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A History of Baptists in Kentucky
By Frank M. Masters

Chapter XXI
Promoting Organization
1841 - 1849

      The elimination of anti-missionism from the churches, and associations made it possible to perfect the necessary organization to promote the program of missions and benevolence. Thus this period is characterized by increased organization of the friends of missions for the spread of the gospel in all the world. At the beginning of 1841, the General Association was supporting in measure the American Baptist Board of Foreign Missions, located in Boston; and the American Baptist Publication and Sunday School Society, Philadelphia. The Baptists of Kentucky continued in close auxiliary relation to these great national Baptist organizations, until the Southern Baptist Convention was constituted. Due consideration will be given to all these relations from the proceedings of the General Association from year to year.


      The General Association met in the fourth annual session in Russellville, on Saturday, October 16. Elder Samuel Baker, pastor at Shelbyville, preached the introductory sermon, Elder Daniel S. Colgan, Columbia Church, was chosen Moderator, and J. M. Pendleton, Bowling Green, Recording Secretary. By unanimous vote the Association expressed "the highest confidence in the ability of the President and Professors of Georgetown College, and cordially recommend that institution to the prayers and patronage of our brethren and the community generally." A resolution was adopted emphasizing the importance of "the establishment and fostering of Baptist churches at our county seats and other towns."1

      The report of the Board of Managers of the General Association was presented by Elder John L. Waller, the General Agent. The Report was in part: "A retrospect of the dealings of our Heavenly Father towards the Baptists of Kentucky during the past year, is eminently calculated to excite in our breasts emotions of the liveliest gratitude and thanksgiving. The note of discord, which but a few years ago was so loud and portentuous, is now only occasionally heard, and in tones so indistinct and subdued, as no longer to alarm the friends of union and harmony. During no period in the history of our Skytate have our churches enjoyed so much peace, concert of action, and prosperity." The report stated, one missionary in Elkhorn Association, Elder James D. Black, "attended twenty protracted meetings: 323 have been received for baptism."

      The General Agent reported "passing through 31 counties, and the boundaries of 13 associations, he traveled 4270 miles (on horseback) and preached 357 sermons, visited 98 churches in which were 12,274 members, 52 ordained and 23 licensed preachers." After this report, Elder John L. Waller was continued General Agent for the ensuing year by a unanimous vote.2


      The General Association met in the fifth annual session, on October 15, with the Bloomfield Church in Nelson County, where Elder William Vaughan was pastor. Elder Thomas S. Malcom, pastor of the Second Baptist Church, Louisville, Kentucky, delivered the introductory sermon, Elder W. C. Buck was chosen Moderator and Elder Thomas S. Malcom, Recording Secretary. Brother Buck at that time was pastor of the East Baptist Church, in Louisville, which he had led in organizing some months before.

      John L. Waller, submitted his last report as General Agent to this session, in which he emphasized the severe money panic, which prevailed throughout the country, and "few churches that were able to give any assistance towards supplying the destitute of the State." But he also reported "that few of our ministers have been idle. . . . We have enjoyed one continual revival season. The additions to the churches have been unusually large." The summary of the report gave 10,153 received by baptism during the previous associational year, and 2,388 by letter.

      Deep interest was expressed in Indian Missions, and by resolution "the proposed plan of a Western Indian Mission Association" was highly approved, and recommended to the denomination in the State, also "a hearty cooperation with other States in the Convention to be held in Cincinnati the last Thursday in this month, in order to perfect such an organization." A strong delegation of leading brethren was appointed to attend this proposed Convention and represent the General Association.

      The Kentucky Baptist Ministers' Meeting, organized at Frankfort, January 10, 1835, met on Thursday, October 13, before the opening of the General Association on the following Saturday. This was the first time the proceedings of the ministers' meeting were published in the minutes of the General Association. The introductory sermon was preached by Elder Thomas G. Keen, pastor :at Hopkinsville. The meeting was called to order by Elder J. M. Pendleton the Chairman of the preceding year, after which President Howard Malcom, of Georgetown College, was appointed Moderator, and Elder T. G. Keen, Secretary.

      Part of the program was given to hearing the Christian experience and call to the ministry of the oldest and youngest ministers present. The record on this point reads: "Elder Isaac McCoy, as the oldest, . . . gave an interesting history of his early impressions, his conversion, call to the ministry, and the causes which led to his mission among the Indians. Brother Wan. Blair, the youngest minister, then related his experience and call to the ministry." There were enrolled the names of twenty-three ministers in this meeting.

      The Kentucky and Foreign Bible Society, organized in Lexington, May 3, 1839, auxiliary to the American and Foreign Bible Society met in Bloomfield on Friday, October 14, the day before the meeting of the General Association. This session of the society was well attended.

      The following Bible Societies, auxiliary to the State Organization, were represented by delegates: Shelby County Bible Translation Society; Goshen Association Bible Society; Green River Bible Society; Gasper River Bible Society; Bowling Green Bible Society; Louisville Second Baptist Church Bible Society; and Georgetown Bible Society. Seven leading brethren were enrolled as delegates by having paid in a difinite sum, which entitled each of them to become life members, and also directors of the American and Foreign Bible Society. Also nine other ministers and thirteen laymen were delegates by subscriptions.

      Elder John L. Waller, Louisville, was elected President, Elder A. D. Sears, Louisville, Corresponding Secretary and Bro. Arthur Peter, Louisville, Recording Secretary. The motion prevailed that the securing of a General Agent be referred to the Board of Managers of the Society. Elder iSamuel Baker sustained the following resolution "by an able speech": "That the work of supplying the world with pure translations of the word of God is specially appropriate to the general principles of the Baptists." During this meeting there was raised $110.75 for Bible work. The treasurer reported $833.04 had been contributed during the previons year.3

      The China Mission Society also met in connection with the General Association at Bloomfield on Friday, October 14, at 4 P. M. Elder W. C. Buck was chosen Chairman, and Elder T. S. Malcom, Secretary. The con-stitution was amended so that the name of the Society would be changed to "China Mission Society of Kentucky Auxiliary to the American Baptist Foreign Mission Board, Boston." This Society was first constituted under the name of "The Roberts Fund and China Mission Society." Elder Issachar J. Roberts, before going to China as a missionary in 1836, transferred all his property, then valued at $30,000 to a Society, styled, "The Roberts Fund and China Mission Society," whose Board was located in Louisville, Kentucky. Roberts set apart this property for the support of himself and others while in China. Elder John L. Burrows, one of the leaders in the General Association, was employed as General Agent. He traveled among the churches during the years 1837-38 and collected funds for the Roberts Fund and China Mission.

      This Society published the China Mission Advocate, a monthly periodical of 32 pages, edited by John L. Waller. The object of this publication was to diffuse a knowledge of missionary labor throughout the immense empire of China. Georgetown College was kept supplied with copies of this missionary magazine. When the Roberts Fund was exhausted the support of Mr. Roberts was assumed by the China Mission Society of Kentucky.4


      The sixth annual session was held at Georgetown commencing on Saturday, October 14. Elder William Vaughan of Bloomfield preached the introductory sermon from Galatians 3:13. "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us." The motion prevailed to request Brother Vaughan to furnish a copy of the sermon to the General Association for publication. Elder W. C. Buck, pastor East Baptist Church, Louisville, was elected Moderator, and James H. Bagby, Louisville, Recording Secretary.

      The Indian Mission Association constituted in Cincinnati, October, 1842 was earnestly commended to the favor of the churches and the blessing of the God of Missions." Elder Isaac McCoy had been chosen Corresponding Secretary of this new Indian Association, and continued to serve in that capacity until his death, June 21, 1846.

      A resolution was unanimously adopted, making the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky auxiliary "to the American Baptist Home Mission Society, according to the provisions made in the seventh article of the constitution of said "Society." A number of brethren were then appointed delegates to that Society to be held in Philadelphia, April 23, 1844. The Association also very tenderly endorsed The Baptist General Convention of Foreign Missions, as having supported such individuals as Judson, Board-man and others. Therefore "We pledged ourselves to the Board of Managers to pray for their great enterprize, and to hold ourselves accessible to the calls for aid."

      The session was very much impressed with the general conditions of Georgetown College las shown in the following resolution introduced by Elder J. M. Pendleton: "it has given the General Association peculiar pleasure to meet at the seat of Georgetown College. We have formed an acquaintance with its honored President and well qualified Professors, in whom we have the utmost confidence. We have learned with unspeakable gratification, that there are in the college twenty-four young ministers, and that the number of students has been greatly increased. We have inspected the College buildings, the Library, the Cabinet, and a part of us have attended the recitations; and while we have seen much to approve, we have seen nothing to censure. . . . We most cordially commend Georgetown College to the prayers land liberality of the churches."

      The report of the Board of Managers stated that since the resignation of Elder John L. Waller, as General Agent one year ago, the Board had sought in vain to find one qualified to fill the position and the report urged upon the General Association in session "the indispensable necessity of immediately appointing a General Agent."

      To this session a summary of the statistics was given, which revealed the Baptist situation in 1843. There were thirty-nine district associations, cooperating with the General Association, and seventeen anti-mission associations, separate and distinct in their work. The thirty-nine cooperating associations, reported 625 churches, 262 ordained, and 58 licensed ministers, 7271 baptisms, 1803 received by letter and a total of 59,302 members. The seventeen anti-mission bodies reported 204 churches, 82 ordained and 12 licensed ministers, 476 baptisms, 266 received by letter and a total of 7877 members. There was a total membership of 67,179, including all the Baptists in the State.5


      The General Association met on ,Saturday, October 19, with the Baptist Church at Henderson, which was constituted in 1839. Elder George Mathews was serving as the third pastor, having been preceded by Elders John L. Burrows, and H. B. Wiggins. The introductory sermon was preached by Elder Thomas G. Keen, pastor at Hopkinsville. President Howard Mialcom of Georgetown College was chosen Moderator, and Brother F. C. McCalla, Recording Secretary. Early in the year the Board of Managers employed Elder James M. Frost, Sr., pastor at Georgetown, as General Agent. He had served eight months. Elder Frost was born in Jessamine County, Kentucky, in 1813, and was educated in Shurtleff College, at Alton, Illinois. He was ordained to the ministry in 1833, and in 1840 became pastor of the church at Frankfort, where he served three years before coming to Georgetown as pastor. He was succeded in the ministry of his old age by his distinguished son, James M. Frost, Jr.

      The plan of operation of the new General Agent was regarded as "most happily calculated to secure efficiency and permanancy." His plan was "instead of merely taking collections after public addresses, personal application had been made, and subscriptions obtained for five successive years." This rendered an annual visit to the same churches unnecessary, and also enabled the Board to form an estimate for the enusing year. The Board of Managers reported that Elder Frost, as General Agent "obtained in twenty churches subscriptions, amounting to $632.00 for five successive years, making an aggregate of $3160.00. These subscriptions are due the first Saturday in September, annually."

      The following gives the report of work done by the General Agent: "The agent collected, after public addresses, etc., $167.00 and also received $316.00 of the subscription due Sept., 1844, making $483 obtained in cash, and leaving $300 due in good subscriptions. The agent travelled 1500 miles, preached 105 sermons, made 36 missionary speeches, and aided in pro-tracted meetings at Danville, Bardstown, Burlington, and East Hickman. The agent obtained ministerial labor, to be expended among the destitute, to the amount of $145 for five years, making $725. The agent thus obtain-ed in cash, subscriptions and ministerial labor, the sum of $4053." The Board voted a salary of $750 per annum to the agent, but he generously refused to accept anything above his expenses, thus donating his services. He was by unanimous vote continued as General Agent for the ensuing year. Also the Headquarters of the Board of Managers was moved from Louisville and located at Georgetown.

      Immediately on the adjournment of the General Association at Henderson, the "Ministerial Education Society" was organized with Rev. Ryland T. Dillard, President, and Professor B. T. Blewitt, Georgetown, Secretary. Some of the most distinguished leaders among the Baptists of the state were placed on the Board of Managers. The object of the Society "shall be to aid, in acquiring a suitable education, such indigent, pious young men of the Baptist denomination, as shall give satisfactory evidence to the churches of which they are members, that they are called to the gospel ministry."

      There had been raised $500 by individuals at the last session of the General Association toward the erection of a college building at Georgetown to house young ministers. The Treasurer of the College, Brother Arthur Peter, reported that in addition to the $500.00 Elder W. W. Gardner, a graduate of Georgetown College and pastor at Shelbyville, "had obtained in cash and notes the sum of $3500, and that a three story brick building had been erected, since named Pawling Hall, which would accommodate thirty beneficiaries when completed, which would be in about three months." The amount of $141.00 was raised in subscriptions in the meeting and several pledged their support in behalf of this Ministerial Society to assist needy young men in preparing for the ministry.6


      Before the meeting of the General Association at Georgetown in October, a great far reaching organization was constituted the previous May, known as the Southern Baptist Convention. For a period of thirty years, from 1814 to 1844, the American Baptists, North and South, had co-operated in conducting their mission work through the Board of the Triennial Convention. The southern churches had been continuously represented in this Convention by many able leaders, and they had contributed their part to the societies. But the Baptists of the southern states had identified themselves with slavery; while at the North the sentiment against the system of slavery in the South was growing rapidly.

      In 1843 a small association, under the title of the American and Foreign Baptist Missionary Society was organized in Boston on anti-slavery principles. The denominational press indicated that the acting Board of the Triennial Convention would no longer tolerate slavery. The Alabama State Convention memorialized the Board of Foreign Missions with respect to their discriminating against slave holders in making application for foreign mission work; and stated that no funds would be forwarded to the Societies until the matter was adjusted. The American Foreign Mission Board, among other things said in reply to the Alabama resolution, "One thing is certain, we can never be a party to any arrangement which would imply approbation of slavery."

      This reply was condemned by the Board of the Foreign Missionary Society in Virginia, which requested the churches and associations of the Southern iStates to send messengers to meet in Augusta, Georgia in May 1845. In response to this call, 310 delegates from eight southern states and the District of Columbia met in the suggested city on May 8, and organized the Southern Baptist Convention. There was no point of doctrine involved in the separation, but under the circumstances the Baptists of the South thought it more expedient for them to carry on their own mission work, according to their own methods, and with their own constituency. Two Boards were constituted - the Foreign Mission Board, located in Richmond, Virginia, and the Domestic Mission Board, in Marion, Alabama.7

      The Southern Baptist Convention was one of the principal subjects considered at the session of the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky in October, at Georgetown. Dr. J. B. Jeter, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia, was recognized as the President of the Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, located in that city a few months before. Dr. Jeter delivered a special address to the China Mission Society of Kentucky, the day before the meeting of the General Association.

      A resolution was adopted pertaining to union with the Southern Baptist Convention as follows:

"Resolved, That union among the various societies and associations of Baptists in the south, southwestern and western States and Territories, is essential to the accomplishment of the greatest amount of good.
Resolved, That in order to accomplish this union, we dissolve our auxiliary connection with the American Baptist Home Mission Society, and become auxiliary to the Southern Baptist Convention.
Resolved, that the terms of the auxiliaryship to the Southern Baptist Convention be the same as those by which we were connected with the American Baptist Home Mission Society."
      The China Missionary Society of Kentucky advised that Rev. Issachar J. Roberts "place himself under the direction of the Board of Managers for Foreign Missions of the Southern Baptist Convention." That society also agreed to "pay over the funds now in the treasury, with any additional funds that may be collected during the ensuing year, to the Treasurer of the Board of Foreign Missions in Richmond, with the understanding that such funds shall be appropriated to the support of Rev. Issachar J. Roberts, and his assistants, in China, as far as may be necessary to their support."

      The following brethren were then appointed to represent the General Association in the Southern Baptist Convention to be held, in Richmond, Virginia, commencing on June 10, 1846: Elders Ryland T. Dillard, John L. Waller, Howard Malcom, James M. Frost, A. D. Sears and G. Mathews.

      Rev. J. M. Frost had served very acceptably as General Agent during the past year, and presented to the General Association, at Georgetown, a very encouraging report. He said: "I have travelled 1820 miles, preached 105 sermons, made almost as many missionary addresses, visited about 30 counties, attended five associations, each of which invited me to take up a collection on the Sabbath for the General Association, and passed resolutions favoring the object .... I have received $1,436 ....

      "A great deal of missionary labor has also been performed among the destitute, and at weak points. The church at Owensboro, Daviess County, a very important point, was visited by me, .... and arrangements were made to pay the entire debt upon their meeting house, of $1000 or $1200. The church at Hodgensville, LaRue County, . . . has paid off a considerable portion of the debt upon their meeting house, and it is hoped that upon the plans presented they will soon raise the entire amount of $600 or $700.

      "The missionary feeling in this State is ripening. I have met very little opposition in the whole course of my agency ....

      ". . . There are now several fields which should be occupied immediately, viz: Madison County and vicinity, Sharpsburg and vicinity; a part of Grant County, Pendleton County and Harrison County, western part of Louisville, Hardinsburg, etc."

      The Board of Managers said in their report that "the General Agent, Rev. James M. Frost, has labored during the year greatly to the satisfaction of the Board. For his services we have paid him $500." Mr. Frost closed his work as General Agent and became pastor at Covington. The financial reports showed $1468,64 for the General Association; $1344.26 for the Kentucky and Foreign Bible Society; $245.12 for the China Mission Society of Kentucky, and $176.50 for the Ministerial Education Society.

      The summary of the statistics in the minutes showed that the numerical strength of the cooperating Baptists of the state was as follows: 42 district associations, 672 churches, 322 ordained and 97 licensed ministers, 2885 baptisms, 1561 received by letter, a total of 60,158 members and a net gain of 556 members for the year. The following showed the strength of the anti-mission forces: 16 associations, 194 churches, 76 ordained and 10 licensed preachers, 273 baptized, 154 received by letter, a total of 7488 members, and a net loss of 73 members. Because of some discord existing in The Western Baptist Theological Institute, the General Association declared that Institution "ought not, under present circumstances, to receive support of the Baptists of Kentucky."8


      The Association met with the Baptist church at Danville on Saturday October 17. President Howard Malcom of Georgetown College was re-elected Moderator, and F. C. McCalla was again elected Recording Secretary. The introductory sermon was preached by Rev. J. M. Frost, then pastor at Covington. Elder Y. R. Pitts, pastor at Great Crossings and other churches, was chosen (by the Board of Managers, early in the year as General Agent to succeed Rev. J. M. Frost.

      It seems that Brother Pitts only gave part of his time to the work of General Agent. He says in his report: "Confined as I was by previous engagement, to supply the pulpits of three churches, I did not anticipate doing a great deal in this agency. Nearly all of these churches, in this vicinity, that were able to contribute, had done so previously, so that a meagre field was left for me to glean. In my operations, I have been pleased to find the Baptists generally friendly to the effort .... In the prosecution of my duties I have found that the frequent calls by agents upon the same individuals to contribute to the objects for which they are soliciting funds, is operating injuriously to the mission cause. And I have inquired, Is there no remedy?" Elder Pitts reported he had visited seventeen counties and found great destitution. The Treasurer reported a total of $1279.44 received for the work of the General Association.

      On May 13, 1846, the United States Congress declared war on Mexico, which continued two years. Kentucky called for ten thousand troops, but 105 companies were formed of nearly twice that number. As is always the ease in war, the churches suffered the loss of enterprising young men in Christian services as well as being retarded in the work of the Kingdom.

      It was noted "That The Western Baptist Review, edited by J. L. Waller, is a periodical fully meeting the high expectation of the denomination, whose interests it advocates." It was also voted to "recommend THE BAPTIST BANNER AND WESTERN PIONEER, also the SOUTHERN JOURNAL to the brethren throughout the South and West."9


      The General Association adjourned at Danville to meet at Versailles, but since the new meeting house there was not ready, the session was held at Maysville, in Mason County, beginning October 17. Rev. Sydney Dyer, Louisville, preached the introductory sermon. W. C. Buck was elected Moderator, and F. C. McCalla, was reelected Clerk, Dr. J. B. Taylor, Corresponding Secretary of the Foreign Mission Board, Richmond, Virginia, was seated as a visitor.

      A special committee was appointed to report later in the session on the Western Baptist Theological Institute. This committee recommended that a committee of five be appointed "to confer with the Trustees of said Institution, and adopt such measures as may be necessary to make said Institution effectual in carrying out the objects of the charter, for the Baptists of this State, upon the plan and basis upon which it was chartered in Kentucky."

      By resolutions the body highly approved the Board of Domestic Missions of the Southern Baptist Convention and did "regard with interest the claims of said Board upon the Baptists of Kentucky, to furnish their proportion of the aid in prosecuting the great work assigned it by the Southern Convention." The work of the Foreign Mission Board, Richmond, Virginia, was also heartily commended and the churches were "affectionately urged to sustain the Board by their fervent prayers and their liberal contributions." A resolution was adopted "That the Baptist Mission Journal, the organ of the Foreign and Domestic Mission Board, published by H. K. Ely, Richmond, Virginia, be recommended to the patronage of our brethren in this State, and also the Indian Advocate."

      Great concern was expressed in the meeting at Maysville over the failure of the Board of Managers to secure a General Agent to succeed Elder Y. R. Pitts, who closed his short term of service at the last session of the General Association. The Board reported that, "Six missionaries have been in the field more or less of the year .... Preached about six hundred sermons, travelled near four thousand miles; .... received into fellowship one hundred and seventy; a flourishing Sunday school has been taught at one of the stations; a comfortable meeting house has been built at another. Considering the disadvantages we have been subjected to for the want of a general agent, there is great cause for devout gratitude to God and for encouragement in your labors."10

      There was considerable disturbance in the Bracken Association at the time of the meeting of the General Association at Maysville, concerning charges that had been preferred against Elder Gilbert Mason, who was pastor of the Washington Church in 1837. He was the only delegate from Bracken Association in the constitution of the General Association.

      In 1845 Elder Mason became involved in a personal difficulty with some of the members of the churches, where he was pastor, and reports were extant, involving his personal character. A council was called to meet at the Lewisburg Church, which obtained all the evidence and recommended that the Washington Church exclude Elder Mason, unless he made a satisfactory adjustment of the whole affair. He made a written statement, which was acceptable to the Washington Church, but was re-jected by Mays Lick and Maysville Churches. At the meeting of the Bracken Association in September, 1847 the Washington Church was excluded from the Association for ignoring the decision of the Council.11

      The Kentucky Baptist Ministers Meeting, in the Baptist church at Maysville, October 14, in connection with the General Association, passed the following resolution concerning Mr. Mason: "Whereas, Elder Gilbert Mason was found guilty of certain charges by an able and competent Council, and subsquently declared to be disorderly by a district Associa¬tion, Therefore, Resolved, That we cannot associate with Elder Gilbert Mason as a minister of the gospel; and further, that his name be stricken from the list of the members of this society."12

      But the trouble was not ended. Later a number of churches in sympathy withdrew from the Bracken Association and under the leadership of Mr. Gilbert Mason in late 1847 organized the Washington Association of four churches, which was increased to six. The two rival associations continued with much confusion in the same territory until 1856, when Gilbert Mason returned to Virginia, after which the Washington Associa¬tion dissolved and the churches returned to Bracken, the mother body, and harmony again prevailed.13


      The eleventh annual session was held in Bowling Green, commencing on Saturday, October 14. There was a large attendance. Eleven district associations were represented, besides the same number of churches. Two prominent young laymen came from Bethel Association - George W. Norton, and Nimrod Long—whose wealth was to contribute to the spread of the gospel in the coming years. Elder Duncan R. Campbell, pastor at Georgetown, preached the introductory sermon from Ephesians 4:11, 12, "'And he gave some pastors for the work of the ministry.' Theme - The pastoral office considered in relation to the present wants of the West." Elder R. T. Dillard was chosen Moderator and Brother Junius Caldwell, Clerk.

      The Board of Managers had secured the services of Elder J. D. Black as General Agent early in 1848. It was voted unanimously "that this body regarded with high estimation the faithful and judicious manner in which our beloved Brother J. D. Black, general agent, has discharged the duties of his agency, during the past year." Elder Black was born in Virginia in 1794, and came to Kentucky with his parents in 1807. He had been pastor of about sixteen churches in Kentucky, and had served as missionary of Elkhorn Association. During his long pastorate of the Stamping Ground Church, near Georgetown, the report showed he baptized over a thousand converts into the fellowship of that church.

      Ten state missionaries had been employed during the previous year. The General Agent, Elder J. D. Black, had led in organizing twelve as¬sociations for more efficient cooperation with the policies of the General Association. The Board of Managers was instructed by the Association "to take into consideration the propriety of employing three missionaries to labor in the Green River Association, whose business shall be to preach as well as to lay the plan of organization practiced by the General Agent, before the Churches, and urge its adoption upon them."

      The committee appointed at the last session in relation to the Western Baptist Theological Institute, located in Covington, Kentucky, reported: "That they met with the Trustees of the Western Baptist Theological Institute at two different times, and made every possible effort to have the Institution placed and conducted upon the plans of its original founders; but utterly failing in their efforts, and finding the entire interest of the Institu¬tion endangered, attempts having been made to sell and transfer the property to another State, thus perverting the Institution from is original design," the committee applied to the Legislature of Kentucky in concur¬rence with the Kentucky Trustees and obtained a temporary amendment to the charter, thus securing the interest of Kentucky and the South in the institution. The committee then recommended, "the Western Baptist Institute, as worthy of your entire confidence, and well calculated to meet the wants of our denomination in the West in relation to ministerial education." This committee also stated "That the election of S. W. Lynd, D. D., president of the Western Baptist Theological Institute, meets our hearty approbiation."

      At the meeting of the Kentucky Foreign Mission Society at Bowling Green on Friday, October 13, the constitution was so amended that the name of the Society was changed to "The Kentucky Baptist Foreign Mis¬sion Society, Auxiliary to the Southern Baptist Convention." Also the churches favoring the missionary enterprise were requested "to make their contributions for Foreign Missions through the treasury of this Society."14


      The twelfth annual session was held with the First Baptist Church, Lexington, Elder William M. Pratt, pastor, commencing on Saturday, October 20. The introductory sermon was preached by Elder Samuel Baker, pastor at Russellville. A motion prevailed that the sermon be published, and an offering was taken to defray the expenses of publication. Elder D. G. Hatch, Georgetown, was elected Moderator, and Elder A. R. Macey, Clerk, pro tern. The Constitution was amended so that the annual session of the General Association "shall hereafter commence on the Monday after the 3rd Sunday in October," instead of on Saturday before the third Sunday.

      The report of the Board of General Managers described the past year as one of "trial and difficulty" as "disease has prevailed over our land and many of our ministers have been confined at home." The Board reported that Elder A. D. Sears, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Louisville, had been appointed General Agent in early summer, "but in consequence of the prevalence of disease through the country, and of his own ill health, he has laboured but two months in our service, and of course, has accomplished but little in collecting funds and organizing the churches, as auxiliaries to the General Association." The report showed that in the two months of service Brother Sears traveled over 800 miles, preached 57 sermons, met with four associations, visited forty-seven churches, and collected $245 in cash, besides the amounts he collected from two associations. This statement is quoted from him, "I still cherish the opinion, already advanced before the Board, that all unnecessary obstructions out of the way, an efficient agent can raise in Kentucky from three to five thousand dollars per annum." A. D. Sears was born in Virginia, January, 1804, and came to Kentucky in 1823. He was converted, baptized and he and his wife became members of the David's Fork Church, in Fayette County. He was ordained to the ministry in 1840, and at once became missionary in the Bracken Association. In July, 1842, he conducted an eight weeks' protracted meeting in the First Baptist Church, Louisville, resulting in 125 baptisms. He was chosen pastor, and remained until 1849, when the First Baptist and the Second Baptist Churches of Louisville united and formed the Walnut Street Baptist Church.

      Ten State missionaries were employed during the previous year and made encouraging reports. Elder L. D. Alexander labored on the Ohio River in what is now Carroll County and constituted a Baptist church in Carrollton with 24 members. The financial exhibit showed $3512.98 collected for the work of the General Association, and $2353.33 for the Kentucky and Foreign Bible Society. Elder A. D. Sears continued as General Agent through 1850 and laid the foundation for a changed mission policy in the General Association.



1. Minutes of the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky, 1841, p. 4, 6.
2. Ibid, 1841, p. 5. 6, 8, 10.
3. Ibid., 1842, p. 5, 6, 14, 17-19, 41.
4. Tupper, H. A., A Decade of Foreign Missions, 1880-1890, p. 864; Tupper, H. A., The Foreign Missions of the Southern Baptist Convention, p. 83-90; Minutes of the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky, 1842, p. 21; Spencer, John H, A History of Kentucky Baptists, Vol. 1, p. 679.
5. Minutes of the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky, 1843, p. 1-9, 37, 43, 44.
6. Abstract of the Minutes of the Kentucky Baptist Anniversaries, 1844, p. 1-4, 9, 10.
7. Carroll, B. H., Jr., The Genesis of American Anti-Missionism, p. 216, 217; Newman, A. H., A History of the Baptist Churches in the United States, p. 443-453.
8. Minutes of the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky, 1845, p. 14-16, 22, 29, 33-36, 40, 41.
9. "Ninth Annual Meeting of the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky, Oct. 17-19, 1846," The Baptist Banner and Western Pioneer, April 1, 1847.
10. Minutes of the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky, 1847, p. 1-9.
11. Spencer, John H., op. cit., Vol. 1, p. 265, 266.
12. Minutes of the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky, 1847, p. 30.
13. Spencer, John H., op. cit., Vol. 1, p. 266, 267.
14. Mintues of the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky, 1848, p. 3-11, 16; Spencer, John H., op. cit., Vol. 1, p. 319.
15. Minutes of the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky, 1849, p. 3-10, 13, 19; Spencer, John H., op. cit., Vol. 1, p. 267, 268.


[From Frank M. Masters, A History of Baptists in Kentucky, 1953, pp. 283-294. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

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