Lewis D. Alexander was called to the care of Ghent church in 1837. He was probably the most popular and successful preacher that ever lived within the limits of Concord Association. If eloquence consists in that quality of speaking which most moves the masses towards the purpose of the orator, Lewis Alexander was eloquent in an extraordinary degree. Yet it would be difficult for a critic to determine what his eloquence consisted in. He was ignorant of the first principles of grammar, and his English was decidedly bad. He seldom, or never, seemed impassioned in his address. He was a close, lifelong student of two books. He studied the Bible without the knowledge of rules of composition or interpretation; but he turned the silken leaves of the human heart with a delicacy that disclosed to his quick comprehension its inmost secrets. When he came before an audience, he applied the teachings
of the Bible to the wants of the people in a manner so simple that all understood and felt what he said. Even the educated forgot the rudeness of his language, and were thrillingly interested in what he taught.
Mr. Alexander was born in Wilkes county, N. C., Sept. 17, 1799. In the fall of 1803, he was brought by his father, Travis Alexander, to Scott county, Kentucky. Here he was brought up by pious Baptist parents. He was strictly moral from his childhood, but did not profess conversion, till 1823. In September of that year, he was baptized, with his wife, by James Suggett, into the fellowship of Stamping Ground church in Scott county. He was licensed to exercise a gift by that church, which he did, but only in public prayer and exhortation. In January, 1835, he moved to Owen county, and in March following, united with New Liberty church. In October of the same year, this church licensed him to preach, and, in July, 1836, he was ordained to the full work of the ministry, by Cornelius Duval, A. Suter, Wm. Morgan, John Scott, James D. Black, Mareen Duval, and Rockwood Giddings. The following year, he accepted a call to Ghent church, and served in this capacity 12 years. At this time, that church numbered 46 members; when he resigned, it numbered 169, having received by baptism, 163. In 1838, he was called to New Liberty church, of which he was a member. He preached to this church, one Sunday in the month, 24 years, during which 862 were baptized into its fellowship. Besides the two already named, he preached at different times to Whites Run, Emmaus, Cane Run, Salem, Owenton, Dallasburg, Carrollton, and Poplar Grove churches.
Mr. Alexander was 37 years old when he was ordained, and preached 26 years. His success was remarkable, from first to last. He died at his home in Owen county, December 20, 1862.
[John Henderson Spencer, A History of Kentucky Baptists, Volume II, 1885; reprint, CHR&A, 1984. Scanned by Jim Duvall.]
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