A History of Baptists in Kentucky
By Frank M. Masters
The Seventy-Five Million Campaign
1919 - 1926
This period will ever be memorable in Kentucky Baptist history. Each year was filled with Baptist affairs, calculated to inspire confidence, or to produce discouragements.
In May, preceding the meeting of the General Association in November at Georgetown, the Southern Baptist Convention in session in Atlanta, Georgia, inaugurated a great forward movement, designated the Seventy Five Million Campaign. The purpose of this movement was to strengthen the cause of Christ in the homeland, and in the foreign fields, in the various lines of "missions, education and benevolence," by raising over a period of five years the sum of Seventy Five Million Dollars. A resolution was adopted by the Convention making adequate provisions for accomplishing the great task. The President of the Convention, J. B. Gambrell, was authorized to appoint a Commission of fifteen members, to whom was committed "the whole matter of laying plans and .... conducting this Campaign." This Commission was instructed "to meet at the earliest date possible .... to lay plans and to prosecute this Campaign." This Commission was also authorized "to employ any and all agencies which in its judgment may be necessary for the . . . task." This said Commission was authorized and instructed "to prepare an address to the denomination, calling our brethren to a special season of prayer, and heart searching and summoning them to the united and sacrificial effort, without which our great objective will be impossible."
Mr. George E. Hays Sr., was the Kentucky member of this Commission, which met in the First Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia, on June 4. After a long discussion the full quota for each State was adopted, and the amount of the appropriation to the different causes was definitely settled. The quota assigned to Kentucky was $6,500,000. The apportionments of the various denominational interests based on the seventy five million to be raised were as follows: To Foreign Missions $20,000,000; Home Missions $12,000,000; Southwide Seminaries and Training Schools, $3,000,000 and Ministerial Relief $2,500,000 making a total of $37,500,000. The apportion- ments to the State Causes were the following: To Christian Education $22,132,516; State Missions $10,697,164; Hospitals $3,630,666; and Or- phanages $4,216,197, making a total of $40,676,543. Thus the grand total was $78,176,543, which was over $3,000,000 in excess of the $75,000,000. This overplus of state causes was thus explained: "The states increased their appropriations for education, hospitals and orphanages beyond the figures designated (to the States) by the Executive Committee."
The time to be occupied in the Campaign was to extend from June 4, the time of the first Conference, until December 21. Victory Week was
set for November 30 to December 7, with the understanding that all reports of pledges taken during Victory Week would be in by December 21. July was set apart for preparation month; August, Information month; September, Intercession month; October for Enlistment and November, as Stewardship month. The Commission at its first meeting also set up the most complete organization possible for the great Campaign. Dr. L. R. Scarborough, President of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Ft. Worth, Texas, was chosen General Director for the South. Each state was to have a General Director and other helpers. A similar organization was put on in the district associations and in the local churches. In Kentucky, Professor John L. Hill, Dean in Georgetown College, was made State director and organizer. Dr. O. E. Bryan, Corresponding Secretary of Mis- sions, was head of the State organization. Secretary J. R. Black of the Sunday School Department was Publicity Director, and Mrs. B. G. Rees was W.M.U. Organizer among the women. Dr. M. P. Hunt, Manager of the Baptist Hospital Campaign; Dr. J. G. Bow, Financial Secretary of the Kentucky Baptist Children's Home and Rev. O. M. Huey, Superintendent of the Louisville Orphans' Home, were released to give their time to the Campaign. The State missionaries also gave time to this great task.1
As the Campaign progressed, it became manifest that Kentucky, having two outstanding Baptist papers, the Western Recorder and the Baptist World, could not heed the request of the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention "to place the denominational state papers in all of our Baptist homes as a method of publicity during the Seventy Five Million Campaign.." Accordingly at a called meeting of the State Board of Missions on July 23 at the Broadway Baptist Church, Louisville, Kentucky, O. E. Bryan, the Corresponding Secretary, presented the following resolution: "That the Baptist State Board of Missions in Kentucky endeavor to purchase the Baptist papers of the state affiliated with our organized work, and operate them under the direct control of the State Board of Missions." A committee of five was appointed by the Chairman, consisting of O. E. Bryan, W. M. Stallings, W. W. Landrum, H. S. Summers and B. H. Lovelace "with authority to consummate the financial transactions incident to the establishment of a single state paper subject to the ratification of the Executive Board."
The Executive Board was called to meet on August 10, to hear the report of the Committee, which was as follows: "After several conferences with representatives of both papers, they called meetings of their directors and submitted the following proposition: First, We, the directors of the Baptist Book Concern and Publishers of the Western Recorder of Louisville, Kentucky, hereby offer to the Baptist State Board of Missions of Kentucky the Western Recorder and its entire subscription list, consisting of 10,000 subscribers, more, or less; the advertising contracts of said paper, for the sum of $20,000. It is hereby understood and agreed to by both parties to this contract that the name of the paper shall be unchanged, and shall continue to be known as Western Recorder." This was signed by J. W. Porter, Chairman of the Board, and by F. H. Goodridge and E. C. Farmer. "Second: The Baptist World Publishing Company desires to make this substitute offer to
your Committee in lieu of the offer made your Committee on July 29, 1919. 'We will sell the paper and printing department, which would include the subscription list and amounts due on all unpaid subscriptions to the Baptist World, together with the linotype, printing presses and all other machinery and appliances used in the printing department, together with the stock of paper on hand for the sum of $15,000'." The proposition was signed Baptist World Publishing Co., by Boyce Watkins, President.
At this same meeting of the Executive Board, a Board of Managers of the new paper was appointed composed of the following seven members: O. E. Bryan, Chairman, C. W. Elsey, C. M. Thompson, W. M. Stallings, W. W. Landrum, W. M. Seay, and B. H. Lovelace. This new Board of Managers met at the Henry Watterson Hotel, September 9, and elected J. W. Porter, managing editor of the Western Recorder, E. B. Hatcher, news editor, and O. E. Bryan, Business Manager. The first issue of the combined paper, under the name Western Recorder, came out on August 28, 1919. In the meantime an up to date printing plant, paid for, was located in the rear of the State Mission property 205 East Chestnut Street, Louisville, Kentucky.2
When the General Association met in Georgetown on November 11, the 346 messengers were full of spiritual enthusiasm. The large auditorium of the First Baptist Church was filled to over-flowing by messengers and visitors to the General Association; while at the same hour a large crowd was assembled at the Church of the Disciples to hear Evangelist M. F. Ham, who was preaching there by special request. After Moderator W. M. Stallings called the body to order, the congregation joined in singing "Amazing Grace" and C. L. Greaves, pastor at Bowling Green, conducted the devotional service. Pastor F. W. Eberhardt extended a cordial welcome to the Association from the church, from Georgetown College, and from the Christian people of the town. Sam P. Martin, pastor of the Third Baptist Church, Owensboro, preached the annual sermon, which "was plain, practical and spiritual." At the early hour of 8:45 on Wednesday morning the largest audience was present for the devotional service, led by A. Paul Bagby, that was ever known to be present for such a service at that early hour.
The Seventy Five Million Campaign was the predominant subject of the session, and it was enthusiastically endorsed as follows: "We . . accept Kentucky's apportionment of $6,500,000, and to the raising of the amount and more, we pledge our time, our talents, our means, and the loyal devotion of our hearts for the glory of our blessed Redeemer." The Budget Commit- tee, H. Boyce Taylor, Chairman, recommended unanimously that Kentucky's quota of $6,500,000 for five years be appropriated as follows: To Foreign Missions $1,925,098; to Education $1,768,667; to Home Missions $1,040,000; to State Missions $900,000; to Kentucky Baptist Children's Home, $350,000; to Ministerial relief $266,000; and to Kentucky Hospital, $250,000. The amounts appropriated to the schools and colleges of Kentucky to be paid during the five years were as follows: Georgetown College $700,000; Cum- berland College $400,000; Bethel College $200,000, but $150,000 of the amount was for endowment; Bethel Woman's College $100,000, of which
$50,000 was for endowment; Russell Creek Academy, Campbellsville $100,000; and balance $268,667 for Southwide objects.
Some of the schools began at once to add new equipment and to increase their teaching force due to the enlarged enrollment of students. Russell Creek Academy reported eleven teachers, 287 students, a thirty room dormitory for boys completed, eight acres added to the campus, about $20,000 raised in subscriptions for a new dormitory, and an eight room house purchased for the President's home. Bethel Woman's College at Hopkinsville reported that Professor J. W. Gaines, former dean of Shorter College, had been secured as President. At the time Dr. Gaines was engaged in Y.M.C.A. work in Europe, and did not assume his duties as President until August 18. A new dormitory with twenty-four rooms was erected during the year and the college building had been equipped throughout with new furniture, including the installment of a heating plant. The Trustees were asking for an appropriation of $200,000 from the Seventy Five Million Campaign. Other schools were making similar improvements.
A number of pastors, who had recently come to the State, and others who had made important pastoral changes were presented to the body by W. W. Landrum, pastor at Russellville. Among those presented were: W. L. Walker, Danville; R. E. Downing, Morganfield; Logan B. English, Henderson; A. K. Wright, Tabernacle, Louisville; C. L. Niceley, Irvington; B. P. Robertson, First Church, Paducah, and J. P. Scruggs, Franklin.3
Retiring Moderator W. M. Stallings called to order the eighty-fourth annual session of the General Associaton in the Third Baptist Church, Owensboro, at 7:30 P. M. Tuesday, November 16. J. W. Gillon, Mayfield, read Romans 12, and Brethren W. L. Walker, J. W. T. Givens, and W. M. Nevins led in special prayers for Divine guidance in the session. Honorable W. A. Frost was chosen Moderator and W. E. Mitchell, Hodgenville and J. E. Baird, Monticello, Assistant Moderators. John L. Hill was chosen Recording and Statistical Secretary for the twelfth time, and J. G. Bow, Assistant Secretary. J. T. McGlothlin, Frankfort, preached the Annual Sermon. The report of the Executive Board read by the Corresponding Secretary, O. E. Bryan, declared that the year just closed "has been marked by unprecedented blessing in money raised for Kingdom interests, in the salvation of souls and in additions to the churches. Our land has been blessed with a marvelous harvest. Temporal and spiritual blessings have been showered in abundance upon our State." The report showed that Kentucky had led the South in collecting the full year's quota for the Seventy Five Million Campaign and more. The first annual quota of Kentucky Baptists was $1,300,000, but $1,355,366.51 was received, which was $55,366.51 in excess of the first annual quota. The missionaries of the State Board reported 3,453 baptisms, and 1,404 additions by letter and restoration, a total of 4857 members added. The Sunday school work was never more flourishing in Kentucky than under the direction of Rev. J. R. Black, Secretary of the department and of Mrs. Black, leader of the Elementary work. There was sincere regret when Secretary Black resigned
on September 1, to become pastor of the Baptist Church at Harlan, Kentucky. He was described in the report on Sunday schools as "A man of God, endowed with statesmanlike gifts, a seer and organizer, he mapped out and with the help of his noble wife carried far toward realization a program, which entitled these consecrated workers to a large place in the Sunday school history of Kentucky."
Great progress was being made toward outlawing the sale and manufacturing intoxicating liquors since the close of the great war. A State prohibition amendment to the Constitution of Kentucky was adopted by popular vote in the November election, 1919. On January 16, 1920 National prohibition became effective.4
The General Association, composed of 273 messengers, convened in the Union Tabernacle in Hopkinsville at 7:30 p.m., November 15, with Moderator W. A. Frost in the chair. After the organization, John W. Gaines, President of Bethel Woman's College, spoke "gracious words of welcome," and O. M. Shultz, pastor at Princeton, made an appropriate response. W. E. Hunter, pastor at Somerset, preached the annual sermon. A. R. Bond, Education Board, J. F. Love, Foreign Mission Board, I. J. VanNess, Sunday School Board, and J. T. Christian, Baptist Bible Institute, New Orleans, were recognized as visitors.
During the previous year there were a number of changes in the heads of the various departments of work of the Association. C. M. Thompson became Corresponding Secretary of the Executive Board, September 1, to succeed O. E. Bryan, who had resigned to accept a position with the Home Mission Board, Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Bryan had served well as Corresponding Secretary through a perilous period and was regarded as "A wise, . . . devout and courageous leader." Calvin M. Thompson, the new Secretary, had been closely associated with the Baptist work in Kentucky most of the years since graduating from the Southern Seminary. He resigned his pastorate in Paducah in 1907 to become editor of the Western Recorder and President of the Baptist Book Concern. In 1909, he accepted the pastorate of the First Baptist Church, Hopkinsville, and was pastor at Winchester, when he was called to the work of Corresponding Secretary of the Executive Board of the General Association.
On February 1, V. I. Masters began his duties as editor of the Western Recorder, succeeding J. W. Porter, who had served as editor since July 1, 1909. Victor Irvine Masters was born in Anderson, South Carolina, graduated with A.M. degree from Furman University, and with Th.M. from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He had long and extended experience in Baptist journalism before becoming editor of the Western Recorder. He was, in his early ministry, associate editor of the Baptist Courier, South Carolina, and later held a similar position with the Religious Herald, Virginia. Dr. Masters was Superintendent of the Publicity Department of the Home Mission Board, Atlanta, Georgia, from 1909 to 1921.
In April, 1921, Rev. W. A. Gardiner, S.S. - B.Y.P.U. Secretary in San Antonio, Texas, Association, accepted a call to become Secretary of the Sunday School Department, which had been made vacant by the resignation
of Rev. J. R. Black. Mrs. Gardiner was chosen Elementary Secretary, succeeding Mrs. J. R. Black. Their first report to the General Association dated from April showed Sunday school work was prospering. Secretary Gardiner said: "When we came to Kentucky in April, we found that the Sunday school work had been put on a most excellent basis by our predecessors. Although six months had elapsed since Brother Black resigned .... yet we found a fine interest and many volunteer workers giving much time to the Sunday school work.... So great has the interest grown, that we are overwhelmed with calls for Training Schools."
Mr. Lyman P. Hailey began work on September 1, 1921 as B.Y.P.U. Secretary. For more than a year this department had been without a leader. The report of the Committee on B.Y.P.U. showed, though Mr. Hailey had been in the work only two months, that there were constant demands for his services from all sections of the State. Pastors were urged to cooperate with the new B.Y.P.U. Secretary in organizing and maintaining a Baptist Young People's Union in every local church.
C. W. Elsey, pastor at Cynthiana since November 1, 1908, became President of Cumberland College, Williamsburg, Kentucky, on August 21, succeeding Acting-President A. R. Evans. Dr. Elsey was a graduate of Georgetown College, and of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. At that time Cumberland College was making some definite improvements. A forty-five room addition to a boy's dormitory was nearing completion, and a residence for the President had been recently purchased for $16,000.
A great State-wide Evangelistic Campaign was put on during the summer months under the direction of Corresponding Secretary O. E. Bryan, which was crowned "with glorious success." A total of 963 meetings were arranged for from the mountains to the western borders, of which 713 reported results. Hundreds of other meetings were conducted, which were not included in the meetings planned. The 713 revivals which were reported showed 11,276 baptisms, and a total of 15,463 additions. Of these revivals 132 were held in the mountains, 37 in school houses, 13 under tents, 6 out under the trees, thus a total of 57 were conducted outside of Baptist church buildings.
The report of the Executive Board stated "we are now in the midst of the most trying part of the Seventy Five Million Campaign." The collections for the past year amounted to $1,055,099.36, lacking $175,000 of paying in the entire quota. Not in thirty-five years has "the country faced such financial conditions." The Board urgently recommended "that Kentucky Baptists continue through the five years to give to the .... campaign with unbroken loyalty to the budget as fixed at the beginning of the movement." New subscribers must be secured, and delinquent subscriptions collected to save from disaster.5
At the meeting of the Association with the Baptist Church at Middlesboro, where Sam P. Martin was pastor, W. W. Landrum, pastor at Russellville, was declared Moderator by acclamation. Judge J. R. Sampson, Mid- dlesboro, and Dr. A. S. Pettie, pastor at Hickman, were chosen Assistant Moderators. During the year Professor John L. Hill, who had been elected
Recording and Statistical Secretary for thirteen successive times, resigned to accept the position of Book Editor of the Sunday School Board, Nashville, Tennessee. He wrote: "My removal from Kentucky makes necessary the selection of someone else as Secretary ... To have been reared in your midst, to have known hundreds of you intimately, to have had the joy of fellowship .... with you, makes me everlastingly and overwhelmingly indebted to Kentucky Baptists." Dr. Hill was Professor in University School, Louisville, three years; professor in Georgetown College, 1909-1921, and its Dean 1913-1921. J. G. Bow was elected Recording and Statistical Secretary as Dr. Hill's successor, and Hollis S. Summers, pastor at Campbellsville, as Assistant Secretary. The annual sermon was preached by L. L. Henson, pastor of the First Baptist Church at Covington.
There was both spiritual and material progress during the year. The 192 State missionaries reported 4,288 baptisms and a total of 6,441 additions to the churches. For the same period the splendid sum of $1,033,544.42 was raised on the Seventy Five Million Campaign. There was a note of rejoicing over such unity in the Baptist ranks in the State. The last two weeks in January next were set apart for the Western Recorder, with an objective to obtain at least 50,000 subscribers. Mr. W. A. Frost had become Business Manager of the paper. Also great advance had been made in the Sunday School work along all lines. Secretary W. A. Gardiner reported for the year 1364 diplomas, 327 Red Seals, 142 Blue Seals, and 37 Gold Seals. Likewise, the State Woman's Missionary Union under the leadership of the gifted Corresponding Secretary, Mrs. Janie Cree Bose, made marked progress through the past year. There were organized 143 new Societies, 3152 new tithers enrolled, and $243,836.11 raised for the Seventy Five Million Campaign, for the year ending November 1. The agreement was from the beginning of the Campaign that all gifts of the W.M.U. organizations be credited on the W.M.U. apportionment of the local church and State.
There was great concern about the "Darwinian or any other theory of evolution that contradicts any fact of Holy Writ" being taught in the Kentucky Baptist schools. It was resolved that all financial support be withheld from such schools that permit such teaching.6
Moderator W. W. Landrum called to order the session of the General Association in the meeting house of the First Baptist Church, Covington, at 7:30 p.m. November 13. The Mayor of the City, a representative of the City Industrial Club, and pastor of the Church, Dr. L. L. Henson, delivered welcome addresses. Dr. John A. Wray, pastor of the Third Baptist Church, Owensboro, made the response. After the congregation joined in singing "How Firm a Foundation," W. E. Mitchell, pastor of Hodgenville, delivered the annual sermon. The committee on enrollment reported 308 messengers, representing 219 churches, and 51 associations.
A committee previously appointed concerning the establishment of a Summer Assembly in the mountains reported. After some discussion, the Association endorsed the assembly, which was to open next August, 1924. The new assembly was located between Pineville and Middlesboro at Clear
Creek Mountain Springs. The Baptists of Southeast Kentucky had purchased 450 acres of land at this place for the purpose of developing a Summer Assembly to be made "a spiritual dynamic" to balance "the marvelous material development now going on there."
The West Kentucky Assembly at Bethel College, Russellville, held July 15-21, had the largest attendance in its history. Dr. J. M. Carroll of Texas was the principal guest speaker. He brought "his matchless series of lectures on the Trail of Blood." The sixteenth annual session of the Kentucky Baptist Assembly at Georgetown was held June 26 to July 6. The program had to be revised at a late hour, as many of those on the pro- gram were in Stockholm, Sweden, attending the Baptist World Alliance. Dr. George W. McCall of Knoxville, Tennessee, and Dr. John L. Hill, Nashville, Tennessee, and others appeared on the program.
The report on the Seventy Five Million Campaign showed that 1,106,318.04 was rasied during the year November 1, 1922 to October 31, 1923, which was an increase of $72,773.52 over the receipts of the previous year. There was some concern expressed in the report that large sums were being designated to special objects, which decreased the amount subject to budget distribution. The importance of securing the payments of long deferred subscriptions to the Campaign was emphasized.
A memorial from Russell Creek Association was presented, setting forth reasons why the Russell Creek Baptist Academy should take rank as a Junior College. The memorial stated that the Methodists have opened Lindsey Wilson Junior College at Columbia twenty miles away from our Institution. Dr. George Ragland moved: "That this Association approve and endorse the recommendations of the Baptist Education Society of Kentucky to raise Russell Creek Academy to the rank of a Junior College and that the Trustees of said Academy be a committee, empowered in connection with the Baptist Education Society to take action necessary to put said Academy into operation as a standard Junior College." This motion was carried unanimously and the institution was later known as Campbellville Junior College.
In the Ministers' Meeting of Kentucky Baptists, at Covington, many interesting and vital subjects were discussed. Some of the brethren who appeared on the program were: R. J. Pirkey, Broadway Baptist Church, Louisville, subject, "Modernism or Rationalism;" O. M. Shultz, Prince- ton Baptist Church, "The Source of Authority;" J. W. Gillon, Winchester, preached on "Obedience to Christ;" and George Ragland preached the annual sermon, Matthew 28:19-20.
The program Committee consisting of J. W. Gillon, M. E. Staley and and O. W. Yates, reported that the following would appear on the pro- gram at the Ministers' Meeting in 1924: W. C. Boone, Owensboro; F. F. Gibson, Louisville; L. W. Doolan, Hopkinsville; Chesterfield Turner, Frankfort, and W. B. Harvey, Newport. J. G. Bow was Moderator, and A. L. Vorris, Secretary.7
At the session of the General Association with the Russellville Baptist Church on November 11, W. E. Hunter, pastor at Somerset, was elected
Moderator to succeed W. W. Landrum. President W. C. James of Bethel College delivered the address of welcome, and Superintendent M. George Moore of the Kentucky Baptist Children's Home, made the response. E. C. Stevens, pastor at Clifton, Louisville, preached the annual sermon from Isaiah 54: 2,3, "The Enlargement of God's Kingdom." The Secretary states: "It "was a great message, which stirred our hearts. At the close of the sermon the entire congregation stood, indicating their intention of doing more for Christ and His Kingdom in 1925, than they did in 1924."
In this session the emphasis was placed on closing the Seventy-Five Million Campaign, and in inaugurating a new Program in the future. The amount of $1,038,786.36 was raised during the year closing October 31, which made $6,225,449.14 paid in during the five year period by the Baptists of Kentucky. This amount failed to reach the Kentucky quota of $6,500,000 by the amount of $274,500; and fell short of reaching the amount of $7,454,387.00 subscribed by $1,228,893.86. The report of the Executive Board declared that, if these unpaid pledges, made five years ago, are paid, then missions, education, and benevolent causes will be sustained; but failure to meet the payment of the pledge will mean financial disaster. A State Mission debt of $1,590.60 was reported, but the debt would have been enormous, "had it not been for large designations for State Missions, during the first eighteen months of the Campaign." The small percentage of 13.9 allotted to State Missions proved to be wholly inadequate to support the increased program of the mission work in the State.
The schools and colleges of Kentucky were in financial distress at the close of the great Campaign due largely to the failure of the denomination to receive the more than one-million dollars of unpaid pledges. Of the $1,500,000 allotted to Georgetown, Cumberland, Bethel, Bethel Woman's and Campbellsville Colleges, only $1,084,149.09 was received leaving a deficit of $415,850. These five schools had expended large sums of money on new buildings, repairs, increased current expenses, new equipment and endow- ment, based on the prospects of receiving the full amount allocated to Christian education at the beginning of the Campaign.
After years of planning, praying, and hoping, the Kentucky Baptist Hospital became a reality as the great Seventy-Five Million Campaign was closing. A brief dedicatory service was held in the new building on Saturday, November 15, following the adjournment of the General Association at Russellville, and on the following Monday, November 17, the first patients were received. The grounds, buildings, and equipment represented an outlay of $550,000 and the total indebtedness reached $300,000. During the years ahead all this indebtedness was paid, and the great hospital stands as a monument to the devoted men and women, who sacrificed to make this institution of healing possible. The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary had been delayed in providing the greatly needed buildings on the new location in "the Beeches" in the eastern part of Louisville, due to the small amount received from the Seventy Five Million Campaign. Failing to receive the expected one million dollars from the Campaign, the Seminary was reported to be four years behind on the building program. To erect the proposed buildings with the
necessary equipment would require a minimum of two million dollars. The report stated the seriousness of the then situation of the Seminary: "Owing to the great increase in the number of students, and the fact that the old buildings were never equipped, that the class rooms are too small for the classes, the heating plant worn out, the chapel too small to hold the students, we urge that steps be taken to push forward the work planned some years ago."
As the Seventy Five Million Campaign was coming to a close the General Association was confronted with the problem of inaugurating a new Program. A Committee was appointed at the June meeting of the Executive Board to recommend such a plan to the Association in session at Russellville. This Committee met July 8, at the Baptist Headquarters, 205 East Chestnut Street, Louisville. Their problem was in meeting the danger of changing from one financial program to another, which might lead "to confusion and contribute to weakness."
With Sam P. Martin, Assistant Moderator in the chair, W. E. Hunter read the report of the committee, which was adopted seriatim.
"1. That the financial objective for Kentucky Baptists for the Unified Budget for the year 1925 shall be $1,300,000, that being one-fifth of the quota of the Seventy Five Million Campaign.
"2. That this amount shall be divided equally between State and Southwide interests. That is, fifty percent going to the Southwide interests and fifty percent going to State interests.
"3. That the fifty percent going to Southwide interests shall be distributed on the percentage basis adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention as follows: State Missions, 23%; Home Missions 10; Christian Education 10; Ministerial Relief and Annuities 5; and the New Orleans Hos- pital 1%.
"4. That the fifty per cent i allocated to State interests shall be divided as follows: State Missions 21; Education 17%; Baptist Childrens' Homes &y2; Hospital 4; and Church Building, 1.
"5. That District Missions shall be included in State Missions, and be administered by the State Mission Board in co-operation with District Mission Boards.
"6. That each church be asked to take as its financial objective in the New Program for 1925 at least one-fifth of its quota in the Seventy Five Million Campaign and if at all possible to go beyond that amount.
"7. That, in putting on the New Program, the Campaign be so planned and executed as to place upon individual churches the burden and responsi- bility of putting on the program.
"8. That the time for putting on the New Program for 1925 by the churches be from November 16, to December 14, and that as far as practicable the week of November 30th—December 7th, suggested by the Southern Baptist Convention, be the time for every Member Canvass and in any event that all pledges be made by December 31, 1924.
"9. That while recognizing the right of every individual and church to make designations, it is earnestly recommended that all our people and churches do not make designations, but contribute to the unified budget as a whole. (484)
"10. That the Corresponding Secretary be instructed to have charge of, direct and put on the Campaign as heretofore suggested so as to get it before the District Association Boards and Churches.
"11. That in carrying out the New Program the Corresponding Secretary be asked as far as possible to get the District Associations to make their objective for 1925 not less than one-fifth of their quota for the last five years."
After a prolonged discussion, the new Unified Budget was adopted for 1925 to succeed the Seventy Five Million Campaign Program."8
After an interval of fifty years the General Association met the second time with the Broadway Baptist Church, Louisville. The body was called to order by Moderator W. E. Hunter at 7:30 P.M. November 10. There were enrolled 317 messengers from 242 churches and 63 associations. The Broadway Church had passed through a deep sorrow in the sudden death of their beloved pastor, Dr. Russell Johnson Pirkey, on June 25 at the age of forty-two years. During his five year pastorate, he wrought a great work in leading the church to see the city-wide, world-wide opportunity for service, but he was cut down in the midst of the years of his usefulness. O. M. Huey, Superintendent of the Louisville Orphans' Home, and a member of the Broadway Baptist Church, delivered the address of welcome, and Pastor George Ragland, First Baptist Church, Lexington, gave the response. J. W. Gillon, pastor at Winchester, preached the annual sermon, which "was a message of spiritual power and was received with deep appreciation by the large audience."
The report of the Executive Board read by Dr. C. M. Thompson, regarded the past General Association year as "no doubt the most trying and spirit-racking in the history of that body." The months of November and December 1924 marked the close of the Seventy Five Million Campaign and the inauguration of the new Cooperative Program. The great Campaign was "the most daring adventure ever made by Southern Baptists in their co-operative work." As has already been pointed out, this campaign was launched with great enthusiasm and spiritual purpose, and for more than two years all went well, until "the financial storm broke in its fury and left wreck and ruin in its track." Many churches and individuals were humiliated because of their unpaid pledges. Mission Boards and other institutions "were alarmed and dismayed at the shrinkage of their resources." The new Program was set up in these strenuous times to succeed the great Campaign Program. The total receipts for the new Plan for all purposes, both State and Southwide, for the year, November 1, 1924 to October 31, 1925 were $514,300.01.
The State Mission work was projected in December 1924 by the State Mission Board on a basis of $174,000. As the months passed the financial depression continued to deepen, and it was evident to the Board that there would be an embarrassing debt on State Missions. Every effort was made honorably to reduce the expenditures, but the year closed with an indebtedness of $34,599.60, which might have been much larger. The spiritual results, however, were very encouraging. The missionaries reported 3,006 "
baptisms, and a total of 4,671 additions to the churches, while the total baptisms in the state numbered 16,202.
W. A. Gardiner, Secretary of the Sunday School Department, reported that the past 12 months have been very fruitful in the Sunday school work. He stated in substance: "The work has been pressed in city and country. This has been done through Training Schools, Enlargement Campaigns, District Association Sunday School Conventions, Superintendents' confer- ences, etc. More than 80 percent of the work of the past year has been in the rural churches. Brethren G. W. Jones, E. Kirk, C. P. Hargis and J. C. Hembree were employed to give their time to the country churches. The rural churches are calling for help faster than we can respond." There were 1,320 Sunday schools in the State with an enrollment of 217,000.
The Baptist Young People's work has had marvelous growth since the inauguration of the Seventy Five Million Campaign. Words of appreciation were spoken concerning the efficient leadership of Secretary Lyman P. Hailey in the State B.Y.P.U. work and of his associate Mr. Byron C. S. DeJarnette. In 1924, there were 583 Young People's Unions in Kentucky. During the past year ending October 31, 4756 awards for Study Classes were issued from the State Secretary, which shows the emphasis on study among the young people.
The final receipts of the Seventy Five Million Campaign in the South were $58,064,365.00 showing a shortage of $16,935,635.00. As a result of the failure to raise the full amount, the Home Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention was handicapped by a debt of $1,400,000, and forced to abandon the Evangelistic Department. A depressing debt of $1,813,000 was reported by the Foreign Mission Board, which "in desperation cut out items of equipments, so much needed, in amounts of millions of dollars, and denied the opportunities of God called young people to be sent out, and still the debt grew."
The report on the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary reveals the following situation: "The Seminary is now in the midst of the greatest financial struggle in its history and must have in the near future the sum of $2,000,000 at least for the new buildings. The two main units of the buildings are now in process of erection at 'The Beeches' in the eastern section of the city, and the President and faculty desire to invite the visitors to the General Association to visit the new grounds and buildings while they are in the city." Dr. E. Y. Mullins reported, "We believe now that our original plans to move to our new home January 1926 will be carried out. This session, therefore, will no doubt be our last on the downtown campus."9
1. Scarborough, Lee R., Marvels of Divine Leadership, or the Story of the Southern Baptist 75 Million Campaign, 1920, p. 7, 17, 18, 22-25, 31, 43-46, 129, 133, 137.
2. "Statement by Board of Managers," The Western Recorder, August 28, 1919, p. 1, cols. 1, 2; Jewell, George R., "Tabular History of the Western Recorder," The Western Recorder, Dec. 19, 1935, p. 8, 9; Nowlin, Wm. D., Kentucky Baptist History, 1770-1922, p. 155-160.
3. Minutes of the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky, 1919, p. 7, 12, 13, 23, 41, 42, 49.
4. Ibid., 1920, p. 7, 12-15, 22, 38, 58.
5. Ibid., 1921, p. 7, 11, 13-15, 18, 34, 47, 48, 70.
6. Ibid., 1922, p. 7, 11-16 25, 26, 42, 59.
7. Ibid., 1923, p. 7, 8, 14, 17, 42, 43, 61, 62, 79-81.
8. Ibid., 1924, p. 7, 8, 14, 17-19, 36, 37, 57, 60, 89.
9. Ibid., 1925, p. 8, 9, 14, 15, 17-20, 51, 59-62, 67, 70, 75, 77.
[From A History of Baptists in Kentucky, 1953, pp. 475-486. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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