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EARLY HISTORY OF THE ELKHORN ASSOCIATION
by John Henderson Spencer,
A History of Kentucky Baptists,
Volume II, 1886.

      This is the oldest fraternity of the kind west of the Alleghany Mountains. Some account of its origin, and that of its early churches, has been given in the early part of this work. In the sketch to be given here, which, for want of space, must necessarily be very brief, some things will be repeated, in order to make the narrative more connected. When five of the six churches, of which this ancient fraternity was originally composed, contemplated the formation of an association, they held a preliminary conference, for the double purpose of considering the propriety of forming such an organization, and of making an attempt to form a union with five Separate Baptist churches, of which South Kentucky Association was afterwards formed. Failing to accomplish the latter object, the conference appointed a time to meet for the purpose of forming an association of Regular Baptist churches. Of these transactions, John Taylor, who was a member of both the meetings, gives the following brief account:
     "We soon began to contemplate an association. For that purpose, and partly to bring about a union with the South Kentucky Baptists, we held a conference at South Elkhorn, in June, 1785; but failing in the union with the South Kentucky Baptists, we agreed to meet as an association, at Clear Creek, October, 1, 1785. Six churches, it seems, met. One of them was from Tates Creek, south side of Kentucky; there and then, Elkhorn Association was formed."

      The preliminary conference was held at South Elkhorn, June 25, 1785. Five churches were represented as follows:

     South Elkhorn. Lewis Craig, William Hickman and Benj. Craig.
     Clear Creek. John Taylor, John Dupuy, Jas. Rucker, Rich'd Cave.
     Big Crossing. William Cave and Bartlett Collins
     Tates Creek. John Tanner and William Jones
     Gilberts Creek. George S. Smith and John Price.

     Lewis Craig was chosen Moderator, and Richard Young, Clerk. Elijah Craig, Augustine Eastin, James Garrard and Henry Roach, being present, were invited to seats. The conference agreed to be governed by a majority in any matter that might come before it. The first question discussed was: "Whether the Philadelphia Confession of Faith, adopted the Baptists, shall be strictly adhered to, as the rule of our communion, or whether a suspension thereof for the sake of society be best." It was "agreed that the said recited Confession of Faith be strictly adhered to." This section decided the question as to union between the Regular and Separate Baptists, as the latter were stubbornly opposed to all creeds and confessions of faith. The conference, therefore, appointed a meeting for the last day of the following September, and adjourned.

     According to this appointment, messengers from six churches met at Clear Creek, in Woodford County, on Friday at 3 o'clock, P. M. Sep. 30, 1785. A sermon was preached by William Hickman, from Exodus 23:30. "By little and little will I drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased and inherit the land." The appropriateness of text can be appreciated, only when it is remembered that the little churches, now about to form an association, were located in small, thinly populated settlements, in the midst of a vast wilderness, which teemed with millions of savages who lurked in the deep forests that surrounded the cabins of the "pale-faced" intruders, and thirsted perpetually for their blood. How trustingly those men of God leaned upon Him, who alone could save them, their wives and their little ones, from the cruel fate that threatened them every hour, day and night; and how eagerly they looked forward to the time when He should have driven, the relentless foxes, "by little and little," from before them till they should have increased, and inherited the land in peace.

     The following is a list of the churches represented in the meeting, together with the names of their messengers:

     Gilberts Creek. George S. Smith and John Price.
     Tates Creek. John Tanner, Wm. Jones and Wm. Williams.
     South Elkhorn. Lewis Craig, Wm. Hickman and Benj. Craig.
     Clear Creek. John Taylor, James Rucker and John Dupuy.
     Big Crossing. Wm. Cave, Bartlett Collins and Robt. Johnson.
     Limestone. Wm. Wood and Edward Dobbins.

     The day following their coming together, the messengers adopted the following

"CONSTITUTION."
     "Being assembled together, and taking into our 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 [we] 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 1643, containing a system of the evangelical doctrines agreeable to the gospel of Christ, which we do heartily believe in and receive. But something in the third and fifth 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 govern and direct 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 to each other. And, as there are a number of christian professors in this country under the Baptist name, in order to distinguish ourselves from them, we are of opinion that no appellation is more suitable to our profession than that of 'Regular Baptist,' which name we profess."

     Thus was Elkhorn Association constituted, on Saturday, October 1, 1785. William Cave was chosen Moderator. The Association decided that all matters of business should be determined by a majority. At the request of Gilberts Creek, the oldest church in the Association, a committee was sent to inquire into its standing. In answer to a query from Tates Creek,the churches were advised to use all tenderness to reclaim persons holding the error of conditional salvation, but if they could not be reclaimed, to exclude them. In answer to another query, it was decided, "that it is lawful for any christian to bear office, either civil or military, except ministers of the gospel." Quarterly meetings were appointed to be held at Tates Creek, Big Crossing and Limestone. It was agreed that should hereafter no query be received into the Association, except it should have been debated in the church from which it originated, and inserted in the church letter.

     The next meeting of the Association was held at South Elkhorn, beginning Aug. 15, 1786. John Taylor was chosen Moderator, and Richard Young, Clerk. Three new churches were received --Town Fork, Bryants Station, and Boones Creek (now Athens). A request for help was received from a number of Baptists near the Forks of Dix River. A committee, consisting of Ambrose Dudley, John Tanner, Benj. Craig, and Bartlett Collins, was appointed to visit them the fourth Saturday in August.

     This is the first mention made of the Forks of Dix River, in connection with the Baptists, in any accessible record. It is not improbable that this committee, the first named two of which were ministers, constituted the famous old church at the Forks of Dix River, at the time set to visit these Baptists. Asplund, who is high authority, puts down the date of its constitution at 1786, and is followed by Benedict. The claim that this church was constituted by Lewis Craig and others, in 1782, does not appear to be supported by any reliable authority.

     The committee which had been appointed the year before to inquire into the standing of Gilberts Creek Church, reported it dissolved. This was the church that traveled through the wilderness with Lewis Craig, in 1781. A Separate Baptist church of the same name was set up by Elder Joseph Bledsoe, near the same locality, in 1783, which remained until a very recent date. But it never had any connection with the original Gilberts Creek Church, neither was it originally, of the same denomination.

     A query was presented to this Association, as to its right to deal with churches which refused to take its advice. It was decided that the Association has a right to reject such churches from a seat in the body, provided the advice was not contrary to the terms upon which the churches united in an association.

     A query, as to whether a slave was properly a gospel member of the church, was decided in the affirmative. The question, as to whether a slave, who was forcibly separated from his wife, by the removal of his master a long distance, might marry again, without affecting his standing as a church member, was regarded too difficult of solution to admit of an answer at present; but the churches were advised to receive no more who had married under such circumstances.

     In regard to the duty of supporting a minister, it was queried as to whether it was a debt or a liberal contribution. It was referred to the next association, when the following was substituted: "Whether it is agreeable to scripture for churches to suffer men to preach and have the care of them, that are trading and entangling themselves with the affairs of this life." The answer was, "that it is not agreeable to scripture, but that it is the duty of the churches to give their ministers a reasonable support."

     1787. The third annual session convened at Bryants Station, Aug. 1787.
     Three new churches were received, Hanging Fork of Dix River (now New Providence), Cowpers Run (since written Coopers Run) and Marble Creek (now East Hickman). The business of the session was of small importance. The manner of receiving members from churches not immediately connected with this fraternity, was laid down as follows: "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."

     The subject of "feet washing" was discussed and referred to the next Association. It was agreed that the Association has no right to interfere with the internal affairs of an orderly church.

     Agreed to correspond with Philadelphia and Ketocton Associations, by letter, and by delegates, when convenient. Agreed also to write a letter to Coxes Creek Association, by which was meant Salem Association.

     1788. May 31. At South Elkhorn.
     The corresponding messengers from Salem Association, Wm. Taylor and Joshua Carman, made Some objection to the Association's tolerating the churches in using or not using the laying on of hands on persons newly baptized. The difficulty was presently reconciled by a conference on the subject, and the corresponding messengers took their seats.

     QUERY -- From the church at Limestone. -- Whether the churches belonging to this Association, that do not comply with that solemn duty of supporting their ministry with a comfortable living, so as to keep them, from wordly [sic] incumbrance, shall be held in the fellowship of this Association? No decision was had on this question. The first tabular statistics were entered on the Minutes this year. There were 11 churches with 559 members.

     1788. October 25. At Clear Creek.
     Forks of Elkhorn and Buck Run churches were received. The only important transaction of this session was that. -- 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 from which he comes.

     1789. May 30. At Big Crossing.
     A letter was received from the General Committee of Baptists in Virginia, announcing the union of the Regular and Separate Baptists. The Association replied, and agreed to drop the name Regular, in all letters going from this Association.

     Received Minutes of the United Baptist Association in 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. James Garrard, John Taylor, Robt. Johnson and A. Eastin were appointed to confer with them. The fraternity here styled the United Baptist Association, was the old South Kentucky Association of Separate Baptist[s], which had assumed the term "United" in their correspondence, merely, to avoid giving offense. A meeting was called by the joint committee to convene the second Friday in August, at Harrods Meeting-house, for the purpose of attempting to effect a union between the two associations. The meeting was held, but nothing towards a union was effected.

     At this Association, the Clerk was ordered to send a copy of the Minutes, including the circular letter, to each church (in manuscript, it, is presumed) for which he was to receive three shillings (fifty cents). The first Thursday in August was appointed a day of fasting and prayer, in all the churches.

     1789. October 30. Boones Creek.
     A revival had prevailed, and 80 baptisms were reported.

      1790. August 27. At Lexington.
     Indian Creek Church was received. The Association opines that the office of Elder, distinct from that of a preacher is a gospel institution.

     1791. August 26. Coopers Run.
     Mays Creek (now Mayslick), Cove Spring, Cumberland, in Tennessee, Strouds Fork and Taylors Fork churches were received.

     A committee was appointed to draw up a memorial to the Convention; to be held the following April, for the purpose of forming a State Constitution for Kentucky; requesting said Convention to take up the subject of religious liberty and perpetual slavery, in the formation of the Constitution. The committee consisted of A. Easton, James Garrard and Ambrose Dudley. The Association convened at Great Crossing, September 8th, for the purpose of hearing the report. The memorial was read and approved.

     The approval of the memorial seems to have caused considerable excitement among the slave holding members of the churches. The Association was called together at Bryants Station, on the 26th of December of the same year, when it was; Resolved, "That this Association disapproves of the memorial which the last Association agreed to send to the Convention, on the subject of Religious Liberty and Abolition of Slavery."

     New churches received, Cedar Creek (now Crab Orchard) and Columbia, in N. W. Territory (Ohio). The question as to the validity of baptism, administered by a Pedo-Baptist, on profession of faith was deferred till May, 1793, and then answered evasively. At the last named date, another effort made to form a union with South Kentucky Association which was unsuccessful, as heretofore. A result of the failure was the withdrawal of four churches from that fraternity, which formed themselves into what was afterwards known Tates Creek Association.

     The spirit of missions was manifest at this meeting. The sum of 13, 12s, 8d was appropriated to meet the expense brethren, sent on a mission to Tennessee.

     1793. October 12. At South Elkhorn.
     Grassy Lick and Flat Lick Churches had been received, in May, and now Springfield Church was received. A union was formed with the four churches which had recently seceded from South Kentucky Association, on the following terms, proposed by the seceding churches:

     "We agree to receive the regular Baptist Confession Faith; but to prevent its exerting a tyrannical 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 of the gospel. And that we do believe in the 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, so delivered by the Spirit, into which Scriptures, so delivered, our faith is finally resolved."

     On account of some dissatisfaction expressed by some of the Elkhorn churches, this union was dissolved in August, 1794. But in 1797, it was again restored, and has remain uninterrupted to the present time. In 1797, we have the first intimation of doubt, as to the morality of selling intoxicating drinks. It comes in the form of a query from Licking Church, as follows: Whether the church is justifiable in shutting the door against a member of a sister church, that offers his membership, for the cause of retailing liquors according to law? The Association answers in the negative; but the presenting of the query proves that some church was unwilling to receive a liquor dealer into her fellowship, or at least doubted the propriety of it.

     1797. At Clear Creek.
     New churches received: Green Creek, Tick Creek and Beaver Creek. The Association gives an opinion on the subject of funeral preaching, as follows: "That funeral processions, attended with singing, conform too much to the anti-christian customs, and ought to be omitted in the churches of Christ. But there can be no impropriety in a servant of Christ's preaching at that time and place, for he is to be instant in season and out of season. Christian prudence ought to decide on the subject. But to suppose a sermon necessary to the decent burial of the dead, we wish discountenanced."

     Query from McConnels Run. Are churches bound by the Scriptures to contribute to the support of pastoral ministers? Answer. God hath ordained that they who preach the gospel should live of the gospel.

     1798. At Forks of Elkhorn.
     New churches received: Flower Creek and Lees Creek. And next year, Hurricane, Elk Lick, Russells Creek and Drennons Creek, (now New Castle). In 1800, Dry Creek was received, and Buck Run was reported dissolved.

     1801. At South Elkhorn.
     The "Great Revival" is in progress. 27 old churches and 10 new ones are represented. Number of Baptisms reported, 3,011: Total membership, 4,853. The new churches were Mouth of Elkhorn, North Fork, Eagle Creek, Silas, Glens Creek, North Elkhorn, Twins, South Benson, Dry Run, and Port William.

     The action of this Association, with reference to Indian Missions and the consummation of a happy union with South Kentucky Association of Separate Baptists, has been noticed at length, in the general history. Elkhorn, together other associations in the State, now took the name of "United Baptists."

     Up to this period, the history of Elkhorn Association comprises most of what we know of the early Baptists of Kentucky. The superior intelligence of her ministers and churches, previous to the great revival, made her the representative body of the Western Baptists. For this reason, her transactions have been given in detail, and from her history, may be learned the doctrines, practice, opinions and habits of the fathers of our Zion. After this period, although still among the most influential bodies of the kind, in the State, she divides this honor with her numerous sister associations. A more condensed account of her proceedings, from this period, will be given.

     In 1802, the question as to what constitutes valid Baptism, which had been evaded in 1793, was brought before the Association in a different form, and answered as follows:

     "Query from South Elkhorn. -- What constitutes Baptism? Answer. --The administrator ought to have baptized himse1f by immersion, legally called to preach gospel, [and] ordained as the Scriptures dictate; and the candidate for baptism should make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ, and be baptized in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, by dipping the whole body in water."

     The difficulty concerning what is now termed Unitarianism arose in Coopers Run, Flat Lick, Indian Creek and Union churches, in 1803. For the purpose of meeting it promptly, an association was held at Great Crossing, in April of that year. A committee was sent to visit the accused churches, and the old article of faith on the subject of the Trinity was reaffirmed. The committee failed to reclaim Coopers Run church, and it was dropped from the Union, at the annual meeting of the Association, in August. That part of Flat Lick, which held to the constitution and to the divinity of Christ, was recognized as the church. The heresy seems have spread no farther, and peace was restored in the Association.

     Scarcely had the Unitarian difficulty been settled, when a more serious trouble arose, concerning slavery. Some of most highly esteemed ministers in the Association were opposed to that domestic institution. Among these, were David Barrow, William Hickman, George Smith and Carter Tarrant. Their preaching on the subject gave offense to the slaveholding members of the churches. At its meeting at Bryants, in l805, the Association recorded the follow opinion:

     "This Association judges it improper for ministers, churches or associations to meddle with emancipation from slavery, or any other political subject; and as such we advise ministers and churches to have nothing to do therewith, in their religious capacities."

     This gave offense to the Emancipationists. Barrow, Tarrant and several other ministers, from this and other associations, drew off several churches and parts of churches and formed an Emancipation Association.

     A great spiritual derth [sic] prevailed within the bounds of the Association, from 1806 till 1809: So that, in four years, only 52 baptisms were reported. During this period, the influences which resulted in a grievous split in the body, and the organization of Licking Association, were at work. This very sad affair, which has been detailed at length elsewhere, continued to embarrass the Association a long series of years. Licking Association was formed, in 1810, and in 1811, Elkhorn, being informed that East Hickman, Stony point, Raven Creek, Rock Bridge, Brush Creek, Mill Creek, Little Huston and Flat Lick, with others, had embodied and called themselves Licking Association, agreed that they no longer be called in the roll of churches.

     It may be observed here that very earnest endeavors we made, from year to year, to reconcile Licking and Elkhorn Associations, and establish correspondence between them; but the efforts were unsuccessful. They received each other's messengers, in 1818. But it was manifest that the apparent reconciliation was not hearty, on the part of Licking; for, 1820, the messengers from Elkhorn were rejected, on the grounds that the old difficulties remained untouched, and that new ones respecting doctrines, had arisen. From that time to the present, the two fraternities, occupying the same territory, have antagonized each other, much to the injury of the cause of Christ.

     In 1812, a colored church, which had been gathered, at Lexington, by a colored man known as "Old Captain," made application for membership in the Association. The application was rejected, on the ground that the constitution of the church was irregular.

     It appears that the pious old slave, under whose earnest and diligent labors this church had been gathered, had been member of a small Separate Baptist Church, located in the eastern part of Fayette county, or the western part of Clark, called the head of Boones Creek. After that church dissolved, about 1797, he hired the time of himself and his wife, procured a cabin to live in, near Lexington, and devoted himself to exhorting his fellow-servants, in and about the village, to repent and turn to the Saviour. When about fifty had professed conversion and demanded baptism. he applied to the white brethren for ordination. But he being a slave and wholly illiterate, the "fathers and brethren" deemed it improper to lay hands on him. However, they gave him the right hand of fellowship, and bade him go on in the good work. Thus encouraged, he baptized the converts that were approved, and constituted them into a church, under the style of the African Baptist Church in Lexington. This church prospered greatly, until it numbered about 300 members, when it applied for admission to Elkhorn Association, as stated above. The irregularity of its constitution consisted in the want of the formal ordination of the preacher who baptized its members and embodied them in a church. Such was the strictness of order, adhered to by the fathers of Elkhorn Association.

     In 1813, Silas M. Noel commenced the publication, at Frankfort, of the Gospel Herald. In the first number of this Monthly, he advocated the organization of a general meeting of correspondence, somewhat similar in its objects to our present General Association. The subject was taken into consideration by Elkhorn Association. But after a year's deliberation, the proposition was rejected.

     In 1814, the subject of Foreign Missions was brought before the Association, for the first time. No action was taken on the subject that year. But the year following, Luther Rice, the General Agent of the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions, being present, the sum of $150 or $200 was collected for the Burman Mission. From that period to the present, the churches of Elkhorn Association have been among the most liberal in contributing to Foreign Missions.

     In 1816, some disturbance was caused by the circulation of a pamphlet, titled an address to the advocates of a partial gospel, written by Judge Henry Davage, a licensed preacher in Big Spring Church. The doctrine taught in the publication was regarded Arminian, and was especially annoying to Franklin Association, whose messengers refused to take seats in Elkhorn Association, till that body should take some action concerning it. Silas M. Noel offered the following, which, being adopted by the Association, gave general satisfaction.

     "We advise the Church at Big Spring, if she is grieved by the pamphlet written by H. Davage, to treat with the author in a gospel way. And we recommend to the churches of our union to discountenance the doctrines and sentiments therein contained."

     In 1817, in answer to a query from Glens Creek the Association advised the members in their connection "in no case to join themselves to a Masonic Lodge." The following year, they advised their members not to join any "society, the principle of which is secrecy."

     In 1821, in deference to "a respectable minority of the churches," and "for the sake of peace," the Association withdrew correspondence from the Board of Foreign Missions.

     Queries came from the 1st Baptist Church in Lexington, as to the validity of baptism administered by an unordained preacher, and as to the propriety of ordaining men of color to the gospel ministry. Jeremiah Vardeman, James Fishback, John Edwards, Edmund Waller and Jacob Creath were appointed a committee to consider these questions and report their conclusions to the next Association. In accordance with their report, the Association, in 1822, reaffirmed its definition of valid baptism, given in 1802, and, in answer to the second inquiry, "they knew of no reason why free men of color may not be ordained ministers of the gospel, the gospel qualifications being possessed by them."

     In 1828, an extensive revival prevailed within the bounds of the Association. The number of baptisms reported that year was l,676. The numerical strength of the fraternity was increased from 2,802, to 4,346. The permanent value of this increase, however was greatly diminished by the activity of A. Campbell's adherents, who led many of the young convert to the peculiar views of that leader. The leaven of Campbellism had already begun to work in the churches, and the revival was followed by the wildest confusion and disorder that the Association has ever experienced. This turbulence continued among the churches till 1830; when the Campbellites were formally excluded from the Association, and peace was restored to the churches. A sufficiently full account of these transactions has been given in the general history.

     A constrained and irregular correspondence was kept up with Licking Association till 1836, when it appeared that some doctrines, contrary to those held by the Baptists generally, were being propagated in her churches. Elkhorn remonstrated with her, and, not being able to obtain satisfaction, finally withdrew correspondence, in 1837.

     The establishment of toll gates on the roads over which the people went to their houses of worship, being a barrier in the way of the poor's attending religious meetings, the Association, in 1838; made a very earnest appeal to the Legislature to open the gate for the free passage, on Sabbath, or all persons going to or returning from public worship, on all turnpike roads in the State.

     During the period of a score of years, from the Campbellite schism, Elkhorn Association had a feeble ministry, compared with that of former years, although she still had a few able preachers. The resolution adopted in 1839, to the following effect, was especially appropriate: That this Association has long mourned a great deficiency of ministerial labor, and has felt rebuked, when praying for more laborers, under the conviction that those in the field were rendered inefficient by the neglect of the churches to sustain them. To remedy the evil, they recommended the plan adopted by the General Association. Nothing was done this year towards carrying out the plan. But, in 1840, Elder J. D. Black was appointed to visit the churches composing the body, and spread before them the wants of the people. The design was to induce the churches to sustain their pastors, in order that they might give their whole time to the ministry. Elder Black was also directed to visit the destitute places, hold protracted meetings, and otherwise promote the cause of Christ. His labors were abundantly successful. He visited every church in the Association, held 20 protracted meetings, received for baptism 323, and collected some money for missions. The Association was SO much encouraged, that it appointed two missionaries, the next year.

     J. D. Black was the first missionary appointed to labor in the bounds of this association. But from that time to the present, domestic missions have been kept cup within its bounds, through the various systems it has adopted.

     In 1840, the following resolution was adopted by the Association: "That in view of the apostolic admonition to bring up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, we recommend to all our churches, as far as they possibly can, to sustain a Sabbath school in their respective congregations." This was probably the first resolution of the kind, adopted by any association in the state. It may not be unworthy of remark, that it was offered by Elder George C. Sedwick, the father of the distinguished Sunday school missionary, Wm. S. Sedwick.

      Our space will allow of no further details of the history of this ancient fraternity. From 1840 to the present, it has generally been prosperous, except that it sustained a greater loss of members during the war, than any other association in the state. In 1861, its churches numbered an aggregate membership of 7,760, of whom 2,671 were white and 5,089 were colored; in 1871, they reported only 2,505. From 1788 to 1880, there were, according to official reports, baptized into the churches of this Association 25,138. In 1880, it numbered 28 churches and 3,063 members.


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[From J. H. Spencer, A History of Kentucky Baptists, Vol. II, pp. 7-21. The essay continues with bios of prominent ministers in the Elkhorn Baptist Association. Jim Duvall]



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