Rev. C. E. Lancaster Was a Chaplain during World War I

There was an air of great excitement in the small town of Pampa when most of the residents prepared to meet the train that was soon to arrive at the Santa Fe depot. Most elated were the members of the First Baptist Church because their pastor Rev. C. E. Lancaster was returning from service as a chaplain in the army during World War I.

Photo of Eloise Lane

Eloise Lane

Clinton Earl Lancaster, born July 11, 1888, in Amory, Mississippi, was one of eight children born to Alex and Cynthia Martin Lancaster who came from Miss- issippi to Texas soon after his birth. After a brief time in Indian Territory near Wapanucka, Oklahoma, the family settled in Lampasas County, Texas. Clint attended Howard Payne College in Brownwood,Texas, as a ministerial Student.

In 1916 he married Stella Brown, who was born in Temple, Texas. She was the daughter of Walton Ector Brown from Macon, Georgia, and Sarah Ann Shillings Brown from Milam County, Texas. Stella was a 1910 graduate of Baylor College of Belton, Texas. She had taught school in Fort Stockton and Lampasas before her marriage. Clint was called as half-time pastor at both Kempnenand Copperas Cove while Stella taught in Lampasas. Both of them attended Howard Payne College and received degrees and a diploma in Bible in 1917, the year the United States declared war on Germany.

Clint was called to be pastor of the First Baptist Church in Pampa and assumed that position on August 26, 1917. Soon he volunteered for military service and served as a chaplain with the American Expeditionary Forces in France. Armistice was signed November 11, 1918, and C. E. Lancaster returned to Pampa in June, 1919. During his absence Stella taught in the Pampa schools. After his return they remained in Pampa until 1920 when they went to the Southwestern Baptist Seminary in Fort Worth. Clint served as pastor of the First Baptist Church in Chillicothe, Texas, while he was attending the Seminary. The First Baptist Church in Coleman, Texas, was Clint’s next pastorate.

In 1930 he was called back to Pampa. The following years were those of the “great depression,” and the church was deeply in debt because of the construction of a new building in 1929. Clint and Stella made many sacrifices to benefit the church. In 1934 the Lancasters adopted their only child, Margery Jane Wilson, a full- blood Indian (Sioux-Navajo). In 1936 Clint was called to pastor the First Baptist Church of Big Springs, Texas. The Lancasters lived in Big Springs until Clint’s health failed and he had to retire from full-time ministry.

In 1941 they moved to a stock farm at Pecan Grove in San Saba County. Clint had been in Pecan Grove as a young ministerial student and had often returned there to fish in the San Saba River. The Lancasters bought their farm in 1937. Although his health continued to fail, Clint farmed and also pastored several small community churches, served on the board of Baptist General Con- vention of Texas, and on the Board of Trustees of Howard Payne and Wayland Colleges. He received an honorary Doctorate degree from Howard Payne College. He was active in Masonary most of his adult life.

Clint died in 1961 at the age of 73. Margery Lancaster Walker attended San Saba schools and graduated from Baylor University in 1953 with a Bachelor of Music degree, the first full-blooded American Indian to graduate from Baylor. Since that time she has taught in six states in both public and government schools on several Indian reservations. Stella Brown Lancaster continued to live on the farm until her death, at the age of 92, on October 18, 1983.

(From an article in Gray County Heritage – 1985)

Over 200 Articles, written by Eloise Lane, were published in the Pampa News. These articles may be accessed by clicking on each section below. A list of articles will be revealed that are linked to a page containing the text of the article.

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