Baptist History Homepage

The Beginning of the Alexander Campbell Movement
[And Its Impact on Kentucky Baptist Churches]
By Frank M. Masters
      The purpose of giving special consideration to the life and work of Alexander Campbell is for the reason that this distinguished Reformer was associated, for nearly two decades, with the people called Baptists, in such a way as to result in one of the greatest and fiercest religious controversies recorded in American church history. He introduced this raging conflict among the Baptists of Kentucky, where it terminated in the division of the opposing forces, and the forming of another denomination. Here in Kentucky this noted Reformer not only set forth a system of theology contrary to the Baptist faith, but he became the greatest opposer of a missionary activities of all who ever appeared in the State.1

      Since the religious career of Alexander Campbell before he appeared in Kentucky is of such extraordinary importance, it is very necessary therefore, that brief attention be given to his life, prior to that time.

      Alexander, the son of Thomas and Jane Campbell, was born in Antrim County, Ireland, September 12, 1788. His father, who was a prominent minister in the Seceder Presbyterian Church was born in Down, Ireland, February 1, 1763, and educated in Glasgow University, Scotland. After the birth of Alexander, the father, Thomas Campbell, moved his family from Antrim County, Ireland, to Market Hill in Armah County, where he labored part time as a probational minister and engaged in teaching school. 2

      In 1798, when Alexander was about ten years old, the father accepted a good pastorate at Ahorey, not far from Rich Hill. He placed Alexander in an elementary boarding school and later sent him to an academy where he spent two or three years. When the son was seventeen years of age he became an assistant to his father, who had opened an academy at Rich Hill. Here Alexander developed intellectually under the guiding hand of his father. During this time of teaching, Alexander, after a long struggle under conviction of sin, was converted, and received into the Seceder Presbyterian Church at Ahorey, where his father was pastor.

      In the meantime, Thomas Campbell, the father, began to make many influential friends among the Independent Sandemanian Sect, who oppose all creeds, observed the Lord's Supper weekly, and contended for the literal interpretation of the Scriptures, claiming to speak only where the Word of God speaks. There was at Rich Hill one of these independent congregations, which was supplied with preaching by the Sandemanian ministers, among whom one James Walker was the most prominent. He had left the State Church and joined with the Independents. Thomas Campbell would preach to his own church in the morning and hear the Sandemanian ministers in the evening. Under this influence Thomas Campbell soon began to advocate a more frequent observance of the Lord's Supper, but he made little impression on his Presbyterian congregation while his Presbytery was indifferent in to this theory. 3

      After several years of pastoral work combined with teaching, the health of Thomas Campbell began to fail, and his physician advised a sea voyage across the Atlantic. He heeded this advice and sailed for America on April 8, 1807, leaving his family in Ireland to follow later. He landed in Philadelphia in May, 1807, and found on his arrival that the Synod of the Seceder Presbyterians was in session. He presented his credentials and was cordially received and assigned work in Washington County in Western Pennsylvania. He located in the town of Washington which had a population of about five hundred people. Soon many of his Ireland friends began to arrive from the vicinity of Rich Hill, and they continued to come until he was surrounded by many of his old parishioners from Ireland. Among these immigrants was James Foster and his company, who were strict Sandemanians. The Seceder congregations, though weak in a thinly settled country, were delighted with the new minister and regarded him the strongest preacher in their midst.4

      During the Summer of 1808, Thomas Campbell arranged for his family, left in Ireland, to join him in America. Accordingly, Alexander with his mother and sisters took shipping on October 8, but one week later the vessel was wrecked off the coast of Scotland, where they spent two weeks. They found it was impossible to obtain passage for some time, and since winter was coming on, they decided to settle in Glasgow, Scotland, that Alexander might attend the University there. He was nineteen, and there had been no opportunity for him to attend college. His education had been so haphazard, that it was necessary for him to take private class work in addition to his college classes. His course of study included Latin, Greek, French, Logic and Philosophy.5

      While in the University of Glasgow, young Alexander did not affiliate with the Presbyterian church, though a member, but attended services regularly at a great Tabernacle, seating over two thousand people. There Greville Ewing was pastor. He was one of the strongest adherents to the Sandemanian Cult. This wing of the Sandemanians under Greville Ewing practiced sprinkling for baptism, held to infant baptism, and observed the Lord's Supper weekly. The young student, Alexander, came completely under the influence of Ewing and absorbed his teachings. The biographer says: "Alexander's stay at Glasgow, while it left his main purpose unaltered, was destined to work an entire revolution in his views and feelings in respect to the existing denominations, and to disengage his sympathies entirely from the Seceded denomination and every other form of Presbyterianism."

      "The change seems to have been occasioned chiefly through his intimacy with Greville Ewing. This gentleman seemed to take a special interest in Alexander and in the family, and performed so many kind offices in their behalf, that he became greatly endeared to them."6

      While the son, Alexander, was pursuing his studies in the University at Glasgow, Thomas Campbell, the father, was contending with the Seceder Presbyterians in America. He had delivered a sermon before his several congregations, condemning the irregular observance of the Lord's Supper, and advocated that the members of other branches of Presbyterians, as well as the Seceders, who were neglecting the ordinance, should all join in its observance weekly. At the next meeting of the Presbytery complaints were made that Thomas Campbell had "failed to inculcate strict adherence to the Church standard and usages, and had even expressed his disapproval of some things in said standard and of the uses made of them." The Presbytery requested the accused to state his private views. He then arose and pleaded for Christian liberty and fraternity, but spoke against partyism and contended for the Bible as the only standard of faith. But the Presbytery found him deserving of censure, for not adhering to the "Secession Testimony." The accused protested against this.7

      The case was submitted to the Synod at its next session and Thomas Campbell saw that, if the decision of the Presbytery was adopted, he would be excluded from the Seceder Presbytery ministry. He prepared a communication, which he read before the Synod, making some concessions. The opposition, however, developed in his Presbytery to such an extent that he found it his duty to separate himself from all connections with such an intolerant religious body. He then presented to the Synod a formal renunciation of its authority. It is stated that "his withdrawal from the Seceders occasioned no interruption in his ministerial labors" though the doors of their churches were closed against him. Large numbers attended his ministration, wherever it was in power to hold services. Large portion of the congregations were from the Seceder Presbyterian churches, because of the influence he exerted over them in Washington arid Allegheny Counties.

      Thomas Campbell's plan of Christian Union based on the Bible appealed to different classes. He received a special help from his many friends from Ireland, who shared his Sandemanian views. Some of his followers were not members of any church organization. He gathered around him a heterogeneous crowd of church members and those of no church. A special meeting was called that a definite plan of cooperation might be set forth. "The time appointed having arrived, there was a very general assembling at the place designated. All seemed to feel the importance of the occasion and to realize the responsibilities of their position." Thomas Campbell then laid before the assembly the platform for Christian Union and closed with the slogan: "That where the Scriptures speak, we speak, and where the Scriptures are silent, we are silent." 8

      When this slogan was announced there was confusion and division. Some said it condemned infant baptism, others said this practice should be condemned. The result of this preliminary meeting was the organizing of all the followers of Thomas Campbell with all their diversity of opinions into the "Christian Association of Washington." The first action of this new organization was to appoint Thomas Campbell to prepare a "Declaration" which meant rules and regulations. The Declaration for the "Christian Association" was not to be the constitution of a church, as then and now existing but to be a Declaration of a purpose to institute a society of "Voluntary Advocates for Church Reformation."9

      During the Summer of 1809, while Thomas Campbell was busy preparing the Constitution for the "Christian Association," he arranged for his family to join him in America. Alexander, the son, finished his seven months' session at the University of Glasgow, May, 1809, and spent the summer in Hellensburg, Scotland, a seaport town, tutoring, while waiting for a suitable ship in which to sail for America with his mother and sisters. They entered on the voyage, August 5, 1809, and arrived in Philadelphia, October 5, having spent several days in New York. The family set out at once for Washington, Washington County, Pennsylvania, at a distance of three hundred and fifty miles over a rough road crossing the Alleghany Mountains. The meeting of the mother and children with husband and father, from whom they had been separated so long, was very affecting.

      The meeting of the father, Thomas Campbell, with the son, Alexander, after the long separation, was of mutual benefit, because of the changed religious experiences through which each had passed. It is known that the father related to the son in detail the religious trials and persecutions, which he had suffered at the hands of the Seceder Clergy, while he was trying to promote Christian Union. He described how he was slandered for the truth's sake and driven out of the Synod. Alexander was filled with indignation at the treatment his father had received from the Seceder ministry.

      The Declaration for the Christian Association prepared by Thomas Campbell, already referred to, was being issued from the press, when Alexander, the son, arrived. He read the document carefully as it came from the press. The Biographer says: "To all the propositions and reasonings Alexander Campbell gave at once his hearty approbation, as they expressed most clearly the convictions to which he had himself been brought by his experience and observation in Scotland, and by his reflections upon the state of religious society at large."

      Young Alexander turned from every remunerative offer made him that he might give his support to "the principles and views presented in the Declaration and Address." He agreed with his father to devote himself to the ministry and resolved never to receive any compensation for his labor. The father advised the son to take up the Divine Book and devote at least six months to its study.10

      Many of the members of the Christian Association, who lived in the community of Buffalo Creek, decided to erect a house of worship, where they could meet and carry out the principles of the Society, to be known as the Brush Run meeting house. A stand was placed on the site under the trees and Alexander Campbell was requested to deliver the first discourse, which he did, using the text, "Though thy beginning was small, thy latter end should greatly increase" (Job 8:7). This sermon was delivered September 10, 1810, two days before his twenty-second birthday.11

      Thomas Campbell soon became greatly concerned about the directions the Christian Association was taking, though it was "under the regular ministration of Alexander and himself;" and yet the Society was rapidly "taking the position of a distinct religious body." He saw that instead of putting an end to partyism in religion, he was adding another party.

      While Thomas Campbell was aware that the Seceder Presbyterians would have nothing more to do with him, he turned to the Regular Presbyterians, and made an effort to unite the Christian Association with their Synod, which was to meet in Washington, October 10, 1810. He laid a formal request for the union before the Synod, and was invited to make a statement of his case before the body. The Synod made a lengthy reply to the request closing thus: "And further for the above and many other important reasons, it was resolved, that Mr. Campbell's request to be received into ministerial and Christian communion cannot be granted."

      Finally, Thomas Camplbell decided that the Christian Association should be constituted into a church, "On account of the continued hostility of the different parties," and for "the enjoyment of those privileges and the performance of those duties which belong to the church relation,"

      It is well to observe that the Christian Association of Washington, Washington County, Pennsylvania, founded by Thomas Campbell, after his separation from the Seceder Presbyterian Synod, was composed of all classes of members. Out of the mixed multitude made up of church members, and non-church members, believers and unbelievers, baptized and not baptized, a New Testament church is about to be organized after the Apostolic order. Beginning May 2, 1811 was the date set for changing the Christian Association into a church.

      Thomas Campbell announced the requirements for membership in the new Church. He "deemed it proper that each member should give some personal and public evidence of a fitting knowledge of the way of salvation; and he proposed therefore that each member should be required to give a satisfactory answer to the question: 'What is the meritorious cause of a sinner's acceptance with God?'" All stood the test question, except two who were rejected. On Saturday, May 4, a meeting was held at Brush Run in the unfinished meeting house for the purpose of completing the church organization composed of those who had met the test questions. Some one asked whether James Foster, the Sandemanian was a member, not being present when the test question was propounded. Some said he was not a member, but Alexander Campbell said, "Certainly, James Foster is a member, having been with us from the beginning, and his religious sentiments being perfectly well known to all." The test question was not given to James Foster, nor to any other person after this.

      The organization of the church was completed by appointing Thomas Campbell, Elder, and choosing four deacons, James Foster, John Dawson, George Sharp, and William Gilcrest. Then Alexander Campbell was licensed to preach. One of the Psalms was sung in the old metrical version as the Seceders sang. Thus the Christian Association of Washington was constituted into a church by Thomas Campbell and Alexander Campbell at the Brush Run meeting house on Saturday, the fourth day of May, 1811.12

      On the following day, Sunday, May 5, the newly organized church met to hold the first communion service. Sermons were preached by Alexander Campbell and by his father, Thomas Campbell. "James Bryant and one or two others, who had given satisfactory answers to the test question proposed by Thomas Campbell, did not partake with the rest at the Lord's Supper, which according to the custom of the Independent churches in Scotland was now celebrated weekly." Joseph Bryant replied that he did not consider himself authorized to partake of the supper, as he had not been baptized. Two other persons refused for the same reason. These were Margaret Fullerton, a daughter of a Baptist, and Abraham Altars, whose father had been a Deist.

      The stand taken by these three, demanding immersion, raised a perplexing question for the new organization to answer. If these persons had been willing to submit to sprinkling according to Greville Ewing's type of Sandemanism there would have been no trouble. Alexander Campbell, who had been licensed to preach by the new church, still held to infant baptism and admitted he had given little or no consideration to the form of baptism. Joseph Bryant, who demanded baptism, was a very influential man in their midst. He had led in building the Brush Run meeting house, and later, would be united in marriage to Dorothea Campbell, the sister of Alexander.13

      It is interesting to observe how this situation was met. After a period of two months following this communion service, Thomas Campbell consented to immerse these three persons. The baptizing took place July 4, 1811, in a deep pool on Buffalo Creek, about two miles above the mouth of Brush Run. The pool was narrow and so deep that the water came up to the shoulders of the candidates when they entered it. Thomas Campbell, then, without going into the water, stood on a root projecting over the edge of the pool, and bent down their heads until they were buried in the liquid grave, in each case, repeating the baptismal formula. This first baptism in the new church brought more trouble to Thomas Campbell, James Foster, the Sandemanian preacher from Rich Hill, Ireland, was not pleased with the manner of the baptism, claiming that he did not "think it congruous that one who had not himself been immersed, should immerse others."14

      Another interesting action took place in the new Brush Run Church. On January 1, 1812, Alexander Campbell was ordained to the ministry by the same body that licensed him some months before. He had received only sprinkling for baptism and had not changed his views either as to the act or subject of baptism. On September 1, 1812, the certificate was recorded in the Court House of Brooke County, West Virginia, that he might have legal authority to perform marriage ceremonies. This is the only ordination Alexander Campbell ever received. It took place in the Brush Run meeting house in less than a year after the church had been organized out of the Christian Association. He did not begin to consider seriously the subject of infant baptism until some time after the birth of his first child in March, 1812. He finally came to the conclusion that such a practice was contrary to the teaching of the Scriptures. Later he took up the study of the form of baptism.

      His biographer says that Alexander Campbell "applied himself to the Scriptures, and searching out critically the significance of the words rendered baptism and baptize in the original Greek, he soon became satisfied that they could mean only immersion or immerse." He was convicted also that baptism was a divine, positive command and set about to receive baptism at the hands of one, who himself, had been baptized. He had formed the acquaintance of a Baptist preacher by the name of Mathias Luce, who lived above Washington, He decided to request him to administer the ordinance. On the way to visit Elder Luce, Alexander stopped at his father's home to confer with the family. Dorothea Campbell, his sister, told him that she was convinced that she had never been baptized. When the father, Thomas Campbell, saw that Alexander was determined to be baptized he said, "I have no more to add. You must please yourself." 15

      On Wednesday, June 1, 1812, Elder Mathias Luce, in company with two other Baptist preachers, Elders Henry Spears and David Jones, went to the place for the baptizing, which was to be performed in the deep pool on Buffalo Creek, where Thomas Campbell had baptized the three persons from the "root." A large concourse of people assembled to witness the novel scene. Thomas Campbell, who at the last moment, decided to be baptized, delivered a long address giving full reasons for the step he was taking. On this occasion Elder Mathias Luce, a Baptist preacher, baptized Elder Alexander Campbell and wife, Elder Thomas Campbell and wife, Dorthea Campbell, and James Hanen and wife, seven in all.

      Alexander Campbell, now twenty-four, had stipulated with Elder Luce, that "the ceremony should be performed precisely according to the pattern given in the New Testament, and that, as there was no account of any of the first converts being called upon to give what is called a 'religious experience,' this modern custom should be omitted, and that the candidates should be admitted on the simple confession that 'Jesus is the Son of God'." There was no Baptist church at Brush Run to hear such "religious experiences," and hence Alexander Campbell was not baptized into "The Brush Run Baptist Church." The organization in which these seven baptized persons held their membership was not a Baptist church. 16

      The second baptizing at Brush Run is thus described: "At the next meeting of the church at Brush Run, which was on the Lord's day succeeding the baptism of the seven, thirteen other members, and among them James Foster, requested immersion, which was accordingly administered by Thorn as Campbell, each one making the simple confession of Christ as the Son of God." On subsequent occasions others were in like manner baptized so that the majority of the church soon consisted of immersed believers, upon which the other individuals, who had been members of the Christian Association, "abandoned the cause, being unwilling to follow the reformatory movement any further." Immersion was finally adopted in the Brush Run Church as the only Scriptural baptism, and infant baptism was "finally and absolutely rejected as human invention," and "the simple confession of Christ made by the early converts to Christ, was acknowledged as the only requirement which could be scripturally demanded of those who desired to become members of the church." 17

      The church at Brush Run, having adopted immersion as the only form of baptism, and having rejected infant baptism, was in great disfavor with the large number of Pedo-baptists in the community, but was more pleasing to the Baptists, who were quite numerous east of Washington along the Monongahela River. This territory was occupied by the Red Stone Baptist Association constituted in 1776, which was composed, at that time, of thirty churches with over a thousand members. Some of the preachers of the Association, who were friends of the Campbells, solicited the Brush Run Church to join that body. But the records show that Mr. Campbell at first did not favor the union and made objections to the Red Stone Association, but that he later withdrew his objections.

      Alexander Campbell claimed the Red Stone Association was under the control of the "Clergy" who were the ruling elements in all its sessions. He seriously objected to the Philadelphia Confession of Faith, adopted by the Association, which he declared contained "a fair proportion of the unscriptural theories and speculations usually found in such standards." He also contended that immersion itself with the Baptists was not the same as it was in the Brush Run Church. Baptism with the Baptists, he claimed, was merely a command, a sort of front door by which they entered the church; while to Brush Run "it was a discovery, which had the effect of readjusting all their ideas of the Christian institution .... the primitive confession of Christ, and a gracious token of Salvation." He also said, "I had no idea of uniting with the Baptists, more than with the Moravians or the mere Independents. I had unfortunately formed a very unfavorable opinion of the Baptist preachers as then introduced to my acquaintance, as narrow, contracted, illiberal and uneducated men. This, indeed, I am sorry to say, is still my opinion of the ministry of that Association .... The people, however called, were much more appreciated by me than their ministry. Indeed, the ministry of some sects is generally in the aggregate the worse portion of them."

      In the fall of 1812, Alexander Campbell attended the Red Stone Association as a visitor to see for himself. He says: "I ... returned more disgusted than I went. They invited me 'to preach,' but I declined it altogether, except one evening in a private family, to some dozen preachers and twice as many laymen. I returned home, not intending ever to visit another Association.

      "On my return home, however, I learned that the Baptists themselves did not appreciate the preaching or the preachers of that meeting. They regarded the speakers as worse than usual, and their discourses as not edifying - as too much after the style of John Gill and Tucker's theory of predestination. They pressed me from every quarter to visit their churches and, though not a member, to preach for them. I often spoke to the Baptist congregations for sixty miles around. They all pressed us to join their Red Stone Association." 18

      The matter of uniting with the Red Stone Association was laid before the Brush Run Church in the fall of 1813, and it was agreed to unite with that body on certain conditions. A document of ten pages was prepared by Mr. Campbell, setting forth the terms of becoming a member, showing a willingness to cooperate with the Association, "provided always that we should be allowed to teach and preach whatever we learned from the Holy Scriptures, regardless of any creed or formula in Christendom." There was. a protest by a minority against admitting the Brush Run Church, but "the proposition was discussed at the Association, and, after much debate, was decided by a considerable majority in favor of our being received."

      Thomas Campbell favored very earnestly the Brush Run Church, of which he was pastor, being received into the Association as it took away from the church the odium of forming another religious body. The minority who opposed the admission of the church in the Red Stone Association was led by Elders John Pritchard, William Brownfield, and Elijah Stone. They kept up the fight year after year, but could do but little, because of the strong following of Mr. Campbell, who was busy fortifying his position, He made a tour through the East, visiting a number of cities and raised sufficient funds to purchase a lot and erect a meeting house in Wellsburg, West Virginia, near his home, located some three miles from the Cross Creek Baptist Church, where Elder John Pritchard was pastor, and who resented the erection of such a house of worship on the territory of his membership. 19

      The Red Stone Association met in a memorial session with the Cross Creek Baptist Church, August 30, 1816. The opposition to Alexander Campbell had been gathering force in the Association during the past year. There were thirty-one churches represented in this session, twenty-nine located in Pennsylvania, one in Virginia and one in Ohio. The messengers from Brush Run with twenty-eight members, were Alexander Campbell, James Foster and George Sharp. Mr. Campbell, well knowing the opposition that was being engendered against him, said to his wife on the way to the Association, "I do not think they will let me preach at this Association at all." On Saturday of the meeting, Mr. Campbell was nominated for one of the preachers for Sunday, but his nomination was defeated by Elder John Pritchard, pastor of the entertaining church. Mr. Campbell, then left foi his home three miles away, not intending to return. His friends in the Association determined to have him preach Sunday, if possible.

      Elder Benjamin Stone, one of the preachers appointed for Sunday, became ill, and a delegation hastened to Mr. Campbell's home and assured him there was an opening for him to preach. As he rode up, Pastor Pritchard went out and met him, saying: "... you must preach today." The preacher of the hour now in his twenty-eighth year, delivered the famous "Sermon on the Law," which was discussed "pro and con"; many said "This will never do. This is not our doctrine. We cannot let this pass without a public protest from the Association." Others thought it not best to cause any disturbance in the body. After the session of the Red Stone Association, Mr. Campbell continued his preaching tour, occasionally baptizing individuals who would believe the gospel, and confess Christ after the primitive method. 20

      In 1818, Mr. Campbell started the Buffalo Seminary, and was so closely confined to the duties of establishing that institution, that he was not aware of the opposition that was steadily increasing against him in the Red Stone Association. It had become doubtful whether he could be seated as a messenger from his church at Brush Run in the session to be held September, 1823. Mr. Campbell's biographer says "The 'Sermon on the Law', which had been printed, furnished a favorite ground for heresy, ant the minority, led on by Elders Brownfield, Pritchard and the Stones, was full of expedients to gain the ascendency in the association, and to thrust Mr. Campbell and his friends out of it."

      During the Summer of 1823, two important events occurred in the career of Alexander Campbell. The first event was the beginning of the publication of a monthly paper known as the Christian Baptist. There was some debate over what name should be given the new publication. Since the term "Baptist" was a party designation, there was some consideration of the matter. "As the reformers were, however, at this time identified with the Baptists, it was thought expedient, in order to avoid offending religious prejudice, and to give greater currency to the principles which were to be presented, to make this concession so far as the name of the paper was concerned, qualifying 'Baptist' by the word 'Christian'." The object of the publication was set forth clearly: The 'Christian Baptist' shall espouse the cause of no religious sect, excepting that ancient sect 'called Christians first at Antioch.' Its sole object shall be the eviction of the truth and the exposing of error in doctrine and practice. The editor, acknowledging no standard of religious faith or works other than the Old and New Testament, and the latter as the only standard of the religion of Jesus Christ, will intentionally at least, oppose nothing, which it contains and recommend nothing which it does not enjoin." The first number of the new publication appeared July 4, 1823. The editor's first attack was on the "clergy" who had taken away the key of knowledge from the people, and kept them in ignorance, "by assuming to be the only authorized expounders of the will of God."

      The second incident that occurred in the Summer of 1823 was that Mr. Campbell had received and accepted a challenge for a debate with Elder W. L. McCalla, a noted Presbyterian minister, of Augusta, Kentucky, which was to take place in the town of Washington in that state in late fall. He had held a debate with Rev. John Walker, a Seceder Presbyterian minister, in June, 1820 in Ohio, and gave out the following challenge at the close of the discussion: "I this day publish to all present that I feel disposed to meet any Pedo-baptist minister of any denomination of good standing in his party, and I engage to prove in a debate with him, either viva voce, or with pen, that Infant Sprinkling is a human tradition, and injurious to the well being of society, religious and political." This debate was published and many copies had appeared in Kentucky, which led W. L. McCalla to challenge Alexander Campbell for the debate. 21

      It became more apparent, as the meeting of the Red Stone Association drew nigh, that Alexander Campbell would not be seated as a messenger from Brush Run. Since the McCalla debate was approaching, which would take him into Kentucky, he thought it best, if possible, to evade being discredited by the Baptists in being denied a seat in the Red Stone Association. He determined, though the time was short, "to defeat the project, in a way his enemies little expected, but which was in strict accordance with Baptist usages."

      The plan was very simple, but it took ingenuity to put it into operation. A number of the members of the Brush Run Church lived in the vicinity of Wellsburg, West Virginia, located near the Ohio State line, a short distance from Mr. Campbell's home, where a meeting house had been erected with funds he had gathered in the East, already mentioned. Mr. Campbell "announced, therefore, to the Church at Brush Run that for special reasons, which it was not at that time prudent to disclose, he desired from them letters of dismission for himself and some thirty other members in order to constitute a church in Wellsburg." These letters were granted on August 31, 1823, and the second church of the Reformation was constituted in the town of Wellsburg, Brooke County, West Virginia. Thomas Campbell and two others were appointed messengers from the Brush Run Church, to the Red Stone Association, and Alexander Campbell decided to attend as a visitor. There was much surprise in. the Association when the messengers learned that Alexander Campbell was not a messenger from Brush Run. A motion was made to seat him as a visitor, but objections were raised, and a long "debate ensued, which occupied much time."22

__________

Endnotes

1. Spencer, John H., A History of Kentucky Baptists, Vol. 1, p. 581-598; Carroll, B. H., Jr., The Genesis of American Anti-Missionism, p. 93.
2. Richardson, Robert, Memoirs of Alexander Campbell, Vol. 1, p. 19, 28-30.
3. Ibid., Vol. 1, p. 69-71.
4. Ibid. Vol. 1, p. 78-88.
5. Ibid., Vol. 1, p. 89-131.
6. Ibid., Vol. 1, p. 148-149, 187-190.
7. Ibid., Vol. 1, p. 222-225.
8. Ibid., Vol. 1, p. 230, 235, 286.
9. Ibid., Vol. 1, p. 236-246.
10. Ibid., Vol. 1, p. 273-275.
11. Ibid., Vol. 1, p. 321, 322.
12. Ibid., Vol. 1, p. 324, 327, 365-367.
13. Ibid., Vol. 1, p. 368-372.
14. Ibid., Vol. 1, p. 372, 373.
15. Ibid., Vol. 1, p. 390-396.
16. Ibid., Vol. 1, p. 396-398.
17. Ibid., Vol. 1, p. 403, 404.
18. Ibid., Vol. 1, p. 436-440.
19. Ibid., Vol. 1, p. 440, 441, 467-469. 20. Ibid., Vol. 1, p. 469-472.
21. Ibid., Vol. 1, p. 491-493; Vol. 2, p. 49, 50, 51, 53, 56, 68; Vol. 1. p. 525; Debate on Christian Baptism between the Rev. W. L. Maccalla and Alexander Campbell, p. 15.
22. Richardson, Robert, op. cit., Vol. 2, p. 68-70.

==========

Alexander Campbell in Kentucky - 1823-1831

[From Frank Masters, A History of Baptists in Kentucky, 1953, pp. 198-208. The title has been changed slightly. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]



Kentucky Baptist / Campbellism Controversies
Baptist History Homepage