History of the Restoration Movement

Jefferson Davis Tant


Biographical Sketch On The Life Of J.D. Tant

Jefferson Davis Tant was born June 28, 1861, at Cartersville, Georgia. His parents were William and Mattie (Lloyd) Tant.

At the age of 14, Tant joined the Methodist Church. At the age of 15 he moved with his parents from Georgia to Texas. About this time, he became interested in an education and, fortunately, he lived near a high school.

Unfortunately, he had only one dollar to supply all of his earthly needs. He invested his dollar in three yards of cloth from which his mother made him a pair of pants. He started to school without a single school book and one pair of pants. At school, he would dodge around the children and study his lessons on their books with them, until one day a schoolmate cursed him and told him if his old daddy could not get him some books that he had better quit. Discouraged, he told his troubles to his teacher, who agreed that he would leave one window unfastened each night so his pupil could come and get the books for his lesson the next day, learn his lessons, and put the books back next morning before school. This he did for two years, and many times three o'clock in the morning found him after his lessons with a little brass lamp to study by.

Jefferson Davis Tant was in the school room each day but never looked at a book, yet at time for recitation he seldom failed to answer all the questions. The children begged him to tell them how he knew his lessons without studying. This he kept as a profound secret. The news spread that he was an "idiot" and people often visited the school to see "Old man Tant's 'idiot' son that learned his lessons without studying." After two years, a lady learned of his desire for an education and loaned him $20 to buy his books. The last two years he was in school, he was in a class alone. He had passed all the other students, not because he had more ability but because he used what he had.

The Reverend Jefferson Davis Tant, duly ordained in the Methodist ministry, became a circuit-rider in North Texas in the year 1880. His work as a Methodist minister was destined to be a short one. In 1881, he moved to Buda, Texas, where in August of that year, he heard W. H. D. Carrington, a minister of the Church of Christ, preach the gospel. He liked what he learned. In those days, the church was often referred to as "Campbellites." The meeting ran from two weeks to a month. Tant decided to go back and hear what the "Campbellite" preacher had to say further. Carrington took the Bible, read the passages and explained them clearly, especially the verses that told what one must do to be a Christian or to be saved.

On August 14, 1881, Tant came forward in Carrington's meeting and gave the preacher his hand. He was openly weeping as he did so, weeping from fear, from gratitude. Since he had been immersed, he was received into the fellowship of the Buda church on his statement that he was "satisfied" with his baptism. It was only one week later that young Jefferson Davis Tant received a written statement from the Buda Church of Christ, commending him to the brotherhood to preach the gospel of Christ and baptize any that he was instrumental in converting to Christ. The statement was signed by two elders and two preachers.

1883 was a milestone in Tant's life. It was then that he received his very first compensation as a preacher of God's word. He checked his records and found that he received $9.75 for the year. $5.00 of this amount came from performing a wedding ceremony.

J. D. Tant married Laura Warren on March 26, 1890, at Georgetown, Texas. E. Hansborough performed the ceremony. To this union, two children were born: Ira, a son who lived to be 10 years old, and Davis, a daughter.

The Tants lived at Hamilton, Texas. On January 4, 1894, after a hard fight with pneumonia, Laura died. Her body was laid to rest in the old Hamilton Cemetery

Hamilton was the home of J. D. Tant for nearly 15 years, his longest residence in any one place during the 80 years of his life.

Tant married Nannie Green Yater on Wednesday, December 30, 1896. It was a double wedding with Nannie marrying J. D. and her sister, Fannie Mills (who was never known by anything but her nickname "Kanna") marrying Albert Gebhart. Felix C. Sowell performed the wedding ceremony.

Tant preached all over the nation. Gospel preachers were few and far between. He was in great demand, ordinarily receiving more than 200 invitations per year for gospel meetings. His record was 269 invitations in a single year. Obviously, he could not hold more than 20 or 25 of these, since most of them were of two weeks' duration.

After living in Hamilton, Texas, for 15 years, Tant moved to Victoria, Texas, and then to Quanah, Texas. He moved to Macon, Tennessee, in 1904. (Yater Tant was born there in 1908.) Then the Tants moved to Alamogordo, New Mexico, in 1912, to Cleburne, Texas in 1916, then to Menard, Texas, Rogers, Arkansas, Greenville, Mississippi, DeQueen, Arkansas, Brownsville, Texas, and then to Los Fresnos, Texas, where he spent his remaining days.

One day, sitting quietly in his chair, he said, "There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God . . . and I long for that rest! " This was the last scripture that he was heard to quote. He wanted to see his children once more and sister Tant wrote to all of them requesting that they come as soon as possible.

The last two Lord's Days he was not able to attend services. H. D. Jeffcoat, preacher for the Brownsville Church, brought the Lord's Supper to him May 24. Those assembled sang, prayed, and broke bread together. But on the last Lord's Day of his life, June 1, 1941, he did not partake of the Supper. Knowing his weak condition, friends came to encourage him. They visited, stood up to leave and Tant stood up with them and walked into another room. He sat down in a chair, turned his eyes for a last long searching look into Nannie's face, and without speaking a word, quietly died.

It was 4:30 P.M., Sunday, June 1, 1941.

Two funeral services were held. The first was at the Brownsville Church of Christ with H. D. Jeffcoat and James W. Adams officiating. Tant had requested that the service be conducted like any normal preaching service with congregational singing. Jeffcoat read the scripture and led the prayer. Adams spoke on 1 Timothy 4:1-8 paying tribute to the great work of J. D. Tant.

The second funeral service was held at the Central Church of Christ, Cleburne, Texas, Wednesday morning, June 4. The principal address was given by W. K. Rose with whom Tant had held a long time agreement that whichever of them survived would speak at the funeral of the other.

Scripture was read by G. H. P. Showalter, prayer was led by Cled E. Wallace, and a short address preceding Rose's talk, was made by Foy E. Wallace, Jr.

Many gospel preachers came from their fields of labor to pay tribute to this great gospel preacher who had fallen asleep in the Lord. Old time friends, companions of his youth, were present to shed their tears with his wife, Nannie, the children, and his only surviving brother, James Monroe Tant. John W. Akin, who had given the suit in which he was to be buried, wept unashamedly as he looked for the last time upon the still and bloodless face of his friend.

The funeral caravan moved slowly to the old Cleburne Memorial Cemetery, where all that is mortal of "J. D. Tant, Texas Preacher" now sleeps beneath a simple stone bearing the legend:

Jefferson Davis Tant
1861 - 1941
"I have fought a good fight
I have finished my course
I have kept the faith."
2nd Tim. 4:7

-In Memoriam, Gussie Lambert, Shreveport, LA, c.1988, pp.266-269

A Voice from the Past About
Preachers and Preaching
J. D. Tant (1861-1941)

This is June 28th and I am seventy-two years old today. I have been thinking of the more than 8,000 people I have baptized during the past fifty years. Away over here in Arkansas, where I am preaching the gospel to many Baptists (by way of debate), who never heard it before, I am reminded of the old days in Arkansas, and of how their customs stack up with the present day practices. . . .

A few days ago an old brother, after hearing me preach three times in Houston, Texas, came to me and said, "Brother Tant, I am glad to have heard you preach. You are not the type of man that I had expected to meet. It has been told on you by certain of your preaching brethren that you are vulgar in the pulpit. They said that you are rough and abusive; unrefined and uneducated; that you are so plain in your preaching that refined people could not listen to you. Since hearing you, I have decided that such reports are preachers' lies, prompted by jealousy, and not by the love of God."

As a further illustration, I recently received a letter from a good sister, saying, "We are dead here and doing no good. Many of us would like to have you hold a meeting, but our elders say that you are too tough on the brethren, too hard on the other churches, and that we must have a man the denominations like to hear."

A letter from a Baptist preacher who wants to meet me in debate in a town where one of our leading Bible colleges is located says he has talked to several of our younger preachers there, and they say, "Brother Tant is too old to debate, and he doesn't have a college education."

Well, I'll admit that I have not the good English that N. B. Hardeman has. Neither can I measure up to G. C. Brewer's law of culture and refinement, because I frequently go barefooted when I sleep. I preach in my shirtsleeves and put pencils in my outside coat pocket. Neither have I the refined disposition of brother Sam Pittman. I am just an old-fashioned, plain gospel preacher from the frontier. . . but I am now ready to count coonskins with any of our modern, college educated, women-pleasing pastors!

I have this month rounded out fifty-two years of plain gospel preaching. I have baptized approximately 8,000 men and women. More than one hundred of the boys I have baptized in by-gone years are now out preaching the gospel. I wonder if God will reject all these souls I have been instrumental in leading to him merely because I am not refined? Because I do not wear a coat all the time?

Count my coonskins, brethren, before you get too hard on me.

One of the ablest preachers we have in Arkansas lost his located job, not because he was not preaching the gospel, but because one of the influential sisters in the church could not bear to listen to his old-fashioned language. She did not like Arkansas grammar, and thus could not invite her denominational friends to hear him. I doubt if the poor thing could tell whether Jesus Christ was crucified at Calvary or shot at Bunker Hill. . .

I have tried to do the best I could to serve God in the backwoods and out-of-the-way places, where a college degree is not so important. When brethren condemn me on account of my rough manners and plain speech, I shall not be too upset about it, but shall speak kindly of them and pray for them. And after life's battles have been fought and we all come before God to be judged, I may not be able to produce much refinement and education, but I shall say, "Lord, I have done the best I could among the common people."

I may got to hell on account of some meaness that I have done, but even so I shall be happy to know that some of the souls I have helped save are in heaven because of my work. And when I meet some of my brethren in hell who have consistently violated God's law as found in Romans 14:13, we can at least have some satisfaction down there in counting coonskins and telling of the work we did while on earth. Each one of us should strive to fill his own corner, and not throw rocks at his brother in another corner.

Don't forget, brethren; we are drifting.

Firm Foundation 8.3.1933, J.D. Tant-Texas Precher, pages 431-434.

Chronology On The Life Of Jefferson D. Tant

1827 - 06.15 - William Tant, J.D.'s father, born in Jackson County, GA

1848 - 12.18 - Sunday, William Tant and Mattie Lloyd married in Cass County, GA

1850 - 09.06- Oldest son, John is born.

1853 - 12.15 - Second son, Franklin Daniel is born

1857 - 10.15 - Third son, James Monroe is born

1861 - 06.28 - Fourth son, Jefferson Davis Tant is born in Paulding County, Georgia to William and Mattie Lloyd Tant.

1861 - 07.02 - William leaves to fight for the Confederacy, (JD is 4 days old)

1864 - 05.20 - Possessions burned by Union soldiers. (They were not slave-holders, however they suffered due to Sherman's march to the sea.

1865 - William returns after the war is over.

1873 - Snake bitten, almost died at age 12 (JDT-TP, p.21)

1874 - 2.13 - Nannie Green Yater, born to William and Fannie Mills Yater, in Hartsville, Tennessee. " Moved to Johnson County, Texas in 1878. (JDT-TP, p.94).

1875 - J.D. Tant joined the Methodist Church. " 14 yrs. old

1875 - The Texas Christian Monthly Begins, Later called The Christian Preacher, edited by T.R. Burnett of Bonham (JDT-TP, p.66)

1876 - 02.04 - Sister, Mollie is born.

1876 - Fall - Family moves to Texas " JDT is 15 yrs old

1878 - Started a Methodist Sunday School in Texas - served as superintendent.

1880 - Fall - Ordained as a Methodist preacher " JDT is 19 yrs old " became a circuit rider in North Texas.

1880 - 05 - Mid month, family moved to Buda, TX, (JDT-TP, p.33)

1881 - Spring - Heard the 1st time, John M. McKinney, of McKinney,Tx. and Ben Falkner of Wylie " "Campbellite" preachers.

1881 - 08 - Meets W.H.D. Carrington -gospel preacher.

1881 - 08.14 - Tant comes forward in Carrington's Meeting, claiming satisfaction with his previous baptism, he was accepted in the church "shaken in", (JDT-TP, p.36,37).

1881 - 08.21 - Given his "License" to preach in the Church of Christ.

1882 - Spring - Tant rented a small farm 10 or 12 miles east and north of San Marcos " planted cotton on it, picked 15 bales himself, made $1700.00, then bought a small farm, putting his parents on it (JDT-TP, p.41).

1883 - Receives first compensation as a preacher ($9.75 that year).

1883 - Churches have "sponsored cooperation."

1884 - Firm Foundation started by Austin McGary

1885 - 08 - Began preaching in seven counties in Southeast Texas, for the pay of $600 per year, giving up a job in Collin County to teach school for $1000.00. Was never paid. (JDT-TP, p.56).

1886 - 07.07 - "Texas Christian Missionary Society" begins at Austin State Meeting. (JDT-TP, p.58,65,66).

1886 - Tant baptized by John S. Durst, though J.F. Grubbs and A. McGary's paper had convicted him of the need to be immersed for the forgiveness of sins.

1886 - 06.28 - Released without full pay from Holland Church (JDT-TP, p.65)

1886 - 09 - Bee House Meeting in Coryell County " 21 baptized, among them, J.M. Tuttle, successful preacher in New Mexico for a number of years. Decides to debate for the first time. (JDT-TP, p.74)

1886 - 11 - Debate to be with W.A. Jarrell at Bee House, Coryell County " six hundred attend the first night. Statement read that Jarrell was sick. Asked for postponement one month.

1886 - 12 - Debates W.N. Leak instead of Jarrell, who is still sick. J.F. Grubbs moderates for Tant. " 9 baptisms from the Baptists and 4 from the Methodists result. This was the first of over 100 debates he would have.

1887 - Moves 150 miles to Hamilton, Hamilton County after selling farm near Austin for $1,200 " was there nearly 15 years. (JDT-TP, p.78)

1887-1889 - Worked with six small congregations "eight months where they wanted him, and the rest he traveled on his own" baptized 700 people during the three years. (JDT-TP, p.79)

1890 - Mollie, seven year younger sister of J.D.'s dies. She had been his first baptism. " She was 22 yrs old.

1890 - Married Laura Warren

1891 - 05 - Tant's first son born, Ira.

1893 - Davis, Tant's first daughter born.

1894 - 01.04 - Laura dies of pneumonia, buried in the old Hamilton graveyard. (JDT-TP, p.85)

1894 - 03 - Debate with J.B. Briney at Thorp Spring, (JDT-TP, p.469)

1894 - 07 - Meets Nannie Green Yater during meeting at Grandview, Tex.

1894 - (Christmas - New Years) stopped by Gospel Advocate in Nashville to visit David Lipscomb - first meeting

1895-96 - Many meetings and debates (269 invitations in one year)

1895 - 05 - Meeting at Georgetown, TX, the North G. congregation.

1895 - 08 - Debate with G.A. Strain, Universalist, at Grapeland, Texas the last four days of August. Reports in Gospel Advocate of it 10.3.1895 issue.

1895 - 9.25 - Nannie Yater tells J.D. that she will marry him. (JDT-TP, p.124)

1895 - 10 - Six night debate with W.A. Jarrell in late October at Thronton, Texas. Report in Gospel Advocate, 11.21.1895.

JDT begins a 15 month engagement with Nannie Yater. She is a school teacher in West, Texas, and seeking to pay off her school debt herself before marrying him.

1896 - 01.13 - Debate with C.L. Ballard (Baptist) at Cooper, Texas, followed by a debate with W.A. Jarrel at Sherman, = 12 days straight, debating. " Reported in GA, 2.27,1896.

1896 - 07.19 - 10 day meeting at Cooper, TX., - Report, GA, 8.6.1896

1896 - 07.30 - Meeting in McGregor " 15 baptisms.

1896 - 08-09 - 10 day meeting at Swans' Chapel, near Anson, - 8 baptisms " report, GA, 10.1.1896

1896 - 09 - Two-week meeting at Seymour, TX, 3 baptisms, Report in GA, 10.15.1896

1896 - 11.26 - JDT, article in GA entitled, Invading the Churches, set out a plan of how to invade churches who have added the instruments, in effort to remove them " in view of 80-90% of churches having gone into digression.

1896 - 11 - Debate with J.C. Weaver, Methodist, - two-day discussion at Moore's Spring, Texas. " Report in GA, 12.10,1896. " (JDT-TP, p.163,4)

1896 - 12 - Mid-December debate at Seymour, TX with Mr. Elder (Baptist) in defense of his book, "The True Way" - (JDT-TP, p.164,5)

1896 - 12.30 - Wednesday at 2pm, Married Nannie Green Yater " F.C. Sowell performed the ceremony (preacher at Grandview). " It was a double wedding with Nannie's younger sister, Fannie marrying a young medical student, Albert Gebhart. (JDT-TP, p.166,7)

1897 - 07.08 - JDT reports in GA of preaching appointments that took him to Franklin, Robertson County, TX, then to Thornton, Hot Springs, Arkansas, the to Little Rock, GA 7.8,1897.

1897 - 09.22 - Tant's third child - Maidia Norvell born premature "JDT was 300 miles away in a meeting at Childress. Hurry's home " arrives 3 days after birth.

1897 - 09.28 - Debate with Mr. Alderson (Methodist) in Troupe, Texas

1897 - 12 - Debate with John F. Elder, Baptist. " Report in GA, 1.13.1898

1897 - Debate with J.K.P. Williams, (Missionary Baptist) " at Howe, Texas, Report in GA, 1.13.1898

1898 - Leaves home with sick baby and wife to go on a two-month preaching tour to Kansas " Report in GA, 2.3.1898. Preaches in Niotaze, Kansas, debates Elder J.C. Fogle (German Baptist Dunkard); Elk City, Kansas; Hallowell, Kansas; then back to Texas

1898 - 3.24 - Takes wife and three children on preaching tour to Oklahoma. Infant still very sick. Preached at Hico, Paluxy, and Weatherford, Bethel, Seymour, and Crowell, Texas. Then across the Red River to Maud, Oklahoma; Bloomington, Indian Territory, Cheyenne, Oklahoma, back to Bloomington for debate with Mr. Smith (Methodist); then to Mangum, then El Reno; Cameo, Indian Reservation; (Reports in GA 5.1898,6.9.1898,

1898 - Spring - U.S. at War with Spain

1898 - 06 - Reports in GA that in Texas he had been and evangelist for 14 years. For the last ten he had received from 10 to 50 callse for meetings more than he could hold. He said, "during the past four years, ending June 20, 1898, I received one hundred and twenty calls for meetings above what I could hold. GA, 7.14.1898, (JDT-TP, p.202,3)

1898 - Began returning home " Visited El-Meta Christian College, managed by Mrs. Meta Chestnut. (JDT-TP, p.203)

1898 - 08.15 - To Tennessee for meetings at Bellview, Dickson,TN -31 baptism " report in GA 8.15.1898.

1898 - 12 - Meeting in Norman, Oklahoma, closing days of 1898.

1899 - 01.05 - Resigns as field editor of Gospel Advocate " leaves on good terms, GA, 1.5.1899.

1899 - 02.26 - Zoreta, Tant's fourth child born

1899 - Spring - Seven weeks filling engagements in and around Nashville, Tennessee. " 45 additions, 7 restorations. At Carroll Street church " report in GA 6.6.1899. (JDT-TP, p.220)

1899 - Summer - Returns to Texas for preaching appointments at Osceola, Hill County; Savoy, Tx; Elmore, Indian Territory

1899 - Fall - Returns to Tennessee for more appointments

1900 - 06.11 - Tant - Oakley debate. John T. Oakley, Baptist, caused some trouble between Gospel Advocate and Firm Foundation. @ West Nashville.

1901 - Tant - Harding written debate on rebaptism " Three articles each carried in both Gospel Advocate and Firm Foundation.

1901 - 08.14 - Ira, Tant's first born dies of pericarditis (JDT-TP, p.243). Buried at Hamilton Cemetery where J.D.'s wife, father, mother and sister are buried. Tant was in a meeting in Madison County, Texas at the time, not able to get back before burial of Ira.

1901 - Moved to Nursey, Texas, a tiny settlement about 10 or 12 miles NW of Victoria. (JDT-TP, p.249) (moved for financial reasons. Works on a farm trying to plant cotton. Utter failure the whole year. Nearly drowns saving a horse.

1902 - 07.05 - Tant's fifth child J.D. Jr. born.

1903 - Moves to San Marco, Hayes County, Texas, 28 miles south of Austin, and 45 miles north of San Antonio. Sends report to GA, 2.12.1903 of reminiscence of preachers now gone, and digressions that began there in San Marcos, TX.

1903 - 02-03 - Meetings in Uvalde and Bracketville.

1903 - 04.02 - GA Report says he had baptized 3000 in seventeen years of his preaching and that over 50 boys he influenced were now preaching. GA 4.2.1903

1903 - 05 - JDT debates A.D. Rogers at Godley, Texas. Rogers represented the digressives. (JDT-TP, p.261) report in GA, 5.31.1903 issue.

1903 - 09 - Nannie teaches school for first time since marriage, makes $125 per month, more than they had ever made. She taught at SW Teachers' State normal in San Marcos.

1903 - 09.05 - JDT finishes a meeting at Ben Hur, Limestone County, Texas with 47 additions.

1903 - 09.05 - From Ben Hur, JDT goes to Rosenburg to 10 day debate J.M. Howell, a "half-way Russellite." Report in GA, 9.24.1903

1904- 01 - Hold meeting in McGregor, Texas, which was enduring a terrible lawsuit with the digressives, Report in GA, 2.4.1904, also in JDT-TP, p. 266-270.

1904 - Spring - Holds meetings at Bracketville and Del Rio, SW Texas.

1904 - Summer to Fall - Holds meetings in S. Texas, by October he was in Houston.

1904 - 12 - Moved to Hardeman County, Quanah, Texas to a 710 acre ranch to raise Hereford cattle.

1905 - Establishes a congregation in Quanah " report in GA, 3.2.1905, (JDT-TP, p.277)

1905 - 04 - Meeting in Frederick, Oklahoma

1905 - Late summer and Fall - Meetings in Arkansas

1905 - 11.09 - Report in GA, 11.9.1905, that in June he had 107 calls for meetings in July and August.

1906 - 3.23 - Departs for California for the first time " Nannie arranged it. " Report of trip in GA, 5.31.1906.

1906 - 4.15 - Meeting closes at Aromas, California after two weeks. Then To San Francisco.

1906 - 4.18 - 5:12am. In a motel in Colony Center, about 18 miles from down-town San Francisco. An earthquake takes place in San Francisco that caused Tant to be "rolled out of bed and halfway across the room before he realized what happened." JDT-TP, p.286. Fire nearly destroyed the city, with over 700 dead.

1906 - 6.1& 6.28 - Reports in GA of work in California: Colony Center, Fresno, Madera, Forestville,

1906 - 6.17 - Returns home to Quanah. Gone 3 mos. GA 6.28.1906 reports plans for rest of year: Central Texas for meeting; then 1 month in Oklahoma; 1 month in Mississippi; 1 month in Arkansas, then back to Texas for 2 debates.

1906 - Moved to Macon village, Williston, Tennessee, about 30 miles east of Memphis. Old southern plantation home on 500 acres. (JDT-TP, p.290,1)

1906 - 04 - First Sunday at Whiteville, TN, at Toone, 1st Sunday in May, at Williams' Chapel, 2nd Sunday in May, then to Green Street, Nashville, May 16.

1906 - 07 - Tent meeting at Macon Village. No church there.

1907 - 04.09 - Tant's sixth child, Mozele, born.

1907 - 06.23 - Begins a mission meeting at Macon, Tennessee

1907 - Preaching in Alabama

1908 - 02 - Holds a debate with Elder Wyatt of the Mormon Church in Cottage Grove, TN, Originally to with Joe Warlick, but Wyatt had written Warlick to say he was not coming, so Warlick didn't bother. Unbeknownst to Tant, he attends to find Mormons gathered, and making fun of Warlick. Tant is asked to debate him. (JDT-TP, p.303) report in GA 3.5.1908 & 3.12.08

1908 - Conducted a meeting in Huntsville, Alabama

1908 - Freed-Hardeman College opened in fall, Davis, JDT's daughter attends as a student. (JDT-TP, p.308)

1908 - 12.30 - Tant's seventh child, Yater, born

1909 - Lost farm - - Gospel Advocate barred writings and name in view of plans for new format and writing style. It would be ten years before his articles appeared there again.

1909 - Spring - Exchange in Firm Foundation between Tant and W.S. Vickery on "Valid Baptism"

1909 - 6.22 - Report of close of meeting in Waxahachie, Texas, and to start one west of New Ark, Texas on 08.17 (FF, 6.29,1909)

1910 - 01.25 - Henderson meeting to promote unity and preaching in West Tennessee. Tant promoted it, but Lipscomb brought forth concern in the pages of the GA. 3.3.1910 issue.

1910 - 03.01 - Article appears in FF by JDT called, "To Brother O.A. Carr" with objections to Church run and supported colleges. JDT-TP, p.330-33 no objection to Bible Colleges, not "church" colleges. Causes much turmoil in the pages of the FF over the next few months.

1910 - 05.31 - Tant meets Ben Bogard (Baptist) in Paragould, Arkansas debate

1910 - Tant-Pigue debate at the Oldfield Methodist church in Crockett County, Tennessee

1910 - 10.20-11 - Tant spends the whole month in Waco, Texas preaching.

1910 - 11-12 - In Bay City, Arkansas, then to Tennessee for a debate at the end of the year.

1910 - 12.04 - Tant's eighth child, Marcus Austin, born.

1911 - Meetings at Ardmore, Oklahoma, Waco, Texas; Terrell, Texas; JDT encouraged churches to build church buildings.

1911 - 08.11 - J.D., Jr. ill due to inflammatory rhueumatism by one doctor, general tuberculosis by another. Third doctor from Memphis called it Osteo myletis. Nearly dies. " JDT-TP, p.324

1912 - 12.25 - Moved to Alamogordo, New Mexico " Bought a 160 acre property on credit " Continues to preach all through the area while trying to make farm work for next two years

1914 - Through financial struggles, moves near to Hope, NM, - Nannie loses baby on trip - Hard year on family " Continues to preach all over mountains " often through deep snow. Started a congregation at Hope

1915 - 12.25 - Family moves back to Cleburne, Texas, Nannie's hometown. Buy farm, but banks will not loan money to buy cows. Nannie borrows $50 from C.R. Nichol, her father in the faith, starts raising chickens

1917 - Family moves to farm at Menard, Texas on San Saba River " there 2 years

1917 - 03.27 - Report in FF that there was no church in Menard, and that the Tants were worshipping in their home.

1917 - 11.11 - David Lipscomb died

1917 - 12.24 - Zoreta marries Clide Keeney (JDT-TP, p.378)

1918 - 01.04 - Maida marries Elmer Franklin Smith (JDT-TP, p.378)

1918 - 01-02 - Moved to Rogers, Arkansas (JDT-TP, p.380)

1919 - 01 - First Sunday in year with W.W. Slater in Fort Smith, Arkansas

1919 - 09.26 - A.J. McCarty died at his home in Killeen, Texas (JDT-TP, p.383)

1919 - Held meeting at Grove, Oklahoma FF 10.7.1919 (JDT-TP, p.383)

1920 - 10.07 - Apology to Tant from J,C, McQuiddy and Gospel Advocate for excluding Tant. GA 10.7.1920(JDT-TP, p.387)

1921 - Spring - Three month tour of North Carolina, through Alabama, Nashville, (JDT-TP, p.389) " Bad experience at Bear Creek, Alabama, preaches at Barn Creek, White House, report FF 7.26.1921

1922 - 2.22 - Two-week meeting in Berry, Alabama "Berry Christian College" " Report in GA 6.28.1922 issue (JDT-TP, p.394,5)

1922 - Summer - Meetings at Quitman, Ark. " 4 baptisms; Albion, Oklahoma, 30 baptisms; Strawberry, Arkansas " 26 baptism; New River, Alabama; Debate at Ozark, Arkansas with Mr. Steward on the doctrine of future kingdom and soul sleep. Also at Liberty, Arkansas " Report in GA, 10.12.1922.

1923 - In much demand to help solve Church problems (JDT-TP, p.396ff)

1923 - 06.28 - Preaching a meeting at Locust Bayou, Arkansas.

1925 - 01 - Moved to Greenville, Mississippi. Traded horses and wagon for 1922 Ford " Wrecks three times before getting home. (JDT-TP, p.402ff)

1926 - Moved to West Point, Mississippi - (JDT-TP, p.407) 2 years in Mississippi all together.

1926 - Summer - Report in GA 7.28.1926 " from meeting in Bay, Arkansas, determining to debate and preach in Illinois

1926 - 06 - Late June has debate with J.W. Moore, Baptist, C.L. Overturf moderates for Tant. Report in GA, 08.19.1926.

1926 - Spring - Meetings with Lawrence Ave. church and Joe Johnson churches in Nashville, Tennessee.

1926 - 06 - Back to Nashville to preach meeting at Joe Johnson church.

1926 - 09 - Meeting in West Tennessee, report in GA, 09.30.1926.

1926 - 11.15 - Debate with A.J. Sloan, Missionary Baptist, in 4 day discussion at Union Hill Baptist church, four miles from Gallatin (JDT-TP, p.413) reported in GA 9.14.1927

1926 - 11.29 - Debate with C.B. Massey, Missionary Baptist, at Mouth Pisgah Baptist Church in Yuma, Tennessee

1926 - 12.12 - Debate with J.B. Hardy, Primitive Baptist, at Whitehurst, two miles from Denver, Tennessee " five day debate

1928 - 01.05 - Reports in GA, 1.5.1928 of holding 12 protracted meetings, four debates, preached at 8 other points, and 5 months of farming. Talked about the three stages of a movement. Feared we were in the last stage-compromise.

1928 - Moved back to Tennessee " to a 40 acre farm north of Memphis. In GA, 1.29,1928, reminisces about the early days of work in west Tennessee, Memphis, and how his daughter and son-in-law both are buried in the Memphis cemetery.

1928 - 05.03 - Report in GA of his support and encouragement to support orphan homes.

1928 - 08 - Hired by Trustees of Tennessee Orphan Home to promote financial assistance to the home. (JDT-TP, p.416,7)

1931 - Tant concerned about Orphan Home - and Bible College question

1931 - Late in the year the Tants move to DeQueen, Arkansas

1933 - Spoke against "good time" at A.C.C. Lectureship

1933 - Association with Roy E. Cogdill

1933 - 8.3 - Firm Foundation report of his thoughts after reaching his 72nd year. Reported having baptized 8,000, more than a 100 of which preach the gospel.

1933 - 9.3 - Endures a tornado at Los Fresnos. Family survives

1933 - Fall - Debate with D.N. Jackson, Baptist, in Texarkana

1934 - Spring - Debate with Mr. Cayce at Aransas Pass, Texas.

1934 - Fall - A debate in Artesia, New Mexico with a non-Sunday School preacher. Reports having been in over 300 debates. Report in FF 10.23.1934, (JDT-TP, p. 443ff)

1934 - 10 - Late in month JDT in meeting in at Broadus, Texas

1934-1935 - JDT writes a series of 12 articles called "Fifty Years A Texas Preacher " appears in FF between 1934-5

1935 - 07 - Tants move to Brownsville, Texas

1936-1937 - G.H.P. Showalter writing in Firm Foundation against football

1936 - 05.10 - Attends the "Digressives" meeting in Austin

Leaves Austin to debate with J.N. Cowan " on Sunday School material. " then a debate in Wichita Falls with Ben Taylor, on same subject

1937 - Fall - Holds last debate with Ben M. Bogard, his 8th, in Greenwood, Arkansas

1938 - Spring - Attended Hardeman - Bogard debate (JDT-TP, p.464)

1938 - 5.31 - Report in FF of two-month preaching trip to California, (JDT-TP, p.464,5)

1938 - 09 - JDT had a light stroke while working in an irrigation ditch, causing temporary paralysis in his left leg.

1939 - Heard his son - Yater preach at Highland Church in Abilene where Homer Hailey was preaching.

1940 - Many of Tant's friends and co-workers die

1941 - 06.01 - Jefferson Davis Tant dies, Sunday at 4:30, JDT-TP, p.478

1941 - 06.02 - Funeral at Brownville Church building, H.D. Jeffcoat and James W. Adams presiding.

1941 - 06.04 - Funeral at Central church in Cleburne. Wednesday morning, W.K. Rose presiding, with G.H.P. Showalter & Cled Wallace. Burial at Cleburne Memorial Cemetery

1958 - J.D. Tant-Texas Preacher, by Fanning Yater Tant receives its copyright, c.1958, Gospel Guardian Company, Lufkin, Texas

Source: Gleanings from J.D. TANT—TEXAS PREACHER, by: Fanning Yater Tant, c.1958, by Gospel Guardian Company, Lufkin, Texas

Autobiographical Sketch On The Life Of J.D. Tant

Directions To The Grave Of J.D. & Nannie Y. Tant

Cleburne, Texas is a small town south of Ft. Worth, Texas. Take I-35 South out of Ft. Worth toward Alvarado. Take State Hwy. 67 West toward Keene. Go through Keene to Cleburne. As you near the main part of town you will turn left on South Kouns St. (If you go over a viaduct into town on Hwy. 67 you've gone too far). Continue south on S. Kouns and cross the R.R. Tracks. Once across you can see the Cleburne Memorial Cemetery to your left. You will enter the cemetery to the left and head toward the front of the office.Just before turning left into the office, Tant's grave is just to the left.

GPS Location
Acc. To 16'
Grave Faces S.W.
405 Waters St.
Cleburne, Tx
Phone: 817-645-0954


Note: When G. Dallas Smith died, he was originally buried in this cemetery. His body was exhumed and moved to San Angelo to be closer to family, back in the 1960s.

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