A History of Baptists in Kentucky
By Frank M. Masters, 1953
THE PROBLEM OF DEBT
The one absorbing question of Southern Baptists during this period was, what can be done about the staggering indebtedness on Southwide institutions and Boards, on the various State agencies, and on the local churches? How the Baptists of Kentucky carried on in the face of the cold facts and figures of debt, and with what results, we shall now consider.
The General Association, composed of 318 messengers was called to order by retiring Moderator, W. E. Hunter in the Baptist Church at Lebanon, Marion County, at 7:30 P. M., November 9. The body was organized by electing the well known layman, Mr. George E. Hays, Sr., Louisville, Moderator; and T. J. Porter, pastor of the host church, and L. C. Kelly, pas- tor at Pineville, Assistant Moderators; and Jonathan G. Bow, Louisville, Recording and Statistical Secretary. After the congregation joined in singing “Faith of our Fathers," W. C. Boone, pastor of the First Baptist Church, Owensboro, preached the annual sermon from Luke 9:33, subject, "Limiting Heaven."
There was much concern in the importance of protecting the new Co-operative Program from being made ineffective by special offerings. Accordingly, a resolution was adopted recommending, “That no campaign, of any character, shall be put on by the interests participating in the Co-operative Program, namely, Foreign Missions, Home Missions, Southwide Education, Ministerial Relief, New Orleans Hospital, State Missions, Education in Kentucky, Orphanages in Kentucky, Kentucky Baptist Hospital and Church Building, as all such campaigns are unfair and hurtful to the other interests, which are not allowed to go afield.” However “the right of any church or individual to designate his gifts” was recognized, but co- operation with the 1927 program was urged.
One of the most serious financial problems, confronting the denomination in Kentucky, was supporting and maintaining the Baptist Schools, whose combined indebtedness was $355,000. The ever perplexing question was, how can Baptist Christian Education in the State be saved? The school situation was made more serious because of the division of sentiment as to the method of support and denominational control. The Warren Association in session in Bowling Green, September 17, 1925 had memorialized the last session of the General Association "to take speedy steps to see that the titles of all our Baptist Schools are so made as to make our schools secure to the General Association of Kentucky Baptists.... That no funds should be given to any of the Baptist schools which shall refuse to come under the control of the General Association of Kentucky Baptists, and that said General Association .... shall have power to remove at any time trustees employing teachers, who teach or believe the evolutionary hypothesis as a fact,
or any other doctrine subversive of the belief in the Word of God.”
In view of the above Memorial, a committee was appointed on “The Closer Relation of the Schools to the Denomination” to report to this present session of the Association. This committee, consisting of W. M. Nevins, D. B. Clapp, W. C. Boone, W. M. Stallings, E. F. Adams, and J. W. Gaines, reported that, according to legal advice obtained, “it would be hazardous to attempt to change the method of electing trustees and give that right to the General Association, instead of to the Baptist Education Society of Kentucky. So after painstaking investigation of the matter .... it is inadvisable from a legal standpoint to attempt any change.”
At the meeting of the Baptist Education Society at Lebanon in connection with the session of the General Association, the main point of emphasis was concerning the distressing indebtedness on the schools and colleges, and to determine what can be done to relieve the situation. W. C. Boone, Owensboro, stated that "Three things have been suggested to relieve the financial situation." The first is “to close the schools and go out of the business of Christian Education.” The reply was that most of us would say not. The second thing was that "the schools reduce their expenditures to stay within their income.” The reply was “we must have schools that are creditable, that do work of which we and our young people will not have to be ashamed." The other thing that remains to be done is to arrange some way to provide better financial support for our Baptist Schools. In view of the serious financial crisis facing all the Baptist Schools of the State, the Society adopted the policy, “That these schools should be financed separately from the present denominational budget.” The following was adopted after long discussion: “That the Board of Directors of this Society be instructed to employ a Secretary of Christian Education, and to organize, subject to the approval of the General Association, a Campaign for Christian Education for the support of the schools now on the State denominational budget .... we ask the General Association to request the churches to support this plan of separate financing of our schools by their gifts and prayers .... that the present budget percentage allotted to the schools in the State program be continued until such time as the above plan of separate financing shall be put into effect."
Brethren W. C. Boone and W. E. Hunter were appointed by the Education Society to present the Society's adopted policy in regard to the schools to the General Association then in session. A general discussion followed when the matter was presented to the Association. E. C. Stevens, pastor of the Clifton Church, Louisville, made the following motion, which prevailed: “That a Committee of Fifteen be appointed to take into consideration the memorial from the Education Society, and report on same next year, publishing its findings in the Western Recorder sometime in advance of the meeting of the next Association.” Moderator George E. Hays appointed the following fifteen brethren on this committee: J. W. Gillon, F. D. Perkins, F. F. Gibson, L. C. Kelly, J. W. Porter, J. W. Gaines, M. B. Adams, W. C. Boone, L. L. Henson, D. B. Clapp, J. B. Weatherspoon, E. F. Adams, W. C. James, W. F. Jones, and C. W. Elsey.
After long and patient waiting, Dr. E. Y. Mullins, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and faculty have now realized their
inspiring dreams in being located in the new Seminary home at The Beeches. Five new mammoth buildings have been erected to house the Seminary family “on a surburban campus of fifty-three acres, adorned with century-old beech trees, and overlooking Cherokee Park.”1
In 1926 there were 2049 Baptist Churches in Kentucky, divided into eighty District Associations with a total membership of 316,467, which was an increase of 5416 over 1925. These churches reported 14,357 baptisms. The population of Kentucky in 1920 was 2,416,630, and the estimated population at the close of 1926 was 2,586,000. This gave in round numbers one Baptist to every eleven of the estimated population. The same record showed 1824 Sunday Schools in the State in 1926 with an enrollment of 217,316 pupils, which was 14,334 less than in 1925 There were fifteen Sun- day Schools in the State ranging in enrollment from 915 to 2,283. The five largest of these schools were Walnut Street, Louisville, 2283; Mayfield, First Church, 1917; Frankfort, First, 1687; Newport, First, 1547; and Owensboro, First, 1427. The Baptist Young People's Unions numbered 942 organizations with an enrollment of 23,995. The 1462 Woman's Missionary Organizations contributed to all missions and benevolent causes $212,575.69, which was $89,219.39 less than the amount given the previous year. The total gifts of the cooperating churches for denominational causes were $645,315.17. The one distressing fact was that 959 churches in Kentucky contributed nothing to outside causes in 1926.2
Dr. W. W. Landrum, pastor of the Baptist Church, Russellville, Kentucky, died Sunday, January 24, 1926, at the age of seventy-one years. William Warren Landrum was born in Macon, Georgia, January 18, 1855. He attended Mercer University, and was graduated from Brown University, Providence, R. I., and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. Landrum was ordained to the ministry in 1874, and his early pastorates were in Shreveport, Louisiana; Augusta, Georgia, and Second, Richmond, Va. He was pastor of the First Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia, 1897-1907; Broadway Baptist Church, Louisville 1908-1919, and pastor of the First Baptist Church, Russellville, Kentucky, and Professor of Philosophy and Church History in Bethel College from 1919 until his death. He was survived by this wife, Mrs. Charlotte Baylor Landrum, who followed him in death July 21, 1940, and was buried by his side in Maple Grove Cemetery, Russellville, Kentucky.3
The Baptist Church at Cynthiana, J. Marvin Adams, pastor, entertained the ninetieth annual session of the Association. The body was called to order by Moderator George E. Hays, followed by an inspiring song service led by Paul E. Montgomery, an evangelistic singer. Brethren O. M. Shultz, pastor at Princeton, and Chesterfield Turner, Frankfort, were elected Assistant Moderators. Dr. J. G. Bow, who had served as Recording and Statistical Secretary since 1922, declined to continue longer. He made some very tender remarks of his relation to the Baptist work in Kentucky. A committee was appointed to draft suitable resolutions of appreciation of the long service of this beloved brother. H. S. Summers, pastor in Madisonville, was promoted from Assistant the previous year to regular Recording Secretary, and E. D. Davis, pastor at Ludlow, North Bend Association, was
elected Assistant. D. B. Clapp, pastor First Baptist Church, Paducah, brought the annual sermon from 1 Corinthians 1:24, subject, "Redemption." A motion made by J. W. Porter prevailed, “that the sermon be printed in full by the State Board for gratuitous distribution.”
A number of visitors were recognized as follows: P. E. Burroughs, Sunday School Board, Nashville, Tennessee; Professor J. M. Price, South- western Baptist Theological Seminary, Ft. Worth, Texas; Ullin W. Leavell, China; W. W. Stout, China; J. F. Love, Corresponding Secretary, Foreign Mission Board, Richmond, Virginia; and Thos. J. Watts, Secretary of the Relief and Annuity Board, Dallas, Texas, successor of the lamented William Lunsford, the founder of the Board who passed over the river of death May 24, 1927. The following new pastors were introduced: Geo. C. Gibson, (acting) Broadway Church, Louisville; A. F. Cagle, Third Baptist Church, Owensboro; J. G. Dickson, Eminence; W. H. Horton, First Church, Mayfield, the successor of Arthur Fox, who had become pastor at Morris- town, Tennessee; and R. E. Humphreys, First Church, Owensboro, succeeding W. C. Boone, who had accepted a pastorate in Roanoke, Virginia.
The Home Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, which had been joining with the Kentucky State Board, in maintaining certain co-operative and enlistment work in Kentucky, discontinued this cooperative work at its regular June meeting, on account of financial condition of that Board. This action placed an additional burden on the Executive Board from June to the close of the fiscal year. The State Mission debt stood at $48,475.61. The Foreign Mission Board, hard pressed with debt, appealed for the spiritual, and financial support of the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention.
The Committee of Fifteen on Education appointed at the last session submitted a lengthy report, which contained the following recommendations:
"(1) That the schools remain as at present in the denominational unified budget.
“(2) That the money received through the budget be used for current expenses.
“(3) That the schools submit annually, to the program committee, prior to or at its meeting to form the annual budget to be proposed to the General Association, their budgets for the ensuing year setting forth their expected income from endowment, students and other permanent sources, and what they will need from the denomination to meet the year's current expenses.”
Pending the adoption of the above, J. B. Weatherspoon read the report of the Committee on Schools and Colleges, which reviewed the school situation, and stated, that "only by a thorough systematic survey of the entire state can we find the proper data for the origination, foundation and inspiration of a real Baptist program, which shall not rest upon the status quo, but answer the challenge of our times and the advancing Kingdom of God.” The committee recommended “That a Committee or Commission of five be appointed to make such a survey of Kentucky Schools, both State and denominational and private; and upon the basis of the facts revealed, to make a thorough study of our own schools as they now (508)
are, and of the State as a field for Baptist education; and ... bring back to the General Association what seems to them to be a worthy educational program for Kentucky Baptists, with practical recommendations looking toward their fulfillment” .... and “the necessary expenses of this Committee be referred to the State Mission Board."
After a prolonged discussion, participated in by seventeen brethren, all the reports pertaining to the schools were adopted. The Commission of Five was then appointed consisting of J. B. Weatherspoon, chairman, C. W. Elsey, Chesterfield Turner, McHenry Rhoads, and M. E. Ligon.
Among a number of the ministers of the Gospel, who passed away during the past year, were Brethren B. A. Dawes, Preston Blake, and George W. McDaniel.
B. A. Dawes, pastor at Perryville, died April 6, 1927. Resolutions passed by the South District Association describe him as "a faithful servant of his Saviour and Lord" and as being universally honored and loved by all who knew him." Brother Dawes was for several years pastor of the Highland Baptist Church, Louisville, and later pastor of other churches.
Brother Preston Blake died in Newport News, Virginia, August 19, 1927. He was pastor of the First Baptist Church, Lexington, Kentucky, 1898 to 1908, succeeding Dr. W. H. Felix in that pastorate.
Dr. George W. McDaniel, well known among Southern Baptists, died in Richmond, Virginia, August 18, 1927. He was a native of Texas, but at the time of his death was pastor of the First Baptist Church, Richmond, Virginia. For three years, Dr. McDaniel served as President of the Southern Baptist Convention, ending his term in May before his death. This beloved Baptist leader was a man of great usefulness in whatever position God called him to occupy. He was the author of several valuable books.4
Only one hundred and ninety-eight messengers were enrolled in the session held with the First Baptist Church, Hopkinsville, which convened on November 13, and was called to order by Moderator George E. Hays. J. W. Gaines, President Bethel Woman's College, was chosen Moderator, while the Assistants were M. E. Staley, Morehead, and John T. Stallings, Winchester. Pastor P. C. Walker of the Hopkinsville Church delivered the address of welcome, to which Charles L. Graham, pastor of the Crescent Hill Church, Louisville, responded. C. W. Knight, pastor at Harrodsburg, preached the annual sermon from Matthew 28:19,20. The following new pastors were presented, T. E. Baker, Russell; H. B. Cross, First Church, Bowling Green; C. C. Warren, Lexington Avenue, Danville; F. M. Masters, Sturgis; Hansford D. Johnson, Broadway, Louisville; and W. O. Beaty, Central City.
The Russell Creek Association sent in a Memorial that the General Association in session at Hopkinsville, “take immediate steps to raise the money and pay off the indebtedness on both the Baptist Orphanages.” The indebtedness on the two homes amounted to $43,041.13. Of this amount $38,869.99 was on the Kentucky Baptist Children's Home. A recommendation was adopted to set aside the fourth Sunday in May of each year, and that said Sunday be known as Kentucky Baptist Children's Home Day
and that each Sunday School be asked to make a special contribution for the benefit of said Home on that date or as near that date as may be practicable.
During the year two beloved brethren - J. F. Love and E. Y. Mullins - were removed by death. Both of them had exerted a world wide influence during their useful lives. Dr. J. F. Love, Corresponding Secretary of the Foreign Mission Board, died in Richmond, Virginia, May 3, 1928. He devoted fourteen years of service in promoting foreign missions. Through “his prolific pen and public addresses, he sounded in the ears of Southern Baptists a clarion call to world-wide evangelization.” It has been truthfully said, “that his zeal for the spread of the gospel was so unflagging that he pressed on without stint of time and physical strength until he lay exhausted and prone in death.” During the last months of Dr. Love's life the depressing Foreign Mission debt of $1,145,729 on January 1, 1928, was reduced on May 1, by $79,938.56, which was three days before his death."5
Dr. E. Y. Mullins, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, died at his home on Cherokee Road, in Louisville, Kentucky, at noon, Friday, November 23, 1928. Edgar Young Mullins was born in Franklin County, Mississippi, January 5, 1860, but his father, Rev. S. G. Mullins, moved his family to Texas, when Edgar was eight, and settled in the town of Corsicana, where the boy grew to young manhood. He received his higher education from the Texas Agricultural and Mechanical College. In 1880 the young man was converted under the preaching of the noted evangelist, Major W. E. Penn, and was baptized by his father in the home church on November 7, 1880. He soon experienced a definite call to the ministry and entered the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in the fall of 1881, and graduated with the class of 1885. He was called to the pastorate of the old historic Harrodsburg Church, where he was ordained to the ministry, and later was married to Miss Isla May Hawley. After continuing in various pastorates until 1899, Dr. Mullins was elected President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and continued in that responsible position twenty-nine years, until his death. In the latter part of this period he was president of the Southern Baptist Convention and of the Baptist World Alliance. The funeral service was held in the Broadway Baptist Church, Sunday, November 25th, with Dr. John R. Sampey presiding. Dr. A. T. Robertson spoke for the Seminary faculty, Dr. Z. T. Cody for the Trustees, Dr. George W. Truett for the Southern Baptist Convention, and Dr. John MacNeill, for the Baptist World Alliance. The burial was in Cave Hill Cemetery as the sun was setting.6
Moderator John W. Gaines called to order the ninety-second annual session of the General Association in the Porter Memorial Baptist Church, Lexington at 10 A. M. November 12th. The enrollment committee reported 353 messengers, representing 194 churches and 58 associations. The fol- lowing pastors, who had come into the State since the last session, were introduced: C. F. Clark, First Baptist Church, Covington; W. W. Stout, Georgetown; J. M. Roddy, Wilmore; P. G. Carter, Nicholasville; M. E. Miller, Stamping Ground; F. O. Criminger, Immanuel, Henderson; J. M. Dameron, Marion Baptist Church; and J. A. Gaines, Glasgow. J. C. Austin
was presented as Vice-President of Georgetown College.
On Tuesday, September 17, 1929, Dr. John R. Sampey was inaugurated President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, to succeed the lamented E. Y. Mullins, and Dr. J. B. Weatherspoon was installed as Professor of Homiletics and Christian Sociology, succeeding Dr. Charles S. Gardner, who had become Professor Emeritus. The session opened with an enrollment of 375 students, 46 of these being from Kentucky. The Seminary now occupies its beautiful well equipped plant consisting of six substantial buildings, costing to date $2,150,000, all of which is a living monument to the untiring efforts of E. Y. Mullins.
The problems of Baptist Education in Kentucky remained unsolved, and were again the consuming subject before the Association. Professor R. Harper Gatton, Superintendent of Public Schools, Madisonville, read a discouraging report on Schools and Colleges, which stated that the four academies - Barbourville, Hazard, Magoffin and Oneida - "need money for buildings and repairs, equipment and general expenses,” that there was an indebtedness of $221,000 against the four Junior Colleges; and that "Georgetown is on the verge of bankruptcy.” The report of the committee of Five on Survey of the Baptist Schools of Kentucky, appointed one year ago, was read by Dr. J. B. Weatherspoon, giving at great length the account of the survey. At a meeting of the committee early in 1929, a Survey Staff was appointed at an expense of approximately $2,000 as follows: Floyd W. Reeves, Director of the Bureau of School Service of the University of Kentucky; associated with him, Professor J. D. Russell, of the same University; Homer P. Rainey, President of Franklin College, Indiana; Dean Peyton Jacob, Mercer University, Georgia; and James C. Miller, Christian College, Missouri. This Staff made a complete survey of the nine Baptist Educational Institutions of the State during the month of February, following their appointment in January. The report of their findings was published in a small book of 132 pages, giving a result of the survey in detail, which was presented to the General Association.
One fact stated and discussed in the report of the Staff was, "That the needs of the present program of Education attempted by the Baptists of Kentucky are entirely beyond their ability to support." This conclusion is based on the fact, “That the Baptists of Kentucky are contributing through their general budget approximately $57,000 .... toward the education of some 2,157 students ... in nine institutions ... an annual subsidy for current purposes, amounting to at least $210,000 would be needed, above the amount ... reasonably expected from tuition fees and the present income from endowment funds."
The Staff also called attention to the misappropriation of endowment as follows: "Several institutions have been led to the extreme step of using their endowment in order to obtain relief from the pressing burden of debt.” It was then stated that "Georgetown College has recently taken action to transfer the sum of $183,830.01 from endowment for the purpose of reduction of debt.” Also Bethel College at Russellville had mortgaged its plant and pledged its endowments of $65,000 for payment of mortgaged interest.
The Staff reported their findings concerning the method of control and
administration of the schools as having "a very loose relationship with the State Organization” and that “the control and administration . . . are ... wholly located within each institution.” They stated that "it would seem impossible under such arrangement to build a strongly integrated and unified program for the denomination with each school being left to determine the scope of its own activities. Under such conditions there is little incentive to look at the educational problems of the denomination as a whole."
The final recommendation of the Survey Staff was, that denominational support be withdrawn from Barbourville Baptist Institute, Hazard Baptist Institute, Magoffin Baptist Institute, and Bethel Junior College, Russellville; and that Cumberland Junior College, Williamsburg, Bethel Woman's Junior College, Hopkinsville, and the Senior College at Georgetown be maintained. The Staff estimated "that it would require $409,212 to free these three institutions from debt, and the sum of $40,000 would probably provide all the conditionings of the plants, that is absolutely necessary immediately." The reasons given for discontinuing support from Bethel Junior College, Russellville, was that “the present hopeless tangle of the finances, and the fact that there is no fund in sight for placing the institution on a sound basis, lead to the recommendation that support be withdrawn."
In harmony with the facts revealed by the Survey Staff, the Committee of Five recommended, “That, beginning with the School Session of 1930-1931, Kentucky Baptists maintain one standard four year College at Georgetown and two Junior Colleges - Cumberland, at Williamsburg, and Bethel Woman's at Hopkinsville.” After long and earnest discussion the whole matter was referred to the Executive Board to report to the next meeting of the General Association.
The controversy over the Schools and Colleges, was continued, when W. M. Nevins, pastor of Felix Memorial Church, Lexington, presented a Memorial from the Elkhorn Association, regarding Greek letter Fraternities and Sororities in some of the schools "owned and controlled by the Baptists of Kentucky.” The memorial condemned the fraternity system as “unchristian in their influence, clannish in their operations, subversive of the high ideals of our Christian Schools, and have no place in Christian institutions." The Memorial also urged the General Association "to take such immediate steps, as may be necessary to secure the speedy elimination of these hurtful and ungodly organizations from our Baptist schools.” Accordingly John T. Stallings, pastor in Winchester, offered the following resolution: “That it is the sense of this body, that it will not support such schools as retain such fraternities, or local fraternities of similar type, after the expiration of this present school year, 1929-1930.” President M. B. Adams of Georgetown College presented a communication from the Board of Trustees showing that much was involved in the fraternity system of Georgetown College "as current business contracts between the colleges and certain student organizations, which have purchased residences, which policy permanently reduces the burden of student housing costs upon the college.” The trustees, in this communication also recommended the fraternity matter "be held under consideration one year by the General Association before it takes action thereon.” After much exciting discussion, the whole matter was made a special order at ten o'clock the following morning. At the appointed
hour, the fraternity matter was taken up and after a long discussion, the motion prevailed to refer the whole subject to the Executive Board to be brought back to the next session of the General Association in connection with the report on Schools and Colleges.
W. P. Harvey, who for more than half a century had been closely related to Baptist affairs in Kentucky, and beyond, passed from this life, Sunday morning September 29, 1929, at the age of eighty-eight years. William Patrick Harvey was born in Ireland in 1841 and was brought by his parents to Kentucky while a lad and settled in Maysville. After passing through the public schools, young Harvey attended Georgetown College and Transylvania University, then known as Kentucky University. He was ordained to the ministry in 1872, and became pastor at Harrodsburg. He served four years as Vice-President of Georgetown College and was a member of the Board of Trustees for a number of years. For twenty years, Brother Harvey was president of the Baptist Book Concern in Louisville and Business Manager of the Western Recorder. He served as auditor of the Southern Baptist Convention thirty-two years. The funeral services were held in the Harrodsburg Church, conducted by the pastor, C. W. Knight.7
When the General Association met in Mayfield, November 11th, twenty-three years had passed since the last session was held in this West Kentucky town in June 1907. A. S. Pettie was then its pastor. The Association was called to order by retiring moderator, J. W. Gaines, and the opening devotional service was conducted by H. C. Wayman, pastor of the First Church, Newport. O. M. Shultz was elected Moderator, and spoke in appreciation of the action of the body and "urged submission to the Holy Spirit.” The new Moderator was in the ninth year as pastor of the First Baptist Church, Princeton, where he had led in the erection of one of the most up-to-date church buildings in the State. When the Caldwell Association was organized September 1924, Brother Shultz was chosen Moderator and served seven successive years. Ozora M. Shultz was born in Beaver Dam, Kentucky, October 22, 1864, and spent his early life in teaching, entering the ministry in 1906.
The report of the Executive Board described the economic conditions in 1930 as distressing, caused by "droughts, crop failures, and financial depressions.” “Thousands of people, for the first time in their lives are without employment. Financial disaster has taken up its habitation in many homes and multitudes are feeling the uncanny spell.” Accordingly the work of State Missions was launched on a retrenched basis, which made it possible to reduce the State Mission indebtedness by $6,981.67.
The Baptist Schools in Kentucky continued to be the occasion of extended controversy. The State Mission Board, to which the report of the Committee of Five on Survey, was referred at the last session, at once appointed a committee to take the whole matter under consideration and report to the coming session at Mayfield. This committee submitted a very lengthy report, which appears in brief as follows: “Your committee believes that unless there is very unusual and unprecedented support given to our schools in the very near future, that it will be impossible for more than a very few
of the schools to live; but in the opinion of the committee it is much wiser to allow the support given to each school by a direct appeal to determine its future than for the Association to decide by vote of the body, which of them shall survive." The committee previously recommended, “That each school be accorded complete freedom to solicit funds for current expenses, equipment or endowment, wherever they may find an open door.” Furthermore, “It is recommended that the State Board now go on record as favoring an intensive support of our Baptist Educational program, and of Georgetown College in particular."
Later in the session of the Association, Robert H. Tandy, the Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Baptist Education Society of Kentucky, offered the following which caused considerable discussion: "Resolved that we .... believe that it is necessary to go afield for funds for Education in addition to the funds being received from the budget, and we recommend that the General Association authorize us to make plans and proceed with such action, provided we shall not ask for the designation of Mission funds." After seventeen brethren had taken part in the heated discussion the Tandy Resolution and the other reports on Education were adopted. The following were the heads of the schools: Professor W. B. Jones, acting President of Georgetown College; O. W. Yates, President of Bethel College, Russellville; J. W. Gaines, of Bethel Woman's College, Hopkinsville; D. J. Wright, of Campbellsville College; J. L. Creech of Cumberland College, Williamsburg; C. D. Stevens, of Hazard Institute; Frank A. Clarke, of Magoffin Baptist Institute, Saylersville; H. E. Nelson of Southeast Kentucky Baptist School, Barbourville; and Mrs. Sylvia W. Russell, of Oneida Baptist Institute.8
Moderator O. M. Shultz called to order the ninety-fourth annual session of the General Association at 10 A.M. November 10th in the First Baptist Church, Newport, H. C. Wayman, pastor. After the congregation joined in singing, "I Need Thee Every Hour," W. H. Horton, Mayfield, preached the annual sermon from Acts 8:35, “And preached unto him Jesus." New pastors were presented as follows: L. K. Barbee, Silver Grove; J. M. Rogers, Ft. Thomas; W. M. Bostick, Parkland, Louisville; A. B. Pierce, Leitchfield; J. D. Allen, Sonora; Howard M. Patton, Bryant Station; W. J. Bolt, Harlan; A. W. Huyck, Maysville, and J. E. Skinner, Murray. H. E. Watters, President of Georgetown College, and F. M. Masters, President of Bethel College, Russellville, were recognized. Dr. T. B. Ray, Corresponding Secretary of the Foreign Mission Board, Richmond, Virginia, and Brother Jacob Gartenhaus, Missionary to the Jews, Home Mission Board, Atlanta, Georgia, were recognized as visitors, and both spoke to the edification of the body.
The financial conditions were becoming more distressing. Almost every individual was in some way affected by the trying times. Mr. George E. Hays, Acting Superintendent of the Kentucky Baptist Hospital, Louisville, reported, “That on account of the closing of the Louisville Trust Company, and the general depression, it has not been possible to reduce the bonded indebtedness on the Hospital during the year.” The Executive Board report- ed through the Corresponding Secretary, C. M. Thompson, that the amount available for State Missions from all sources, was $92,532.14 to October
31, which was $14,301.85 less than the year previous. The report stated that "Financial disaster played havoc with the missionary program of many of our strongest churches.” Many faithful men and women, devoted to the cause of Christ, lost all their savings as the result of bank failure.
Notwithstanding the economic conditions, there was "real and substantial achievement in the work last year.” The seventy-seven State workers reported 2,789 members added to the churches, of which 2,068 were for baptism, being an increase of 263 baptisms over the previous year. Four of these State workers were employed in the State Sunday School Department, including W. A. Gardiner, Secretary, Mrs. W. A. Gardiner, Elementary Secretary, E. Kirk and C. P. Hargis, Field men. Secretary Gardiner reported forty-one Sunday Schools organized, sixty-six training schools held with an enrollment of 5,181, and 2,050 awards given. Secretary Lyman P. Hailey of the B.Y.P.U. Department reported a good year's work among the Young People “in spite of the general feeling of depression and retrenchment so prevalent in every place during the past ... year.” Secretary Hailey reported 1,234 Young People's organizations in the churches, including adults, seniors, intermediates and juniors. Secretary M. M. McFarland of the Enlistment Department also made an encouraging report. This department of work was created by the Executive Board in April 1927 with Brother M. M. McFarland as Secretary, and in 1931 was placed upon the same basis as the Sunday school and B.Y.P.U. Departments.
Miss Jennie G. Bright, Corresponding Secretary of the Kentucky W.M.U., reported that in the recent State Meeting at Ashland, $185,183.84 was raised during the year through the various organizations for missions and benevolences. There was a deep feeling in the hearts of the Kentucky Women over the loss by death of two faithful workers. Miss Mary E. Davies, who for ten years was a faithful and zealous W.M.U. field worker, died on April 4, at her home in Hawesville, Kentucky. Miss Eliza Broadus, the daughter of the late Dr. John A. Broadus and who for more than fifty years was an active and devoted sponsor of the work of the women in Kentucky from the beginning, passed into the beyond during the year. Miss Broadus was held in high esteem by the Baptist women of Kentucky and of the South.
A Memorial from the Executive Board of the Elkhorn Association and the Blue Grass Minister's Meeting, signed by J. W. Porter, Ross E. Dillon, W. L. Shearer and T. C. Ecton, was presented as follows: "Whereas, the Executive Board of the General Association of Kentucky Baptists recommend that $12,000 be taken from the gross mission receipts for promotional expenses, and anticipated deficit up to $10,000 for the Western Recorder, totaling $22,000, before the division is made on a fifty-fifty basis.
"Therefore, be it resolved, that we, the Blue Grass Ministers Conference, and the Executive Board of Elkhorn Association, in session assembled at Lexington on November 2, 1931, unanimously voted to memoralize the General Association to express our disapproval of the use of any part of Southwide funds for State purposes."
After some discussion, the motion was made and carried that the matter be referred back to the Budget Committee, and be a special order for 1:30 P.M. the following day to be considered in connection with the 1932 program. At that hour, the following appeared in the report of the Budget
Committee, to which the Elkhorn Memorial had been referred: “We, accord with the request of the Promotional Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention; we commend that the expense of the promotional campaign not to exceed $12,000 be taken from distributable funds and that the Cooperative Program receipts be divided on a fifty-fifty basis ....; and that the deficit of the Western Recorder shall not exceed $5,000 and that this be taken out of State wide funds." After a discussion participated in by Brethren Robt. H. Tandy, F. F. Gibson, J. W. Porter, W. A. Frost, S. E. Tull, C. W. Elsey, C. B. Jackson, L. C. Kelly and W. M. Nevins, the report was adopted.
W. M. Stallings, the beloved Superintendent of the Kentucky Baptist Children's Home at Glendale, died suddenly on June 10, 1931, at the age of sixty-two years. Brother Stallings had been connected with the Home from the beginning. He was one of the leaders in purchasing the property, and had served as Treasurer since 1916. He was a preacher of wide influence among the Baptists of Kentucky. He held some prominent pastorates and positions of honor, and he was making a good beginning as Superintendent of the children's Home, when he was taken away after one year of service.9 He was Moderator of the General Association, 1918-1919, and preached the annual sermon in 1916.
The General Association, composed of over three hundred messengers and a large number of visitors met at 10 A.M. November 15th, in the First Baptist Church, Bowling Green, where Dr. Jerome O. Williams was pastor. He also preached the annual sermon. Brother W. E. Mitchell, pastor at Cadiz, Trigg County, was chosen Moderator. Retiring Moderator, O. M. Shultz spoke some "tender words of appreciation," and then presented the Moderator elect, who expressed “his joy in the confidence of his brethren and asked the co-operation of all.” William Edward Mitchell was born in Maysville, Kentucky, July 31, 1865, and was educated in Georgetown College, and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He filled pastorates in different parts of the State, was Vice-President of Georgetown College, 1915-1919, and Secretary of the Baptist Education Society of Kentucky through its entire history.
P. E. Burroughs, of the Sunday School Board, Nashville, Tennessee, and L. M. Bratcher, Corresponding Secretary of the Mission Board of Brazilian Baptists, were seated as visitors. The following new pastors were presented: Brethren O. L. Overlin, Buffalo, Lynn Association; J. E. Hampton, Jr., Smith Grove; T. Emerson Wortham, Rineyville and Colesburg Churches, Elizabethtown; and J. W. Bullis, Sturgis.
At the semi-annual meeting of the Executive Board, June 1932 a Committee was appointed, composed of eleven members, to recommend to the next General Association such changes in the organization and institutional life of the missionary and benevolent work of the State as would promote the interest of economy and efficiency. C. W. Elsey, Shelbyville, Chairman of the Committee read the report, which appears in brief as follows:
1. We believe "that immediate steps should be taken to decrease the expenses incident to the publishing of the Western Recorder, and recommend
that the Board of Managers be instructed to effect immediately all possible economies."
2. Believing Kentucky Baptists need a Promotion Department in their organization, "We, therefore, recommend that the departments of Enlistment and Brotherhood be combined in one department, known as Promotional and Brotherhood Department. The chief business of which shall be to assist the churches and district associations in best promoting the Kingdom of God.”
3. “We believe that it is to the best interest of our Baptist State work to have one Bookkeeping Department instead of three, as we now have it, ... We so recommend.”
4. We urge, “That our entire State Missions force give renewed emphasis to this supreme business (of evangelism). We recommend that the Promotional and Brotherhood Department make earnest effort to assist pastors and churches in a greater evangelistic campaign."
5. We recommend a fuller and closer co-operation and co-ordination of our Sunday School, B.Y.P.U., Promotional and State Missions departments, and that every possible economy be practiced in the conduct of their work. .... that a more general oversight be assumed by the Executive Secretary over all the departments of our entire State program to the end of a greater unification and advance of all our efforts. . . . that arrangements be made to give the necessary helps in the general office, that the Executive Secretary may be permitted to give more time on the field.”
6. “Because of the trying financial conditions through which we are passing, we .... recommend” that the salaries of all employees of the General Association on the basis of the salary received, December 1, 1931 be reduced as follows: That all salaries of $2500 or above be reduced fifteen percent; all salaries below $2500 down to and including $1200 be reduced ten percent; and that all salaries under $1200 be reduced five per cent.
7. “We feel that in the interest of economy and efficiency, the State Board of Missions should consist of thirty-six members, chosen annually by the General Association from the State at large, and that the Constitution of the body should be amended to this effect."
8. “We recommend that, for the guidance of the State Board of Missions in its work of making equitable appropriations for mission work, each participating District Association be requested to submit to the State Board an itemized list of its proposed expenditures for mission work.”
9. “We recommend that the office of Moderator of the General Association carry with it the responsibility and urgency of promoting our denominational work in the State throughout the year."
The entire report of the Committee was adopted, except section seven, referring to the number of members of the Executive Board. This was stricken from the report. According to the sentiment expressed, adopting this policy was regarded a forward move.
Mr. P. I. Lambert was the accountant in the State Mission office from July 1929 until his resignation in January 1951, making twenty-one years.
The year 1932 was the most trying from a financial standpoint, not only in Kentucky, but in every State in the bounds of the Southern Baptist Convention. The support of the local work of the churches, and gifts to
the great missionary, educational and benevolent causes at home and beyond "fell down to a new and tragic level.” The Executive Board reported $312,009.90 for all missions and benevolences, which was $59,513.09 less than the year previous. Thousands of banking institutions were continually failing in the depression, and merchantile establishments were closing their doors throughout the nation.
Notwithstanding these dark days economically, glad tidings came from God's harvest field. The noted statitician, E. P. Alldredge, says "The churches achieved in 1932 results in their local work, which, on the whole, has not been surpassed in our entire history, and has, in fact, been approximated only once before.” The 24,035 churches of the Southern Baptist Convention reported 226,855 baptisms and a total of 4,066,140 members. The 2054 churches of Kentucky showed 17,697 baptisms and a total of 342,687 members, a net gain of 8,698 over the previous year. The Executive Board of the General Association reported an increase in most every phase of the work. The seventy-seven missionaries conducted 156 protracted meetings, resulted in 2997 baptisms, and 899 by letter and otherwise, making a total of 3896 members for the year ending October 31. They organized eight churches, thirty-eight Sunday schools, sixteen B.Y.P.U.'s, conducted one hundred Training Schools with 8,853 enrolled, sold and gave way 2,208 books and Bibles, and secured 429 subscriptions to the Western Recorder. The Sunday schools made great progress during the year. There were eighteen schools which had an enrollment ranging from 928 to 2640, with a total of 24,583 enrolled.
The Foreign Mission Board in the October meeting, after months of waiting, elected Dr. Charles E. Maddry, Executive Secretary, to succeed Dr. T. B. Ray, who had been removed by death. Dr. Ray was chosen to succeed Dr. J. F. Love, October 1929, and died two years later. The Board was still burdened by a heavy debt of $1,110,000, and also by a continued decrease of receipts, which had been the case during the past six years.
Dr. Jonathan G. Bow, who had served through a long life among Kentucky Baptists, died January 11, 1932 in Louisville, Kentucky. He was pastor of a number of churches in different parts of the State, served as Corresponding Secretary of the General Association, 1902-1907, and in other denominational positions. Dr. Bow "was a faithful soldier of the gospel of Jesus Christ, faithful in fostering and propagating doctrinal truths, fearless in denouncing sin, and hypocricy [sic], and false teachers of the gospel."10
Elder Harvey Boyce Taylor died in the Memorial Baptist Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee, May 31, 1932, after a pastorate of nearly thirty-five years at the First Baptist Church, Murray, Kentucky. Brother Taylor was born in Ohio County, Kentucky, September 29, 1870, and was the fourth generation of preachers, beginning with his great-grandfather, Joseph Taylor, his grand-father, Alfred Taylor, and his father, W. C. Taylor. He was graduated from Bethel College, Russellville, and the Southern Baptist Seminary, from which he came to the pastorate in Murray, January 1897, at a salary of $400.00 per annum. Young Taylor found the church worshiping in a one room frame building with a resident membership of seventy-two, who had contributed $21.00 to missions the year before. Within two years a brick building was erected, and Dr. T. T. Eaton, Louisville, preached the dedication sermon on
January 1, 1900. By 1909 the Sunday School had outgrown this building and a large annex was added to provide for the needs. The present commodious house of worship was erected by free will offerings put in a box, and was in process of construction for several years, costing over $100,000, when completed. This church at Murray was the first in Kentucky to put on the Budget System and Pastor Taylor was Chairman of the Committee, when the system was presented to the General Association, already referred to. The church majored in missions during Brother Taylor's long pastorate. In one year during the Seventy Five Million Campaign, the church contributed in cash $37,688. At the close of his ministry over $180,000 had been given by the church to mission causes. Elder Taylor was Moderator of the General Association in 1917, and twice preached the annual sermon before that body.11
After a period of forty-nine years, the General Association was again entertained by the Glasgow Baptist Church, Glasgow, whose pastor was Joseph A. Gaines. The body was called to order by Moderator W. E. Mitchell at 10 A. M. November 14, and F. F. Gibson, pastor of the Walnut Street Church, Louisville, preached the annual sermon. Dr. M. E. Dodd, Shreveport, Louisiana, President of the Southern Baptist Convention, was recognized as a visitor, and later delivered an inspiring address.
The year just closed, from a financial standpoint, was the most trying in the history of Kentucky Baptists. With rare exceptions, the Co-operative Program and mission remittances from the churches showed a serious and steady decline throughout the year. The total receipts that passed through the hands of the Treasurer this year were $250,591.45 and $80,912.05 was available for State Missions which was $7,897.38 less than the year previous. The tragic result of debt in this time of depression was illustrated in the closing of the old historic Bethel College, Russellville, which ended its eighty-five years of service on January 21, 1933. The report of the Baptist Education Society of Kentucky gives some facts concerning the closing of the College as follows: "The School was about to lose its grade A standard. It had a bonded indebtedness of $100,000 secured by all the property and a general endowment of $63,927.09. On December 14, the College had to default on interest payment. There were already current bills and unpaid salaries amounting to $5,327.56. Under the circumstances it was deemed necessary to close January 21, 1933, that being the close of the first semester."
The report continues: “This course left the college in charge of the liquidating process for six months. President (F. M.) Masters, through wise and tactful management, with the fine cooperation of the Trustee for bondholders (a Trust Company in Bowling Green), has reduced the outstanding bonds to $72,000, secured now by all property and $42,000 of general endowment .... There was no source from which the president's salary could be paid, while he was carrying on the hard task of liquidating the school. Accordingly, the Board of Directors of this Society continued, until November 1 (1933), Bethel's quota of distributable funds. President Masters and his Board of Trustees deserve thanks and hearty appreciation of this society for the intelligent way they have managed this
task and for the fine manner in which they have conserved Baptist interests and Baptist integrity."
The report on Schools and Colleges read before the General Association by President H. E. Watters of Georgetown College, gave some additional facts concerning the closing of Bethel College as follows: "We are pained to report that one of the schools, Bethel College, found it advisable to close, but through the efforts of the two Presidents, Bethel College was merged with Georgetown, so in a way it still lives. The alumni of the two schools were united and the records transferred to Georgetown, so that the old students of Bethel are not .... without College affiliation. The Enlow Ministerial aid fund, amounting to a little over $21,000, that has aided young preachers at Bethel since 1868 was transferred to Georgetown College, and it is continuing its great service there .... In the judgment of the Committee, Dr. F. M. Masters is greatly to be commended for the splendid ability and leadership manifested in the manner in which he was able to close out Bethel College so as to conserve the traditions of the College, the sympathy and the interests of the alumni, and especially the friends and creditors of the college." All the property of Bethel College was sold November 1, 1943 and outstanding bonds taken up and the bondholders satisfied.
In connection with the consideration of the report of the Budget Committee, E. C. Stevens, Louisville, read the report on Promotion and Brotherhood, which recommended “That State Missions become a department of the Kentucky Baptist State Board of Missions, in charge of a State Mission Secretary and that a General Secretary be selected to superintend the en- tire work of the Baptist State Board.” This was interpreted in the report to mean that "State Missions will rightly become a department on the same basis as the other departments, with its own Secretary, who will have the huge task to promote State Missions in Kentucky.” After a general discussion by seventeen brethren, both the reports were adopted." (During this period one district association was formed on October 29, 1927, made up of the First Baptist Church of Winchester, the Boone's Creek, Ephesus and Corinth Churches, which withdrew from the Boone's Creek Association. It was called the Friendship Baptist Association, and existed until 1939, when two of its churches went into the Elkhorn Association and the others returned to the Boone's Creek Association.)
1 Minutes of the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky , 1925 , p. 24, 25, 58; 1926, p. 8, 9, 37, 40-44, 51, 96-98, 100.
2 Alldredge, E. P., Southern Baptist Handbook, 1926, p. 18, 134, 155, 158, 236, 238.
3 Minutes of the Bethel Baptist Association, 1926, p. 32; “Dr. Landrum sleeps with His Fathers,” The Western Recorder, Jan. 28, 1926, p. 12.
4 Minutes of the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky, 1927, p. 13-15, 19, 21, 32-35, 62, 76, 77.
5 Ibid., 1928, p. 14-16, 27, 28, 49, 50, 52, 55, 66.
6 Mullins, Isla May, Édgar Young Mullins; an Intimate Biography, 1929, p. 10-13, 213.
7 Minutes of the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky, 1929, p. 18-30, 50, 78; Report of a Survey of Nine Baptist Educational Institutions of Kentucky, 1929, p. 9, 10, 22-26, 95, 97, 109, 131; “ Death of W. P. Harvey,” The Western Recorder, Oct. 2, 1929, p. 12.
8 Minutes of the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky, 1930, p. 6, 17-20, 24-26, 75.
9 Ibid., 1931, p. 17-20, 23-25, 28, 34-38, 47, 48, 54-56, 80, 81.
10 Ibid., 1932, p. 17-22, 25-28, 70, 79; Alldredge, E. P., Southern Baptist Handbook, 1933, p. 66, 70, 77.
11 Beaman, Roy, “Life of H. Boyce Taylor,” News and Truths, June 29, 1932, p. 9-14; Freeman, Edward, H. Boyce Taylor - The Man, 1939.
12 Minutes of the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky, 1933, p. 17-19, 26, 35, 46, 87, 88.
These notes are found on pp. 597-598 of the text.
[From A History of Baptists in Kentucky, 1953, pp. 505-520. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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