Bexar County, located in the inner belt of the coastal plain of south-central Texas, was established on December 20, 1836 and covered almost the entire western part of the Republic of Texas. After becoming a state, 128 counties were separated from its area, leaving the current county at 1,248 square miles. Since 1860, the county has been an increasingly important center for the livestock industry. Tractors and other machines were increasingly used in the county, and on the eve of World War II, Bexar County's farms were among the most mechanized in the state.
The Great Depression, the fall in agricultural prices and the arrival of the capsule weevil caused difficulties for many of the farmers in Bexar County. Despite steady population growth in the late 1840s, driven by large numbers of immigrants from the Old South and Germany, Bexar County remained a sparsely populated region during the early years of statehood. The 1880 census reported that only 1,543 bales of cotton had been produced in the county that year; by 1906 the number had increased to 19,499; and in 1926 the number reached 27,505. During World War II, Bexar County's already large military presence grew even more, as the area's bases became an important training center for Army Air Corps cadets under the auspices of the San Antonio Aviation Cadet Center. Politically, from the annexation of Texas to the Union until the 1950s, Bexar County was firmly on the Democratic side. The Baptist community has been an integral part of Bexar County since its inception.
Near San Antonio de Valero and Presidio de San Antonio de Béjar (or Béjar), Martín de Alarcón led an expedition that founded a Mission in May 1718. This mission was named after Saint Anthony of Padua and was one of several missions established by Franciscan priests to convert Native Americans to Christianity. The mission was also home to a small Baptist community that has grown and changed over time. Today, there are numerous Baptist churches throughout Bexar County that serve a diverse population. These churches offer a variety of services and programs for their members including Sunday school classes, youth groups, Bible studies, mission trips and more. The Baptist community has also been active in local politics and social justice initiatives.
In recent years, they have been involved in advocating for immigration reform and providing assistance to those affected by natural disasters. The Baptist community in Bexar County has evolved over time but remains an essential part of life in this region. From its humble beginnings as a small mission to its current role as an active participant in local politics and social justice initiatives, it is clear that this community has had a lasting impact on this region.
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