Daniel Parker: Pioneer preacher and political leader



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Texas Tech University


Approximately three miles south of Elkhart in Anderson County Farm Road 319 winds through the peaceful East Texas countryside. Located by a gentle curve, a small red-bricked church guards a large cemetery. The building appears sound but closer inspection reveals the ravages of time. Cracks in the mortar indicate structural weakness. Yet the edifice has not been totally abandoned. Neatly kept grounds imply that the building has been deemed worthy of preservation. The interior of the church is visibly austere. Aged pews rest on a plank floor. This is the third structure in which services have been held on these grounds since 1849. On the third Sunday morning of each month less than ten participants worship according to the traditions of Primitive Baptists. According to their perception of New Testament worship, the service differs from other Protestant and even Baptist denominations. There is no Sunday School. Congregational singing is without instrumental accompaniment. The pastor, without notes, delivers a sermon heavily punctuated with the doctrines of divine grace and election.