Of the Eighth Session of the Ministers and Deacons' Meeting of the Bethel Baptist Association, held with the Olivet Church, Christian county, Kentucky, on the 28th, 29th and 31st of May, 1847.
After an introductory sermon by Eld. John Mallory, from the 1st and 2nd verses of Second Corinthians, the Meeting was called to order by Eld. R. W. Nixon, the former Moderator, and upon inquiry, the following Ministers and Deacons were found to be present and had their names enrolled, viz:
R. W. Nixon, R[obert]. T. Anderson, R. Williams, W. J. Morton, W. D. Baldwin, N. Lacy, S. Mallory, C. Meacham. J. Mallory, F. C. Plasters, S. Holland, E. Vaughn, J. B. Smith, W. S. Perry.
J. Brown, J. M. Fauntleroy, J. K. Whitlock, C. M. Tandy, R. S. Garey, S. White, W. Walden. J. Garnett, T. Atkinson.
The meeting then proceeded to the election of a Moderator and Secretary; when Eld. R. W. Nixon was unanimously elected Moderator, and W. S. Perry Secretary. The meeting being thus fully organized, we spent an hour in prayer and exhortation - according to a standing rule of our annual meeting - Elder W. J. Morton leading at the request of the Moderator.
Elder A. W. Meacham from Duck River Association. Tennessee, being present, was invited to a seat with us, which he accepted.
Then called up the introductory sermon for criticism, and which was referred to a private session for that purpose.
Appointed Elder R. Williams and W. D. Baldwin a comittee to report on delinquent writers and also to report on the propriety of suspending the rule relative to fines imposed upon said delinquents.
Called for the Essays, in the order in which they stand recorded:
Elder Thomas Felts being first, but he being absent, Elder W. J. Morton was called upon for his, but stated he had not written any.
Deacon Fauntleroy was then called upon for his essay, who presented and read the same - which was received and referred to a private session fur criticism.
Called upon Eld. S. Mallory for his essay, which he presented and read, and which was also received and referred as the first.
Called upon Elder R. T. Anderson for his, which he also read, and which was referred to a private session fur criticism.
Called upon Elder R. Williams for his essay, which he also read, and which was referred as the others.
Elders Wiggin and Baker being absent, their essays were not called for.
Then adjourned for refreshments.
Evening Session - Met pursuant to adjournment, and proceeded to business.
Appointed Elder R. T. Anderson (the pastor) and the Church a committee to arrange preaching during the meeting.
Appointed W. S. Perry, R. Williams and R. T. Anderson, a committee to select eight subjects, and persons to write essays upon the same, for the next annual meeting; and also some person to preach the next introductory sermon.
Then agreed to suspend the rule requiring criticisms to be in private session, for the present year.
Adjourned until 9 o'clock to-morrow morning.
Saturday Morning. - Met pursuant to adjournment. Read and received the minutes of yesterday.
Elder G. Smith arrived, and had his name enrolled. Deacons N. S. Williams and B. Carter, from Little River Association, being present, were invited to a seat with us. Deacon E. B. Richardson arrived and had his name enrolled.
Called upon the committee on Divine Service, who reported that they had appointed Eld. R. Williams to preach in the forenoon, and Eld. N. Lacy in the afternoon, on to-day, ( S a t u r d a y .)
Called upon the committee on Delinquent Writers, who reported: That although it may be painful to u s - to exact a fine from a delinquent brother, under all circumstances, yet we believe that the penalty of the law they have disobeyed should be inflicted without discrimination, and upon all, unless it appears to the satisfaction of the meeting that a brother has been providentially hindered from complying; otherwise, we shall be likely to produce disregard to all law. Law has no sympathy. We further report, that it is desirable to alter this law, by reducing the penalty to $2.50, instead of $5.
R. WILLIAMS, Chm'n.
The committee appointed to select subjects, and persons to write; upon the same, being called upon, made the following; report, viz:
That Elder N. Lacy preach the next introductory sermon, and Elder W . D. Baldwin his alterrnate.
That Elder W. J. Morton write an essay upon - Under what circumstances is a Minister justifiable in not devoting his whole time to the work? Elder Thomas Felts - On the connexion between prayer and ministerial success. Eld. R. W. Nixon - On the moral condition of the world, and the best means of its amelioration. Elder E. Vaughan - On the Priesthood of Melchisedec. Eld. S. Baker - An exegesis on the twelve first verses of the eleventh chapter of Revelations [sic]. Elder John Mallory - On the importance of imparting religious instruction to children. Bro. S. A. Holland - An exegesis on the thirteenth chapter of 1st Corinthians. Bro. F. C. Plasters - On the utility of prayer-meetings.
W. S . PERRY, Chm'n.
Then called up the introductory sermon for criticism, and which after a few remarks was passed as an appropriate discourse.
Deacon J. L. Fauntleroy's essay was called up for criticism, and after a few remarks was passed as a good essay.
Deacon Wm. Mallory arrived, and had his name enrolled.
The essay of Eld. S. S. Mallory was called up and passed without criticism and a resolution was passed by a unanimous vote, requested the privilege of having the same published in the Tennessee Baptist.
Then adjourned to the call of the Chair.
Evening Session. - Elder S. Baker arrived and had his name enrolled: also, bro. D. Brunson, a licentiate, and Deacon M. Tandy.
Eld. S. Baker, now being present, was called upon for his essay, which he read, and was laid over for the present.
The committee on Divine Service reported, that they had appointed Elders R. Williams and S. Baker to preach in the forenoon, and Elder W. J. Morton tomorrow (Lord ' s day) in the evening.
Then adjourned until Monday morning, at 9 o'clock.
R. W. NIXON, Mod.
The brethren appointed to preach on Lord's day, performed that duty with acceptance to very large congregations, whom we hope will be greatly benefitted thereby.
Monday Morning, - Met pursuant to adjournment. Read and received the minutes of Saturday.
It was then agreed, by a unanimous vote, excuse Elder Thomas Felts hereafter from writing essays.
Appointed Elders R. T. Anderson. R. Williams, and W. S. Perry, each to write an essay, in addition to those heretofore appointed. And that Elder Anderson write On Christian Union; Eld. Williams On the importance of reading the Scriptures; and Eld. Perry On the importance of Sabbath School instruction.
Called up the essays of Anderson and R. Williams, and after some few remarks, they were both passed.
Elder J. Warner, of Hamilton, New York, being present, was invited to a seat with us - which he accordingly accepted.
Then adjourned to hear a sermon by Elder S. Baker.
Evening Session. - Met pursuant to adjournment.
Called up Elder Baker's essay for criticism; and after being read again, it was determined by a unanimous vote to request a copy of the same, in the Baptist Banner and the Tennessee Baptist.
Then according to a standing rule of our organization, the oldest and youngest minister present, who had not been called upon at some former meeting, were requested to live a relation of their Christian experience and call to the ministry, it had been ascertained previously that Elder S. Baker was the oldest, and Eld. F. C. Plasters the youngest; they were accordingly invited by the Moderator to come forward and commence their relation - the youngest beginning first.
The above named brethren then presented themselves in front of the pulpit, and gave such a relation in turn as produced a most thrilling sensation through the crowd, and every heart must have swelled with gratitude to God for his kindness to our brethren, who were both left orphans when young. The right hand of fellowship was then given to the brethren under emotions that would be hard to describe.
The parting hymn was then sung, whilst the tears flowed from almost every eye, and some shouted aloud the praises of the Redeemer. - Thus closed one of the most delightful meetings we have ever held.
R. W. NIXON, Mod.
W. S. Perry, Secretary.
[The Circular Letter for 1847 was: "Examining one's own personal condition in reference to salvation and holy living", written by Robert T. Anderson, Pastor of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church. See Index.]
[From R. B. C. Howell and J. R. Graves, editors, the Tennessee Baptist, Nashville, June 19, 1847, p. 1. Transcribed and formatted from the CD edition by Jim Duvall.]
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