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Kentucky Baptist History -- 1770-1922
By William D Nowlin
Chapter 4 -- The First Associations Constituted -- 1785

[p. 43]
It is customary with Baptists when they have a few churches close enough together for organization to form them into associations, and the early Baptists of Kentucky were no exception to this rule. Within four years and four months from the time the first church is constituted in Kentucky we find two associations constituted. The first of these was the Elkhorn which was constituted October 1, 1785, and the second was the Salem, constituted October 29, 1785.

The Elkhorn Association

Spencer says: "At the close of the year 1785 there had been constituted in Kentucky eighteen churches." He also says," The year 1785 was one of great interest, and much activity among the Baptists of Kentucky. Hitherto each little church had stood isolated from its sisters. No organization existed through which the churches could work together in harmony." John Taylor in his "History of Ten Churches" (page 55) gives an account of the organization of the Elkhorn Association. After speaking of the churches needing the aid of one another, he says: "We soon began to contemplate an association for that purpose and partly to bring about a union with the South Kentucky Baptists. We held a conference at South Elkhorn, in June, 1785, but failed in the Union with the South Kentucky Baptists; we agreed to meet as an association at Clear Creek October 1, 1785. Six churches it seems met, one of them was from Tates Creek, south side of Kentucky, there and then, Elkhorn Association was formed." They met and had preaching at 3 P. M., September 30th and "the day following their coming together the messengers
[p. 44]
adopted the following constitution," says Spencer, so formed their organization on the first day of October, as John Taylor says.

The Elkhorn Association was constituted of six churches, viz.: "Gilbert's Creek, Tate's Creek, South Elkhorn, Clear Creek, Big Crossing, and Limestone. The ministers representing these churches were Elders George Stokes Smith, John Price, John Tanner, Lewis Craig, William Hickman, John Taylor, James Rucker, John Dupuy, and William Wood. This body was enlarged nearly every year until it comprised thirty-eight churches extending from Columbia Church near the mouth of Little Miami, Ohio, to Cumberland, Tennessee." As this is the oldest association in the State we give a somewhat extended account of 137 years of her glorious history.

Large use is made at this point of Dr. W. M. Lee's "History of Elkhorn Association," presented as his thesis for the doctor's degree at the theological seminary, Louisville.

The Elkhorn Association of Baptists, the first association of Baptist churches west of the Alleghany Mountains, is at present composed of twenty-nine churches, and is located in east central Kentucky, covering what is known as the strictly Blue Grass section of the state. It includes all the Missionary Churches in Fayette, Woodford and Scott Counties, and some of those located in Bourbon, Grant, Franklin and Jessamine. It is bounded on the south and west by the Kentucky River, which with its picturesque canons furnishes perhaps the most beautiful and magnificent scenery to be found in Kentucky, and on the east by the south branch of Licking River, the divisive line between it and Union Association, which was organized out of Elkhorn in 1813.

The original territory of Elkhorn Association was not so delimited and circumscribed. At one time during its history (1792-1796) it included churches as far north as "Columbia in the Western Territory," now Ohio, and as far south as Tennessee County,
[p. 45]
Cumberland Settlement;" At this time it covered perhaps 15,000 square miles. During the one hundred and thirty-five years of its existence, the association has included, at different times, one hundred and seventeen churches. The larger number of these churches have been dismissed from time to time to form sister associations in correspondence with Elkhorn; some have been excluded on account of heresy; whereas some have withdrawn on account of dissatisfaction with associational discipline. The ranks of the following Baptist Associations have been strengthened by churches dismissed from Elkhorn, viz.: North District, Licking, Bracken, Union, Franklin, Green River, Tate's Creek, and North Bend. In addition to the above named sources of depletion, may be added the fact that during the war the churches composed of colored members withdrew to form associations of their own.

In 1827, James Fishback, pastor of Lexington Church, created a division in his church by trying to change the name of it to the "Church of Christ." He led off a minority of thirty-eight members and became their pastor. Rev. R. T. Dillard subsequently succeeded in uniting the two factions. H. Davidge of the Big Spring (Versailles) Church, created some stir by a pamphlet of the" Reforming" type, which he circulated. Campbell and his coadjutors won many of the best Baptist preachers and laymen over to the Reformation, prominent among them being Jacob Creath, his son, Jacob, Jr., William Morton and Jeremiah Vardaman. Many of the churches of the association contained members of strong Campbellite sentiment. Versailles, Providence, and South Elkhorn Churches were excluded from the association in 1830 and 1831 because of their Reformed ideas. Minorities were carried off from many of the churches. In one year (1830-1831) the membership of the association dropped from 4,321 to 3,201. The association entered this period with 48 churches and 5,291 members; it ends the period with 25 churches and 4,321 members.
[p. 46]
During the period it has lost 35 churches by dismission and expulsion; and has had twelve added to its membership. During the first year of the next period the membership will drop from 4,321 to 3,201. Yet the Kingdom of Heaven is growing all the while, we hope.

Most of the doctrinal controversy of the period was instigated by the Reformers. Worship was frequently disturbed by questioners and mockers, who would either arise and interrupt the speaker or else laugh out in meeting in scorn and derision. Large audiences gathered to hear debates on baptism, creeds, or missionary societies. The prevalence of doctrinal controversy fostered doubt and infidelity and worldliness among the unconverted. The churches allowed heresy and disregard to church fealty to go undisciplined.

An age of doctrinal polemics call for well equipped defenders of the faith. The great need of the Baptists was an educated ministry. Many of their most vigorous and aggressive ministers had gone over to the Reformers. A number of the enterprising ministers and laymen of the Baptist persuasion petitioned the state legislature, in January, 1829, for a charter incorporating a board of trustees called "The Kentucky Baptist Educational Society." This charter was granted. The society had in view the establishment of a college under the control of Kentucky Baptists. Both Versailles and Georgetown entered into competition to secure the location of the college. Georgetown won the prize by the gift of $6,000 and a lot of land. This, together with a gift of $20,000, donated by Isachar Paulding, constituted the property of the institution for the first ten years of its existence.

This period extends from the year of the Campbellite schism to the beginning of the Civil War. Political affairs affect the association scarcely any at all, until near the end of the period, when much confusion prevailed on account of the gloomy forebodings of war.
[p. 47]
The first year of this period witnessed the withdrawal of about 1,100 members from the churches; they followed the leaders of the current Reformation. In 1831 the association had only 3,201 members; in 1861, at the end of the period, her members numbered 7,760. This period is, therefore, a period of revivals and growth. It witnessed a growth of over 125 per cent. The first period of revivals was during the years 1837-1843, when 3,285 members were added to the churches. It was at this time that religious services were first protracted to the length of a week or more, in Kentucky. During the first four years of this revival period, Licking Association, which opposed the lengthy protraction of services, added to her membership only 106 members; during the same time Elkhorn witnessed the addition of 1,504 members to her churches. Elkhorn's next revival period came in 1855-1861, during which time 3,144 members were added to the churches by baptism.

Perhaps the principal cause of the recurrent revivals was the ardent missionary spirit which prevailed. The missionary activity of the period eclipses that of any former period. All varieties of missions received cordial and hearty support -- foreign, domestic, and Indian. Especially was this true of the latter half of the period. During the earlier half, there was considerable opposition to all benevolent enterprises and societies. Daniel Parker, John Taylor, and Alexander Campbell had sown the seeds of opposition to organized effort that bore corrupt fruit for many years. And the end its not yet. The progressive leaders and missionary organizers of the sect of the Disciples, which is rapidly crystallizing into a denomination, have considerable difficulty in eradicating the tares of the anti-organization spirit from the minds of the less cultured, and consequently more polemical, element of their body. The tares sown by Campbell have proven to be as hardy as the wheat he sowed.

Beginning with the revival of 1855-1861 a greater interest was taken in missions. Contributions grew
[p. 48]
much larger. The larger contributions are due also, to a considerable extent, to the improved method of securing them. Before 1855 efforts at raising mission money were delayed until the association met, and collections were then taken. But beginning with tpe year 1855, a plan of benevolent effort was adopted, which yielded far better results. In 1840 and 1841, respectively, $137 and $58.62 were raised by the old plan for domestic missions. In 1859 and 1860, respectively, $1,223 an $1,438 were raised for the same object, by the new plan. The association had urged the churches as early as 1848 to adopt this new plan of systematic benevolence, but they had delayed in the matter.

The General Association was organized in Louisville, October 20, 1837. In 1844, Elkhorn Association entered into full co-operation with it in all its plans. This was a great step forward, and was not accomplished without opposition. The dormant energies of Elkhorn Association were roused by her connection with the General Association. In 1840, Elkhorn recommended that her churches support Sunday Schools in their respective congregations. By 1845, only three churches had Sunday Schools. These were Mount Vernon, Lexington, and Georgetown churches. By the end of the period, however, there were thirteen Sunday Schools and twenty weekly prayer-meetings operative in the association.

Elkhorn Association is now passing through the one hundred and thirty-seventh year of its existence. It was born in the wild and romantic days of early Kentucky pioneer life, its birth being preceded only a few years by the birth of the American Republic. It counts many associations among its children and grandchildren. The association has today the largest number of white members that it has had at any time during its history. And it bids fair, in the good providence and grace of God, to do, in the years to come, a great and glorious work, for the advancement in the earth of the Kingdom of our Lord and Savior,
[p. 49]
Jesus Christ. Elkhorn at this time reports thirty-three churches, 10,837 members.

The Salem Association

The churches which formed the Salem Association were separated from those that went into the constitution of the Elkhorn by a vast wilderness still infested by wild Indians, and communication was difficult and infrequent at the time of which we write. Under such circumstances we are not surprised that the churches of the more westerly settlement were ignorant of what those on the Elkhorn were doing. But they, as their brethren on the Elkhorn, felt the need of an association in which they could meet at least once a year and devise ways and means for promoting the work of the kingdom. So according to Spencer's History (Vol. I, page 109f) "On Saturday, October 29,1785, four Regular Baptist Churches met, by their messengers, on Cox's Creek, Nelson County, Kentucky, for the purpose of forming an association. A sermon suitable for this occasion was preached by Joseph Barnett, from John 2 :17.

"Joseph Barnett was chosen moderator, and Andrew Paul, clerk.
"Letters from four churches were read and the following facts recorded:
"Severn's Valley, constituted June 18, 1781. Members 37. No pastor.
"Cedar Creek, constituted July 4, 1781. Members 41, Joseph Barnett, pastor.
"Bear Grass, constituted January, 1784. Members 19. John Whitaker, pastor.
"Cox's Creek, constituted April, 1785. Members 26. William Taylor, pastor.

"This was the second Regular Baptist Association organized west of the Alleghany Mountains. It was constituted only twenty-nine days later than Elkhorn Association, and evidently had not heard of the existence of the latter organization. For, after adopting the 'Philadelphia Confession of Faith, and the
[p. 50]
treatise of discipline thereto annexed,' they proposed correspondence with the Philadelphia, Ketocton and Monongahela Associations, without mentioning Elkhorn.

"The fraternity thus formed assumed the name of Salem Association of Regular Baptists, and comprised all the Regular Baptist Churches in Kentucky, west of Frankfort, the church on Brashears Creek having been dispersed by the Indians. It had but three preachers within the bounds of its immense territory, and it received but few accessions to its ministry, till it raised them up in its own churches. This body was very small at the beginning, and its growth was very slow till the great revival of 1800-3, when it received very large accessions, and has since maintained a prominent position among the associations of the state."

The South Kentucky

The South Kentucky Association is the third association formed, and Doctor Spencer fixes the date as May, 1788. Aspland says this association was constituted "about 1785." Other historians have followed Asplund and said it was "constituted 1785," but the old records fix the date as 1788. The churches composing this association were Separate Baptist churches (Vol. II., p. 81). "In the minutes of the proceedings of South Kentucky Association, at its annual meeting in 1791, the following item is recorded:

" 'The association agrees to abide by the plan upon which the churches of our union were constituted (an association), in October, 1787, and May, 1788.'
"That is, after the example of Elkhorn, they held a preliminary meeting in October, 1787, and met again the following May to complete the organization. The constitution of this ancient fraternity, therefore, properly dates from May, 1788.
"The preliminary meeting convened at Tates Creek meeting house, in Madison County, the first Friday,
[p. 51]
in October, 1787. Eleven churches were represented." In speaking of the "Regular" and "Separate" Baptists Doctor Spencer says, "it was a distinction without a difference." This distinction, however, soon passed away as the two branches .formed a union and called themselves the "United Baptists." This association held its last meeting in August, 1801. This was the meeting at which the "terms of general union" were ratified by this body.

Tates Creek Association

The fourth association formed was the Tates Creek, and according to Spencer (Vol. I, p. 277) was as follows:
"In 1793 a third effort was made to form a union between the Regular and Separate Baptists. At the meeting of Elkhorn Association, in May of that year, it was agreed that Ambrose Dudley, James Garrard, John Taylor, John Price and Augustine Eastin be appointed to visit the South Kentucky Association to confer with them on the subject of a union between the two bodies. Arrangements were made to have the churches of both associations to send messengers to a meeting to be held at Marble Creek, in Fayette County, in July. The meeting was accordingly held. A large majority of the messengers agreed on terms of union. But some of the Separates opposed the measure in such a manner as to defeat it. This so displeased some of the churches of South Kentucky Association that they at once declared nonfellow for that body.

"On the 23d of the following November four churches met, by their messengers, and formed themselves into an association under the style of 'Tates Creek Association of United Baptists.' This was the fourth association formed in Kentucky, and the first that styled itself United Baptists. This was done in imitation of the Baptists of Virginia, who had happily united and assumed this title six years before.

"Tates Creek Association did not, at first, adopt

[p. 52]
any confession of faith, but in general terms agreed to that adopted by Elkhorn and Salem. This gave some trouble, for, although Elkhorn entered into correspondence with the new fraternity immediately, it caused such uneasiness among some of the churches that she was compelled to withdraw her correspondence the next year. But in 1797 the correspondence was resumed, and has continued to the present time."
Tates Creek is still a live and vigorous association.

Bracken Association

The first [fifth] association constituted in Kentucky, according to Spencer (Vol. II, p. 96), was the Bracken, which was the eldest daughter of Elkhorn. "According to an arrangement made by Elkhorn Association, messengers from eight churches met at Bracken meeting house, near the present site of Minerva, in Mason County, on Saturday, May 28, 1799. A sermon was preached by the venerable David Thomas. James Turner was chosen Moderator, and Donald Homes Clerk. After proper consideration, Bracken Association was constituted in due form. Five of the churches, viz.: Washington, Mayslick, Bracken (now Minerva), Stone Lick and Locust Creek, had been dismissed from Elkhorn Association. The ministers of the new fraternity were Lewis Craig, David Thomas, Donald Holmes and Philip Drake. William Wood, the first preacher who had settled within the present bounds of Bracken Association, had been excluded from Washington Church the year before the association was constituted. The venerable and illustrious Lewis Craig was regarded the father of this association.

"This fraternity was small at first. At its meeting in the fall of 1799 it reported 9 churches with 600 members. It did not share so largely in the fruits of the "Great Revival," as did the other associations in the state. For, while the churches of Elkhorn reported, in 1801, 3,011 baptisms, and those of Tates Creek, 1,148, those of Bracken reported only 139.
[p. 53]
The body, however, enjoyed a steady, healthful growth till 1805, when it numbered 19 church with 1,865 members." This association reports now 28 churches and 2,442 members.

Green River Association

The sixth association formed in Kentucky was known as the Green River (Spencer, Vol. II, p. 105). "In 1799 there were about eight churches in what was known as the Green River country. In June of that year a conference was held at Sinking Creek meeting house, in Barren County, for the purpose of considering the propriety of forming an association. The conclusion of the meeting was, that it was expedient for the churches to associate. An appointment was made for a meeting at the Sinks of Beaver Creek, to convene on the third Saturday in the following October, to carry into effect the sense of the present conference. The time and place of meeting were afterwards changed. Accordingly, messengers from several churches met at Mount Tabor meeting-house in Barren County, on the third Saturday in June, 1800, and Green River Association of nine Regular Baptist churches was constituted in due form.

"A list of these churches is not now accessible; but those known to have been in existence at that time, within the territory occupied by the new fraternity, were Concord, Mud Camp (now Blue Spring), Mount Tabor, and Sinking Creek, in Barren County; Brush Creek (and probably Pitman's Creek), in Green County; Sinks of Beaver Creek (now Dripping Springs, in Metcalf County); Mill Creek, in what is now Monroe County, and Severn's Valley, in Hardin County. The last named had broken off from Salem Association, some years before, on account of that body tolerating slavery; hence its connection with Green River Association. It returned to Salem Association in 1803."

Spencer's account of Green Riyer Association shows that he did not have the minutes until the session
[p. 54]
of 1802, when he gives facts and figures according to the minutes, but the author, by the kindness of Hon. H. S. Robinson, Campbellsville, Kentucky, has before him the minutes for Green River Association for the years 1800, 1801, 1802, 1803 and 1804. These sessions are not numbered, but 1800 seems to be the first session. Doctor Spencer may be right when he says, "Accordingly, messengers from several churches met at Mount Tabor meeting-house, in Barren County, on the third Saturday in June, 1800; and Green River Association of nine Regular Baptist churches was constituted in due form," but if so this must have been only a preliminary meeting, for the old minute of that year reads as follows:
"Minutes of the Green River Association of Baptists.

"Held at Trammel's Creek Meeting-house, in Green County, on Saturday, November 1, 1800, and continued by adjournment until Monday the 3rd. Saturday, November 1, 1800. At 12 0 'clock Elder Carter Tarrant delivered the introductory sermon from Psalms 55-14. We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company. After the sermon business was opened with prayer, when Elder Robert Stockston was chosen moderator, and John Chandler clerk. Letters from nine churches were read, their messengers' names enrolled, and a list of their numbers taken, which are as follows:"
Here is given the list of the churches, the names of the messengers and the number of members in each church. The churches named are: Beaver Creek, Brush Creek, Pitman's and Robinson Creek, Sinking Creek, Trammel's Creek, Russell's Creek, Sinks of Beaver Creek, Barren, and Mill Creek. Of the nine churches they are all named for creeks but one. It will be observed that Severn's Valley is not in this list. Severn's Valley first appears in the minutes of 1801. The minutes of that year report nineteen churches, nine of which came in at that session, and Severn's Valley is named as one of the nine. Then at the 1803 session the minutes mention the fact that

[p. 55]
"Severn's Valley requests a letter of dismission from the association to join one more convenient -- granted."
According to the old minutes the nine churches of which Green River Association was constituted aggregated 361 members. The preachers in the organization, as far as known, were Alexander Davidson, Carter Tarrant, Robert Stockton, Robert Smith, John Mulky, Elijah Summers, Benjamin Lynn, and probably Alexander McDougal and Baldwin Clifton.

The association was constituted just about the commencement of "The Great Revival," and so the growth of the young fraternity was exceedingly rapid. Its third annual meeting was held at Mill Creek, in what is now Monroe County, July 31, 1802. Robert Stockton was chosen moderator and John Chandler clerk. Messengers were present from thirty churches, twelve of which had been constituted since the last session, which aggregated 1,763 members. The numerical strength of the body multiplied more than five-fold within two years. Benjamin Lynn, the Daniel Boone of the Kentucky Baptists, was present at this meeting, and was invited to a seat in the body. Elder Jonathan Mulky was present from Holston Association, in East Tennessee; Lewis Moore, from Mero District; Owen Owens, from Salem; and letters from Elkhorn, Bracken and News [Nuese] (N. C.). It was "agreed to open correspondence with all the Baptist associations in Kentucky." These were Elkhorn, Salem, Tates Creek, Bracken, North District, South District, and Mero District, the latter being partly in Kentucky and partly in Tennessee. This shows that there was a time when all the Baptists in Kentucky were united.

According to history there were six associations of Baptists in Kentucky in the year 1800, all of which have been constituted within a period of fifteen years. According to the minutes of Green River Association, 1804, that body was divided into three associations -- Green River, Russell's Creek, and Stockton's Valley.
[p. 56]
Spencer says (Vol. II, p. 252), "When Green River Association divided on the question of missions, in 1840, it (the Salem church) entered with seven other churches into the constitution of Liberty Association." This fixes the date when Green River Association became anti-missionary.

The space allotted to this chapter is too limited to give even the names and dates of constitution of all the associations (there being at this date seventy-six in the state). We shall give only items of special historical interest from the others, and a summary at the end of the chapter.

North District Association, according to history, resulted from a division of the old South Kentucky fraternity in August, 1801, and held its first annual meeting at Unity meeting-house in Clark County on the first Friday in October, 1802.

There are several very interesting items recorded in the history of this association as given by Spencer (Vol. 2, p. 119 ff) . One is the question of slavery which caused a division in the association as early as 1807, fifty-four years before the war between the states. "The question of slavery continued to be agitated in the bounds of the association for nearly twenty years," says Spencer. These facts will be brought out fully in the chapter on "The Emancipation Rupture."

The next item of interest is the question of Campbellism, which took root early in the association and caused another split. "Mr. Campbell visited Mount Sterling as early as 1824, and preached three sermons there. John Smith, commonly known as 'Raccoon' John Smith, the most attractive preacher and the shrewdest manager in the association, was speedily converted to his views. Several other preachers of less note soon followed him.. The churches withered under the constant disputations for two or three years. But suddenly, about the close of the year 1827, a powerful religious excitement began to move the people here, as well as all over the northern part
[p. 57]
of the state. Multitudes professed conversion and were baptized. The Campbellite preachers were by far the most active in this work. John Smith's biographer avers that Smith immersed most of the converts. Of course, they were 'baptized for the remission of sins.' This meeting has been called, not inappropriately, 'John Smith's Revival.' During the two years, 1828 and 1829, the churches of North District reported 1,059 baptisms, while five new churches were constituted 'on the Bible.' The association now numbered 24 churches with 2,265 members. But it was no longer a Baptist association. The Campbellites had an overwhelming majority in the association, as well as in most of the churches. The association went through the ordinary routine of business in 1829, and appointed to meet the next year at Spencer Creek.

"Instead of attending the meeting at Spencer Creek, where they knew they would be in a hopeless minority, the Baptists called a convention, which met at Lulbegrud, in April, 1830. Only seven churches were represented. The principal business transacted by the meeting was the examination of the records of South Kentucky and North District associations, to ascertain what had been the duties and customs of those bodies. The investigation showed that the established customs of North District Association had been repeatedly and flagrantly violated during the last three years." The full report of the committee appointed to make the investigation and the action of the body will appear in a chapter on "The Campbellian Split." "After giving their reasons for their conclusions, and transacting some other business, they conclude as follows:
'In conclusion, we declare that we withdraw from all churches that have departed, as before alleged, considering them in disorder and gone out of the union. But at the same time, our fellowship is not broken with such minorities, or individual members, as are content with former usages of the churches'" (Spencer, Vol. 2, p. 123).
[p. 58-59]

Summary by Associations [date not given].

[p. 60]
gives us an account of the beginning of Campbellism in Kentucky, the end of which is not yet.

The next item of special interest is the account of Anti-missions which practically killed the association. "North District Association held its first meeting after the Campbellite schism at Howard's Upper Creek, in Clark County, on the fourth Saturday in July, 1831. It embraced 11 churches with 950 members. Thomas Boone, David Chenault, and James Edmonson were the only preachers left in the association. Small as the body was then, it has never been so large since. It was acknowledged and encouraged by all the surrounding associations; but it gradually declined in numbers. The anti-missionary complexion of the body was manifested by its dropping correspondence with all the neighboring associations, except Burning Spring, between the years 1837 and 1842. In 1859 it assumed the name of 'Old Baptists,' which it still bears. At that time it numbered 9 churches, aggregating 337 members. It has had but little variation in numbers from that time to the present. In 1880 it numbered 9 churches with 417 members. From its organization in 1802 to the Campbellite schism in 1829 there were baptized into its churches 4,.075 members. During the 39 years of which we have reports, since the Campbellite schism, there have been baptized into its churches 513 members. Its name, 'Old Baptists,' indicates that it is an anti-missionary body." (Spencer, Vol. 2, p. 124f.)

Thus the once strong North District Association has practically died as the result of the anti-mission spirit. What the slavery agitation and the Campbellism split failed to do anti-missions accomplished.

At the close of the year 1800 there were in Kentucky six associations -- six churches belonging to the Mero District Association of Tennessee and three unassociated churches -- with a total membership of about 5,119. The six associations were EIkhorn, Salem, South Kentucky, Tate's Creek, Bracken and Green River.
[p. 61]
The decade following 1800 added the following associations: North District and South District were formed by disbanding the old South Kentucky in 1802, South Kentucky (1803), North Bend (1803), Long Run (1803), Russell's Creek (1804), Stockton's Valley (1805), Red River (1807), Cumberland River (1809), Licking (1810). As Long Run is the largest association in the state, we give here a short history of this body. The Long Run Association was constituted September 16, 1803, at Long Run Church in Jefferson County, Kentucky. It seems that practically all of the churches that went into this constitution were from the Salem Association, and according to a resolution adopted by that body at its nineteenth annual session. The Long Run body was constituted of 24 churches with a membership of 1,619. Immediately following the constitution of the association two other churches were received into their fellowship.

Long Run includes all the Baptist churches in Louisville, and those in Jefferson County outside of Louisville and a few outside of Jefferson County. At the present time they report 50 churches and 16,830 members. Their total contributions for last year is given as $427,548.08, while the valuation of church property is given at $1,091,529. This is a great association.

[William D. Nowlin, Kentucky Baptist History, 1922, pp. 43-61. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

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