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Sam Houston’s Wet Wallet

By Dennis Love

McDowell CountyDennis Love


Sam Houston became the sixth governor of the state of Texas in 1859.  Life on the Texas frontier was rough and rugged.  Men molded by the frontier knew how to fight, gamble, drink, curse, and kill.  Sam Houston fits that lifestyle comfortably.  His reputation as one of the boys earned him the nickname, “Big Drunk.”

Houston married a devout Baptist wife, who prayed for years that he would be saved and join the church.  The Texas hero had long claimed to be a believer, but baptism and church membership were not easy for him to accept.  Late in life, he surrendered his life to Christ, vowing to go all the way with God and join the Baptist church.  Houston was baptized on November 19, 1854, in Brushy Creek.  Word of his baptism spread throughout the country and over 250 people came to witness it.

When the pastor brought Sam up out of the water, he wanted to say something significant to him, so he said, “Now, Sam, your sins are all washed away.”  Sam replied, “God help all the fishes.”  Just before the pastor baptized Sam, he said, “Sam I suggest you take off that watch and chain.  You’ll ruin it if you get it wet.”  “Thank you, I will,” Sam said, handing the piece to a friend.  The pastor also said, “Sam, you may want to hand him your wallet too.”  “NO, I think not pastor.  I’m afraid it needs baptizing, too.”

And indeed it was, for thereafter Sam Houston paid one-half the pastor’s salary at his church.  And, he faithfully gave financial assistance to ministerial students at Baylor University as long as he lived.  Sam Houston’s wet wallet, his baptized billfold, became a part of the witness to Sam’s new dedication to God.  It testified to the fact that when God touched his heart, He touched his money also!

That’s the way salvation should be!  It should affect not only our eternal destiny but our worldly possessions.  It should touch not only our soul but also our wallet.

Take a moment and ask yourself this one very important question.  Has my billfold been baptized?  Now that’s really something to think about.


Dr. Dennis Love is the Senior Pastor at Glenwood Baptist Church in Marion, NC. He and his wife Vicki have been married for 39 years. They have been in Marion for 5 years. They have two sons and three grandchildren. You can visit the Glenwood Baptist Church Facebook page or The Glenwood Baptist Church Website

You can read more from Dennis HERE.