Benjamin F. Parker, Texas legislator and Baptist minister, was born on February 10, 1819, in Crawford County, Illinois, the eighth child of Daniel and Patsey (Dickerson) Parker. In November 1833 he moved to Texas in a wagon train with his parents and a group of Baptists who, because they were already an established congregation, did not violate the Mexican law (see MEXICAN TEXAS) against forming a non-Catholic church in Texas. Parker received a third of a league of land (1,476 acres) as a grant for a single person. He moved to land now in Houston County in 1834 and was one of the first settlers in what is now Anderson County. Parker married Irena Douthell on March 8, 1846. He was a farmer, surveyor, and schoolteacher. Although he had only a limited education, he had common sense and practical experience to offer his students. He represented Anderson County as a Democrat in the Texas Legislature in 1855 (Sixth) and 1859 (Eighth). On April 8, 1861, the legislature passed a bill for the relief of Cynthia Ann Parker and her daughter, in which Benjamin and Isaac Parker were listed as guardians. On December 19, 1863, Benjamin and Irena Parker joined the Pilgrim Predestinarian Regular Baptist Church of Jesus near Elkhart, Texas, and were baptized. Parker was licensed to preach by the Pilgrim Church on January 16, 1864. On October 9, 1864, he was ordained a minister at the Union Primitive Baptist Association meeting by request of Pilgrim Church and elected clerk of the association, a position from which he resigned in October 1891. Parker was called to serve as assistant pastor of Pilgrim Church on November 19, 1864. He became pastor there on July 17, 1869, and served in that position until his death, on December 28, 1896. He was blind the last four years of his life. He was buried in the cemetery of the Pilgrim Primitive Baptist Church.