Coleman County, Texas
by Doris Beeler Williams
History of Coleman County and Its People,
A Baptist church existed at Camp Colorado in the early 1900’s with services being held in the school building. During the Depression years the membership was so small that no services were held. About 1934 Drew Kendrick moved into the community from Rising Star and saw the need and opportunity for a church. He began holding services in the school building. Camp Colorado School had consolidated with Union Hill, Watts Creek and Lone Star to form Cross Roads School District. The school building was not moved from Camp Colorado. Membership in the church grew to about fifty. Collin Webb and Taylor Henley preached after Drew Kendrick left the area.
Soon it was discovered that the center of activities was at the Cross Roads School location where a store, service station, and cafe were operated by Willie and Leatrice Lobstein. The need became apparent that the church should also be located near the school. Church members began explaining the mission and opportunities that existed for a church at Cross Roads. Revival services were held there by Joe Isbell from Comanche, M. O. Rowe from Gouldbusk, and J. M. Cooper from Brownwood.
About 1940, J. M. Cooper and members of Camp Colorado Baptist Church organized the Cross Roads Baptist Church. Frank Dyer gave a plot of ground east of the school building on which to construct the church building. Necessary funds obtained from revivals, donations, and charity benefits were available when construction began on the new building in 1941. Some of the men from the community working on the building were as follows: Joe R., Joe C., and J. B. Brooke; Billie Rex, Doyle, and L. H. Johnson; Claud, Clyde, Clifford, and Wiley Seals; Billie Jones; Willie Lobstein; Carey Jameson; Frank Smith; Sidney Sackett; Woods Epperson; and Shubert Beeler.
Cross Roads Baptist Church offered training opportunities for several ministerial students attending Howard Payne College. Some of the ministers were as follows:
Denver Amos, Jason Kay, Tillman Hull, B. A. Dickerson, and Joe Dillard. Membership grew to between fifty and sixty with more than forty in regular attendance. Among those families attending services were as follows: Donald and Frances Baird, Mrs. J. R. Barrington, Shubert and Vera Beeler, J. B. and Hazel Brooke, Joe C. and Grace Brooke, Charlie and Birdie Cason, children of Frank and Myrtle Dyer, Cleo and Ella Edington, Woods Epperson, Pearl Epperson, Pearl Griffin, Tony and Fannie Hill, J. C. and Ruby Halmon, Carey and Helen Jameson, Billie and Christine Jones, Neal and Ila V. Lane, Lewis and Mary Mayes, Roger and Ethel Mills, Sidney Sackett, Claud and Mildred Seals, Clyde and Mary Neva Seals, Wylie and Novie Seals, Frank and Mattie Smith, Leslie and Marie labor, M. T. and Ruth Traylor, Davis Tucker and his parents, A. A. and Vestal Watson. Church services were held at Cross Roads until the fall of 1954. The building was moved into Coleman about 1957 and became known as Emmanuel Baptist Church.