Thomas Paul Deaton
Pastor FBC Hillsborough, 1948-1950
The church minutes dated September 19, 1947 indicate that the church was searching for a supply pastor while continuing to look for a full-time minister. The minutes end abruptly after January 8, 1947 and do not continue being recorded until October 8, 1952.* However a note of explaination is added to the minutes later covering the time between September 1947 and January 1948. “Rev. Paul Deaton was called from Parkton Baptist Church and began his pastorate on January 11, 1948. The note adds that “Bro. Deaton resigned January 31, 1950. During this time very little progress was made. In short, there was much friction among members. Church offerings were in such condition that we requested Dr. Charles Maddry, former pastor, to come meet with us and help reorganize.”1 An article in the Biblical Recorder written by John Clayton, moderator of the Hillsboro Church confirmed Deaton’s resignation to become pastor of Mount Carmel Church near Asheville, NC on January 1, 1951. Clayton describes the Deatons as being of sterling character. “Mr. Deaton is a faithful pastor, an aggressive promoter of the work, and a sincere preacher of the Gospel. “Mrs. Deaton has rendered an efficient service in the music, WMS, and other phases of our church program. They are graduates of our Seminary and Training School in Louisville, KY, in the class of 1944.” He closes by commending them to their new work and offers his prayers and good wishes.2 Dr. Maddry is asked to serve as interim pastor until another full-time pastor can be secured.
Deaton was born April 23, 1917 near Wadesboro, Anson County, NC. He was the son of William Deaton and Mary Maldin. He graduated as a ministerial student from High Point College in 1941 and went on to attend the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY, graduating in 1944. On June 6, 1944 he married Jewell Futch in Jacksonville, FL. They apparently met as students at the Seminary. Jewell was born February 8, 1919 at New Haven, CT, the daughter of Freeman H. and Adelaide Colvin Futch. The Deatons had two sons, Thomas Paul Deaton, Jr. and Timothy Futch Deaton.3
Prior to coming to Hillsboro, Deaton was pastor of two churches in Robeson County, Lumber Bridge Baptist Church and Parkton Baptist Church (1944-1948). Upon his leaving, the Parkton Church wrote that “Mr. and Mrs. Deaton have faithfully served three years and three months during which time our church has grown spiritually and financially. The letter of appreciation describes Deaton as “an excellent preacher whose whole heart is in his work.”4 After Hillsboro, Deaton spent one year at Mount Carmel Baptist Church near Ashville and then moved his family to Jacksonville, FL where he and Jewell had been married. Deaton served as pastor of Ortega Baptist and Normandy Village Baptist in Jacksonville from 1951 to 1969. He also taught school from 1955 to 1973, continuing as a substitute teacher until his death.3 Jewell served as secretary in Discipleship Training Department of Florida Baptist Convention for 25 years. As a pastor’s wife, she taught Sunday school, sang in the choir and taught discipleship courses.5
Deaton died on June 13, 1994 in Jacksonville, Duval County, FL. Jewell died on December 18, 1998 in Hickory, NC where her son lived at the time. Both are buried in Riverside Memorial Park, Jacksonville, FL. They were members of the Avondale Baptist Church.5
- Minutes of First Baptist Church Hillsborough, NC from November 19, 1853 to December 2, 1953.
- Dr. Maddry to be Interim Pastor Hillsboro. (January 20, 1951) Biblical Recorder, p. 19, Retrieved at: http://recorder.zsr.wfu.edu/Default/Skins/WakeforestA/Client.asp?skin=WakeforestA&AW=1333247219577&AppName=2
- Decedents of James Brooks. Accessed at: http://hughesheritage.org/genealogy_reports/gen_rpt_brooks.pdf
- In appreciation of Rev. T. Paul Deaton. (February 11, 1948) Biblical Recorder, p. 14, Retrieved at: http://recorder.zsr.wfu.edu/Default/Skins/WakeforestA/Client.asp?skin=WakeforestA&AW=1333247219577&AppName=2
- The Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville, FL. Obituaries: Deaton. Accessed at: http://jacksonville.com/tu-online/obituaries/archives/619_21_December_1998.html
Compiled by Reginald Carter, Historian, FBC Hillsborough
Last Updated: May 1, 2013