First Baptist Church of Coldspring (Laurel Hill Baptist Church)
Marker Text: Formally organized in 1848 in the small community known as "Fireman's Hill" (formerly "Coonskin"), Laurel Hill Baptist Church began with four members and the Rev. Joseph Warner Dossey Creath as its first pastor. The Rev. Mr. Creath came to Texas as a missionary for the Domestic Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention and later became a prominent figure among Texas Baptists.
By 1850 the settlement was known as "Cold Springs." In 1853 several church members participated in the formation of an educational institution known as the Cold Springs Female College or Institute. Recognized as one of the early educational efforts of Texas Baptists, the school flourished for a short time. General James B. Davis (1790-1859), a friend of General Sam Houston and former adjutant general of the Republic of Texas Army, donated land for a church building, baptismal pool and cemetery. A small building was erected across from the cemetery in 1855. The Cold Springs Male and Female Academy, as it was called by 1861, closed with the advent of the Civil War.
The church building served on that site until a fire ravaged the San Jacinto County Courthouse in 1915. By 1918 a new courthouse had been completed nearby. Homes, businesses and the Laurel Hill Baptist Church were moved to the new site. The church was destroyed by fire in 1950; a new structure built that same year was renamed First Baptist Church of Coldspring. Buildings were added to the church complex as necessary.
The first Baptist Church of Coldspring continues a tradition of worship and service established by its founders. The congregation celebrated its 150th anniversary in 1998. (1999)
Marker No: 12179
Aluminum 27 x 42 Subject Marker
Geographic: 30.591091, -95.1275556
Location: 100 East Pine Street, Coldspring