Creath, Joseph Warner Dossey (1809–1881)

By: Jerry F. Dawson

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: December 1, 1994

Joseph Creath, Baptist missionary, son of William Creath, was born in Mecklenburg County, Virginia, on February 3, 1809. He and four of his brothers became preachers. After graduation from Virginia Baptist Seminary (now Richmond College) in 1837, he began a ministry that lasted forty-four years. He and his wife were commissioned as missionaries to Texas in 1846, the first two Home Missions appointees by the newly formed Southern Baptist Convention. From the time Creath began his work at Huntsville in 1846 until his death, he worked to strengthen virtually every facet of Baptist work in Texas. He served churches in Huntsville, Anderson, Cold Springs, and San Antonio, acted as president of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1876, and presided over the Texas Baptist Convention. From 1863 to 1865 he ministered to Confederate soldiers at the behest of the Texas Baptist Convention. He played a leading role in raising funds to support Baylor University and for over two decades was connected with the school as a trustee; at one time he was president of the board of trustees. Creath was the father of two children. When his first wife, Frances (Drake), died, he married C. A. Lea, a relative of Sam Houston. He died near Cameron, Milam County, Texas, on July 28, 1881.

James Milton Carroll, A History of Texas Baptists (Dallas: Baptist Standard, 1923). Frank W. Johnson, A History of Texas and Texans (5 vols., ed. E. C. Barker and E. W. Winkler [Chicago and New York: American Historical Society, 1914; rpt. 1916]). Benjamin F. Riley, A History of the Baptists of Texas (Dallas, 1907). Texas Historical and Biographical Magazine, 1891. Robert George Torbit, History of the Baptists (Philadelphia: Judson, 1950).
  • Education
  • School Trustees and Regents
  • Religion
  • Baptist

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Jerry F. Dawson, “Creath, Joseph Warner Dossey,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 30, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

December 1, 1994