President, SBC Leader - 1867 to 1944
|| Young George
Washington Truett followed his parents to Whitewright, Texas, where he
joined a local Baptist congregation. In a short time, the leadership
and people of the church became very much impressed with his teaching and
speaking abilities. He was elected to be their Sunday school superintendant.
The young man would also take the pulpit in the pastor's absence.
Even though Truett had enrolled
in the Grayson Junior College, the Whitewright congregation had
|other plans toput his gifts to work for
The membership of the church encouraged
him to consider God's calling to the ministry. So much were they
convinced regarding his talents and abilities that they urged him to be
ordained on a Saturday in 1890 and then did so on Sunday.
Little did they know that
their being used of God to spur Truett on to enter the ministry would begin
a series of events in his life that would tremendously impact the Southern
Baptist Convention of that day.
Truett followed God's
leading by enrolling as a ministerial student at Baylor University.
Again, his gift of oratory was noticed. He came to the attention
of the university leadership and was asked to serve as their financial
secretary. He amazed everyone by raising the sum of $92,000.00 (an
amazing amount of money at that time) to pay off the school's indebtedness.
He accomlished this in just twenty-three months. It was only after
this goal was met that he enrolled as a freshman.
While studying for the ministry,
he also pastored the East Waco Baptist Church. He married Josephine
Jenkins, a fellow student, on June 28, 1894, and they raised three daughters.
Just two years later, 1897,
Truett became the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas. He
continued to lead the church for forty-seven years until his death in July
of 1944. During his long and successful pastorate, the membership
increased from some 700 to over 7,800. He also led 37 annual summer
"Cowboy Camp Meetings" in West Texas to encourage pastors. He was
constantly in demand as a speaker due to both his strong emphasis on evangelism
even when presenting theoloical sermons. In fact, President Woodrow
Wilson appointed him to preach to the Allied Forces for six months during
World War I.
Turett served as the president
of the Southern Baptist Convention and of the Baptist World Alliance from
1927 to 1929. In 1930, he was the only American speaker to be invited
to London, England to address the Spurgeon Centenary.
Between 1934 and 1939, he served
as a trustee for the Baylor University, Southwestern Baptist Theological
Seminary, and the Baylor Hospital.
Truett's fourteen volumes
of sermons and a biography are still available.
Would anyone disagree with
the Whitewright congregation for having pushed the young George W. Pruett
toward the ministry?