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     From a notebook at the Elkhorn Baptist Association, Lexington, KY. Inside the cover it reads: "Material in this notebook compiled by Rev. Wendell H. Rone, Sr. Given to the Elkhorn Baptist Association by Rev. John Wallace, Jr., January 9, 1984."
History of the Elkhorn Association
By Basil Manly, Jr. 1876

First Decade of the Association - 1785 TO 1795.

1786. August 15.-- South Elkhorn.

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     John Taylor, Moderator; Richard Young, Clerk.
     Churches represented are Tate's Creek, South Elkhorn, Big Crossing, Clear Creek; also, Town Fork, Bryant's Station and Boon's Creek. The last named three churches "after giving full satisfaction of their faith and order, received amongst us at this annnal meeting." Limestone was not represented, being the most distant, but continued its connection.

     Request for help from a number of Baptists at or near the Forks of Dick's River was read; and Ambrose Dudley, John Tanner, Benj. Craig and Bartlet Collins were appointed to attend a meeting there the fourth Saturday in August.

     Form of marriage read and referred to a committee, who were also to consider the expediency for inexpediency of a catechism, and report to next Association.

     The committee on Gilbert's Creek Church reported that it was dissolved.

     QUERY. -- What power has this Association with respect to the churches in union with it, if any of them refuse its advice.
     ANSWER. -- It has a right to reject them [from] a seat in the Association; provided, the advice is not contrary to the terms of the general union.

     QUERY. -- Whether or not persons in a state of slavery may be said to be proper gospel members?
     ANSWER. -- A slave may be considered a proper gospel member.

     QUERY.-- Is it lawful for a slave, being an orderly member, and compelled to leave his wife and move with his master about five hundred miles, then to take another wife?
     As an opinion cannot be had at this time, agree to refer the query to the next Association; and in the mean time advise the churches not to receive any more members under the above circumstances mentioned in said query.

     QUERY. -- In regard to the duty of supporting a minister, whether it is considered as a debt or a liberal contribution.
     Debated and referred to next Association.

     Provided supplies for the destitute churches at Town Fork and Boone's Creek, by sending them preachers from South Elkhorn, Clear Creek and Bryant's Station one Lord's Day in September, October and November.

     Edward Payne, Moderator, John Tanner, Introductory Preacher. Three new churches received -- Hanging Fork of Lick's River, Cowper's (afterwards spelt Cooper's) Run and Marble Creek (afterwards known as East Hickman).
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     At same session, on Monday, the reception of Marble Creek Church is suspended until inquiry is made into some grievances alleged there.

     The inquiry as to slaves removing and marrying again was debated and withdrawn; and that as to support of the ministry debated and cast out. Instead of it the following was discussed, and decided on:

     QUERY. -- Whether it is agreeable to Scripture for churches to suffer men to preach and have the care of them as their minister, that are trading and entangling themselves with the afftairs of this life?
     ANSWER. -- That it is not agreeable to Scripture; but that it is the duty of the churches to give their ministers a reasonable support, and assist them in these respects.

     QUERY. -- What rule are we to receive Baptist members by, from the old country or elsewhere, not of our Association.
     ANSWER. -- All members coming from churches of our faith and order, bringing an orderly letter of dismission from said orderly church, we advise to be admitted; and all Baptists coming from churches of other order, by experience. (This I suppose to be the same thing that is meant by some of our churches when they receive members, as it is termed, "by relation.")

     QUERY. -- How are we to understand that portion of the 13th Chapter of John's Gospel, which relates to washing the Saint's feet?
     Referred to the next Association, and in the mean time it is requested that each church make up an opinion and make report to the next Association.

     A motion, whether this Association has a right to concern with the internal affairs of a church, when they stand and act on the principles of our constitution?
     ANSWER -- The Association has no right.

     The answer to the query about receiving Baptist members into the church is reconsidered, erased, and this is substituted: "That the churches be compelled to have regard to the discipline received by the churches, annexed to the Confession of Faith, in receiving all her members into society."

     Agree to correspond by letter with the Philadelphia and Ketocton Associations, and by delegates when convenient.

     Committee appointed to prepare letters, &c., and same committee to prepare a letter to "the Association at Cox's Creek, Nelson County." This meant the Salem Association.

1788. MAY 31. -- SOUTH ELKHORN.
     Sermon by A. Eastin. Wm. Cave, Moderator.

     Report as to Marble Creek, favorable to the admission of the church, adopted.

     Corresponding delegates from Salem Association, on Cox's Creek,

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made some objections to our Association tolerating the churches in using or not using the laying on of hands, on persons newly baptized.

     A committee appointed to confer with the said delegates, and make report.

     Lewis Craig, Elijah Craig and Ambrose Dudley held such conference with the delegates, Wm. Taylor and Joshua Carmen, and reported that every obstacle was removed, and their delegates were received recordingly [accordingly-?] and a Union declared.

     QUERY -- From the church at Limestone. -- Whether the churches belonging to the Association that do not comply with that solemn duty of supporting their ministry with a comfortable living, so as to keep them from worldly incumbrance, shall be held in the fellowship of this Association?

     Debated and referred for further consideration.

     In this year, 1788, the first tabular statistics occur, and are as follows:      

	                                                  Bapt. Let Dism Excl Dead Total     	
Tate's Creek. -- 1 - - - - 16
Wm. Jones, Will Turpin
South Elkhorn -- 12 - - 4 1 128
L. Craig, G. S. Smith, Jno. Conner, Jno. Haydon
Big Crossing -- - - - - - 48
E. Craig, Jno. Tanner, Wm. Cave, R. Johnson
Clear Creek -- 4 9 - - - 148
Jno. Taylor, Jas. Rucker, Jas. Hiter, Richd Young
Bryant's -- 8 14 - - - 97
Ambrose Dudley, Wm. O. Waller, Jno. Mason
Town Fork -- - - - - - -
Wm. Payne, Wm. Stone
Cowper's Run -- - - - - - -
Jas. Garrard, Augustine Eastin
Boone's Creek -- 2 2 - 1 - 37
D. Thompson, G. Shortage, O. Winn, J. Whaley
Limestone -- 3 - 2 - 1 30
Wm. Wood
Dick's River -- - 1 - - - 20
Wm. Marshall, Maurice Hansberry, Wm. Gaines
Marble Creek -- 8 9 6 - - 35
John Price, Robt. Fryan, Jas. McMahan TOTALS 38 35 8 5 3 559

Introductory by Bro. A. Dudley. John Gano, Moderator.

     The Church constituted at the Forks of Elkhorn, June 7, 1788, received into the Association. Their delegates were Wm. Hickman and Richard Thomas. Also Buck Run constituted October 1, 1788. James Dupey, delegate.

     In reference to the query from Limestone as to support of the ministry, appointed a committee of two ministers and two laymen "to visit the church at Limestone in particular, and all the other churches in general, and to set in order any matters that may be wanting." Gano and Dudley were chosen by ballot. Bro. Lewis Craig is to attend with them at Town Fork.

     Form of marriage presented by the committee, and rejected. Advised that a catechism is necessary, but not to be considered a term of communion. As to feet washing, the Association is not unanimous but agrees that "the using or not using that practice shall not affect our fellowship," and the subject is still referred for consideration.

     QUERY. -- What is to be done with members of a church who withdraw their membership?

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     ANSWER. -- If they cannot be reclaimed by gospel steps, they must be excommunicated.

     QUERY. -- In what light does the Association view the conduct of a church in union with them, admitting or receiving as a member or minister into their fellowship (those) that stand excommunicated from a church of our denomination, whether in or out of the Association?

ANSWER. -- It is disorderly for any of our churches to receive an excommunicated member from any of the churches of our denomination, without first having a written information of the charge from the church which they come from.

1789. MAY 30. -- BIG CROSSING.
     Received a letter from the General Committee of Baptists in Virginia, announcing the union between the Regular and Separate Baptists. Replied, and agreed to drop the name Regular in all letters going from this Association.

     Received Minutes of the "United Baptist Association" of Kentucky with their delegates, who were invited to seats, viz: John Bailey, Joseph Bledsoe, Wm. Bledsoe and Andrew Tribble, desiring to treat with us respecting a union. Appointed Jas. Garrard, Robt. Johnson, Jno. Taylor and Augustine Eastin a committee to act in conjunction with the aforesaid messengers in appointing time and place for the holding of a General Association, and the number of delegates to be sent from each church. The committee appointed 2d Friday in August, at Harod's Meeting-house; each church to send one minister and two lay members, and where a church has no minister they may avail themselves of one from a sister church, or if they choose, send their private members.

     Agreed that the clerk furnish each church with a copy of the minutes and circular letter, and that he receive three shilling for the same. (Presume this was to be done in manuscript.)

     QUERY. -- From Washington (Limestone). -- Is it most agreeable to Gospel rules to excommunicate disorderly persons in the church only, or in public congregation, before the church and the world?

ANSWER. -- The Association is of the opinion that the church hath power to proceed either way, but advise to excommunicate privately, but in particluar cases.

     The first Thursday in August appointed a day of fasting and prayer in all the churches.

     Letters from thirteen churches, show eighty baptized; eighty-two by letter; total, 1143. (I presume these additions are since the proceedings of May meeting at Big Crossing.)

     Correspondence from Salem and Ketockton received; also a letter from the Separate Baptist Association South of Kentucky, which was ordered to lie on the table; subsequently answered.

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Revised Rules of Order reported by committee, Gano, Eastin, Garrard and E. Craig, and adopted.

1790. AUGUST 27. -- LEXINGTON.
     QUERY. -- From Cooper's Run, (referred from last year) -- Whether the office of elder, distinct from that of minister, be a gospel institution or not?
     ANSWER. -- It is the opinion of the Association it is a gospel institution.

     Church at Indian Creek received by their delegates, William Cromwell and Thos. Hubbard.

1791. AUGUST 26. -- COOPER'S RUN
     Two letters read from Great Crossing and seven delegates attended; but all ordered to wait till the matter of dispute among them shall be settled by the Association.

     Church at May's Creek, afterwards May's Lick, received; delegates, David Morris, Cornelius Drake and John Shotwell.

     Church at Cove Spring, (Maurice A. Honberry, delegate), received. Also Church at Green Creek (delegates, George Shortage, Elijah Pastern and James Williamson) received. Also church constituted in Tennessee county, Cumberland Settlement (delegates, Richard Thomas and Wm. Wilcox) received. Church at Shroud's Fork, (delegates, Reuben Smith and Joel Havens). Also Church at Taylor's Fork (delegates; Thomas Jones and Closs Thompson).

     Took up the matter respecting the distress of the church at the Great Crossing. Appointed a committee of fifteen to meet with both parties of the Baptist people at the Crossings. The Association adjourned to meet there also at the same time.

     Appointed Eastin, Garrard, Wood, Gano and Smith, to take under their consideration the Baptist Confession of Falth, and the discipline so far as to them may appear necessary, and report to next Association. Salem Association is requested to assist us in this revision.

     Committee of three appointed to draw up a memorial to the Convention to be held on the ___ day of April next, requesting them to take up the subject of Religious Liberty, and perpetual slavery in the formation of the Constitution of this District, and report at the Crossings, 8th of September; Eastin, Garrard and Dudley, the Committee.

     The difficulty at the Crossings was considered at some length, and was finally adjusted.

     Memorial on Religious Liberty and Perpetual Slavery was read and approved.

     RESOLVED, That the Association advise the churches to provide a fund and send their bounty by their delegates to the next Association, to be under their direction.

1791. DECEMBER 26. -- BRYANT'S.
     New churches received: Cedar Creek, Delegates, John Verdeman and Wm. Maneffee; also, Columbia, in the N. W. Teritory, (Ohio,) represented by Jno. Smith and Jno. S. Gano.

     QUERY. -- From Bryant's. -- Is baptism valid when administered by a Pedo-Baptist minister upon profession of faith.

     Referred to next Association.

     RESOLVED, That this Association disapprove of the memorial which the last Association agreed to send to the Convention, on the subject of "Religious Liberty and the Abolition of Slavery."

     Letter from the General Convention of United Baptist Churches in Virginia received, and correspondence opened with them. A. Eastin and Jas. Garrard to write.

1792. AUGUST 31. -- TATE'S CREEK.
     Complaints from the congregation of Baptists at Cane Run, Woodford county, and also from Clear Creek, as to the action about the Crossings Church. Agreed that the advice given by the Association was not agreeable to the principles upon which the Association is united, and Bros. Gano, Hickman, J. Taylor, A. Dudley, G. S. Smith and Lewis Craig are appointed to try and accommodate the differences.

     Jno. Gano and Jno. Taylor sent to Columbia (N. W. Territory, now in Ohio,) to answer their request relative to ordination.

     Correspondence with the Middle District Association in Virginia.

1793. MAY 18. -- BRYANT'S.
      New churches received, Grassy Lick and Flat Lick.

On the query as to baptisms by a Pedobaptist minister, it was agreed to advise the churches to act with discretion in all cases of this nature that have happened prior to this date, and that they act with care and caution in similar cases in future.

     QUERY. -- From Town Fork. -- What is the origin and divine authority of an association; the use and extent of its power; the principles on which admission into, and rejection from it, are justifiable? Deferred.

     QUERY. -- From Forks of Elkhorn. -- What is the work of an elder when considered distinct from a minister or deacon? Deferred.

     Nothing is more earnestly to be desired among the people of God than union and fellowship;
     Agreed, therefore, that an attempt be made for a union with the Baptist Association south of the Kentucky river, and that our brethren Ambrose Dudley, James Garrard, John Taylor, John Price and Augustine Eastin are hereby appointed a committee to attend their next association, with full power to confer freely on terms of union, and if [there are] hopeful appearances of effecting the same, they may, with those brethren, appoint a time and place for the churches in both associations to convene their delegates to carry said union into effect.

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     Agreed to attempt to open a correspondence with the Redstone Association of Baptists (Western Penn.), James Sutton to write.

     The committee on revising the Confession of Faith reported, that some phrases in the third and fifth chapters would be better if put in words easier understood by weak minds; and in chapter twenty-fourth instead of the words, 'a lawful oath is a part of religious worship,' they offered the following amendment, 'an oath should be taken in religous fear,' &c. This is all that in their opinion wants an amendment. The Treatise of Discipline, they think, "wants amending and enlarging." The committee was continued to report on that at the next meeting.

     A letter proposing the printing of a register of the Baptists in North America, by John Asplund, was read.

     By a private letter from "a sister church in Tennessee (Cumberland settlement)," it appears that they are in great distress for the want of ministerial helps, and earnestly request assistance.

     Supplies are sent to various destitute churches, Washington, Hanging Fork (Dick's river), Taylor's Fork, Cave Spring.

     On motion, agreed to take up the case of the church in Tennessee, and try to engage some of our ministerng brethren to assist them. Brethren James Sutton and John Mason agreed to pay a visit the first of July, and continue with them six weeks, and at their return John Sutton and F. Adams will also vist them and continue a like term.

     A subscription was proposed in the Association to defray the expenses of the above brethren on this journey, and the sum of £10 6s, 8d. was raised by the members.

     Agreed that said money should be put into the hands of the treasurer, and that £3 6s. out of the fund be added to the above sum, and that he pay the same to the said brethren by the moderator's order


     Springfield Church received.

     Committee on union with the South Kentucky (Separate) Association reported that a large majority of the Association approved of said proceedings.

     A new committee was appointed to meet those brethren who lately broke off from the South Kentucky Association and confer with them on further terms of union and report. This committee reported that they had agreed to form a union with said brethren and the churches they represent on the following terms, viz; "We agree to receive the regular Baptist Confession of Faith; but to prevent it usurping a tyranical power over the consciences of any, we do not mean that every person is to be bound to the strict observance of everything therein contained, yet that it holds forth the essential truths of the gospel, and that the doctrines of salvation by Jesus Christ, and free, unmerited grace alone, ought to be believed by every Christian, and maintained by every minister

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of the gospel. And that we do believe in these doctrines relative to the Trinity; the divinity of Christ; the sacred authority of the Scriptures; the universal depravity of human nature; the total inability of men to help themselves without the aid of divine grace; the necessity of repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; the justification of our persons entirely by the righteousness of Christ imputed; believer's baptism by immersion only, and self-denial; and that the supreme judge by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be none other than the holy Scriptures, delivered by the Spirit, into which Scriptures, so delivered our faith is finally resolved.":

     Agreed, that the sense of this Association be taken on the terms. A large majority expressed their satisfaction with the same, and agreed to form a union thereupon. Upon which those brethren of the South Kentucky Association referred to above, were called in, and the right hand of fellowship (the token of t___) given to them by the moderator.

     From a request of the church at Columbia., O., agreed to set apart Wednesday, the 23d inst., as a day of fasting and humiliation before God, praying for the preservation and success of our army against the enemy (the Indians), and for the suppression of vice in our land. We also recommend our brethren to send a copy of this order to the different denominations of Christians among whom we reside, hoping that they will join us in our petition.

     [It may be remarked that the Indian troubles in the northwestern territory, which had been thickening anew ever since 1790, were about at their height at this time. Owing to the comparative inefficiency of the operations against them, conducted by the general government, the Kentuckians had petitioned Congress to be allowed to fight the Indians in their own way. A local "Board of War for the District of Kentucky" had been established, consisting of Brigadier-General Charles Scott, Harry Jones, John Brown, Benj. Logan and Isaac Shelby, with discretionary powers. Several expeditions under St. Clair and Harman had met with disastrous defeats, discouraging the Kentuckians as to the value of regular troops and officers for such contests. In the spring of 1793, numerous Indian depredations occurred, the last in Kentucky. Among these, Morgan's station, on Slate creek, seven miles east of Mt. Sterling, was captured, and nineteen women and children carried off as prisoners. The western men refused to volunteer to serve under Gen. Wayne or other regular officers. At this crisis Gov. Shelby, the pioneer governor of Kentucky, assumed the responsibility and ordered a draft, which was successful. One thousand mounted Kentuckians under Gen. Chas. Scott join Wayne eighty miles north of Cincinnati, October 24, but owing to lateness of the season and want of preparations, the troops are sent

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home. Meanwhile the Kentucky Legislature meets in Frankfort, the new capital for the first time (having met previously, June 4, at Frankfort). It is in the midst of these trying, exciting times that the association, of which we are now reading, held its fall session. In August of the next year the decisive victory won by {General Anthony} Wayne with sixteen hundred regulars, and sixteen hundred Kentuckians under Gen. Scott at Fallen Timbers near Toledo, Ohio, which led to a permanent peace]

     Agreed that our ministering brethren be requested to consider the situation of our sister churches south of Kentucky, and visit them as often as possible.

     Correspondence from an association of Baptists on the Holston river (Tenn.) received and answered.

     Messengers sent to a conference, to be held at Jessamine Meeting House, by our united brethren, the fourth Saturday in November next: Geo. S. Smith, John Price, John Shackleford and John Taylor.

     Committee appointed to prepare a plan and point out the uses of the association fund, for the consideration of the next meeting: A. Eastin, Jas. Garrard, Edmund Mountjoy and Francis Dunlavy.

     Agreed to have but one meeting annualy in future, and that on the second Saturday in August. [It has remained substantially the same ever since, beginning now on the Tuesday before the second Saturday in August.]

1794. -- August 7. -- Marble Creek.

     In consequence of some unhappiness in some of the churches as to the union last year consummated with five churches of the South Kentucky Association, and in order to remove all uneasiness from the minds of our brethren, we do declare that we never had any design or desire to depart from the constitutional principles of the Elklhorn Association, believing them to contain the essential truths of the gospel upon which Christian union and fellowship can only be supported, and in which we hope, through grace, to remain.

     Agreed to dissolve said union on account of several churches being dissatisfied therein, and to write to the said brrethren informing them thereof.

1795. -- August 8. -- Cooper's Run.

     Answer to the query from Town Fork (1793) as to authority of an association: That the divine authority for an association are [sic] the commands in God's Word for Christians to assemble together in his name for worship, and counsel, and union to Christ and one another; that its use is for mutual edification, and assistance to cultivate uniformity of sentiments in principles and practice; that its power is to regulate and govern itself as a body, and give such advice to the churches as may be
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for their peace; and that any church that agrees to the principles on which we ourselves are united, ought to be admitted, and any church that openly opposes those principles ought to be rejected.

     Received a report concerning an association fund, and voted it out to the association.

     Discussions continued respecting the union attempted with the five churches of the South Kentucky Association.

     Recommended second Saturday in September as a day of fasting and prayer to implore the Divine blessing upon our state and upon the churches, that the Lord would bless His own institution of a preached gospel, and that He would check the rapid spread of impiety and infidelity.

     We close this sketch of the first decade of the association with a tabular statement of the baptisms and membership of each church during each year, commencing with 1788. Before that no numbers are on record.

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[From Elkhorn Baptist Association Minutes, 1876, pp. 26-36. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall]

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