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 Grand Prairie Seventh-day Adventist Church

The Grand Prairie Church represents the beginning of Seventh-day Adventist witness in Texas. In 1875 the three Rust brothers, John E., Elbridge G., and Alfred B., moved to the Grand Prairie area from Niles, Michigan. They found people were willing to listen to, and accept the teachings of the Adventist Church. Later that year M. E. Cornell held an evangelistic series in Dallas.

D. M. Canright came to Dallas in May 1876 and held meetings. After the meetings were over the Dallas Church was organized with eighteen members. Elbridge Rust was the deacon for the new congregation. By this time Canright estimated thre were "about sixty Sabbath Keepers" scattered over the state.

From the earliest times the education of the young people was foremost in the minds of those directing the growth of the church. The earliest Adventist school met in a tent on the A. B. Rust place. Mrs. McDearmon was the teacher. Later the school was moved to the Rust's living room. John Rust apparently was involved in the founding of Keene Industrial Academy. He visited the Keene site with Elder R. M. Kilgore. His son Arthur lived in a tent when he first went to Keene because the dormitories were not built. Later Arthur and his family went to Belize, British Honduras as credentialed self-supporting missionaries. The following statement provides a view of the contribution the John Rust family made to workers for God's cause. "We find that one family member held an administrative position with the college (Southwestern Adventist College) for 33 years, two others held faculty positions, two were missionaries, one was a colporter, three became ordained ministers, four were elementary and secondary teachers, one was a conference president, another a broom shop manager, and other was a college home economics teacher, and another a Loma Linda graduate dental hygienist."

............ to be continued