Last week I was with Hill Country Bible Church in Austin, Texas. While I was there, DeWayne McNally shared a story from Texas history that I asked to share.
Sam Houston became the sixth governor of the state of Texas in 1859. Life on the Texas frontier was rough and rugged. Men molded by the frontier knew how to fight, gamble, drink, curse, and kill. Sam Houston fits that lifestyle comfortably. His reputation as one of the boys earned him the nickname, “Big Drunk.”
Late in life, he surrendered his life to Christ, vowing to go all the way with God and join the Baptist church. Houston was baptized on November 19, 1854, in Little Rocky Creek. Word of his baptism spread throughout the country and over 250 people came to witness it.
Just before the pastor baptized Sam, he said, “Sam I suggest you take off that watch and chain. You’ll ruin it if you get it wet.” “Thank you, I will,” Sam said, handing the piece to a friend. The pastor also said, “Sam, you may want to hand him your wallet too.” Houston replied, “No, I think not pastor. I’m afraid it needs baptizing, too.”
Thereafter Sam Houston paid one-half the pastor’s salary at his church. And, he faithfully gave financial assistance to ministerial students at Baylor University as long as he lived. Sam Houston’s baptized billfold became a part of the witness to Sam’s new dedication to God. It testified to the fact that when God touched his heart, He touched his money also!