The Rev Nelson T. Denson and Marlin Missionary Baptist Church
Marker Text: Born into slavery in Arkansas, Nelson Taylor Denson (1845-1938) was brought to Falls County in 1856 at the age of eleven. After accompanying his master in the confederate army during the civil war, he returned to Marlin where he was a pioneer educator and baptist circuit preacher. Educated by his master and inspired by the noted Texas statesman Sam Houston . He became a prominent leader among the area freedman.
On Nov. 8, 1868, the Rev Denson started Marlin Missionary Baptist Church, the earliest black congregation in the county. Assisting him in the organizational meeting was the pioneer baptist preacher, the Rev. Z.N. Morrell.
The Rev. Denson was active in the establishment of several black schools, including one sponsored by the Marlin Missionary Baptist Church in 1877. Through his efforts. The opportunity for a formal education became a reality for area blacks by the mid-1880s.
In 1882 the Rev. Denson became the first elected black official in the county when he was chosen commissioner of precinct one. Trusted and respected by all races, he continued to play a significant role in the community until his death at the age of 93. Today the church he founded in 1868 carries on the tradition of his enthusiasm and his service for others. (1981)
Marker No: 1206
Aluminum 27 x 42 Subject Marker
Geographic: 31.301098, -96.896271
Location: 507 Bennett Street, Marlin