This essay was slightly revised on 4.18.09 as new information was added.
The Old Mud Lick Baptist Church
Boone County, Kentucky
By Jim Duvall
Boone County Atlas of 1883
Arrow pointing SE shows location of Meetinghouse
The Mud Lick Baptist Church was located in the western part of the county near what is now Highway U. S. 42 and the road to Big Bone Lick. The church was constituted in April, 1804 (the third Baptist church in Boone County) and in 1840 separated from the Northbend Association of Baptists and joined the newly formed Salem Association of Predestinarian Baptists.
This essay of gleanings will be primarily of facts listed with the Northbend Association at the annual meeting. References from other Baptist Churchbooks are also used. From 1840 there are only a few Minutes of the Salem Association extant, so the later years of the church's history are even more scanty.
Each church would send an annual letter to the association with the following statistics: the number of newly converted and baptized members; new members received by a letter of recommendation from another Baptist church. Baptist churches practiced discipline; they admonished erring member and excluded from the church those who refused to repent; but if anyone came back to the church and repented of their sin, the person was restored to full fellowship of the church; the number of excluded and restored members was reported to the association each year.
When a person because of location or some other reason wished to change his/her membership to a different Baptist church, they were granted a letter of dismissal. This letter stated what the church believed and the status of the person in its membership (in fellowship). The number of deceased members was reported and the total membership was also listed.
1804 - Bullitsburg Baptist Churchbook - Saturday the 4th of August 1804
"Agreeable to request from the [Baptist] church at Mudlick for helps in the ordination of a deacon and the administration of the Lord[']s Supper on the 3rd Saturday & Sunday in this month. We appoint brethren Deweese, Cave, Webb & Graves to attend on [for] that purpose."
1805 - Mud Lick received seven new members by baptism, seven by letter and four were dismissed by letter. One was excluded; the total membership was 43. From these numbers, there were probably thirty-four church members reported to the previous association. The church does not list a pastor. The men who represented the church at the meeting were Weden Sleet, Geo. H. Berry, William Aldridge and Geally Moss.
In all of the years for which we have records, the church never had an ordained minister. Several men were listed as licentiates (licensed by the church), but no one was ordained. Absalom Graves of Bullittsburg Baptist, would later write in his autobiography (see below, 1826) that he assisted the Mudlick Church often.
1806 - One member by baptism, three by letter and two were dismissed by letter. One was exlcuded; the total membership shown was 47. Weden Sleet, Robert Finnel and Presley Peek were the church's messengers to the association.
1807 - The church listed no new members; four were dismissed by letter. Seven were excluded and one died; the total membership was 35. Weden Sleet, John Arnold, William Aldridge and Robt Finnell were the messengers to the association.
1808 - One member by baptism, three by letter and three were dismissed by letter. One was excluded; the total remained 35. Messengers were Rob't Finnell, Elizaphan Hume, Weden Sleet, William Aldridge and Caleb Norman.
1809 - The church listed one member added by baptism, two added by letter and one was dismissed by letter. One was excluded; the total was shown as 34. The year's messengers were Weden Sleet, Ruben Conner and Robert Finnel.
1810 - One member was added by baptism and one was dismissed by letter. One was excluded and one was deceased; the total membership was 32. Messengers were Elizaphan Hume and James Finnell.
1811 - This was a year of revival and Mud Lick had thirty-three who made confessions of their faith and were baptized. Two were added by letter and three were dismissed by letter. One who had been disciplined was restored and one died. The total membership was 70. Weden Sleet, P. Peak and W. Bates were messengers to the association. A total of 277 persons were converted and added to the twelve Baptist churches of northen Kentucky that year.
1812 - This is the first printed record of the Northbend Baptist Association, the previous records were re-typed from the originals and are not complete. The association met at the Mud Lick meetinghouse. This year showed Weden Sleet as a licensed minister. A licensed minister's name was printed in Italics. Ten were added to the church by baptism and five added by letter of recommendation from other Baptist churches. Six were dismissed by letter. Eleven left for the constitution of the Bethel Baptist Church (Frogtown Road, Union, KY). The total membership was 68.
Weden Sleet, Robt Finnell and John Arnold were the messengers to the association. Weden Sleet, along with two other brethren, was appointed to represent their association at the Elkhorn Baptist Association held in central Kentucky.
In the associational minutes, Weden Sleet is listed as a licensed minister from Mudlick in 1812 and as an ordained minister in 1813.
1813 - The church listed four members added by letter and one was dismissed by letter and one was excluded; the total membership was 70. The year's messengers were Weden Sleet, Robert Finnel and Philip Roberts.
1814 - There was one baptized into the church membership; five were dismissed by letter and two were excluded; the total membership was 66. The year's messengers to the association were Robert Finnell, John Arnold and Weden Sleet.
1815 - There was no additions to the church; two were dismissed by letter, three excluded and one died; the total membership was 60. The year's messengers were Weden Sleet, John Arnold and Philip Roberts.
1816 - Again there were no additions to the church; one was dismissed by letter and one deceased; the total membership was 58. The year's messengers were Robt. Finnell, Philip Roberts and James Finnell.
1817 - Three additions to the church by letters; four dismissed by letters and three deceased; the total membership was 54. The year's associational messengers were Robert Finnell and John Morehead.
Bullitsburg Baptist Churchbook - Sunday 8th June 1817
To assist in the ordination of Bro. William Montague to the office of the Ministry - from Mudlick Bro. Philip Roberts.
1818 - There was another revival among the churches as six hundred eleven professed faith in Christ and were baptized in the sixteen Baptist churches in northern Kentucky. There were thirty-one baptized and added to the Mud Lick Baptist Church. Four were received by letters, one restored to fellowship. Six were dismissed by letters, two were excluded and one died. The total membership was 81. Messengers to the association were Robert Finnell, James Finnell and Philip Roberts. Roberts was chosen as an associational representative, along with David Lillard, to attend South District Association in Garrard County, Kentucky the following August.
Bullittsburg Baptist Churchbook - June, 1818
"Sunday 7th - Rec'd bro C. Johnson's Moses by Letter of dismission from Mud Lick." This is the only slave member's name we have at this time.
1819 - Nine were added by baptism, five received by letter. Two members were dismissed by letters, leaving a total membrship of 88. James Finnell, Robert Finnell and Philip Roberts were messengers.
1820 - There were three baptisms, five added by letters, one dismissed by letter, one excluded and one deceased. Total membership was 86. The same men were messengers as chosen the year before. Philip Roberts was chosen as a representative to the Franklin Association in August, 1821.
1821 - The church had four baptisms and three received by letters. Eleven were dismissed by letters, three excluded and two deceased; total membership 77. Robt. Finnell was chosen a messenger to the association, but did not attend. James Finnell and Caleb Norman attended.
1822 - The church had one baptism and one addition by letter. There were three excluded and three deceased. Total was 73. Caleb Norman, Robt. Finnell and E. Anderson were messengers to the association. Edward Anderson and Caleb Norman were chosen as representatives to the Licking Association to be held in Bourbon County in September, 1823.
1823 - There were two baptisms and two added by letters, while three were dismissed by letters. The church had gain of one - with 74 members. The association minutes indicate that the church held its monthly business meeting on the 2nd Saturday, with the worship service following the next day. James Finnell, Rob't Finnell, Edward Anderson and Caleb Norman were the messengers to the association.
1824 - The church experienced another revival, as did many of the other churches of the association. There were twelve added by baptism, six by letters. One was dismissed by letter. The membership total was 91. J. Finnell, C. Norman, J. Case, Edward Anderson and Elijah Anderson were the chosen messengers to the annual meeting. E. Anderson was chosen a representative to the Concord Association to be held at Corn Creek Baptist Church, Gallatin County later that month.
From the Bullittsburg Baptist Churchbook, there are several entries that refer to Mudlick. The church was seeking to ordain a pastor and sought help from other Baptist churches in the area to assist them. Later they asked for help to constitute a new church in Verona.
Bullittsburg Baptist Churchbook - December 6th 1824
"Brother James Emett from Mudlick applied for helps to attend that Church on Saturday next, to afsist in the counsel & ordination of Bro. James Finnell to the work of the ministry, the matter taken up and appointed Brethren A.[Absalom] Graves, W. Early, Jo.[John] Botts & R. Graves to attend & report accordingly."
1825 - From the NBBA Minutes: - There were two baptisms, two additions by letter and nine dismissions by letters. There were twenty-nine dismissed for the constitution of a new Baptist Church (Salem in Verona). One member was excluded and two were deceased. Total membership was now 57. The messengers to the association were R. Finnell, C. Norman and D. Roberts.
Bullittsburg Baptist Churchbook - January 1825
"Bro. A. Graves one of the helps sent to Mudlick reported that Bro. Botts & himself attended, and owing to some objections in the Church and with bro. Finnell himself he was not ordained."
Bullittsburgh Churchbook March 1825:
"Brother John Case of Mudlick (being appointed for that purpose) made application (by letter) for helps to attend at the house of brother James Finnell, on the 4th Saturday of the present, Month, to afsist in the counsel; and Constitution of a church in that neighbourhood in the oak wood settlement of Mudlick, should it be thought advisable. - The matter taken up, and agreed to send, and thereupon, brethren Absalom Graves Whitfield Early and James Dicken are appointed to ^ attend / and report accordingly."
Bullittsburgh Churchbook April 2d 1825
"Bro. A Graves reported that brother Dicken and himself of the helps attended at brother James Finnell's on the call for the constitution of a Church, and that a Church was constituted, known & called by the name of Salem."
1826 - There were now nine Baptist churches in Boone County. Mud Lick added two by letters and dismissed twelve by letters. Four were excluded and one died, leavng a total membership of 42. Robert Finnell, Caleb Norman, Edw'd Atkins and Daniel Roberts were the messengers to the association.
Absalom Graves, who labored with Mud Lick and Salem Baptist [Verona] churches said in his short Autobiography: "With . . . these I have labored in my imperfect manner, and think I have long travailed in birth for them. . . . . These I hereby give up and resign into His gracious hand, to provide for and take care of them, and supply all their wants; to bless them with an evangelical and faithful ministry, and abundantly add to their numbers such as shall be saved." (1826)
1827 - One was added by baptism, two were dismissed by letters and one was excluded. Total membership 40. R. Finnell, C. Norman, E. Adkins and Dan'l Roberts were the chosen messengers.
1828 - This year there were five dismissions by letters. The membership was now 35. D. Roberts, E. Atkins, L. Copper and C. Norman attended the association. Robert Finnel was appointed to attend but did not.
1829 - There were three baptisms, one received by letter and one restored to fellowship. Two were dismissed by letters, with 38 the total. R. Finnell, C. Norman, D. Roberts attended the annual meeting. L. Cooper was chosen to attend but did not. Caleb Norman was chosen as a representative, along with others, to attend the Concord Association at Long Ridge Baptist Church, Owen County the following week. Thirty-eight total.
1830 - One is added by letter and two are dismissed. Robert Finnell, Lewis Cooper and Edw. Atkins were the messengers. Thirty-seven total.
1831 - There were four additions by letters. Five dismissions, one excluded, one deceased. Thirty-four total. Caleb Norman, Daniel Roberts, were messengers; Robert Finnell was chosen as a messenger but did not attend. Members - 34.
1832 - The church listed three received by letter of recommendation from other churches, and three dismissed by letters, with a total of 34 members. Robert Finnell, Dan'l Roberts and Caleb Norman were messengers to the Northbend Association.
1833 - One added by baptism, two by letters, one restored, one dismissed by letter, one excluded and one deceased. Total 35. Rob't Finnell, Daniel Roberts, John McHatton, John Baker were messengers to the association.
1834 - Two added by baptism; total 36. Robert Finnell was appointed to the association but did not attend; Daniel Roberts and John Baker attended the association.
1835 - Two dismissed by letters. total 34. Robert Finnell, D. Roberts and C. Norman were messengers to the Northbend Association.
The Circular Letter in 1835, written by Robert Kirtley, was addressed to the Messengers of the North-Bend Association now in session at Mudlick Meeting-House to the Churches of Christ of which they are Members.
1836 - One addition by baptism, three dismissed by letters, one exclued, one death. Total 29. R. Finnell, D. Roberts, C. Norman and J. Conner were messengers to the Northbend Association.
1837 - One received by letter, three excluded - membership total 27. William Angleton, Caleb Norman, Daniel Roberts attended the association and John Baker was appointed but did not attend. C. Norman was appointed to attend the Ten Mile Association in September, 1837.
1838 - One was added; total 28. Robert Finnell, Caleb Norman, William Angleton and Daniel Roberts were messengers to the Northbend Association.
1839 - One was deceased. Daniel Roberts, Caleb Norman, William Angleton and Robert Finnell were messengers to the association.
1840 - There were seven received by baptism, two by letter, three were deceased - thirty-four total members. The men appointed to the association were D. Roberts, R. Finnell, C. Norman; J. Conner was appointed but did not attend.
This was the last time the church would be united with Northbend Association. They joined the new Salem Association of Predestinarian Baptists later in 1840, along with Forks of Gunpowder Baptist Church, Bethel (Frogtown Road), Mount Pleasant (Bullittsville), and Salem (Verona).
[From the Northbend Baptist Association Minutes - Compiled by Jim Duvall.]
The Salem Association records are very sparce; from them we note the Mud Lick Church had 45 members in 1845.
The following is from George W. Hawes' Kentucky State Gazetteer and Business Directory, for 1859 and 1860. John Underhill is listed as pastor of the Baptist church at Beaver Lick; Mud Lick was the only Baptist church in the area at that time. Underhill is listed as pastor of Forks of Gunpowder Baptist Church in other documents, but churches met only once a month then and many men were pastor of more than one church.
A small post village in Boone county, situated on the Covington stage route, 20 miles from Covington, 12 miles from Burlington, the capital of the county, 65 miles north of Frankfort and 90 miles north-east of Louisville. It contains one church (Baptist - Mud Lick), one seminary (school), one store, one hotel, two physicians, one magistrate, three blacksmiths, and one carriage maker. Population 100. Post office established 1854.
John W. Tucker, postmaster.
Ash Hill Seminary F. Mansfield, teacher [Common schools were often referred
to as seminaries. - jrd] Cleek, Jacob planter Cook, Thomas & D. planters Dickey, T. planter Fawcett, Thomas blacksmith Hardy, W. physician and surgeon Hughes, J. C. painter Kells, James stone and brick mason Kelly, Thomas J. justice of the peace Mansfield F. school teacher Opmon, J. W. planter Rice, Moses S. surveyor and civil engineer Roberts, J. L. plow maker Roberts, J. L. carriage and wagon maker Roberts, W. M. blacksmith Roberts, W. M. proprietor, Exchange Hotel Slayback, Thomas blacksmith Sudduth, B. planter Tucker, J. W. planter Tucker, John W. postmaster and general merchant Undehill, Rev. John Baptist [Mudlick Baptist Church (Predestinarian)] Wood, J. A. physician and surgeon
Compiled by Jim Duvall.
More on Boone County Baptists
Baptist History Homepage