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      Editor's note: This Circular Letter is an early history of the association. A few paragraph breaks have been added to make it easier to read.

Miami Baptist Association (OH)
Circular Letter For 1829

      The Miami Baptist Association, to the Churches of which she is composed, sendeth this epistle of love:

      Our practice hitherto, will authorize you to expect an anniversary address from us in our present session, and with pleasure on our part we comply.

      This associate body has been moving onward since the year 1798, and is the oldest Association north of the Ohio River to the western country, and may be considered as a parent society, to the many daughters with which she is now surrounded. We think it cannot be uninteresting to our brethren to see in a condensed form, the progress she has made and to this we now invite your attention.

      The first council which met for the purpose of deliberating on the expediency of forming an Association north of the Ohio River, was convened in Columbia, Sept 23d, 1797 - and after passing some resolves for the prosecution of their plan, they adjourned, to meet at the Baptist meeting house in Columbia on the 4th November, 1797. They met pursuant to adjournment, and resolved to make the proper arrangements for an Association, and to meet as such at Columbia, June 3d, 1798. At this meeting the Association may date its origin. It was composed of four small churches viz: Columbia, Miami Island, Carpenters Run, and Clear Creek. From these four churches there was [sic] 13 messengers present. This little band of brethren, was thus formed in the midst of a fruitful and widely extended territory, but thinly inhabited, and ranged by wild beasts and savage men, and shaded by the thick foliage of the forest, where agriculture was but beginning to show its first traces, civilized man his habits of life, and the trumpet of the gospel here and there heard instead of the yell of the savage. Being thus formed the Association met and adjourned from time to time without any apparent difficulty through the year. At the meeting of Sept. 6th, 1799, at Columbia two more churches, viz: Middle Run and Straight Creek, was [sic] added to them. These six churches contained 185 members, & sent 19 delegates.

      Their next meeting was at Turtle Creek (now Lebanon) on the 13th September, 1800. At this meeting 4 new churches were added, viz; Fairfield, Sugar Creek. Beaver Creek and Elk Creek. - These 10 churches contained at that time 291 members. 28 had been baptised since their last meeting, and 14 rec'd by letter. The next anniversary was held at Carpenter's Run Church, Sept. 12th 1801 - at which 3 new churches were added to this body, viz: Bethlehem, Prairie, and Poplar Fork; 131 were baptised, and 61 received by letter, and the whole number this year was 13 churches and 467 members. The meeting of this Associalion on the 10th Sept. 1803 at Sugar Creek Church is the next on record, (from which it appears that the Minutes of one year have been lost,) at which 8 new churches were received, viz: Pleasant Run, Nine mile, Old Chillicothe, Clough Creek, Mill Run, Turtle Creek, Ceasar's Creek, Dry Fork of Whitewater - 5_ [not clear] were baptised this year, and the whole number was 21 churches containing 656 members. The convention of the

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Association on the 8th Sept. 1804 was at Duck Creek (formerly Columbia) church, at which two new churches were received, viz: Muddy Creek, and Mill Creek. the increase, or whole number of this year is to be found in the minutes, but by referring to the minutes of 1805, when the convention was at Pleasant Run Sept. 7th it appears that two churches, viz: Stony Run and Staunton were added in these two years, and their whole number was swelled to 743 - 31 of these were baptised this last year. On the 13th Sept. 1806, the Association met at Turtle Creek and received 5 new churches into union, viz: Union on Indian Creek, East Fork of Elkhorn, Ceder Grove, King's Creek and Union. Baptised this year 18, whole number 25 churches, 813 members. On the 12th Sept. 1807 the Associalion met at Beaver Creek, and received two new churches, Mad River and Mount Happy into union, the whole number this year was 830. - The next meeting was at Fairfield on the 9th Sept. 1808 when five new churches were added to them, viz: Lawrenceburgh, New-Hope, Mount Bethel, Twin Creek and Salem. The increase this year was 143 - of these 39 were baptised, and the whole number was 973. - Old Chillicothe having been dismissed from this body and united with other brethren had been formed into what is called the Scioto Asssociation, & was in correspondence with this body. The nest meeting was held at Elk Creek Sept. the 8th, 1809. - Little Beaver church was received which made their number 30 churches, 1123 members, 134 of which were baptised during the last year. At this meeting 8 churches were dismissed at their request to form the Whitewater Association, viz: Dry Fork of White water, East Fork, Elkhorn, Cedar Grove, Mount Happy, Lawrenceburgh, New Hope, Mt. Bethel and Twin Creek. These churches with others formed the White water Association and have ever since corresponded with us.

      On Sept. the 8th 1810 we met at Clough and received Bethel church into union, and found our number reduced to 844 members, 68 of which had been baptised during the last year, in the 21 churches yet remaining in our body. The Association for 1811 was held al Lebanon, formerly Turtle Creek church, and received Todd's Fork and Mill Creek churches into union, making the number of churches 23 - baptised this year 62, and the whole number 1012 members. At this meeting six churches, viz; Big Beaver, Little Beaver, King's Creek, Mad River, Union and Bethel were dismissed at their request to form the Mad River Associatton, which has ever since corresponded with us. Sept. the 12th 1812 we met at Carpenters Run, and Bethlehem church was received into union. This year 152 were baptised in the 18 churches which now composed our body, and our whole number was 839. The next Association was held at Duck Creek on the 11th, Sept. 1813. This year 27 were baptised and the total number was 904. Our next meeting was at Sugar Creek on the 10th September, 1814 when the following churches were received, viz: Tapscot, 1st Cincinnati and Stone Lick; 42 were baptized this year and the whole number 1008. This year the Association pursued measures for the formation of a Missionary Society, which was afterwards organised by a part of the churches, and continued only a few years. Our next meeting was at Elk Creek church

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Sept. 9th, 1815 when Wolf Creek, East Fork, Little Miami, and West Mill Creek churches were received into union, 33 were baptised this year. Our next meeting was at Pleasant Run Sept. 7th, 1816. - Springfield church was received this year and 100 were baptised and our total number was 1085; but we were again reduced in number, for the following 8 churches were dismissed by request to form the East Fork Litte Miami Association, viz: Duck Creek, Litte Miami, Clover Fork, Clough, Nine mile, Union on Indian, Straight Creek, Stone Lick and East Fork. These churches formed the E. F. L. M. Association and have ever since corresponded with us. The next meeting was at West Mill Creek, Sept. 13th, 1817 when we found our number reduced to 17 churches, 694 members, 27 of which had been baptised since our last meeting. Sept, 12th, 1818 we met at Lebanon and found our number increased to 817 - and 59 baptised this year. Our next anniversary was held at Springfield church Sept. 11, 1819 when Mount Pleasant church was received into union, 61 were baptised and the whole number was 714.

      The year 1820 we met at Sugar Creek Sept. the 9th and received Providence church into union, 71 were baptised and our whole number this year was 677. Our meeting of Sept. the 8th, 1821 was at Elk Creek when Middle Run and Mersers Run churches were received into union, 70 were baptised and onr whole number 791. Our next Association was held at Bethel church Sept. 7th, 1822; Lytle Creek and Bulah were received, 36 were baptised during this year,and our total number was 812. On the 13th, Sept. 1823 we met at West Fork Mill Creek and found our whole number 676, and 18 baptised. On the 11th Sept. 1824 we met at Lebanon, received Dayton church into union, 24 were baptised this year and our whole number was 739. We met at Clear Creek Sept. the 9th, 1825 and our whole number 825, and 50 were baptised this year. The next meeting was at Elk Creek Sept. 8th, 1826 - 50 were baptised this year and the whole number was 700 members and 23 churches. The 7th Sept. 1827 we met at Pleasant Run and found many of our churches were blessed with the refreshing from the presence of the Lord. The Dry Fork of Whitewater church by letter from Whitewater Association was received into our body again, and Salem, now Middletown, which had laid dormant for many years, being again revived, took her seat in the Association - 228 were baptised this year aud our whole number was 953. Middle Run and Mercers Run churches were droped [sic] out of our union at this session on account of some disorders which had been among them and had driven them into great inconsistencies. Our next meeting was at Lebanon Sept. 12, 1828 when Mount Bethel church being dismissed from Whitewater Association for that purpose, was received again into our body - 192 were baptised this year, and our whole number was 1121 members, and 24 churches in union.

      From this review it appears that, the Miami Association has been moving on as a body for about 31 years, in which time she has witnessed the baptism of about 1800 persons, within her borders, and from her has arisen the now flourishing Associations of Scioto, Whitewater, Straight Creek, Mad River, and E. F. Little Miami which

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have sent out their daughters into the different parts of this western country. While this mother Association has been been blessed to see her daughters circling round her and the forest in which she first began her march changed into fruitful fields, and the yell of the savage succeeded by the voice of praise; the sound of the war hoop has given way for the glad tidings of salvation. Towns and villages have sprung up under the diligent hand of industry, and the fostering care of the God of Providence; and instead of the fort or blockhouse, she sees temples erected for the worship of the King Eternal, and with gratitude may truly say hitherto the Lord hath helped me. The wilderness has blossomed as the rose, and the desert has been made glad; for instead of the sword and spear, we see the plough share and prooning hook. Although we have been so much blessed, yet we have often seen great cause for mourning; for many errors have showed their deformed faces within our borders, and have sorely afflicted some of our churches, so that they have met with us on some occasions in a mangled and bruised condition. A few of our churches are now almost extinct from this cause, but generally the churches in our body are moving on in peace and union. We are sorry to see that during the last year, a number of philosophers have taken a stand against the religion of our Lord and Saviour, and have been successful in breaking the peace of a few of our churches, and we lament to see some of our brethren in the ministry leading in this awful delusion. Dear brethren, remember the exhortation of the apostle: Mark such as cause division and have no company with them, for be assured their word will eat as doth a canker, and will lead to more ungodliness, for we may expect like the elders at Ephesus, that even among ourselves men of corrupt minds will rise up to draw off desciples [sic] after them. The apostle in characterizing the bishop, says, Not a novice, lest being young he be puffed up with pride and fall into the snares of the Devil; and while we would wish churches to encourage young men to stir up the gifts that are in them, yet we would urge the apostle's exhortation, lay hands suddenly on no man, and let the preachers be proved to be established in the faith, able to defend the truth against gainsayers, and feed the church of God, with the sincere milk of the word before he is called as a bishop or pastor.

      Our minutes of the present year will show the state of the churches, and now we commend yon to God, and to the word of his grace which is able to establish you and save you from error - Amen.
      S. GAUD Moderator.


[From Miami Baptist Association Minutes 1829, pp. 4-7. Document from the Miami Baptist Association Office, Cincinnati. Transcribed and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

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