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The Bethel Baptist Association, 1829
Meeting at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church
Marengo County, Alabama

The Bethel Baptist Association held its last meeting from the 2nd to the 5th of Oct. 1829, at Mount Pleasant church, Marengo County, Alabama. The whole number of communicants is 779; the additions by baptism for the previous year were 153, and the net gain about 180.

      The whole number of ordained ministers is 15, and of licentiates 3; the following are the names of the ordained ministers: Y. Yarbrough, J. Collier, W. Clark, W. Fluker, J. W. Wilson, S. Perkins, J. Anderson, J. Ellis, J. W. Weils, F. Tucker, L. Spinks, K. Warren, R. Dougherty, J. Shoemaker and J. Williams.

      REMARKS. This body in its circular letter denies the admissibility of worldly testimony against its members. What if a court of justice should publicly convict a member of an offence against the laws, and the charge of immorality should thus be fastened upon that member according to the rules of law and evidence? Would any church still persist in retaining within its communion such a member because the accusation had been established before a worldly tribunal?

      The circular letter is on the subject of church government; but do the worthy brethren in this Association really think that the little points of order which regulate the discussions of church meetings, are any part of Church Government? The parliamentary rules of the legislature, is no part of the laws of the state. Church government in our view, comprises the constitution, officers, and discipline of the church. We do not perceive, either from the Minutes or Circular letter, that this Association has any distinct object or objects to be accomplished by the union of its churches.

      We would persuade ourselves that a christian body so considerable for its piety and talents, at one of its solemn, annual meetings, in a new country where the Gospel must be greatly needed, devised and executed many good things for the honor of Christ, which do not appear in its proceedings.

[From W. T. Brantley, editor, The Christian Index, Volume I, Philadelphia, 1829, p. 146. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

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