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An artist's conception of a Church meetinghouse
whose members do not agree about missions.

[The size of this picture doesn't show it well, but the
right side of the building is in need of repairs.]

Bryan Station Baptist Church
Fayette County, Kentucky

A Bit of History

Or the Sad Story of a Church
that was Divided on the Subject of Missions

The Baptist Missionary Magazine
February, 1904
      FIVE miles northeast of Lexington, Ky., is the famous Bryan Station Spring, from which the heroic women carried water into the fort when they knew the thickets and canebrakes all about them were full of savage Indians hid in ambush, waiting for an opportunity to attack the fort. This incident has made Bryan Station and its spring famous in American history; but an incident just as important in church history has since been enacted on the hill just beyond the spring from where the fort stood. Here stands the Bryan Station Baptist Church. This church was built early in the nineteenth century, and was an anti-missionary church, where the celebrated Thomas Dudley preached for years; where the Dudley family, and other prominent Baptists and wealthy citizens of Fayette County, had their membership. But in the course of time the missionary spirit began to move among them. All are familiar with this movement among the Baptists - what contention, strife and division it produced, till finally the whole denomination divided, and the Missionary Baptist Church became a separate denomination.

      Bryan Station Church was about equally divided on the question, and became two congregations, one missionary, the other anti-missionary. They agreed to divide the house and the time; the missionary element took the north side and two Sundays in the month, and the antis took the south side of the house and two Sundays. Things went on very well, the missionary side growing stronger and the antis growing weaker, till the house needed a new roof and other repairs. The missionaries endeavored to get their anti brethren to join them in repairing the

[p. 41]
house, but the antis were growing constantly fewer in number, and would not join in the repairs, till at last the missionary branch covered and repaired one side of the house; and thus it stood for years, with a good tin roof on one side and an old, leaky, shingle roof on the other. Finally, as the antis had grown so few as hardly to meet at all, the missionaries, in sheer self-defence, to save the house, covered the other side of the roof and otherwise improved the house. Now the antis are all gone; the last member, a grand-niece of the great Dudley, passed away last spring, while the missionaries have a good, active congregation. The spirit of missions and the opposite made the difference. - The Missionary Intelligencer

[From The Baptist Missionary Magazine, Boston, MA, February, 1904, pp. 40-41. The document provided by my son, James K. Duvall, via Google Books. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

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