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GOD and TEXAS: Generational Blessing

Brigadier General Richard Montgomery Gano was the decorated commander of “Gano’s Brigade,”

a division of the Texas Cavalry of the Confederate Army. In his memoirs, Gano recalled that he had fought in 72 major engagements winning all but four. Amazingly, he had five horses shot out from under him during these battles and still survived.

In 1830, Richard was born into a family of true patriots. His great-grandfather, the Rev. John Gano, served as chaplain in the Continental Army during the American Revolution. He is said to have baptized General George Washington in the Potomac River. John founded the First Baptist church in New Your City in a former stable, and baptized 297 converts during his ministry.

Richard’s grandfather, Brigadier General Richard Montgomery Gano, was born in 1775. He was a distinguished military hero during the War of 1812. He achieved his greatest military success while serving under future president William H. Harrison in the Battle of the Thames. Gano was a strong Christian, and many of his children went into the ministry.

Richard’s father, John Allen Gano, was born in Kentucky in 1805. John completed his law degree in 1826 intending to move to Texas to practice. However, after being healed of a severe illness through prayer, he accepted the Call into ministry. When he married Mary Conn, they inherited massive wealth, so he never received church offerings. Because he was known for preaching with strong conviction and melodious eloquence, he became known as the “Apollos of the West.” In his 60 years of ministry, John baptized approximately 10,000 converts.

These were the inspiring ancestors of Richard Montgomery Gano. Like his grandfather and namesake, Richard became a successful man of war. But when the Civil War ended, Richard recounted: “I laid down my sword of steel and took up the Word of God as the weapon of my warfare.”

Richard married Martha Jane Welch in 1853, and their marriage was blessed with 12 children. He ministered throughout Texas, but the last 40 years were spent in Dallas. There, he founded and pastored the church that is known today as Highland Oaks Church of Christ. His original log cabin is on display in Old City Park in Dallas.

During the 70 years of his ministry, Richard preached with conviction while establishing many churches. Upon retirement at age 83, Richard said, “At the close of my evangelistic service, my record shows that I have baptized more than 6,800 into the church. On all occasions, I have tried to do my duty, and should all my converts remain faithful, when I reach Heaven, I will meet an army of soldiers of the Cross." What an awesome testimony!

The life of Richard Gano is a testament to his strong Christian family heritage, and the mercy of God. As it says in Psalm 145:4 NLT, “Let each generation tell its children of Your mighty acts; let them proclaim Your power.” Each generation must share their faith with their children. Have you?

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