(b. Hayesville, Clay County, N. C., May 6, 1867; d. Dallas, Tex., July 7, 1944). Pastor, Southern and world Baptist leader. The seventh child of Charles L. and Mary R. (Kimsey) Truett, he graduated from Hayesville Academy in 1885; he was converted and joined Hayesville Baptist Church in 1886. Truett, founder and principal of Hiawassee Academy, Towns County, Ga., 1887-89, followed his parents when they moved to Whitewright, Grayson County, Tex., in 1889, where the Whitewright Baptist Church ordained him to the ministry in 1890. As financial secretary of Baylor University, Waco, Truett raised $92,000 in 23 months (1891-93) to wipe out Baylor’s indebtedness. Following this he entered Baylor as a freshman in Sept., 1893, and graduated with the A.B. degree in June, 1897. Truett married Josephine Jenkins of Waco in 1894 and served as student-pastor of East Waco Baptist Church while at Baylor.
He became pastor of the First Baptist Church, Dallas, in Sept. 1897, and remained there until his death in July, 1944. During his 47 year pastorate, membership increased from 715 to 7,804; a total of 19,531 new members were received, and total contributions were $6,027,741.52. President of the Southern Baptist Convention, 1927-29, and of the Baptist World Alliance,
1934-39, Truett was a trustee of Baylor University; Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth; and Baylor Hospital, Dallas. Constantly in demand for evangelistic, academic, and denominational sermons and addresses, Truett, in addition to his pastorate, was for 37 summers preacher to the "Cowboy Camp Meetings" in west Texas; he preached to Allied Forces for six months in World War I, by appointment of President Woodrow Wilson; he made an address on Baptists and Religious Liberty, on the Capitol steps, Washington, D. C., May 16, 1920; he went on a preaching tour in South America during the summer of 1930; he was the sole American speaker on the program of the Spurgeon Centenary, London, England, in Apr., 1934; he toured world mission fields as president of the Baptist World Alliance in 1935-36.
Since Truett’s death, religious, educational, and healing institutional buildings erected or designated as memorials to him are the seven-story educational building of First Baptist Church, Dallas; Truett Auditorium, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; Memorial Chapel, Dallas; three Truett memorial churches located in Denver, Colo.; Hayesville, N. C.; and Los Angeles, Calif.; Truett-McConnell Junior College, Cleveland, Ga.; Baptist Orphanage, Nazareth, Israel; and the Truett Building of Baylor Hospital erected at a cost of $5,500,000.
His published works, compiled and edited by others, include 10 volumes of his sermons, two volumes of addresses, and two volumes of his annual Christmas messages which originally appeared as personal letters to a large list of friends. His authorized biography, entitled George W. Truett-A Biography, by Powhatan W. James has appeared in six issues, five by the Macmillan Co., New York (1939-45) and the sixth, "Memorial Edition," by Broadman Press, Nashville (1953)
James, Powhatan W. George W. Truett – A Biography, 1939.
Wheeler, David Edward. "An evaluation of the evangelism of George W. Truett as related to his ministry at the First Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas," 1994.
Price, John Milburn. Ten men from Baylor, 1945.
Archival sources in Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives
Truett, George W. Papers, Microfiche #119.
Dawson, Joseph Martin. Papers, 1935-1954. AR. 115.
Truett, George W. Collection, Various material, 73 items. AR. 447.