History of the Prosperity Baptist Church at Tuder School House
The following was taken from a historical article written by the church clerk in 1937.
Several families had migrated to northeastern Eastland County by the mid 1870's. A school house was built on the edge of a hill on property set aside by William Tuder and his sons. His intention was to provide his grandchildren and children of other area farmers with an education. He also made it know that he wished to also establish a church at or near the school building.
In 1876 the Prosperity Missionary Baptist Church was instituted at what was known as the Tuder School house.
A cemetery was plotted out 50 yards southwest of the schoolhouse that same year. It wasn't until 1892 that the cemetery grounds were officially deeded for such use. The delay was due to the fact that Mr. Tuder died before he had a chance to make it official. William Tuder's son N.F.M "Nick" Tuder deeded the burial ground to the trustees of the Tuder School District in trust for the community. In 1902 A. Mitchell, who had aquired some of the Tuder land, deeded to the deacons of the church adjoining land to the school lot and additional cemetery land extending it to the north.. William Tuder's original plan was finally fulfilled.
The church was formally constituted in 1876 by Rev. John Lamson, who served as it's first pastor and also served in that capacity 1891-1892. In the early days, the church primarily met in the home of William Tuder. The school house eventually became its primary home, although it also periodically met under brush arbors.
The church joined the Comanche Association of Baptist churches in 1877. In 1879 it voted to join the Palo Pinto Association.
Church minutes begin on June 27, 1885, although the church had been in place for 9 years. The name Prosperity was officially adopted at that first official meeting. The members also voted to begin meeting on the 4th Sabbath and Saturday before in each month. A.J. Guest moderated the first meeting with J.N. Smith residing as the clerk of Presbytry.
Pastors of the church
W.D. Fleming 1885-86
Z.T. Eaton 1886-89
M.L. Bush 1890-91
John Lamson 1891-92
W.C. Harrell 1892-95
J.N. Smith 1895-96
G.W. James 1896-01
S.C. Harris 1901-02
J.L. Mayes 1902-03
W.H. Tuder 1903-04
J.B. Purvace 1904-05
R.P. Ogan 1905-09
Willie Allman 1909-11
S.D. Naylor 1911-12
E.D. Gregory 1912-16
John McPope 1916-20
M.P. Walker 1920-21
1921-1932 - interchanging pastors which included
1931-1937 - formal pastors held the position
Emory Townsen 1931-36
C.C. Evans 1936-37
R.F. Duncan 1937-
(History is unknown beyond 1937 at this time)
Ordained Ministers At Church
Licensed At Church
Alvin Johnson, L.E. Daniel, George Gipson
J.E.D. Tuder, W.A. Johnson, J.P. Cantwell, M.A. Smith, J.A. Atkins, Andy Johnson, W.H. Jackson, H.T. Smith, C.F. Jones, N.C. Gailey, J.W. Harrison, T.L. Townsen, J.L. Litton, and N.F.M. Tuder.
N.F.M. Tuder 1885-89, J.H.W. Boney 1890-93, A.N. Gailey 1893-96, J.P. Cantwell 1896-99, J.W. Harrison 1899-1902, L.E. Gailey 1902-04, M.A. Smith 1904-1915, Hester Wooten 1915-1919, Alvin Johnson 1919-22, M.A. Smith 1922-25, Hester Wooten 1923-36, Mae Bell Mitchell 1936-