From the beginning of the year 1791, our pioneer fathers could look over the labors, toils and dangers of the past ten years, with mingled feelings of thankfulness and regret. Much privation and labor had been endured, and many dangers had been encountered.
Many of their beloved brethren and sisters had fallen by the hands of the blood-thirsty savages, and, much suffering had been endured for want of food, clothing and shelter. Their labors in the gospel had produced as yet but meager fruits. The forty-three churches which they had gathered were all still in existence, except Gilbert's Creek of Regular Baptists, but they contained an aggregate membership of only a little more than three thousand, and a large majority of these had been received by letter. The clouds of Indian warfare hung darkly along their north-western border, and the news of murder and rapine constantly reached their ears, and filled their wives and children with alarm. But the outlook was far better, and the prospects much brighter, than they had been ten years before. They had become inured to toil and suffering, so, that even their women and children endured hardships, and dared dangers with comparatively little murmuring, or alarm. The forests had been cut away around their cabins, and the virgin soil produced an abundance of materials for food and clothing. Their dwellings had been better arranged for their protection against sun and storm. Many conveniences had been arranged for their comfort, and the "old settler" began to "feel at home."
Of the more than forty ordained, and twenty licensed preachers that had emigrated to the country, or been raised up in the infant churches, only one had been taken away.
John Gerrard had fallen by the hand of the red men. All the rest were in the field of labor, could these faithful servants of Christ have lifted the veil that hid from their eyes the next ten years, they would have seen an almost unbroken cloud of appalling gloom, hanging over the cause they loved so dearly, thickening and darkening, up to the very close of the decade. But happily they beheld only the past and present, and these inspired them with hope and courage.
Of the churches they had planted, many were feeble and ready to perish, but a number of them had grown strong, and were mighty bulwarks against the unrolling waves of vice and folly. Among the latter which still exists, may be named Severns Valley, Cedar Creek, Cox's Creek, Forks of Dix River, Shawnee Run, Hanging Fork (now New Providence), Tates Creek, Howard Creek (now Providence), Boones Creek (now Athen), Marble Creek (now East Hickman), Clear Creek, Bryants, Great Crossing, Forks of Elkhorn, Limestone (now Washington), Mayslick, and several others that have now grown feeble.
The foundation to build upon was laid broad and strong, and these men of God labored faithfully to build up tabernacles for the “habitation of God through the spirit.” During the year 1791, at least seven new churches were gathered, three of which are still in existence.
COVE SPRING, afterwards called Stony Point, church was constituted of thirteen members, dismissed from Hanging Fork, in the eastern part of Mercer county, in 1791. It was probably gathered by William Marshall, who was the only Regular Baptist preacher, laboring in that region, at that time Mr. Marshall was a member of Hanging Fork church, as well as its pastor, and had his residence in the Southeastern part of Shelby county, "at a place called the Knobs." Stony Point church united with Elkhorn Association, in August of the same year in which it was constituted. It remained a member of that body, till 1808, at which time it contained forty-seven members. It finally dissolved, several years ago.
STRODES FORK was constituted of nine members, and united with Elkhorn Association, in 1791. It continued to represent itself in the Association till 1796, when it reported nine members, having received but one by baptism during five years. It was probably dissolved about this time.
REUBEN SMITH was ordained to the ministry at Strodes Fork, in November, 1793. Bryants church refused to take part in his ordination because of the irregularity of his baptism. Soon after Strodes Fork church dissolved, Mr. Smith moved to Spencer county. Failing to unite with any church, after this removal, Salem Association, at its meeting at Cox's Creek, in in 1797, entered upon her minutes, the following item: "The Association advises the churches of this union to discontinue Reuben Smith from either preaching, or administering the ordinances amongst them, unless he unites himself with some church." In December of that year, Mr. Smith gave his letter to Elk Creek church, and in June of the next year, was chosen its pastor. He continued to preach to this church till May, 1818, when he resigned. He was recalled the next year, and preached to the church another twelve months, when he resigned again. Soon after this, he was dismissed by letter, and moved to Indiana, where he spent the remainder of his earthly life.
Reuben Smith was a man of strong intellect, and possessed good natural gifts for public speaking, but he was morose, stubborn and indolent. He lived always in extreme poverty, and murmured much about his charges not supporting him. He was arraigned before his church, at one time, for saying that the church had not paid him enough, during the nineteen years he had preached to it, to pay for the pins that fastened his children's clothes. At another time, he invited the brethren to visit him at his house, on a certain day. Many of them went. At dinner time he invited them to the table, on which there was nothing to eat but a large pone of corn bread. He apologized to them by saying: "Brethren, the fare is rough, but it is the best I have." Next day the brethren sent him a supply of provisions for his table.
He was inclined to be speculative in his preaching, and sometimes went beyond his depth. On one occasion he was preaching about the "sea of glass mingled with fire." He had talked but a short time when he became so much confused that he paused, unable to proceed farther. After a moment, he said abruptly: "Brethren, you think Smith's in the brush and can't get out: I'll show you. Let us look to the Lord and be dismissed."
TAYLORS FORK, a small church of nineteen members, was constituted and added to Elkhorn Association, in 1791. It seems never to have had a baptism into its membership. It reported twenty-two members, in 1794, and then disappears from the records. It was probably dissolved about that date.
GREEN CREEK church was constituted in Bourbon county, of ten members, on the fourth Saturday in April, 1791. It joined Elkhorn Association in August of the same year. It enjoyed some degree of prosperity till the great revival of 1800-3, when its membership was increased to 120. Means of tracing its history further are not at hand.
BLOOMFIELD church, originally called Simpsons Creek, like Cox's Creek church, from whence it sprang, has, from its constitution to the present time, been a large, influential body, and has held in its membership a large number of influential citizens. It is located in a small village, from which it derived its present name, in the north-eastern part of Nelson county.
Simpsons Creek church was constituted of thirty members, by William Taylor and Joshua Carman, March 12, 1791. Immediately after the constitution, William Taylor was called to its pastoral care, and Joshua Carman was invited "to serve us as often as possible." The church began at once to prosper. Some were baptized and a number were received by letter within a few months. In the year 1800 the church comprised about 110 members, to which 72 were added the following year. Strict discipline was maintained, and there wereoccasional baptisms, till the year 1816, when a great revival visited the church, and 116 were added to its membership, by baptism.
In December, 1820, the church invited Jacob Creath to preach for it. This proved unfortunate. Mr. Creath was among the first preachers in Kentucky to adopt and preach Campbellism. A number of the members of Bloomfield church imbibed his sentiments. The church continued them in fellowship, till 1834, with the hope of reclaiming them. Failing in this, they were excluded, to the number of fifty-seven. Among these was Jervis P. McKay, an ordained preacher. The church committed an unfortunate blunder in allowing these Schismatics the use of its house of worship. It is a great inconsistency, not to say a great sin, for a church to exclude its members for holding false doctrine, and then encourage them in teaching that
doctrine by allowing them the use of its house of worship.
From the death of William Taylor, in 1809, the church seems to have had no regular pastor, till 1834, when it called Isaac Taylor, a son of its first pastor, to that office. During this interval, it had a number of preachers among its members. These, together with other preachers within reach, who were invited to preach certain Sundays in the month, occupied its pulpit. This policy, although adopted by several of our most prosperous churches, in the early days of the commonwealth, is by no means commendable, for reasons not now necessary to be stated.
On Saturday before the second Sunday in February, 1836, William Vaughan was invited to preach to the church, in connection with "Father Taylor," and just two years afterwards, on the resignation of Mr. Taylor, Mr. Vaughan was chosen pastor of the church, and continued to serve in that capacity till 1869, when he was disabled by a fall. He was succeeded in the pastoral office by Thomas Hall, who still (1885) serves in that capacity. This old mother of churches, now surrounded by a number of daughters, with whom she has divided her ancient, extensive territory, till she has left only a small field around the old homestead, is still a strong and vigorous body, and a leading member of Nelson Association.
Of the early pastors of this church, sketches of the lives of William and Isaac Taylor have already been given. Of several others of her pastors and preachers, something may appropriately be said in this connection.
WALTER STALLARD was born in Culpeper county, Virginia, about the year 1750. In early manhood he married a Miss McClanahan, who bore him three sons and two daughters. The sons all died, unmarried. The wife died in 1782, and during the next year he came to Kentucky. He stopped a short time in a fort at the Falls of Ohio, and then moved into a fort near where Bardstownnow stands. Again, in a few months he moved to what is now Spencer county, from whence his next move was to the home above. About the year 1785 he visited Virginia, where he married a Miss Basey, first cousin to the famous old pioneer preacher, John Taylor. In 1791 he united with Simpsons Creek church by letter, and in November of the same year was appointed an elder in that church. In March, 1802, he was
licensed to preach, and was ordained to the ministry by Reuben Smith, Warren Cash and William McKay, August 13, 1803. It will be observed that he was now fifty-three years of age; but late in life, as it was when he entered upon his holy calling, he did much valuable work in the Master's vineyard. He was a man of sound judgment, good business habits and of unblemished reputation. He preached the introductory sermon before Salem Association, in 1815, and was at least six years Moderator of that body. He quit the scenes of earthly toil August 15, 1827. Many of his descendants are still living in Spencer and adjoining counties.
FRANCIS DAVIS was licensed to preach in Bloomfield church, in 1812. Not long after this he moved near Mount Eden, in Shelby county. He was a good man, an earnest Christian and a close student of the Word of God. Few ministers in his region of country were better versed in the sacred Scripture. He was called an excellent "fireside preacher," but his gift for public speaking was so poor that he did not succeed well in the pulpit. He was highly esteemed in love, and continued to exercise a good influence for the Master, till he fell asleep in Jesus, at a ripe old age.
SPENCER CLACK united with Bloomfield church about the beginning of the year 1825. He probably came from Pennsylvania, where he had studied theology under the distinguished William Staughton. He was a man of learning and culture, and his influence soon began to be felt, not only in the church at Bloomfield, but among the Baptists of Kentucky. He established a school of high grade in Bloomfield, in which many of the subsequently distinguished citizens of the surrounding country were educated. He was a man of activity and enterprise, as well as a strong, sound preacher. In 1825 he was elected clerk of Salem Association, and was by that body requested to write a history of that fraternity and present it at the next meeting for inspection. This task he performed to the satisfaction of the Association. The history compiled by Mr. Clack, with a full file of the minutes before him, was published, with the minutes of Salem Association, in 1826, and also copied into its book of records. It was an invaluable contribution to Kentucky Baptist history.
About the beginning of the year 1826, George Waller and Spencer Clack began the publication of a paper called "The
Baptist Register.” It was issued 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 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. But Mr. Clack did not cease to write. He wrote a series of letters to Alexander Campbell, and was a large contributor to the Baptist Chronicle. With constancy and great energy, he opposed Campbellism, from 1826, till that heresy was publicly condemned by Franklin, Elkhorn and Bracken Associations, and thereby separated from the Baptist churches, in the bounds of these old fraternities. Mr. Clack preached once a month to the church in Bloomfield. But the time had come when the Baptists of Kentucky must lose the labors of this able preacher, and writer, and the community around Bloomfield, a most excellent teacher. In 1832, he moved to Palmyra, Missouri, and, the next year, died of cholera.
HENRY THOMAS, William Thomas and Jervis P. McKay were ordained in Bloomfield church, Nov. 13, 1831. McKay soon afterwards joined the Campbellites, and has continued, to the present (1885), preaching their peculiar dogmas. William Thomas moved to Missouri, where, it is believed, he also became a Campbellite.
Henry Thomas was a man of excellent preaching abilities, and was highly esteemed among the brethren. He had been invited to preach to the church at Bloomfield, before he was ordained, In 1834, Isaac Taylor was called to the care of Bloomfield church. About this time Mr. Thomas moved to, or near Greensburg, where he labored with much acceptance, some years, and then moved to Missouri.
DANIEL S. COLGAN was licensed to preach, at Bloomfield, May 13, 1832. For a number of years, he was active and very successful, especially as an Evangelist. But after his marriage, he became less active in the ministry. He lived at Lebanon, a number of years. For many years past he has lived at Owensboro. He is getting quite old, now, and preaches very seldom.
WILLIAM VAUGHAN was the most eminent minister that has served the church at Bloomfield. He was the strongest and longest link that united the pioneer preachers with those of the present generation, and partook largely of the best qualities of both classes. He labored in the ministry, with Lewis Craig, John Taylor, William Hickman, Ambrose Dudley, Joseph Redding and many other illustrious pioneers of the cross, in Kentucky, and then lived to thrill the hearts of the ministers of the present generation, with his words of encouragement, in the great centennial convention that met at Louisville, in 1876.
William Vaughan was born in Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, February 22, 1785. His father, John Vaughan, and his grandfather were born in New Jersey. His great grandfather was born in Wales, and was a Baptist deacon. John Vaughan emigrated to Kentucky, and settled in Scott county, in 1788. He was a Baptist. William was sent to school nine months, in his eighth year. At this school, he made a very unpromising beginning, in preaching. During playtime, one day, Dick Applegate, Dick McClure and Green Roberts, agreed to preach. The gutter of a stick and dirt chimney was their pulpit. Applegate preached first. The full text of his sermon was this: "If all the men in the world were one big man, and all the axes in the world were one big ax, and all the trees in the world were one big tree, and all the rivers in the world were one big river, and that mighty man should take that mighty ax, and cut down that mighty tree into that mighty river, there would be a mighty slish slosh." Roberts followed, and preached the same sermon. McClure preached next. His sermon was: "Oh what a cruel place hell is!" "I thought their preaching very foolish," said Mr. Vaughan, "and I determined to do better." The following is the full text of Vaughan's sermon: "Boys, if you break the Sabbath, or tell stories1 or swear; or don't mind your mammy and daddy, or don't mind your books, and be good boys, you will die and go to hell -- a lake of blue blazes, burning with fire and brimstone. And when you ask for water the devil will melt lead in a ladle, and pour it down your throat." The sermon was not a bad one, for a boy under eight years of age. But it was a costly one to the
young preacher. The ignorant and brutal teacher flogged him so severely for preaching it, that he carried the marks twelve months. He attended this school without shoes or hat. He commenced at the alphabet, and learned to read the Bible, which was his school book, with some facility, at this school. At about the age of ten years, he went to school three months. After this, he attended night writing school, two weeks, and again, at the age of fifteen years, he went to a writing school thirteen nights. He labored with his father, who was a farmer, and a tanner, till his father’s death, which occurred in November, 1795. After the death of his father, he labored on the farm three years, aiding his mother in supporting a family of five daughters and four sons. One of the latter was his twin brother.
At the age of eighteen years, young Vaughan apprenticed himself to Lawson McCullough, a tailor, in Lexington, where he remained four years. At the close of his apprenticeship, he married Miss Lydia Wing Allen, a native of New Bedford, Massachusetts, and the only daughter of Elisha Allen, then ofLexington, Kentucky. She had been raised in the faith of the Quakers. Soon after his marriage, Mr. Vaughan established himself as a tailor, in Winchester, his wife assisting him in his business. They were very poor, and had to labor very hard to make a living.
This was the period of infidelity, in Kentucky. Tom Paine's Age of Reason was extensively circulated, and was very popular. Deism was the fashionable religion of the day. Most of the professional men, and such others as desired, to make the impression that they were wise, or learned, avowed themselves, infidels. Mr. Vaughan was fond of reading, and had a great thirst for knowledge. He procured the writings of Paine and Volney, and, after reading them, professed infidelity, and joined an infidel club, in Winchester. He ceased going to religious meeting, and became recklessly profane. Like many other towns, at that period, Winchester had no place of worship. Even Louisville had no house of worship, at that time. Mr. Vaughan joined the infidel club, merely for, the pleasure and the social and intellectual advantages he expected to derive from it. "I never expected," said he, "to die in that
faith." Mr. Vaughan relates his experience of that period, as follows:2
"In August, 1810, I and four or five others went to see a sick man of the name of Buchanan. He was a profane, wicked man. When we reached his house, he was breathing loud and hard. I looked at him, and saw that he must die and be lost. Then the thought occurred to me, that, if I did not change my course, I must be lost. I determined, then, to change my course, and become a religious man. I then thought, if I became a Christian, I would be disgraced, and my infidel friends would abandon me. Upon this reflection, I resolved to seek religion, become a Christian, live a religious life, and go to heaven, without anyone’s knowing it. The next reflection was, 'What if I am disgraced? I am an obscure individual, and unknown.' Then came the thought, 'I am a deist, and do not believe the Bible.' I determined to read the Bible. Accidentally I opened at the sermon on the mount. I read to the passage; 'Behold the lilies of the field, how they grow. They toil not, neither do they spin, yet I say unto you that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.' 'This is too beautiful and sublime,’ I exclaimed, 'to be of man. It must be divine.' I retired to a secret place to pray. But a thousand vain, sinful, and foolish thoughts rushed into my mind. I sought a more retired place, laid my face on the ground, and again tried to pray, but with no better success. Here, for the first time, I realized the depravity of my heart. I did not resolve to keep the law, for I was too ignorant to know that God had a law. But I felt exceedingly sinful and unworthy, and realized that God was a holy being, and I asinful creature, and that I and he could not dwell together, except I be changed.
"I kept all my troubles to myself. I formed the habit of asking a blessing, mentally, at my table, and continued retiring to secret places to pray, especially after dark. One night, after trying to pray, I sat down on a log, and soliloquized after the following manner: 'I was raised by pious parents. After leaving my mother's home, I was thrown into a religious family, where family worship was kept up. How good has God been
to me. How wicked I have been, to sin against 'so good a God.'
"Two weeks after my distress began, I had a remarkable dream. I thought I was on the farm my father died on. I had a vision of hell. I saw the smoke of the torment of the damned, ascending up out of the open crater of a mound. Then I seemed to be at a place in the woods where there was a collection of people, and several ministers preaching. About a week after this, on Sabbath morning, I was sitting in my door, pensive and disconsolate, when I saw a company of people walking by. On inquiring, I learned that they were going to meeting; at an old log Baptist meeting house called Rocky Spring, about three miles distant. I joined the company, and went with them. As we walked along, a very wicked old man remarked to me, that, every six or seven years, a portion of the people went off from the world and became religious. If I ever prayed from my heart, it was as I walked to that meeting. A man by the name of Leathers got up to preach. I had never seen him before. When he rose up I recognized him as the man I had seen in my dream -- even to the minutia of his dress. George Eve followed him, preaching from the text: 'Ye must be born again.' All he said was an incomprehensible mystery to me. James Quisenberry followed him from the text: 'The great day of of his wrath has come and who shall be able to stand ?' He described the various outpourings of God's wrath, frequently repeating the words, 'who shall be able to stand?' each time I would say mentally: 'I shall not be able to stand.' At the close of his sermon, he invited the mourners to come forward and be prayed for. The thought occurred to me, 'I will not go up there and disgrace myself, I will go to the woods and pray, God can hear me there as well as here.' The next thing I knew, I was on my knees, at the feet of the preachers, confessing my sins -- especially my deism -- and asking them to pray for me. They prayed. One woman near me cried out 'Oh my heart is so hard.' I felt that to be just my case. I begged them to pray for me again. They did not do so then. I cried aloud: 'Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me.' One of my wicked companions was standing near me, unaffected. I warned him to flee from the wrath to come. My mental agony was so great that I was unable to stand on my
feet. I fell on the ground. My breathing became so hard that I could have been heard fifty yards. Two persons slapped the insides of my hands, and threw water in my face. After awhile I regained my strength and sat up, overwhelmed with a vivid sense of my exposure to the wrath of God. I sat there till the congregation had dispersed. A pious woman came to comfort me, but could give me no relief.
"I continued in this state of guilt and shame a week. I was in constant fear of meeting some of my old companions. At last my fears were realized. As I passed the tavern, the tavern keeper came out and said: 'Vaughan, I understand you are going to be a preacher, I shall lose a good customer. Come in and take a glass of wine and a game of cards.' I continued trying to pray. One dark night, after rising from my knees, I breathed into my hands, mentally exclaiming: 'Nothing but this breath keeps me out of hell.' I went to every meeting I could hear of, and asked every preacher I met, to pray for me. Once I walked six miles to hear Jeremiah Vardeman, and walked back without my dinner. My older brother, who had recently professed faith in Christ, hearing of my condition, came thirty miles to comfort me, but could give me no relief. With my brother, I rode ten miles to hear Vardeman. Going home, I rode with my hands on the pommel of my saddle, choked with grief, and mourning as one who mourns for his first-born. My brother went home. Next day I was sitting in my room alone. It seemed to me that I cried every breath: 'Lord be merciful to me.' This continued a half hour. Suddenly the thought occurred: ‘What a great change has come over me: Six weeks ago I could not utter a sentence without an oath; now every breath is a prayer for mercy.' Then this text occurred to me 'Ye have received the spirit of adoption whereby ye cry Abba, Father.' In a moment it seemed to me that the blood of Christ overwhelmed me, and I felt that my burden and distress were gone. I felt such a love for Jesus Christ, that I thought, if he was on earth, and I could get hold of his feet, I would press them to my bosom. Still I did not love him as I wished to. I went out into the fields, and spent the rest of the day in prayer, praise and rejoicing. I felt that God had been merciful to me, but could not tell how. Relief came not as expected. I thought all my exercises should
have been more intense. I prayed for the return of my burden, and continued to have alternate doubts and hopes, till the third Saturday in October -- about two weeks after I obtained hope -- when I went to Friendship church, related the dealings of God with my soul, and was approved for baptism. Next day, the third Sunday in October, 1810, I was baptized by James Quesenberry."
That night Mr. Vaughan set up family worship, and soon afterward began to pray in public and exhort. James Sugget induced him to make an effort to preach, but he made a sad failure, and was so much discouraged, that he felt he would rather "the Lord would kill him, than compel him to preach." Still he felt a great desire to preach, if he had the ability.
On Saturday before the third Sunday in February, 1811, the church at Friendship licensed to preach, James Haggard, Anson Mills, Ninnian Ridgeway and William Vaughan. Mr. Vaughan made many discouraging failures, in his attempts to preach, but persevered in his efforts, until he was deemed worthy of ordination. Meanwhile, he felt the deficiency of his education so sensibly that he determined to apply himself to study. He procured a few books, among which was Walker's dictionary, and devoted as much of his time as he could to the improvement of his education.
On the third Sunday in July, 1812, he was ordained at Lulbegrud church, in Montgomery county, by Jeremiah Vardeman and David Chenault. He had previously accepted a call to the care of a church, called Sycamore, in Montgomery county. To this church he preached a little more than two years. For this service he received ten dollars, one of which he lost by being thrown from his horse, while returning home, one dark night.
In the Fall of 1814, he was sent as a corresponding messenger to Bracken Association, and, for the first time, was appointed to preach on Sunday, at an association. From the Association he sent out a list of appointments, and, in filling them received fifty dollars. With many of the preachers of his day, he had entertained a strong prejudice against receiving money for preaching. But he was now very poor, and the comforts procured for his family for this fifty dollars, healed all
his former prejudices on that subject. It was during this trip to Bracken Association, that he first met that eminent man of God, Walter Warder, between whom and himself grew up a warm and lasting friendship.
Late in the same fall, Mr. Vaughan made a second visit to the churches in Bracken Association, and received a hundred dollars for his services. The next Spring he moved to Mason county, to take the care of Lees Creek church. He preached to this church once a month without a salary, working at his trade for the support of his family. The church gave him about thirty dollars a year. About the year 1817, there grew up some doctrinal differences in the church at Lees Creek. The dissension had been caused by an old preacher named William Grinstead. A part of the church desired to have Mr. Grinstead preach for them once a month. Mr. Vaughan favored their purpose, and he was invited accordingly. He preached what was popularly called Antinomianism to them, but as the church paid him nothing for his services, he soon withdrew. He soon drew off from Bracken Association three churches, Maysville, Stonelick and Richland. He was afterwards excluded from Maysville church for drunkenness.
In the fall of 1816, Mr. Vaughan, with the help of an old preacher of the name of Charles Anderson, constituted a church of seven members at Augusta. The same evening, a woman was approved for baptism. Next morning Mr. Vaughan baptized her, and, on the occasion, delivered a half hour's lecture on baptism. The lecture convinced a family of Presbyterians of the scripturalness of immersion, and they were soon afterward baptized.
In 1818, Mr. Vaughan moved to Augusta, where he taught school, and continued to preach to the church at that place, of which he had been pastor from its constitution. While Mr. Vaughan was preaching in Augusta, the Presbyterians called to the pastorate of their church there, William L. McCalla. He soon displayed his controversial qualities by preaching a sermon on baptism, and challenging Mr. Vaughan to defend his doctrines. Mr. Vaughan preached a sermon on the subject of baptism twoand-three-quarter hours long. Mr. McCalla afterward called on him for the notes of his sermon by which he had "converted all the infidels in town to his views." Mr. McCalla afterwards
preached another sermon on baptism, in which he used some bitter language, which caused some ill feelings between the Baptists and Presbyterians of the town. In the year 1817, an extensive revival visited Augusta, and about fifty persons were added to the Baptist church.
Mr. Vaughan continued to preach to the churches at Augusta and Lees Creek, till the fall of 1828, when he moved to West Liberty, Ohio. At this place, he remained only a year, which he regarded the gloomiest and most unfruitful year of his ministry. In the fall of 1829, he moved back to Mason county, Kentucky. During his absence, an extensive revival had taken place. Walter Warder, who was the principal laborer in this work, had baptized four hundred and eighty persons into the fellowship of Mayslick church, and more than a thousand in the bounds of Bracken Association, in one year.3 "Campbellism had become a raging epidemic." The part Mr. Vaughan took in this contest, may be seen in a sketch of the life of Walter Warder, in a preceding chapter.
On the first Saturday in September, 1829, the Bracken Association met at Washington in Mason county. Mr. Vaughan was elected Moderator. Up to this time, there had been no formal division of the Baptists and Campbellites. The association passed a resolution, recommending the withdrawal of fellowship from all who adhered to the peculiar tenets of A. Campbell. This called forth the bitter denunciations of the leading Campbellites, against Mr. Vaughan. Burnett attacked him through his paper; Creath assailed him through thecolumns of the Budget, and Campbell, in the Millennial Harbinger. But "the Bracken Moderator," as Mr. Campbell derisively styled him, was equal to any emergency that arose out of this struggle. Mr. Vaughan was now in his forty-fifth year, and, though not so learned as Mr. Campbell, was his superior in acuteness of discrimination and powers of logic. He dissected Mr. Campbell's system with a masterly hand, drew the line between it and the doctrine of the Baptists, and made open war upon the new theory.
After his return from Ohio, Mr. Vaughan accepted the pastoral care of the churches at Falmouth, Carlisle, and Bethel,
the last named of which he and Walter Warder had constituted in Fleming county, about the year 1825. In 1830, he purchased a small farm in Fleming county, to which he soon afterwards moved. Next year he accepted the position of general agent of the American Sunday-school Union for northern Kentucky. He continued in this work about thirty months, in connection with his pastoral labors at Carlisle and Bethel, during which time he organized about one hundred Sunday-schools.
In the fall of 1835, he accepted the general agency of the American and Foreign Bible Society for the State of Kentucky. He had occupied this position only six months when the Baptists drew off from that society, and formed an independent organization. Mr. Vaughan immediately resigned his position. While engaged in the work of the Bible Society, he visited Bloomfield. The church at this place invited him to settle among its members, and preach to them in connection with their aged pastor, Isaac Taylor. This invitation he accepted, and, at once prepared to move to his new field of labor. Mr. Taylor continued to preach to the church once a month, till some time the next year, when he resigned.
Mr. Vaughan moved his family to Bloomfield, in June, 1836. At the time of his removal he says: "I was oppressed with deep melancholy, and dreadful forebodings." Ten days after his arrival, his daughter, Ann, a beautiful and highly accomplished young lady, eighteen years of age, died, a short time before she was to have married. She was not a professor of religion, which added to the distress of her parents.
Mr. Vaughan purchased a small farm near Bloomfield, on which he lived, until he became too old to attend to it comfortably, and then moved into the village. He preached two Sundays in the month at Bloomfield, from June, 1836, till June 1868, when he was disabled by a fall, and resigned his charge. In 1838, Mr. Taylor having resigned, Mr. Vaughan was installed in the pastoral office at Bloomfield. Besides his labors at this place, he preached to other churches within his reach, so as to fill up all his time. In the fall of 1836, he accepted a call to preach once a month to the church at Elizabethtown, for one year. During the year, he baptized twenty-five, among whom was the lamented A. W. LaRue. In the fall of 1837, he preached on Sunday, during the sitting
of Salem Association, at Bethlehem church in Washington county, from the text: "How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation." The effect on the people was so great, that it was determined to protract the meeting a few days This was done, and forty were added to the church. In the summer of the same year, he went to Harrodsburg, and preached several sermons. In the following fall, he went back, and was aided by John Rice and John S. Higgins, in constituting a church of sixteen members, in that town. To this church he preached, one Sunday in the month, five years from its constitution. About a hundred were added to its membership, and a good house of worship was built, during the time.
Some years before Mr. Vaughan moved to Bloomfield, Thos. J. Fisher and Jordan Walker constituted a church at Lawrenceburg. Mr. Walker became its pastor; but, in 1837, he joined the Anti-missionary Baptists, taking a large number of the members with him. In the confusion, a number of the members joined the Campbellites. To the remnant of this church, Mr. Vaughan commenced preaching once a month, in 1837. He preached about seven years. About sixty were baptized. Among them were Thomas M. Vaughan, Robert R. Lillard, and William Blair, all of whom became Baptist preachers. Mr. Vaughan preached one year to the church at Shepherdsville, about 1840. In 1842, Mrs. Vaughan visited her daughter in Elizaville, Ky. She was in delicate health when she started, and continued to grow feebler till the 10th of September, when she died. Mr. Vaughan was on his way to Elizaville, to bring her home. When he got within ten miles of that village, he learned that she was dead and buried. The good man was overwhelmed with grief. But he sorrowed not as those who have no hope, for he doubted not that she was at rest.
May 30, 1843, Mr. Vaughan, married for his second wife Mrs. Malinda H. Cain, widow of Major James Cain, and daughter of William McKay, of Nelson county. This marriage was a most happy one. This lady was an excellent Christian woman, and by her industry, prudence and economy saved to her husband, who was but a poor financier, a sufficiency of this world’s goods to make them comfortable, in their helpless old age.
In 1845 Mr. Vaughan was called to the pastoral care of
Little Union church, in Spencer county. Here he preached once a month, a few years, and then began to preach there two Sundays in the month.
From this time till he was too old and infirm to go in and out before his people, the faithful and beloved old shepherd divided his time equally between Bloomfield and Little Union churches, which were located six miles apart. While he preached to Little Union church only once a month, he preached monthly at Buck Creek, in Shelby county, into the fellowship of which he baptized thirty-six members.
In June, 1868, Mr. Vaughan, then in his eighty-fourth year, fell and crushed his hip. This rendered him unable to attend to pastoral labors, and he resigned his charges. Two years after this, his faithful wife fell and crushed her hip in a very similar manner to that of her husband. In a few weeks afterwards, she went to receive the reward of the righteous.
Mr. Vaughan, now old and feeble, went to live with his son, Elder T.M. Vaughan. He kept up his habit of regular study as long as he was able to sit a portion of the day in an easy chair, and preached when his health would permit. In the Centennial Convention, in May, 1876, he made two or three short speeches. On the 25th of February, 1877, he preached his last sermon, in the Baptist meeting-house at Danville, Kentucky. On the 31st of March following, at 4:30 P.M., he fell asleep in Jesus. His remains were carried to Bloomfield, where they were buried near the pulpit in which he had preached thirtytwo years.
Truly a great prince had fallen in Israel. Of him, J.M. Pendleton says: "I have heard the great preachers, so-called, in the East and West and North and South, but * * * I have heard no man superior to Dr. Vaughan, in his palmiest days." J.M. Weaver says of him: "As a theologian, he had no superior in Kentucky." These testimonies were just. For many years, he was the ablest preacher in the Kentucky pulpit. But far above this shone the more exalted qualities of purity, piety and consecration to the cause of his divine Master. But, at last he rests from his labors and his works do follow him.4
J. M. WEAVES was the last preacher licensed in Bloomfield church. In his youth Mr. Weaver joined the Methodist church and was immersed, upon a profession of his faith, by a Methodist preacher. He was received into Bloomfield church "on his Methodist baptism," and licensed to preach June, 12, 1852. Soon after this, having been ordained, he accepted a call to the pastorate of Taylorsville and Plum Creek churches, in Spencer county. After some years he accepted a call to the pastorate of Chestnut Street church, in Louisville, of which he has been the able, beloved and successful pastor for about a dozen years. The irregularity of his baptism continued to be a subject of much discussion and no little dissatisfaction among churches, till the 5th of July, 1879, when he was regularly baptized by Elder James P. Boyce.
CRAB ORCHARD church, formerly called Cedar Creek, was constituted of forty members, by William Marshall, in 1791. These members had beendismissed from Gilberts Creek church for that purpose. William Bledsoe was chosen pastor. An extensive revival prevailed in this locality, from 1789 to 1792. It commenced in Gilberts Creek church and extended to the bounds of Cedar Creek. To the former church about 400 members were added, and the latter shared largely in the ingathering after it was constituted.
Among those who united with Cedar Creek church, were three sons of John Vardeman -- Amaziah, Morgan and Jeremiah. The last named became one of the most distinguished preachers that has ever labored in Kentucky. Mr. Bledsoe preached to the church but a short time, before he became a Universalist.
Jeremiah Vardeman was probably the next pastor from 1802 to 1810. In 1808, the church agreed to change its name from Cedar Creek to Crab Orchard, having built a new house of worship in the village of that name. In 1810 Mr. Vardeman resigned the pastoral care of the church, and took from the church a letter of dismission.
In August of the same year, Moses Foley accepted the care of this church, and soon afterwards moved into its bounds. Under Mr. Foley's administration it was very prosperous. At one time it contained about 400 members. Mr. Foley continued pastor of this church till near the time of his death, which occurred in 1858. After this, John S. Higgins supplied the church with preaching for a time. During the Civil War, the church became
much scattered and demoralized. After the close of the war, John James, then of Columbia, but more recently of Paris. Texas, took charge of the church for a short time. When Mr. James came among the membership its number was less than forty. The Lord blessed his labors and a goodly number were baptized. The church became quite prosperous again under the care of N. B. Johnson.
WILLIAM BLEDSOE, the first pastor of Crab Orchard church, was the son of Joseph Bledsoe, the founder and first pastor of old Gilberts Creek church of Separate Baptists. He, with his father and brothers, was among the early settlers of what is now Garrard county. He was a brother of the distinguished judge Jesse Bledsoe, who served two terms in the United States Senate from Kentucky.
William Bledsoe was a native of Culpeper county, Virginia. He was probably raised up to the ministry, under the preaching of his father, in Gilberts Creek church, after he came to Kentucky. He was the most active laborer in that wonderful revival in Lincoln and Garrard counties, in 1789, and the years following. He was in the constitution of Cedar Creek church, at Crab Orchard, in 1791, and became the first pastor of this church. During the revival just referred to, in 1789, two hen's eggs were brought to Gilberts Creek meeting-house with this sentence written on them: "The day of God's awful judgment is near." It was pretended that this writing was on the eggs when they were found in the nest. "Elder W. Bledsoe," says Mr. Boulware, "read aloud. The people were alarmed. Elder Bledsoe professed to feel alarmed, preached, exhorted, warned, invited, etc., etc. This revival lasted several months. I have seen from five to twenty come up, or led up, to be prayed for at one time. There were about 400 added to the church."5 "He" [William Bledsoe], says John M. Peck, "was a smart, rather than a pious preacher." John Bailey, who was one of the laborers in this revival, subsequently became a Universalist. Bledsoe also apostatized to Universalism, and then became indifferent to a religious life and reckless in his conduct. "Elder W. Bledsoe," says Mr. Boulware, "and many of his converts embraced the doctrine of universal salvation, and soon after he became
a deist, and died a practicing horse-racer. I continued an acquaintance with these converts for eight or nine years, and then knew not of one that had not, like the dog and sow, turned to their vomit and mire again.” Such were the fruits of this shameful fraud and hypocrisy, and the end of the man who practiced them. "God is not mocked: whatsoever a man soweth that shall he reap."
JEREMIAH VARDEMAN was the second pastor of Crab Orchard Church. He was probably the most effective pulpit orator, and the most successful preacher that ever lived in Kentucky. His father was a Swede, his mother a native of Wales. John Vardeman, sr., with his young family, emigrated from Sweden to South Carolina, in the early part of the 18th century. He was a member of the Lutheran church, but joined the Episcopal church, in South Carolina, and was esteemed for his piety and moral worth. His descendants reported that he died at the age of one hundred and twenty-five years.
His son, John Vardeman, jr., was also born in Sweden. He came with his parents to South Carolina when he was seven years old. He married Elizabeth Morgan, a native of Wales, in South Carolina. Soon after his marriage, he moved to Bedford county, Virginia. While living here, he and his wife professed religion and united with a Baptist church. About 1767, he moved farther west, and settled on New river, and, ten years later, pushed still farther into the southwest corner of Virginia, and settled on Clinch river in what is now Russell county. Here he was compelled to move into a fort to protect his family from the Indians. But he did not long remain here. Again he moved on westward, and, in the fall of 1779, settled in Lincoln county, Kentucky, near the present town of Crab Orchard. This was two years before Lewis Craig settled on Gilberts creek, with his traveling church.
Here John Vardeman and his older sons were compelled to take part in the numerous wars with the Indians, that gave exciting and hazardous employment to the early settlers, for a period of nearly twenty years after his settlement in Kentucky. But he did not become indifferent to his religion. He kept up family worship, and, when a church was organized near him, became a member of it. He and his wife were probably members of old Gilberts Creek church, and it is certain
that they were at an early period, members of the church at Crab Orchard, where many of their children afterwards became members.
The old pioneer remained near Crab Orchard, till 1812, when the country became too thickly settled to suit his habits of life, and he became restless and discontented, and again turned his face towards the setting sun. In October of that year, the church at Crab Orchard entered on its book of records an order, "that old John Vardeman have a letter of dismission." The term "old" was designed to distinguish him from his son, of the same name. With this evidence of his fellowship with the children of God, he moved to Missouri, where he died at the age of 109 years.
Jeremiah Vardeman was the youngest of twelve children born to John and Elizabeth Vardeman, and was born in Wythe county, Virginia, July 8, 1775. He came with his parents to Lincoln county, Ky., in the fall of 1779. Here he was raised up to manhood, in "the deep tangled wildwood," amid the constant dangers and privations of a frontier settlement, receiving barely education enough to enable him to read, write and exercise in the simplest elements of arithmetic. After long continued and pungent convictions of sin, during which period his father and mother were his principal comforters and instructors, he obtained hope in Christ, about the year 1792. He immediately united with the church at Crab Orchard, and was baptized, probably by William Bledsoe, who was then pastor of that church. This was during the revival referred to above, conducted by the Bledsoes, John Bailey and Peyton Nowlen. Mr. Vardeman always asserted that the preaching of these men had nothing to do with the awakening of his conscience. He was under conviction three months, during which the instructions of his parents, the prayers of his father, and his own reading of the Bible deeply impressed him.
When Mr. Vardeman, then about seventeen years of age, realized the joys of salvation, he felt strongly impressed with the duty of warning sinners of their danger, and exhorting them to flee the wrath to come. This feeling preyed on his mind till he felt that he must preach. But many apparently insurmountable obstacles appeared in his way. He was young, timid, had not the gift of speech, and was uneducated. Still
the subject bore heavily on his conscience. But he continued to resist the impressions till they measurably wore off. He continued very comfortably in the church, about two years, during which time he habitually prayed in secret, but did not attempt to pray or exhort in public. This was doubtless more the fault of the church and its unfaithful pastor, than of the young convert.
It is a sad truth, that many of our churches lose the talent, zeal, and influence of a large number of their best young members, by giving them nothing to do, in the Master’s service. Every young church member should be proved, to ascertain his gifts, as soon as he becomes a member, and then be diligently employed in the work of the Lord, in accordance with his gifts. The pastor that fails to do this, is either incompetent to fill his position, or unfaithful to his charge.
Had young Vardeman been prudently brought forward in public prayer and exhortation, immediately after he joined the church, it would, no doubt, have saved five years of his invaluable services to the cause of Christ, and himself from piercing his own soul through with many bitter sorrows. But this was neglected, he gradually wandered off into sin, and brought reproach on himself and the cause of Christ.
Some of his young associates made persistent efforts to draw him into the circles of frivolity. They finally succeeded by a misapplication of Scripture language, in convincing him that it was "no harm to dance," so far as to induce him to attend "a frolic," "just one time." He went once. Then again, and again, and finally engaged in the giddy dance. About this time Col. William Whitley, the well known pioneer and daring Indian fighter, permitted a dancing school to be taught in a large ball room, fitted up in the third story of his fine new residence.6 "The young people were crazy about the dancing school." Young Vardeman was induced to subscribe himself a scholar, though, as he acknowledged, with a trembling hand and a smitten conscience. He was, of course excluded from the church. He
soon afterward bought a violin, and, having a taste for music, became "a good fiddler." During this period, he became enamored with Miss Elizabeth James, daughter of Richard James, and, became engaged to her. Her parents were pious members of Cedar Creek church, and, regarding Vardeman as a vain, frivolous young man, opposed the match. The result was an elopement and marriage. The young wife had made no profession of religion. Her parents had the good judgment to perceive that further opposition would be useless; they forgave the delinquents, and, withyoung Vardeman, moved to Pulaski county, on the waters of Cumberland river.
"There Vardeman became the leader of the young people in every species of mirth and amusement. None could sing and play on the violin so enchantingly, none so jovial and full of hilarity as Jeremiah Vardeman. He was the life and soul of every dance and country frolic, and his young wife, much to the grief of her father and mother, joined him in all these recreations. Thus nearly three years of his life passed away to no useful purpose. In a worldly sense he was not immoral. He never swore profanely, was temperate in drink; kind-hearted, generous and honorable in all his dealings with his fellow-men; his duty to God was wholly neglected, and he lived after the course of this world. Yet he was not a happy man. In the midst of his associates, in gayety, music and dancing, he was full of enjoyment; but conscience was then stifled. There were seasons of mental disquietude which none can realize, but those who have drunk the wormwood and gall, after a season of backsliding. Conviction of his sin and folly often drove him back to sinful pleasures for temporary relief.7
His religious friends with the exception of his mother, had given him up, believing he would go on the downward course to the end. She continued in persevering prayer and unwavering faith, saying with deep emotion: "I know Jerry will be reclaimed; God is faithful, and I feel assured that he is a prayer hearing God."
There lived in Pulaski county a plain, illiterate preacher of the name of Thomas Hansford. He was an earnest, self-sacrificing man, and had the confidence of the people. Mr. Vardeman
sometimes attended his meetings with his wife. On one of these occasions, Mr. Hansford preached from 2 Peter 2:22: "But at is happened to them according to the true proverb. The dog is turned to his own vomit again and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mine." He applied the text to those who had professed religion and afterwards apostatized. The Spirit of God directed the truth with great pungency, to the conscience of Mr. Vardeman. He was deeply convicted of his backslidings. In speaking of it to Mr. Peck, many years afterwards, he said: "If brother Hansford had poured coals of fire on my naked body, it would not have burned me worse than that sermon did." His wife was convicted of her sins at the same time. They both went home with heavy hearts. Mr. Vardeman could not labor. For several days he spent most of his time in the woods, some times on his knees, and sometimesprostrate on his face, confessing his sins and crying to God for mercy. He repented bitterly of all his sinful frivolity, but his deepest conviction was for that sin which caused him to turn back to the world and commit all his other sins, his refusal to follow the impression of the Holy Spirit to preach the gospel, or call sinners to repentance. In his penitent anguish he cried out: "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? I will do anything the Lord requires, if it kills me. He obtained some relief in reading and meditating on Malachi 4:2. "But unto you that fear my name, shall the sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings, and ye shall go forth and grow up as calves of the stall." He now vowed to the Lord that he would forsake all vain and worldly amusements and preach the gospel to his fellow-men.
A prayer meeting had been appointed at the cabin of one of Mr. Vardeman's neighbors. He with his wife attended this meeting the night after he had made the solemn vow just recorded. There was no preacher present, but there was so much interest felt that the people attended for several miles distant. It had been extensively rumored, without his knowledge, that Vardeman would preach. Before the meeting closed, one of Mr. Vardeman’s neighbors, who was aware of his recent seriousness on the subject of religion, invited him to speak. He arose and commenced talking, but retained nothing of what he said, in his memory. He only recollected that the people of all classes were weeping and sobbing around him. Another social meeting
was appointed for the next Sabbath. Mr. Vardeman again attended. He waited for older persons to take the lead, after which he rose up and with deep feeling and tears gushing from his eyes, delivered an exhortation, mingled with confessions of his own backslidings, and calling on his young associates to forsake their sinful amusements and follow Christ, and assuring them that they would then feel what he now felt-peace of conscience, and salvation through the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ. To his surprise and amazement, young and old were crowding forward to give him their hands, and crying out: "Oh Mr. Vardeman pray for me, for I am a heap bigger sinner than you ever was." There were probably a score of people standing around him, and begging him to pray for them. He had never attempted to pray in public, but he thought of the vow he had recently made to the Lord, and he attempted to pray, for the first time in the hearing of others.
These social meetings were continued in a similar manner on each succeeding Sabbath, and two or three times in the week, except that Mr. Vardeman began to invite the people forward for prayer. Soon many of his former associates in sin gave evidence of conversion, and among the first was his wife.
News of the revival, of Mr. Vardeman's change, and of his preaching, as the people called it, soon reached Lincoln county. His parents, brothers and friends urged him to visit them. His first discourse there was solemn and effective. Heseemed to want neither words nor matter. The church at Cedar Creek restored him to membership, and licensed him to preach. He preached several times in the neighborhood of Crab Orchard. The multitudes came out to hear him. In a short time upwards of twenty of his former associates in Lincoln county, and members of the dancing school that led him astray, professed conversion.
Mr. Vardeman was probably ordained in 1801, and the next year, moved back from Pulaski to Lincoln county, where he became pastor of four churches. He remained in this region of the State about eight years. Few particulars of his labors of this period have been preserved. But it is known that he was active in the ministry, traveled extensively, and was very popular and successful. The late Isaac Goodnight, Esq., of Warren county, who "cropped" with Mr. Vardeman in 1804, informed
Mr. Peck that he was, at that period, pastor of four churches, and that during the year he made a preaching tour to Lexington, Maysville and several other places.
In February, 1810, he was called to the oversight of David's Fork church in Fayette county, and in the same year resigned the care of, and took a letter of dismission from Crab Orchard church, and moved on a farm within the bounds of David's Fork. Under his ministry a revival soon visited his new charge, and "within six months one hundred and seventy souls were added to the church."8 During another revival during his pastorate here in 1827-8 "upwards of two hundred precious souls were added to the church." He was pastor of this church twenty years and five months. He was three years pastor of Lulbegrud and Grassy Lick churches, both in Montgomery county. During this period he baptized for the fellowship of the former, one hundred and sixty-five, and for that of the latter, ninety. In 1811, he accepted a call to the pastorate of the Missionary Baptist church at Bryant’s Station, and occupied the position till 1830.
Besides his pastoral labors, Mr. Vardeman was a very active and wonderfully successful evangelist in Kentucky and several of the adjoining states, for a period of nearly thirty years, before he moved to the West. In 1815, he visited Bardstown, where "Priest Baden was unwise enough to enter the list against him and lost several of his members." Next year he held meetings in Lexington and Louisville. In 1820, he visited Nashville, Tennessee, and through his labors the first Baptist church in that city was constituted, and attained membership of one hundred and fifty by the first of the following October.
In June, 1828, Mr. Vardeman held a series of meetings in Cincinnati, Ohio, which resulted in the baptism of 118 souls, in three weeks. These are only specimens of his abundant labors.
In the fall of 1830, he resigned the charge of all his churches and moved to Ralls county, Missouri. Here also, though advanced in years and grown corpulent, he did good service for the Master for a number of years. With the assistance of Elder Spencer Clack, who had recently moved from Bloomfield, Kentucky,
he constituted a church in Palmyra. Several other churches grew up under his ministry.
In 1834, he presided in a meeting, convened for the purpose of organizing a system of domestic missions in the State. This organization grew into the General Association of Missouri Baptists.
But soon the infirmities of old age began to creep upon him. Still he labored on up to the measure of his strength. For two years before his death, he was unable to stand up to preach, but sat in a large arm-chair. Only two weeks before he was called from earth, in company with another preacher, he visited the Sulphur Springs, at Elk Lick, for the benefit of his health. Before they left they constituted a church. On this occasion, Mr. Vardeman baptized five candidates for that ordinance. This was the last service of the kind he ever performed. "He had then," says Mr. Peck, "baptized more Christian professors than any [other] man in the United States. As he kept no register of these and other labors, the accurate number can never be ascertained; probably not less than eight thousand converts.”
The last Sunday he spent on earth, he attended the appointment of another preacher, not far from his residence. After the sermon he spoke a half hour from the words: "How shall we escape if we neglect so great Salvation." He was, at that time free from pain, but during the week he grew worse, though little alarm was felt by his family. But on Saturday morning, May 28, 1842, he called his family around him, gave them some directions, bade them farewell, and gently fell asleep in Jesus, all within fifteen minutes. He was in the sixty-seventh year of his age.
In person Jeremiah Vardeman was handsome, commanding and attractive. Mr. Peck says of him, in his latter years "His usual weight was three hundred pounds, yet his muscular frame was well proportioned, and his personal appearance graceful and commanding. His voice was powerful, sonorous and clear, his enunciation distinct, and he could be heard in the open air for a great distance."
In doctrine he agreed with Andrew Fuller. In preaching, he was plain, simple and unaffected, yet wonderfully charming and attractive, pleasing alike the learned and illiterate. He
was not what is termed a doctrinal preacher, and still less a controversialist. His descriptive powers were unrivaled, and in the force and power of his exhortation, he was probably never surpassed. In the whole manner of his preaching, he probably resembled the famous George Whitfield more than any other known orator.9
MOSES FOLEY was the third pastor of Crab Orchard church. He was a good man and full of the Holy Ghost, and by him much people were added to the Lord. He possessed only moderate preaching gifts, but these were diligently used. He was the son of Moses Foley, a Baptist minister of Washington county, Va. The seignior MOSES FOLEY was pastor of North Fork of Holstein, and Rich Valley churches in Virginia, in 1794, and, in 1802, moved, with twenty-six of the members of the former, to Abrahams creek, where he constituted a new church. About the year 1815, he moved to Knox county, Kentucky, and settled on the Cumberland river, four miles below Barboursville. Here he was pastor of several churches till near the time of his death. He raised six daughters and seven sons. Of the latter, Elijah and Moses were Baptist preachers. ELIJAH FOLEY preached a short time in Virginia, then moved to Kentucky, where he labored several years in the Gospel. He finally moved to Missouri, where he preached several years, be, fore his death.
Moses Foley, jr., was born in Washington county, Virginia, February 7, 1777. He professed religion in his native county, about the year 1802. He commenced exhorting sinners to repent, before he was baptized, and was regularly inducted into the ministry in 1803. After preaching a few years with much zeal, in his native county, he moved to Pulaski county, Kentucky, about 1808. Here he was called to the care of Union church. In August, 1810, he succeeded Jeremiah Vardeman in-the pastoral care of Crab Orchard church. To this church he preached forty-eight years. He continued to preach monthly to Union church, several years after he was settled at Crab Orchard, when he resigned on account of the distance.
After his removal to Lincoln county, in 1811, besides Crab
Orchard, he preached, at different times, to Freedom and Masons Fork (now Liberty), in Garrard county, Hays Fork in Madison county, and Mt. Salem, Logans Creek and Drakes Creek, in Lincoln county. He was a good singer and an excellent exhorter, and was very prompt and energetic in his ministerial labors. He died, after a brief illness, November 9, 1858, greatly beloved and much lamented.
During the period now under consideration (1791) the Baptists began to organize in the upper part of the Green river country. Two churches were constituted on the north side of Green river this year, but which one was gathered first is not known.
PITMANS CREEK church was constituted of thirty members, on the tributary of Green river from which it derives its name, in 1791.10 It was probably gathered by that ever restless and migratory pioneer, Baldwin Clifton, who continued its pastor, till 1807, at which date he was Moderator of Russels Creek Association. The church failed to report the number of its members to the Association, till 1804, when it reported a membership of sixty-six.
Pitmans Creek church appears to have united first with South Kentucky Association of Separate Baptists, but acceded to the terms of general union, in 1801, and became a member of Green River Association. On the division of that body, in 1804, it fell into Russells Creek Association, with which it continues in fellowship still; but in 1850, or the year afterwards, it was moved a short distance to Campbellsville, the county seat of Taylor, and took the name of that village.
ISAAC HODGEN, the second pastor of Pitmans Creek church, was one of the most famous preachers of his generation. A writer in Allen's Baptist Register for 1833, says: "Isaac Hodgen was in some respects, the most brilliant and successful minister of the gospel that ever lived and died11 in Kentucky. I knew him well for about twenty years from the early part of his ministry to near its close. Few ministers in the West have met with equal success, and none have been more laborious."
ROBERT HODGEN, the father of Isaac Hodgen, came from Virginia to Kentucky, about the year 1780, and settled in what is now LaRue county. He remained for a time in a fort on Nolin river and was probably in the constitution of South Fork church in that fort, in 1782. As soon as he deemed it prudent to venture out of the fort, he settled on the land now occupied by Hodgenville, the county seat of LaRue, which town was named in his honor. In 1795, he represented Hardin county, in the Kentucky Legislature. After moving out of the fort, he united with Severns Valley church, now located in Elizabethtown, and became its clerk, in 1787. He was also an Elder in that church. He was much respected for his uprightness of character and sincere piety. Two of his sons were preachers.
JOHN HODGEN was born where Hodgenville now stands, about the year 1782. He was baptized into the fellowship of Severns Valley church, in 1802, and was in the constitution of Nolin church in LaRue county, the following year. Here, after several years, he was licensed to exercise his gift in speaking. He exhibited some sprightliness in exhortation, and, in 1820, on the resignation of Jonathan Paddox, was invited to preach once a month at South Fork church. To this church he moved his membership. When his ordination was called for, Nolin church refused her concurrence on account of his Arminian sentiments. He was, however, ordained, in March, 1822, by John Chandler, Horatio Chandler, Johnson Graham and Isaac Hodgen, and became pastor of South Fork church. Nolin church was expressly opposed to his ordination, and the affair caused an interruption between the two neighboring churches. Nolin refused to commune with South Fork. This state of affairs continued till 1729, when W. M. Brown succeeded Mr. Hodgen in the pastorate, and harmony was restored. Meanwhile Mr. Hodgen moved to Illinois and joined the Campbellites. After a few years, he moved from there to Iowa, where he finished his course on earth.
Isaac Hodgen was born in what is now LaRue county (probably in No Lynn Fort), about the year 1780. His education was such as could be obtained in the common schools where he was raised. He was a daring, reckless youth, and a ring leader of the young men of good families, in almost every species
of bold wickedness. While he was deputy sheriff of Hardin county, he got into a drinking frolic at Bardstown in Nelson county, and handled the wares of the tavern-keeper so roughly, that it cost him sixty dollars. Quite a considerable sum at that day.
During the great revival of 1800-3, he professed conversion under the ministry of Joshua Morris, and was baptized into the fellowship of Severns Valley church. Shortly after his conversion, he, with most of his father’s family, went into the constitution of Nolin church, located about three miles from Hodgenville, in 1803. His conversion was thorough, and he immediately engaged in the service of God with even more zeal and constancy than he had manifested in the service of the devil. He seemed to have been born (again) a missionary of the Cross. All the powers of his soul yearned for the salvation of sinners. His gift in prayer and exhortation was so marked that, in 1804, Nolin church licensed him to preach.
In March, 1805, he moved to Green county, and united with Mt. Gilead church, where he was ordained to the work of the ministry, the same year. He constantly insisted that his appropriate work was that of an evangelist. To point sinners to the Cross was his great gift, and in this work his whole soul seemed to be absorbed. On account of the scarcity of pastors in Russells Creek Association, he took the care of Pitmans Creek (now Campbellsville) church, on the resignation of Baldwin Clifton, in 1807, and that of Mt. Gilead, on the resignation of Elijah Summars, about the same time, or, rather, he preached monthly for these, and perhaps some other churches, at different periods, when he was in reach of then. In this work, he probably succeeded better than any of his cotemporary pastors, in his association. But his great life work was that of traveling evangelist. To this work he seemed called of God and wonderfully adapted. "He traveled many thousand miles as an itinerant preacher. He carried the gospel, with universal acceptance, to the most populous towns and cities [and] to the poorest cottages and most ignorant persons in all the land.” He was a colaborer of Jeremiah Vardeman, William C. Warfield, and William and Walter Warder. God raised up these five men, and endowed them with extraordinary powers, not far from the same time. It was at a period when the young commonwealth
of Kentucky was being rapidly peopled by emigrants from the older states, and the broad field was white unto the harvest.
These men labored with intense, consuming zeal, and performed their tasks quickly. They all died in midlife, except Vardeman, and he lived not to his three score years and ten.
In 1817, Mr. Hodgen and William Warder traveled as far as Philadelphia, and thence through several counties in Virginia, and back home, making the whole tour on horseback, and preaching almost every night. It was supposed that not less than six hundred persons were baptized in Virginia, who were awakened under the preaching of these two young ministers, during that tour. In this manner, Isaac Hodgen spent most of his ministerial life.
"In person," says the writer quoted above, "Elder Hodgen was large and very commanding in appearance. He had a fine lofty forehead and an eye of love or cutting severity at will. His heart was warm and ardent. His zeal was like an overflowing fountain, issuing from such a depth that no season could affect its enlivening current.
"In preaching, he greatly excelled in the forcible simplicity of his sermons, thundering conviction to the heart, and charging on sinners the mighty guilt of the Savior's death. His weapons, though not satirical, cut, at almost every blow. His eloquence, flowing from an overwhelming compassion for perishing souls, rolled from his tongue in such a torrent that all were moved as by one impulse to cry for mercy. In conversation he was particularly distinguished for a facility in reaching the judgment and the heart, so that opponents were first silenced, and then melted into tears."12
In 1826, the Lord of the vineyard was pleased to take this eminent and useful servant of Christ to himself.
JOHN HARDING, who immediately succeeded Isaac Hodgen in the pastoral care of Old Pitman's Creek church, was of a family distinguished alike in church and state.
THOMAS HARDING, his father, was a native of Virginia, and married Sarah Payne, a native of Ireland. He came, among the early settlers, to Washington county, Kentucky, and was a
soldier in the Indian wars in the West, during the American Revolution, for which he received a pension in the latter years of his life. He was under Col. Crawford at the time of his disastrous defeat by the Wyandott Indians on the Sandusky river. Crawford was captured by the Indians, and burned, and his army was dispersed. Mr. Harding escaped, and swam the Ohio river on his horse.
After he came to Kentucky, he became a farmer. He and his wife were Baptists, and the wife was especially remarkable for her warm and constant piety. They first moved from Washington to Green county, where they raised their family, consisting of four daughters and five sons, then, in their old age, moved to Indiana, where they finished their earthly course, near Brownsburg.
Two of the sons, Noah and Payne, moved to Indiana, where they were both justices of the peace. John and Samuel were preachers. AARON HARDING, the youngest son, was an eminent lawyer and statesman. He was twice elected to Congress, after which he retired from public life, and devoted himself to his profession, at Danville. For purity of morals, practical philanthropy, and devout christian piety, the Baptists of Kentucky could boast few men superior to Hon. Aaron Harding. Chief Justice, M. R. Hardin,13 was a grandson of the old patriotic pioneer, Thomas Harding.
SAMUEL HARDING, the second son of Thomas Harding, was born in Washington county, Kentucky, December 5, 1787. From his boyhood, he was of a sprightly, animated temper, and had fine social powers, during his life. He finished a fair English education with an old teacher of the name of Mahan. He was baptized into the fellowship of Pitmans Creek church, about the year 1810. He was ordained to the ministry at about the age of thirty, and, not far from the same time, was married to Annie Shipp, daughter of Richard Shipp of Green county, and sister of James Shipp, a brilliant Young Baptist preacher, who died soon after he commenced preaching.
Mr. Harding was pastor of some churches in Kentucky, a short time, after which he moved to Shelby county, Indiana,
where he lived on a farm, and preached to several churches. He was active in raising an endowment fund for Franklin College. He was zealous in his holy calling, and enjoyed a good degree of success. He was a good, sound preacher, an excellent singer, and a fair exhorter, and his fine social powers were consecrated to his work. He died of measles, which was said to be a second attack of that disease, about the year 1835.
John Harding was the oldest son of Thomas Harding, and was born in Washington county, Ky., Jan. 16, 1785. In his early childhood, his parents moved to Green county. Here he was brought up on a farm, and received a good English education under the tutorship of N.H. Hall, a Presbyterian clergyman, While studying astronomy, he became seriously affected on the subject of religion. He was especially impressed with that familiar line
"An undevout astronomer is mad."
He was a very quiet, retiring youth, remarkable for his love of truth and fondness for study. After laboring on his father’s farm all day, he would gather brush, with which to make a light, and apply himself to reading till late at night. This habit of close application to study continued with him through life, and by this means he obtained a large and constantly increasing stock of useful knowledge.
Notwithstanding his deep impression on the subject of religion, in his early life, he did not make a public profession of faith in Christ, till about his twenty-fifth year. At this time he, his brother Samuel, and James Shipp were baptized at the same time by Isaac Hodgen, and he was admitted into the fellowship of Pitman’s Creek church. He commenced exercising in public soon after his baptism. He exhibited little genius, but his good practical sense, sound knowledge of the Scriptures, and consistent piety, procured for him the universal confidence of the people. A little incident of the times will illustrate the estimate in which he was held by the young people of his acquaintance. An unconverted young man in the neighborhood, addressing a gay, frolicsome young lady, said to her: "My love for you is as true as John Harding’s religion.14 The measure of his affection was considered satisfactory to the exacting
lass, and the young people were soon afterward married.
Mr. Harding was ordained after a short probation, probably by John Chandler and Isaac Hodgen. He succeeded Mr. Hodgen in the pastorate of Pitman’s Creek church, and continued to occupy the position about twenty years. In 1848, Taylor county was formed, and Campbellsville, the county seat, was located near old Pitman’s Creek church, which was soon afterwards moved to that town, and has since borne its name.
Mr. Harding was also pastor of the churches at Mt. Gilead, Columbia, Greensburg, Friendship and of others, at different periods. He was a strong, clear, logical preacher, and an excellent pastor. The churches of his charge were generally prosperous, and Russells Creek Association, of which he wasModerator twelve years in succession, after the death of Isaac Hodgen, owed much of its prosperity to his wisdom and prudence.
At the age of thirty, Mr. Harding married Rachel Carlisle, the daughter of a respectable farmer of Green county. This union was blessed with one child, a son, who died at about the age of twenty years. About 1843, Mrs. Harding, who was a most exemplary Christian woman, died at the home of her husband, in Campbellsville. After her decease. Mr. Harding lived with his brother, Hon. Aaron Harding, in Greensburg, till the Lord took him to himself, November 11, 1854.
Mr. Harding was a strong, logical writer, but published nothing. He had several treatises on different religious subjects, which he intended to have published, but was called away before his purpose was carried out. An essay on the Abrahamic Covenant was published after his death.15
BRUSH CREEK church is claimed to be one of the two oldest fraternities of the kind, south of LaRue and Hardin counties. It was constituted on the creek from which it takes its name in Green county. Its early records were destroyed by fire, and upon what authority the date of its constitution is fixed at 1791, does not appear. It is certain, however, that it is one of the old churches of the Green river country, for it was a member of Green River Association, in 1802, and was then the largest church within the present limits of Russells Creek Association,
unless Pitman's Creek, the number of whose members is not given, was larger. Brush Creek reported that year, an aggregate membership of one hundred. Its messengers were Edward Lewis, James Goldby and Johnson Graham. It is probable that the church was gathered by Benjamin Lynn, as he was the nearest preacher, of the Separate Baptists, to that point. The suggestion that William Graham was its first pastor is not probable, since there appears to have been no preacher in Kentucky of the name of Graham, near that period.
Brush Creek church contained one hundred members at the close of the great revival, but two years afterward, it reported only thirty-seven. Its growth was slow, but during the revival of 1829, it obtained a membership of one hundred and fifty-two. Since that time it has generally been prosperous, and has been a leading member of Russells Creek Association, from the beginning.
Benjamin Lynn, according to a communication received some years ago from Dr. Hodgen Graham, was an early pastor of this church. He probably continued to serve in this capacity till after the year 1800. A sketch of the life of this famous old pioneer has been given in the first chapter of this work.
WILLIAM MATHEWS appears to have succeeded Lynn. He was an elderly man when he came to Kentucky. He possessed very small gifts, but his piety was so pure and constant, and he was so affectionately diligent in thework of his Master, that he exerted an excellent influence over all classes of people, and was greatly beloved by the children of God.
William Mathews was born in Culpeper county, Virginia, in 1733, and was among the early converts to the Baptist faith in that region. Like the Craigs, Wallers and others, who were converted near the same time and place, he began to exhort his neighbors to repent and turn to Christ, soon after he was converted. It was a time of violent persecution, and Mr. Matthews came in for his share of rude treatment. Elder Joel Gordon, who was intimately acquainted with him in his old age, heard him relate the following incident: "On a Sunday morning, soon after I commenced exercising in exhortation," said Mr. Matthews, "I dressed myself in a suit of speckless white cotton clothes, and started to walk to meeting alone. I was just passing an exceedingly filthy pond when I was overtaken and seized
by two young men. They dragged me into the pond to a convenient depth for baptizing. Here they stopped, and one of them asked me if I believed. I remained silent, and they plunged me under the water. They raised me up, and again asked me if I believed. I was still silent, and they dipped me the second time. Raising me up again, they repeated the question as to whether I believed. I now replied: 'I believe you intend to drown me.' They then left me, but my white cotton suit was unfit to wear to meeting, so I went back home."
He relates another disaster which happened to him, after he was regularly set apart to the ministry. " was out one day, "said he, "hunting. I soon came within shooting distance of what I took to be a very large deer. At the crack of my rifle, it fell. But, on running up to it, I found I had killed, not a fine fat deer, but a poor old horse. This was the only horse in the neighborhood, and was kept principally for the people of the settlement to go to mill on, as we did not plow our land at that time, but cultivated it altogether with hoes. I was unable to pay for the animal. But on my making known the circumstances, the neighbors soon made up a sufficient sum to buy another horse."
Mr. Mathews was among the early emigrants to Green county, Kentucky. On Benjamin Lynn joining the Newlights, or Stoneites, as the religious sect, which originated about that period, was called, Mr. Mathews succeeded him in the pastoral care of Brush Creek church, about the year 1803. He was at this time, seventy years old, and had not long to serve. But he served faithfully. During the ten years he was connected with the church, one hundred were added to it by baptism, ninety of whom were received in one year, 1810. But he had now finished his course. In 1813, the Lord called for him. "Hs death was a beautiful reflection of the life he had led," said the venerable Joel Gordon. "I was present during his last hours. He lay and snored gently for about twenty-four hours, like one enjoying a sweet, refreshing sleep, after the fatiguing labors of a long summer day. He then awoke as one refreshed and invigorated. He calmly called his children and grand children around him, and gave them his dying charge. When he closed his address, he asked them if they approved of what he had said. On being answered in the affirmative, he said: 'I am now ready
to go.' He again fell into a gentle sleep and slept about an hour. When he awoke he said: 'There are angels standing all around me. They are all dressed in shining white. There is brother Hawks at my head, and sister Lewis standing at my feet.16 They are waiting to carry me home. Why don’t you see them?' He then passed quietly away to join the multitude of the redeemed that had gone before."17
THOMAS WHITMAN is supposed to have been the third pastor of Brush Creek church. He was a man of considerable ability, and was quite active in the ministry, during the early part of the present century. But he was of an unamiable temper, was Arminian in doctrine, and "unstable in all his ways." There was, however, no allegation against his morals, and he was quite useful in gathering and building up the early churches on both sides of Green river. He aided in constituting old Green River (now Lonoke) church, the oldest now existing in Hart county. Thomas Whitman is supposed to have come from Pennsylvania, about the year 1800. He first settled on Knox creek in what is now Hart county, where he became a member and a preacher in Knox Creek church. After a short time, in consequence of a misunderstanding between him and Joseph Stogdill, he took a letter, and united with South Fork in what is now LaRue county. He was chosen pastor of this church. During the year 1808, he declared himself in favor of emancipation, and carried over to his views a majority of the church. To this party he preached till most of them returned to the slavery party, when he also professed a change of views, and the church again became united. This was about the year 1814. It was about this time that he is supposed to have become pastor of Brush Creek church. He preached here but a short time, yet with some degree of success.
About the year 1830, he moved to Illinois, and soon afterwards went to give an account of his stewardship.18
WILLIAM WHITMAN, a son of Thomas Whitman, and a young man of fair promise, was licensed to preach at Green River
(now Lonoke) church in Hart county, in August, 1819. He preached a few years in Kentucky, and then moved to Illinois.
JOHNSON GRAHAM was the fourth pastor of Brush Creek church. He was a good medium preacher, with a very limited education, but a man of such warm and fervent piety, such firmness and constancy of faith, and such burning zeal for the honor of Christ and the salvation of sinners, that he ranked among the most valuable preachers in his Association.
WILLIAM GRAHAM, the father of Johnson Graham, was a native of South Carolina, and an old revolutionary soldier. He served seven years in the Continental army. He married Nancy Lynn, a sister of the famous old Kentucky pioneer, Benjamin Lynn. This marriage was blessed with two daughters and three sons. Wm. Graham was an early settler on Brush creek in Green county, Kentucky. Whether, as some have suggested, he came with his brother-in-law, to Kentucky and settled first on Nolynn (now spelt Nolin) river, or whether he followed him at a later period, and settled first on Brush creek, may not now be determined.
Johnson Graham was the second son. He was born in South Carolina, October 2, 1772, and came with his father to Kentucky in his youth. In 1798, he married Miss Casandria Stone. He was probably converted during the great revival of 1800-3 under the ministry of his uncle, Benjamin Lynn, by whom he was baptized into the fellowship of Brush Creek church. He began to exercise in public prayer not long after he was baptized, but his gifts developed slowly, so that he did not enter fully into the work of the ministry till about 1812, he being, at that period, forty years old. He was called to the pastoral care of Otter Creek church, in LaRue county, Greensburg and Brush Creek, in Green county, and Friendship, in what is now Taylor county. "I do not remember," says his daughter, "but one change in his pastoral relation during a period of about twenty-five years, and that was when David Thurman was called to the care of Friendship church, only for a brief period." His success was fair, in all his churches. He was twice Moderator of Russells Creek Association, and once preached the introductory sermon before that body. He united with a temperance society that was organized in Green county, and was a zealous advocate of total abstinence from the use of
intoxicating drinks. He was a very skillful peacemaker. When two members of his charge would have a disagreement, he would go at once to see them, and labor affectionately with them till the difficulty was adjusted. But the time came when the eminently good and useful man must close his labors. After anillness of six weeks’ continuance, he left forever the scenes of toil and suffering, and went to receive his reward on high, Oct. 26, 1840.19
Nothing of peculiar interest occurred among the Baptists of Kentucky during the year 1791, except a rather violent agitation, on the subject of negro slavery. Congress had passed an act by which Kentucky was to be admitted into the Union of States, the first of June, 1792. Delegates were to be elected on the 9th of December, 1791, to meet in convention, the following April, for the purpose of forming a Constitution for the new State. Many of the Baptists, including a number of their ablest preachers, were opposed to Slavery and in favor of adopting a State Constitution prohibiting it. Elkhorn Association held three sessions this year. In August it appointed A. Easton, Jas. Garrard and Ambrose Dudley to prepare a memorial on the subject of Religious Liberty and Perpetual Slavery. The association met again in September, approved the memorial and ordered it sent to the Convention. The churches were much agitated on the subject. The association met again in December, and resolved not to send the memorial.20
The work of planting churches was carried on more deliberately and wisely during this year, than it had been the year before. Most of the churches gathered were permanent, and some of them are still strong, efficient bodies, while most of those gathered the preceding year speedily perished.
While there were several more churches this year than last, the number of baptisms among the Regular Baptists was smaller than during the year previous, the latter being 249, the former 242. Still there was manifest progress made, and a good foundation was being laid on which to build more rapidly when the set time to favor Zion should come. _____________________
1 Meaning falsehoods. 2 Taken down from his lips by the author. 3 History of Mayslick Church, p. 15. 4 His son, Elder T. M. Vaughan, has published a neat volume of 336 pages of "Memoirs of William Vaughan." 5 Autobiography of T. Boulware, p. 3. 6 In 1879 the author visited this ancient residence, which was still in a good state of preservation. It was located one and one-half miles west of Crab Orchard and was occupied by the aged and pious Widow Penington, once a ward of Morgan Vardeman, brother of Jere. 7 J. M. Peck in Christian Repository, August, 1854, p. 463. 8 History of David's Fork Church, p. 9. 9 For much of the matter of this sketch the author is indebted to J. M. Peck. 10 Horatio Chandler makes a mistake in supposing this church was constituted in 1803. We know it was a member of Green River Association previous to this date. 11 Vardeman and Warders were living at that time. 12 Allen's Register for 1833, p. 189. 13 Judge Hardin was a son of the daughter of Thomas Harding. 14 The lady herself related this incident to the author. 15 The principle facts in these sketches were taken from the lips of Hon. Aaron Harding. 16 Mr. Hawks and Mrs. Lewis had died a short time before this. 17 The prinicple facts in this sketch were taken down from the lips of Elder Gordon. 18 The prinicple facts in this sketch were taken down from the lips of Elder John Duncan. 19 This is compiled from two communications received from Mr. Graham's children. One from Mr. Barbee of Weston, Mo., the other from Dr. H. Graham of Litchfield, Ky. 20 A fuller account of the Emancipation movement has been given in Chapter XIII. ======================
[John Henderson Spencer, A History of Kentucky Baptists, 1885; rpt. CHR&A, 1984.]
Kentucky Baptist Church Histories
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