The members and messengers who composed the General Association held at Burrus’s meeting house in Caroline county first Friday in October, 1788, to the Baptist Churches whom we severally represent wisheth Grace, Mercy and Peace thorough our Lord Jesus Christ
Dearly beloved brethren, we have to inform you that our meeting was in much fellowship, that during our session all our consultatius [sic] was conducted with that good order and brotherly kindness which bespeaketh the Spirit of the Lord residing over our assembly. Several matters of Importance ware [sic] agreed to by us as
1st. Recommended that our general association and general committees should be composed as well of Laity and Clergy.
2nd. That members who are heads of families and neglect worship should be admonished.
3rd. That churches who are not supplied with Pastors shouid [sic] endeavor to call ministers to take the pastoral care of them.
4th. That baptized persons who refuse to join Society whould be non-fellowshiped by the Church where they reside.
5th. That it is not allowable for a member possessing slaves to part man and wife except where he has used his utmost endeavours to retain together under the penalty of his being excluded from Society.
6th. That our general association be discontinued.
7th. That our upper District association at Brother Amons meeting-house in Culpepper meet the second Friday in May, 1789, and our lower District association shall be held at Noel’s meeting-house in King and Queen County the 3d Friday in May, 1789 – our General Committee to be held in the City of Richmond 2d Saturday in August, 1789. For further particulars we refer you, the Churches, to their delegate – and now dear Brethren we exhort to Love and Good Works – follow peace with all men and Holyness – and may God humble you so to do.
Signed by order and behalf of the association. WILLIAM WEBBER, Moderator.
REUBEN FORD, Clerk.
1st Question. Is it necessary that our association and general committee be composed as well of Laity as Clergy?
Answer. It is the opinion of this association that they ought to be composed of each. Nevertheless this question is referred to the General Committee.
2d Question. Whether it is lawful for a black member to marry a white person?
3d. What is to be done with a slave that appears to be useful in the ministry?
Answer. Such a person to be encouraged but not ordained.
4th Question. Whether a black woman be a subject for baptism that has another woman’s husband and not knowing at the time and got convictions since.
Answer. She is a subject for baptism under the circumstances.
5th Question. What shall be done with a member that neglects family worship?
Answer. If such be heads of families they should be admonished.
6th Question. Whether churches not supplied with ministers shall be advised to call disengaged ministers?
Recommend in the strongest manner.
Elder John Leland, Wm Webber and Reuben Ford on a motion these brethren were appointed to preach on Sunday the 10th day of October, A.D. 1788.
From The Baptist Argus, January 6, 1898, p. 2; via Baylor U. digital documents. Grammar unchanged. Transcribed and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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