The J.H. Spencer Historical Society

Circular Letter
Volume V, No. 1 Winter 2013
Promoting and Preserving Our Kentucky Baptist History and Heritage

To the Members of the J.H. Spencer Historical Society

Our fifth annual meeting of the J.H. Spencer Historical Society was held on November 11, 2012 at the Immanuel Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky. We had our largest attendance ever with 21 individuals present. We heard two very helpful historical presentations as Mickey Winter spoke on John Gano and Adam Greenway spoke on A.T. Robertson.

During our time of business we elected several new officers. Stephen Wilson, Chair of the Historical Department at Mid-Continent University in Mayfield, Kentucky was elected our new president. Rodney Skipworth, pastor of the Bellview Baptist Church in Allegre, Kentucky was elected our new vice-president. Ben Stratton, pastor of the Farmington Baptist Church in Farmington, Kentucky was reelected secretary / treasurer. We greatly appreciate the contributions of retiring officers Charles Blair and Stan Williams. They will continue to be consulted for advice and suggestions.

We are pleased to announce that we are sold out of our book on "Twentieth Century Kentucky Baptist Biographies." We originally purchased 400 copies from Fields Publishing in Nashville, but these were all purchased by the end of November. We are currently printing a second run of 75 copies of this book. These will sell for $30 each. If you would like to order one, please send your check to Bill Whittaker, 105 Terrace Mnr. Glasgow, KY 42141.

We are also considering publishing a volume 2 of "Twentieth Century Kentucky Baptist Biographies." Numerous individuals have commented about important Kentucky Baptists who were left out of the present volume. If you would like to submit the name of one such individual who was left out or write a short biography about them, please contact Bro. Bill Whittaker at

The time of our annual spring meeting has arrived. We are hoping to have a meeting sometime around the month of April in the Pennyrile region of Kentucky. This will be a time of fellowship with several historical presentations as well. More details will be forthcoming. Everyone is invited to attend.

We also want to share an opportunity with you for Baptist History in Kentucky. Campbellsville University is holding their annual "Baptist Heritage Lecture Series" on Tuesday, February 26, 2013. The speaker will be Dr. Joe Early, Jr. and his subject will be "The Apocalyptic Beliefs of Thomas Helwys." Dr. Early is the Assistant Professor of Theology in the School of Theology at Campbellsville University. This lecture will be given in the Banquet Hall in the Badgett Academic Support Center. This building can be entered from the parking lot behind the Ransdell Chapel.

At our last annual meeting, several tracts and brochures of historical significance to our Kentucky Baptist heritage were handed out. Since you were not able to attend the meeting, we are mailing these to you. These include:

"Minutes of the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky, October 20, 1837." As many of you know, 2012 marked the 175th anniversary of the Kentucky Baptist Convention. This is an exact copy of the minutes from the very first meeting of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, then called the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky. Retiring president Charles Blair wrote a special introduction to this booklet.

"Restricted Communion" by J.W. Porter. Porter was actually a former pastor of the Immanuel Baptist Church, where the 2012 Kentucky Baptist Convention was held. He was one of the most influential Kentucky Baptists in the early twentieth century. In this tract he outlines his reasons why Baptist churches should practice restricted communion.

"Is the Call to the Ministry a Bible Taught Doctrine" by W.F. Lowe. Lowe was the father of the Graves County Baptist Association, serving as moderator of this association from its founding in 1893 until his death hi 1907. Lowe explains why it is necessary for preachers to be divinely called to the ministry.

"The Invisible Church Idea" by J.N. Hall. Hall was the most influential Baptist in western Kentucky at the turn of the twentieth century. He led in the organization of the West Kentucky Baptist Association and served as moderator of the association for 13 years. Here he declares his reasons for believing in local, visible churches.

Thank you again for your support and interest in Kentucky Baptist History.

Stephen Wilson, President
Rodney Skipworth, Vice-President
Ben Stratton, Secretary / Treasurer