Kentucky Baptist Institutions
In this chapter we give a short history of the Kentucky Baptist Institutions now existing. Space does not allow an account of the many Baptist institutions which rendered efficient service in Kentucky for a time but now extinct. The list would be long. We will name simply The Western Baptist Theological Institute, Covington; Clinton College, Clinton; The Baptist Female Academy, Danville; Bardstown Baptist Female College; Lynland College; Ohio Valley Baptist College, Sturgis; Choctaw Academy, near Georgetown, a school for Indians; a number of Baptist papers, missionary and educational societies that operated for a time and passed away.
One writer says, "There were fifteen Baptist female schools in Kentucky at one time." The institutions herein named are given in the order of their beginnings.
The Western Recorder
The author has had much trouble trying to get a connected and complete account of the establishing and developing of a Baptist paper in Kentucky. There are conflicting accounts given by writers on the early history of Kentucky Baptists at several points. The author has taken the dates which seem to be most consistent with all the facts.
It seems that the first effort to establish a Baptist paper in Kentucky was in 1812. Elder Stark Dupuy, according to Spencer (Vol. I, p. 347): "In 1812 commenced the publication of the Kentucky Missionary and Theologian, he being sole editor. It was a quarterly magazine, four numbers of which made a volume of 244 pages." This paper was discontinued
the following February on account of the War of 1812, according to the statement of the editor. "Mr. Dupuy," says Spencer, "was doubtless the first Baptist editor of a religious periodical west of the Alleghany Mountains."
The next effort, according to history, was in 1813. "Silas M. Noel commenced, in 1813, the publication of The Gospel Herald." (Spencer, Vol. I, p. 347.) This paper, which was a monthly, was soon discontinued for lack of patronage. The next Baptist newspaper venture in Kentucky seems to date from l826. Our great Kentucky Baptist historian, Spencer (Vol. I, p. 217), says: "About the beginning of the year 1826, George Waller and Spencer Clack began the publication of a paper (at Bloomfield, Kentucky,) called The Baptist Register. It was a semi-monthly and proposed to 'endeavor to strip religion of everything like the traditions of men, and 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 was changed to a monthly. Meanwhile the Baptist Chronicle, having been established by Uriel B. Chambers at Frankfort, the Baptist Recorder was soon discontinued."
Again Spencer tells us (Vol. I, p. 597), concerning the Baptist Recorder: "Its issue was continued about four years, when it was succeeded by the Baptist Herald, afterwards called the Baptist Chronicle, edited by Uriel B. Chambers, Esq., at Frankfort, Kentucky."
Just how long the Chronicle continued we have not learned, but in i832 we find Mr. Chambers starting another paper, which indicates that the Chronicle had been discontinued. The next effort, the fifth, to establish a Baptist paper in Kentucky was in 1832, according to Spencer (Vol. I, p. 652). The Baptist State Convention started "The Cross and Baptist Banner, the first Baptist weekly that was published in Kentucky. The first number had been issued previous to this meeting of the convention. Uriel B.
[p. p. 165]
Chambers was its editor, and assumed all the pecuniary responsibility." This is all we know of this paper. No further reference to it has been found. The next paper seems to have been started by James Wilson, M. D., at Shelbyville, in 1834. Doctor Spencer, in speaking of Dr. John L. Waller (Vol. I, p. 702), says: "In 1835 he became editor of the Baptist Banner, a bi-weekly religious newspaper, which had been established at Shelbyville, Kentucky, in the preceding year by James Wilson, M.D. Soon after Mr. Waller became editor of the Baptist Banner, The Baptist, published at Nashville, Tennessee, and the Western Pioneer, published at Alton, Illinois, were merged into it. The new paper took the title of Baptist Banner and Western Pioneer. It was moved to Louisville, where Mr. Waller continued its chief editor until 1841, when he resigned in favor of William C. Buck."
After the consolidation of the three papers the new paper became the denominational organ of Kentucy, Tennessee, Mississippi, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri Baptists. Under the editorship of the great Waller, the paper had the largest circulation in its history, except possibly during the editorship of T. T. Eaton, D. D., LL.D., who had associated with him as business manager Dr. W. P. Harvey, a man of unusual business ability. The statement is made by Doctor Harvey that "My recollection is that at one time we had a circulation of 27,500, with an advertising income of $15,000 per year." This record has never been duplicated.
From the foregoing facts it seems that the Western Recorder is the lineal descendant of the Baptist Banner started in Shelbyville in 1834. However, from the date on the Western Recorder they evidently number their volumes from the beginning of the Baptist Register, Bloomfield, 1826, later the Baptist Recorder. We find no connecting link between these two papers, however. Doctor Eaton, at the time editor, told the author that the Western Recorder
continued the volumes of the Baptist Recorder, Bloomfield.
An old copy of the Baptist Banner, in our possession, dated February 28, 1849, published at 47 Wall Street, Louisville, Ky., is numbered Vol. XVI, No.9. Also an old copy of Western Recorder, which we have, dated October 22, 1851, is numbered Vol. XVIII, No. 43. These numbers show that the connection with the Bloomfield paper was made later. Of these two old papers W. C. Buck is editor of the former, and of the latter John L. Waller, R. L. Thurman and A. W. LaRue are editors.
"William C. Buck continued as editor of the Baptist Banner and Western Pioneer about nine years," says Spencer. John L. Waller again became editor in 1850 and remained in this position until his death, October 10, 1854. Spencer adds, "Meanwhile the name of the paper was exchanged in 1851 for that of the Western Recorder." (Vol. I, p. 703.) An old copy of the Recorder, dated September 27, 1854, gives John L. Waller and S. H. Ford as editors. Then another old copy, dated December 6, 1854, gives S. H. Ford as editor. This shows that Ford succeeded to the sole editorship on the death of Waller. However, Ford did not continue as editor of the paper until the fall of 1861, as generally believed.
An old copy of the Recorder, now in the hands of the editor, dated March 3, 1858, gives Dr. J. Otis, editor. Dr. Otis was editor until 1860. In June, 1861, S. H. Ford is named as editor again. It has been claimed that the paper was suspended during the Civil War.
Doctor Armitage in his history of the Baptists (p. 884), in giving a history of the Western Recorder, says: "During a part of the Civil War its issue was suspended, but it was resumed in 1863."
Here again an old copy of the paper comes to our rescue. An old Recorder, now in the hands of the author, dated Saturday, June 28, 1862, edited by Chas. Y. Duncan, says: "It is now four months since we
resumed the publication of the Recorder, after its temporary suspension." This shows that the publication was resumed about the last of February, 1862.
Armitage is correct when he says the paper "was suspended a part of the time during the Civil War," but is in error when he says its publication" was resumed in 1863," as this old copy of 1862 proves. We learn also from this old paper that Duncan (not mentioned by Spencer) preceded A. C. Graves as editor.
In this issue of June 28, 1862, Editor Duncan says: "We have arrived at the time when we wish to make some radical improvements of the Recorder. As heretofore announced, we wish this week's issue to enlarge and in every way improve it. Conscious of our own individual inability to conduct it, we have procured the services of Rev. S. F. Thompson, of Shelbyville, a young man of piety, education, talent and position." This suggests that S. F. Thompson was editorial writer for the paper for a time.
The Recorder of October, 1863, states that the paper had been suspended for fifteen months and on June 25, 1864, the Recorder united with the Baptist Book Store owned by G. W. Robertson; then in July, 1864, A. C. Graves and J. C. Waller are named as editors. It seems that Graves continued only a short while and Waller's name is continued as editor up to October, 1866. R. M. Dudley is named as editor January 12, 1867, and August 1, 1868, J. W. Rust is associated with Dudley. June 15, 1870, W. W. Gardener and L. B. Woolfolk are named as associate editors; then in June, 1871, Dr. G. W. Varden seems to have taken Woolfolk's place. July 8, 1871, A. S. Worrell and A. C. Caperton are named as co-editors. It seems that Worrell bought the paper and sold one-half interest to Caperton, then nothing appears in the paper about Doctor Worrell but Caperton is named as editor and proprietor. In October, 1887, Caperton sold out to Harvey, McFerran Co. and Dr. Eaton became editor.
Then follows the long and brilliant editorial
career of the immortal T. T. Eaton, D., LL. D., until his death, June 29, 1907, a period of nearly twenty years. After the death of Doctor Eaton, Dr. J. M. Weaver supplied as editor until the election of Dr. C. M. Thompson, 1907. Doctor Thompson served about two years. His editorial work was of a high order. He was not a voluminous writer, but a careful and accurate one. Dr. J. G. Bow, a man who has filled a large place in the denominational life of the Baptists of Kentucky, was associate editor with Doctor Thompson and business manager of the Baptist Book Concern, which published the Recorder.
The editorial career of J. W. Porter, D. D., LL. D., the brilliant and versatile, began in 1909 and continued until February, 1921. Doctor Porter exhibited great ability as an editorial writer. This author was associate editor with Doctor Porter several years, which position he resigned when the paper was sold to the State Board of Missions, August, 1919. In February, 1921, Dr. V. I. Masters, the present incumbent, became editor of the Western Recorder, which position he is filling with conspicuous ability. His writings are of a wide range and voluminous.
Dr. A. S. Worrell established and edited The Baptist Sentinel, Lexington, Kentucky. Before us at this time are several copies of this monthly magazine. The January, 1870, number is "Vol. I, No.3." This indicates that the Sentinel was launched November, 1869. In this January issue the editor says, "Brother D. B. Ray is now joint proprietor and assistant of the Sentinel." We do not know how long Doctor Worrell edited this journal, but a copy dated November, 1870, the latest we have, gives him as editor and D. B. Ray as assistant.
Georgetown College - 1829
Georgetown has been an educational center almost from the beginning of the settlement of the Mississippi valley. Early in 1788, Elijah Craig, a noted pioneer Baptist preacher of Kentucky, opened at
Georgetown, then called Lebanon, a classical school in accordance with the following quaint advertisement:"Lebanon, December 27,1787.Little is known of the history of this school, but in 1789 the Legislature of Kentucky, by an act founding academies in the state, located one of them at Georgetown, and gave its trustees 6,000 acres of land for its support. As a result of this, Rittenhouse Academy began its career. In 1829 Georgetown College was chartered and immediately acquired the property and became the successor of Rittenhouse Academy. Georgetown College is the first chartered collegiate institution of Baptists south and west of the Alleghanies, and under its present name is fifth among Baptist institutions in the United States. In a real sense Georgetown College is the direct descendant
"Notice is hereby given that on Monday, 28th of January next, a school will be opened by Messrs. Jones and Worley, at the Royal Spring in Lebanon, Fayette County, where a commodious house, sufficient to contain fifty or sixty scholars, will be prepared. They will teach the Latin and Greek languages, together with such branches of the sciences as are usually taught in public seminaries, at twenty-five shillings a quarter for each scholar. One-half to be paid in cash, the other half in produce at cash prices. There will be a vacation for a month in the Spring and another in the Fall, at the close of each of which it is expected that such payments as are due in cash shall be made. For diet, washing and house room for a year, each scholar pays three pounds in cash, or 500 weight of pork on entrance, and three pounds in cash at the beginning of the third quarter. It is desired that as many as can would furnish themselves with beds; such as cannot may be provided here, to the number of eight or ten boys, at 35s a year for each bed.
of the classical school above mentioned established in Georgetown by Elijah Craig in 1787.
This school was absorbed by Rittenhouse Academy, which was chartered, largely through the influence of Mr. Craig, December 22, 1798, and which was operated as a county academy until 1829.
Its quaint little two-story brick with the commanding cupola became the first building of Georgetown College. This building was the only one owned by the college until 1840 and was used regularly until 1860. If this descent is accepted, Georgetown College in age is second to Brown University among Baptist colleges in the United States.
The original charter in 1829, incorporated "The Trustees of the Kentucky Baptist Education Society" and empowered them to fill all vacancies in their own number caused by death, resignation, neglect, or otherwise; but by an amendment secured in 1851, the power to fill vacancies in the Board of Trustees was given to another corporation created for this purpose and composed of all persons who had contributed or who should thereafter contribute as much as one hundred dollars to the funds of the college.
In 1906 the charter was again amended in such a manner as to vest in the Baptist Education Society of Kentucky the power of electing the trustees from suitable nominations made by the original society.
Under this charter the college has had a continuous history from the year of its foundation to the present. Little by little it has grown in buildings, in means, in teachers, and in students. The Central building, now known as Giddings Hall, in which are most of the lecture rooms, was erected in 1840. Pawling Hall, erected in 1844 in recognition of the generosity of Issachar Pawling, was remodeled and much enlarged in 1877. The commodious building containing the chapel, library, society halls, and gymnasium, was erected in 1894; and Rucker Hall, the beautiful home for the young women of the college, was erected in 1895, and named in honor of Prof. James Jefferson
Rucker. The other buildings have been added at various dates as the means of the college have permitted.
Since its foundation many thousands of students have been enrolled in its classes and there have been nearly a thousand graduates. They are in every walk of life and in many of the states of the Union. About one hundred of them are now serving as pastors in the State of Kentucky and some are missionaries in foreign lands.
From the first the teachers in the college have been men and women of earnest Christian character, fit guides and exemplars for the students, with whose lives they have always been in intimate contact. Among these teachers are many whose lives are interwoven with the history of education in Kentucky.
The names of Rockwood Giddings, Howard Malcolm, Duncan B. Campbell, and Richard M. Dudley, former presidents of the college, are known by all who have studied Kentucky educational history, while the memory of Prof. Jonathan B. Farnam, Prof. Danforth Thomas, and Prof. James J. Rucker is cherished with peculiar veneration on account of their many years of consecrated service to the college by all those who have passed under their influence.
The younger men, who have in recent years been added to the teaching force, are most of them representatives of old and famous universities, and all of them specialists in their departments, but the qualifications especially sought after in their selection have been Christian character and sympathetic understanding of the needs and ambitions of the young.
For the first sixty years of its history, the college was conducted as a school for young men; but in 1892 young women were admitted on the same terms as men.
This step was taken in the belief that young women would not remain satisfied with an older type of eduucation
which had been provided for them on the theory of their incapacity for the higher standards required of men. The leaders of this movement in Kentucky, among whom Prof. J. J. Rucker stands easily first, had become convinced that young women are as capable of first class education as young men. The results at Georgetown College in co-education have amply justified the experiment. The fact that this college took the bold stand that young women would come to demand the best in education, and that Georgetown attempts to offer only this, has made it noted as a home for college women who have caught a vision of the opportunities for large service which this country offers to the young woman who will pay the price of thorough educational training.
Year by year the college views with increasing satisfaction the eager submission of mature young women to the labor required for the acquisition of a college education. The class of young women of intelligence and trustworthy character who heed the call of higher education insures the absence of those so-called difficulties of co-education which are said to exist in the popular mind.
Georgetown College sees its definite mission as a standard Christian college, working under the control of the Baptist denomination in Kentucky, and representative of its aims and ideals. It is a college in the true meaning of that term. It believes that the highest reality of true and useful culture lies, not outside of, but within the Kingdom of God; and so its educational work is deeply religious in the conviction that a life of efficient and faithful human service in obedience to Jesus Christ is the noblest career open to man.
The college endowment is now about $480,000, but at the end of the Seventy-five Million. Campaign, if the proceeds come in as planned and expected, the endowment will be slightly over a million dollars. The enrollment of students at this date is 358.
The presidents since the term of R. M. Dudley
have been in the following order: A. C. Davidson, B. D. Gray, J. J. Taylor, Arthur Yeager, and M. B. Adams, the present incumbent.
Bethel College - 1849
Bethel College was organized by the Bethel Association of Baptists of southwestern Kentucky in 1849, under the name of "Bethel High School." The main building was erected in 1852, and the school was formally opened in January, 1854, under the management of Mr. B. T. Blewitt. The school prospered and, upon the public demand for work beyond the high school, a new charter was obtained, and the institution entered upon its career as a college in September, 1856. Mr. Blewitt was made the president of the new college and continued with the institution until the summer of 1861, when the distractions of war made it necessary to close the school.
In the winter of 1861 and 1862 the building was used as a hospital by the Confederate forces until the fall of Fort Donelson, in February. In September, 1863, the college was reopened under Rev. George Hunt as president. The reorganization of the institution was accompanied by many discouragements. In 1864 Mr. Hunt resigned, and J. W. Rust became the president. Under his direction the institution continued to grow in numbers and influence until 1868, when President Bust was compelled to resign by reason of poor health. He was succeeded by Noah K. Davis. Under his direction the courses of study were divided up into schools, each school embracing all of the subjects contained in one line of study. Graduation was dependent upon the completion of the work in a certain number of schools. In 1869 there was established a Chair of English, so that Bethel was the first American college thus to recognize the importance of this department.
During the period after the war many additions were made to the college property and to the endowment fund. In 1872 the president's house was built,
and in 1876 N. Long Hall, the college dormitory, was erected. The endowment had steadily increased from $40,000 in 1860 to $85,000 in 1875.
Mr. James Enlow, of Christian County, in 1869 bequeathed to Bethel College about $6,000, the income from which, when it became available in 1872, was used as a loan fund from which to aid young men who were studying for the ministry in Bethel College. The "Ewing Professorship of Philosophy" was so entitled in consideration of the valuable bequests of Judge E. M. Ewing and his son, H. Q. Ewing. The "N. Long Professorship of English and History" was named in honor of the constant and devoted services as well as liberality of Mr. Nimrod Long, of Russellville. The Norton brothers - George W., William F., and Eckstein, all of whom were natives of Russellville - were liberal contributors to the funds of the college, and in grateful recognition of this fact the "Norton Chair of Natural Sciences" was so named.
During the administration of President Byland the heirs of N. Long and G. W. Norton offered to the board of trustees the property formerly known as the Southern Bank of Kentucky to be used as a library and for kindred purposes.
In 1908 Bethel College became affiliated with the Baptist Educational Society of Kentucky, which is striving to promote the welfare of the Baptist schools of Kentucky. The college has received considerable financial help from this society.
As a result of the great Seventy-five Million Campaign in the fall of 1919, the value of the work will be increased by the $200,000 assigned to Bethel College for needed buildings and endowment. The board has recommended the construction of a new dormitory for the exclusive use of college students and has authorized a campaign among the former students and friends of the school for the construction of a memorial chapel to be dedicated to Professor James H. Fuqua, who died in February, 1920, after intimate association with the college since its opening in 1852.
Presidents of Bethel College
B. T. Blewitt. 1854-61 College closed 1861-63 Rev. George Hunt 1863-64 J. W. Rust 1864-68 Noah K. Davis 1868-73 Leslie Waggener 1873-83 James H. Fuqua, Chairman of Faculty 1883-87 Rev. W. S. Ryland 1889-98 Rev. E. S. Alderman 1898-02 W. H. Harrison 1903-07 James D. Garner 1907-09 F. D. Perkins 1909-13 H. G. Brownell 1913-17 Rev. R. H. Tandy 1917-18 Geo. F. Dasher 1918-
Bethel Woman's College - 1854
Bethel Female College was the culmination of a desire of the Baptists of Hopkinsville and Bethel association to provide an institution in which young women could receive an education beyond that which they could acquire in the ordinary public or private schools. The movement for this school began to take definite shape in 1853, when public-spirited citizens of Christian and adjacent counties, by private contributions, raised funds to buy six acres of ground in which is now the heart of the best residence section of the city of Hopkinsville. In 1854 a charter was secured under the name of Bethel High School. In 1855 the cornerstone was laid and in 1857 was completed the splendid four-story building which, with its massive columns, still remains one of the most beautiful examples of Greek architecture to be found in the state.
In 1858 the school was given a new charter under the name of Bethel Female College. This charter was afterwards repealed, but the new name was retained.
In 1890 a charter was secured legalizing the name
Bethel Female College and granting to the institution the power to confer the usual college degrees.
The first principal of the institution was W. F. Hill, elected in 1856. He was followed in 1857 by J. W. Bust, who resigned in August, 1863, when the school was closed for several months. T. G. Keen re-opened the school in March, 1864, and continued as principal until 1866. The school was then quite prosperous. M. G. Alexander succeeded Mr. Keen and resigned in 1868, to be succeeded by J. F. Dagg. In 1874 Mr. Dagg was succeeded by J. W. Rust, who remained with the college until his death in 1890. For about a year the office of president was vacant, but in January, 1891, T. S. McCall, of Liberty College, was elected to the position and remained with the school until 1896, when he was succeeded by Edmund Harrison. After a very successful administration of thirteen years, Doctor Harrison resigned in 1909 and H. G. Brownell was elected to fill the vacancy. In 1914 W. S. Peterson was chosen to succeed President Brownell, who was elected to the presidency of Bethel College, for men, at Russellville, Kentucky. In 1908 the college became a part of the system of the Baptist Education Society, and in 1916, under the administration of Mr. Peterson, it was decided to cease giving the A. B. degree, to make Bethel a standard junior college and to omit the word "Female" from the name, substituting "Woman's."
During all these years the policy of the trustees had been to lease the building and grounds to the president, who conducted the institution as a private enterprise. For many reasons this was unsatisfactory; so in 1917, upon the resignation of President Peterson, a new policy was adopted. Under this policy the trustees elect all officers and teachers. They likewise become responsible for and control all expenditures.
Miss Clara Belle Thompson was chosen president and Mrs. Eager vice-president. Under their administration the results have been so satisfactory that the
trustees have decided to continue the present policy.
Upon Miss Thompson's resignation in the spring of 1919, J. W. Gaines was chosen president and during his first year the attendance increased three-fold.
The stately old building is a beautiful sight as it stands in the center of the large campus covered with blue grass and shaded by magnificent trees.
Year before last it was found necessary to increase the accommodations and a new residence hall was erected, forming a west wing to the old building. This building contains twenty-four bedrooms equipped with stationary washstands, with hot and cold water. The ground floor contains a well-equipped science laboratory and seven commodious class rooms.
Last year an east wing was added which contains thirty bedrooms, a well-equipped infirmary, four large music studios, twelve practice rooms and a thoroughly modern gymnasium. A swimming pool has also been added and the interior of the old building remodeled and renovated, making it the most attractive portion of the college plant.
Bethel Woman's College is a member of the co-ordinate school system in Kentucky.
The Louisville Baptist Orphans' Homes - 1869
In the years following the Civil War, the children orphaned thereby became a pressing problem to Dr. George C. Lorimer and his people, the Walnut Street Church. They did what they could, but despite their efforts Baptist mothers were compelled to allow their children to go into Catholic orphanage asylums. The Catholics then solicited aid of the Baptists for the support of their orphanages on the ground that they were caring for Baptist orphans. This was more than Doctor Lorimer could stand, and he cried out as he talked with his Ladies' Aid, "There must be an end to this. Who will kneel and pray with me, God helping us we will build a home for these orphan children?" All bowed and his petition as he led them in prayer was one that had power with God and men.
The die was cast. The thing was done. The work was at once initiated. Some three years later, on June 30, 1869, the "Home for Helpless Children" was opened in rented quarters at 828 West Walnut Street. W. L. Weller of sainted memory guaranteed the first year's rent. God's favor was upon the enterprise. His first great gift to the work was Miss Mary Hollinsworth, who answered the call on July 6, 1869, and continued as the superintendent until March, 1905, when forced to retire by the infirmities of age. The home was chartered January 29, 1870. Ground was broken for the first wing of the present building at First and St. Catherine Streets, March 21, 1870, and the same was formally opened on December 19, 1870. This was made possible by the gift of the site by Dr. J. Lawrence Smith and wife, and the first $10,000 by three sisters - Mrs. J. Lawrence Smith, Mrs. W. B. Caldwell, and Mrs. John Caperton. The additional $10,000 needed was in the main raised by Mrs. Arthur Peter and other women of the committee. Through the efforts of Dr. W. M. Pratt, the home in 1872 was provided with the nucleus of a splendid library for that day. A thorough canvass by Prof. J. W. Rust in 1873 laid the interests of the home upon the hearts of the Baptists throughout the state. As early as 1874 the need for enlargement began to be felt; but it was the challenging gift of Capt. W. F. Norton and his mother of $5,000 to the building fund on February 28, 1891, that aroused the Baptists to quickly subscribe the $22,000 balance needed for the erection of the central wing of the building. The cornerstone was laid October 13,1891, and the dedication occurred October 2, 1892. Doctors A. T. Spalding, E. C. Dargan and John A. Broaddus had part in the dedication exercises. The celebration of the silver anniversary of the home, due June 20, 1894, for good and sufficient reasons did not take place until October 2d. The occasion was made much of. Dr. T. T. Eaton gave the historical sketch. Dr. George C. Lorimer, then pastor in Boston, was the guest of honor
and made a masterly address upon "Memories of the past and deeds of the future." A collection for the home netted some $4,500.
From the organization of the home to the day of his death in 1883, Dr. J. Lawrence Smith was the president of the Board of Trustees. His brother-in-law, Dr. W. B. Caldwell, succeeded him and served until he "fell on sleep" in 1892. Dr. J. B. Marvin, already the physician of the home, was the next president. His years of service were suddenly terminated by death on September 2, 1913. Mr. Frank Miller, honored by the Board of Trustees as his successor, continues the faithful and efficient presiding officer.
Miss Mary Hollinsworth, from July 6, 1869, to March 31, 1905; Miss Mary E. Abercrombie, who had been secretary and assistant to Miss Hollinsworth, succeeded her. She resigned the work September, 1912; Miss Mattie Priest was the next superintendent, and so continued until she was called up higher on August 22, 1919, save for one year spent with her sister on the mission field of China. Rev. 0. M. Huey and wife took charge on November 15, 1919, as superintendent and assistant.
The home has a productive endowment of $287,823.69, largely the bequest of Capt. W. F. Norton, whom it was found upon his death had made the home his principal heir. Under the will of Captain Norton the income only from this endowment can be used for the maintenance of the home. It is in every way desirable that the endowment shall grow by gifts and a place in the wills of Baptists who want what God has entrusted to them to go on doing good after they are gone.
The Orphan's Friend
The official organ of the home was established in 1872 and has proven an invaluable aid in many ways. Its monthly visit is eagerly anticipated in Baptist homes all over the state.
The income from the endowment is the first source of support. The home is put into the budget of Kentucky Baptists each year for a definite sum. The two funds are not adequate to all of its needs.
The property is in good shape, the endowment funds wisely invested, and there are in the home at this time 130 children. Since the coming of the Rev. O. M. Huey, the home has increased its capacity from 120 to 135. During the long and useful life of the home, Louisville has furnished only some 16 per cent of the inmates, but above 75 per cent of the income, while from out in the state has come 84 per cent of the children and 25 per cent of the revenue. The home feels it has a strong claim upon the Baptists all over the state. The home in all of its long history has had but four physicians - Drs. G. W. Burton, G. H. Cox, J. B. Marvin and R. Lindsey Irland, all of whom have served without compensation. As a specialist, Dr. Gaylord Hall is now rendering invaluable services.
Cumberland College - 1888
The first suggestion of a Baptist College at Williamsburg, Kentucky, came in 1887 from Mount Zion Association, which met at Bethlehem that year. Late in the same year a special session of the association convened at Williamsburg. Rev. Green Clay Smith was present and gave such encouragement to the movement that $4,000 was subscribed. Articles of incorporation were also drafted; these were approved by
the legislature April 6, 1888, and Williamsburg Institute opened its doors for students January 7, 1889.
W. J. Johnson was chosen principal of the school and pastor of the church in 1889, apparently. Both of these positions he held for the ensuing year, but becoming absorbed in the task of raising money, he yielded the presidency of the school to Prof. E. E. Wood in the fall of 1890. Professor Wood was virtually president until the spring of 1919, although Rev. J. N. Prestridge was actually president for a brief period.
In 1892 the trustees obtained a conditional pledge of $10,000 from the American Baptist Education Society, provided an additional sum of $25,000 was raised for endowment. To secure this gift Dr. A. Gatliff gave $10,000 of the additional amount - his first large gift to the school. Through the unceasing efforts of the trustees and friends from the beginning of the enterprise unto the present the general endowment has been gradually increased until it now totals $275,000.
New buildings have been erected and additional grounds acquired as the need arose. The principal buildings are: Administration, Grade, Manual Training, Domestic Science, Johnson Hall for girls, Felix Hall for boys. The entire plant is valued at $200,000. The name of the institution was changed to Cumberland College in 1913.
Cumberland College is a first class "Junior College," that is, a college that completes freshman and sophomore work, and thus enables its graduates to enter the junior year of standard colleges. Fifteen units of high school work are required for entrance to the college proper. The only degree given is that of "Associate of Arts."
Williamsburg, the location of Cumberland College, is in the southern part of the mountains of eastern Kentucky, on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, about two hundred miles south of Cincinnati, about an equal distance from Louisville, and also about
ninety miles north of Knoxville. It is also on the Dixie Highway. It is a place of natural beauty and healthful surroundings.
In name and in practice the school is religious. Not only is the Bible taught as a text-book, but in all the work of the institution it is honored. In chapel especially, but also in all the departments, religion is inculcated and a spiritual atmosphere is maintained. AH pupils are required to attend chapel services every morning, and church at least once every Sunday. The school is under Baptist auspices, and all students are welcome at the Baptist Church; yet in selecting a place of worship they are allowed to exercise conscientious preferences.
The Rev. Charles William Elsey, D. D., was elected president of the institution in May, 1921, succeeding Prof. A. R. Evans, acting president during the term 1920-21.
The Baptist Ministers' Aid Society of Kentucky - 1888
The Baptist Ministers' Aid Society of Kentucky was organized at Eminence, Kentucky, June 21, 1888, and incorporated April 19, 1890.
The Rev. J. S. Felix, D. D., pastor First Baptist Church, Owensboro, was largely responsible for bringing into existence this organization, and is the first named on the board of incorporators.
The purpose of the institution as set forth in the articles of incorporation is "to provide for disabled Baptist ministers and missionaries, and the dependent infant orphans of Baptist ministers and missionaries in the State of Kentucky during the time of their disability with a comfortable home and the necessities of life, together with medical attendance and, in case of death, with respectable burial." Noble purpose!
The maximum of the endowment was fixed at $50,000. At Hopkinsville, November, 1921, the General Association voted to change this to $100,000, so bequests for this purpose could be accepted. This
society has done a great work in helping to better care for our old and dependent preachers. While the board is still intact and carrying on the business at Owensboro, Kentucky, our beneficiaries are being served by the "Relief and Anuity Board" of the Southern Baptist Convention, located at Dallas, Texas. The Baptist Ministers' Aid Society of Kentucky has proven to be a very valuable institution.
Russell Creek Baptist Academy - 1906
Situated at Campbellsville, Taylor County, Kentucky. The origin of this school was at the session of the Russell Creek Association, at Salem Church, in September, 1900, when a committee, with H. C. Wood as chairman, was appointed "to raise funds to build, equip and put in operation a Baptist school, to be known as the Baptist Academy of the Russell Creek Association."
Under the leadership of those great Baptist laymen, Judge James Garnett, Sr., B. W. Penick, the Rev. J. S. Gatton and the Rev. W. T. Underwood and their associates, the school was incorporated under the corporate name of the "Educational Committee of the Russell Creek Association." In 1906 a suitable site of ten acres of land in Campbellsville, Kentucky, was purchased and the erection of the Administration Building and a three-story dormitory for girls - both brick buildings - were erected. The dormitory was named after J. S. Stapp, who gave largely to its erection.
In 1914 a farm of fifty-two acres near the campus was purchased for demonstration and experimental purposes, J. H. Kinnard of Red Lick, Kentucky, contributing the purchase price. A lot adjoining the farm has recently been bought and a six-room residence erected thereon for use of the school farmer.
In 1918 a house and lot adjoining the campus was purchased and a large addition built thereto, making a dormitory for the boys with thirty rooms. In 1919 another lot containing an acre of land and a two-story
dwelling with verandas and also outbuildings was conveyed to the school by Mr. C. L. Brady of Springfield, Kentucky, and in the same year an addition of eight acres of land adjoining the campus was purchased and added to the campus, making a campus of eighteen acres besides the two adjoining lots and the farm.
The girls' dormitory contains more than thirty rooms, besides dining-rooms, kitchen and halls. The buildings are all situated on a beautiful elevation and are both attractive and substantial.
This school is a member of the Baptist Education Society of Kentucky, and A-l accredit academy, and is so recognized by the State Department of Education, as well as by the denomination.
The course of study extends from the primary through four years of high school. Special courses are given in music, art, expression, domestic science and normal training.
The Bible is taught in every grade every day.
The aim of the academy is to be thorough in all of its work, and not only to give an education, but to instill into the minds and hearts of the pupils the teachings and principles of Jesus; and to do it from the Baptist viewpoint. The enrollment each year has exceeded 300.
Kentucky Baptist Children's Home - 1915
For a number of years the conviction had been growing that the Baptists of Kentucky ought to own and control a home in which to care for orphan and indigent children. In many sections of the state the demand was insistent, and the matter was discussed with earnestness in many Baptist gatherings. This conviction finally found expression in a memorial from the Ohio County Association to the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky in its session at Somerset, in November, 1914, calling for the establishment of such an institution. The memorial was received with enthusiasm, and after much serious consideration the body voted to appoint the following committee: S. E. Tull, Paducah, Ky.; T. H. Athey,
Shelbyville, Ky.; W. L. Brock, Lexington, Ky.; W. M. Stallings, Smith's Grove, Ky.; W. W. Horner, Louisville, Ky.; Thomas D. Osborne, Louisville, Ky.; Edw. C. Farmer, Louisville, Ky.; J. E. Martin, Jellico, Tenn.; and S. M. McCarter, Lawrenceburg, Ky., with full power to act in the establishment of a Kentucky Baptist Children's Home, said committee to become the trustees of the institution. Acting upon the instructions of the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky, the beautiful and commodious property near Glendale, Hardin County, Kentucky, formerly Lynnland College, consisting of sixteen acres of land and the buildings thereon, was purchased and equipped. Elder A. B. Gardner, Beaver Dam, Kentucky, was elected as the superintendent, and on June 23, 1915, the home was opened for the reception of homeless, destitute children. Brother Gardner continued as superintendent until December 31, 1916, when on account of failing health he was forced to give up the work that held such a large place in his loving heart. On October 12, 1918, he was called to his eternal home. During his superintendency there were 113 children received into the home, and he laid the foundation of what is confidently expected to be one of the greatest institutions of its kind in the United States. In 1916 the trustees purchased 120 acres of land, known as the Walker farm, situated a short distance from the home. On January 1, 1917, Rev. J. W. Vallandingham, at that time pastor of Gilead Baptist Church, Glendale, Kentucky, and a member of the Board of Trustees was elected superintendent and Mrs. Vallandingham was elected matron. Brother and Sister Vallandingham continued the work so ably begun by Brother Gardner. Many improvements were made, including a large front porch and two large dormitories, waterworks and electric lights were installed and plans were made for more extensive improvements in the future. In June, 1919, realizing that his physical condition was such that he could no longer carry the burden, Brother Vallandingham
tendered his resignation to the Board of Trustees, which was reluctantly accepted, and M. Geo. Moore, a layman, member of the First Baptist Church of Lexington, Kentucky, who was at that time and for seven and a half years previously superintendent of the Pythian Home of Kentucky, located at Lexington, was elected superintendent and Mrs. Moore elected matron. Mr. and Mrs. Moore took charge on August 14, 1919. In 1920, 173 acres of land, known as the Monin farm, adjacent to the home on the south side and extending to Nolin River, was purchased, making a total of 309 acres owned by the home which, together with improvements and personal property, is worth approximately $140,000. From June 23, 1915, to November 1, 1921, 321 children have been cared for, 146 of whom were in the home on the last named date.
It will be observed that the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is not included in this list of "Kentucky Baptist Institutions." While the seminary is located in Louisville, Kentucky, it is not a "Kentucky Institution," but a southwide institution. This is the reason why it is not included in this chapter. The seminary is a great and worthy institution, deserving the sympathy and support of our people.
Nowlin's Kentucky Baptist History
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