Two Hundredth Anniversary
Historical Sketch of the Church
1791 - 1920
This church was constituted on the 12th day of March, 1791, under the name of Regular Baptist Church of Jesus Christ, at Simpson's Creek Meeting House. The Brethren who then constituted this church were, at their own request, some 30 of them, dismissed from Cox's Creek Church, and on the above named date, after "fasting and prayer," met and were constituted into a body by Elders Wm. Taylor and Joshua Carman, and declared to be a Gospel Church of Jesus Christ. The church adopted the "Philadelphia Confession of Faith", or as much of said Confession as the church shall think is properly authenticated by the word of God," declaring at the same time that the preaching of Christ, tasting death for every man, shall be no bar to Communion.
Immediately after constitution, the church proceeded to call "Bro. Wm. Taylor to go in and out before them, and Bro. Carman to serve them as often as possible." At the same time they appointed Saturday before second Sabbath in each month as the day for transacting the business of the church, which day, after various changes, was retained until 1920. Elder Taylor was chosen Moderator at the Second Regular Meeting, and Bro. Walter Stallard, writing clerk.
The church began, at once, to exercise a rigid and wholesome discipline over its members, hence we scarcely find a meeting, in her earlier history, without noting some case of discipline. It was very early determined that "every member attend our days of business, otherwise to be dealt with accordingly." The young church soon had accesions by letter and baptism, and increased rapidly in numbers. The first baptism recorded is that of Mary Simpson, on the 10th of June, 1791. The first received by letter were brethren Stallard and Joseph McCullum, also Patrick McGee and Rachel, his wife, and Rebecca Heady. The first messengers appointed to the Association (Salem), were as follows: Benjamin Cooper, Walter Stallad, Charles Polke, and Smith King. Bro. Drake was appointed "First Singing Clerk," but at the next meeting was "delivered from acting as Singing Clerk, and Bro. Evans was requested to 'raise the tunes,' "at the regular meeting, held Nov. 11, 1791.
Bro. Stallard was appointed to act as First Elder, and at the same meeting, a charge was laid in against a pugnacious Sister Batman, for attempting to whip her husband, and she was suspended until inquiry be made in the matter - happily, at the next meeting, she cleared her skirts by declaring that she did not strike her husband - only made motions at him, while endeavoring to keep him from abusing her. Nothing worthy of special note occurred during the year of 1792, except the resignation of Bro. Stallard, as writing clerk, and the appointment of Bro. Nathaniel Grigsby in his stead. At the first meeting in 1793, Bro. Wm. Taylor was directed to "draw 10 pounds out of funds, and Bro. Carman 5 pounds for services rendered." Nothing special happened during this year, excepting disciplining of several members for drinking too much spiritous liquors, and one for "allowing fiddling and dancing in his house." In 1794 several additions were made by baptism and letter. Bro. Ashby was ordered to have meeting house covered, but "is not to give more than 20 shillings per hundred for clap-boards, putting on and framing the roof." Excepting a variety of cases of disciplines, mainly for drunkenness, and the reception of many by letter, nothing notable occurs in the history of the church up to the year 1800.
We notice, however, the church in these early times never celebrated a communion season, as they styled it, without observing the preceding day as a season of fasting and prayer. The year 1801 was memorable for a gracious revival in the church; some 78 souls were added to their number, so that the church now numbered 182 in good standing. At the December meeting of this year, Bro. Nicholas Langsford was appointed the writing clerk in place of Bro. Grigsby. God continued to bless the church during the year 1802, and many were added by baptism and letter, among whom was Elder Warren Cash, an old pioneer preacher. At the March meeting, Bro. Walter Stallard received "written orders to preach the gospel." Jared Tichenor was appointed Singing Clerk, April 9, 1802. The name, Tichenor, has been an honored and respected one from the foundation of the church up to the present time. On August 13, 1803, Bro. Stallard was ordained to the gospel ministry by order of the church. Elders Reuben Smith, Wm. McKay, and Warren Cash acting as presbyters. Note. - One of the brethren cited before the church, for the use of "unsavory language," and another disciplined for "going" to a race-path and holding the stakes, while the race was run." Nothing special during 1804.
Notice only this strange medley of charges against one Bro. Hughes: "Disorderly throwing a drunken man down and pulling him into a mud hole, and embracing erroneous doctrines and refusing to give satisfaction to the church. He is, therefore, forthwith excluded until the Lord restores him by repentance." During the years of 1805, '06 and
'07, nothing of special note occurred, excepting the appointment of Bro. McDaniel as singing clerk, at a regular meeting, held July 11, 1807. Matters appeared to proceed very smoothly in the church now for years. We notice several members excluded during 1810-11, for "failing to fill their seats in the church," and also a goodly number added by baptism and letter. In the year 1811, July meeting, we find this unusual charge laid in against one Bro. Bland, unusual, because against a Baptist, viz: "Having his child sprinkled by a Roman Catholic!" We are happy to add that Bro. Bland repented of this sin, and was restored to his seat in the church. In 1812, Francis Davis was licensed to preach the gospel, and 17 added to the church by baptism. In 1813, '14 and '15, we notice nothing of very special interest; Bro. Zachariah Green is appointed writing clerk in place of Absalom Hawley, May 13, 1815.
The year 1816 was a remarkable one in the history of the church, being signalized by a very gracious and general revival of religion and a mighty outpouring of the Spirit of God, resulting in the addition of 116 souls to the church by baptism. In 1817, God continued to bless the church; 36 added by baptism. At a regular meeting on Feb. 8th, Bro. William Warder was invited to preach on the fourth Sabbath in each month - (the father of Jos. W. Warder, well-known throughout Kentucky). Nothing of interest transpired in 1818. In 1819-20, nothing of special note occurred; 12 additions by baptism during the year 1820. Dec. 10, 1820, the church agreed to invite Bro. Jacob Creath to preach at the monthly meetings. This proved unfortunate. Mr. Creath was among the first preachers in Kentucky to adopt and preach the doctrines of Alexander Campbell. A number of the members of Bloomfield church imbibed his sentiments. The church continued them in fellowship till 1834, with hope of reclaiming them. Failing in this, they were, in one day, excluded to the number of 57. Among them was Jervis P. McKay, an ordained preacher.
On August 4, 1821, this church dismissed a number of brethren, to constitute a new church at or on Chaplin Fork. It was agreed, Oct. 6th, that "we shut our meeting-house against all disorderly preachers." On the 1st of June, 1822, it was agreed Bro. Isaac Taylor preach on the Second Sabbath in each month (son of the Pastor, Wm. Taylor, then dead), not as pastor, but as a supply. We may remark just here, that from the death of Elder Wm. Taylor, in 1809, the church seems to have had no regular pastor, till 1834, when it called Isaac Taylor, a son of its first pastor, to that office; but he seems never to have accepted the position; so that we record the remarkable fact that this church, during the 100 years of its existence, has had but three regular pastors.
During the long interval mentioned above, it had a number of preachers among its members; these, together with other preachers within reach, who were invited to preach certain Sundays in the month, occupied the pulpit. This policy, although adopted by several of our most prosperous churches, in the early days of the Commonwealth, is by no means commendable, for reasons not now necessary to be stated. 16 additions by baptism during the year 1822. In 1823, we notice a queer case of discipline brought against Bro. Peter Bruner, viz.: "He having said that in girting his saddle, his hand slipped and struck him in the eye and burst the ball out on his cheek, and that he set it back with his hand, and now denies saying so." We are happy to say that Bro. Bruner's denial of the charge was sustained, and he was acquitted of having made the extravagant assertion.
June the 12th, 1821, Daniel S. Colgan was received by letter, and in a few years afterwards was licensed to preach, May 13, 1824, and for many years was acting successfully as an Evangelist. Sept. 11, 1824, Spencer Clark united with the church by letter. He probably came from Pennsylvania, where he had studied theology under the distinguished William Staughton. He was a man of learning and culture, and this influence soon began to be felt, not only in the church at Bloomfield, but among Baptists of Kentucky. He established a school of high grade in Bloomfield, which many of the subsequently distinguished citizens of the surrounding country were educated. He was a sound, strong preacher, besides, and made some valuable contributions to Kentucky Baptist history. About the beginning of the year 1826, Geo. Waller and Spencer Clack began, in Bloomfield, the publication of a paper called "The Baptist Register." It was issued semi-monthly, and proposed "to endeavor to strip religion of everything, like the traditions of men, to present the truth in a plain and simple manner." The name of the paper was exchanged for that of the "Baptist Recorder," and in 1830 it became a monthly. Meanwhile, the Baptist Chronicle, having been published at Frankfort, the Baptist Recorder was soon discontinued. But Elder Clack did not cease to write with constancy, ability and great energy against the tenets of Alexander Campbell. After serving the church as clerk and preaching on the Fourth Lord's day for several years this able preacher and writer and teacher, in 1832, removed to Palmyra, Mo., and the next year, died of cholera.
On Nov. 13, 1824, a committee appointed "to consider the expediency of building a meeting-house,
and to form a plan and draw up a draft for same." Committees: Richard McKay, Hayden Edwards, Samuel McKay, Spencer Clack and Leven Greer. Feb. 12, 1825, Bro. Spencer Clack appointed writing clerk in place of Zachariah Green, resigned - all in peace and harmony. Bro. Silas Tichenor appointed singing clerk, together with Brethren Bryant and Isaac Tichenor. Agreed, August 13th, that no "political discussions be permitted in our house of worship." March, 1826, Spencer Clack was invited "to preach on every Fourth Lord's day." At the May meeting, certain Brethren send as an excuse for not attending the meetings of the church that they "have no horses to ride." The church resolved that male members who enjoy health and life at a moderate distance, can get to church by some means or other - their excuse is, therefore, not received, and "they are again admonished to attend the meetings." Dec. 9th, the building committee report the "new house" finished in part at a cost of $4,358, 1827. These are happy days of peace. Brother Walter Stallard, much beloved in the Lord, departed this life August 15, 1827, in the 77th year of his age. Bro. Stallard was born in Culpepper County, Va., about the year 1750. In 1783, he came to Kentucky. He stopped a short time in a fort at the Falls of Ohio, and then moved into a fort near where Bardstown now stands. Again he moved to what is now Spencer county, from where his next move was to the home above. In 1791, he united with Simpson's Creek Church by letter, and in November of same year was appointed an Elder in this church. March, 1802, he was licensed to preach, and was ordained to the ministry by Reuben Smith, Warren Cash and Wm. HcKay [McKay], August 13, 1803. He did much valuable work in the Master's Vineyard. He was a man of sound judgment, good business habits and of unblemished reputation. Was, at least, six years Moderator of the Salem Association. Many of his descendants are still living in Spencer and adjoining counties.
Several additions by baptism in 1827. Spencer Clack elected Moderator and Jno. Milton, clerk. The year 1828 was notable for a glorious revival, about 150 souls being added to the church. June 6, 1828, Brethren Clack and Wm. Davis sent to Taylorsville to assist in the constitution of a church there. May 8, 1829 - The Building Committee report the new meeting-house as finished. Sixteen additions during the year. Spencer Minor was appointed Clerk of the Church, July llth, and on Sept. 12th, Bro. Phillip Wilson was appointed Singing Clerk, Dec. 12, 1829. - In answer to a petition for help from Little Union Church, now, perhaps one of the strongest and most prosperous churches in Nelson Association. Bro. T. Stone offered the following: "Under existing circumstances, viz.: the destitute situation of Little Union Church, the friendly and brotherly request made by that church, together with Bro. Taylor's sense of duty expressed, I make the following motion: that we give Bro. Taylor up to preach to that destitute church." March, 1830. - The church invited Bro. Henry Thomas to preach for them on the first Lord's day in each month. October 9, 1831. - Brethren Henry and William Thomas set apart for ordination to the ministry, and it was also agreed, Nov. 11th, that Bro. Jarvis McKay be ordained to the ministry at the same time with the above named. On Nov. 13, a presbytery, consisting of Francis Davis, Samuel Carpenter, Isaac Taylor, Wm. Stout, Hardesty and Clack, ordained the above named brethren.
Resolved, during this year, by the church, "that we consider the purchase of lottery tickets, shooting for money, or anything else; attending horse races, betting of every description, as great evils which ought to be discountenanced by every member of the church." May 13, 1832., Bro. Daniel Colgan was licensed to preach the gospel, and on the 10th of November, Bro. Spencer Minor was elected Moderator in place of Bro. Clack, and Brother Green Duncan elected Clerk in lieu of Bro. Minor. In 1833, twenty-four received by baptism. Total membership up to Sept. 5th, 308 in good standing.
1834 is memorable for the exclusion of all those members sympathizing with or adhering to the doctrines as taught by Alexander Campbell. Some 57 members were excluded in one day. This event occurred on May 10, 1834. The following preamble and resolutions were offered by Bro. Geo. Duncan, and were adopted by the church at said meeting: "That we, as a church, have been greatly imposed upon by certain men, denying that they have any creed, yet have come into our house and preached the peculiar doctrines of Alexander Campbell, and thereby have been sowing the seeds of discord among us; we therefore, close our doors in future against all such men. Second - Resolved, that the creed or Confession of Faith of the Reformers or Campbellites, as found in the records of their party, and adhered to, with great unanimity in the following words: First, Faith. Second, Reformation. Third, Immersion. Fourth, Remission of Sins. Fifth, H. S. Sixth, Eternal Life; is not found in the scriptures and is of human origin, and contrary to the word of God. Resolved, that any member of this church holding the above unscriptural view is unworthy of a place among Baptists, and upon their avowal of said sentiments or encouraging their
propagation shall be excluded from our body." The church generously allowed these schismatics the use of the meeting-house on certain days in each month. This was an unfortunate blunder. It is a great inconsistency, not to say a great sin, for a church to exclude its members for holding false doctrines, and then encourage them in teaching that doctrine by allowing them the use of its house of worship. Bro. Isaac Taylor called to the pastoral care of the church, June 7, 1834, and Bro. Richard K. Calvert elected Clerk in lieu of Green Duncan. Agreed at July meeting that Bro. T. J. Fisher be invited to preach for us on the 4th Sunday in each month the balance of the year. Notwithstanding the great troubles and split in the church, God did not forsake his people. A goodly number were added by baptism even in the midst of this disturbance. In 1835, the church enjoyed a season of rest from her troubles.
Saturday before the 2nd Lord's Day in February, 1836, Bro. Wm. Vaughan was called to preach for the church in connection with "Father Taylor," and just two years afterward, on the resignation of Bro. Taylor, Bro. Vaughan was chosen pastor of the church. He united by letter with this church on Saturday before 2nd Lord's day, in July, 1836, and continued to serve as pastor till 1869. Having been entirely disabled by a fall in the latter part of 1868. So that his pastorate extended through a period of nearly 33 years. Wm. Vaughan was the most eminent minister who has served this church. He was the strongest and longest link that united the pioneer preachers with those of the present generation, and partook largely of the qualities of both classes. He labored in ministry with Lewis Craig, Jno. Taylor, Wm. Hickman, Ambrose Dudley, Joseph Redding, Jeremiah Vardeman, and many other illustrious pioneers of the cross in Kentucky, and then lived to thrill hearts of the ministers of the present generation, with his words of encouragement, in a great centennial convention in Louisville in 1876. Was born in West Moreland county, Pa., Feb. 22, 1785. Licensed to preach Feb., 1811; ordained to the ministry July, 1812, at Lulbegrud Church, Montgomery county, by Jeremiah Vardeman and David
A picture of the monument of William Vaughan at the top of the page is not included.
The monument of Wm. Vaughan, standing immediately in front of the church is not included.
The inscription says:"Rev. Wm. Vaughn, for 32 years pastor of the church, whose consecrated common sense, talent and devotion to Truth as it is taught in God's Word, guided the church through some of the greatest crises in its history. His remains, at his request, repose immediately in front of the church, and this monument is erected over his grave, and to his lasting memory."Chenault. He served the church at Sycamore, Washington, Montgomery county, Lee's Creek Church, Mason county, Augusta, West Liberty, Ohio county, Falmouth, Carlisle, Bethel, Fleming county; Harrodsburg, Lawrenceburg, Elizabethtown, Buck Creek, Bloomfield and Little Union. Moderator of Bracken Association and Nelson several years.
The old soldier of Christ, in 1868, having crushed his hip, now in his 84th year, was ready to be offered, having fought the good fight. Old and feeble, he moved to Danville, making his home with his son, T. M. Vaughan. On the 25th of February, 1877, he preached his last sermon in the Baptist meeting-house at Danville, Ky., text, Ezekial xxxiv, 2-9: "I will raise up for them a plant of renown." On the 31st of March following, he fell asleep in Jesus in the 93rd year of his age. His precious remains were brought to Bloomfield, where they were buried near the old pulpit which he had filled so long and so well. Truly a great prince had fallen in Israel! Of him J. M. Pendleton says: "I have heard the great preachers in the East and West and North and South, but I have heard no man superior to Dr. Vaughan in his palmiest days." J. M. Weaver, says of him: "As a theologian, he had no superior in Kentucky." For many years he was, no doubt, the ablest preacher in the Kentucky pulpit. He rests from his labors and his works do follow him.
In October, 1837, the church appointed delegates to the General Association to be held at Louisville on the 20th of October. Wm. Vaughan, Wm. M. Foster, and Geo. Duncan, were the delegates. At the November meeting, Isaac Taylor resigned the pastoral care of the church, and
the February meeting 1838, Elder Vaughan was called in lieu of Taylor. The Lord graciously added to the church this year 34 souls by baptism. In 1839, a goodly number received by baptism. A little puny boy joined by baptism, August, 1839, aged 13 years and 9 months, named I. T. Tichenor. But all informed Baptists know the great service to which that little boy was destined. At the October meeting, Brother Harvey McKay was licensed to preach. A gracious revival occurred during 1840, resulting in the addition of 33 members by baptism. In 1841, the church enjoyed peace and love. At the June meeting, Brother Nathaniel G. Thomas was elected deacon in place of Brother William McKay, deceased. In 1842, another glorious revival was enjoyed, 46 additions by baptism.
At March meeting, Alexander McDaniel "presented a letter from an anti-mission church, in Spencer county, on which he applied for membership with us." The case was taken up and "on principles of expediency, and not from any objection we have to him as an orderly and orthodox Christian, we respectfully refuse him admission." At September meeting, Bro. C. Y. Duncan appointed Clerk in place of Calvert, resigned. At May meeting, 1843, the following resolution was passed: "That all kinds of instrumental music be forbidden in meeting-house on every occasion"; afterward rescinded, Nov., 1843; letter read from Rev. Russell Holman, of New Orleans, "requesting the church to release Bro. Vaughan from his obligations as pastor for a few weeks, that he may visit the city and assist him in establishing a new church there, which we agreed to do. At the same meeting, Bro. J. M. Taggart was licensed to preach. Protracted meeting held in November, 1844, pastor assisted by A. Sears, of Louisville, resulting in 40 additions by baptism. May, 1845, Albert L. Tichenor appointed singing clerk. Dec. 27th, J. M. Taggart was, by order of the church, ordained to the ministry by a presbytery, consisting of Elders V. E. Kirk and Wm. Vaughan. 1846, the church lived in harmony. I. T. Tichenor dismissed by letter, Oct. 10th, and Thos. M. Vaughan, March, 1846. We ought to have mentioned the fact that in 1842 the General Association met with this church. Wm. C. Buck was moderator, J. M. Pendleton, Sec., and Thos. S. Malcom, preacher of Introductory sermon. Besides these notable men just mentioned, there were present Wm. Vaughan, Samuel Baker, John C. Waller, S. L. Helm, Howard Malcom, Isaac McKay, C. C. Sedgwick, Wm. Stout, T. G. Keen, D. S. Colgan and others.
Protracted meeting in Nov., 1846; pastor assisted by Elder Moses Aiken, of Glasgow; 22 added by baptism. Nothing of special interest in 1847 and '48. At the November meeting, 1848, Bro. Samuel McKay donated $125 to the church to pay for the steeple. March, 1849, Jas. Lewis Tichenor by letter from the Taylorsville Church. At September meeting, 1849, five delegates appointed to a convention to be held at Cox's Creek, on Friday before 5th Sunday in this month, for the purpose of forming a new association, and brethren Vaughan, Redman, Grigsby, N. G. Thomas, Spence Minor and Chas. Y. Duncan, were appointed. Then and there the Nelson Association started. Meeting in October, 1849, A. D. Sears assisted. Goodly number added. Protracted meeting held Sept., 1850; pastor assisted by Elders Y. R. Pitts and I. T. Tichenor; 19 additions by baptism. On Feb. 8, 1851, Bro. E. C. Tichenor was elected Clerk in place of C. Y. Duncan, resigned. He was Clerk through 40 consecutive years. Saturday, Nov. 8, 1851, we find the following entry on our church book: "Bro. Jos. M. Weaver, of the Methodist church, presented himself for admission, and was received by relation." Dec. 12, 1851, Thomas H. Storts, by letter from Burk's Branch church, Shelby county. At meeting, June 12, 1852, J. M. Weaver was licensed to preach the gospel. Thirteen added to the church by baptism during the year. October 9, 1852, J. M. Weaver granted letter of dismissal. At April meeting, 1853, the office of Lay Eldership was abolished, and Elder Nimrod Beckham by letter from Little Mount Church, Spencer county. In 1854, nothing of interest to note; church in great peace and harmony. During the years 1855 and '56 a great many of the members granted letters of dismissal, and many removed by death.
The following preamble and query was submitted to the church at March meeting in 1856, by Bro. Jas. Tichenor, Sr.: "Whereas, it is become fashionable, to a considerable extent in some sections of the country for professors of religion to go to balls and engage in the civil amusement (as it is called) of dancing, now, in order to obtain an expression of this church on that subject, and to obviate any difficulty that may arise in future, I submit the following query: 'Does this church approve of the aforesaid practice in any of her members?' Answered emphatically, No! and any members guilty of same will subject themselves to the discipline of the church." At a protracted meeting in October, 1856, 18 souls added to the church by baptism. Nothing special to note in 1857 and '58, except that the church was being diminished by removals and death, though several were added by letter and baptism. Bro. Spencer Minor, prominent and honored,
died July 23, 1857. A gracious revival of religion in 1859, resulting in the addition of 22 souls to the church by baptism. Aug. 11, 1860, Bro. Jno. C. Wigginton was elected and set apart to the office of deacon by prayer and the laying on of hands by Elders Wm. and Thos. Vaughan, in place of C. Y. Duncan, dismissed by letter. 1861, '62, '63 and '64, the church was disturbed by the presence of soldiers during these war times.The meeting-house was occupied by Federal troops for some time, and we were obliged to hold meetings in the Reform and Methodist churches. December meeting, 1863, A. Lovelace Tichenor was chosen Singing Clerk. October, 1864, it was resolved, "that delinquents on the list of contributors for incidental church expenses be read out publicly when their subscriptions are due and unpaid, after being demanded of them." July 8, 1865, "the deacons were appointed a committee to ascertain the damages done to our house and lot by the soldiers, and to petition the government at Washington for remuneration." God blessed the church in November, 1866, by the addition of 12 souls by letter and baptism: In December, 1867, 8 added by baptism.
At July meeting, 1868, the colored members petitioned for letters of dismission in order to form their own church; request granted. Church very much depleted by removal, exclusions and deaths - not numbering quite 100 members. At March meeting, 1869, Elder Thos. Hall called as Pastor and elected Moderator in lieu of Dr. Vaughan, who as before stated, had been entirely disabled by a fall, from performing pastoral duty. 1870 to '75, church generally at peace. October 11, 1873, Bro. G. W. Stratton elected deacon. Enjoyed a gracious revival in the fall of '73, 18 young souls being added to the church. May 8, 1875, Brethren A. C. Thomas and C. M. Tichenor was elected deacons. December, 1875, in a meeting, pastor assisted by Elder Arvin, 8 additions to church by baptism. June 11, 1876, our venerable brethren, Wm. Vaughan and Jas. Tichenor, with us in our church session. Bro. Vaughan, now in his 92nd year. April 7, 1877, church in mourning for death of Dr. Vaughan, and measures adopted to erect a suitable monument to his memory. 1878-1880, goodly numbers added to church by letter and baptism; but large numbers dismissed by death and letters. Nov. 13, 1880, meeting held; pastor assisted by Elder Sallee; 13 added by baptism. October 7, 1882, H. C. Thomas elected deacon in lieu of A. C. Thomas, resigned. Brother N. G. Thomas, a beloved and honored brother departed this life, Aug. 5, 1883, at a good old age; ripe for Master's garner. November, 1883, church held meeting; pastor assisted by G. T. Bryan, then of Seminary, now missionary to China; a blessed meeting; church spiritually revived and 23 added by baptism. Jan. 10, 1885, brethren H. C. Thomas and W. R. Money elected deacons. April 11, 1885, committee appointed to report on the expediency of having the house repaired and remodeled. July 2, 1885, definite plan adopted for remodeling the house. Met Nov. 7, 1885, in our house, now renewed, in and out, at cost of $2,000. Formally opened next day, Sunday, Nov. 8th; immense congregation; grand sermon by Dr. Jno. A. Broadus, of Louisville.
Some added to church during years 1886 and '87 by letter and baptism. March 12, 1887, the following resolution adopted: "That this church will, hereafter, grant no letter of dismissal to any member applying for same who is in arrears to the church, and who, when able, has not settled with the treasurer in full." April, 1888, record of the death of our beloved and venerable brother, Timothy Tichenor, who died in the triumphs of the Christian's faith. Many dismissals by letter and death during years 1889 and '90. Meeting in September, 1890; pastor assisted by Elder E. R. Carswell; 10 souls added to the church. Nov. 8, 1890, committee appointed to revise and correct our list of members, and upon recommendation the church drops some 23 names, leaving us a membership of 95 in good standing.
In 1891, the church held its centennial celebration, which was a great event in the history of the church. At the conclusion of the reading of a brief historical sketch of the church, the following biographies of William Taylor, Joshua Carman, and Isaac Taylor, the first three pastors the church had, were read:
Elder Wm. Taylor was born in New Jersey in the year 1737. In his early childhood his parents moved to Virginia, where he was brought up to hard labor on a farm, receiving but a limited education. He preached for a short time in his native State, and after some years spent in the souteastern part of Ohio, came down the Ohio River to the Falls. Finally he settled on Cox's Creek, Nelson County, Ky., about 1784. He was founder and first pastor of Cox's Creek Church, and also one of the principal agents in organizing Salem Association. From time of his settlement on Cox's Creek till feebleness of old age rendered him incapable of enduring hardships, he spent nearly all his time traveling and preaching among settlers in a large area of country. Bro. Taylor gathered Simpson's Creek and Mill Creek churches, in Nelson county, and Brashear's Creek Church, in Shelby county, near where Shelbyville now stands. He lived to see Salem Association a large
and prosperous body, and the broad field, in which he had been pioneer laborer, well supplied with preachers. He fell to sleep in 1809. Wm. Taylor was a most active and influential minister in Salem Association during the first fifteen years of its existence. His moral character was spotless, exhibiting in an eminent degree the spirit of his Divine Master. His gifts were moderate, but they were employed with diligence and singleness of purpose, and the Lord abundantly blessed his labors.
Joshua Carman was from Pennsylvania; was among the early settlers of Nelson county, Kentucky; for a number of years was an active minister in Salem Association; regarded a man of good ability, and was much esteemed. But becoming fanatical on the subject of slavery, lost his influence, and moved to Ohio and preached there till the Lord took him home.
Isaac Taylor, son of Wm. Taylor, and third pastor of Cox's Creek Church, was born in Pennsylvania, 1772. At 12 years of age he came with his parents to Kentucky. His education was very limited. However, he was taught to read and write, and enjoyed the advantages of his father's library, which consisted of a Bible and hymn-book. On the 4th of July 1801, was received for baptism at Cox's Creek Church, and was baptized by his venerable father. Ordained to the ministry on the 5th of June, 1813, by Walter Stallard, Daniel Walker, Joshua Morris and Moses Pierson. He served Mt. Moriah, Cedar Creek, Mill Creek and Simpson's Creek churches, all in Nelson county, and New Hope church, in Washington county, which church he gathered in 1829. He was pastor of Cox's Creek Church, a position he occupied till called to his reward above. He was probably the most popular preacher that ever labored in Salem Association, and is said to have baptized more people than any other minister that has lived within the bounds of that old fraternity. He had a heart over-flowing with love to Christ - lived almost as in a continuous revival and maintained a spotless reputation. His ministry was not a lengthy one. He began preaching late in life, and was taken home before he reached three-score and ten. His last sermon was preached at Cedar Creek, Sunday, March 13,1842, and on the same day he was not. God took him. Served this church a number of years as pastor.
The following letters were also read:
From Rev. Spencer
Eminence, Ky., Jan. 29, 1891. Rev. Thomas Hall, Bloomfield, Ky. - Dear Bro.: Yours of 27 inst. is to hand. Allow me to express my grateful appreciation of the kind and flattering invitation extended me by Bloomfield Church and her pastor to be present at her approaching centennial meeting. It would afford me very great pleasure to participate in the exercises on so happy an occasion. I know something of the history of the grand old fraternity,and most or all of its pastors from Warren Cash to Thomas Hall, and would highly appreciate the privilege of saying something about them to the present generation. But the good Lord is pleased to deny me the courted privilege. My health is very feeble, and I am so helpless that I have not been able to walk or even stand alone since last September, and prospect from a human standpoint is that I shall never be able to walk again.
Please express my grateful acknowledgments to the church and accept my cordial thanks for your own kind invitation. Allow me also to ask an interest in the prayers of the brethren and sisters who shall assemble on the happy occasion. Affectionately your Bro. in the Lord Jesus,
J. H. Spencer.
From Rev. Tichenor
Napton, Saline County, Mo., Feb. 21, 1891 - Dear Bro. Hall: Your letter, bearing the cordial invitation of you and all your church to me to be present with you on the 12th of March, was received last night. I heartily thank you and your church for the kind invitation. It is a great pleasure to be remembered by friends whom we have not seen for many years. I would love to return to the place of my childhood and to the house of God where I have spent some of my happiest hours, but circumstances are such that I do not see how I can. I expect at that time to be engaged in a protracted meeting with one of my churches. I would love to talk on "My Recollections of Bloomfield Church." Some of my earliest recollections are connected with that church.
My parents were members before I was born, and when a little child they frequently took me with them to church. I recollect the time of the debate on Baptism between John L. Waller and Dr. Bemiss, a Presbyterian minister; I recollect the General Association held in Bloomfield in 1842-3. There were present Wm. Vaughan, W. C. Buck, Sam Baker, J. L. Waller, Howard Malcolm, Thos. S. Malcolm, Isaac McKay, G. C. Sedgwick, Wm. Stout, T. G. Kern, D. S. Colgan and J. M. Pendleton. Doubtless there were others, but these I well remember. They are all gone except Bro. Pendleton. Bro. T. G. Keen preached a sermon from Jude 3. I think it was the introductory sermon. Rev. T. S. Malcolm preached on Saturday at 11 a.m. He was a very small man, and a thick piece of plank had to be put in the pulpit for him to stand upon. The old pulpit was very tall, and has long since been removed. I sat in the gallery near the pulpit during his sermon. His text was, "Who is sufficient for these things?" and he commenced by saying: "We have assembled not as Kings of Macedon." On Sunday at 10 a.m., Bro. Baker preached, followed by D. H. Malcolm at 11 a.m. At 3 p.m., Bro. W. C. Buck preached. His sermon was rather an expository one on the parable of the Sower, dwelling particularly on the 37th verse in Matthew, 13th chapter. At night, Dr. J. M. Pendleton preached.
I well recollect a number of protracted meetings held by the church at different times in which they were assisted by Revs. Wm. Brown, F. Seig, A. G. Curry, Thos. J. Fisher, A. D. Sears, Z. R. Pitts, Andrew Broadus, S. H. Ford and others. But the one most precious to me was held in Nov., 1844, assisted by Bro. A. D. Sears. It was during that meeting that 1 had my first deep convictions on account of sin. It was there I first felt that I was a lost sinner. Many things which occurred during that meeting are as vivid in my recollection as if it were only yesterday. I cannot take time to speak of them even if they were interesting lo you. I was not enabled to trust in Christ as my Savior for nearly two years afterward, during a meeting held in Taylorsville. I joined the Taylorsville church first, and was baptized in Salt River on the 1st of Oct., 1846, by Bro. Smith Thomas. A few years afterward, I united with the Bloomfield church by letter. It was in Bloomfield Church in 1856 that I offered my first public prayer, and made my first public talk. In March, 1857, I left that county, and have not been within the walls of the old building since. It is now almost 34 years since I was there. The names and faces of many of the members then are vivid in my recollection. It would probably take all this sheet on which I write if I were to record their names. Next to my dear parents, that of my old pastor, Bro. Vaughan, will ever be held in grateful remembrance. My parents joined the church in 1817. There were then probably 300 members. My father was the last survivor of that number, dying in 1886.
Perhaps, my brother, I am wearying your patience with what I have written. My own heart is full and these thoughts have grown upon me in earnest. If I cannot be with you in body I shall be with you in spirit. My prayer is that the coming century in the history of your church may
A picture of Thomas Hall at the bottom of the page is not included.
He was, for more than 32 years, pastor of the Church.
be crowned with grander success in work of the Lord than the closing one. I would be glad to look into the faces of those I love and with whom I have mingled in other days. True, many of them are now strangers to me, and yet we are friends in Christ. May we all meet in the church triumphant above.
Your Bro. in Christ, J. L. Tichenor.
At the church meeting on September the 7th, 1901, the following tributes of respect to Brother Hall, who died on July the 19th of the same year, are found:
This page is set apart sacred to the memory of our beloved pastor, Rev. Thos. Hall, who died, July the 19th, 1901, about the hour of 2 o'clock p.m. He was called to the pastorate of this church, Feb. 13, 1869, accepted the call in person on April 10, 1869. He continued as pastor up until his death, being 32 years, 3 months and 9 days.
W. V. Grant, Moderator. E. C. Tichenor, Church Clerk. S. T. Wigginton, Asst. Clerk.
A Tribute to Dr. Thomas Hall.
Dr. Thomas Hall was born in Charleston, S. C., in 1828. He entered West Point in 1847, and was graduated with honor in 1851. Though reared an Episcopalian, he was converted to Christ under the ministry of the distinguished Richard Fuller. While reading the New Testament in Greek he was led to adopt Baptist principles, and finally was baptized by Dr. James Cuthburt, of Washington, D. C.
In 1864, he was ordained to the ministry at Anderson, S.C., and, five years later, coming to Kentucky, succeeded Dr. William Vaughan as the honored pastor of Bloomfield Baptist church. Here he served with fidelity and efficiency until his death.
For sixteen years, New Hope and Mill Creek churches enjoyed his pastoral labors. He also preached to Chaplin Fork four years. The members of these churches were warmly attached to their pastor, and he also loved them with devout affection. As the wise and able moderator of Nelson Association for twenty-eight years, he did a noble work for God. In fact, a good degree of success attended his labors wherever he wrought. He was a modest, pious, humble Christian gentleman - a warm hearted and genial companion, a ripe scholar of wide reading, a thoroughly sound theologian, an able preacher of the Gospel. His many virtues and his amiable character gained for him the just admiration and the high esteem of all who knew him well.
His Christian experience was full of joy, his faith in Christ was strong indeed, and his hope grew brighter as the end approached. He will be greatly missed by a large circle of appreciative friends who extend their deep sympathy to the bereaved family.
J. A. Booth, Taylorsville, Ky.
A tribute of respect from the Bloomfield Baptist Sunday-school to the memory of our deceased pasior, a fellow-laborer in the Master's cause, the Rev. Thomas Hall:Whereas, It was the pleasure of our Heavenly Father to remove by death from us our dear brother, we deeply feel his death, we miss him, yes we miss him, and will continue to for time to come. But we know that our loss is his eternal gain.
He has passed from a world of trouble and sorrow and of sin to a home in heaven, where all is peace and happiness, and we feel that he is sitting at the right hand of God and mingling with the redeemed. May our Heavenly Father enable us to feel and know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.
And our prayer is that the blessed God, the author and finisher of all things, will enable us 10 exclaim, as one of old, that the Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord. And we do pray a blessing from heaven upon the bereaved family.
Resolved, That we have this published in the two county papers, The Nelson Record and Kentucky Standard, and also sent to the Western Recorder for publications, and a copy sent to the bereaved family.
Done by order of the Sunday-school at her regular meeting, Sunday, July 28, 1901.
Wm. Vaughan Grant, E. Ford Wells, S. T. Wigginton, Committee.
A tribute of respect to the memory of our departed brother and pastor, Rev. Thomas Hall, who was pastor of Bloomfield Baptist church, Bloomfield, Ky., for thirty years and a few months.
Whereas, it pleased Almighty God to take from us by death our beloved pastor on July 19, 1901, about the hour of 2 o'clock p.m. We mourn for him not as those who have no hope, for he was a consecrated Christian gentleman, and we feel that his spirit is now mingling with the spirits of our dear departed dead. Bro. Hall was an educated man; he was master of the language, and, as Bro. J. A. Booth said in his brief remarks at the funeral services, that it was seld om the case that so small a town as Bloomfield had the pleasure of listening to such a well-educated and cultured a preacher as Bro. Hall was.
We deeply sympathize with his children in their sad affliction. Our prayer is that they may ever look heavenward, and to the Lamb of God who can and will bind up broken hearts, and look to God, the author and finisher of all things, for protection and guidance, and now that their earthly father is gone, that they have one more tie binding them closer to heaven. And we do pray that the God of love and peace be with them and with us always.
It was ordered by a motion, and seconded, that this be spread upon a page of the church book, a copy to be sent to the bereaved family and also a copy be sent to the Western Recorder for publication.
This Saturday, August 10, 1901. Wm. Vaughan Grant, S. T. Wiggington, Committee
C. M. TICHENOR
"C. M. Tichehor, an honored deacon, and the oldest living member of the Bloomfield Baptist Church. He professed religion and united with this church in 1852. He was ordained, and has served in the capacity of deacon since 1875. Brother Tichenor is now 84 years old."
The following table of statistics gathered from the minutes of the Nelson Association shows the growth and development of the church in so far as figures can show such things:Yr. Mem. Baptisms Benevolent Contributions 1892 99 3 $110.00 1893 99 0 65.00 1894 108 5 198.30 1895 113 0 183.29 1896 115 0 171.55 1897 121 0 163.16 1898 138 13 187.35 1899 146 8 177.57 1900 150 1 176.63 1901 141 0 181 61 1902 143 6 167.10 1903 140 0 106.90 1904 109 3 153.68 1905 121 4 187.56 1906 116 0 89.00 1907 109 0 130.48 1908 109 2 170.00 1909 126 17 420.79 1910 126 0 433.33 1911 121 3 325.52 1912 142 10 499.29 1913 163 20 470.15 1914 146 6 487.35 1915 150 16 470.00 1916 163 21 571.65 1917 153 0 420.09 1918 165 6 1,727.69 1919 168 9 967.75 1920 241 46 2,481.50
J. DIXIE HAMMOND
"Deacon J. Dixie Hammond, for many years one of the leading and most active deacons of the church, a man who loves Jesus and His church supremely. On June 10, 1914, brother Hammond was afflicted, and has been, since that time, forced into inactivity, but nevertheless is nobly doing his part. We do not know the reason why God permitted this useful servant of His to be thus afflicted and cut short in His active service, but we do know that God means only good for such a man, and that his affliction is somehow, in the wisdom of God, a blessing in disguise. God has doubly blessed him in the care and companionship of his faithful and devoted Christian wife. 'For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.' II Corinthians 4:17."
[Rev. W. P. Harvey, "History of Bloomfield Baptist Church, 1920. Two Hundredth Anniversary". This document is from a copy at the Nelson County Public Library, Bardstown, KY. Scanned and formated by Jim Duvall.]
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