Baptist History Homepage


      Editor's note: Some of the information in this Index is taken from the History of the Association written in the 1870s and 80s. The authors of that history took note of periodic Circular Letters.

      * Since that was written I have acquired many of the early CLs from the Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives, Nashville, TN. A special thanks to Stephen duBarry, Olmstead, KY, who on a visit there, located and copied these Circular Letters for me. Many of the authors are still not known at this time. There are a total of 42 CLs in this index. - Jim Duvall


A Partial Index of the Circular Letters of the Elkhorn Baptist Association (KY )
Authors and Subjects

1786 - William Wood of Limestone B. C. (Maysville) wrote the Circular.



1788 - "At the Conference, held at South Elkhorn, for an Association, Moses Bledsoe, Joseph Bledsoe, S. Smith, and Joseph Craig were present. They were alike in their views, and all violently opposed to the Calvinism of the Regular Baptists. This extreme opposition doubtless decided Craig, Taylor and Hickman, old Separates in Virginia, to unite with the few Regulars among them, and adopt the Philadelphia Confession. The opposition to the doctrines advocated by the more Calvinistic brethren, was directed against the adoption of a creed, or confession of any kind. This was the rallying point of the Separates. On the other hand it was argued that the opposition to the Confession could not be to it, but to the truth it embodied. For were the Confession buried, they would still oppose what the Regulars cherished, and must ever preach."
     [The above statement is from S. H. Ford's History of the Kentucky Baptists, chapter 8, and refers to the attempted uniting of the Separate and the Regular Baptists. Ford cites this CL as the source for his information. - jd.]

     It is not known if there is an extant CL for this year.



1793 - The Circular Letter was written by Ambrose Dudley and John Price. A Coldness and Indifference have Spread.

1801 - The circular shows the Association's "cordial desires not only for a general union of God's people, but the spread of the truth in all lands."

1802 - Brother Wm. Payne to write the circular letter, for 1802. He was a member (pastor ?) of Goshen Baptist Church. [This is found in S. H. Ford's History of the Kentucky Baptists, chapter 11.]

1803 - The Circular Letter expresses how grateful they are that their enemies have been defeated and there is unity among the churches.      A circular letter is appended on "the important subject of the Divinity, Lordship and Humanity of the Lord Jesus." It is described as "brief, but pointed and clear, bristling all over with Scripture quotations" [but not available]. (This may be the document that contains the comments of John Gano, who made a special effort to attend, and spoke at the association, though he was badly hurt from a fall. jrd)

1804 - Circular letter by A. Bainbridge was on "the Divinity, Personality and Work of the Holy Ghost upon the hearts of the elect."

1806 - Circular Letter "Dear brethren, when we reflect on the rise and progress of religion in this western hemisphere, we are ready to say, great is the Lord, and marvelous are his works, in this our land." A copy of the first page of the Minutes and Circular here.

1807 - The Circular Letter calls for repentance and a confession of sin. "Notwithstanding it is our duty to examine ourselves, and search for the cause that we are in heaviness through manifold temptations, we would suggest what we think is the prime cause - Alas! we have sinned in departing from the spirit and rules of the gospel; we fear there is a lack of that fundamental principle, which may be considered as the soul of Christianity, amongst many of the professors of religion. . ."

1808 - A Circular Letter on The Love of God.

1810 - Correspondence and Circular Letter. The Association was about to divide over disagreements.

1814 - Circular written while the War of 1812 Continued. "At a crisis like this, a proper respect for those in authority and due obedience, is of the last importance. The strength of the nation cannot be wielded to advantage without confidence in the administration. Nor is it possible to excite distrust, or dimish confidence in the Executive, without essentially serving the purposes of the enemy."

1815 - Circular Letter The War of 1812 had just ended. "In our last Circular we had occasion to mention that we were visited by the scourge of war, but that it was to vindicate rights ever dear to freemen; rights for which our forefathers fought and bled, and which was obtained by the helping hand of a kind Creator. At this time we congratulate you upon the return of Peace."

     A circular letter from the Rev. Luther Rice, Agent of the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions for the United States, was read. Its object was to present, through the Association, to each church in our union a copy of the report of said Board for 1815, and by means of a Secretary, to keep up correspondence with that Board.

1816 - Circular letter by Henry Davidge - Exhortation to Good Works.

1820 - An earnest circular to the churches on the Bible, our guide in all matters of doctrine and duty.

1821 - The circular letter for this year is an earnest, faithful admonition to the churches to abide by the terms of union between the Regular and Separate Baptists of 1801.

1824 - The Circular letter this year, by James Fishback, is a vigorous defence of Scriptural, or Close Communion.

1825 - Circular The Constitution and authority of the Association are dealt with; as is an attempted reconciliation with the Licking Association.

1826 - This Circular Letter has remarks upon the apparent, lamentable and censurable conformity of Christians to the world.

1827 - The Circular states: "We have had a number of ministering brethren with us, many of them from a distance, have heard much good preaching, and hope our meeting, will not only prove a blessing to ourselves, but likewise a blessing, to those of our fellow travellers to eternity, who have been here present with us, and those who, we fear are out of the ark of safety." Brother B. A. Hicks was the author.

1828 - The Circular quotes from the 1824 Letter, showing that James Fishback had changed his doctrinal position concerning Baptist beliefs.

1829 - Circular Letter by Elder J. Creath, Jr. - Exhortation to various Duties.

1830 - Brotherly Love - The author is not known.

1831 - The Circular contains an exhortation to faithfulness and a warning against prevalent intemperance.

1832 - Minutes and Circular Letter on Prayer. A copy of the document.

1836 - The subject is Pastoral Labor and Support. The Circular Letter was prepared by Elder Edmund Waller. Also there is a copy of the churches' statistics

     An "extract, pertinent now as then: 'We deem it important that every church should have her own pastor to dispense the word of life among them; and that they should meet on every Lord's day for worship, whether they have preaching or not; by which means gifts in the churches would be developed and improved.'" &c.

1837 - The Circular was read by [Silas. M.] Noel. It recounts the chilling condition of Zion at home and abroad. "We counsel ministers," says the Circular, "not to suppose they have done their duty when they have labored one or two hours on one day in seven; but rather to give themselves wholly to the work."

1838 - Circular Letter, by R. T. Dillard - (David's Fork & East Hickman) on "Personal Piety."

1839 - Circular by Waller, a noteworthy document, short, crisp, jointed and practical. [The subject is not given.]
The Associational Office, Lexington, KY has originals of the Minutes from the year 1840. -

1840 - Circular by Elder B. P. Drake, of Lexington (Cane Run, Fayette County). An Exhortation.

1841 - Circular Letter An emphasis on Knowing Biblical Truth. Author not known.

1843 - W. G. Craig - Extracts from the Letters from the churches.

1844 - F. C. McCalla - A call for greater missionary interest - in preaching, tract distribution and other efforts in the Redeemer's Kingdom.

1845 - The circular by W. F. Broaddus, (Clear Creek) consists of A Summary of Church Letters taken from those written for the annual meeting.

1846 - A Summary of Church Letters by L. W. Seeley, Pastor of Mt. Vernon Baptist Church, Woodford County - A brief statement of the condition of the churches from the letters sent to the Association - a "Remarks" section follows, in which the author encourages the churches to support their pastors fanacially so they might give themselves "wholly to the work" of the Gospel.

1847 - The Circular Letter Inconsistencies of Professors of Religion by W. M. Pratt (FBC, Lexington) was adopted by the body.

1850 - Circular Letter "Death has been abroad in our land, and that several of our beloved brethren, since our last meeting, have gone to their long home.

1851 - J. W. Kenney presented the Circular Letter. "It was a plea for the theory of a General Atonement; but inasmuch as the Association had long before decided that diversity of sentiment on this subject should be no bar to communion, and inasmuch as the body did not wish 'to commit itself to one side of the question by the official publication of the letter,' the letter was returned to the writer with 'the thanks of the body for the conscientious labor with which he had discharged the duty' assigned him."

1858 - Prof. Farnam was requested to furnish next year, in place of the usual Circular Letter, an exegesis of Acts 11:38.

1861 - Family Prayer by T. J. Stevenson. The Minutes that year state: "After prayer by Brother Branham, adjourned to attend religious exercises at the stand. A number of fervent prayers were offered in behalf of our afflicted country, and the brethren appointed the day previous, respectfully addressed the large concourse in attendance.

"It was unanimously resolved to designate the first Saturday of October, as a day of fasting, humiliation and prayer to God, for the outpouring of His Spirit upon the churches, and the general revival of His work of grace." (p. 3) [This was the year the Civil War began. - jrd]

1862 - Brotherly Love - By Ryland T. Dillard, (David's Fork & East Hickman). Psalm 133 "Behold how good and how pleasant it is, for Brethren to dwell together in unity."

1863 - Wm. M. Pratt, (FBC, Lexington) - "Fidelity to Christ" - Be faithful unto death" says the Savior, "and I will give thee a crown of life. A four-page Circular.

1866 - The Circular Letter prepared by Bro. J. E. Farnam was adopted, and the editors of the Western Recorder and Baptist Monthly requested to publish it."

1867 - The Letter was written by N. M. Crawford, Georgetwon, KY.

1868 - The Circular Letter on "Secret Prayer" by A. C. Graves, Pastor of Stamping Ground Baptist Church, Scott County, KY.

1870 - Circular Letter on "Home Labor" by A. S. Worrell, First Baptist Church, Lexington

1871 - The Circular Letter on "The Means and Motives for Increasing the Moral Power of the Church"
By R. M. Dudley

1873 - A Circular on "Pastoral Relations."

1874 - Circular Letter, An Appeal to Support the SBTS, By C. Lewis.

1875 - R. M. Dudley wrote A Baptist Peculiarity. He emphasized that Baptists follow the Holy Scriptures in their doctrines.

1876 - In place of the usual circular letter a "Historical Sketch of the Association", prepared by Dr. B. Manly, was read, and the writer was requested to continue the history, furnishing an abstract thereof for publication in the minutes of the Association for next year.
__________

1876 - The History of Great Crossing Baptist Church Scott County, KY - by Prof. J. N. Bradley was read on the occasion of the centennial celebration of said church and was ordered to be printed in the minutes of this year.



The Association adopted the following resolution: Resolved, That in lieu of the circular letter, the history of some one or more of the churches in this Association be written by some one appointed thereunto."

1877 - Dr. B. Manly, by previous appointment read in the place of the Circular Letter a sketch of the early history of the Association, and was requested to continue the same next year. The committee appointed at the last Session of the Association to procure histories of extinct Baptist Churches once belonging to this body, reported, through Elder Cad. Lewis, history of the Big Spring Church, which was ordered to be printed.

1878 - Dr. B. Manly presented the Second and Third Decades of the Elkhorn Associational History.

1879 - The transfer of Dr. Manly from the College at Georgetown to the Theological Seminury at Louisville and the appointment of Dr. Dudley to the Presidency of the college were endorsed by appropriate resolutions. R. M. Dudley was appointed to continue the "Annals of the Association" hitherto furnished by Dr. B. Manly.

1880 - Dr. Dudley read, as the Circular Letter, the 4th and 5th decades of the history of Elkhorn Association, which was received and ordered to be printed in the Minutes.

1881 - In place of the Circular Letter an installment of the history of the Elkhorn Association, embracing the years 1836-1845, was read by Dr. Dudley. Adopted and the writer requested to continue the history.

1882 - Dr. Dudley read, as the Circular letter, a continuation of the history of Elkhorn Association, which was adopted and the writer requested to continue the history.

1883 - The Eighth decade of the history of the Association was read by J. E. Farnam and adopted.

1885 - The Ninth decade of the history of the Association was given.

1886 - The Reports on State Missions, on Education, and the Tenth Decade of the History of the Association were made and adopted.

1888 - On the Importance of our Two Institutions at Georgetown and the Necessity of Enlarged Endowment By Wm. M. Pratt

1901 - A Summary on One-hundred Sixth Anniversary By G. W. Argabrite, Paris, KY
==============


More Kentucky Baptist History
Baptist History Homepage