Independence Baptist Church is perhaps best known for being where Sam Houston was baptized and attended church. Houston’s mother-in-law, Nancy Lea, donated a bell to the church in honor of his baptism, with the request that, upon her death, she be buried within hearing distance of the bell. Her wish was granted: she lies in rest just across the street.
This town was originally named “Coles Settlement”, founded circa 1825 by John Coles, an agent of empresario Stephen F. Austin. Just how the town got the name “Independence” is murky. Some say in 1836, many signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence spent the night here – inspiring the town’s patriotic name. Others say that after Independence Academy was founded in 1837, people started applying the name to the town as a whole.
Today, the church is still active – and is also home to the Texas Baptist Museum.
Independence Baptist Church