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Forks of Elkhorn Baptist Church
Lexington, Kentucky

Highlights of Early History

     September 1781 - Upper Spotsylvania congregation begins Kentucky pilgrimage to escape widespread persecution of Baptists.

     December 1781 - Spotsylvania congregation arrives at Gilbert's Creek (Garrard County)

     1788 - With William Hickman as pastor, Forks of Elkhorn congregation relocates and builds frame meetinghouse at crossroads of Steele's Ferry and Lexington-Leestown Roads to take advantage of increasing road travel.

     1788 - Church unites with Elkhorn Association.

     1796 - Church increases to 123 members.

     1800 - Great countrywide revival, often occurring at week-long camp meetings drawing as many as 20,000 people, triple Baptist membership and allow William Hickman to baptize 500 people in two years.

     February 1801 - Church releases six Forks of Elkhorn members including William Hickman, Jr. and his wife Obedience to develop South Benson Baptist Church where he would serve as pastor most of his life.

     April 1801 - Church releases six members to seed congregation on the North Fork of Elkhorn (Switzer), fourteen for the development of Zion Baptist Church.

     May 1801 - Ten or more Forks of Elkhorn members help charter Glen Creek Church.

     October 1812 - Eight Forks of Elkhorn members help organize Big Spring, later called Spring Station Church.

     February 1816 - Eleven Forks members leave fellowship to organize First Baptist.

     January 1818 - Eleven members transfer from parent church to establish Buck Run Church.

     1820 - Brick building replaces original frame structure.

     1821 - With South Benson, Salt River, Twins, Hopewell, Mt. Pleasant, Mouth of Elkhorn and Big Spring, charters and moves membership to Franklin Association.

     1830 - Alexander Campbell's teaching causes rifts in Baptist churches and leads to two factions at Forks of Elkhorn with the Baptist meeting on the second Saturday and Sunday; the new denomination meeting on the third, and the African-American congregation also sharing the building.

     January 1834 - William Hickman dies on his return from preaching at South Benson and is buried in the Frankfort Cemetery.

     January 1835 - First steam railroad west of the Alleghenies and the second in the United States, adjacent to the meetinghouse, establishes Duckers as one of the first railroad stations serving the Lexington to Frankfort route.

     1845-50 - "Reform Church" cease using the Forks of Elkhorn meetinghouse.

     1850 - Robert W. Scott establishes first Sunday School.

     1866 - Harmony Presbyterian Church and Fork of Elkhorn exchange buildings and land.

     1867 - Sunday School reopens and prayer meetings held on Wednesday and Sunday nights.

     1876 - Women's Missionary Society organizes; church purchases organ.

     September 1885 - Church ordains John R. Sampey, 22.

     January 1886 - Rev. Sampey lists in diary 40 nonmembers of congregation and vows to pray for them everyday; a revival in August results in 41 additions.


[Taken from the church's website. The title has been added and format changed. Formatted by Jim Duvall.]

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