A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from June 11, 2015
“There are more Baptists than people in Texas”

There are many Baptists in Texas, leading to a popular joke—“There are more Baptists in Texas than there are people.” The joke was cited in the Amarillo (TX) Globe-Times in 1974:

“There’s the story of the little girl from the Eastern section of the country who visited on a Panhandle ranch. She wrote home that the ranch was so big you could spend a week on it. While here she went to the Baptist Church. She told her folks there are more Baptists in Texas than there are people.”


22 April 1955, Greensboro (NC) Record, “President Greets Baptist Pastors At White House” (AP), pg. B-6, col. 7:
In a smiling reply to that sally, he (President Eisenhower—ed.) told about a visit he once made to a Baptist convention in Texas. A friend took him to the meeting, he said, and told him as they left that “there are more Baptists in Texas than anywhere else and some day you may need them.”

14 January 1959, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “Baylor Coaching Hunt Hits Snag” by Charles Burton, sec. 2, pg. 3, col. 2:
“There area lot of fine Baptist athletes around; in fact there are more Baptists in Texas than anything else.”
("Old Grad.”—ed.)

Google News Archive
23 December 1961, Reading (PA) Eagle, “Today’s Sports Parade” by Oscar Fraley (UPI), pg. 6, col. 2:
“The first thing they did was set a Sunday school quota of four,” (Clemson’s Frank—ed.) Howard insisted. “That’s maybe the reason there are more Baptists than there are people.”

13 May 1974, Mexia (TX) Daily News, “There Are More Baptists Than Anything Else,” pg. 2, col. 4:
Dallas (AP)—The chances of passing a Southern Baptist on most Texas streets are better than two to one.

28 August 1974, Amarillo (TX) Globe-Times, “Off the Cuff” by Felix Phillips, pg. 26, col. 1:
There’s the story of the little girl from the Eastern section of the country who visited on a Panhandle ranch. She wrote home that the ranch was so big you could spend a week on it.

While here she went to the Baptist Church. She told her folks there are more Baptists in Texas than there are people.

Google Books
Religion at the Polls
By Albert J. Menendez
Philadelphia, PA: Westminster Press
1977
Pg. 121:
Some counties legitimate the old joke about more Baptists than people in the South.

25 January 1978, Greensboro (NC) Daily News, “And Off The Wires,” pg. A13, col. 1:
Someone once said that if the Baptist Church keeps growing at its present rate it won’t be long until there are more Baptists than people.

26 August 1981, Greensboro (NC) Record, “Don’t forget the Baptists"(editorial), pg. A4, col. 2:
As one wit put it (a Presbyterian wit, which is probably beside the point): “There are more Baptists than there are people.”

Google Books
Religion in America Today
By Wade Clark Roof
Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications
1985
Pg. 133:
There often seem to be “more Baptists than people,” as the joke has it, or at least the number of Baptist churches is overwhelming.

Google Books
Horton Foote:
A Literary Biography

By Charles S. Watson
Austin, TX: University of Texas Press
2003
Pg. 208:
Coming in for much criticism in these decades is the church, especially the Baptist church, in Foote ‘s one-acts about Texas, where reportedly “there are more Baptists than people.”

Google Books
Red State:
An Insider’s Story of How the GOP Came to Dominate Texas Politics

By Wayne Thorburn
Austin, TX: University of Texas Press
2014
Pg. 7:
On his 1984 television series A Walk through the Twentieth Century, Bill Moyers went back to his hometown of Marshall, Texas, a city he described as having “more Baptists than people.”

Twitter
Dan Phillips
‏@BibChr
“Texas seemed to have more Baptists than people...” (). Texas hasn’t changed. Nor have Baptist math-skills. http://ow.ly/HftxY
4:45 PM - 13 Jan 2015

Twitter
Galen Doyel
‏@galen_doyel
“We have more baptists than Christians in this town.” -anonymous local youth pastor
7:05 PM - 16 Mar 2015

CNN.com
The rise of the evangelical ‘nones’
Ed Stetzer, special to CNN
Updated 12:57 PM ET, Fri June 12, 2015
(...)
There’s some truth in the old joke: There are more Baptists than people in Texas.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • Thursday, June 11, 2015 • Permalink