ELDER F. J. GLEISS was born in Prussia, Germany, September 19, 1826. In 1854 he came to Texas, and was converted in February, 1856, among the Methodists, who licensed him to preach in 1860. Having been thrown into the company of some Baptists, he became convinced that infant baptism was unscriptural, and after a personal search of the Scriptures, he declared that he could sprinkle no more babies; that he did not believe in falling from grace, and that the Episcopal church government was unscriptural. He applied for membership in the small German Baptist church at Greenvine, Washington county, Texas, and he and his consecrated wife was baptized in 1868 by Rev. F. Kiefer. He was at once the first German Baptist pastor in Texas, Dr. Keifer spending his time in evangelistic work and studying medicine. After serving this church very acceptably for about seven years, in which time he built up this church and organized two others, he resigned and took up work in Gonzales county. Here he labored as pastor and missionary till 1885, and organized one more church. From 1885 till 1887 he was missionary in Brenham, Washington county, and from 1887 till 1893, pastor of Cottonwood church, Falls county, near Mooreville. Since 1893 he has been living at Waco, the most of this time acting as pastor of the German Baptist church of Waco. Our brother has been permitted to see 16 German Baptist churches spring up in Texas, with 14 ministers.
Source: J. L. Walker and C. P. Lumpkin, History of the Waco Baptist Association of Texas (Waco: Byrne-Hill Printing House, 1897), pp. 306-308.