Tennessee's Pioneer Baptist Preachers
N. W. G. BAXTER
N. W. G. Baxter was born September 11, 1838, near Clover Bottom, in Sullivan County, Tennessee. He had only a "common school" education, but being a close reader and a sturdy, independent thinker, he came in time to be a well-posted man. He was married to Miss Mary A. Devault, a sister of Rev. E. E. Devault, an associated of the writer in Carson College and a room-mate in seminary, and a missionary of the Foreign Board in China. This union was blessed with a large and well-to-do family of children. In the early history of the Civil War he entered the Confederate army, was captured and sent as a prisoner to Camp Chase. In 1865 he was licensed to preach by Double Springs Church, and shortly afterwards was ordained to the ministry by the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. For several years he served as an evangelist of the Holston Association. In this capacity he served the Master and the brethren with marked success, being eminently fitted by natural gifts and gracious endowment for the work of an evangelist. In the Holston Association he was pastor of some of the best churches, as Jonesboro, New Salem, Cherokee, Holston, Bluff City, Blountville, and others; and also several churches in the Holston Valley Association. As pastor he was "faithful and efficient, prompt and scrupulous in attending his appointments, was tender and sympathetic in his ministry, and loved by all who knew him." As an evangelist he shunned not to declare the whole counsel of God, and as a consequence he led most of his converts, which were numbered by the hundreds, down into the baptismal waters. One of this marked and useful evangelistic gifts was that he was a "good singer." He was not only laborious and successful in the ministry, he was an industrious and successful farmer, "raising and educating a large family of children, supplementing his income by cultivating his own farm, and contributing liberally, according to his means, to all of our denominational enterprises. Few men of his day accomplished a greater work for the people and for the Master than did Brother Baxter."
He died December 23, 1903, and was buried in the "family buying ground" with Masonic honors, being a member of the Fall Branch Masonic Lodge.
Burnett, J .J. Sketches of Tennessee's Pioneer Baptist Preachers. Nashville, Tenn.: Press of Marshall & Bruce Company, 1919.
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