to the 1850 General Conference of the MECS.  

When the North West Texas Conference was created in 1866, he cast his lot with that body.  He was thus present at the creation of the Texas, East Texas, and North West Texas Conferences.   While in the NWT Conference he supervised missions in Robertson, Leon, Falls, Limestone, and Freestone Counties.  He died in November 1888 at his home in Franklin.  His memoir praises his pioneer work and admonishes the reader, “Let us not forget these old men.”


Post a Comment

<< Home