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History of the Kentucky Baptists
The Christian Repository, 1858
By Samuel H. Ford

Chapter XXII - History of Elkhorn Association

Twenty-second Session

At David's Fork, 2d Sabbath in August, 1807.
Introductory by Elder Creath, Matthew 16:17.
George S. Smith, Moderator; William C. Boswell, Clerk.
Letters from 34 churches - Members, 3,149.
The attempt to revise the Confession of Faith and Discipline, proves abortive; and the subject is dismissed.
In answer to a query from North Ford: "Mode of dealing between churches."
"A church having difficulties with another church will send a committee with her complaint. If satisfaction is not made, she will send her complaint to the Association, who will decide thereon after a fair investigation had."
[About this time the noted controversy, which, in 1808, rent this body in twain.]
By this rule it was intended to bring the grievance of a minority at Town Fork before the Association. The church at Bryant's Station dealt with Town Fork accordingly, and exhibited her complaint to the next Association.
"It is disorderly for a church to dismiss a member to join any church not in fellowship with her."

The propriety of this opinion is questioned by many, and condemned by the most intelligent disciplinarians among us.

To a query answered thus: "We are happy in receiving those hints from Mount Pleasant, as they give us an opportunity of expressing our abhorrence of said conduct. We do utterly condemn both the principle and practice of one member in a religious society publishing the crimes or defaming the character of his brethren, either by speaking, writing, printing, or any other way whatsoever, except before a proper tribunal."

The church at the Forks of Elkhorn advised to act at discretion in a difficulty between here and the church at Hopewell.
"Agreed, that in the future the Clerk be erected by ballot." This was to effect a particular end.

Query from North Fork: "Is it consistent with the scriptures and gospel order to invite Mr. Carter Tarrant, in his present standing (exclusive of his emancipating principles), into the pulpit as a minister?" Continued one meeting, then dismissed.

Twenty-third session

At Silas, second Saturday in August, 1808.
Introductory by Elder James Suggett - Heb. 12:15.
Ambrose Dudley, Moderator; Ch. Buck, Clerk.
Letters from 34 churches; Members, 2,940.
To preach on Sunday - Vardeman, Taylor, and Hiter.

"The mode of dealing between churches, as declared by last Association, remonstrated against by 13 churches.
"The same subject reconsidered, and that mode declared unconstitutional, and rejected."
Sundry charges exhibited by the church at Bryant's against the church at Town Fork. Decided, that the Town Fork church was not guilty of disorder in the charges alleged in the letter from Bryant's.
In a difficulty at McConnell's Run, advised that each party name five churches, and call four helps from each to assist them.

Twenty-fourth session

At South Elkhorn, second Saturday in August, 1809.
A. Bourne preached Introductory from Psalm 15:1, 2, 3.
Robert Johnson, Moderator; Ch. Buck, Clerk.
Letters from 23 churches; members, 2,052.
McConnell's Run enquires into the propriety of the Moderator's appointing the Committee Arrangement.
Answered "The power to appoint is with the body." This is unusual and unnecessary.

Twenty-fifth Session

At Clear Creek, second Saturday in August, 1810.
Introductory by J. Rucker.
Robert Johnson, Moderator; Ch. Buck, Clerk.
Letters from 20 churches; Members 1,800.
Mr. Darnaby presented a letter signed by 51 members of the church at Bryan's, which was read and referred to a Committee of Arrangement.

These 51 members were a minority of a very large church at Bryan's. The majority here sent a letter and messengers to Licking Association. The minority, agreeing in sentiment with the majority of the conference at Silas in 1808, were disposed to send to Elkhorn, and according represented their case to this conference.

The answer of the Licking Association to an address from this Association, unanimously rejected; which address, merged in an address by this Association, is ordered to be printed.

This Association declares her friendship and fellowship with the minority at Bryan's, and recommend patience, and deter any other advice until the next Association.

This was probably the best advice that could have been given under the circumstances. Before the next annual meeting the state of things in this church was gloomy. Sundry charges had been exhibited against the minority, on which they were tried and excluded by the majority. The minority, on their part. Declared that they stood on the church constitution, and were properly the church, the majority having departed from the constitution. Elder Dudley, the minister of the church, was with the majority. Elder Vardeman, being invited by the minority to officiate as their minister, accepted the invitation. Both parties claimed the church constitution and meeting-house; about the occupancy of the latter, the difference was long and obstinate. The result is that both occupy it on different days.

Robert Johnson, J. Vardeman, J. Creath, Wm. Stone, Thomas Bullock, and James Suggett, elected as a committee to visit absent churches, give or read them our minutes, and receive their communications.

Twenty-sixth Session

At Great Crossing, second Saturday in August, 1811.
Introductory by D. Biggs, from Ruth 4:4.
Robert Johnson Moderator; Charles Buck, Clerk.
Letters from 26 churches; Members 2,817.
Bethlehem and North Fork of Licking joined by letter, &c., making the number 2,880.

The committee made a visit to 7 absent churches, 5 of whom returned; the other absentees having attached themselves to Licking Association, are agreed to be no longer called.

N. B. To this meeting the two minorities (one at Bryan's Station, the other at Dry Run, relying on their claims to church constitution, inasmuch as the majority at each of those places had united with Licking), sent letters and messengers, and were admitted as churches, without any inquiry into their respective standings at home.

The majority at Bryan's sent a letter at the same time, representing the standing of her minority in a unfavorable point of view, and remonstrating against their admission into the Association, which letter, this Conference refused to receive for reading.


[From Samuel H. Ford, editor, The Christian Repository, 1858, pp. 732-735. The document is from microfilm at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Library, Louisville, KY. Transcribed and scanned by Jim Duvall.]

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