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[Editor's note: The association had occasional meetings as well as their annual meetings. Mr. Ford does not always have these numbered in order. These records are taken from the monthly magazine Christian Repository and I am listing these in the order in which they were published. He designated some of the meetings as "Anniversary," some as "Session" and some as "Occasional." -- Jim Duvall]

Early Records of the Elkhorn Baptist Association
1785-1805
By Samuel H. Ford
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Minutes of the First Conference for an Association


      At a conference held at Lewis Craig's, on South Elkhorn June 25th, 1785 -- Lewis Craig, moderator, Richard Young, clerk.

      Present, Joseph Bledsoe, Wm Hickman, John Taylor, George S. Smith, Joseph Craig, and others.

      Agreed to be ruled in any matter coming before them by a majority.

      On a query touching the Philadelphia Confession of Faith as a rule of communion --

      By a majority, agreed that it be strictly adhered to.

      Elijah Craig, Augustus Easton and James Garrard, invited to seats.

      Adjourned to meet at John Craig's, on Clear Creek, September 3d, next.

      The discussion was warm and decisive. The old and distracting differences between the Regular and Separates were renewed, and disunion and alienation ensued.

      The first Baptist Association, from which most of those in Virginia and Kentucky derive their origin, was held at Sandy Creek Church, Guilford county, North Carolina, in January, 1760. Shubal Stearns, the first Separate Baptist preacher, was the father of this Association. Stearns was a preacher in the new light stir under the ministry of Mr. Whitfield, in New England. He and his followers were called Separates. In 1751, he was convinced of believer's baptism, and became the founder of that large denomination known as Separate Baptists. When Mr. Stearns changed, some of the pedo-Baptists followed him. They were then called Separate Baptists. Hence we see this distinction did not originate in a difference in principle, but rather by accident.

      The Regulars were originally emigrants from England, who settled in South-eastern Virginia, and were so numerous as to arrest public attention in the middle of the seventeenth century.

      In 1778-9, the Separates and Regulars seriously disagreed. Points of doctrine were discussed, and communion and fellowship withdrawn. The difficulties were dragged by the emigrants over the mountains, and renewed with fresh vigor in Kentucky. The Separates were in the majority, but many of these were Calvinistic, and uniting with the few Regulars, left the more Arminian Separates in the minority. The Philadelphia Confession was the test and the bone of contention.

      The conference adjourned without forming a union. Three months afterwards, those accepting the Confession met and organized the Elkhorn Association, deriving its name from the South Elkhorn Church, where the first conference was held. Its first minutes.

      "Baptist Association held at Clear Creek, Friday, the 30th of September, 1785, at 3 o'clock; sermon by Brother Wm Hickman, from the 23d chapter of Exodus, 30th verse; Wm. Wood chosen Moderator, Richard Young, Clerk. Letters were read from six churches.

Delegates' Names

Gilbert's Creek -- Geo. S. Smith and John Price.
Tate's Creek -- John Tanner, Wm. James and Wm. Williams.
South Elkhorn -- Lewis Craig, Wm. Hickman, and Benjamin Craig.
Clear Creek -- John Taylor, James Rucker and John Dypuy.
Big Crossing -- Wm Cave, Bartlett Collins and Robert Johnson.
Limestone -- Wm. Wood and Edward Dobbins.

Being assembled together, and taking into serious consideration what might be most advantageous for the glory of God, the advancement of the kingdom of the Dear Redeemer and the mutual comfort and happiness of the churches of Christ; having unanimously agreed to unite in the strongest bonds of christian love and fellowship; and in order to support and keep that union, do hereby adopt the Baptist Confession of Faith, first put forth in the name of the seven congregations met together in London in the year in 1643, containing a system of the Evangelical Doctrines agreeably to the gospel of Christ, which we do heartily believe in and receive, but something in the 3d and 5th chapters in said book we do except, if construed in that light that makes God the cause or author of sin; but we do acknowledge and believe God to be an Almighty Sovereign, wisely to direct and govern all things so as to promote his own glory. Also in chapter 31st, concerning laying on of hands on persons baptized as essential in their reception into the church. It is agreed on by us, that the using or not using of that practice shall not effect our fellowship each to the other.

And as there is a number of christian professors in this country, under the Baptist name -- in order to distinguish ourselves from these, we are of opinion that no appellation is more suitable to our profession than that of Regular Baptist, which name we profess.

WM. WOOD, Moderator."

The "Confession of Faith," or publication of the soul's convictions of those who were willing to die in their defence, was first put forth in the name of seven congregations met together in London in 1643; was the same in substances as that published by the ministers and members of upwards of one hundred Baptist churches met in London in 1689, and adopted by the Baptist Association met in Philadelphia in 1742. It was but the expression of what they understood Godís word to teach; and yet there were serious objections to its adoption. With the Separates the objection were insuperable; they withdrew and formed the South Kentucky Association. But despite these and others discouragements, the standard of truth was uplifted and steadily borne onward by those valiant men. Success crowned their efforts. They lived to labor, and fell covered with glory.
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With this record of the general state of the Churches, we proceed to condense from the minutes of the Association what follows:

Elkhorn Association -- Third Anniversary

"July 31st, 1788, at South Elkhorn -- Wm Cave, Mod'r, R. Young, Clerk -- Introductory by A. Eastin.
"The eleven Churches now comprising this Association, count 559 members.
"The committee sent to Marble Creek, report in favor of the Church, and she is no longer suspended.
"Delegates attend this meeting with a letter from Salem Association. They are not satisfied with tolerating Churches, in using or not using, laying on hands upon persons newly baptized. L. Craig, E. Craig. And A. Dudley, appointed a committed to confer with them. (William Taylor and Joshua Cannon)
"The difficulty is removed; the delegates received, and union declared.
"Agreed, To Form a plan to receive an accusation against a Church, to point out the mode of suspending and declaring disunion.
"Several important subjects were discussed at this meeting, but were not decided -- such as that of washing Feet, making a marriage ceremony, a catechism, supporting ministers with comfortable living, &c.

Fourth Anniversary

"On the 25th October, 1788, at Clear Creek -- Introductory by A. Dudely.
"John Gano, Moderator, Richard Young, Clerk.
"Received a Church constituted at the Forks of Elkhorn, on 7th June, 1788. Delegates -- William Hickman, Richard Thomas.
"Also a Church on Buck Run, constituted 1st October, 1788. Delegate -- James Dupuy.
"Received a letter from Salem, and were informed of one from the Philadelphia Association.
"Elder John Sutton invited to a seat.
"In reply to a query from Limestone Church, relative to supporting ministers -- appointed a committed (Elders A. Dudley, and John Gano, with two lay-members) to visit that Church and others, to set in order things that may be wanting.
"Marriage ceremony presented -- rejected, and motion struck out.
"Advised, That a catechism is necessary, but not considered a term of communion.
"Answered, Relative to washng feet.
"That the Churches are not unanimous, and that using or not using it, is not to touch fellowship.
"That the members who withdraw their membership and cannot be reclaimed by gospel steps, must be excommunicated.
"That it is disorderly for any Church to receive an excommunicated member from any Church of our denomination, without first having written information of the charge against him.

Fifth Anniversary

"On the 30th of May 1789, at Great Crossing -- Introductory by J. Gano.
"John Gano, Moderator, John Price, Clerk.
"The thirteen Churches count 1,000 members.
"Received a letter from general committee in Virginia, informing of the union between Regular and Separate Baptists.
"Agreed, To drop the appellation Regular, in all letters going from this Association.
"Received a letter from the united Baptist Association, south of Kentucky, desiring to treat respecting union. The committed. John Baily, Joseph Bledsoe, Wm Bledsoe, and A. Treble were invited to seats. Appointed Jas. Garrard, R. Johnson, John Taylor, and A. Eastin, to confer with them, and provide for a general Association -- which was done, and appointed at Herodís meeting house, on the second Friday in August following, to consist of one member and two lay-members, from each Church -- or where there is no minister, three private members. "Agreed, To excommunicate members privately, only in particular cases.

Sixth Anniversary

"On the 30th of October, 1789, at Boone's Creek -- Introductory by John Farmer.
"James Garrard, Moderator, R. Young, Clerk.
"The thirteen Churches count 1,143 members.
"Letters received from Salem and Ketockton Associations; also one from the Separate Baptist Association, south of Kentucky -- which was laid on the table.
"The committee appointed to revise the rules presented the following, which were received, to-wit:

"Rules
"1st. A Moderator shall be appointed by the Association, by ballot, who shall preside during the Association, to preserve order, and state questions and propositions that may be made, agreeable to the rules of the Association
"2nd. No proposition or motion shall be debated, unless made by one of member and second by another.
"3d. All motions and propositions shall be decided on as they are proposed; nor shall any new motion be made, or taken up, while there is one undetermined before the Association, unless the first be postponed or referred.
"4th. Any motion made and seconded, may be withdrawn by the member making such motion, before any decision had on it.
"5th. Every motion shall be made in writing, if required by the Moderator, or any other member, and read by the Clerk, before any debate or division had on it.
"6th. Every member about to make a motion shall rise from his seat, and respectfully address himself to the Moderator.
"7th No Member shall speak more than twice to the same question; nor more than once, until every other member who chooses, shall have spoken.
"8th. Every member, in debate, shall confine himself to the subject at hand; and if he shall wander from the question, he shall be called to order by the Moderator, or any other member; and every member called to order, shall immediately sit down, unless permitted to proceed to explain himself.
"9th. Every member shall keep his seat while the Moderator puts the question, which he shall do standing.
"10th. If any proposition shall be made which, to the Association, may appear improper to decide on, the Association may quash it by previous question, which shall be put in this form: ĎShall the main question be now put?í

"Resolved, That the Association consider the washing of feet to be a Christian duty, to be practiced at discretion.
"A committee appointed to answer the letter from the Separate Baptist Association, and to write to corresponding Associations.
"Resolved, To have one Association each year, and one yearly meeting.

Seventh Anniversary

"On the 27th August, 1790, at Lexington -- Introductory by John Taylor.
"James Garrard, Moderator, R. Young, Clerk.
"The thirteen Churches count 1,365 members.
"Agreed, That in future the Moderator do appoint the Clerk.
"To a query whether the office of elder is distinct from minister -- answered in the affirmative.
"Received the Church at Indian Creek.
"Appointed a committee to answer the lettter from general committee.
Agreed, To record all letters sent to, and received from public bodies.

Eighth Anniversary

"On the 26th August, 1791, at Cowper's Run -- Introductory by John Gano.
"John Gano, Moderator, R. Young, Clerk.
"The eighteen Churches (six of which now received) count 1,497 members.
"Churches now received -- Mays Lick, Cove Spring, Green Creek, from Cumberland settlement, Stroud's Fork, and Taylor's Fork.
"John Sutton and Abel Griffy invited to seats.
"A committed sent to enquire into the distress at Great Crossing.
"A committee of five appointed to revise the confession of Faith and Discipline annexed, and Salem Association invited to aid in it.
"A committee appointed to draw a memorial on the subject of religious liberty and perpetual slavery, to send to the convention at Danville.
"Adjourned till 8th of September following.

Ninth Anniversary

"On the 8th September, 1791, at Big Crossings -- same Moderator and Clerk.
"The several committees appointed at the last meeting reported.
"The committed sent to the Crossings reported as follows:
"Agreeable to appointment, we met at Great Crossings, 7th September, 1791 -- appointed James Garrard Chairman, and R. Young, Clerk. Present, John Taylor, Geo. Smith, John Price, John Gano, A. Dudley, A. Eastin, Jas. Dupuy, Geo. Shortage, David Thomson, James Rucker, John Hadon, John Mason, and A. Thomson.
"Difficulties proposed by Robert Johnson:
"1st. There was a complaint against Mr. Craig, for which, some wished him cited to appear before the Church without taking gospel steps.
"The committed are of opinion that the brother who was offended with Mr. Craig, ought to have taken the steps of the gospel, as mentioned in the 18th of Matthew, and that the Church ought not to have received the complaint, not being in gospel order.
"Second difficulty. The Church failed to hear Mr. Craig, when he wished to offer his repentance for two meetings.
"The committed are of opinion that the Church was to blame for not hearing him.
"Third difficulty. No member voted that he could not bear with the Church, and a majority voted they could bear with the conduct of the Church; fifteen members who were neuter, were supposed to have no privilege in the Church, without a trial. "The committee are of opinion that these members ought not to be deprived of Church privileges.
"Fourth difficulty. Twenty-nine members withdrew, contrary to good order.
"It is the opinion of the committed that those members withdrew in a disorderly manner.
"Another difficulty arose relative to adopting the treatise of discipline when a member was on trial.
"Answered, That the Church had a right to receive it at any time, but had no right to apply it to the person then on trial.
"Difficulty proposed by Joseph Redding -- Was the Church right in excluding Mr. Craig on the first Saturday in January last?
"The committed are of opinion, from what appears on the record, that Mr. Craig was justly excluded for his misconduct; but we think the Church was wrong in receiving the accusation contrary to the 18th of Matthew.
"This report was received and approved, and the Church were advised to meet in the next Association, with the twenty-nine members (who had withdrawn) united with them. Also, not to consider any persons received by either party since the division as members, until they satisfied the whole body, in case of a union between them."

Minutes of the Seventh session of the Elkhorn Association

Occasional -- at Bryan's.
On the 26th of Dec., 1791-- James Garrard, Moderator, John Price, Clerk.
Messengers from thirteen Churches present.
Received the Church at Cedar Creek; also that at Columbia, in N. W. Territory of Ohio.
The Church at the Crossings, having complied with the advice given, took her seat, by her messengers, E. Craig, Wm Cave, Robert Johnson and John Payne.
Resolved, That this Association disapprove of the memorial which the last Association agreed to send to the Convention, at Danville, on the subject of Religious Liberty, and the Abolition of Slavery.
Received a letter from the General Committed of the United Baptist Churches of Virginia, and agreed to correspond.

Eighth Session

On the 31st of August, 1792, at Tate's Creek -- Introductory by James Garrard.
John Gano, Moderator, Aug. Eastin, Clerk.
Present, messengers from twenty-three Churches; three of which (Indian Creek, South Licking, and Sugar Creek), received at this meeting.
Agreed, that the advice given to the Church at the Crossings, not to consider persons, received by eaith party after the division, as members, etc., was not agreeable to the principles on which this Association is united.
Appointed a Committed to visit Cane Run Church, to inquire into the difference existing between her and the Church at the Crossing.

Ninth Session

At Bryan's, on the 18th of May, 1793. Introductory by Wm. Wood.
James Garrard, Moderator; A. Eastin, Clerk.
Present, members from twenty-five Churches -- counting 1,847 members.
The Churches at Grassy Lick and Flat Lick, received at this meeting.
Query -- Is baptism valid when administered by a Pedobaptist minister? Agreed to advise the Churches at act with care and caution in this particular.
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, on the South of Kentucky, and that A. Dudley, James Garrard, James Taylor, John Price, and A. Eastin, be appointed a Committed to attend their next Association, with full power to confer freely on terms of Union, and if hopeful appearance of effecting the same, they may, with their brethren, appoint a time and place for the Churches in both Unions to convene by their Delegates, to carry said Union into effect.
Agreed to correspond with the Redstone Association.
The Committed, appointed to receive the Confession of Faith, report two amendments, too trivial to be named. They are directed to revise the discipline.
Appointed Edward Payne, Treasurer of General Fund.

Occasional -- At South Elkhorn, on the 12th of October, 1793.
Introductory by A. Eastin.
John Gano, Moderator; A. Eastin, Clerk.
Church at Springfield received.
A happy reconciliation between the Church at the Crossings, and that at Cane Run, reported.
The Committed, appointed to visit South Kentucky Association, report an agreement to unite on the following terms, to wit:
We do agree to receive the Regular Baptist Confession of Faith; but to prevent its usurping a tyrannical power over the consciences of any, we do not mean that every person is to be bound to a strict observance of everything contained therein; yet, that it holds forth the essential truths of the gospel, and that the Doctrines of Salvation by Christ, and free and unmerited grace above, ought to be believed by every Christian, and maintained by every minister of the gospel; and that we do believe in those 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 towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the justification of persons entirely by the righteousness of Christ imputed; believers baptism by immersion only, and self-denial; and that the Supreme, by whom 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 examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the holy scripture, delivered by the Spirit, into which scripture, so delivered, our faith if finally resolved.
A large majority of the Association acceding to these terms, the Union was formed by mutual consent.
Agreed tot appoint a Committed to continue correspondence with the General Committee in Virginia, and the Association South of James River; also with an Association on Holstein.
Agreed that this Association meet annually, on the second Saturday in August.

Tenth Session

At Cooper's Run, on the 8th of August, 1795. Jas. Garrard, Moderator; John Price, Clerk.
Introductory by E. Craig,
"Several strange ministers invited to seats." Four Churches to wit: Bracken, Licking, Forks of Licking, and Great Bend, received.
Query, from Town Fork, now more than two years ago under consideration --
What is the origin and divine authority of an Association? The use and extent of its power? The principles on which admission into, or rejection from it are justifiable?
Jno. Gano, Jo. Redding, and Francis Dunlavy, were appointed to answer it.
Answer. The divine authority of an Association are the commands in Godís word, for Christians to assemble together in His name, for worship and counsel, and union to Christ and one another; and that its use is for mutual edification and assistance; to cultivate uniformity of sentiments in principle and practice; and that its power is to regulate and govern itself as a body, and give such advice to the Churches as may be for their peace. And that any Church, who agrees to the principles on which we ourselves are united, ought to be admitted; and any Church, who openly oppose these principles, ought to be rejected.
The report, in favor of an Association Fund, voted out.
Marble Creek asks if the last Association were not guilty of covenant breaking, in dissolving the union? &c.
Another Committee appointed to negotiate a union.
Agreed, That there is no necessity to re-ordain a Deacon.

Eleventh Session

At Town Fork, on the 13th of August, 1796. Introductory by John Gano. A. Dudley, Moderator; John Price, Clerk.
Letters from twenty-eight Churches, counting 1,934 members.
Two Churches, M'Connell's Run and Stone Lick received.
Elder H. Toler invited to seat.
Received a letter from the United Baptists, and appoint a Committee to confer with them, respecting a union.
Complaints were received against Boone's Creek Church. She is advised to call helps from sister Churches, to adjust her difficulties.
Agreed, In regard to a union with the United Baptists, it is the wish of this Association, that every possible and friendly effort be made, in Christian love, to cultivate intimacy and harmony in conversing, praying and preaching together, which will give an opportunity to know how near we agree in gospel principles anmd discipline; and that a Committed be appointed to confer with any Committed they may appoint; and that any plan agreed upon, be made known to the different Churches for their consideration.
Gano, Eastin, Redding and Dudley, appointed.

Minutes of the Elkhorn Association of Baptists

"Held at South Elkhorn, Fayette county, Ky., August the 8th, 1801.
The Association was opened with divine worship.
Sermon from Galatians, 6:14 -- 'But God forbid that I should glory, save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.'
Letters from twenty-six Churches were read.
Brothers David Barrow, Moderator, Brother J. Price, Clerk.

Ten Churches applied for admission, and were received.
Received letters and messengers from Salem, Bracken, and Tate's Creek Association[s].
Brethren Joseph Redding, A. Dudley, and John Price, are appointed to arrange the business of the Association.
Brother Bainbridge appointed to write to the Salem Association, and Brother Eastin to Tate's Creek Association; Brother Smith to the Middle District Association; Bro. Craig to the Ketockton Association.
Adjourned till Monday, 8 o'clock.

Monday, 10th August.
Met according to appointment. After prayer, proceeded to business.
Circular letter read and approved. Letters to the corresponding Associations read and approved.
Request from South Elkhorn, to send missionaries to the Indian nations. Agreed to appoint a Committee of five brethren, to hear and determine on the call of any of our ministers, and if satisfied therewith, to give them credentials for that purpose. To set subscriptions on foot, to receive collections, and apply the same for the use of said mission. And it is recommended to the Churches, to encourage subscriptions for said purpose, and have the money lodged with the deacons, to be applied for that purpose whenever called for by the Committee. The following brethren are appointed -- David Barrow, Ambrose Dudley, John Price, Augustine Eastin, and George Smith, or any three of them.
Agreed, that a Committee be appointed to attend the Separate Association, and write them a friendly letter, and use such means as may appear to them right to bring about an union; and if it should appear necessary, that they call a convention of the Churches to carry the union into effect. The following brethren are appointed -- David Barrow, Ambrose Dudley John Price, Wm. Payne, and Joseph Redding.
Agreed to appointed a Committee to draw a plan to restore excluded members emigrated to this country, and present it to the next Association. Brethren Dudley, Eastin, and Price, are appointed.
Brother Wm. Payne to write the circular letter, for 1802.
Agreed that the Churches, who are in union with us that reside in the north part of our bounds, are at liberty to use their own discretion in forming an Association, and that brethren Eve and Bainbridge advise them.
Members appointed to attend the corresponding Associations -- brethren Hickman and Taylor, the Salem; Corban and Bourn, the Tate's Creek; Eastin and Payne, the Bracken.
Next Association to be held at Cooper's Run, second Saturday in August next.
Introductory sermon, Brother Gano; in case of failure, Brother Redding.
Agreed, that brethren Walter Carr, Richard Young, Charles Smith, Jilson Payne, Jams Hayden, and John Mason, be appointed a Committee to receive the bounty of the Churches for the benefit of our aged brethren, J. Gano, D. Thomas, and J. Sutton, as an indication of our love and care for them in their old age; and it is recommended to the Churches to make frequent contributions, and send them to the Committee, who are to distribute the same as to them may appear right; and render an account to the Association, what they have received, and from whom, and how they have distributed the same."

We have presented the Minutes of this year in full, deeming it worthy of careful perusal and study. We have traced the Elkhorn Association from where its infancy was nursed, amid savage dangers in the unpeopled forest, poor, few, feeble, yet nerved with strength and energy divine, battling, growing, striving together for the faith of the gospel, till its messengers, from the three little Churches, in 1785, taking counsel in a fort in the woods of Woodford county; going forth, bearing the precious seed, and weeping, returned rejoicing; and now, in 1801, numbering one hundred messengers from thirty-six Churches, embracing more than five thousand communicants. "The character of her ministry, well known throughout America, commanded the respect of the societies." The names of Garrard, Eastin, Sutton, Barrow, Tarrant, Smith, Dudley, Price, Redding, Bainbridge, Gano, Thomas, and other ministers, gave weight and wisdom to her councils. But the seeds of error had been sown, and amid the glorious harvest field and the golden grain, the rank weeds of error were beginning to appear. The following year was one of quiet, but of unceasing suspicion. -- [s.h.f.]

The Seventh [?] Anniversary

At Cowper's Run, on the 14th August, 1802.
Introductory by Elder Redding.
A. Eastin, Moderator, John Price, Clerk.
Letters from thirty-six Churches, members, and twelve new Churches received, in all, forty-six Churches, counting 5,310 members. New Churches -- Ridge of Dennon's creek, Union, Mount Gilead, Mount Pleasant, Mill creek, David's Fork, Hillsboro', Bank-lick, Brush fork, Clover bottom, Rockbridge, Twelve-mile.
A serious difficulty between the Church at Crossings and that at MíConnell's Run -- A committee, sent to heal it.
South Elkhorn inquires, what constitutes baptism valid?
Answer -- The administrator ought to have been baptized himself, by immersed. Legally called to preach the gospel, and ordained as the scripture directs. And that the candidate for baptism make a profession of his faith in Jesus Christ; and that he be baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, by dipping the whole body in water.

Mode of receiving persons excluded in other States.

The Church, which the person wishes to join, should write to the Churches which excluded him, for a statement of the offence committed; of which, with the acknowledgment, they are to judge. But if the remote Church be dissolved, the other may act at discretion.
Arminianism and Socinianism had been embraced by many of the members of the Church where the Association was held -- Cowper's run, near Paris. These ruinous errors had, in fact, been privately propagated by the pastor, A. Eastin, the Moderator of the Association; and added to his own influence was that of a member of his Church, one of the ablest and most popular men in Kentucky, Gov. J. Garrard. The Association had no sooner closed its session that Eastin began to advocate publicly and zealously the speculations which had already rent the Presbyterian Church, and were the rallying points of the New Lights. Controversy and agitation were spreading and disturbing the Churches. Were the Baptist ranks to be beleaguered or subverted as the Presbyterian had been, by the withering dogmas of the skeptical Dr. Priestly?
An extra session of the Association was called , and met at Great Crossings, the third Saturday in April, 1803. David Barrow was chosen Moderator, and John Price, Clerk. Letters from thirty-three Churches were received. It was, after calm and prayerful deliberation,
Resolved, That a Committee be appointed (Barrow, Price, Dudley, Redding, and Tarrant) to visit the Churches at Cowper's Run, Flat Lick, Indian creek, and Union, to endeavor to convince them of their heresy, respecting the Trinity, and make report.
Enquiry -- Does this body believe the doctrine of the Trinity, as contained in the confession of faith?
Answered, unanimously -- They do.
The reports of this Committee were unavailing, as will appear from the synopsis of the

Eight Anniversary

At Town Fork, on the 13th of August, 1893 [sic - 1803 -- jrd].
Introductory by George Eve.
A. Dudley, Moderator, John Price, Clerk.
Letters from 40 Churches -- members, 4,422.
Cowper's Run Church dropped from union of this Association, for denying the doctrine of the Trinity, and holding that Jesus Christ is not truly God.
Agreed, That that part of Flat Lick Church, who hold to their constitution, and believe in the divinity of Christ, be considered the Church.
Voted unanimously, That the union formed with the Baptists south of Kentucky, does not removed them, in the least, from their constitutional principles.
The session was threatening. Influence and wealth were on its side; yet such has ever been the attachment of Baptists to the vital truth of Christianity, and such is the simplicity of the discipline, that the storm soon expended itself, and not a trace even of its effects could be discerned. The Churches infected soon expired.

Sixteenth Session

At Cowper's Run, on the 14th August, 1802.
Introductory by Elder Redding.
A. Eastin, Moderator; John Price, Clerk.
Letters from thirty-six churches, members, and twelve new churches received, in all forty-six churches, counting 5,310 members.
New churches -- Ridge of Dennon's Creek, Union, Mount Gilead, Mount Pleasant, Mill Creek, David's Fork, Hillsborough, Bank Lick, Brush Fork, Clover Bottom, Rockbridge, Twelve Mile.
A serious difficulty between the church at Crossings and that at McConnell's Run. A committee sent to heal it.
South Elkhorn enquires what constitutes baptism valid?
Ans. The administrator ought to have been baptized himself by immersion, legally called to preach the gospel, and ordained as the Scripture directs. And that the candidates for baptism make a profession of his faith in Jesus Christ; and that he be baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, by dipping the whole body in water.

Mode of Receiving Persons Excluded in other States.

The church which the person wishes to join should write to the church which excluded him for a statement of the offense committed; of which, with the acknowledgement, they are to judge. But if the remote church be dissolved, the other may act at discretion.
Town Fork church is dissatisfied with the union with the Separate Baptists. A committee sent to comfort her.

Seventeenth Conference
Occasional

At Great Crossings, on 3d Saturday in April, 1803.
David Barrow, Moderator; John Price, Clerk.
Letters received from thirty-three churches; also from eighty-six churches on Green River.
Appointed a committee (Barrow, Price, Dudley, Redding, and Tarrant,) to visit the churches at Cowper's Run, Flat Lick, Indian Creek, and Union, to endeavor to convince them of their heresy respecting the Trinity, and make report.
Enquiry -- Does this body believe the doctrine of the Trinity, as contained in the Confession of Faith?
Answered, unanimously -- They do.

Eighteenth Conference

At Town Fork, on the 13th of August, 1803.
Introductory by G. Eve.
A. Dudley, Moderator; John Price, Clerk.
Letters from 40 churches; members, 4,422.
Cowper's Run church dropped from the union of this Association for denying the doctrine of the Trinity, and holding that Jesus Christ is not truly God.
Agreed, That that part of the Flat Lick church who hold to their constitution, and believe in the divinity of Christ, be considered the church.
Voted unanimously, That the union formed with the Baptists South of Kentucky does not remove them, in the least, from their constitutional principles.

Nineteenth Conference

At North Elkhorn, the 2d Saturday in August, 1804.
Introductory by Lewis Corbin, Ps. 84:11.
A. Dudley, Moderator; John Price, Clerk.
Present -- Creath from Town Fork; Vardeman from South District.
Mount Gilead. Query -- Is it constitutional of a member in good standing to have a letter of dismission to join a sister church nearer to him?
The Association modestly refused answering.
Sundry churches dismissed with leave to join other Associations.
A request from sundry black brethren, who dissented from Cowper's Run, when she embraced the Arian heresy, attended to.
Agreed, To insert in the minutes the death of our beloved brother, John Gano, who departed this life August 9, 1804, in about his 80th year. He lived and died an ornament to religion.

Twentieth Conference

At Bryans, on the 10th of August, 1805.
Introductory by Carter Tarrant, Mark, 16:15.
A. Dudley, Moderator; John Price, Clerk.
Letters from 35 churches; members 3,550.
Preached on Sunday -- Elder Redding, from 2 Cor., 5:17; Elder Vardeman, from 1 Cor., 16:22; Elder Barrow, from 2 Cor., 5:10.
Circular Letter, by Brother James Johnson rejected.
Query from Boone's Creek -- What is a member to do, who, when in good standing, applies for a letter of dismission, and is denied?
"Answer -- Withdraw."
Several churches request a revision of the confession of faith and discipline. Accordingly, a committee was appointed, viz: Dudley, Redding, Price, Tarrant, R. Johnson, Bart, Collins, and Payne, to revise and report any necessary amendments.
Query from Glenn's Creek -- Is it right for Baptists to go to barbecues on the 4th of July.
Answer -- No.
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[These records are in the Christian Repository magazine [1856-1859], edited by Samuel H. Ford. They are in a series entitled "History of the Kentucky Baptists." These documents may be found here.


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