Editor's note: This association was begun as a result of Thomas P. Dudley's infamous Circular Letter in the Licking Association of Particular Baptists in 1848. Dudley titled it "The Christian Warfare," and it divided the Licking Association as many dissenting pastors of the association called it the "Two Souls Doctrine." Salem Association of Predestinarian Baptists in nothern Kentucky dropped correspondence with Licking Association, as did many other corresponding Primitive Baptist associations. -- Jim Duvall]
Twin Creek Baptist Association[p. 604]
A History of Kentucky Baptists,
John H. Spencer, 1885
Twin Creek Association -- This small community of Antimissionary Baptists originated from a division of Licking Association, caused by a circular letter, written by Elder Thomas P. Dudley, in 1846. This letter was not presented to the Association, as was originally intended; but some of the members were permitted to read it, and, in 1847, it was read before the body. The style of the writing was obscure, and it was not clearly understood by the members. However, it caused considerable dissatisfaction and disputation. To avoid being further misrepresented, as he averred, Mr. Dudley, in 1848, caused 1,000 copies of the letter to be printed and circulated. A deliberate reading of the document increased the discontent. With the hope of restoring harmony, James Dudley, a brother of the author of the letter, sent a circular to all the churches of the Association, requesting them to send messengers to Bryants Station, in Fayette county, on the last Wednesday in March, 1850. In this meeting, about half the churches were represented, and the writer of the letter was acquitted of heresy. This further increased the discontent of the churches which dissented from the decision of the conference. Stony Point and Friendship churches issued a "Joint Manifesto" in which it was averred that Mr. Dudley taught the "Eternal Creation System." It was also claimed that he denied the doctrine of the "Regeneration of the soul."
The "Eternal Creation System" taught that God, in the Eternal Past, created two distinct families: one in Adam, and the other in Jesus Christ; that all the members of each of these families were created simultaneously, and, that, of course, they
are, in fact, of the same age. According to this teaching, the child born to-day is, in reality, as old as Adam: The recent birth is only a developement of an "eternal creation." So of the spiritual family, "created in, and simultaneously with Jesus Christ." Abel, the first Christian, is no older than the last one that shall be "born from above." The descendant of Adam is the natural man, a simple being wholy corrupt, and unchangeable in the present life. A descendant from Jesus Christ, whether born (developed) in the days of Abel, or in the present age, is wholy pure and incorruptable.
A Christian, according to this theory, is not a child of Adam, regenerated, nor yet a descendant of Christ, born from above, but a coalescence of both, and consequently, a "compound being." As both of the component parts are unchangeable, and are antagonistic in their nature, there must be a perpetual strife between them until the stronger destroys the weaker. This Mr. Dudley denominates the "Christian Warfare." While the subject was agitated, the theory was sometimes called the "Two Souls doctrine." The denial of the regeneration of the human soul was a necessary sequence of this theory.
Against this theory and its sequences, the following churches of Licking Association protested: Stony Point, Friendship, Twin Creek, Williamstown, Raysfork, and Fork Lick. These six churches, by their messengers, met at Twin Creek meeting house in Harrison county on Friday before the third Saturday in November, 1850, and, after a sermon by Wm. Rash, proceeded with the usual formalities, to constitute "Twin Creek Old Regular Baptist Association."
At its first anniversary, the Association numbered seven churches with 242 members. The ordained preachers of the body were Wm. Rash, Wm. Conrad, Whitfield Collins, and Matthias Gosset. E. S. Dudley was a licensed preacher. The fraternity increased rapidly, till 1854, when it numbered twelve churches with 410 members. Soon after this, some dissensions occurred in the body, and Wm. Conrad drew off several churches, which afterwards remained unassociated. After this, the Association declined rapidly, till 1868, when it numbered five churches with 105 members. At this date, it united with the old North District fraternity, and thus lost its identity.
[John H. Spencer, A History of Kentucky Baptists, Volume 2, 1885, reprint, 1984, pp. 604-605. - Scanned by Jim Duvall.]
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