Bring your church group, school group or family to visit Texas’ oldest continuously serving Baptist church. The present church dates to 1872. The pulpit furniture dates to 1852. Sam Houston was baptized here and carved his and his wife’s initials in their family pew. Baylor University and the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor began here. This church has been called the mother church of Texas Baptists because of its significance to Texas Baptist history. The museum remains free, thanks to the generous support of Texas Baptists.
On the east side of FM 50 (next to the Antique Rose Emporium), interpretive signage and a reconstructed bell tower mark the archeological ruins of the Baylor campus for males. A well-marked walking and/or driving trail with 19 interpretive signs relates the history of the village of Independence. On the west side of FM 50, ruins mark the site of the original Baylor University and its female department, one of the best places in the state to enjoy springtime bluebonnets. Adjacent to the John P. Coles homes, this park features picnic tables and a playground area.
Independence Historical Society offers tours of two of the earliest homes in Washington County, as well as a rural one-room schoolhouse. John P. Coles House provides an opportunity to experience Colonial Texas life. Free tours on selected March and April weekends; other times by appointment. Admission fee.
We have a walking and driving tour where you can see and learn much more about this historic community. See website for maps and details.
This 8-acre retail garden features antique roses, native plants, perennials, herbs and wildflowers. Beautiful gardens to stroll and a nice little gift shop to accessorize your garden. Groups are welcome for tours. The Antique Rose Emporium is also a prime location to hold a wedding and/or reception. Facilities include gardens with tents, gazebo, chapel, outdoor covered pavilion and Victorian house – perfect for weddings with up to 225 seated guests.