STEVENSON, JAMES PORTER
STEVENSON, JAMES PORTER (1808–1885). James Porter Stevenson, Methodist minister, son of Rev. William Stevenson and Polly (Campbell) Stevenson, was born in Smith County, Tennessee, on May 2, 1808. He lived with his family in Louisiana before he attended August College, Kentucky, during the presidency of Martin Ruter. In 1830 or 1831 Stevenson was licensed a Methodist minister in Louisiana under his father as presiding elder. He was stationed at Natchitoches in 1833, when he was invited to come to Texas to preach, despite the Mexican laws prohibiting Protestant services. He held unmolested camp meetings in present Sabine and Milam counties. Refusing to organize a church in violation of the law, he did organize a religious society, which was led by Samuel McMahan and became the nucleus of McMahan's Chapel, which was given permanent church organization by Henry Stephenson. James P. Stevenson continued his missionary activities from Monroe, Louisiana, in 1834 and moved to East Texas in 1835. After the Texas Revolution he became a local preacher and farmer. He married Tabitha Cumi Roberts on June 21, 1836, and the couple had twelve children, eight of whom lived to adulthood. In later years he moved to Stephens County and died near Breckenridge on July 10, 1885. He was buried at the Breckenridge Cemetery.
George L. Crocket, Two Centuries in East Texas (Dallas: Southwest, 1932; facsimile reprod. 1962). Archie P. McDonald, Eastern Texas History: Selections from the East Texas Historical Journal (Austin: Jenkins Publishing Company, 1978). Macum Phelan, History of Early Methodism in Texas, 1817–1866 (Nashville: Cokesbury, 1924); A History of the Expansion of Methodism in Texas, 1867–1902 (Dallas: Mathis, Van Nort, 1937). Walter N. Vernon, "McMahan's Chapel: Landmark in Texas," Methodist History 9 (October 1970). Walter N. Vernon et al., The Methodist Excitement in Texas (Dallas: Texas United Methodist Historical Society, 1984).
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, Jeanette H. Flachmeier, "STEVENSON, JAMES PORTER," accessed May 28, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fst49.
Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on January 30, 2020. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.