University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the Presbyterian Church Records, 1839-1925

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Presbyterian Church
Title: Presbyterian Church Records
Dates: 1839-1925
Abstract: The Presbyterian Church Records, 1839-1925, consist of correspondence, minutes, committee reports, resolutions, and membership lists of southern presbyteries and synods.
Accession No.: 1926-1948
Extent: 10 ft., 10 in.
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Historical Sketch

Presbyterians started moving into Texas from the United States in the 1820s, and Milton Estell established the first Presbyterian Church in Texas near Clarksville in 1833. Although Cumberland Presbyterian missionary Sumner Bacon first entered Texas in 1829, the first Cumberland Presbyterian church did not organize until 1837. By the 1840s, the Cumberland Synod of Texas in Nacogdoches began to spread its evangelistic policy throughout the state.

Peter H. Fullenwider, one of Stephen F. Austin’s original 300 settlers, became the first minister of the Presbyterian Church of the United States of America (PCUSA) to move to Texas in 1834. This denomination split in 1837 into the Old School and New School sects. Fullenwider was an Old School preacher, as was Hugh Wilson, who established Bethel Presbyterian Church, the first Old School church in Texas, near San Augustine in 1838. Over the next few decades, several Old School churches and synods sprang up in Texas, and by 1854, the first New School presbytery was also established. At the start of the Civil War in 1861, most churches within the two sects joined together in the South to form the Presbyterian Church in the Confederate States of America (PCCSA). The PCCSA renamed itself to the Presbyterian Church in the United States (PCUS) following the war, but a few of the PCCSA churches joined the PCUSA instead.

Although a small number of Cumberland Presbyterians still exist throughout Texas and the greater United States, in 1906 most rejoined the PCUSA, from which the church had split in 1810. In turn, the PCUSA merged with the United Presbyterian Church of North America to form the United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (UPUSA or UP) in 1958. Twenty-five years later, the PCUS merged with the UP to form the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), also known as the PC(USA). In 1993, the Cumberland Presbyterians had 9,465 members in Texas, while the PC(USA) had 149,641 devotees.


Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Presbyterian Church," /handbook/online/articles/PP/ipp1.html (accessed July 27, 2010).

Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Wilson, Hugh," /online/articles/WW/fwi52.html (accessed July 28, 2010).

Presbyterian Historical Society: The National Archives of the PC (USA). "Presbyterians in America: A Timeline." Presbyterian Hisotircal Society. (accessed July 27, 2010).

Scope and Contents

The Presbyterian Church Records, 1839-1925, consist of correspondence, minutes, committee reports, resolutions, and membership lists of southern presbyteries and synods. The first series of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church (1842-1914) represent the Mound Prairie Presbytery (Arkansas), Little River Presbytery (Texas), Bacon Presbytery (Texas), Brazos Synod (Texas), Colorado Presbytery and Colorado Synod (Texas), San Antonio Presbytery (Texas), White Rock Presbytery (Texas), McGregor Church (Texas), and others. The second series of the Presbyterian Church in the United States (1840-1910) contain the records of the Synods of Missouri and Texas, the Presbyteries of Austin, Brazos, and Trinity (Texas), the Presbytery of Central Texas, the Eastern Texas Presbytery, and the Presbytery of Western Texas. The final series of Municipal Presbyterian Church (1839-1925) contain the records of the Center Ridge Church in Alabama, the Hugh Wilson Church (Texas), and several churches in Texas cities, including Independence, Victoria, Washington, and Huntsville.



The records are divided into the following series:
I. Cumberland Presbyterian Church
II. Presbyterian Church in the United States
III. Municipal Presbyterian Church


Use Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Allen, William G.
Blair, William G.
Breckenridge, John
Burke, A. J.
Henderson, I. J.
Limber, John
Lowie, Walter
McCullough, John
Miller, J. Weston.
Subjects (Organizations)
Presbyterian Church in the U.S. -- Archives.
Cumberland Presbyterian Church -- Archives.
Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.
Presbyterian Church in the Confederate States of America.
Presbyterian Church -- United States.
Presbyterian Church -- Texas.
Presbyterian Church -- Missouri.
Presbyterian Church -- Alabama.
Presbyterian Church -- Arkansas.
Texas -- Religion -- History -- Sources.
Missouri -- Religion -- History -- Sources.
Alabama -- Religion -- History -- Sources.
Arkansas -- Religion -- History -- Sources.
United States -- Religion -- History -- Sources.

Related Material

See also the

First Cumberland Presbyterian Church (Austin, Tex.) Records

Presbyterian Church (Beulah, Tex.) Records.

Presbyterian Church (Milford, Tex.) Records

Presbyterian Foreign Missions Board Records

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Presbyterian Church Records, 1839-1925, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Processing Information

Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light project, 2009-2011.

Detailed Description of the Papers



2F323 I. Cumberland Presbyterian Church:
Mound Prairie Presbytery, Arkansas, minutes, 1842-1903
2F324 Brazos Synod, Texas, minutes, 1849-1851, 1853-1856, 1858-1874
Colorado Synod, Texas, minutes:
2F325 1879-1887
Synod of Texas, minutes, 1843-1868
Austin Presbytery, Texas, minutes, 1903-1907
Bacon Presbytery, Texas, minutes:
2F326 1884-1904
2F327 Colorado Presbytery, Texas, minutes:
2F328 1887-1895
Greenville Presbytery Texas, minutes, 1855-1871
Little River Presbytery, Texas:
2F329 1868-1877
: 1878-1903
Parts one and two
2F330 Part three
Red River Presbytery, Texas, minutes, 1874-1883
San Antonio Presbytery, Texas, minutes:
2F331 Trinity Presbytery, Texas, minutes, 1846-1862
White Rock Presbytery, Texas, minutes:
2F332 1881-1892
2R154 Minutes of the McGregor, Texas, Church, 1883-1914
2F332 II. Presbyterian Church in the United States:
Synod of Missouri, minutes:
Volume I, part I, 1843-1855
Volume I, part II, 1856-1868
2F333 Volume II, parts I and II, 1868-1880
Volume III, part I, 1880-1890
2F334 Volume III, parts II and part III, 1880-1890
Synod of Texas:
Minutes, 1851-1872
2F335 Minutes of sessions, parts I and II, 1866-1871
Records, parts I and II, 1872-1889
2F336 Minutes, 1890-1892
Presbytery of Austin, Texas, minutes:
2F337 1895-1907
Presbytery of Brazos, Texas, minutes:
2F338 1861-1879
2F339 1880-1893
Parts one and two, 1893-1901
2F340 Presbytery of Central Texas, minutes:
Volume I, 1854-1864
Volume II, 1865-1872
Volume III, 1872-1877
Volume IV, 1878-1882
2F341 Volume V, parts I and II, 1882-1889
Volume VI, Parts I and II, 1889-1893
2F342 Volume VI, part III, 1895-1897
Eastern Texas Presbytery, minutes:
Volume I, 1851-1862
Volume II, 1861-1866
Volume V, part I, 1879-1883
2F343 Volume V, parts II and III, 1883-1888
Presbytery of Trinity, Texas, minutes:
Part I, 1878-1888
2F344 Part II, 1889-1897
Presbytery of Western Texas, minutes:
2F345 1872-1889
2F346 1890-1902
2F347 1902-1910
III. Municipal Presbyterian Church Records
Records of the Presbyterian Church:
Chappel Hill, Texas, 1872-1886
Centerville, Texas, 1852-1877
2F348 Center Ridge, Dallas County, Alabama, volumes I and II, 1842-1911
Independence, Texas, 1839-1886
La Grange, Texas, 1848-1876
Victoria, Texas, 1848-1876
Washington, Texas, 1846-1888
Minutes of session of the Hugh Wilson Church, fall meeting of the Presbytery of Central Texas, 1877
2R154 Records of the Presbyterian Church, Huntsville, Texas, March 10, 1918-August 2, 1925