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

Volume VI, No. 1 - Winter 2014

Promoting and Preserving Our Kentucky Baptist History and Heritage

Our annual meeting of the J.H. Spencer Historical Society was held on November 11, 2013 at the Lone Oak Baptist Church in Paducah, Kentucky. We had our largest attendance ever for an annual meeting with 36 individuals present. We heard two very helpful historical presentations as C.C. Brasher spoke on "Reflections of My Baptist Role Models" and Ben Stratton spoke on "H. Boyce Taylor, West Kentucky's Most Influential Baptist Pastor." Once again we were able to set up a table in the exhibits hall where we gained five new members to our society. We currently have 90 active members of the J.H. Spencer Historical Society

During our business session the members of the J.H. Spencer Historical Society voted to publish a Volume 2 edition of Twentieth Century Kentucky Baptist Biographies. Dr. Bill Whittaker will again serve as editor of the volume. If you would like to submit the name or a biography of a Kentucky Baptist leader from the twentieth century that was left out of Volume 1, please contact Dr. Whittaker at The biographies should be 350-700 words (maximum) in length and 11 point Times Roman front with sources 9 point. The deadline for submission of material is April 1, 2014.

We still have a few copies of Volume 1 of Twentieth Century Kentucky Baptist Biographies. If you would like to purchase a copy, please send $30 to the J.H. Spencer Historical Society, P.O. Box 26, Farmington, KY 42040. This will be your last opportunity to purchase one, as we will now begin focusing on Volume 2.

During our business session we also voted to put together an advisory committee for the annual journal. This committee will be made up of the current and past officers of the J.H. Spencer Historical Society. Since our inaugural issue in August, 2009, five journals have been published. This committee will ensure that journal continues to improve in style and format.

Our seventh annual meeting will be held at the Living Hope Baptist Church in Bowling Green, Kentucky on November, 10, 2014. Mark the date on your calendars. We are also planning a spring meeting in 2014 in the eastern part of Kentucky. More details will be forthcoming as these meetings get closer.

At our annual meeting, several tracts and brochures of historical significance to our Kentucky Baptist heritage were handed out. Each of the materials was written by a pastor in the Jackson Purchase region of Kentucky. Since you were not able to attend the meeting, we are mailing these to you. These include:

"How I Became a 'Narrower' Baptist" by Roy Mason. Mason pastored the Benton Baptist Church in Marshall County, Kentucky, as well as numerous other churches throughout the state. He is best known for his 1930 book "The Church That Jesus Built." In an article that was published in the Western Recorder, Mason shares how he came to write this influential book. Upon reading the book, his mentor and teacher, H. Boyce Taylor, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Murray, Kentucky proclaimed, "There is no better book than this, except the Bible."

"The New Birth" by L.R. Riley. Riley pastored the Lone Oak Baptist Church in McCracken County as well as many other churches in western Kentucky. While he was a great evangelist and pastor, Riley was best known as the last of the debaters in west Kentucky. He held 18 public debates in west Kentucky and west Tennessee, mostly with Church of Christ preachers. In this pamphlet he shows the reasons baptism has nothing to do with the New Birth.

"Why We Worship God on Sunday Instead of Saturday" by J.M. Hooker. Hooker pastored twelve different churches in Graves County, as well as other churches in west Kentucky. This article, which originally appeared in the Western Recorder, contains his arguments presented to a Seven Day Adventist preacher in Ballard County, Kentucky.

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

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


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