top of page

GOD & TEXAS: Buried under the pulpit!

Littleton Fowler died Jan. 29, 1846, in Sabine County, Texas. These words are written on his tombstone: “His native land, Kentucky; his adopted, Texas; his final home, Heaven."

Born in Tennessee, Rev. Fowler was called to preach while still a teenager. During a Bible conference a few years later, the moderator said that missionaries were needed in the new Republic of Texas. Without any hesitation, Littleton jumped to his feet and quoted Isaiah 6:8, “Here am I, send me.” Joining several other ministers, Fowler moved to Texas and established many churches, some that remain active over 186 years later.

When Fowler came to Texas, it was mainly a frightening wilderness filled with much danger. Sleeping on the ground or on horseback, he traveled throughout much of east and south Texas. In the fall of 1837, Fowler held a series of successful camp meetings in Washington-on-the-Brazos.

In his journal Fowler wrote: “From Washington I traveled (on horseback) to the capital city of Houston. I arrived Sunday morning, November 19th, and here I find much vice, gaming, drunkenness, and profanity the

commonest. The town is ten months old, and has 800 inhabitants; also many stores, and any number of doggeries (cheap saloons)."

Fowler's dedicated ministry impressed the governmental leadership of Texas. He wrote in his journal: "November 21st. Today the Senate of the Texas Congress elected me Chaplain, to serve the rest of the session. It is my prayer that this act of the Upper House may prove an open door for the entrance of the Gospel into the new Republic. I pray that God will give me grace, keep me humble, and make me faithful in the discharge of my religious duties.”

Later in his journal Fowler wrote about this challenging ministry: “Many have been my temptations since coming here, but, thank God, they have been overcome. I have lived near to God by prayer, preaching, visiting the sick and dying, and burying the dead.” He was a true minister of God.

One of the strongest churches that Fowler pastored was McMahan Chapel, located east of San Augustine. Born out of a revival in 1831, McMahan Chapel was kept a secret by landowner Samuel Doak McMahan because the Spanish government threatened death to anyone who did not convert to the Catholic church.

But when independence was won, Fowler was welcomed as pastor. He served the congregation with honor and inspiration. In fact, Fowler so loved the church that he asked to be buried under the pulpit when he died, and they did. To this day, when you walk into McMahan Chapel, you will see the headstone of Littleton’s grave standing behind the pulpit. A tribute to a great man of God who preached the Gospel without fear or favor.

Ministers of God are gifts from Christ. “Respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work.”

(1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 ESV)

For more inspirational reading please visit:

To purchase the book GOD and TEXAS by David G. Rose please visit:


Featured Posts
Recent Posts
    bottom of page