Alexander Warren LaRue
Kentucky Pastor / Editor
By E. C. Goins
Alexander Warren LaRue was called as pastor of the Bracken Church in 1842. He succeeded A. D. Sears. Rev. LaRue was born in what is now LaRue County, Kentucky, January 23, 1819. His paternal grandfather was John LaRue, who was of French extraction, and settled in the county which bears his name in 1785. He left the Presbyterian church and joined the Baptist Church and was a distinguished and honored citizen. His father, Squire LaRue, was assistant Circuit Judge of his district, represented Hardin County in the Kentucky Legislature in 1822, was a member of the Baptist Church, and of him, it is written, "He filled every place to which he was called, with dignity and honor." The mother of A. W. LaRue was a daughter of Alexander McDougal, who was a native of Ireland, and a faithful Baptist preacher.
A. W. LaRue was born in what is now LaRue County, January 23, 1819. He was led to Christ under the ministry of his cousin, Rev. S. L. Helm, and was baptized into the fellowship of Severns Valley Baptist Church, Elizabethtown, Kentucky by Rev. Coleman Lovelace, September 7, 1838. He was licensed to preach November 3, 1838. Having taken an academic course at Elizabethtown, he entered Georgetown College in 1839 where he graduated in 1842. Soon after graduation, he was called to the pastorate of Flemingsburg Baptist Church, Flemingsburg, Kentucky and also to the pastorate of Bracken Baptist Church at Minerva, Kentucky, and in addition, supplied two other pulpits in the Bracken Association. He was ordained at the Flemingsburg Baptist Church, December 4, 1842. In this field, he labored with great success and usefulness nearly seven years not only preaching to the charge of four churches but laboring abundantly throughout the territory of the Bracken Association. In 1849, his health, having become greatly enfeebled from excessive labor and exposure, he moved to Louisville, Kentucky, and entered into partnership with the distinguished Rev. William Calmes Buck, by which he became co-editor and part owner of the paper now so widely known as the "WESTERN RECORDER." He was connected with the Journal about four years, until 1853. Concurrently with the paper he was pastor of Banks Street Baptist Church and for a time was pastor of East Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky. In January, 1853, having severed his connection with the paper, he accepted a call to the Harrodsburg Baptist Church at Harrodsburg, Kentucky. He pastored this church until the summer of 1856. Foliowing his ministry at Harrodsburg, Kentucky, he accepted a call to the pastorate of the Georgetown Baptist Church, Georgetown, Kentucky. He remained with this church until 1859. In August, 1859, he accepted the pastorate of the Stanford Baptist Church, Stanford, Kentucky. Here he remained until the year 1863. In 1856, he moved to Christian County where he became pastor of the Salem Baptist Church. Before he had been there a year, his wife died suddenly of an attack of neuralgia of the brain. She was a daughter of Elijah Craig, Jr. and grand-daughter of Rev. Lewis Craig. She was a noble and godly woman, and was the strength of her household. Rev. LaRue was frail and extremely sensitive and refined in his feeling. The shock was greater than his constitution could bear. His wife died July 19, 1864 and he followed her to the place of everlasting rest on September 11, 1864.
Mr. LaRue was not a genius, neither did he possess a superior native intellect. He was but a medium man in all of his gifts. But his application, his industry and well-tempered zeal were extraordinary. Few men were more consecrated to the cause of Christ, or made a deeper impression upon the minds and hearts of those he came in contact. His usefulness in the cause of Christ was very extensive and a multitude of Christian's hearts mourned when the beloved Mr. LaRue, great in goodness, was felled in the prime of life. The old house of worship, built by Lewis Craig and rescued from the Campbell Movement under the ministry of A. W. LaRue, was dilapidated, so much so, that it was unfit for worship service and a new building was erected in the Village of Minerva. Since 1850 the church has continued to decline in membership. About 1900
the meeting house ceased to be occupied as a place of worship. The building was used as a community center until 1930 when the property was sold by the remaining members to a private citizen for $280.00. The money was given to Bracken Association, with the designation that it would be used for the enclosing of the graves of Lewis Craig and his wife. On the fence is a plaque which records a brief biography of Rev. Craig's life. In October 1930, the unveiling ceremony was held with Dr. John R. Sampey as the principal speaker.
[From E. C. Goins, Kentucky Baptist Historical Society Newsletters, Vol. 8, #l, pp. IV-V, via Internet. Document provided by Adam Winters, SBTS Archivist, Louisville. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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