Baptist History Homepage

Boone County, Kentucky, Baptist Churches
of the North Bend Association
Combined list of members who joined through 1842
By Stephen W. Worrel, 2008

      The following alphabetical table contains nearly 1,500 names of members of four churches of the North Bend Association of Regular Baptists in Boone County, Kentucky, from their beginning through 1842. The membership lists are transcribed from the minutes of the three churches: Bullittsburg, Forks of Gunpowder, and Sand Run. The Middle Creek founding members are from the associational minutes. The Bullittsburg lists also contain the names of slave members of the church.

      The membership lists are invaluable for genealogists since they contain the names of many women members, death dates for many members, and dates when members and their families moved from the local area. Virtually none of this valuable information appears in civil records until much later. Additional valuable information about many members whose names are in the lists may be found in the minutes, or record books, of the four churches. The Bullittsburg and Sand Run minutes are available to researchers. (The Bullittsburg records are available on this web site: see sources below.)

The Name Table
      Names are arranged alphabetically in the "Member's or Owner's Name" column. The next column contains the "Slaves' Names." (If column 3 is blank, that means the information in that row refers to the white principal member or slave owner.) Columns numbered 2 and 3 contain letters referring to the type of action that occurred when church members were admitted to membership in a given church or left that church. The keys to the letters are at the top of the table. Most members were admitted by baptism (B), by letter (L) from another Baptist church stating that they were members in good standing when they left, or by "constitution," (C), viz., they were founding members of a new church. Most members left the church by death (D) or by receiving a letter (L) they could use to join a new church when they moved. Members could also be - in increasing order of severity - suspended (S), excluded (E), or excommunicated (X), as well as restored (R) or reunited (U).

      The column numbered 4 contains a digraph representing the name of the church in question (see above and Table Keys). The "Comments" column mostly contains "aliases," that is, the married surnames of female members.

      In the original records, the names of a married couple often, but not always, are entered together. In alphabetizing the table, these pairings have mostly been lost. They may be seen, of course, by consulting the original records. In the name table these couples can often be reconstructed by noting the dates of admission and dismissal: usually, but again not always, they are the same for married couples. Of course, the Boone County marriage records also may be consulted, although one or two marriages, judging from the aliases, do not appear in the civil records.

      Note that the names Clore and Glore apparently were used interchangeably, as were Cristy and Christy.

      By far the largest of the three churches was the Baptist Church of Christ at Bullittsburg, which was constituted in June 1794 in what was then Campbell County, Kentucky. It adhered to the Philadelphia Confession of Faith and was a member of the Elkhorn, then the North Bend, regional association of Baptist churches. Many early Bullittsburg members came from Madison County, Virginia, as did one of its longtime leaders, the Rev. Absalom Graves. Bullittsburg was the oldest and largest northern Kentucky Baptist church in its heyday during the first half of the 19th century; at its height the church had some 428 white and 149 black members - a total of 577 adherents.

      As Bullittsburg grew, some of its members left to start other churches in the area. (These are the references in the records and membership lists to ("Dismissed by constitution.") Many members left to join the Woolpers Creek Baptist Church, which was in existence only from 14 March 1801 until June of that year, when the two churches reunited. Another "daughter" was the [Forks of] Gunpowder Baptist Church in central Boone County, founded on 29 April 1812. Other progeny were Sand Run, founded on 20 March 1819 by some 77 Bullittsburg members, and Middle Creek, founded 12 March 1803.

      In addition to ministering to the spiritual needs of its members, the church served as a sort of moral court, where alleged transgressions could be "laid in" either by the member himself or his neighbors (white or black). If found guilty of sin by the church, punishment, as noted above, consisted of suspension, exclusion, or excommunication in ascending order of severity. Reinstatement after a period was possible. The church even dealt with some commercial and debt disputes, and provided (albeit rarely) for the upkeep of needy members.

      Interestingly, slave members were active participants in this process. Of course they never accused their white masters, but they did accuse themselves and each other. Whites also accused other owners' slaves - and even their own. By mid-century, moral accusations appeared to be winding down, and many of the cases were of whites accusing blacks.

      Judging by the number of cases in the minutes, leading the list of sins were drinking too much (intoxication) and fighting and disorderly conduct. Also near the top sins was failure to attend church services (a good excuse was required). In the middle of the list of sins were "purloining" (stealing) and "absconding" (running away) on the part of slaves, along with joining another religious denomination, which violated the beliefs of the Baptist Church (Methodists, Presbyterians, Campbellites, or a Masonic Lodge) and commercial/debt disputes. The fewest cases of sins concerned fornication, adultery, dancing, gambling, and horse racing. At the bottom was the sin of "keeping a fiddle," although interestingly the church now and then named "singing clerks" (music directors).

      A large number of Boone County church members moved on west, many to Indiana and on to Missouri.

      1. Bullittsburg. Church records are extant at the church itself, but available no later than 1900 for privacy reasons, as of 2008. Most - but not all - of the available records have been microfilmed and are available at the main Burlington branch of the Boone County Public Library. The complete records have been transcribed on this web site through 1833, and the transcription project continues as of 20013. (However, the membership lists from the minutes that were used in compiling this table are not in the web site transcription.) The names in the table were transcribed from photocopies of the membership lists contained in the church minutes as follows:

1 An undated list of 162 white members through 1801, 4 pages
2 A list of 428 white members through February 1813, dated 7 June 1801, 9 pages
3 A list of 327 white members through November 1818, dated 23 May 1813, 9 pages
4 A list of 361 white members through May 1835, dated 28 December 1819, 10 pages
5 A list of 215 white members through 1834-35, dated 7 February 1829, 3 pages
6 A list of 158 white members through July 1839, dated 15 July 1835, 5 pages
7 A list of 193 white members through November 1842, dated 22 January 1840, 3 pages (contains only admission date and action)
8 Another list of 194 white members through December 1842, dated 22 January 1840, 6 pages
9 An undated list of 33 black members April 1801, 1 page
10 A list of 113 black members through 1812 dated 7 June 1801, 3 pages
11 A list of 149 black members through November 1818, dated 25 July 1813, 3 pages
12 A list of 139 black members through July 1832, dated 28 December 1819, 4 pages
13 A list of 92 black members, dated February 1829, 1 page
14 A list of 109 black members through November 1842, dated 25 January 1835, 3 pages
      Note that the lists contain dates beyond the date the list was compiled, since names were continually added to it until the next list was prepared. All of the lists were on legal-sized pages.

      2. Sand Run. This Church was formed on 20 March 1819 by 77 members of Bullittsburg Baptist Church. The Sand Run church site was 12 miles southeast of the Bullittsburg church. The old church records were extant at the church as of August 1997. (Sand Run Baptist Church, 1327 North Bend Rd., Hebron, KY 41048.) The records have been microfilmed and also are available at the main Burlington branch of the Boone County Public Library. The membership lists are contained in the "Minutes of the Proceedings of the Sand Run Church," p. 149, "List of the names of the white members of Sand Run Church." There are two additional lists in the minute books of Black members of the Church, not yet included in the name table. The lists were transcribed from the originals by Stephen W. Worrel and Anne W. Fitzgerald in 1996-97.

      3. Gunpowder, Forks of. This church was formed on 29 April 1812 by members from Bullittsburg and Middle Creek churches. The names of members of this church were copied from two pages of the church minute books in the possession of Mr. Bob England of Boone County in 1998 by Stephen W. Worrel. At that time the original records were in the possession of a cousin of Mr. England in Baltimore. The names are on pp. 408-409, "A List of the white Members names transcribed April 14, 1865 by order of the church at the Forks of Gunpowder." Eight names of later slave members are listed on p. 416. They are not included in the name table since they joined probably after the present cutoff date of 1842.

      4. Middle Creek. This church was constituted on 12 March 1803. It was later named Belleview Baptist Church. The list of initial members was taken from the North Bend Baptist Association Minutes, 1874, pp. 7-12. These records are available on microfilm at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Library in Louisville, KY.

Stephen W. Worrel, 2008

     The file showing the list of church members has over 1400 names and is in a PDF format. You must have Adobe Reader to use this file.

Download PDF Listing of Members

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