Reddin Andrews, Jr., Baptist preacher, college president, writer, and politician, was born in La Grange, Fayette County, Texas, on January 18, 1848, to Reddin and Mary Jane (Talbert) Andrews. His mother died in 1852, and he grew up in the home of his brother-in-law, J. L. Gay. In 1863 Andrews joined the Confederate infantry as a scout and courier. After the war he returned to Fayette County, attended school, and joined the Shiloh Baptist Church. In 1871 he graduated from Baylor University as valedictorian, was ordained, and left for a two-year course of study at Greenville Seminary in South Carolina. He returned to Texas in 1873 to a pastorate in Navasota. During his ministry he worked with churches in Millican, Hempstead, Calvert, Tyler, Lampasas, Bastrop, Goodman, Webberville, Hillsboro, Woodbury, Rockwall, and Lovelady. In August 1874 he married Elizabeth Eddins. They had nine children and were survived by seven.
In 1871–72 Andrews joined the faculty of Baylor University, where he taught primary classes in exchange for tuition. In 1886 he was professor of Greek and English literature. He resigned in 1878 for financial reasons and became principal of the Masonic Institute at Round Rock. In 1881 he accepted a pulpit in Tyler and became contributing editor to John B. Link's Texas Baptist Herald. Andrews had a filial relationship with Baylor president William C. Crane, and when Crane died Andrews became Baylor's first Texas-born president. Because of financial pressures he agreed to move the institution to Waco in 1885. Waco University president Rufus C. Burleson served as president, and Andrews became vice president of the consolidated institution. Andrews also served on the unification committee that merged the Baptist State Convention and Baptist General Association into the Baptist General Convention of Texas in 1886.
In 1889 Andrews moved to Atlanta, Georgia, to edit W. T. Martin's Gospel Standard and Expositor, a publication that challenged the Southern Baptist Convention. In 1890 he returned to Lampasas, Texas. Although his association with Martin produced tensions within the denomination, he was considered an expert on the problems of rural congregations. In 1892 Andrews moved to Belton to teach and worked as an organizer for the People's (Populist) party. Populists mentioned him for state office, but he did not receive a formal nomination. He continued to fill pulpits in Hill County on a periodic basis from 1902 to 1905 and remained active in radical politics because he thought the ethics of Christianity and socialism were identical. In 1907 Andrews was editor of the Sword and Shield at Tyler. As a socialist gubernatorial candidate he received 11,538 votes in 1910 and outpolled all but the Democratic nominee in 1912 with 25,258 votes. In 1911 he collected various original poems composed for sermons and special occasions and published them in a volume entitled Poems. In 1916 he moved to Lawton, Oklahoma, where he died on August 16, 1923.
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Reddin Andrews, "The Baylor I Knew," Baylor Bulletin, December 1915. Robert A. Baker, The Blossoming Desert-A Concise History of Texas Baptists (Waco: Word, 1970). Baptist Standard, Centennial Issue, June 11, 1936. James Milton Carroll, A History of Texas Baptists (Dallas: Baptist Standard, 1923). J. C. Daniel, A History of the Baptists of Hill County, Texas (Waco: Hill-Kellner-Frost, 1907). Minutes of the Ministers Conference of the Baptist General Convention, October 7, 1891. Lois Smith Murray, Baylor at Independence (Waco: Baylor University Press, 1972). Thomas E. Turner, The Presidents of Baylor (Waco: Baylor University, 1981). Vertical File, Texas Collection, Baylor University. Mamie Yeary, Reminiscences of the Boys in Gray (McGregor, Texas, 1912; rpt., Dayton, Ohio: Morningside, 1986).
University Presidents and School Administrators
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Keith L. King,
“Andrews, Reddin, Jr.,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 28, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
November 1, 1994
Most Recent Revision Date:
September 28, 2018