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The Baptist newspaper, Memphis, 1867
      Having been favored with one number of THE BAPTIST, and supposing that, &om the position you have assigned me, you will expect some information occasionally through me from this region, I have concluded to give your readers a few items of what is transpiring here; although my facilities for doing so are not the most favorable at this time, owing to the fact we are now hemmed in by water on a "continent of mud," with only an occasional opportunity of hearing from the outside world. As to our denomination here, I believe I can express it no better than to say, that Kentucky Baptists are Kentucky Baptists still, with some slight variations in our external operations. During, and since the war, our territory has been canvassed from North to South, from East to West, and all through, by agents representing almost all the interests of our Northern Zion, and we have continued to respond to these calls, until we have almost lost sight, of our State work. While we think with pleasure upon what we have done for these various objects in time of need, it is at the same time with pain and mortification, that we hear from our Corresponding Secretary, Rev. S. F. Thompson, that we are in debt to our Missionaries, and that some of them will be driven from the field, unless immediate help can be afforded.

      But, in addition to the demands which we have met from Foreign Missions, Domestic Missions. Greenville Seminary, and the widows and orphans of some of our sister Southern States. We now have in the State an organization of our denomination, styled, KENTUCKY SOUTHERN RELIEF ASSOCIATION, which is doing much for the suffering poor of those regions whence cometh the cry for bread. Here the Lord has given an abundance of the supplies of life. O, that he may continue to open the hearts and pockets of our people, until the heart-sickening cry of want shall be hushed in all our coasts. Rev. W. H. Felix, of Lexington, is President, and Rev. W. Pope Yeaman, of Covington, is Travelling Agent. May God speed this work.

      How far past finding out are the ways of Providence. Just while Bro. Felix is engaged in this philanthropic work, and also in the midst of great usefulness in his church (First Baptist Church, Lexington), strange that their beautiful and commodious church edifice - a building which was an ornament to the city and an honor to the denomination - should be utterly consumed by fire. This is the second time that this church has met with a similar misfortune; but they will soon be able to rebuild and prosper again.

      I note some pastoral changes among our preachers. Rev. H. McDonald has recently settled with the church at Shelbyville; Bro. Geo. W. Hunt with the church at Bowling Green, and Bro. Rambaut with East Baptist Church, Louisville; Bro. Yeaman has resigned the First Church at Covington, while a number of the country churches have been making changes. Our cause is prospering; in some of our cities and towns, among the fortunate I note Louisville, Owensboro', Russellville, Henderson, Glasgow, and many smaller towns and villages. The spirit of revival also pervades many of our country churches, while peculiar success has crowned the efforts of many of our Missionaries and Evangelists; nevertheless, indifference and coldness characterizes many of our churches. The great scarcity of money at this time is very embarrassing both to churches and preachers.

      Among our denominational enterprises, I omitted to notice, that an effort is being made to organize a "Ministers Theological Institute." This body convenes the 27th of this month in the city of Owensoro', when and where we expect to consummate the organization. The order of the exercises for this meeting is as follows, viz:

1. Three Lectures on Regeneration, Repentance and Faith. By Elder J. M. Dawson.

2. Three Lectures on the Personality, Divinity and Work of the Holy Spirit. By Eld. J. S. Coleman.

3. Three Lectures on the Church of Christ, Organization and Government. By Eld. J. C. Maple.

4. Three Lectures on Baptism, Design and Symbolism. By Deacon J. H. Branham.

5. Three Lectures on The Lord's Supper, Institution, Design, and who should partake of it. By Eld. J. M. Peay.

I will give yon the result of this meeting in due time. I hope that THE BAPTIST will continue to visit me. Many of those to whom I preach are anxious to become subscribers, and will do so when they sell their tobacco, and get the necessary wherewith. I look forward with peculiar interest to the meeting of The Southern Baptist Convention in your city this Spring, where I hope to meet and consult with many touching the interests of our beloved Zion.
More when I have opportunity.
Yours, as ever, J. S. C. [J. S. Coleman]
Beaver Dam. Ky., March 20, 1867.

[From The Baptist, Memphis, April 27, 1867, p. 6, CD edition. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

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