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Lexington, Kentucky - 1964

"Contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints." (Jude 3)

Bro. Walker says:
     The following "PROTEST" was sent to the Elkhorn Baptist Association. I am giving you the protest exactly as it was presented to the association. Naturally I would love to hear your reaction.



Dear Brethren:
     We greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying that this session shall be one of the best and the name of our Lord glorified.

     We are enclosing with our annual letter this PROTEST.
     By reliable sources we have been informed that the TRINITY BAPTIST CHURCH voted to receive persons into their membership by what is known among Baptists as ALIEN BAPTISM. By this action they have broken the fellowship among the churches of Elkhorn Association. It is for this reason we protest the seating of the messengers from the Trinity Church. By unanimous vote of our church our messengers have been instructed to vote against their being seated.

      Our REASONS for this action are:
     The Elkhorn Association has stood through all the years for the "faith once delivered to the saints" and has been guided by the truth " the Bible is our only rule of faith and practice."

     To illustrate:
     Several years ago, the First Baptist Church, Paris, (KY) received members by alien baptism. This was reported to the association. The association sent a message to the Paris church to correct this heresy or fellowship would be withdrawn from them. The church corrected the wrong and has remained as a member of the association.

     One of the first nicknames ever given to the disciples of our Lord was "ANABAPTISTS" which means "REBAPTIZERS."

     From the very earliest days of Christianity Baptists have refused to recognize any ALIEN BAPTISM. This is made plain in Acts 19:1-7. Baptists have believed there is "ONE LORD, ONE FAITH, ONE BAPTISM." (Ephesians 4:5.)


     We believe there are four requirements for scriptural baptism: 1) the right candidate, 2) the proper mode, 3) the proper purpose, 4) a scriptural administrator.

     We are all agreed on the proper mode - immersion. We all believe that the proper candidate is a saved person. The purpose is that baptism is a picture or, as the scripture says, "a likeness" of the death, burial, and resurrection of our Saviour for our sins.


     Alien baptism is a baptism which does not meet all the requirements of God's word, especially as to its purpose and the administrator. With all our hearts we reject the baptism, of the followers of Alexander Campbell, who taught that baptism is "a condition for the remission of sins."

     Then, too, we do not believe that any man has a right to start another church in opposition to the church the Lord Jesus founded. Therefore, baptism with the wrong purpose and the wrong administrator is alien baptism - ALIEN TO THE WORD OF GOD.


     History shows that where alien baptism is practiced Baptists die. God's blessings do not rest upon them. It is so with the Baptists of England, of Canada, and even here in the United States. On the other hand, where Baptists have preached "salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone without works," and that baptism is only a picture and likeness of what our Saviour did for us as our Substitute on Calvary, and have preached this not only in the pulpit but in their baptism, they have prospered and the blessings of God have rested upon them. It may be a church may apparently grow that receives alien baptism, but it is only a deception. They finally decline.

     For these reasons we protest the seating of the messengers from the Trinity Church and our messengers are instructed to vote against their being seated.

     The pastor was instructed to write this letter of protest by vote of the church and it was approved by the church Sunday, October 11, by unanimous vote.

     From the depths of our heart we believe that the churches of Elkhorn Association are opposed to alien baptism and win join us in this protest.

Clarence Walker, Pastor

[The following is copied from Lexington Leader - October, 13]

By John Alexander

     The Elkhorn Baptist Association today made a significant change in its tradition when it failed to exclude delegates from Trinity Baptist Church - host to the association - which had been charged with receiving members under "alien baptism."

     The issue - which reaches to the core of Baptist doctrine - included matters of individual church autonomy and individual conscience before the 62-minute discussion of the question was concluded.

     When the final vote was taken, so obviously in favor of seating the delegates that it was not counted, it marked the first time in 180 years that the association bad failed to exclude a church from the association on these grounds.

     The last instance, in the early 1900s, involved the Paris Baptist Church and was settled when the church acknowledged its error....


     The move this morning came during the organization of the convention, when the Rev. Edward Overbey, Ashland Avenue Baptist Church, read a letter from the Rev. Clarence Walker, minister at the church, who could not attend because of ill health.

     The letter "protested the seating of delegates from the Trinity Baptist Church because that church voted to receive persons into their membership by what is known among Baptists as 'alien baptism.'"

     '"Alien baptism" is a term which generally means reception of members who have been baptized by immersion, but not by a Baptist church or minister. It is more widely practiced by Baptist churches in Virginia, North Carolina and along the eastern seaboard, though not unknown in Kentucky. Exclusion would remove the church from the association but would not affect the church individually.

     Immediately after reading the letter, Mr. Overbey moved the delegates be refused seats. The motion was seconded by the Rev. Carl Sadler, also a member of the Ashland church.

     The Rev. Bill Cropper, minister at the David's Fork Baptist Church, immediately challenged the authority of the association on this matter, pleading it was a matter of individual church doctrine over which the association claims no authority.

     Both the Rev. Franklin Owen and the Rev. H. B. Kuhnle moved the matter be delayed and the delegates seated. Mr. Kuhnle's motion was passed, referring the issue to the Executive Board or me association, and temporarily seating the delegates.


     The Rev. Bob Brown, minister at Trinity church, protested the motion claiming that the charge was out of place, that it represents the "consistent inconsistency" of "those who preach autonomy and then insist on involving themselves in the affairs of others," and that the charges "at best are hearsay and at worst, gossip."

      [Bro. Brown later acknowledged that Trinity Church had received alien baptism. - [C.W.]

     He said the question, if to be heard, at least deserved a public hearing for the sake of the members of the congregation - "a Bible-believing group of Baptists."

     He questioned whether this matter was a valid test of fellowship any more than a church's position on race, separation of church and state, Federal aid to education or divorce were valid tests of fellowship.

     "We're more liberal than most denominations," Brown continued, "We've accepted baptism at the hands of other denominations for five years. We've been racially integrated for the same period.

     "Does this make us less than you?" he concluded.


      The Rev. Edward Orberson, minister at Gardenside Baptist Church, then rose to comment that Trinity church was not so much on trial as was each church in the association.

     He quoted the association's constitution as stating "the association claims no jurisdiction over individual churches and shall exercise no authority over them. I'm on trial - we're all on trial if we form a committee to examine this issue we should call ourselves the Elkhorn Discipline Association."

     When both Mr. Brown and Mr. Sadler had protested the referral to committee, Dr. David Ragland, a lay delegate from First Baptist Church, rose to say that "both the accuser and the accused want it settled today" and called for some action.

     Mr. Cropper voted to rescind the motion to refer it to the executive board, seconded by the Rev. Dan Stone, minister at First Baptist Church, Paris.

     The Rev. John Wallace, moderator of the association, then called for the vote, which rescinded the motion to refer the question to the executive board. Only eight persons voted against the rescinding of One motion.

     The next vote, on the motion to refuse to seat the delegates, was so obviously in favor of seating the Trinity delegates it was not counted.

     Though it was not mentioned during the debate and discussion, Mr. Brown and his church were among the first congregations In Lexington to practice racial integration, and have continued to do so although the association as such had not taken official action.


     [The following report is copied from The Lexington Herald of the next morning, October, 14:]


      The Elkhorn Baptist Association, which opened its annual meeting at Trinity Baptist Church yesterday, seated Trinity delegates by a voice vote after a discussion of charges that the church had received members under "alien baptism."

      The moderator, the Rev. John T. Wallace, minister of Parkway Baptist, said that in voting to seat Trinity delegates, the association was not endorsing alien baptism.

     "Out of deference to a host church and in a show of Christian brotherhood and charity, the Trinity delegates were seated; but the vote was not an endorsement of alien baptism," he explained.

      To Baptists, "alien" baptism is any immersion, but not by a Baptist minister, he said. It is Baptist doctrine not to accept the baptism of another denomination. Baptist churches are autonomous and a few accept into membership, without additional baptism, persons who have been immersed as baptism into membership in other church denominations, the moderator said.

The discussion and vote was prompted by a letter from the Rev. Clarence Walker, who protested the seating of Trinity's delegates "because that church voted to receive persons into their membership by what is known among Baptists as 'alien baptism.'"

      The letter was read by the Rev. Edward Overbey, Ashland Avenue Baptist Church, who moved that the Trinity delegates be refused seats.
[From Ashland Avenue Baptist paper, October, 30, 1964, pp. 1-3.]


"It was needful for me to write unto you and exhort you, that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints," (Jude 3.)
By ROSS L. RANGE, Pastor
December 4, 1970

      On November 11 at the regular business meeting, Ashland Avenne Baptist Church voted unanimously to withdraw fellowship from the Elkhorn Baptist Association of Southern Baptists. This decision has been a matter of concern and prayer for several months. It is with deep regret that we have to take this stand against the liberalism, ecumenicalism and heresy within our association, State convention and Southern Baptist Convention. But to be true to the word of God and our Baptist convictions, there was no alternative.

"Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" (Amos 3:3.)
      Ashland Avenue Church cannot have fellowship with an association of churches which have become so liberal and ecumenical that doctrine is no longer important. Baptists have been known for their belief in, and stand for, Bible doctrine through the centuries. God has blessed them for it. Baptists are the only ones who can trace their church history bach to the time of Christ.

      We firmly believe that Baptist churches who believe the Bible truths concerning salvation by grace, eternal security of the believer, autonomy of the local church; and its ordinances; and commission, are the Lord's true churches, and no others. We cannot fellowship with churches who deny these truths and the word of God.

      We will continue to co-operate with Baptist churches of like faith and order. We will continue to give to work that is scriptural and sound. We cannot give through a program in which part of the money goes to support liberalism, ecumenicalism and heresy.

"A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;" (Titus 3:10.)
     We have tried to get Elkhorn Association to take a stand against the liberal practices of some of the churches in order to have unity, but to no avail. We have spoken out in the State Convention against some of the liberal trends in our institutions, but nothing has been done to correct the situation. Instead of "contending for the faith once delivered to the saints," there is a continued departure from things Baptists have stood for through the centuries.

     The time has come when we here at Ashland Avenue must take a public stand and unafflliate ourselves from this heresy. It would be spiritual hypocrisy to say we believe the Bible as the very word of God and continue to fellowship with and support this liberal, ecumenical, compromising trend. How could any church which claims to love the Lord and the truth of. His word continue to support and be a part of such modernism?

     The local church, the Lord's church, is the pillar and ground of the truth. (I Timothy 3:15.) It, and it alone, has the authority to preach the Gospel; make disciples, baptize them, and teach them to observe all things which He has commanded. (Matthew 28:19-20.) Evangelism, the ordinances, and teaching should be done through, and by the authority of the local church. This gives the glory and praise to Christ, who loved the church and gave Himself for it, and promised He would be with it until the end of the age. To Him be glory and dominion now and forever.


[From the Ashland Avenne Baptist paper, December 4, 1970, pp 1 & 4. Document provided by Donnie Burford. - Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

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