I returned from Lake Jackson yesterday, and had promised friends to report what I heard there about Ron Paul. I preached both services at a church in Lake Jackson on Sunday. In the morning, my message concerned pastors (shepherds) who neglect or abuse the flock, and will be held responsible for not doing their job. In the evening, I spoke on the text, "We have this treasure in earthen vessels," which refers to the Gospel message, entrusted to mere mortals, who nevertheless were willing to endure hardship and abuse for its sake. I used an actual clay pottery vessel as an illustration.
After each service, I went out to eat and fellowship with members, and not being a big talker anyway, kept my ears open for comments on their "favorite son." In one case, I asked them to tell me about him, but otherwise did not intrude myself with questions, preferring to garner an objective view. Overall, they seemed to agree that he was a fine man with a reputable medical practice, who told people the truth as he saw it, without obfuscation. On the other hand, they did not express approval of his policies, in particular his anti-war stance, and apparently were not active supporters. In general, they seemed more supportive of President Bush, especially his willingness to take on the terrorists -- in contrast to Bill Clinton, whose response to attacks during his administration had been token at best.
I did see some Ron Paul signs around town, but there did not seem to be much fanfare. There are a lot of Hispanics in the area, who are likely Democrat voters.
Lake Jackson seems to be a very nice little city, forming a metropolitan area with adjacent Clute and Richwood. It is located SSW of Houston, SW of Alvin (Nolan Ryan's hometown), and just a few miles inland from the popular Freeport resort area. The trip by road was just about 100 miles for me, living as I do East of Houston. The terrain to the immediate SW seems to be low-lying and swampy, so that the town is not expanding in that direction. A local park I visited had a hike and bike trail going to the other side of a high levee, with "watch for alligators" warning signs. There were a lot of large water birds around the area, including herons, egrets, and seagulls.
Nearby Brazoria was the headquarters of Stephen F. Austin's "Old Three Hundred" colony. He was originally buried there at his plantation, but was later moved to the state cemetery in Austin. A 70-foot statue of Austin stands north of Lake Jackson near Angleton, like the statue of Sam Houston at Huntsville. Brazoria was the first capitol of the Republic of Texas. Unfortunately, the capitol and other historic buildings were destroyed in the 1900 Galveston hurricane, the worst natural disaster in U.S. history, in which an estimated 10,000 died.