In business, sometimes humanity gets lost in the gobbledygook.

Take our business, for example. In real estate, an oh-so-dry sounding title is actually the very exciting legal permission a buyer needs to say, “I own this place!” And a cold, detached-sounding title company is really an enlightened, dedicated group of people with their collective eye on one single prize: ensuring nothing can get between a buyer and their dream property.

At least, that’s how we think of ourselves at CentraLand Title Company. Ever since Temple’s very own Jerry Secrest and Richard Mewhinney founded the business in the 1980s, we’ve worked hard to turn a process often perceived as impersonal and frustrating into a positive (dare we say blissful) experience. For us, that means knowing our Central Texas market, using our manners, being available and communicative, offering convenience and, most importantly, providing a smooth-as-silk, surprise-free closing. Collectively, our people have been doing just that for more than 30 years, and the word on the street is that we do our jobs pretty well. In the decades since our doors opened, we’ve seen clients become friends and neighbors, and friends and neighbors become clients. We value and take pride in our close working relationships with other title companies, real estate professionals, lenders and attorneys in the Central Texas area and beyond. We make it a point to be solid professional partners as well as upstanding citizens of this community.

DAWNGaining respect in a region like ours requires integrity and dependability, and CentraLand has been in this business long enough to have it down to a science. Our approach is pretty simple, really. Buyers come to us with a transaction request and expectations of friendly professionalism, knowledge, accuracy and accountability. Our experienced staff meets those expectations by conducting a thorough and precise title examination punctuated by frequent, understandable communication. Then, without muss or fuss, we stand ready to close the transaction and issue a title policy to the buyer.

Straightforward? Yes. Cookie-cutter?  No. Because every transaction is different, we continually assess and update an array of services that enables us to meet every possible need.

Expedited title and escrow services for both commercial and residential transactions? Check. E-filing and e-signing options? Check. In-the-know assistance with 1031 exchanges? Check.In this time of rapid change, evolving technology and impersonal interactions, CentraLand knows that when we put customers first, good stuff follows for all. So, we’ll keep doing what we do best—providing quality customer service, holding up our end of the real estate bargain and cutting through the gobbledygook so more of our friends and neighbors can say, “I own this place!”

Our People

You may not need a title company often in life, but there is a long string of adjectives you should keep in mind when you do:  accurate, professional, experienced, efficient, creative and communicative. At CentraLand, your expectations and our expectations are one and the same, and our staff is committed to simplifying the closing process, saving you time and money, and being a trusted partner. We have sat at the table with countless clients on one of the most exciting days of their lives.

Our principals are long-time Bell County real estate professionals, and their expertise and knowledge are valuable resources. CentraLand’s hands-on approach to success is evident.


Thomas Baird

Thomas Baird received his BA from Texas Tech in 1975, followed by a JD from the University of Texas in 1977. Thomas Baird takes great pride in his work as an actively involved partner with CentraLand. Thomas also is a founding shareholder in the law firm of Baird, Crews, Schiller & Whitaker, P.C. He leads the firm’s Estate Planning, Business Entities, Family Business Succession Planning, and Real Estate practices. He has lectured and written extensively on estate planning topics, tax planning matters, law office technology and innovation, trusts, limited liability companies, and limited partnerships. Thomas has an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell and has been rated a  Super Lawyer every year since 2003.*  bcswlaw.com

Jerry Secrest

Jerry Secrest received his Bachelor of Laws degree from Baylor University in 1968 after receiving his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Baylor in 1966. After some time as a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Jerry returned to his hometown of Temple, Texas, to join the Bell County District Attorney’s Office and later entered the private practice of law in 1973. In 1985, Jerry opened CentraLand Title Company with Richard Mewhinney and continues to be a co-owner with attorney Thomas Baird. Jerry has an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell, is a Sustaining Life Fellow in the Texas Bar Foundation and focuses his law practice on real estate and other transactional work. Jerry maintains a law practice in Temple as a partner in the Secrest Law Firm.   secrestlawfirm.com

Jamey Secrest

Jamey Secrest received his Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Baylor University with a concentration in general civil litigation in 1999 and began his law practice in Temple upon admission to the State Bar of Texas that same year. He has served as President of the Bell County Young Lawyers Association and was honored by his peers as the Bell County Young Lawyer of the Year in 2003. Jamey has a general civil law practice in Temple with the Secrest Law Firm, focusing on real estate, transactional work, probate, wills and litigation. secrestlawfirm.com

Linda Chaison

In Memoriam – Linda Chaison, longtime former President of CentraLand, provided years of experience and valuable knowledge on a consulting basis. CentraLand was grateful to have Linda’s wisdom and exceptional business sense when she assisted with special projects.  Linda passed away in December of 2021.

* Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.

Super Lawyers Magazine features the list and profiles of selected attorneys and is distributed to attorneys in the state or region and the ABA-accredited law school libraries. Super Lawyers is also published as a special section in leading city and regional magazines across the country.

In the United States, Super Lawyers Magazine is published in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., reaching more than 13 million readers.