A History of Baptists in Kentucky
By Frank M. Masters, 1953
FINDING THE WAY OUT
1934 – 1938
This brief period marks the beginning of a united effort of Kentucky and Southern Baptists to find a way out from under the crushing burden of debt. For nearly a decade every Baptist front had been sorely pressed almost to the breaking point with an ever-increasing financial obligation, as shown in the previous chapter. Repeated efforts were made during these years with a measure of success “to mobilize, organize and vitalize " the Baptist forces to relieve the Mission Boards, and various denominational agencies from debt.
Moderator W. E. Mitchell called to order the ninety-seventh annual session of the General Association in the First Baptist Church, Henderson, at 10 A. M. November 13. E. C. Stevens, pastor of the Clifton Church, Louisville, was elected Moderator, and Professor F. D. Perkins, Harlan, and C. W. Elsey, Pastor at Shelbyville, Associate Moderators. H. S. Summers was reelected Recording and Statistical Secretary for the eighth time and E. D. Davis, assistant. Pastor Brown B. Smith gave a warm welcome, to which W. A. Gardiner, State Sunday School Secretary, responded.
E. C. Stevens, the newly elected Moderator, was born in Ohio County, near Beaver Dam, Kentucky, September 12, 1885. He graduated from Georgetown College with the B. A. degree June 1908 and was ordained to the ministry by the Georgetown Baptist Church in June 1908. The young preacher received the Th. M degree from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary May 1912. He became associate editor of the Western Recorder January 1914, and accepted a call to the pastorate of Clifton Baptist Church, April 1, 1916. Brother Stevens was in the eighteenth year in the Clifton pastorate when elected Moderator.
R. H. Tandy, pastor at Hodgenville, preached the annual sermon from Colossians 1:15-18, “The Pre-eminent Christ.” The following pastors, who had recently come into the State, were presented: C. R. Widick, Trenton; Samuel S. Hill, Deer Park, Louisville; E. N. Wilkinson, 23rd and Broadway, Louisville; T. D. Brown, Highland, Louisville; and John W. Kloss, Olivet, West Union Association.
The report of the Executive Board emphasized the fact that "the time has arrived, when serious attention must be given to the liquidation of this debt.” The outstanding obligation of $668,270 was itemized as follows: The Kentucky Baptist Children's Home, $28,000; Kentucky Baptist Hospital, $302,000; Georgetown College, $143,062; Bethel Woman's College, $86,000; Campbellsville College, $13,500; Cumberland College, $30,000; and the State Mission Board, $65,708. The Budget Committee recommended, “That the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky adopt the Hundred Thousand Club Debt - Paying plan of the Southern Baptist Convention; that
the funds raised (in Kentucky by the plan) be divided on a fifty-fifty basis between the General Association in Kentucky and the Southern Baptist Convention; that the plan be put in operation, January 1, 1935; and that fifty percent of the Kentucky part of the funds raised be allocated to the Kentucky Baptist Hospital and the remainder be allocated by the Executive Committee of the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky,"
The Hundred Thousand Club was a plan adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in the session of 1933 to secure 100,000 subscriptions of one-dollar per month to be used only in paying the debts on State and Southern Baptist Causes. The Budget Committee also recommended that, "In keeping with the plan of the Southern Baptist Convention concerning Hospital Day in the Sunday schools . . . that the second Sunday in May . . . be given to the Kentucky Baptist Hospital. Furthermore, the Committee recommended that, “The Sunday nearest Thanksgiving Day together with the month of November be set aside as the time for the taking of the special Sunday school offering for the Orphans; and that the Kentucky Baptist Children's Home and the Louisville Baptist Orphans' Home, share equally in the funds raised in connection with the special effort made during the month.” The entire report of the Budget Committee was adopted, and became a part of the plan of paying the debts on the various interests of the Baptists in Kentucky.
Pursuant to the action of the last session of the General Association, making State Missions into a separate department, Dr. W. M. Wood was chosen Secretary and began work February 1, 1934. The new Secretary said, “I came feeling that this was an experiment on the part of the Board, and also an untried field for me; for my whole ministerial life had been spent in some pastorate. "William Miller Wood was a native of Tennessee, and was educated and entered the ministry in that State. He spent his early pastoral work in Kentucky, and was pastor at Elkton and Trenton, in Bethel Asssociation [sic], at Harrodsburg, Covington and Mayfield. He held pastorates in Tennessee, at Humbolt and with Edgefield and Belmont Churches in Nashville. He was pastor at Martin, Tennessee, when he accepted the Secretaryship in Kentucky.
The Baptist Young People's Union was making marked advance under the leadership of the new State Secretary, Rev. Byron C. S. DeJarnette, who entered upon his duties February 1, 1934. He made an encouraging report of work accomplished during the nine months of service. At the annual meeting of the Sunday School Board, in Nashville, Tennessee, June 6, 1934 the name “The Baptist Training Union” was adopted to take the place of the general Baptist Young People's Union organizations. The aim was to remain the same," Training in Church Membership."
The new Secretary, Rev. Byron Clinton Shelton DeJarnette, was well qualified by experience for the work among the Baptist Young People of Kentucky. While in College he did Summer evangelistic and enlistment work under the Executive Board in Kentucky. Brother DeJarnette began Rural B. Y. P. U. Field Work, April 1924, under Secretary Lyman P. Hailey, and served four years and five months. He was employed in Summer Field work by the Executive Board of Tennessee from 1929-1932, a total of ten and one-half months. He was assistant pastor, Training Union Director
and Mission Pastor at Harrodsburg Baptist Church from September 1932 to February 1, 1934. During the Summer of 1934, he was engaged in Field work in South District Association of Kentucky Baptists. Mr. DeJarnette and his State Junior Leader, Miss Emma Middleton, were united in marriage on December 26, 1938.
In the Summer of 1934, Dr. Henry Noble Sherwood, assistant professor of History in the University of Louisville, was elected President of Georgetown College and was in the third month of his administration when the General Association convened in Henderson. The fact had become well-known that Dr. Sherwood was formerly a minister in the Christian Church, commonly designated Campbellites, and united with a Baptist church in Indiana without having been baptized on the authority of that church. In 1927 he united with the Highland Baptist Church, Louisville, by letter from that Baptist Church in Indiana.
Early in the session of the General Association at Henderson several resolutions and memorials were presented condemning the action of the Board of Trustees of Georgetown College for employing Dr. Sherwood with the irregularity in his church membership. Dr. J. W. Porter, pastor in Lexington presented the following: “Whereas, Georgetown College now has a President, who was received into a Baptist church on his Campbellite immersion and thus teaching preachers and others by precept and example, that Campbellite baptism is Scriptural baptism, and should, therefore, be received by Baptist churches. And whereas, Baptist churches are unwilling to discredit their age-long contention against Baptismal regeneration, and make an unconditional surrender to those, who for the past century, have opposed our faith and baptism;
"Therefore, be it Resolved: That on, and after July 1, 1935, the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky withhold all funds from Georgetown College, so long as the College has a President, who has not received baptism authorized by a Baptist church."
After the resolution was discussed by Brethren J. W. Porter and W. W. Stout, L. R. Riley read a communication from West Union Association, which was in substance as follows: “It is our understanding that the President of Georgetown College has been received into a Baptist church on his Campbellite baptism. . . . In view of these facts your committee recommends that our association ask our General Association to demand that these matters be corrected, and if not promptly done, that financial support to Georgetown College be withdrawn.” After a prolonged discussion, participated in by George Ragland, Clarence Walker, Professor J. A. Tolman, O. M. Shultz, M. P. Hunt, J. B. Head, and T. C. Ecton, the subject was made a special order for 9:15 Wednesday morning.
At the appointed hour the Porter resolution was again taken up for consideration. After instructions by the Moderator, E. C. Stevens, and some remarks by S. E. Tull and T. C. Ecton, President Sherwood addressed the body. S. F. Dowis, pastor in Louisville, offered a substitute for the Porter resolution: "Resolved that the General Association of Kentucky Baptists go on record, as saying to the Trustees of Georgetown College that unless the President sees fit to conform to Baptist teaching as to baptism or else
resign his position as President of the College . . . by January 1, 1935, that all funds shall be withheld from the College until the General Association shall be satisfied about the matter."
After further discussion, H. S. Summers, offered the following Resolution, which after considerable discussion was adopted as the action of the body:“Whereas it has come to our knowledge that the Trustees have elected to the Presidency of Georgetown College an educator whose baptism is irregular; . . . . andThere was major grief in the faculty and student body of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary occasioned by the sudden death of Dr. A. T. Robertson, who passed away late in the afternoon of September 24, 1934 at the close of a day ' s work in the classroom. He was in the seventy-first year of his life, and had been connected with the Seminary, first as Instructor, and then Professor, for forty-six years. Archibald Thomas
"Whereas, Kentucky Baptists are unwilling to be untrue to the principles and faith and polity of the New Testament; and
“Whereas, the place of President of our leading Baptist College is of such tremendous importance among us; Therefore be it resolved:
"First, That the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky, assembled at Henderson, November 14, 1934, reaffirm our solemn pledge of loyalty to our time - honored faith, and disapproval of irregularity in following the same;
“Second, That we call upon the Trustees of Georgetown College, as representatives and trustees of Kentucky Baptist interests, to take immediate steps to correct existing conditions:
"Third, That in case the condition of irregularity be existent on January 20, 1935, the matter be referred to a called meeting of the State Mission Board for immediate action according to the spirit of this resolution, which would prevent the further distribution of funds to any institution out of line with Kentucky Baptist principals [principles] and practices.
"Fourth, That we affirm our love for Georgetown College, and express our confidence in the willingness of its trustees to bring about the conditions so essential for the growth of the institution and the maintenance of the fellowship of Kentucky Baptists."
At the meeting of the Executive Board the will of the General Association was carried out by holding all funds in reserve allotted to Georgetown College, pending the adjustment of the relation of that institution to the General Association. 1 The discussion and contention continued unabated in every session of the General Association until 1941 in which year the Board of Trustees voted 12 to 9 not to re - employ Dr . Sherwood. At the end of his tenure of office at Georgetown College he moved to Lexington and joined the Central Christian Church and accepted work with the University of Kentucky. Still later he became Chancellor of Transylvania University, operated by the Disciples.
Robertson was born November 6, 1863, in Virginia but was reared and educated in North Carolina. He graduated from Wake Forest College in 1885 with high honors, and entered the Southern Theological Seminary in the fall of the same year. After graduating in 1888, young Robertson at the age of twenty-five was made Instructor in New Testament Interpretation and Homiletics to relieve the strain on Dr. John A. Broadus. In 1892 he became Professor of Biblical Introduction; and after the death of Dr. Broadus, March, 1895, he was made professor of New Testament Interpretation and continued in that department until his death, a period of thirty-nine years. Dr. Robertson was one of the world's greatest scholars in New Testament Greek. He was the author of more than two score books, a faithful minister of the gospel and a great teacher of preachers. Thousands of his students, throughout the United States and the world, bless his memory.2
Dr. W. D. Powell, well known in Kentucky, and among Southern Baptists, died in Opelika, Ala., May 15, 1934, at the age of eighty years, after sixty years in the ministry. He was converted while a student in Union University, Tennessee, in a meeting conducted by T. T. Eaton. After graduating from Union University, young Powell studied in Baylor University in Texas, and then attended the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He spent eighteen years in Mexico as a missionary under the Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. Dr. Powell was loved and remembered in Kentucky by the ten years of sacrificial service, as Corresponding Secretary of Missions. He had intense interest in providing places of worship for houseless churches. He resigned the work in Kentucky July 24, 1918, to become Field Representative of the Foreign Mission Board at Richmond, Virginia, and continued in this work until February 1934. He never lost interest in the importance of providing church buildings. In October 1929, this faithful servant of the Lord dedicated his 717th church house at Dry Ridge in Crittenden Association in Kentucky; and on July 18, 1933, dedicated his 734th church house at Mercer, Tennessee, where his classmate and friend, Dr. G. M. Savage, had been pastor forty years, and was the only other surviving member of his class. Dr . Savage passed over the River in July, 1938.33
The Association, composed of 206 messengers, convened at 10 A. M., November 12, in the meeting house of the First Baptist Church, Ashland, where Brother R. A. Herring was pastor. The meeting was called to order by the Moderator, E. C. Stevens, and after prayer by Brother John W. T. Givens, Bowling Green, the devotional service was conducted by Pastor C. L. Hargrove, Porter Memorial Church, Lexington. W. J. Bolt, pastor at Harlan, preached the annual sermon from Acts 2:14, “Elements in the Message of Pentecost.” The following new pastors were presented: J. G. Cothran, First Church, Princeton; J. P. Scruggs, First Church, Russellville, W. R. Lambert, Virginia Avenue, Louisville; and D. Swan Haworth, Fourth Avenue, Louisville.
The Kentucky Baptist Hospital closed the eleventh year of operation.
The Committee on Hospitals reported that the bonded debt, including the Nurses' Home, was $300,000. In a period of twelve months, the hospital charged off $11,956.54 to charity, and the amount of $5,216.23 "was given in discount to doctors, nurses and preachers." Mr. George E. Hays, the efficient Superintendent for the past six years, had resigned and Mr. H. L. Dobbs, his successor, was presented and addressed that body concerning future plans for the hospital.
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary was in the Seventy-sixth session of its existence, and had matriculated 7244 young men studying for the ministry. Dr. John R. Sampey was in his sixth year as President. Two instructors had been added to the teaching staff - Rev. E. A. McDowell, Jr., Ph.D., in New Testament Interpretation; and Rev. H. C. Goerner Ph.D., in Comparative Religion and Missions.
Marked progress had been made in State Missions, under the leadership of State Mission Secretary W. M. Wood, who had closed twenty-one months of service. The records stated that “The Department of State Missions is so ably conducted by Secretary W. M. Wood, that there is great cause for rejoicing on the part of the brethren everywhere.” The State missionaries reported 2583 members added to the churches and 120 more churches enlisted to contribute to missionary causes than remitted the year before. The debt on State Missions had been reduced $12,270.59 during the past two years.
In the Sunday School Department, Secretary Gardiner was emphasizing the importance of Vacation Bible Schools and of Sunday schools reaching the Standard of Excellence. A total of one-hundred and thirteen Vacation Bible Schools were held against seventy-seven the year before. Also ninety-three Sunday schools were reported having become standard, among which were a number such schools in the larger churches.
The Woman's Missionary Union of Kentucky, under the leadership of Miss Mary Nelle Lyne, raised $134,729.37 for the various mission objects, of which $91,559.91 was for the Co-operative Program.
Elder Tobias J. Ham, whose ministry was spent in Allen County Kentucky, died March 11, 1935 at the age of eighty-eight years. He was the son of Mordecai F. Ham, the pioneer preacher in Allen and adjacent counties, and father of the evangelist, Mordecai F. Ham. Tobias J. Ham was ordained to the ministry, while a young man, by the Trammel Fork Church, in Allen County and was educated at Bethel College, Russellville, Kentucky.
Rev. James Marion Roddy died in September 1935, in Midway, Kentucky, where he was in the second pastorate of that church. He was born in Texas July 14, 1866, attended the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, but the major part of his ministry was spent in Kentucky. Brother Roddy was the first pastor of the Clifton Church, Louisville, after it became an independent body. He was pastor at Middlesboro and of other Kentucky churches. Mrs. Roddy was President of the State W.M.U. in 1925.4
For the sixth time the General Association convened in Paducah. The
session was called to order by E. C. Stevens in the house of worship of the First Baptist Church at 2 P. M. November 10, where George D. Heaton was pastor. The body was organized by electing W. H. Horton, Moderator; and W. E. Hunter, Somerset, and S. F. Dowis, pastor of Carlisle Avenue Church, Louisville, Assistant Moderators. Clyde L. Breland, pastor at Richmond, Kentucky, preached the annual sermon.
W. H. Horton, the new Moderator, was a native of Arknasas [sic], where he was ordained to the ministry and attended Ouachita College. He finished his education at the Texas State University, Austin , and at the Texas Presbyterian Theological Seminary, located in the same city. In addition to early pastorates in Arkansas, Brother Horton was pastor four years in New Bern, North Carolina, and later was pastor three years in Oakdale, Louisiana, where as a result of a great revival, he baptised 312 converts which was performed in two hours and forty minutes. Brother Horton came from the First Baptist Church, Bonham, Texas, to the pastorate of the First Church, Mayfield in 1927, and was in his eighth year as pastor when chosen Moderator.
Interesting Baptist statistics in Kentucky were available for 1936, which showed 80 associations, 2,066 churches, 368,217 members, 14,835 baptisms, and 1847 Sunday schools, with an enrollment of 242,856 pupils. The Baptist Training Union had 1673 organizations with an enrollment of 34,234, which showed a gain of 3215 over the previous year. The organizations of the Woman's Missionary Union had increased in number during the year from 2097 to 2251, a gain of 154. The contribution of the women reached the all-time high of $168,273. 89, a gain of $18,120.22 over 1935. The gifts to all missions, and benevolences by the Kentucky Baptist churches were $375,764.98, a gain of $37,325.92 over the year before.
Pastors in Kentucky who have served in the same pastorate through the perilous years of the World War I and the depression that followed, deserve honorable mention. The following brethren have been pastors of the same churches for a quarter of a century or more at the close of 1936: John T. Cunningham, Oak Grove, Little River Association – 46 years; W. T. Parrish, Boiling Springs, Lynn Association — 31 years; T. C. Ecton, Calvary, Lexington — 31 years; Fount Brock, Mt. Ararat, Goose Creek Association — 27 years; J. W. Campbell, Bullittsburg, North Bend Association — 26 years; Benjamin Connaway, Providence, First, Ohio Valley Association — 26 years; T. P. Edwards, Chestnut Stand, Boone's Creek Association — 25 years; and D. S. Smith, Annville, Irvine Association — 25 years. Pastor W. E. Hunter had been with the Somerset, First Church, 24 years; T. J. Porter, 20 years at Lebanon, Central Association, and Pastor W. C. Pierce, at Cattlettsburg, Greenup Association, 22 years.5
The one-hundredth anniversary of the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky was held in the Walnut Street Baptist Church, Louisville, Kentucky. This Centennial session was composed of 455 messengers, and was called to order by Moderator W. H. Horton, Mayfield, at 2 P. M. November 16. Pastor Fred T. Moffatt, First Baptist Church, Frankfort, who was to
have charge of the devotional periods, in all sessions, led in the opening worship by reading John 17, emphasizing "The Prayer of Intercession.” The leader announced "that the devotionals were planned in the thought of truths that were true one-hundred years ago, true now and would be true one-hundred years hence."
Pastor F. F. Gibson, of the Walnut Street Church, delivered the address of welcome, recounting some features of the first session of the General Association a century back, when William Vaughn preached the introductory sermon, George Waller was Moderator, and J. L. Waller and [blurred], Secretaries. The speaker paid tribute to the founding fathers of the Association. Pastor Brown B. Smith of First Baptist Church, Henderson, delivered a heartening response. Pastor H. C. Wayman, of First Baptist Church, Newport, preached the annual sermon from Matthew 28:18-20, “Our Program Still,” which stirred and strengthened the hearts of the hearers.
Many references were made to the most devastating floods ever known in Kentucky history, which came on Louisville early in 1937, necessitating the evacuation of probably 250,000 persons, who were made helpless to care for themselves and families. One record says: “All business of every nature and kind was suspended, all public utility services were suspended, bringing chaos to a half million people.”
Church property was greatly damaged by the flood, and the loss was heavy in some of the churches. L. C. Ray, in the report on the Western Recorder, says: "The employees of the Western Recorder suffered (from the flood) as did others. Many of their homes were filled with water and their belongings a total loss. Some of the employees were housed in the offices of General Headquarters for weeks. The department of publicity had to suspend all business for this time, which necessitated a considerable loss, and not alone in suspension of business. In common with all other plants and industries throughout the city, the Western Recorder continued to pay its employees, - at a cost of probably more than a thousand dollars during this time. ”Smaller towns and communities suffered proportionately in loss in every way. All Christian work was at a standstill in all the f[l]ooded areas for weeks.
During this Centennial session, a general review of Baptist achievements of the century in Kentucky was given in the reports of the commit tees on missions and institutions, in special addresses, and in historical papers prepared, which were not read before the body, but printed in the minutes or published in the Centennial edition of the Western Recorder. The Centennial session was greatly marred by the long and continued controversy over the Georgetown College situation already referred to in another connection.
Rev. William D. Nowlin, D.D., LL. D., author of a Kentucky Baptist History, published in 1922, delivered an informing address on "The Challenge of a Hundred Years Achievements.” Dr. F. M. Powell, Professor of Church History in the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, presented
a paper on "One-Hundred Years — 1837-1937.” Both of these addresses were printed in the Minutes.
Provisions were made for the retirement of Dr. Calvin M. Thompson, General Secretary and Treasurer to become effective not later than January 1, 1938. The following was adopted: "Resolved that our hearty appreciation be expressed to him for the sixteen years of meritorious work and faithful service which he has rendered to Kentucky Baptists, and that there be made to him monthly payments of not less than $100.00, which payments will be continued so long as he shall live.” The matter was referred to the Executive Board of the General Association. Dr. Thompson resigned and closed his work as General Secretary and Treasurer June 30, 1938.
Dr. J. W. Porter was removed from this life suddenly at his home in Lexington, Kentucky, September 7, 1937. His death was a great surprise and shock to his many friends and admirers. John William Porter was born in Galloway, Tennessee, August 8, 1863. He graduated in law, and practiced his profession until 1889, when he was wonderfully converted, and ordained to the ministry the following year. After graduating from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. Porter spent the major part of his ministry in Kentucky. He was pastor of the First Baptist Church, Lexington, for fourteen years and led in the erection of a splendid house of worship. His next pastorate was at the Third Avenue Baptist Church, Louisville. In connection with his pastoral work, Dr. Porter edited the Western Recorder during a period of fourteen years, closing his editorship in 1921. He had been pastor of the Immanuel Church, Lexington, thirteen years at the time of his death. This distinguished preacher was Moderator of the General Association two years, and preached the annual sermon before the Southern Baptist Convention, Houston, Texas in 1915. Early pastorates included Germantown, Tenn., Collierville, Tenn., Crestwood, Ky., Maysville, Ky., and Newport News, Va.
Rev. C. K. Hoagland, Superintendent of the Kentucky Baptist Children's Home, since 1933, died September 9, 1937 at the age of sixty-four years. He was ordained to the ministry by the Twenty-Second and Walnut Street Baptist Church in 1908, and in 1915 became pastor of the old historic Cox's Creek Church, continuing eight years. In 1923, this beloved brother was called to become pastor of the Ninth and O Church, Louisville, and served ten years. As Superintendent of the Children's Home, he conducted its affairs in a very acceptable way. The funeral services were held in the Walnut Street Baptist Church, Louisville, and were largely attended.5
After a period of thirty-seven years, the General Association met the second time with the First Baptist Church, Murray, Samuel P. Martin, pastor. The retiring Moderator, W. H. Horton, called the body to order at 2 P. M. November 15. The song service was conducted by Pastor Buell H. Kazee, of Morehead Church; and the opening worship was conducted by Brother D. B. Clapp, pastor in Paducah. Pastor T. J. Barksdale, of Calvary Baptist Church, Louisville, preached the annual sermon, from 2 Corinthians
5:18, 19, on "The Ministry of Reconciliation.” Pastor J. W. Black of the Latonia Baptist Church, Covington, was elected Moderator, Sam P. Martin, and T. D. Brown, pastor of Highland Church, Louisville, Assistant Moderators. The Moderator elect, J. W. Black, was permitted to preside over only the present session, as he was chosen General Secretary and Treasurer of the Baptist State Board of Missions, at the annual meeting of the Board December 6 , 1938 , following the adjournment of the General Association.
John William Black was born in Rowan County December 13, 1875. He began teaching school at the age of eighteen, and continued in the school room for a number of years. Young Black studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1908. In 1914, the young lawyer, was elected County Attorney of Rowan County, and served until 1917. Mr. Black was converted at eighteen and was later baptized into the fellowship of the Midway Baptist Church, May 31, 1908. He soon felt the call to preach the gospel and later was ordained to the ministry in 1916 by the Morehead Church, and became pastor of two half-time churches while still County Attorney. In 1918, Brother Black began to devote his whole time to the ministry and became pastor of a number of churches, among which were Morehead, Jackson, Wheatley and Dry Ridge. The Latonia Baptist Church, Covington was his last pastorate, where he had labored twelve years and eight months, and he left the church with eleven hundred and thirty members.
The new Secretary had a three-fold program in view which he desired to make effective, when he entered upon his duties as General Secretary: "First, to bring about a spirit of unity among Kentucky Baptists; second, to work out a well-rounded State Mission Program, and develop in the churches a State Mission conscience; and, third, to promote in Kentucky, the whole program of Southern Baptists."
The financial and spiritual progress made in the Baptist Churches of Kentucky during the year was very encouraging. The amount of the contributions to the mission and benevolent causes for the past year was $361,725.16, and of this amount $103,034.57 was available for State Missions. The debt on State Missions had been decreased to $41,707.43 and plans were being made for a still greater reduction the coming year. The financial obligations of the Kentucky Baptist Hospital was decreased by $48,000, leaving the indebtedness at $190,000.
The spiritual result of the past year was shown by 16,807 baptisms in the churches of the State, a gain of over 3,095 over the previous year. State Mission Secretary W. M. Wood reported ninety-seven workers employed, 190 revivals held, 3311 additions to the churches, and five churches constituted. There were 2055 Baptist Churches in the State with 387,174 members. But of these churches, 577 made no contribution to missions or benevolences during the past year. Also six whole associations out of the seventy-nine, reported nothing for missionary causes.
Secretary W. A. Gardiner, of the State Sunday School Department was in his seventeenth year of service, and the results of the work for the past year were the greatest ever reported. The number of awards given
was approximately an increase of 2000 over the previous year, while seven teen Sunday schools were organized and 380 Vacation Bible Schools held, compared with 234 last year. The Sunday school enrollment in Kentucky reached 257,867 pupils, a gain of 12,046 over 1937. The Training Union work under the leadership of Secretary Byron C. S. DeJarnette, was also moving forward. One hundred and twenty-seven Unions had been organized the past year, and thirty-seven more churches had Training Unions.
The State Woman's Missionary Union reported 2230 organizations, which contributed $179,158.74 for all mission causes, a gain of $8,609.63 over 1937. The Foreign Mission Board, at Richmond, Virginia, reported that the salaries of 125 missionaries were paid out of the Lottie Moon offering for Foreign Missions, received from the W.M.U. of the South. The women of Kentucky realized a great loss in the death of Mrs. B. G. Rees, who passed away at her home on Longest Avenue in Louisville, Kentucky, August 30, 1938. She had served as State Treasurer of the W. M. U. of Kentucky for forty years, and was a member of the Walnut Street Church, fifty years. Mrs. Rees was for a time Corresponding Secretary of the State W. M. U. and also served as a member of the Board of the W. M. U. Training School.
The two Orphanages added a new worker each during the past year. At the October meeting of the trustees of the Louisville Orphan's Home, Rev. L. B. Snider was employed as Field Representative to relieve the Superintendent, O. M. Huey, of some of his added duties. In December, 1937, Rev. J. G. Barbe assumed his duties as Superintendent of the Kentucky Baptist Children's Home, at Glendale, succeeding the lamented C. K. Hoagland. The new Superintendent came to the Home from a twelve years' pastorate of the Franklin Baptist Church, Simpson County. The Trustees of the Children's Home reported that Superintendent Barbe soon demonstrated unusual ability as an executive.
A new department of work was inaugurated May 1, 1938, known as State Baptist Student Union. A trained young preacher, A. L. Gillespie, was appointed Student Union Secretary for Kentucky. The purpose of the new department was to conserve nearly 4000 Kentucky Baptist students for denominational leadership and to magnify Christ on every college campus, and to make the extension of the Kingdom of God appealing to every student. The program was the planning “religious activities for Baptist college students, by emphasizing church membership in a Baptist church, in college centers, and by participating in the regular departments of church activity during the college year."7
================[From Frank Masters, A History of Baptists in Kentucky, 1953, pp. 521-531. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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