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History of Oak Ridge Baptist Church
Kenton County, Kentucky
By J. H. Averill, 1892

      What is now known as the Oak Ridge Baptist Church was organized at Decourcy Creek, October 5, 1844, at the house of Bro. John Lipscomb.

      Messengers were present from Bank Lick, Licking and Dry Creek churches.

      Thirty-seven brethren and sisters presented letters of dismission from other Baptist churches, and having subscribed to and adopted the Covenant and Articles of Faith offered by a committee appointed for that purpose, were duly organized and recognized as a regular Baptist church, to be called "Decourcy Creek Church."

      The names of the constituent members of this church were as follows:

John Pruett, Adenston Pruett, Sarah Lane,
William Grizzle, Lucy Ann Lipscomb, Mary Perry,
Henry Green, Nancy Lipscomb, Sarah Lipscomb,
Jesse Bolanger, Nancy Wayman, Melinda Mardis,
George Perry, Elizabeth Pruett, Mary Lipscomb,
Walter Pruett, Mary Grizzle, Lucy Lipscomb,
Eli Lipscomb, Charlotte Green, Lydia Decourcy,
Elam Grizzle, Elizabeth Grizzle, Hester Ann Marshall,
Joel Lipscomb, Martha J. Perry, Sarah Bolanger,
Wm. Lipscomb, Carrie Grizzle, Charlotte Bolanger,
John J. Lipscomb, Katherine Perry, Mary Ann Lipscomb,
John Lipscomb, Sr., Minnie Pruett, Maria Lipscomb.
Wm. Perry.

      At a business meeting of the church October 19, 1844, three deacons were chosen to serve the church, viz.: John Lipscomb, Wm. Grizzle and John Pruett. They were ordained June 21, 1845. Elder Elam Grizzle was called as pastor for one year. The church adopted the Articles of Faith of Bank Lick Church. In December the first collection amounting to seventy cents was taken, and the church resolved to observe the Lord's Supper three times a year. A. D. Pruett and Benj. Grizzle were appointed singing clerks.

      June 21,1845. The church united with the Campbell County Association. The church extended to all members in good standing the liberty to sing, pray and exhort as they felt inclined. The church early began to exercise strict discipline, and such crimes against her peace and dignity as getting intoxicated, shooting at shooting matches, betting on horse races, and adultery

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and fornication were promptly taken notice of, and the offenders as promptly excluded from her membership.

      July 17, 1847. The church appointed messengers to assist in the organization of a second Baptist church in Covington. Elam Grizzle, John Lipscomb and Wm. Grizzle were the messengers.

      May 21, 1848. Garret B. Chambers was set apart and duly ordained to the gospel ministry, and in June following he was appointed assistant pastor of the church.

      May, 1850. Wm. Grizzle and A. D. Pruett were licensed to preach the gospel.

      January, 1852. Bro. Stillwell was called to the pastoral care of the church, and he received for his services the sum of five dollars.

      October, 1852. Bro. James Spilman called to the pastoral care of the church for one year at a salary of twenty-seven dollars.

     March 21, 1853. Bro. A. D. Pruett was set apart and duly ordained to the gospel ministry.

      In June, 1853, the church resolved to build a new meeting-house, but the records do not say where.

      In the month of February, 1854, the church was revived, and 28 were received into her fellowship, 26 being by experience and baptism.

      March 17, 1854. Bro. G. B. Chambers was called to serve as pastor for one year. The church adopted the "South-Western Psalmist" as her song book.

      The close of the first decade of the church's history shows a steady and progressive growth, thirty-one having been received by experience and baptism and thirteen by letter, while eight were dismissed by letter and six excluded for various offenses, leaving her total membership sixty-seven.

      The beginning of the second decade was marked by the addition of eleven by experience and baptism, showing that the spiritual condition of the church was good.

      The house then used as a place of worship being inadequate for the needs of the congregation, it was resolved to sell it and the lot upon which it stood, and devote the proceeds towards paying for a new house in which to worship.

      April, 1855. Bro. A. D. Pruett was called as pastor for one year.

      The church again felt called upon to take notice of disorderly walking on the part of some of her members, and excluded one for gambling and swearing, and also agreed not to fellowship such brethren as sold groceries and huckstered at places of worship.

      The spirit of forgiveness being an unknown quantity in the breast of a certain brother, he refusing to forgive one with whom he had had a slight difficulty, the church promptly excluded him from her fellowship, and declared him to be no longer one of them until he himself was found on the stool of repentance. And we have to note at different intervals of time, brethren making the singular request to be excluded upon charges preferred by themselves against themselves, and in every case their request was acceded to and they were excluded.

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      Several of the younger members of the church thought it an innocent amusement to engage in the giddy whirl of the dance, and accordingly did so engage with the result of bringing the reproof of the church upon their heads, and they were given to understand in words of no uncertain sound, that dancing would not be tolerated.

      October, 1856. Bro. Jos. Stephens was elected as deacon.

      February 10, 1857. Josiah Herbert was called as pastor.

      Card playing, dram drinking and dancing still seemed to be indulged in by some of the members, and four upon information filed by themselves were excluded for these sins.

      February, 1859. Wra. Grizzle was called as pastor. March, 1860. Josiah Herbert again called as pastor.

     December, 1860. A motion was made and carried that each member pay $2 for the purpose of completing the church building. Also five brethren were elected to pay $2 for each member not paying his or her assessment.

      February, 1861. James McCullum was elected deacon.

      February 8, 1862. Bro. A. W. Mullins was chosen pastor for one year.

      Permission was granted to a sister, by a vote of the church, to appeal to the law when necessary to the conduct of her business.

     March, 1864. Bro. A. W. Mullins was again called to serve the church as her pastor.

      The second decade of the church's history seemed to be marked by many ups and downs, so far as her spiritual progress was concerned. During this time she received into her membership by experience and baptism twenty-eight, and by letter nineteen, making a total of forty-seven.

      The discipline of the church was exercised against thirty-five of her members who were excluded from her fellowship for various disorderly and sinful practices, while twenty-five withdrew by letter, leaving her membership reduced to fifty-four.

      June, 1866. Wm. Grizzle was elected as pastor for one year.

      December, 1868. T. W. Haynes was called to serve the church as her pastor. The church adopted a rule that any of her members who moved out of the bounds of the church should take letters of dismission to other Baptist churches, and failing to do this they were to be excluded from her membership.

      In July, 1870, a dark period seemed to have come upon the church; for we find upon her records a resolution authorizing her trustees to convey to the trustees of the Bank Lick Church her real estate and meeting-house, and when that was done in due form of law she was to dissolve as a church.

      The trustees were so instructed, but it does not appear that the instructions were ever carried out, as no other entry is found in regard to this important matter, for in March, 1873, the church, as a body, was still in existence, and began holding her meetings in the Richardson school-house, and Elder R. K. Graves was chosen pastor for one year.

      In June, 1873, the church withdrew from the Campbell County Association, and joined the North Bend Association at the next meeting of that body.

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      August 23, 1873. Brethren N. Minter and W. J. McDannold were elected deacons.

      August 22, 1874. A committee was appointed to select and purchase a site for a new church house, and a piece of ground belonging to James Tates was ordered purchased.

      The third decade of the church's history was not marked by anything out of the ordinary. Twenty-four were received by experience and baptism, and seven by letter, while twenty-one were dismissed by letter and seventeen excluded, leaving her membership forty-seven.

      The records of the church do not show any deaths, hence the accurate membership can not be determined.

      April, 1876. Bro. N. B. Carlisle was called as pastor, and accepted the call.

      January, 1877. Bro. Chas. Bagby was elected pastor for one year.

      July, 1877. The church agreed to build a new house of worship, and November, 1878, the building committee reported $460.00 expended upon the new house.

      June 29, 1879, the church was dedicated, and in August of the same year her name was changed to "Oak Ridge Baptist Cluirch." The total cost of the new building, as reported by the committee, was $760.56.

      The minutes of the church from March, 1880, to March, 1887, are missing, hence no history of her progress can be written for that interval.

      In March, 1887, Bro. C. E. Wren was chosen as pastor at a salary of $100 per year. In June the church purchased a new organ.

      October, 1887. Bro. N. C. Pettit was called as pastor.

      April 21,1888. Brethren T. W. Spanton and G. B. Lipscomb were elected deacons.

      December 31, 1889. Bro. Hodge was elected pastor.

      December 12, 1890. Bro. J. H. Summey was called to the pastorate.

      Up to this time, as appears from the records from October, 1874, seventeen had been received by experience and baptism and two by letter, and during the same time eleven were dismissed by letter and seven excluded, her membership then showing forty-eight names upon her church-roll.

     In March, 1892, Rev. A. L. Vickers was called to the pastorate, and has been serving them since as pastor to the satisfaction of the church.

      The outlook seems to be good, and prospects for good work are encouraging; but allow me to say in closing, that it seems to the writer of this history that no church ought to be satisfied with preaching only once a month. Spiritual zeal languishes and love grows cold, while hungry souls starve feeding on the wind.
      Respectfully submitted,
      J. H. Averill.


[From North Bend Baptist Association Minutes, 1892, pp. 13-16. This document is from the Northern Kentucky Baptist Association office, Erlanger. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

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