GOD & TEXAS: J. Taylor Allen - Texas @ 1918
“The old churches, to a considerable extent, have lost the Holy Ghost power they once possessed. Oh, for a mighty hungering and thirsting, praying, and fasting for a speedy oneness of all churches, with all prejudice gone, enmity and unhealthy rivalry done away with, and true and genuine spirit rivalry to see who can best serve the Lord.” These heartfelt words were penned by author J. Taylor Allen in his book “Early Pioneer Days in Texas,” published in 1918. As he wrote this plea, Texas soldiers were fighting in Europe in World War I, and the pandemic of Spanish flu was ravaging the lives of thousands at home. Allen knew that their only hope was in God, and many churches were either closed or otherwise compromised. John Taylor Allen was born in 1848 in Fannin County, near Honey Grove. Allen’s father, Wilson Bruce Allen, immigrated to the area in 1836 and built a business that produced sugar cane and manufactured brown sugar. Soon, the population grew as more families moved into the county. Tom Hymer, Chairman of the Fannin County Historical Commission wrote, “In the late 1830s, there were about nine families living in the Allen’s Point community. When the Gwaultney house was raised, seventeen of the eighteen families living in the area of East Fannin County and West Lamar County were present and contributed their labor. While raising the house, five barrels of whiskey and three large cows were consumed.” Being a devout Christian, Wilson Allen knew that God was blessing the community. He constructed a church that would provide worship services for the neighboring families, as well as public education for the children. The log church, known as Allen’s Chapel, was a single-room rectangular building with a large fireplace at one end. The interior was furnished with rough-cut log chairs and simple desks. During summer breaks, the Chapel was used for week-long camp meetings. People came from miles around to hear the preaching of the Gospel and to fellowship with neighbors. At some point, a cemetery was established and it continues to be used today. The community of Allen's Point serves as an awesome example for any town. If you want the blessing of God, care for your neighbors, worship God, and educate the young people. Raising crops and selling commodities is not enough. The Apostle Paul taught in 1 Thessalonians 4:9 [The Message], “Regarding life together and getting along with each other, you don’t need me to tell you what to do. You are God-taught in these matters. Just love one another!” J. Allen Taylor concluded his book with these words: “The protracted camp meetings held under brush arbors around our primitive log cabin church and school-house of the long ago shall never be forgotten. We shall meet again in glorious hallelujah meetings that shall never break up.” Will you join us at that glorious meeting before the Throne of God (Revelation 7:9)?