Rhodes Family Papers, 1876-1941 | East Texas Research Center
By Emily Kerr
Primary Creator: Rhodes, Arnold (1830?-1887)
Extent: 0.5 Linear Feet
Arnold Rhodes (1830?-1887) came from Georgia to East Texas with his father who settled at Carthage in Panola County, Texas. Arnold Rhodes came to Tyler County in 1856. From 1859-1862, Arnold Rhodes served as pastor for New Bethel Baptist Church. A. Rhodes formed the first Baptist church congregation in the city of Beaumont. On Nov. 3, 1860, he organized the New Bethel Baptist Church Association which consisted of churches he founded in Polk, Tyler, Liberty, Hardin and Jefferson Counties. He married Ruth Virginia McAlister and in 1861, they had a son, Jeff Worth Rhodes. In 1862, he resigned as pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church to serve as Chaplain in the Confederate services. After the Civil War, he returned and resumed his ministry until his death in 1887. He was a pioneer Baptist preacher and rode horseback to preach in communities from the northern border of Polk County, far to the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico at Sabine Pass.
Jeff Worth Rhodes (1861-1941), the son of Arnold Rhodes, was born on August 7, 1861 in Woodville and was a resident of the town all his life. Jeff Rhodes was ordained in 1884 in the Camp Grounds Church, six miles west of Woodville. After being ordained, Jeff Rhodes continued his business of running a tie yard and later a woodyard about one mile south of Doucette. He sold his ties and then, later, his wood to the railroad. Later he gave up his business and devoted his time to his ministerial work with a little farming and gardening thrown in. The Bethel Church came to an end sometime during or shortly after the Civil War leaving no Baptist Church in Woodville until 1887, when Jeff Rhodes organized the First Baptist Church of Woodville of which he was pastor for 31 years.
Jeff Rhodes also pastored several churches part-time. Among these were Fairview Church for 18 years, Huntington Church for 20 years, and Kountze Church for 30 years. For 15 years, he preached at several small churches near Rusk (Lone Oak, Sardis, and Camp Grounds) in the weekend of each fifth Sunday of the months of the years. Jeff Rhodes held countless revival meetings all over Southeast Texas. While pastoring the Camp Grounds Baptist Church near Alto and the Sardis Baptist Church near Rusk, Jeff Rhodes died on January 13, 1941 and was buried in Magnolia Cemetery, Woodville.
("Rhodes Family Papers." Control File, East Texas Research Center. Ralph W. Steen Library. Stephen F. Austin State University).
Browse by Box:
- Box 1
- Folder 1: Arnold Rhodes - Correspondence. (2 handwritten, 6 typescripts, 1 handwritten envelope.) 9 items., 1877-1887
- Folder 2: Arnold Rhodes - Reports on Ministry, 1876. (3 handwritten, 3 typescripts.) 6 items.
- Folder 3: Arnold Rhodes - Announcements of Preaching, 1885. (4 hand written, 4 typescripts.) 8 items.
- Folder 4: Arnold Rhodes - Sermon Notes, n. d. (10 handwritten, 10 typescripts.) 20 items.
- Folder 5: Arnold Rhodes - Sermon Notes, n. d. (cont.). (typescripts.) 11 items
- Folder 6: Arnold Rhodes - Receipts. (typescripts.) 5 items., 1877-1881
- Folder 7: Arnold Rhodes - Memorandum Book and Diary. (typescript.) 1 item., 1878-1880
- Folder 8: Arnold and Jeff Rhodes - Newspaper clippings. (printed.) 4 items., 1933-1941
- Folder 9: Minutes of the 21st Annual Meeting of the New Bethel Association (typescript.) 1 item., 1882
- Folder 10: Miscellaneous reports, lists, and programs. (Includes Cancer Cure.) (8 typescripts, 1 handwritten.) 9 items., 1882-1883
- Folder 11: Religious Poetry, n. d. (2 printed, 2 typescripts.) 4 items.
- Folder 12: John H. Rhodes -"Debate on Prohibition," n. d. (typescript.) 1 item.