Reliance Church Cemetery

Date Added: 
2008

Two Bryan attorneys, M.J. Beale and B.K. Davis, donated four acres of land at this site in April, 1874 for the purpose of establishing the Reliance Baptist Church, School and Cemetery. The Community was originally called Little Georgia, taking its name from the State of origin of an early 1850s wagon train of settlers. More families from the southeastern United States arrived in the 1870s escaping economic hardships following the Civil War by emigrating to Texas. David Lloyd of Mississippi changed the community name to Reliance in 1873 with the organization of the Reliance Baptist Church.

W.H. (Uncle Billy) Morgan established a cotton gin and general store in 1873 and also served as postmaster. In the late 19th century, Reliance included a general store, post office, gristmill, cotton gin, school, church and community center. As intensive cotton farming eroded the soil, area farms transformed into extensive cattle ranches. By the 21st century the church and cemetery remained historic fixtures in an area transitioning to rural residential development.

The cemetery is sited among century-old post oak, elm and hackberry trees. The earliest marked grave dates to 1881, although several older undated graves are believed to exist here. Community members made additional donations of land in 1951 and 1995, nearly doubling the original size of the church and cemetery property. The cemetery property is held jointly by the Reliance Baptist Church and the Reliance Cemetery Association, which governs the operation and maintenance of the historical burial grounds.

Location

30° 44' 33.1008" N, 96° 14' 26.0988" W