Baptist History Homepage
Editor's note: The following bios are not listed in alphabetical order in the essay. They are listed here alphabetically so you won't have to search the entire listing to see which bios are included. - Jim Duvall
Branham, Benjamin Osburn - Buck, William Calmes - Curl, John B. - Curry, Albert G. - Everts, Wm. W. - Fall, Philip S. - Finlay, John - Ford, Samuel Howard - Gailbreath, Robert - Gillespy, John - Goodell, Abner - Ireland M.D., Joseph Alexander - Knight, Aaron Brightwell - Malcom, Thomas S. - Marshall, George - Mcquade Jr., James - Peck, George B. - Rucker, James P. - Rees, Farmer - Rice, Thomas Moor - Standifer, David - Stark, David - Stark, Jonathan - Stout, William - Toncray, Silas T. - Wallace, John - Willard, F. A.
Biographies of Long Run Association
A History of Kentucky Baptists
Volume 2, 1886
By J. H. Spencer
[p. 171]Biographical sketches of most of the early preachers of this old fraternity have already been given. Some additional sketches are, as usual, appended here. Many transient preachers have labored within the bounds of this Association, with sketches of whose lives it would not be expedient, even if it were practicable, to multiply these pages. Only a few of the most prominent of these, will be briefly mentioned.
William Calmes Buck was one of the leaders of God's host, in Kentucky, at a period when a wise, bold leader was most needed. To him, the Baptists of this Commonwealth, and of the whole Mississippi Valley, owe, more than to any other man, their deliverance from the narrow prejudice against missionary operations, which had been chiefly fostered by Alexander Campbell, and the chilling spirit of Antinomianism, enkindled by Parker, Dudley, Nuckols and their satellites. More than any other preacher in the State, did this champion of christian benevolence stir up and foster the spirit of missions. Possessing great physical strength and remarkable powers of endurance, he traveled on horse-back, among the churches, winter and summer, day and night, and urged upon them the solemn duty of supporting their pastors, at home, and sending the gospel to the perishing, abroad. He possessed a strong, steady nerve, a cool self-possession and a courage that did not falter. His tongue was as the pen of a ready writer, and his voice was as the roaring of a lion. Perhaps no other man ever preached, in Kentucky, that could command the attention of so large an audience, in the open air.
Who will question, that God called and qualified him, for the specific work he performed!
William C. Buck was born in Virginia, August 23, 1790. His educational advantages were poor. But having a quick, strong native intellect, and being ambitious to acquire knowledge, he became what is termed a self-made man, of excellent attainments, both in general literature and theology. In early life, he united with the church at Waterlick, in Shenandoah county, Virginia, where he was ordained to the ministry, in October, 1815. In 1820, he moved to Kentucky, and settled on the present site of Morganfield, in Union county. Here he took charge of a little church, called Highland. The same year, he gathered another small church, called Little Bethel, to which he alsoministered. He afterwards took charge of a church near Princeton, where he baptized William Morrison, a Presbyterian licentiate, who became a very useful Baptist preacher. In September, 1820, Highland Association was formed, of the two churches ministered to by Mr. Buck, and a few others, almost equally small and poor. Within the bounds of this little fraternity, with no other Baptist preacher within thirty miles of him, and two-thirds of the population of his county being Catholics, he labored about sixteen years.
In 1836, he moved to Louisville, where he succeeded the lamented John S. Wilson in the pastoral charge of the First Baptist church in that city. He served this church four years, during which period, its membership increased, from 306, to 532 In 1838, with the consent of his pastoral charge, he accepted the General Agency of the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky. It will be remembered that, at that period, very few Baptist pastors, in Kentucky, received a salary for preaching. It is probable that a very large majority of them received less than five dollars a year, for their ministrations: and the small pittances they did receive, were understood to be "gifts," and not pay. The first object of the General Association, was to correct this evil. To secure the payment of reasonable salaries to the pastors, was the principal object of Mr. Buck's agency; although he collected such small amounts as he could, consistently with this object, for missionary purposes. The following extract from his report, slightly abridged, will give some idea of the nature of his work, and his competency to perform it:
"Agreeably to arrangements previously made, I left home on the 16th of April, and rode to Harrods Creek, when I met Brother J. Dale, and preached in the afternoon to a small but attentive assembly. On the next day, I preached at the same place. The weather was cold and rainy, but the people came out. A deep impression seemed to be made on all present, and some comfortable indications of a revival were manifested. I collected here $11.31 3/4 for the General Association, and $10.90 for the China Mission; but made no effort for the pastor, as I had no opportunity of conferring with him.
"On Wednesday we met a few persons at Dover church. The little audience attended to the word spoken, with deep attention and evident interest. They have no settled preacher here. Some difficulties agitate the church, and many of the members are so prejudiced against all efforts, that they would not come out. Still, the generous few who were present gave me $13.50 for the General Association, and $12.75 for the China Mission.
"The next day we met at Fox Run. Few of the members attended. Prejudice here seems to be so strongly set against the light, that they who need it most will not come to it. Few seemed to receive the word with gladness, and had not God provided for us, by sending the family of Brother King to meeting, I am not sure but we would have been compelled to go out of the neighborhoodfor our dinners; but in him and his family, we found friends. Here I collected $2.00 for the General Association, and $3.43 3/4 for the China Mission.
"On Friday we went to New Castle. Prospects here were at the first very discouraging; but, whatever their prejudices might have been, like the noble Bereans, they came out to hear for themselves; and, by the evening, the clouds began to dissipate. Twice we met them again, on Saturday; and, on Sabbath morning, the house, though large, could not contain near all the people. Every cloud was now gone, a bright heaven canopied the church, and harmony pervaded the entire rank and file of the host. I met them again in the afternoon, and obtained individual pledges to the amount of $400 for their pastor, and donations in cash for the General Association, of $48.10, and for the China Mission, $22.75. The prospects here are bright."
"On Monday and Tuesday I preached at Hillsboro, where
Elder J. A. McGuire is pastor, and obtained, by individual pledges, the sum of $150 for his support one-half of his time and $1 in cash for the China Mission. I regret to state that there is remaining here some opposition to the plan of sustaining the ministry, but I trust that the prudent and persevering course of their pastor will soon convince them of their error.
"On Wednesday and Thursday following, we met the church at Sulphur Fork, and obtained the like pledge of $150 as at Hillsboro, for an equal share of Brother McGuire's time here as at the above place. Their pastor will have some difficulties to meet from those who love their gold better than their God; but this should not discourage him, nor tempt him to relax his efforts. Here I obtained $2.00 for the China Mission.
"On the next day we met a congregation at Cane Run. A great deal of solemnity seemed to pervade the assembly during service, but, owing to circumstances beyond my control, I attempted nothing for the General Association. A young Mr. Stanton gave me 50 cents for the China Mission, and we crossed the Kentucky. Having Saturday as a recess, we passed to the mouth of the river.
"On Lord's-day we met a large congregation at Four-Mile. Elder John Price is the pastor here. His age and infirmities render him unable to labor, so that I made no special effort here a few friends here gave me $2.50 for the China Mission. Here Elder Scott met us, and continued with us all the time we were on that side of the river, being near three weeks.
"On Monday and Tuesday we met the church at Whites Run. Elder L. D. Alexander has the care of this little body, and I feel justified in applauding the alacrity with which they pledged the sum of $79.00 for one quarter of his time, besides a liberal donation to the China Mission.
"On Wednesday and Thursday we met the church at McCooles Bottom. It rained both days; still the people came out. Much interest was taken in the preaching, and on Thursday, besides a liberal donation to the China Mission, $100 was pledged for their pastor, Elder Alexander, one quarter of his time. From the promptness with which this sum was pledged, I doubt not that much more would have been supplied had I asked it. On Friday and Saturday we remained with Elder J. Scott, and met the church at Sharon. Elder Scott is wealthy, and, although he
preaches much, is not in a situation to give all his time to the Ministry: consequently he refused to take any pay of his church; but still the church, at my suggestion, pledged $42.50 for him, to be appropriated as he thought best. They also raised a contribution for Brother Dale and myself: $3.62 1/2, being mine, I gave to the China Mission, as I did in all other cases where private presents were made me. Here also a liberal donation was made to the China Mission.
"On Lord's-day morning we rode ten miles, to New Liberty; and, although it rained, their spacious house was filled, and I preached to them twice; and on Monday we met again, and obtained, by personal pledges, the sum of $222.50 for the use of the ministry there; $100 of which will be appropriated to Elder Alexander, as pastor for one quarter of his time, and the balance it is likely the church will divide between brethren Smith and Montgomery, so as to have the labor of each, one Sabbath a month. Here also I obtained a liberal donation to the China Mission. I doubt not but this church will, after this year, secure the entire time of their pastor.
"On Tuesday we met the church at Emmaus, and, although but few of the members were present, yet, by the liberal aid of some of the friends from New Liberty, I had but little trouble in securing pledges to the amount of $102.50 for the last quarter of Elder Alexander's time; so that his hands are quite free to the work to which he is called.
"On Wednesday we met the church at Long Ridge. Here Brother Suter presides as pastor, with whom I conferred as to the possibility of his giving his whole time to the work of the ministry, and of his disposition to do so, under such arrangements as I might be able to make in his favor. He seemed willing to devote all his time to the work, and approved the general objects of the Association; but doubted the propriety of his accepting funds raised by me, without a special act of the church appropriating them to his use. I proceeded to preach, and then to raise $100 for the pastor, believing that a prophet should not care whether angels or ravens fed him, so that thereby he was enabled to do his Master's will. And I, with great ease, obtained pledges to the amount of $105 which I left with the church, not doubting but Brother Suter would go to work. Here also I obtained a liberal contribution to the China Mission.
"On Thursday we met the church in Owenton. Brother C. Duval preaches to this church. I preached, and explained the objects of the General Association to them, and, with great ease, obtained pledges for $105 for their pastor, besides a very liberal appropriation to the China Mission.
"On Friday we went to Greenups Fork. There are a few here that should not eat because they will not work, as there are in some other churches where I have been, but, after sermon, I had but little trouble to secure pledges to the amount of $110 for Elder Suter, as well as a contribution to the China Mission.
"We left Greenups Fork at half-past three, recrossed the Kentucky river, and rode about 19 miles, to a Brother Thompson's, and on Saturday I met the church at Indian Fork. Being their regular day of business, their aged pastor, Elder Cook, invited me to preach, with which I cheerfully complied; and after the transaction of their usual business, I asked and obtained leave to explain the objects of the General Association. I found the church here much more ready to do their duty than their pastor was to receive their support; and yet he thinks it right that they who preach the gospel should live of the gospel, but, like Paul, does not wish it so done unto him. -
"On Tuesday I met a large assembly at Salem, and after addressing them about three hours, I obtained pledges for $105 in behalf of their pastor, and an appropriation of $1.70 for the China Mission.
"On Wednesday I met a large assembly at Buck Creek. This church had anticipated my arrival, and, with a noble liberality, which I commend as an example to others, had pledged the sum of $200 to Elder G. Waller, their pastor, for one quarter of his time. They also contributed $23.90 to me for the China Mission.
"On Friday, the 17th of May, I arrived at home, after an absence of 31 days. I averaged at least three hours' pulpit labor each day while absent, traveled about 210 miles, and collected in cash for the General Association $77.41, for pastorates $1,671.50, for the China Mission $272.89, and for the Banner $28.50, making a total of $2,050.30."
This lengthy extract, giving so graphic a picture of Mr. Buck's labors, and indicating the condition of the Baptist denomination, in Kentucky, at that period, with respect to the support
of pastors, by no means gives an adequate idea of the opposition the agent met with. The report would soon be read by the public, and had it embodied a full account of the opposition, from both churches and preachers, it would have encouraged the foes, and dispirited the timid and lukewarm friends of missions and ministerial support. Within two years after this report was published, several of the churches named in it, were divided on the subject of missions and ministerial support; insomuch that a new association, which declared openly its opposition to benevolent institutions and "hireling preachers," was formed on the territory referred to in the report. This new fraternity was called Mt. Pleasant Association of Regular Baptists, and still maintains a feeble existence.
In the manner described in the report, Mr. Buck continued to canvass the churches, as long as he was Agent of the General Association. But, in 1841, believing that he could reach the churches of the whole State, more speedily and effectively, through the medium of the press, he took the editorial charge of the Baptist Banner and Western Pioneer, a large religious weekly, hitherto conducted by John L. Waller. He edited this paper about nine years, with much ability. In 1840, he resigned the charge of the First Church, after which, among a multitude of other engagements, he preached in a market house, in the eastern part of the city, till East Church was constituted, in 1842. To this Church, he preached the rest of the time that he remained in the State.
In 1850, having lost his property, through an attempt to conduct the Louisville Advertiser, which he had purchased, on the retirement of Shadrach Penn, he moved to the State of Alabama. Here he labored some ten years, both with tongue and pen. He published a book entitled the Philosophy of Religion, and was editing a religious paper at the breaking out of the Civil War. After this he went to Texas, where he spent the evening of a long, busy and eminently useful life. He died of a cancer on his face, at his residence near Waco, surrounded by his children, on the 18th of May, 1872.
James Mcquade, Sr., was one of the first preachers, raised up to the ministry, within the bounds of Long Run Association. The place of his nativity is not known, but he was born about 1761. He was among the first emigrants who forted in what is
now called Shelby county. When William Hickman first preached in the little forts in this region, in the beginning of 1789, this youth attended his meetings. Of him, Mr. Hickman says: "Brother James McQuade stood by me from the first, and was my singing clerk. A little after this, Brother Gano baptized him and two or three others." Mr. McQuade united with Brashears Creek church; and here he was set apart to the ministry. He was more distinguished for his piety and devotion, than for the brilliancy of his gifts. But he was a good and useful preacher, in his generation, and was held in high esteem by his brethren. He was called to his heavenly reward, May, 23, 1828.
David Standifer was a prominent member of Brashears Creek church, as early as 1803. He was usually a messenger to the Association, and appears to have been an active member of that body. His preaching gifts were not above medium, at any time, and were slow of development. He appears to have been of a practical, business turn, and was a judicious actor rather than a fluent speaker. He must have been considerably advanced in life before he entered the ministry. He was ordained at Brashears Creek, about September 1823, and succeeded James McQuade sr., in the pastoral office, in that church. He occupied this position several years. He preached the introductory sermonbefore Long Run Association, in 1829. His labors in the Lord's vineyard, appear to have ceased not far from 1832. E. D. Standifer, M. D., the well known Rail Road magnate is his son.
Jonathan Stark, like the Dupuys, Holmeses and Hayneses, was of French extraction, and descended from that class of Protestants known as Huguenots. The old Huguenot families referred to, were early setlers in several different localities in Kentucky. Jonathan Stark settled in what is now Spencer county. Here he was baptized into the fellowship of Elk Creek church, in July, 1795. The family with which he was connected, moved to what is now Oldham county, where a church was gathered, perhaps by an old patriarch of the tribe, of the name Abraham Stark, during the great revival of 1800-3. At this church, which was named Floyds Fork, but was popularly known as Stark's Meetinghouse, Jonathan Stark was ordained to the ministry, in 1803. He preached in this church, at least nine years, after which he moved to Indiana.
David Stark appears to have been a brother of Jonathan Stark, and was a minister in the same church, in Oldham county, as early as 1812, and perhaps several years earlier. Floyds Fork church was made up largely of the Stark family. These moving away from year to year, gradually reduced the church, till it numbered, in 1815, only 13 members. David Stark continued to minister to it, doubtless with the hope of building it up again, till the above named period, when he followed his kindred to Indiana, and the forsaken little church dissolved.
William Stout was born of pious Baptist parents, in Culpeper county, Virginia, in 1781. He received barely the simple elements of an English education. He came with his parents to Kentucky, and settled in what is now Spencer county, in 1797. Here, in 1807, he was married to Mary Vandyke. The marriage was blessed with a number of children, all of whom ultimately settled in Indiana. Mr. Stout professed religion in his 28th year, and was baptized into the fellowship of Elk Creek Church, by Reuben Smith. He was immediately filled with a great desire for the salvation of his neighbors, and soon began to exhort them to repent and return to God. The following year, 1810, he was licensed to exercise his gift. During the same year, Plum Creek church was constituted, in the same county. Having no preacher among its members, and being favorably impressed with Mr. Stout's efforts, it petitioned Elk Creek church to send it "a preaching gift." Elk Creek responded favorably, and induced Mr. Stout to take his letter to Plum Creek, which he did, October, 12, 1812. On the 5th of December following, he was ordained to the pastoral charge of this church, by Reuben Smith and Henson Hobbs.
He was pastor of Plum Creek church about forty years; of Taylorsville, about twenty years, and a number of other churches, during briefer periods. Hecontinued to serve several churches, until his strength failed. In 1853, he resigned all his pastoral charges, and went to Indiana to spend his few remaining days with his children. Here he preached as often as he could make opportunity. He died at the house of his son, in December, 1860.
No one supposed Mr. Stout to be a great man. He was illiterate, and his natural gifts were not above, mediocrity; yet there is little difference of opinion, as to his having been the
most popular and useful preacher that has yet lived in Spencer county. He was a good man, and so lived as to force the conviction of this truth on even the wicked and profligate. He had so much of the spirit of his Master, that his heart yearned tenderly for the good and happiness of every body around him. In his later years, he was universally called "Uncle Billy," by those younger than himself, and was more than a welcome guest in every house. He preached the gospel of Christ in its true spirit, both in the pulpit and at the fireside, and practiced what he preached. It is not wonderful that he was universally loved, and that he exerted almost an irresistible influence.
George Marshall was raised up to the ministry, in Kings church. He was licensed to preach, in July, 1818. On the death of Henson Hobbs, who had been pastor of the church many years, Mr. Marshall was called to succeed him, and, for that purpose, was ordained by Moses Pierson, Z. Carpenter, Silas Garrett and Francis Davis, in March, 1823. He served the church at Kings, but a brief period, perhaps less than two years, when he moved to Blue river in Indiana.
Robert Gailbreath was of Irish extraction, and was born in Westmoreland county, Penn., 1791. His parents moved to Kentucky when he was about eight years old. Being fond of study, he acquired, with few advantages from schools, a very fair English education. He was raised up in a Presbyterian church, but when he obtained evidence of his conversion, a candid examination of the subject of baptism led him to accept Baptist views. He united with old Beargrass church, not far from 1817. He was licensed to exercise his preaching gift, in 1819, and having been sufficiently proved, he was ordained to the pastoral care of Little Flock church in Bullitt county, by Moses Pierson, George Waller, Ben. Allen and Z. Carpenter, April 24, 1824. In 1827, Mr. Gailbreath gathered a small church called Fishpool, some four miles North of Little Flock. Of this new organization, also, he was chosen pastor, having, for the sake of convenience, given his membership to it. He was also pastor of the church at Shepherdsville, for a time. In 1851, he resigned the charge of Little Flock and Fishpool, and moved to Louisville. This move was unwise. It took him from a field of labor in which he was appreciated and loved, and
where he had spent the prime of his life usefully, and might still have been useful, for years to come. In the city, he was comparatively a stranger, he was a countrypreacher, and there was no demand for his ministrations. The move virtually closed his labors, and he spent about thirteen years in idleness, as far as his holy calling was concerned. He died at his home in Louisville, August 23, 1864.
Mr. Gailbreath was above medium, as a preacher. He had considerable poetical genius, which he indulged, for recreation. He was a man of unblemished morals, and of faultless christian deportment.
John Gillespy was a native of Virginia, but emigrated to Shelby county, Kentucky, with his parents, in his childhood. He united with the church at Dover, in that county, and after having been proved, as to his fitness for the work of the ministry, was ordained, at Dover, in 1821. About the same time, he moved to Trimble county, where he took charge of Providence church, to which he ministered many years. He was also pastor at Corn Creek, for a time, and served the Covington church, which he aided in gathering, in 1845, a few years. He was a man of moderate preaching talent, and maintained a fair christian character. But it is said he was inclined to be indolent and improvident, which detracted from his usefulness. He died at his home in Trimble county, about 1856.
Silas T. Toncray was a young preacher of excellent attainments. He was ordained at Brashears Creek, in Shelby county, about July 1821. The two years following he was Clerk of Long Run Association, and was held in high esteem by the brethren. But, in 1824, he moved to Little Rock, Arkansas, after which we have no farther account of him.
John Wallace was a licensed preacher, several years, in Corn Creek church, in Trimble county, and, in the absence of a pastor, would conduct public worship. In 1818, a small church called Hunters Bottom was constituted, principally of members from Corn Creek. Among these was Mr. Wallace, who was soon ordained to the pastoral care of the young church. He served this congregation some eight or nine years, when the Lord was pleased to call him up higher. His son, W. Wallace, was raised up to the ministry at Hunters Bottom, and became a good preacher, in Indiana.
John B. Curl was set forward in the ministry by Long Run Church, in Jefferson county. After preaching sometime as a licentiate, he was ordained, in 1826. About the same time he was associated with Ben Allen in ministering to the First church in Louisville. In 1827, he accepted the pastoral care of the newly constituted church, called Floyds Fork, but now known as Fisherville Church, in Jefferson county. He led a majority of the members into the meshes of Campbellism, and was, of course, from that time, identified with the Campbellites.
Philip S. Fall was put into the ministry, at Frankfort, or, at least, was licensed to preach by the church at that place. In 1822, he was called to succeed Henson Hobbs as pastor of the First Church in Louisville. To that congregation he ministered three years, during which he baptized nineteen converts. Mr. Fall it is believed, was an Englishman by birth and education. He was regarded a young man of more than ordinary sprightliness, and was very popular in Long Run Association. In 1824, he was chosen clerk of that body, and, the following year, was clerk, preached the introductory sermon, and wrote the circular letter. The latter, however, was regarded unsound in its doctrinal features, and was rejected by the casting vote of the Moderator. Soon after this, Mr. Fall moved to Nashville, Tenn. Here he fully identified himself with the Campbellites, and continues to advocate their peculiar tenets to the present time; for, although he commenced preaching more than sixty years ago, he is still living, and occasionally writes for the periodical press. After he became too old to fill the pastoral office, he returned to Central Kentucky to spend the twilight of his life.
James P. Rucker was a native of Amherst county, Virginia, and was born Feb. 9, 1784. He was brought by his parents, to Woodford county, Kentucky, where he was raised up in the midst of a large and respectable family. In early life, he professed conversion, and was confirmed in the Methodist church, of which his parents were members. He commenced preaching at about 20 years of age. After some years, he had occasion to search the Scriptures for authority to administer infant baptism. This led him to investigate the whole subject of baptism, and resulted, as usual, in bringing the candid investigator to the Baptists. He was soon afterward ordained to the "ministry among the Baptists." Of him, Elder John Dale says: "Brother Rucker
gave himself up almost entirely to the work of the ministry, preaching day and night. His field was large. In several counties of this State his labors were greatly blest. In Owen, Gallatin, Fayette, and many other sections, he was the happy instrument in bringing many to Christ, and had the happiness of baptizing hundreds, and was greatly beloved by the people of his charge." About 1838, he moved to Shelbyville, where he engaged in secular business. He had some misunderstanding with his partner, which, however justifiable he may have been in the matter, gave him considerable annoyance, and he did not preach much afterwards. He compiled a hymn book, under the title of Rucker's Hymns. He died, while on a visit to a stepson, near Charleston, Ind., Jan. 24, 1858.
Abner Goodell is supposed to have been an Eastern man; but he came to Kentucky while young, and was identified with the interests of the Baptist denomination in this State for a number of years. He was pastor of the churchat Paris in Bourbon county, as early as 1838. In 1839, he accepted a call to Drennons Creek church, at Newcastle, in Henry county. To this church he ministered about five years. During the first three years the church was cold and uncomfortable. Only four persons were baptized in the three years. But, in 1842, a most joyous refreshing from the Lord visited the church, during which 121 converts were baptized. Mr. Goodell was so overcome with a sense of the goodness of God, that during much of the time of the revival, he could do little else than sit on the pulpit step and weep aloud. The revival continued during a portion of next year, during which 33 more were baptized. In 1844, he took charge of the church at Frankfort, to which he ministered three years, and baptized for its membership 50 persons. Success appeared to crown his labors wherever he went. But his health was failing, and he resolved to seek a milder climate. Accordingly, he resigned his charge at Frankfort, and moved to Franklin county, Mississippi, where he fell asleep in Jesus, Oct., 1, 1848. Of this good and useful minister, John L. Waller said: "He was long a resident in Kentucky, having filled several important agencies, and having been pastor successively of the churches at Paris, New Castle and Frankfort, at all of which places his labors were much blessed. He was an able and eloquent minister of the New Testament."
F. A. Willard was a native of Massachusetts, whence, after having finished his education, and received ordination to the gospel ministry, he came to Louisville, Kentucky, in 1839. The 2nd Baptist church in that city had been constituted of 14 members, in September of the previous year, and had remained six months under the pastoral care of a Mr. Morey. At the expiration of this time, Mr. Willard was settled over the church, and ministered to it about three years, when he was succeeded by Thomas S. Malcom. Mr. Willard baptized only nine converts into the fellowship of this church. Whether he returned to his home in the East, or moved farther South, does not appear.
John Finlay made but a brief stay in Kentucky. He took charge of the 1st church in Louisville, in 1840, and served it two years, receiving into its membership, by baptism, 184 converts. He resigned, in October, 1841, and moved to Tennessee.
Thomas Moor Rice, a son of Samuel Rice, an early emigrant from Virginia, was born in Jessamine co., Ky., Dec. 7, 1792. His opportunities for obtaining an education were very poor. He attended school only about ten months, during his minority. But he very early developed a remarkable thirst for knowledge. His father was a small farmer, and, as was not uncommon, at that period supplemented his income by running a small distillery, during the fall and winter. Thomas was early taught to manage the stills, and the still-house became his academy. With insatiable appetite, he devoured the contents ofevery book he could procure. Nor did he read for mere pass-time. He did not allow a book to pass from his hands till he had mastered it. He studied mathematics and the Greek, Latin and Hebrew languages, without a master, but with a zeal, patience and perseverance that insures success. At the age of twenty, he was regarded an accomplished mathematician and a prodigy in the knowledge of the dead languages. Fond as he was of learning, he was equally fond of fun and adventure. When the British war of 1812-15 broke out, he enlisted as a volunteer, and served under General Harrison in the Northwestern campaign, being in the famous battle of Tippecanoe. After the close of the war, he taught vocal music, or "Singing School," several years. In 1820, he married Betsy, daughter of Lewis Bane, of Trimble county.
Soon after his marriage, he professed conversion under the ministry of the well known Ben. Crouch, and notwithstanding his father was a Presbyterian, and his mother a Baptist, he united with the Methodists, and shortly afterward joined the Kentucky conference. He rode the circuit only a few years, when he was forced to desist from regular preaching, on account of hemorrhage of the lungs. Retiring from the "traveling connection," he settled at Floydsburg, in Oldham county, and adopted school teaching as his occupation. He taught at Perryville, Harrisburg, Lagrange, and perhaps at some other points. He was regarded as an excellent teacher of young men, and such was his reputation for scholarship, that he was, in 1838, elected to the chair of mathematics in Georgetown College. This position he declined on account of the failing health of his wife, who died the following year.
Mr. Rice, who, like his first cousin, the distinguished N. L. Rice, D.D., was fond of debate, continued to preach frequently, especially on controverted subjects. He was engaged in several public debates. One of these was with Thomas Fanning, a distinguished Campbellite preacher; and another was with a Universalist, at Floydsburg. About 1839, he resolved to prepare an unanswerable sermon on the "mode of baptism." He had frequently preached on the subject; but being familiar with the controversial literature, relating to the question, he had used the arguments of the learned in favor of aspersion, without examining the subject for himself. But he now resolved to make a thorough investigation for himself. The result was, just what it has always been, and always must be, a full conviction that nothing but the immersion of a believer is scriptural baptism. He was not a man to hesitate, when convinced of a duty. He at once sought membership in Pleasant Grove Baptist church, in Jefferson county, and was baptized by John Dale, early in the year 1840. He was ordained a Baptist minister, in May or June of the same year, by F. A. Willard, John Dale and, perhaps, others. On being asked by one of the Presbytery, how it was that he, a classical scholar, had so long advocated sprinkling as baptism, he replied that he had simply taken the theory of his church for granted, and had never before examined the subject.
Soon after his ordination, he took the pastoral charge of
Pleasant Grove church, and also of Clear Creek, in Shelby county. To these he ministered with mutual satisfaction the remainder of his days on earth. He was on his way to fill his appointment when the summons came to him, in the form of a "congestive chill." He was immediately carried to his home, where he died, Oct. 3, 1842.
Farmer Rees was born in Henry Co., Ky., May 24, 1801, He received a common school education, and adopted the practice of medicine as his profession. In 1822, he married a Miss Forsee, and settled near Owenton. In 1828, he professed faith in Christ, and was baptized by Cornelius Duval, into the fellowship of Long Ridge church, in Owen county. The next year, he went into the constitution of Owenton church. On account of his great zeal and undoubted piety, he was licensed to exercise his gift by way of preaching and exhorting. His preaching gifts were very moderate, but possessing good practical wisdom, sound piety and unaffected zeal, he accomplished more than many abler preachers. His habit was to seek out such neighborhoods within reach of him, as were destitute of the gospel, and preach to the people gratis, while he practiced medicine for a livelihood. He continued to labor in this way, about twenty years, when he resolved to abandon his secular calling, and give the remainder of his life wholly to the work of a missionary among the poor and destitute. In 1853, having been ordained to the full work of the ministry, about four years previously, he moved to Louisville, and entered on the work of a city missionary. But his labors here were very brief. He died from injuries received from falling down a stairway in Walnut Street meeting-house, Nov., 24, 1854. The estimation in which he was held may be gathered from the following, adopted by Long Run Association, in 1855: "Resolved, That in the removal of this brother, who was pre-eminently like John, a 'beloved disciple,' and like Barnabas, 'a good man,' through whom much people were added to the Lord, our cause has been weakened where it most needed strength."
Albert G. Curry was called from Paris, Kentucky, to the church at Shelbyville, about the beginning of 1842. At the latter place, a precious work of grace attended his ministry, and 170 converts were baptized, the first year. In this wonderful revival, he was assisted by A. D. Sears. The next year, after
baptizing 10, Mr. Curry resigned, most probably on account of failing health. He died in 1844.
Thomas S. Malcom a son of the late venerable Howard Malcom, and a native of Pennsylvania, came with his father to Kentucky at the time the latter assumed the presidency of Georgetown College, in 1840. In the spring of 1842, he aided Mr. Willard in a protracted meeting at the 2nd Baptist church in Louisville, being a licensed preacher at that time. On the resignation of Mr. Willard, Mr. Malcom was called to succeed him as pastor of the 2nd church, to which office he was ordained July, 8, 1842. He served this congregation four years, during which time 124 converts were baptized for its fellowship, and its membership was increased from 96 to 171, Thomas S. Malcom was not only a most excellent preacher and pastor, but was also a young man of extraordinary practical intelligence and business energy. During his brief sojourn in Kentucky, he compiled statistics of all the associations in the State except one. He compiled a brief history of Long Run Association, from its constitution to 1842, and published various other historical tables and sketches, which have been of great value to the denomination, and, especially, to the historian and statistician. He resigned the pastorate of the 2nd church and returned to Philadelphia, in 1845.
George B. Peck was the son of a very plain old Baptist preacher of the name of Benjamin Peck, who lived many years in the neighborhood of Perryville, in Boyle county. He was also a brother of that excellent preacher, Willis Peck, well known in South District and Russells Creek Associations. He was regarded an abler preacher than either his father or brother. About the time that George B. Peck arrived at manhood, the Cumberland Presbyterians were numerous and influential, in Kentucky, and especially in Boyle county, where Mr. Peck was raised. The elder Peck had been in some difficulties with the church at Perryville, which may have prejudiced the young man against the Baptists. However this may have been when he made a profession of religion, he united with the Cumberland Presbyterians. Among these zealous people, he soon became a popular and effective preacher. But the change of the learned Thomas M. Rice, from the Methodists to the Baptists, stirred up much excitement and investigation. Only a few months
after Mr. Rice joined the Baptists, at Pleasant Grove church, in Jefferson county, Mr. Peck joined the same church. But unfortunately, this church, which has never been remarkable for its steadfastness in maintaining Baptist principles, received him on his alien immersion. The church soon afterwards called a council for the purpose of having him ordained. But when the Presbytery was informed that Mr. Peck had received no other baptism than that administered by Pedobaptist authority, they refused to lay hands on him, unless he would submit to baptism, according to Baptist usage. This he refused to do, answering that he would suffer the loss of his right arm rather than a repetition of the solemn ordinance. Accordingly the council adjourned, and the candidate was not ordained. This occurred in thewinter of 1841-2. Not long afterwards, Mr. Peck joined Clear Creek church, in Shelby county, and was baptized according to Baptist order. Here he was ordained to the ministry, by A. G. Curry, Smith Thomas and others, Sep. 13, 1842.
Mr. Peck was a sprightly, popular preacher, and was soon called to preach at Clear Creek, Union Ridge. Dover and Plum Creek. At the last named church, he preached one Sunday in the month, William Stout being the pastor. He was quite active in the ministry, a few years, both in Long Run and Salem Associations. But the Lord was not pleased to detain him long in his vineyard. He died of a violent fever, in the prime of life, about 1855.
James Mcquade Jr. was a son of the old pioneer, James McQuade Sr. He united with Brashears Creek church in early life, probably under the ministry of his father, but he did not begin to preach as a licentiate till about 1841. He was ordained in 1847, and took the pastoral care of, or at least, preached monthly to, Clear Creek and Dover churches, some two or three years, when he was attacked by paralysis, which closed his ministry, about 1851.
Benjamin Osburn Branham * was born in Georgetown, Ky., March, 1829. Being left an orphan almost in his infancy, he was raised by his uncle Ben. Osburn, a wealthy farmer of Scott county. About 1844, he went to Frankfort, and apprenticed himself to a house carpenter. Here he joined the church, and
* From E. Burris.
was baptized by Abner Goodell. In 1846, he went to Mexico as a volunteer, and, in the Battle of Buena Vista, lost his left arm. On his return home, he entered Georgetown College, where he remained a short time. In the winter of 1847-8, he was Doorkeeper of the House of Representatives. At the expiration of his term of office, he went to Port Royal, in Henry county. Meanwhile he had become "religiously demoralized," and was excluded from Frankfort church. At Port Royal he was awakened to a sense of duty, was restored to Frankfort church, and was soon afterwards set apart to the ministry. He was, at different times, pastor of Long Ridge, Lancaster, Shawnee Run, Salvisa and other churches, in Kentucky, and Greenfield, in Indiana. During the last few years of his life, he was pastor of the churches at Taylorsville, in Spencer county, and Buck Creek, in Shelby. He died of softening of the brain, Jan. 28, 1871.
Of the living ministers of this old fraternity, a number of whom are men of eminent distinction, there is space to say but very little.
Joseph Alexander Ireland M.D. is among the oldest living preachers of this Association. He was born in Jefferson county, Ky., Sept. 15, 1824. After obtaining a good English education, with a fair knowledge of the Latin and Greek languages, he entered upon the study of medicine, in which hegraduated, in 1851. After practicing his profession in Louisville some three years, he moved to his farm in Bullitt county, in 1854. Here he practiced medicine about ten years, when he was elected to a professorship in one of the medical schools in Louisville. From 1864, to the present time, he has filled a chair in one or more medical schools.
In his youth, Dr. Ireland professed Religion and united with Little Flock church in Bullitt county, where he was licensed to preach, in 1848. He was soon afterward ordained, and, at different periods, was pastor of the churches at Little Flock, in Bullitt county, Jeffersontown, in Jefferson county, and Jeffersonville, Indiana. Besides his labors in the ministry, he has performed valuable service to the cause of Christ in connection with the missionary enterprises of his denomination.
Aaron Brightwell Knight is also among the elderly ministers of Long Run Association. He was born in Todd county, Ky., Feb. 24, 1824. He professed conversion during an extensive
revival in Russellville, under the preaching of Wm. Vaughan and J. M. Pendleton, in 1841, and was baptized into the fellowship of Russellville church, by Samuel Baker, in 1842. In 1845, he graduated at Center College, in Danville, Ky. Being licensed to preach, by the Russellville church, in 1846, he went three years to Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey. He was ordained to the full work of the ministry, in 1850, after which he served Salem church, in Christian county, for a time. In 1858, he accepted a call to the care of Burks Branch church in Shelby county, serving in connection with it, for one year, the church at Clay Village. In 1871, he was called to the church at Simpsonville in Shelby county. Between this church and that of Burks Branch, he divided his time equally, till forced to resign the care of both, on account of impaired health, having served the latter 23 years, and the former, 10 years. He was Moderator of Long Run Association, from 1865 to 1877. He was Moderator of the General Association, in 1863.
Wm. W. Everts was called to succeed the greatly lamented Thomas Smith, in the pastoral charge of Walnut Street church in Louisville, about 1853, and ministered in that capacity some seven years. A man of excellent gifts and fine scholarly attainments, he was very cordially received by the Baptists of Louisville, and, indeed, of the whole State. He was a man of great energy and enterprise. As soon, as he was settled in the pastoral office, he began to lay plans for church extension, in the city. His plans appear to have been wise, and it is believed he would have accomplished much in strengthening the Baptist cause in Louisville, if he could have retained the sympathy and co-operation of his brethren. But he came to Louisville just at a time when the excitement on the Slavery question was at fever heat. He was opposed to slavery, and perhapswas imprudent in manifesting his opposition. Prejudice was soon excited against him, and strong opposition was created. The Baptists of the city were divided into excited parties. Dr. Everts was the recognized leader of the party which sustained him, while S. H. Ford (now Dr. Ford of Missouri) was recognized as the leader of the opposition. The excitement soon extended far beyond the limits of the city, and party spirit grew extremely bitter. Members excluded from, one church were immediately received into the fellowship of another. Councils
were called and bitter prosecutions were instituted. In the city the "Everts party" appeared to be in the majority; but in the country, the "Ford party" had the pre-eminence. The contention was kept up, with increasing bitterness, for several years. As to what the quarrel was about, or who was to blame in the disgraceful affair, are questions of speculation that will probably remain unsolved. Nor does it appear at all desirable that they should again be agitated. A thousand trifles, light as air, Were magnified under the pressure of strangely excited passion, and much harm was done the cause of Christ. In the midst of the trouble, Dr. Everts was called to the 1st church of Chicago, and accepted the call, about 1859. In that city, he accomplished a most excelent work. He is still living, and although somewhat beyond the meridian of life, he is yet able to perform much labor.
Samuel Howard Ford was a prominent member of Long Run Association, from 1853 to 1861. If he was not a native of Missouri he was raised up in that State, and there commenced his ministry. About 1851, he located in Paducah as a teacher. He remained there about two years. In 1852, he preached a discourse before West Union Association, on the "Past and Future of the Baptists". The sermon was published, and attracted some attention. The next year he moved to Louisville, and became joint editor, with John L. Waller, of the Christian Repository. He soon attracted the attention of the denomination as a brilliant writer, and an eloquent preacher. After the death of Dr. Waller, Mr. Ford became the sole editor of the Christian Repository, except that his brilliant and accomplished wife conducted the family department. The magazine soon became very popular, and so continues to the present time. Mr. Ford also edited the Western Recorder a part of the time that he spent in Kentucky. He was pastor of East church in Louisville, some years, and afterwards, of Long Run and Floyds Fork (now Fisherville), in the east end of Jefferson county.
In the Fall of 1861, Mr. Ford left Louisville privately, and hastened to share his fortune with the Southern Confederacy. He was a member from Kentucky, of the first Confederate States Congress. At the close of his term he went to Memphis, and from there to Mobile, Alabama. At the close of the war, he returned to Memphis. Here he was instrumental in establishing
a new church, to which he ministered, in connection with his editorial labors, several years.Subsequently he moved to St. Louis, where he still resides, devoting his time principally to conducting the Christian Repository, or, as it is now called, Ford's Christian Repository. Dr. Ford is now (1885) about 65 years of age. He has been conducting his valuable and deservedly popular monthly, about 30 years. He is still robust in health, and apparently able to perform as much mental labor as when he commenced his editorial career.
Notice of the younger ministers and a number who have been within the bounds of the Association but a short time, must be omitted for want of space.
[J. H. Spencer, A History of Kentucky Baptists, Volume 2, 1886; reprint 1984, pp. 171-192. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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