1828 – 1900
Elisha Blanton was born in Arkansas in February 1828, the youngest of a family of ten children. His father had died before his birth. We have no record of the time he came to Texas, but the records of the 1850 census in Cass County show that he was residing there at that time. He began his public ministry as a Methodist. One of his brothers, Charles Wesley Blanton, was also a Methodist minister. The list of names on the records of the East Texas Methodist Conference meeting in Rusk on November 18, 1857, includes the name of Elisha Blanton. On November 30, 1854, he was married to Martha I. Babb. Ten children, five sons and five daughters, were born to this union.
The Texas Baptist, August 23, 1860, reports the ordination of Elisha Blanton at Friendship Church (location not given) on the third Saturday in July, 1860. The ordaining council was composed of T.J. Harris, Asa Davis, and H. Steed. He probably had been converted to the Baptist faith a short time earlier.
Elisha Blanton was not among those who organized Paluzy Association in 1880, but his name appears soon thereafter. In 1882 he was residing at Paluxy and was pastor of the Paluxy Church. For the next 18 years he was pastor of several churches in the association and also served as Associational Missionary for a time. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge in Paluxy. He was elected Moderator of Paluxy Association in 1890 and twice afterward. He presided as Moderator over three annual sessions of the association. No minister was more loved. He frequently remarked that if he had his choice, he would prefer dropping dead in the pulpit while preaching. On August 5, 1900, he and Rev. J.N. Chandler were with the Enon Church. Rev. Chandler preached at the morning service, following which the church observed the Lord’s Supper. Brother Blanton remarked that he felt that that would be the last time he would have the privilege of taking the supper with his brethren on earth. He was preaching during the evening service when his speech became so indistinct that it was difficult to understand him. By the end of the service it was clear that he had been stricken with paralysis. He was called from his earthly labors two days later.
Brother Blanton had requested Brother S.L. Tarrant to conduct his funeral service, and had suggested the text: Joshua 1:2, “Moss, my servant is dead.” Rev. Tarrant complied with the request and forcibly showed the great contrast between those who die in their sins and those who die in the Lord. The body of the faithful servant of God was laid to rest in the Rock Church Cemetery near Tolar, Texas.
Paluxy Baptist Association Centennial Story
1880 – 1980