On this day in 1854, Texas hero Sam Houston joined Independence Baptist Church and was baptized in nearby Little Rocky Creek by Rufus C. Burleson, who was then president of Baylor University. Houston was a larger-than-life sort of man and a rabble-rouser by most accounts. Even the Native Americans who adopted him into their tribe nicknamed him “Big Drunk”, but his wife, Margaret, and her mother were deeply religious. They influenced Houston to give up his wild ways.
It is said that when he came up from the freezing cold baptismal waters, Houston’s friends said, “Well, General, all your sins have been washed away.”
“If that be the case,” Houston quipped, “God help the fish downstream!”