Bank Lick Baptist Church of Christ, Kenton County, Kentucky, was constituted May 23, 1801, by Elders Thomas Griffing and Jeremiah Riggs. The members in the constitution were John Hume, Elizabeth Hume, George Hume, William Stephens, Sr., Elizabeth Stephens, and Mary McCollum. On the next day (Sunday) they received Nathan Lynn by baptism.
For several months members were received at almost every meeting. Among them were Susana Hume, Andrew Johnson, Lyda Johnnon, Enoch Morgan, William Stephens, Jr., James Stephens and several sisters. George Hume was chosen deacon in June and soon began to preach. In May, 1805, he was ordained to the ministry, on which occasion the church observed a day of fasting and prayer.
In December, 1801, the church called Elder Thomas Griffing to "attend them statedly which he agreed to do," and began to raise a fund to meet church expenses and appointed George Hume to superintend the same.
In October, 1802, Bank Lick, with a number of sister churches, held a conference meeting with Bullittsburg church, which resulted in the constitution of the North Bend Association the following year.
In June, 1802, the church obtained land on which to build a meeting house, on which they soon erected a log building (at a point about two and a half miles east of their present location).
In June, 1803, "the church agreed that the washing of the disciples' feet is a duty, and should he observed by the church but should not be binding on any." After a few years it was discontinued altogether.
On the third Saturday in April, 1804, helps were sent to constitute Mud Lick church, Boone county, Ky., and several members granted letters.
On the first Saturday in June, 1804, help was sent to constitute Wilmington church, Kenton county, Ky., and several members granted letters.
In June, 1806, helps were also sent to assist in constituting Ten Mile church, Gallatin county, Ky.
In February, 1807, Bro. Wm. Blackgrove and Bro. John Decoursey were given liberty to preach the gospel.
In June, 1807, the church agreed "to assess each male member according to his ability to meet church expenses."
In October, 1807, William Stephens was ordained to the office of deacon. He had generally served the church as clerk, and in January, 1809, Richard Tarvin was chosen to fill his place.
May, 1809, help was sent to constitute Brush Creek church, Campbell county, Ky.
From 1804 until 1810, the church made but little progress in members. A few were received by baptism and several by letter, but as new churches were springing up, many took letters and quite a number were excluded. The church was cold, but sustained a strict and rigid discipline. A brighter and happier day, however, was near at hand.
In August, September and October, 1810, quite a number were baptized and several restored. William Hume was received in October, who afterwards became a useful minister.
At the same time the church agreed that their "pastor should receive persons for baptism anywhere in the bounds of the church whenever a sufficient number of the members should be present." At a meeting held at Bro. Joseph Cowgill's soon after this, nine were received by experience and baptism.
Meetings were held at residences all through the settlements around the church, and in a few months twenty-four were received by baptism, among whom were several of the ancestors of the present membership of the church.
Elder Thomas Griffing had ceased attending the church in 1805, at which time George Hume began serving them, and during the revival above mentioned, was assisted by leading members of the church, especially Thomas Decoursey, one of her licentiates.
James Stephens was chosen clerk of the church in the place of Wm. Stephens, before mentioned.
May, 1811, closed the first ten years of the history of the church. From the small beginning of six members, without a house of worship, in the wilderness, she had grown strong in numbers, with an ordained minister in her midst, with two promising licentiates and several talented members. She had from her bosom sent out two churches and had received in the time sixty-four by baptism and fifty-four by letter and several by relation. The church had during this period maintained a very strict discipline, and excluded quite a number, principally men, for "making too free with the use of ardent spirits." No case of disorder or non-attendance was permitted to go unnoticed, and sisters were often brought up for saying hard things about each other.
The remainder of 1811, passed away without any work of special interest. Only some four or five members received.
In July, 1812, help was sent to assist in constituting a church at the Forks of Gunpowder, Boone county, Ky.
In September, 1812, Bro. Geo. McDaniel was chosen clerk in place of James Stephens, resigned previous meeting. During several meetings in this year quite a number were received by experience and baptism. Elder William Decourcey seems to have acted as pastor during this year.
In November, 1812, William Hume was chosen deacon, and George McDonold being excluded, the church chose Leonard Decoursey clerk in his stead.
Elam Grizzle was also chosen deacon about this time, and Ellder Moses Vickars was called as pastor and accepted January, 1814.
In June, 1815, the church agreed to keep a record of the money paid to Bro. Vickars for his services, and in January and February reported $18.50; also the names and amounts of each contributor.
In July, 1816, Michael Cluster was received by experience and baptism, the only member in four years. The church on this occasion held a day of fasting and prayer.
In September the church liberated Bro. Wm. Hume to exercise in preaching within the bounds of North Bend Association. Also the church instructed her messengers to the Association to "vote as they thought best on the Missionary question," and in the following year, 1817, the church voted to contribute to the work.
In January, 1817, Bro. Elam Grizzle was liberated to exercise his gift within the bounds of the Association.
In October, 1817, Bro. Vickars was relieved from serving the church at his own request. The church had paid him $15 for his services the previous year and voted to pay him $10 for his services this year.
During the winter of 1818, the church received fourteen by experience and baptism and several by letter. The licentiates of the church conducted the meetings.
In March, 1818, the church agreed to ordain William Hume and Elam Grizzle to the ministry and set the following May for the work.
In April the church chose Edward Stephens and John Hume as deacons.
At the following meeting, May 9, 1818, William Hume and Elam Grizzle were ordained to the ministry. Moses Vickars, Joseph Dickens and Wm. Gosney constituted the presbytery.
In April, May, June.and July of this year, a number were received at each meeting, among whom were George F. Northcutt, Jeremiah Northcutt, Thomas Hume and several others who became prominent members.
During the summer of 1818, the church extended an arm to the Crews Creek settlement, about five miles south, where they proceeded to constitute a church in January, 1819, and granted letters to all who wished to go into the constitution. William Hume, Geo. F. Northcutt, Jeremiah Northcutt and a number of others took letters for this purpose.
In February, 1819, the church liberated Geo. Vice to preach within the bounds of North Bend Association.
In January, 1820, Leonard Decoursey was chosen deacon.
In March, 1820, the church took an active part in the ordination of William Gosney at Crews Creek.
William Hume and Elam Grizzle had jointly served the church after Moses Vickars had resigned. From the constitution of Crews Creek Elam Grizzle continued.
May, 1821, completed the second decade of the church. About thirty-five or forty members had been received during this period, but Crews Creek had been principally formed from Bank Lick and many had taken letters and gone elsewhere. George Hume, the main pillar in the constitution of the church, had passed away, while William Hume and Elam Grizzle were now in active ministerial work. George Vice, though only a licentiate, was a man of great force of character and presided over all the business meetings of the church. He was generally on Committees in case of discipline, and seems to have possessed great ability in bringing about peaceful reconciliations. The church numbered at this time about eighty members.
In October, 1821, the church granted letters to a number of members living in the vicinity of Visalia for the purpose of constituting a church at that place, which was done the fourth Sunday in November, 1821. They chose at the same time Lewis Kleet as deacon.
Early in 1822, the Lord again visited the church with a most glorious revival of religion. At almost every meeting several were received. Before the close of the year twenty-three were added to them by experience and baptism, three restored and six by letter.
In April, 1823, Joseph Stephens was chosen deacon.
In September, 1823, the church received four by baptism and four by letter and agreed to "unite in keeping the second Saturday in October as a day devoted to fasting and prayer to God for an outpouring of His grace on poor sinners and revive Zion." Also brethren Enoch Morgan, Lewis Kleet, Joseph Stephens and George Vice were invited "to appoint meetings, attend them and speak as they have impression of the Holy Spirit."
The remainder of 1823 and 1824, the church became very cold. Many were excluded and a constant state of confusion seems to have occurred.
February, 1825, Jessee Petty was chosen assistant clerk.
In March, 1825, help was sent by the church to assist in constituting Salem church, Boone county, Ky., on the fourth Saturday. At the same time the church took the ministerial gifts of George Vice, Enoch Morgan, Lewis Kleet and Joseph Stephens. The three latter were continued as licentiates. The former was ordained to the ministry in May following by Robert Ware, William Gosney, Lewis Conner and Christopher Wilson. Bro. Vice was soon requested to serve them in connection with Bro. Grizzle.
In October. 1825 the church assisted L____ Baptist Church in ordaining James Vickars.
In June, 1826, Leonard Decoursey, having faithfully served the church as clerk for many years, laid down the books and was succeeded by Jessee Petty.
Bro. Joseph Stephens resigned the office of deacon in July, I826, and the church chose Solomon Grizzle to fill his place.
The church kept the first Thursday in October, l826, as a day of fasting and prayer.
(In December, 1827, the church received a member for baptism, the first in four years).
In 1827, the church withdrew from North Bend and in connection with the churches on the East of Licking, constituted Campbell County Association.
In the summer of 1829, the church was again visited by a time of refreshing from the presence of the Lord and received seventeen by experience and baptism. Several were received at the weekly prayer meetings held by the church.
The church dismissed sixteen of her members, among whom was Elder George Vice, who became members with Visalia church before mentioned, granting them letters November, 1829.
During the winter of 1829 and 1830, this church proceeded to erect a new meeting house on the site of the old one.
This completes the third decade of the church, which had received during the time about seventy-five members, but owing to the large number dismissed to form new churches, was not numereically stronger. Elam Grizzle was still her pastor, assisted by several brethren who went forward in exhortation and prayer. Peace had heretofore reigned and the church sat like a mother among her daughters; but soon, as we shall see, this happy family were rent asunder and all their joys for a time destroyed.
In November, 1832, the church received six members by experience and baptism, among whom were Wm. Grizzle and Benjamin Grizzle, sons of the old pastor, both of whom became ministers.
In May, 1833, the following query was received by the church:"Is it good order to invite others to preach among us who are of different order and with whom we cannot commune?"Until 1835, the church seems to have been somewhat unsettled upon her Articles of Faith, but in February of this year, L. Kleet, the clerk, presented to the church a brief outline of the Articles of Faith adopted by the General Union of Baptists, which was unanimously adopted.
Answer. — It is not good order.
In August, 1835, Elder Philip Spillman became a member of the church and was soon afterwards invited ''to the administration of the gospel and the ordinances" which he consented to do.
The Association at the session of this year recommended the appointment of two brethren to labor in her bounds and be paid for their work, but this church declined to act.
From 1834 until May, 1838, the church received but two members by baptism.
The missionary question being much agitated about this time the church took up the subject and set apart a day in December to discuss the matter in a free and friendly way. After some time so spent, the church "unanimously agrees that she will not have anything to do with the missionary business." In August, 1844, the church again took the matter up and "expunged this act from the church book."
In September, 1839, the Campbell County Association met with this church and on Sunday evening nine were received by experience and baptism, and at the next meeting eleven more were enrolled as having been received the past month at the weekly and night meetings.
In August, 1840, Thomas Stephens was appointed as assistant clerk, and in October following was chosen deacon in place of John R. Stephens, dismissed by letter.
In March, 1841, James Cornelius \nis liberated to preach the gospel within the bounds of the Association.
During two or three years about this time. much confusion was going on in all the churches around Bank Lick.
Salem Association of Predestinarian Baptists was organized into which Mud Lick, Salem and Crews Creek churches, with parts of several others, had entered. Although Bank Lick remained tranquil several of her members took letters and joined churches belonging to the new Association. Lewis Kleet, the old clerk, and S. G. Allen, both Trustees of the church were among the
number, while on the other hand several came from some of the seceding churches and became members of Bank Lick; among the number were Robert Stephens and George F. Northcutt, who were appointed trustees and deacons.
May, 1841, closes the fourth decade of the church. During the past ten yeare she had made about her usual progress. Elam Grizzle, the faithful old pastor, had calmly stood by the church in all the confusion by which she was surrounded. William Hume and Lewis Conner, his old associates in the ministry, had forsaken him, and many loving ties had been sundered; yet the membership of the church were still mostly faithful to their covenant, and the cause under which they had enlisted.
Part two of the history is here.
[From North Bend Baptist Association Minutes, 1886, pp. 18-22. This document is from the Northern Kentucky Baptist Association office, Erlanger. - jrd]
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