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Sketches Of Tennessee's
Pioneer Baptist Preachers

By J. J. Burnett

July, second Saturday, 1791, Bent Creek (now the Whitesburg) Church appointed Robert Fristoe, along with Elders Tidence Lane, Isaac Barton and Caleb Witt, messengers to the Holston Association. The Association minutes for 1794 show that Phillip Hale and Robert Fristoe were messengers of Lick Creek (now the Warrensburg) Church. In 1795 Robert Fristoe was a messenger of the Lick Creek Church, and was chosen moderator of the Association. He seems to have been a layman, and not a preacher, at this time. In May, of '96, Cove Creek Church called for the ordination of Robert Fristoe, and a letter of dismission for him, both of which were granted. In 1797 he appears on the Holston Association minutes as a messenger of the Richland (Mouth of Richland) Church, and is again elected moderator. The following year (February 10, 1798) the Mouth of Richland Church "approbate Brother Robert Fristoe's gift in the preaching line and consider him ripe for ordination. In consequence of which we appoint next church meeting, three days in course: Friday as a church meeting, Saturday for fasting, and Sunday for preaching; and do request Brother Barton, Brother James Fears and Brother Jesse Fears to act as a presbytery in the ordination of Brother Fristoe at that time." At the April meeting the call for a presbytery was "repeated," and the ordination effected, we presume, since the church at its next meeting (May 12th) extended a call to Brother Fristoe to be pastor, which call was accepted. June 14th, the church "receives Brother Fristoe by letter, giving him the right hand of fellowship." In June of the following year the church "grants Beaver Dam a part of Brother Fristoe's time." After a continuous pastorate of twenty-one years the church (September, 1819) "'grants letters of dismission to Robert Fristoe and wife"; but in December, 1822, he is "reinstated to the pastoral care of the church and serves as pastor three more years. He was pastor of Little Flat Creek Church twenty-nine years (1798-1827), being followed by Samuel Love in a pastorate of thirteen years, and he by J. S. Coram, who served the church as pastor for twenty-six successive years.

Elder Fristoe was a peacemaker, and was wise and tactful in adjusting differences between churches and brethren who happened to be at variance. December 12, 1801, he was chosen by the Bent Creek Church to act with five other ministers as a presbytery in settling a "distress" existing between two of her members who were preachers.

In a council of nineteen churches, met with Beaver Creek Church, December 25, 1802, to organize the Tennessee Association, Robert Fristoe and two other brethren were "representatives" of the Mouth of Richland Church.

In 1805 he was moderator of the Tennessee Association; in 1809 be preached the introductory sermon, from I Peter 2:19 his theme being, "Suffering Wrong for Conscience' Sake."

[From J. J. Burnett, Sketches of Tennessee's Pioneer Baptist Preachers, 1919, pp. 160-1. Scanned by Jim Duvall.]

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