north carolina highway historical marker program
North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program



Marker Text:

     George Washington Truett, clergyman and president of the Southern Baptist Convention and Baptist World Alliance, was born May 6, 1867, near Hayesville. He graduated from Hicksville (later Hayesville) Academy in 1885. In order to pay for college Truett began teaching. He founded Hiawassee Academy in Towns County, Georgia, in 1887 and led the school for two years before following his family to Texas. Truett entered Grayson Junior College in Whitewater, Texas, in 1889 and was ordained in the Baptist Church the next year. He was hired as financial secretary of Baylor University, for whom he travelled to raise money. He earned an undergraduate degree from Baylor in 1897 and a Doctor of Divinity two years later. In 1899 Truett was offered the presidency of Baylor but he declined, preferring to remain pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas where he had been working since 1897. He would remain at the helm of the church until his death in 1944.

     Having gained notoriety in Dallas by offering religious services at a downtown theater during the work week, Truett was appointed by President Woodrow Wilson to preach to American troops in Europe for six months in 1918. In 1920 he spoke on religious liberty from the steps of the U.S. Capitol. Known for his clear diction and precise pronunciation of words, Truett became on of the first preachers to deliver sermons on the radio in 1921. Truett served as president of the South Baptist Convention from 1927 to 1930 and as president of the Baptist World Alliance from 1934 to 1939. Ten volumes of his sermons, two volumes of public addresses, and two volumes of Christmas messages have been edited and compiled by others for publication.

     Truett married Josephine Jenkins of Waco in 1894 and the couple had three children. Truett died July 7, 1944, and was buried in the Grove Hill Cemetery in Dallas, but his remains shortly thereafter were moved to the city’s larger Hillcrest Memorial Cemetery. Truett’s Clay County homeplace, purchased by the Baptist State Convention in 1936, has been restored and was designated a Baptist historic site in 1969.

William S. Powell, ed., Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, VI, 54-55—sketch by Henry S. Stroupe
Powhatan W. James, George W. Truett: A Biography (1939)
Biblical Recorder, July 19, 1944 and May 17, 1969
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north carolina highway historical marker program

George W.Truett

© 2008 North Carolina Office of Archives & History — Department of Cultural Resources