Devotion for the Week of January 14, 2018 - A FAMED TEXAN WHO LOVED THE LORD

Acts 2:41-47 (KJV), “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. [42] And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. [43] And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. [44] And all that believed were together, and had all things common; [45] And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. [46] And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, [47] Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”
The name Sam Houston should be known by every school child in America. Samuel Houston arrived in Texas from Virginia late in 1832, and in 1835 he was elected major general of the Texas troops. When the rising storm of opposition to Mexico brought on a war, he dealt a crushing blow to Santa Anna and procured the independence of the Republic.[1] He became a delegate to the 1836 Convention in Texas and assisted in securing the recognition of the republic by the United States. He was elected governor of Texas in 1859.
Samuel Houston was born on March 2, 1793. Apparently, during his youth, he had little interest in spiritual matters. His educational background was limited, but he obviously had a good intellect, for after enlisting in the United States Army, he became a lieutenant, lawyer, district attorney, adjutant general, congressman, and the governor of Tennessee. He accomplished all of this before moving to Texas.
Houston’s … conversion … was doubtless due primarily to the remarkable influence of his devout wife, who was Maggie Lea, prior to their marriage in 1840 … He did not make a public profession of faith until 1854, when he united with the Baptist church at Independence and was baptized by Dr. R. C. Burleson November 19 of that year … He then became a regular attendant upon preaching and prayer meeting services. He led in public prayer, and when he lay dying at his home in Huntsville, he expressed to his family and friends his implicit faith in the Saviour.[2]
After Texas was admitted into the Union, Houston served in the United States Senate for fourteen years. He was inaugurated governor of Texas on December 21, 1859, and these became the most trying days of his life, for there was a great ferment just prior to the Civil War.
For more than a generation, sectional passion had run riot … In the same intense sectional passion which swayed the masses, Texas shared with the other states of the South. During the year 1860, little else than politics was discussed … Extravagant predictions, born of heated passion, were made concerning the results of the war, which was not inevitable … There moved a few cool spirits who would have averted the disaster, if possible, but it was folly to interpose. Among those who shared in the desire to settle the sectional difference was Governor Houston. Of his patriotism there was no doubt … of his loyalty and devotion to the South, there could be no question … of his familiarity with the pending discussion, no one could gainsay, for he had shared it on the floor of the Senate. He regarded the secession movement with more than doubt; it was with a feeling akin to dismay.[3]
However, Governor Sam Houston was in the minority, for on February 23, 1861, the people of Texas voted to secede from the United States, and because he stood by his convictions, Houston’s office was declared vacant. Thus disposed, Houston relinquished his office and retired to his farm in Huntsville, Texas, where he died on July 26, 1863.

Thankfully history has a way of vindicating fallen heroes. Texans today revere the memory of Samuel Houston, but Christians rejoice in his personal testimony in our Saviour.

Taken from “This Day in Baptist History” by E. Wayne Thompson & David L. Cummins
[1] B. F. Riley, History of the Baptist in Texas (Dallas: Published by the author 1907) pg. 26
[2] L. R. Elliott, ed., Centennial Story of Texas Baptists (Dallas: Baptist General Convention of Texas, 1936), pp. 247-48
[3] Ibid., pg. 148