Houston joins church
On this day in 1854, Texas hero Sam Houston joined Independence Baptist Church and was baptized in nearby Little Rocky Creek by Rufus C. Burleson. Houston joined at the urging of his wife, Margaret Moffette Lea Houston, and her mother, Nancy Moffette Lea. A deeply religious woman, Margaret Houston worked hard to restrain Houston's drinking and to lead him to a more settled and devout life. The church, located in Independence, Washington County, was organized in 1839 by Rev. Thomas Spraggins and a small group of fellow Baptists. The devout Mrs. Lea, who had moved to Independence in 1852, sold her silverware and gave the money to the church for a bell. Though the current building dates only to 1872, the pew in which Sam Houston sat has been preserved and is marked so that visitors can see it.