Baptist History Homepage
A History of Kentucky Baptists
By J. H. Spencer
Volume II, 1885
Friendship, Twin Creek, Lynn, Union Regular,
Irvine, Clear Fork, Mountain,
Crittenden, Cumberland River No. 2, Jackson, Henderson County, Mt. Zion, Lynn Camp,
Blood River, West Union No. 2, Booneville, Warren County, Kentucky, Powels Valley,
Pleasant Run, Rockcastle, Shelby County, East Kentucky, Enterprise, Sand Lick,
Second North Concord, Blackford, Green River No. 2., Red River No. 2.,
Union County, Greenville, Long Creek, Owen, Ohio River Associations,
Colored Baptists and Freewill Baptists
This small community, located in Greenup county, originated from a rupture of Greenup Association, on the subject of temperance. It was constituted of 4 churches aggregating 106 members, at Friendship meeting house in Greenup county, December 29, 1850. The names of the churches were New Bethel, New Salem, Friendship and New Hope, to which Mt. Zion was added the following year. The only ordained minister of the body was Thomas K. Reynolds. After its organization, the Association gave its reasons for withdrawing from the Greenup fraternity, in a circular letter, of which the following is an extract:
"We, being a minority of that body (Greenup Association), could not induce her by any entreaties that we could bring to bear, nor any action we could enforce, to expel drunkards, or those that dealt out intoxicating drink, so much so, that the sin lay not in the lay members only, but that the ministry was engaged in the sin of habitual drinking, and the moderator has frequently taken too much of that bowl."
The Association was quite prosperous during the first year. In 1851, it reported 5 churches, 3 ordained ministers, 59 baptisms and 221 members. It also reported prayer meetings in all the churches, and "several Sabbath-schools in a state of prosperity." The prospects of the young fraternity were very encouraging. But before the minutes of the meeting of 1851 were printed, T. K. Reynolds, the oldest, and by far the ablest
and most influential minister of the body, as well as its moderator, was excluded from Friendship church. This gendered a confusion from which the Association could not recover, and, in 1854, it was formally dissolved.
Mr. Reynolds was afterwards restored to the church, and, it is believed, the churches which had composed the unfortunate little fraternity, united with Greenup Association.
Twin Creek Association
This small community of Antimissionary Baptists originated from a division of Licking Association, caused by a circular letter, written by Elder Thomas P. Dudley, in 1846. This letter was not presented to the Association, as was originally intended; but some of the members were permitted to read it, and, in 1847, it was read before the body. The style of the writing was obscure, and it was not clearly understood by the members. However, it caused considerable dissatisfaction and disputation. To avoid being further misrepresented, as he averred, Mr. Dudley, in 1848, caused 1,000 copies of the letter to be printed and circulated. A deliberate reading of the document increased the discontent. With the hope of restoring harmony, James Dudley, a brother of the author of the letter, sent a circular to all the churches of the Association, requesting them to send messengers to Bryants Station, in Fayette county, on the last Wednesday in March, 1850. In this meeting, about half the churches were represented, and the writer of the letter was acquitted of heresy. This further increased the discontent of the churches which dissented from the decision of the conference. Stony Point and Friendship churches issued a "Joint Manifesto" in which it was averred that Mr. Dudley taught the "Eternal Creation System." It was also claimed that he denied the doctrine of the "Regeneration of the soul."
The "Eternal Creation System" taught that God, in the Eternal Past, created two distinct families: one in Adam, and the other in Jesus Christ; that all the members of each of these families were created simultaneously, and, that, of course, they
are, in fact, of the same age. According to this teaching, the child born to-day is, in reality, as old as Adam: The recent birth is only a developement of an "eternal creation." So of the spiritual family, "created in, and simultaneously with Jesus Christ." Abel, the first Christian, is no older than the last one that shall be "born from above." The descendant of Adam is the natural man, a simple being wholy corrupt, and unchangeable in the present life. A descendant from Jesus Christ, whether born (developed) in the days of Abel, or in the present age, is wholy pure and incorruptable.
A Christian, according to this theory, is not a child of Adam, regenerated, nor yet a descendant of Christ, born from above, but a coalescence of both, and consequently, a "compound being." As both of the component parts are unchangeable, and are antagonistic in their nature, there must be a perpetual strife between them until the stronger destroys the weaker. This Mr. Dudley denominates the "Christian Warfare." While the subject was agitated, the theory was sometimes called the "Two Souls doctrine." The denial of the regeneration of the human soul was a necessary sequence of this theory.
Against this theory and its sequences, the following churches of Licking Association protested: Stony Point, Friendship, Twin Creek, Williamstown, Raysfork, and Fork Lick. These six churches, by their messengers, met at Twin Creek meeting house in Harrison county on Friday before the third Saturday in November, 1850, and, after a sermon by Wm. Rash, proceeded with the usual formalities, to constitute "Twin Creek Old Regular Baptist Association."
At its first anniversary, the Association numbered seven churches with 242 members. The ordained preachers of the body were Wm. Rash, Wm. Conrad, Whitfield Collins, and Matthias Gosset. E. S. Dudley was a licensed preacher. The fraternity increased rapidly, till 1854, when it numbered twelve churches with 410 members. Soon after this, some dissensions occurred in the body, and Wm. Conrad drew off several churches, which afterwards remained unassociated. After this, the Association declined rapidly, till 1868, when it numbered five churches with 105 members. At this date, it united with the old North District fraternity, and thus lost its identity.
William Rash was the leading minister in this small fraternity.
He was a native of Virginia, and was born Feb. 13, 1783. In his youth he was brought by his parents to Kentucky, where he was bred to the trade of a hatter. During the great revival of 1801, he professed religion, and was baptized by Ambrose Dudley into the fellowship of Davids Fork church in Fayette county. In 1812, he moved his membership to Friendship church in Clark county, where it remained the rest of his life. In August of the same year, he entered the army, was afterwards promoted to a captaincy, was in the disastrous battle of River Rasin, and was taken prisoner by the British On being paroled, he returned home, and resumed the occupation of a hatter.
On the 26th of April, 1823, he was ordained to the gospel ministry, by Ambrose Dudley, John Shackleford and Henry Toler, and accepted the pastoral charge of Friendship church, a position he continued to occupy about thirty-six years. He was also pastor of the churches at Mt. Nebo in Madison county, Boones Creek and Town Fork, in Fayette co., and, at the time of his death, Stony Point in Bourbon. He died of paralysis, June 9, 1859. Mr. Rash was regarded a good preacher, and was held in high esteem by the people among whom he labored. Although he identified himself with the Anti-missionary Baptists, after the split on the subject of missions, he was conservative in his ministrations, and enjoyed a good degree of success in winning souls to Christ.
Ambrose Dudley Rash son of the above, was raised up to the ministry among the Antimissionaries; but afterwards came out from among them, and became an able preacher. He has been pastor of the churches at Winchester, Stanford, Lancaster, Nicholasville and several others. When last heard from he was living at Winchester, and laboring as missionary of Boones Creek Association,
The churches of which this confederacy was constituted are located in LaRue, Hart, Taylor and some of the adjoining counties,
and most of them were dismissed from Russells Creek Association. The constitution was effected at South Fork meeting house, LaRue county, Nov. 8, 1856. The following churches entered into the organization: South Fork of Nolin, New Market, Rolling Fork, Three Forks of Bacon Creek, Good Hope, Dover. Union Band, Mount Tabor, Ætna Union and Bethabara After the constitution, Mt. Moriah and Mt. Pisgah joined the Association by letter. The body then numbered twelve churches, aggregating 1,037 members. The following ministers were in the constitution: Wm. M. Brown, J. P. Bryant, John Ingraham, E. L. Jaggers, D. J. Logston, John Duncan. D. Miller, John Miller, S. P. Skaggs and J. T.Miller. Immediately after its organization, the Association appointed a missionary board, consisting of R. C. Ray, J. A. Miller, G. Dye, W. Walters and John Y. Brown, directed them to hold quarterly meetings, and requested each church in the Association to send a messenger, with its contribution, to each meeting of the board. This plan worked so satisfactorily, that it has been continued in operation to the present time. The body also advised the organization of a Ministers’ and Deacons’ Meeting.
At its second anniversary, the Association expressed itself on the subject of temperance, as follows:
"Whereas, The Church of Christ was set up as the great moral light of the world, and, as such, it becomes her duty to suppress every apparent evil; and knowing as we do, that the use of ardent spirits has proved a curse, both to the church and the world, therefore,
"Resolved, That we recommend the churches to suppress the evil, by disapproving of the making and use of the same."
In 1859, the body deplored the want of gospel discipline in the churches, and urged its better enforcement. In its benevolent enterprises, it has followed the example of the older associations, in approving and contributing to the general benevolent schemes of the denomination.
This has been one of the most prosperous bodies of the kind in the State. In 1860, it numbered seventeen churches with 1,421 members. In 1870, twenty churches with 2,073 members. In 1880, twenty-five churches with 3,073 members, and, in 1883, twenty-nine churches, with 3,219 members. In 1862, '63, and
'77, it failed to publish its statistics. During the remaining twenty-four years of its existence, down to 1883, there were baptized for the fellowship of its churches 3,441 professed believers.
Old Churches. South Fork and Good Hope antedate the present century. Some account of them has already been given,
Liberty is the next oldest church in this fraternity. It arose during the great revival, and was constituted by those famous old pioneers, Benjamin Lynn and Wm. Mathews, with others, October 17, 1801. In the following July, it united with Green River Association, under the style of the Regular Baptist church of Christ on the West Fork of Brush Creek. It was represented in the Association by George Holbrook, James Skaggs and David Elkin, and reported thirty-three received by baptism (since its constitution), three by letter, nine dismissed by letter, two excluded; total fifty-eight. In 1804, it entered into the constitution of Russells Creek Association, under its present name, with its membership reduced to thirty-three. It was represented by Moses, James and Stephen Skaggs, the last named being a licensed preacher. The church remained in Russells Creek Association till 1814, when, on account of the circular letter of that body, of 1812, as it averred, it withdrew, and united with South Kentucky Association of Separate Baptists. After laboring two years to reclaim it, Russells Creek Association dropped it from fellowship, and it remained with the Separate Baptists, till 1867, when it united with Lynn Association.
Rolling Fork also arose during the great revival, in 1801. It appears to have been known, at first, as the Baptist church on Clear Creek, and to have joined Green River Association, in July, 1802, being represented by Philip Crowder and Joshua Shorte (the former being a licensed preacher, and having a total membership of nine. The next year, it changed its location, and assumed the name of Otter Creek. In 1804, it entered into the organization of Russells Creek Association, with a membership of twenty. After this it dwindled, till 1811, when it numbered only twelve members. During the two years following, it enjoyed a most precious revival, and its membership was increased to fifty-four. In 1831, it moved
to its present location, and assumed its present name. In 1856, it entered into the constitution of Lynn Association, with a membership of sixty-nine, since which it has had no permanent increase.
Knox Creek was constituted about 1804, and united in the organization of Russells Creek Association, at that date, under the name of Lynn Camp. It was represented by Thomas Whitman and Wm. Dodson, and numbered 14 members. In 1814, it attained a membership of 52. But, about that time, the Separate Baptists made serious inroads among the churches of Russells Creek Association, and Lynn Camp lost nearly half its members. It assumed its present name, in 1818. In 1858, it united with Lynn Association, and has since been quite prosperous. In 1880, it numbered 171 members.
Of some of the old preachers of this Association, sketches have already been given; of some others no account has been received.
Thomas W. Pierce was an active and useful minister in this fraternity. He was a native of Ohio county, where he was born, July 30, 1842, and was raised up to the ministry, in Cane Run church. He was licensed to preach, about 1858. At the breaking out of the Civil War, he entered the Confederate Army, and shared its fortunes, till the return of peace. He was ordained to the ministry, in 1866, and soon afterwards took charge of the church at Litchfield. About 1873, he moved to Uptonsville in Hardin county, after which he was pastor of several other churches in Lynn Association. He labored with great zeal, not only in his pastoral work, but especially in protracted meetings, in which he was extraordinarily successful. He was a good preacher, and his undoubted piety gave him great influence. But his valuable labors were cut short in thenoontide of his life. After lingering several months, he died of consumption, at his home near Buffalo, La Rue county, August 16, 1883.
Union Association of Regular Baptists
This small community is located in the east end of the State. In 1871, seven of its churches were in Pike county, two
in Letcher, and three in the State of Virginia. It was constituted, in 1859, of nine churches, which had been dismissed from New Salem Association for the purpose. These nine churches aggregated 284 members. The progress of the body has been very slow. In 1870, it numbered 11 churches with 227 members, and, in 1880, 12 churches with 305 members. No information has been received concerning its old churches and ministers.
This flourishing community was constituted at Drowning Creek meeting house in Madison county on the 3d Saturday in October, 1859. The following churches entered into the organization: Providence, Drowning Creek, Clear Creek, Woodwards Creek, Cow Creek, Irvine and Salem. Smith V. Potts and James J. Edwards were the only preachers in the constitution. After completing the organization, by the election of S. V. Potts, Moderator, and James Richardson, Clerk, the Association adopted a resolution, recommending Sabbath schools.
At its first anniversary, the body appointed a missionary board, to be located at Irvine, the county seat of Estill, and S. V. Potts was appointed to labor as missionary within the bounds of the Association. In 1862, J. J. Edwards was appointed missionary, and, with the aid of the General Association, was kept in the field 17 years. His efficiency may be inferred from the fact, that, during a ministry of 30 years, he baptized over 5,000 people -- more than any other minister has ever baptized in Kentucky, excepting, possibly, Jeremiah Vardeman. Mr. Potts was also a successful missionary.
In 1866, N. B. Johnson began his missionary labors in this Association, and continued in the field 14 years, gradually extending his labors far beyond the boundary of this fraternity. He too, was an eminently efficient missionary, and especially a wise and skillful organizer. When these godly men commenced their missionary labors in the mountainous region now occupied by Irvine Association, there were but few Baptists in it, and most of those few were Antimissionaries. But under the divine blessing,
the desert soon began to blossom as the rose. Within 11 years, the Association increased from 7 churches with 270 members, in 1859, to 33 churches with 1,251 members, in 1870.
At the last named date, the fraternity divided its territory, setting off 17 churches to form Booneville Association. However, it continued to grow so rapidly, that it more than regained this loss of aggregate membership, within the following six years. Meanwhile, it virgorously supported Sunday-schools, and contributed something to general benevolent enterprises.
In 1870, the body resolved to put forth all its efforts "to oppose intemperance and the use of ardent spirits as a beverage," and, in 1878, it expressed its determination "not to retain or receive any church that permits its members to make, sell or use ardent spirits as a beverage." At the latter date, it issued a circular against receiving alien immersion.
This body has continued a regular course of prosperity during its whole history. After furnishing churches to form two other associations, it still numbered, in 1880, 22 churches with 1,320 members, and, in 1883, 24 churches with 1,430 members. Of these churches, at the former date, one was in Rockcastle county; one in Owsley; three in Madison; three in Clay; six in Estill, and eight in Jackson.
James Jesse Edwards is one of the remarkable men of his day. He is neither learned nor eloquent, nor has he any extraordinary natural gift that is recognizable. In appearance, he is a plain, ordinary man, and quite an ordinary preacher. If he possesses any extraordinary qualities, they are energy, perseverance, powers of endurance, and consecration to his holy calling. It is difficult to account for the measure of influence he has exerted over men, in any other way than upon the hypothesis that God has chosen him as one of the weak things of the world with which he confounds the mighty.
He was born of poor parents, in Lee county, Va., Dec. 30, 1824. Here, among the wild romantic scenery of the Cumberland mountains, he was raised up to hard labor, receiving barely education enough to enable him to read and write intelligibly. In his 18th year, he united with the Methodists. But after further consideration of the divine teaching, he joined the Baptist church at Thompsons Settlement in his native county, in October, 1842. Soon after his union with the Baptists, he began
to exhort and pray in public; but it was some years before he gave any especial promise of usefulness.
In February, 1850, he was married to Amy Parsons; and, on the 2d Saturday in June of the same year, was ordained to the ministry, at New Hope church in his native county, by Jonathan Bishop and John Gilbert. Having settled near Turkey Cove, in the same county, he spent a few years in preaching, almost, if not altogether, gratuitously, among the associates of his youth. After this, he moved to Clay county, Kentucky, where he spent a few years in the same manner, and then moved to his present location in Estill county, Kentucky. Hishabit was to preach three or four days in each week, and labor the remainder of the time on a farm. His wonderful success in winning souls to Christ began to attract attention beyond the mountainous region in which his labors were principally performed.
In April, 1862, he was appointed by the missionary board of Irvine Association to labor within the bounds of that fraternity. His success continued to be, as heretofore, very remarkable. The Board of the General Association, which aided in supporting him in that destitute field, says of him, in its annual report, in 1864: "This faithful and laborious servant of Christ, has a record and success during the past fifteen years, that very few ministers of the gospel can equal. Without a scholastic education, in great pecuniary embarrassment, he has persevered in his calling, and God has wonderfully blessed his labors. During that period he states he has devoted to the ministry 2,646 days; traveled 19,092 miles, about one third of which was on foot; preached 3,270 sermons and made 1,000 exhortations, and received into the church 2,032 persons. Until the last two years, his income from preaching has not averaged more than thirty cents per day for the time actually engaged."
Mr. Edwards continued in the employment of the board of the General Association, till 1878, when that body reported as follows: “Rev. J. J. Edwards, Winston, is one of the oldest missionaries in the employment of the board. He has traveled more miles, preached more sermons, and baptized a greater number than any other missionary of the General Association.
He has been quite feeble for the last few months, and unable to do his accustomed work."
During the nineteen years he spent in the employ of the General Association, he traveled on foot and horse-back over a very rough mountainous country, 36,730 miles; and it is not strange that even his robust constitution should have yielded to a strain so heavy and long continued. However, his health improved, after a few months, and he is still engaged in ministerial labor. In 1880, his memoranda showed that he had baptized 5,673 persons, and gathered about 35 churches.
Napoleon Bonaparte Johnson descended from one of the most distinguished families in Kentucky. His grandfather was a brother of the famous pioneer, Col. Robert Johnson, of Scott county, and his father was first cousin to Richard M. Johnson, once vice-president of the United States, and to James and John T. Johnson, both of whom were members of Congress from Kentucky.
N. B. Johnson was born in Fayette county, Ky., about 1816. His parents being in reduced circumstances, he received only a moderate common school education. In early life he joined the Campbellites, and was immersed in order to the remission of sins. He turned his attention to mechanism, and became a skillful mechanic; but, alas! he also became a drunkard, and, for a number of years, spent much of his time in dissipation. On the 28th of October, 1846, he was married to Edith Martin of Clark county. He continued to divide his time between dissipation and labor, till about 1858, when he was arrested by the Holy Spirit, and brought penitently to the feet of Jesus. Finding peace in the Savior, he was baptized, and entered into the constitution of Waco church in Madison county, in the year last named. Shortly after his union with the church, he began to exercise a public gift, and, on the 25th of October, 1862, was ordained to the ministry, by Thornton I. Wills, Nathan Edmonson and J.J. Edwards.
Although now passed the meridian of life, he entered upon the duties of his sacred calling with great zeal and energy. About the first of October, 1866, he accepted an appointment from the board of the General Association, to labor as missionary in the mountain counties of Eastern Kentucky. In this position he labored twelve and a half years. His reports for
about eleven years of this time show that he traveled over his mountainous field, 19,096 miles; 2,603 sermons; delivered 1,139 exhortations; made 1,323 religious visits; witnessed 1,109 additions to the churches; baptized (in eight years) 861; constituted (with proper helps) ten churches; organized 112 Sunday-schools, and distributed large quantities of religious literature. He occupied the same field in which the famous J. J. Edwards was laboring, and his labors were the more valuable on account of his being an excellent organizer and disciplinarian.
In 1879, he left the missionary field, on account of failing health, and devoted the brief remainder of his days to the duties of the pastoral office. He served the churches at Crab Orchard in Lincoln county, Waco in Madison, Cow Creek in Estill, and perhaps others. He proved to be a good pastor. After lingering several months with paralysis, he died at his home near Waco, November 12, 1882.
Clear Fork Association
The churches composing this body are located principally in Warren, Logan and Simpson counties. The Association was constituted, in 1860, of the following churches: Providence, Shady Grove, Pleasant Hill, New Gasper and Pleasant Prospect. These five churches aggregated 420 members. The preachers in the constitution were Brice Roberts and S.M. Shaw. In 1861, the following churches were added: Liberty, Stony Point, Friendship, Center and Moats Lick. With these five churches, there came into the fraternity five additional preachers, viz: Robert Woodward, J. H. Felts, J. J. Felts, Isaac Barrow and G. B. Dunn. The Association now numbered ten churches, seven preachers, and 853 members. At its first anniversary, the Association appointed a missionary board, consisting of Churchill H. Blakey, T. L. S. Proctor, S. M. Shaw, J. J. Felts and Allen Mansfield, expressed itself in favor of Sunday schools, and advised the organization of a ministers and deacons' meeting.
Notwithstanding the confusion consequent upon the Civil War, the young fraternity prospered from the beginning. It
earnestly advocated the use of the means of growth but there was a marked want of liberality in its churches, especially during the first decade of its history. This deficiency was made up, however, by the zeal of its self-sacrificing preachers, who supplied the destitution within its bounds; almost gratuitously. It has done comparatively little in the Sunday-school enterprise. The report of the committee on Sunday-schools, in 1881, contains this language: "We are sorry to say that, as a body, we are doing nothing in this great work. But two or three churches report Sunday-schools." The body appears to have taken no interest in missions beyond its own bounds.
In 1880, the Association numbered twenty-nine churches with 2,479 members, and, in 1883, thirty churches with 2,447 members. During fifteen of the first twenty four years of its existence, there were baptized for the fellowship of its churches, 1,984 converts. Providence in Warren county, constituted in 1804, and Center in Logan, constituted in 1810, are the oldest churches in this fraternity.
Robert Woodward was born of Methodist parents, in Jessamine county, Ky., February 4, 1797. He was raised on a farm, and taught to read and write. In his twentieth year, he was married to Polly, daughter of David Spencer, and settled in his native county, where he followed the occupation of a farmer. Not long after his marriage, he became greatly concerned for the salvation of his soul, and, for about three months, sought the Lord in daily secret prayer. At last he found peace in the Savior, and was baptized into the fellowship of Jessamine church by John Sacra. In December, 1825, he moved to Logan county, and settled a few miles north of Auburn, where he spent the remainder of his long and useful life. During the general revival of 1837, and the two years succeeding, he became active in the prayer meeting exercises, and frequently exhorted sinners to repent and turn to God. This led to his being licensed to preach, in the spring of 1840, and he was ordained to the ministry, on the 29th of the following July, by O. H. Morrow and D. L. Mansfield. He was immediately called to succeed Philip Warden, as pastor of Liberty church, of which he was a member. This position he occupied uninterruptedly forty-three years. He was also pastor of Stony Point and Friendship churches, about twenty years, and of
Pleasant Hill church, which he had gathered, about the same length of time. In all these congregations, he labored with good success and great harmony, and, although he was forty-three years old when he entered the ministry, he is supposed to have baptized more than 1,000 people, and to have married about the same number. At the ripe old age of eighty-six years, this faithful man of God was called to his reward above, August 14, 1883.
Isaac Barrow was born in Pulaski county, Kentucky, Aug. 2, 1816. He moved to Logan county, in 1838, and settled near old Center church. Here he was “born again” in the fall of 1841, and baptized into the fellowship of Center church. After exercising as a licensed preacher a few years, he was ordained to the ministry Oct. 9, 1846. He possessed only moderate ability as a preacher; but he was pious, and his humble gifts were consecrated. For about fifteen years he labored principally in that poor, hilly part of Logan county, commonly called the "Coon Range," devoting a portion of his time to pastoral work, and engaging in many protracted meetings, especially in destitute churches and neighborhoods. In 1863, he was employed as missionary within the bounds of Clear Fork Association. In this position he labored about six years, seeking out the most destitute places in three or four counties; and many heard the gospel for the first time, from the lips of this zealous and devoted servant of Christ. About 1878, he moved from Logan county and settled near Pilot Rock in Todd, where he continued to labor in the gospel the brief remainder of his days. He died of pneumonia, Jan. 5, 1883, leaving six children, five of whom were members of the Baptist church.
Brice Roberts is among the oldest and most prominent ministers in Clear Fork Association. His home is in Simpson county, and he is a member of Shady Grove church, of which he was pastor many years. It is regretted that more particulars of his life and valuable labors have not been obtained.
The churches of this Antimissionary fraternity are located
principally in Wolf and Breathitt counties. The exact time of its constitution has not been ascertained. In 1860, it reported seven churches with 197 members. It had considerable increase from that time till 1874, when it numbered eighteen churches with 655 members. Since that date, its aggregate membership has remained about the same, although it has received several new churches’ In 1879, it reported twenty-two churches, twelve of which aggregated 369 members, the other ten making no report.
John D. Spencer is the most prominent minister in this fraternity. He has been judge of Wolf county court, has been preaching in that and the surrounding counties about forty-five years, and is a man of considerable influence, both as a citizen and a preacher.
The churches of this confederacy are located principally in Grant and Pendleton counties. The Association was constituted at Crittenden meeting house in Grant county, October 12, 1860. The following churches, aggregating 403 members, entered into the organization: Grassy Creek, Crittenden, Unity, Short Creek, Oak Ridge, Pleasant Ridge and Mt. Carmel. The body is missionary in sentiment, and endorses the general benevolent enterprises of the Association; but it has been deficient in liberality. In 1865, a resolution in favor of Sundayschools was adopted, and considerable progress has been made in that direction. In 1880, the committee on that subject reported Sunday-schools in all the churches but one; that these schools were well attended, and moderately well organized; but, that they were meagerly supplied with books and papers. At the same session, the subject of female representation came before the body, and was disposed of by the unanimous adoption of the following preamble and resolution:
Whereas, There seems to be a disposition upon the part of some churches to appoint sisters as delegates to the Association; and,
"Whereas, It seems that such is not the practice of Baptists; therefore be it.
"Resolved, That none but brethren be appointed by the churches as messengers, in the future."
Sulphur Fork Association passed a similar resolution, not far from the same period.
The growth of Crittenden Association was Moderate during its first decade, and has been quite rapid since that period. In 1870, it numbered 9 churches with 573 members; in 1880, 15 churches with 1,307 members, and, in 1883, 15 churches with 1,388 members. During 21 of the first 23 years of its existence, there were baptized for the fellowship of its churches 1,187 converts.
Thomas Lummis was, perhaps, the oldest preacher in this Association. He was the oldest son of Reuben Lummis, and was born in Campbell county, Kentucky, October 21, 1805. In the 19th year of his age, he obtained hope in Christ, and was baptized into the fellowship of a church in Hamilton county, Ohio. In 1829, he was married to Evaline Smith of Pendleton county, Kentucky, and settled in Cincinnati. The next year, he moved to a farm onGrassy Creek in his native county, where he lived about 40 years. In May, 1839, Grassy Creek church licensed him to preach, and, four years later, he was ordained to the ministry by Christian Tomlin, Wm. Meyers and Amos Egleston. His education was limited, and he was timid and retiring in his disposition; but he slowly developed a fair preaching gift, and his constant piety gave him a good influence over the people. He was pastor, at different times, of Grassy Creek, Harris Creek, Short Creek, Unity, Pleasant Ridge, Oakland and Three Forks of Bowman churches. He was industrious and self-sacrificing, and, in addition to his almost gratuitous pastoral labors, he preached much among the destitute. During the last year of his life, he suffered much from an enlargement of the neck. He was called to his final reward, February 9, 1881.
Martin Lummis, a younger brother of the above, and one of the most prominent and useful preachers in Crittenden Association, was born in Campbell county, Kentucky, February, 1813. At the age of 16 years, he professed faith in the Savior, and was baptized into the fellowship of Wilmington church in what is now Kenton county, by Wm. Hume. He
was licensed to preach, in September, 1842, and ordained, in March, 1848. Since his ordination, he has acceptably served many churches in Crittenden and the adjoining associations. He was moderator of his Association at its first session, and has presided over it at least ten years.
Marquis Monroe Arnold is one of the active ministers of this body. He was born in Hampshire county, Va., March 28, 1827, and came with his parents to Pendleton county, Ky., in 1831. At the time of his marriage to Elvira Williams, March 3, 1846, he could not read intelligently, or write his name. He was converted in 1853, and baptized by A.W. Mullins for the fellowship of Short Creek church in Pendleton county. After laboring as a licensed preacher about two years, he was ordained to the pastoral care of Short Creek church, in May, 1861. Since his ordination, he has been pastor of about 20 churches, during longer or shorter periods. In 1881, he had baptized something over 600 persons.
Cumberland River Association No. 2
This body originated in a split in the old Cumberland River confederacy. At the annual meeting of the latter, held at Liberty meeting house in Pulaski county, on the first Saturday in September, 1861, a motion was made to drop correspondence with certain missionary organizations. The motion was lost; upon which the Moderator, the venerable Richard Collier, arose and said: "We are a divided people." The majority retired to the house to organize, and theminority organized at the stand. Both parties retained the name, and claimed the prerogatives of the original fraternity.
The body now under consideration entered upon its minutes the following explanation: "The reason why our numbers have decreased is this: We declared unfellowship with the present plan of missionary efforts; and a portion of our body saw proper to organize themselves together, and we organized as usual, having 11 churches and the regular old moderator with us, on the constitution. We were constituted 52 years ago."
The 11 churches of which the body was organized, most
of which are located in Pulaski county, aggregated 683 members. The body is avowedly Antimissionary, in the common acceptation of the term; but claims that the churches have a right to send out ministers to preach the gospel, but not to promise them salaries. It does not differ in its doctrinal views from the Missionary Baptists; but opposes all secret societies, and all religious organizations, except gospel churches. It belongs to that class of Baptists, commonly known, 40 years ago, as "Go-betweens." It has had a slight increase in numbers. When last heard from, in 1879, it numbered 13 churches with 886 members. During the past 18 years of its existence, from 1861 to 1879, there were baptized into the fellowship of its churches 728 professed believers.
Richard Collier was the most distinguished preacher in this fraternity, and was, for about 50 years, a very useful minister in old Cumberland River Association. He was born in East Tennessee, about the year 1783, and migrated to Pulaski county, Kentucky, while a young man. Soon after his settling in Kentucky, he commenced exhorting, and was ordained to the ministry, at Mt. Pleasant church in Pulaski county, about 1811, by Elijah Barnes, and, probably Stephen Collier, who was his first cousin. He was a moderate preacher, but a zealous, faithful laborer; and he did much in building up the early churches in Pulaski county. His popularity was evinced in his being chosen Moderator of Cumberland River Association, about 20 years. He was also Moderator of the body now under consideration, at its first session. He rested from his labors, in April, 1865.
Reuben J. Shadowen was the most prominent preacher in this Association. After the death of Richard Collier whom he succeeded in the moderatorship, in 1862. This position he continued to fill, as late as 1879. At that time he was quite old and feeble.
This small fraternity was located principally in the county from which it derives its name. The churches of which it
was originally composed, appear to have previously belonged to South Fork Association, which was dissolved about 1861. Jackson Association was constituted about 1862. At first it corresponded with the neighboring associations; but, in 1868, it adopted a new constitution, and, passed the following resolution:
"Resolved, That we hold the hireling system and the Missionary Board should not be fellowshiped by us." The eleventh article of the new constitution reads thus. "We believe that the Lord’s Supper and washing of saints' feet are ordinances of the Lord, and are to be continued by the church until his second coming." At this time it numbered seven churches with 134 members. The next year it numbered twelve churches with 348 members. But from this time, it rapidly declined. In 1872, it reported only six churches with 166 members. No later information concerning it has been received. It has probably been dissolved.
Henderson County Association
At the annual meeting of Little Bethel Association, held at Richland meeting house in Hopkins county, in 1868, the following churches were dismissed to enter into a new organization: Grave Creek, Bethel, Mt. Pleasant, Zion, Cherry Hill, Cash Creek, Henderson and Pleasant Valley. These eight churches aggregating 931 members, met, by their messengers, at Cash Creek meeting house in Henderson county, the same fall, and constituted the fraternity now under consideration, under the style of "Henderson County Association of Baptists." The name was derived from the county in which the churches are located. The new organization appointed a missionary board, which at once inaugurated a system of home missions. At its next session it urged upon the churches the importance of sustaining Sunday schools, and, in 1871, recommended the organization of a Sunday school convention, which was carried into effect.
This body has, from the beginning, not only expressed sympathy with, and contributed to the general benevolent institutions
of the denomination, but has also exhibited an enlightened zeal in the promotion of sound education and moral reform.
In 1873, it warned the members of the churches against sending their children to Roman Catholic schools, since such a course would result in many evils. These evils have been deplored, not only by this Association, but by all similar bodies whose members have come in contact with these institutions. These schools are usually taught by enthusiastic women, many of whom are themselves uneducated in everything but some light and frivolous accomplishments, and whose sole aim in life is to inculcate the pernicious superstitions of their church. The unfortunate girl who is placed under the instruction of such teachers, is not only deprived of all opportunities of obtaining a solid, practical education, but, what is far more deplorable, has her mind and heart perverted from the simplicity of truth and reality, to the indulgence of a dreamy, superstitious imagination, and an extravagant estimate of insignificant trifles.
In 1874, the Association expressed its sentiments with regard to temperance reform, as follows:
"Resolved, That, in the opinion of this body, the sale and use of intoxicating liquors as a beverage is injurious to the community, and a reproach to the cause of Christ, and should be discouraged and condemned by all Christian people." During the same session, it adopted a resolution against dancing or encouraging that evil, and warned the churches against agricultural fairs, inasmuch as those institutions had been "turned into common race courses."
The churches were also warned against the evils of lotteries.
This Association has enjoyed a slow, but steady and healthy increase. In 1878, it attained a membership of sixteen churches, aggregating 1,616 members; but during the ensuing year, it sustained a loss of four churches with 426 members, by the formation of Union County Association, on the south-western border of its territory. In 1880, it numbered twelve churches with 1,151 members and, in 1883, ten churches with 1,315 members. During the first fifteen years of its existence there were baptized for the fellowship of its churches, 1,226 converts.
Old Churches. Grave Creek is the oldest church in this
fraternity. It was constituted by Wm. Bourlin and Van Teague, near a small stream from which it derives its name, in what is now Webster county, in 1803. It was subsequently moved ten miles north to its present location in Henderson county. Soon after its constitution, it applied for admission into Cumberland Association: but its petition was rejected on account of some charges which were alleged against Van Teague. The Association advised the church to be reconstituted, which was accomplished, in 1804, by Lewis Moore, and Jesse Brooks. The church then numbering about fifteen members, was received into Cumberland Association, and, on the division of that fraternity, in 1806, fell into Red River Association. Since 1811, it has belonged in turn, to Wabash, Highland, Little Bethel and Henderson County Associations. On the early records of the church are the names of Willingham, King, Spencer, Allison,Walden, Voris and Street. Its early pastors were Wm. Bourlin, John Weldon, Job Hobbs, John Dorris and Wm. Hatchett.
Bethel church, located, at Hebbardsville, in Henderson county, was constituted of members dismissed from Grave Creek, June 4, 1813, by Job Hobbs, John Grantham and John Welden. The following males were in the constitution: Jarrett, Wm. and John Willingham, Joseph Eads, Hampton Jones, John Welden, James Cross, David Rhodes and John Vanadale. John Welden was its first pastor, and was followed in turn, by Thomas Downs and Wm. Hatchett. The church has belonged to Highland, Little Bethel and Henderson County Associations.
Henderson church was constituted by John L. Burrows and Wm. Hatchett, in the fall of 1839. Mr. Burrows was its first pastor, and was followed, in the order of their names, by H. B. Wigging, George Matthews, Sidney Dyer, A. R. Macey, I. T. Tichenor and John Bryce.
Abram Hatchett, a son of Elder Wm. Hatchett, was born in Lunenburg county, Va., July 25, 1817, and came with his parents to Henderson county, Ky., in 1828. He professed conversion, and was baptized into the fellowship of Grave Creek church, by Richard Jones, in the fall of 1838. After exercising a few months, as a licensed preacher, he was ordained, at the call of Bethlehem church (now extinct), by K. G. Hay, Joseph
Board and Wm. H. Whayne, in October, 1845. He has since, at different periods, served the churches at Grave Creek, Zion, Cherry Hill, Bethel and Cash Creek, all in Henderson county. For a number of years, he rode as missionary within the bounds of Little Bethel Association, and during his ministry, he has preached much in private houses and school houses. At one time, he visited, and preached to every church in Little Bethel Association without compensation. He has been a member of Bethel church, about 45 years, and has married about 600 couples. Two years ago, he remarked, that he had missed attending but three of his church meetings, except when providentially hindered, in 43 years. He has been prominent in the business transactions of both Little Bethel and Henderson County Associations, having been clerk of the former, eleven years, and of the latter, thirteen years.
Andrew Jackson Miller was one of the ablest and most useful preachers that have labored in this region of the State. He was the youngest of four sons of Andrew Miller, a poor but intelligent, pious farmer, and was born in Hardin (now LaRue county, Kentucky, January 7, 1839. While he was a small boy, his parents moved to Ohio county, where they brought up their children in the nuture and admonition of the Lord. Of their four sons, William, the oldest, was an efficient deacon, Richard H., the second, was an earnest, faithful preacher in Gasper River Association, Allen B., the third, is the well known Dr. Miller of Little Rock, Ark, and A. J., the fourth, was the earnest talented and consecrated subject of this sketch.
A. J. Miller was raised upon a small farm in what was then regarded the backwoods of Ohio county, and, at the age of 20 years, was much better skilled in the art of hunting than in the use of books. He was converted under the preaching of his brother, A.B. Miller, then a licentiate, about 1856, and was baptized by Alfred Taylor. In 1858, he was licensed to preach by Mt. Zion church in Ohio county. Immediately after this, his brother, A B. Miller, then pastor of the church at Hickman, Kentucky, assumed the charge of his education, and, after keeping him in school for a time, sent him to Madison College in West Tennessee. On his return from College, he was ordained to the pastoral care of Cool Spring church in Ohio county, in 1861.
In 1864, he took charge of the church at Henderson, and, the next year, went to Hart county, where he took the care of Three Forks of Bacon Creek church. Having been married to Ella Hix of Hibbardsville, Henderson county, Kentucky, he located in Nelson county, and took charge of New Hope, Hardins Creek and Bethlehem churches in Washington county, and Mill Creek in Nelson. In this field he achieved a brilliant success, and acquired the reputation of an able preacher and an excellent pastor. In 1868, he moved to Henderson county, where he took the pastoral care of Bethel church, and subsequently, and at different periods, that of Grave Creek, Pleasant Valley, Zion and, perhaps others. Here he labored with great zeal and energy about six years, and accomplished a glorious work for the Master. About 1874, he moved to Missouri, and took charge of the church at Carrollton. While in this pastorate, he brought about the celebrated debate between Drs. J. R. Graves and Jacob Ditzler.
In 1877, he returned to Kentucky and resumed the pastoral charge of Zion church in Henderson county, giving a portion of his time to the church at Cloverport, Kentucky, for a brief period, but afterwards devoting all his time to Zion church About 1879, he was badly crushed by a fall from his buggy. His wounds appeared to be healed, in due time, but he was so weakened and emaciated that he never fully recovered his health. His lungs became diseased, and he gradually declined, until the 7th of December, 1883, when the Master took him home to himself.
Dr. Miller was a man of marked individuality, a bold, original thinker, and a fearless, uncompromising advocate of his opinions. He neither sought nor shunned controversy, but held himself in readiness to teach his doctrines fearlessly, or to debate them if they were controverted. His zeal and activity were notable; he kept well up with the times, and was boldly aggressive. During a ministry of 25 years, he preached 4,175 sermons, besides engaging in several public debates, and making addresses on various subjects. He was an easy and remarkably rapid writer, and contributed largely to the periodical literature of his time. His last work was a review of the doctrine and polity of the Episcopal church, in a series of letters addressed to R. S. Barrett, rector of the Episcopal parish of Henderson,
Kentucky, and published in the American Baptist Flag. But the great work of his life was the leading of sinners to the Cross, in which he was more than ordinarily successful.
Mt. Zion Association
This small fraternity of Antimissionary United Baptists is located in the central part of the mountainous region of the State, its churches being scattered over portions of Morgan, Lewis, Breathitt and Magoffin counties. It was constituted of six churches, aggregating 205 members, at Low Gap in Magoffin county, in 1869. The names of its churches, in 1874, were Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Baptist Union, Low Gap, Samaria, Zion, Poplar Grove and Salem. Joseph H. Spence, Eli Williams and William R. Davis appear to be among its most prominent ministers. The Association has enjoyed peace, and a good degree of prosperity. For a time, it attempted to conciliate the neighboring associations, of different complexions of doctrine, by styling itself "Regular United Baptists." But the attempt proved abortive, and it dropped the term Regular. It has had a fair increase in numbers. In 1870, it reported 6 churches with 229 members, and, in 1880, 11 churches with 515 members. During 10 of the first 11 years of its existence, it reported 315 baptisms. No particulars have been received, concerning its churches and ministers.
Lynn Camp Association
In October, 1868, Laurel River Association agreed to divide into two fraternities: It was ordered that Laurel River be the dividing line; and that the churches on the south side of that stream should form a new confederacy. Accordingly, messengers from 10 churches met at Lynn Camp meeting house in Knox Co., November, 6, 1868, and constituted, in due form, “Lynn Camp Association of United Baptists.” The last three articles of its constitution read as follows:
"14th. We, as an Association., will not receive, nor hold
in our union, churches that receive members from other denominations without baptism.
"15th. We, as an Association, will not hold it as a bar to fellowship, for our members to give to, or withold from, missionary or benevolent purposes.
"16th. We will not fellowship ministers nor churches that hold to the doctrine of a free communion."
The names of the churches entering into the constitution, were Friendship, Indian Creek, Robinson Creek, Mt. Olivet, Lynn Camp, New Bethel, London, Mt. Zion, Richland and Bethlehem. The ministers who entered into the organization were Green B. Foley, John M. Jackson, E. H. Revel, E. S Jones, Lewis Renfro, H. D. Harmon and Wm. K. Davis.
In 1870, S.C. Jackson, F. T. Hodges, C. S. Brown, H. D. Harmon and J. C. Westerfield were appointed a missionary board, and W. B. Estis was chosen to travel and preach within the bounds of the Association. The body has continued to supply its destitution with preaching, and has generally employed its most efficient preachers in that work.
At the date last named, the following query came up from Meadow Creek and Mt. Zion churches: "Shall we advise the churches to appoint their pastors annually?" After due consideration, the Association answered in the affirmative. This advice was rare, if not unique. Few intelligent persons, or bodies, that have examined the subject, have failed to see the evils attending the annual election of pastors. Such proceedings give rise to electioneering, stir up party spirit among the members, tempt partisans to depreciate, if not to slander, the minister whose election they oppose, and not unfrequently gender irreconcilable quarrels which result in dividing or destroying the church. Besides this, frequent changes of pastors are injurious to the church’s welfare. The general rule is, everywhere, that those churches which retain their pastors longest, enjoy the greatest permanent prosperity.
The following resolution, adopted by this body, in 1871, though somewhat crude, in language, involves two principles of much importance:
"Resolved, That this Association advise the churches composing the same to take full control of their membership, and hold no member in fellowship, who does not prove his faith by
his works; and that we advise our ministers to lay hands on no man for the ministry, who does not possess the qualifications required by the Bible."
In 1872, a Sunday-school in Robinson Creek meetinghouse reported 102 scholars in attendance, 18,186 chapters in the Bible read, and 1,265 verses repeated. This report so interested the Association that it immediately appointed H. D. Harmon superintendent of the Sabbath-school interest within its bounds. But no important results seem to have followed.
In 1876, the Association expressed itself on the subject of temperance reform, in language of the following purport: "We advise the churches in our union to hold no personas a member who engages in vending or manufacturing intoxicating liquors, or in furnishing materials for such manufacture; and wediscountenance the practice of drinking ardent spirits as a beverage." At the same session, the following resolution was adopted:
"Resolved, That we feel the need of strong men, sound in doctrine, to thoroughly canvass and teach the churches their duty, and we pray for the time when spiritual development may be universal in the mountains of Kentucky."
The Association appears to have been peaceful and prosperous. In 1870, it reported fifteen churches with 751 members; in 1880, seventeen churches with 1,049 members, and, in 1883, twenty-three churches with 1,260 members. During thirteen of the first fifteen years of its existence, it reported 739 baptisms.
John M. Jackson was a faithful minister in South Union, Laurel River and Lynn Camp Associations, about forty years. He was born in Granger Co., Tenn., Sept. 2, 1803, and emigrated to Kentucky at the age of twenty years. In 1825, he was married to Tany Seals. During the revival of 1828, he embraced the Savior and was baptized; and, the same year, was ordained a deacon. Two years later, he commenced preaching. But his gift developed so slowly, that he was not ordained to the ministry till about fifteen years afterwards. Having moved his membership to Robinson Creek church in Laurel county, he was ordained pastor of that congregation, in 1855. In this position he labored acceptably, till the Master bade him come up higher, June 15, 1870.
E. S. Jones was a native of East Tennessee, and was born Feb. 11, 1799. At the age of three years, he was brought to South-Eastern Kentucky, where he united with Providence church in Laurel county, in 1830. He was licensed to preach, in 1844, and ordained the following year. He was a plain, humble preacher, but a man of earnest zeal and undoubted piety. After laboring in the gospel thirty-two years, he was called to his rest, Dec. 31, 1876.
A. S. Hart was born in Whitley Co., Ky., June 7, 1836. At the age of thirty-two years, he obtained hope in Christ, and united with Meadow Creek church in his native county. He was licensed to preach, in 1868, and ordained the next year. Few men have been more zealous and self-sacrificing in the cause of Christ than he. In 1874, he was appointed to labor as an evangelist in Lynn Camp Association, and continued to fill the position with good success until near the time of his death. He rested from his labors, Aug. 13, 1878.
Henry D. Harmon is one of the most prominent ministers in this fraternity. He has nearly reached his three score and tenth year, and has usually acted as moderator of his Association, from the time of its constitution, in which capacity he had previously served Laurel River Association.
Blood River Association
This prosperous young fraternity is located in Trigg, Marshall and Calloway counties, with two of its churches in Tennessee. It was constituted at Elm Grove meeting house in Calloway county, Oct. 28, 1870, of the following churches, which had been dismissed from West Union Association for the purpose: Crocketts Creek, Blood River, Sinking Spring, Locust Grove, Pleasant Hill, Elm Grove, East Liberty, Benton, Turkey Creek, Tucker Springs and Oak Grove. The first and last named are in Tennessee. The ministers who entered into the constitution were J.C. Spann, J.A. Spencer, M.W. Henry, William Skinner, E.L. McLean, J. Outland, S.R. McLean, J. Paget and Ephraim Owen.
Nothing unusual has occurred to interrupt the harmony of
this body. It has advocated missions, education, Sunday-schools, temperance reform and other benevolent enterprises generally supported by the denomination. From the beginning, it has been unusually prosperous. At its constitution, in 1870, it numbered eleven churches with 873 members; in 1880, it reported twenty-four churches with 1,565 members, and, in 1883, thirty churches with 2,027 members. During the first thirteen years of its existence, it reported 1,412 baptisms.
Ephraim Owen was one of the early preachers of Calloway county. Concerning his early life nothing has been ascertained. He professed religion and was baptized, in 1830, and commenced preaching two years later. In 1834, he, with Wadesboro church, entered into the constitution of West Union Association, and was an active minister in that fraternity till the formation of the Blood River confederacy. Of the latter, he remained a member from its constitution until his death, which occurred in October, 1877. His principal pastorate was that of Wadesboro church, which he served many years. He was esteemed an excellent disciplinarian, a good solid preacher and was greatly beloved by his congregation.
William Skinner was born in Robertson Co., Tenn., Oct., 1800. In early life he moved to Calloway county, Ky. Here he was converted under the ministry of that humble but devoted man of God, Jesse Cox, by whom he was baptized for the fellowship of Blood River church. He was ordained to the ministry, about 1839, and assumed the pastoral care of Blood River church. To this congregation he ministered many years. Elm Grove and perhaps other churches enjoyed his pastoral labors. He was a good, plain, practical preacher, of eminent piety and usefulness, and was greatly beloved by the people of his charge. The Lord called him to himself Oct. 19, 1872.
John A. Spencer was an earnest, faithful preacher, in Calloway and the adjoining counties; first, in West Union, and afterwards, in Blood River Association. He was an humble and comparatively illiterate man, poor in the things of this world, but rich in faith, hope and love. His gifts were not above mediocrity; but he used them diligently, after the example of his Master, in preaching the gospel to the poor; and many were led to the Savior through his ministry. The papers bring the
sad intelligence that he ceased from his labors, at the age of about sixty years, in the fall of 1884.
Moses T. Spann was a native of South Carolina, whence he came with his parents to what is now Allen county, Kentucky, in 1799. Here, in his sixteenth year, he obtained hope in Christ and united with Trammels Fork church. He afterwards married and settled in Williamson county, Tennessee. Here, in Henry county of the same State, and in the western part of Kentucky, he preached the gospel about fifty years. He entered the ministry, about 1815, was a pioneer in what was known as "Jacksons Purchase," and aided in gathering and building up the first churches in that region. He was called to his reward, at a ripe old age, in 1864.
James Carson Spann, a son of the above, was born in Williamson Co., Tenn., Dec. 28, 1816. In 1829, he went with his parents to Henry county of the same State, where, in 1840, he united with North Fork church. In 1841, he was licensed to preach, and, during the same year, was ordained to the ministry, by Moses T. Spann, J. H. D. Carlin and P. W. Stark. Soon after his ordination, he took charge of Knob Creek and Beech Grove churches. In 1849, he moved to Calloway county, Ky., where he still resides (1885). Previous to this removal, he had been serving Providence and Sinking Spring churches. To the former, he preached about twelve years; to the latter, he has continued to minister, except during some brief intervals, to the present time. He has preached to Locust Grove, about twenty-five years, and to Murray, Wadesboro and several other churches, for different periods. During most of his ministry, he has been pastor of four churches. He served Western District Association as clerk several years, and has been moderator of Blood River Association, from its constitution, except one year. Of his thirteen children, one of whom died in infancy, nine had become members of a Baptist church, in 1882.
John B. Fletcher is one of the most zealous, active and useful preachers in Blood River Association. He was raised up to the ministry in Tennessee, where he preached several years. About 1855, he moved to Marshall county, Ky., and has since devoted his time to preaching the gospel in that and the surrounding counties. He is a man of an amiable and cheerful spirit, is much beloved by his numerous acquaintances, and has
been generally blessed in his ministeriallabors. He has probably well nigh reached his three score years and ten; but is still very active in his holy calling.
David McLin Green was born in what is now Crittenden county, Ky, Nov. 30, 1819. He was raised up in the Cumberland Presbyterian church, and professed conversion at the age of sixteen years. After a few years, he was approved as a probationer for the ministry. But after preparing and reading before the Presbytery several papers, he became disgusted with the church of his parents, and left it, intending to join the Methodists. But on examining the tenets of the different sects with which he was acquainted, he decided in favor of the Baptists, and was baptized into the fellowship of New Bethel church in Lyon county, by J. W. Mansfield, in 1852. He was immediately licensed to exercise his gift, and commenced laboring in his holy calling with great zeal. Within eleven months after his license, 100 persons professed conversion under his preaching, and he gathered materials for a church, which was constituted at Pinkneyville. He was ordained to the pastoral care of this congregation, in 1853. by J. W. Mansfield, Willis Champion and James Kinsolving.
In 1854, he moved to Marshall county, where he has now devoted thirty years of his life to the work of the ministry, giving a portion of his time to pastoral duties, especially to weak and destitute churches, but laboring principally as a missionary, sometimes under appointment of West Union Association, but much of the time without any compensation. He has gathered at least five churches — three in Kentucky, and two in Missouri — and built up a number that were feeble and ready to perish. With a strong healthy body, a cheerful temper, and a burning zeal for the honor of his Master and the salvation of sinners; he is eminently fitted for the duties of a missionary; and few ministers have been more laborious, self-sacrificing and useful, in Western Kentucky.
There are, and have been, several other good, useful preachers in this Association; but no particulars of their lives and labors have been received.
Red Bird Association No. 2
This small confederacy was located in Clay county, in the field vacated by the dissolution of the older fraternity of the
same name. It was constituted about 1870, by two ministers of the names of Zechariah Sutton and John E. Revis, who had recently moved from Tennessee to this region. The Association, unlike its predecessors, favored missions, and other benevolent enterprises, and, for a time, seemed likely to prosper. In 1873, it numbered eight churches with 158 members. But the ministers who had been instrumental in its organization, and who, it is believed, were the only preachers that belonged toit, moved to the West, and it soon dissolved. The churches of which it was composed were unassociated when last heard from.
West Union Association No. 2
At the annual meeting of South Union Association, in September, 1870, it was agreed to divide the territory of that confederacy, so as to form two confederacies. The division line was to begin at the mouth of Jellico creek, and run thence with Jellico Mountain to Elk Fork, and thence East to Pine Mountain. The churches west and south of this line were authorized to form a new association. Accordingly, on the 18th of the following November, messengers from the following churches convened at Jeilico meeting house, in Whitley county: Pleasant Hill, Elk Fork, New Salem, Jellico, Zion, Bethel, Otter Creek, Pleasant Grove, Indian Creek, Union, New Zion, March Creek and Zion Hill. Of these churches, an organization was formed, under the style of West Union Association of United Baptists. Of the thirteen churches, comprising the fraternity, seven were in Kentucky, and the rest in Tennessee. The preachers in the constitution were James Lay, L. J. Steeley and Enos Allen, of Kentucky, and Doswell Trammel, C. C. Jones and John Phillips, of Tennessee.
The Association adopted the articles of faith and rules of government of the mother fraternity, and is nominally a missionary organization. But its churches are generally understood to be strongly tinctured with antimissionary sentiments, and to be decidedly omissionary in practice. The body has enjoyed but a small share of prosperity. Of its Kentucky churches, at
the time of its constitution, the five which have remained in it, viz: Pleasant Hill, New Salem, Bethel, Indian Creek and March Creek, aggregating 334 members. In 1880, it reported, in Kentucky, five churches with 286 members, and, in 1883, six churches with 356 members.
L. J. Steeley was in the constitution of this Association, though Jellico church, of which he was a member, soon returned to the mother fraternity. He was a native of Whitley county, and was raised up with few literary advantages. At an early age he professed conversion and united with Jellico church, in his native county. He commenced preaching before he was twenty years old, and continued in the good work, about twenty-five years. He was a man of fine natural gifts and great energy, and, by application to study, he made considerable progress in literary knowledge. When he was about forty-three years of age, he entered the theological Seminary at Louisville, which he attended one session. He was among the leading preachers in his part of the State, and was exercising an extensive influence for good, when the Lord was pleased to call him from the field of labor. He died in the midst of a protractedmeeting in Laurel county, January 23, 1884. A happy result of his sudden death was the speedy conversion of two of his brothers and four of his children.
This small body is located in Owsley and some of the adjoining counties. The following resolution, adopted by Irvine Association, in 1870, will explain its origin: "Resolved, That inasmuch as this Association is, in our judgement, to extensive in territory, we, therefore, propose a division, as follows: Beginning at Ells Branch church in Clay county, thence northwest so as to include Union and War Fork churches, thence with Brushy Mountain, so as to include Beatyville and all the churches east of said line."
In accordance with this resolution, Messengers from sixteen churches met at Beatyville in Lee county on Thursday before the first Saturday in September, 1871, and organized under
the style of "Booneville Association of United Regular Baptists." These churches were generally small, and were located in a rough, mountainous country.
Although this Association has been well supplied with preachers, and appears to have been enterprising in having the gospel preached within its bounds, it has dismissed so many of its churches, to unite with other associations, that it is numerically less than when it was first organized. In 1880, after dismissing seven churches, it had remaining ten churches, aggregating 303 members. In 1883, it reported eleven churches with 397 members.
Warren County Association
This was a small fraternity, constituted of the First Church in Bolling Green and two or three others, about 1871. The neighboring churches did not see the need of such an organization, or they failed to sympathize with the supposed cause of its origin, and it dissolved, after holding two or three meetings.
This was a small community of Antimissionary Baptists, located in what is now Bell county. It was constituted about 1859, and, in 1860, numbered four churches with 98 members. At the latter date, it dropped correspondence with North Concord Association, because that fraternity “had opened correspondence with Mulberry Gap Association of the missionary monied stamp.” As might have been expected, it held only a few more annual meetings, when it dissolved.
Powels Valley Association
This is a small confederacy of "Primitive Baptists," located in the south-east corner of Kentucky and the adjacent border of Tennessee. The churches of which it was organized withdrew from the older fraternity of the same name, because that body declared non-fellowship for such as had been engaged
in the Confederate service during the Civil War. The seceding churches organized under the above title, on Friday before the third Saturday in September, 1870. In 1879, the body reported twelve churches with 421 members. Five of these churches, aggregating 88 members, were in Kentucky.
Pleasant Run Association
This was a small confederacy located in Jackson and Rock castle counties. It was constituted about 1871. In 1873, it reported five churches with 131 members. For some reason, it did not receive a hearty recognition from the neighboring associations; and, after dwindling a few years, it dissolved about 1877.
This community is located in Rockcastle and Pulaski counties, and was constituted, in 1871, of churches dismissed for that purpose from the old Cumberland River confederacy. The following fourteen churches, aggregating 764 members, were in the constitution: Liberty, Sinking Valley, Freedom, Hopewell, Friendship, Zion, Mt. Zion, Damascus, Pleasant Hill, Poplar Grove, Pine Hill, Line Creek, Union in Rockcastle, and Gum Sulphur. The ministers belonging to these churches were James Woodall, Jesse Tyre, T. W. Reynolds, J. C. Carmical, J. C. Perkins and J. A. Abbott. Union, Mt. Pisgah and Pleasant Grove, with Elder J. W. Jackson, were added to the Association, in 1872. It then reported seventeen churches, seven preachers and 989 members. It adopted principles in harmony with missions and other benevolent enterprises. But like its mother fraternity, it has not been very liberal in carrying its principles into practice. In its report on missions, in 1876, it says: "We have not been living up to our duty as an association, as churches, or as Christians. The remark so often made that we are stingy, is too true. The lines between us, who profess to be Missionary Baptists and the so-called Iron Jackets, run too nearly parallel. Our religion is so damped by our being asked for a little money for some deserving charity, that our
hands hold tighter to a dime than our religion does to our souls." Within the last few years, there appears to have been considerable improvement in the liberality of the body, especially in the home mission and Sunday-school work.
In 1875, the body passed a resolution, advising the churches to discountenance such of their members as were engaged in distilling intoxicating liquors, or keeping tippling houses, and adding: "We discountenance dram drinking by Baptists, whether at the public bar, or in the private family."
The subject of female representation in the Association was brought before the body, in 1878, in the following form:
"Resolved, That, as our sisters help to bear the burdens of the church and have a vote therein, they be eligible as messengers to the Association." The resolution was debated and lost.
In 1880, the following query from Mt. Pisgah church was presented to the Association: "Is alien immersion valid baptism?" The answer was as follows: "Resolved, That this Association advise her churches not to receive alien baptism." This fraternity has enjoyed a moderate degree of prosperity. In 1880, it numbered sixteen churches with 1,119 members, and, in 1883, nineteen churches with 1,351 members. During the first twelve years of its existence, it reported 1,095 baptisms.
James Woodall was probably the oldest minister in this Association. He was born in Pulaski county, Ky., in 1805. At the age of twenty-two years, he united with Sinking Valley church in his native county. After serving his church in the office of a deacon, a few years, he commenced preaching, and was ordained to the ministry, Jan. 1, 1837. He was a preacher of very moderate gifts and acquirements; but he was earnest, laborious, patient and pious, and not a few souls were led to the Savior through his ministry. He labored principally in Pulaski, Laurel and Rockcastle counties, a portion of the time to churches, but more generally as an unpaid missionary. The Lord called him to rest, about 1872.
Jesse Tyre is among the oldest and most prominent preachers in this fraternity. He was born in Scott county, Va., May 12, 1818, and was bred to the trade of a cabinet maker. He obtained hope in Christ, in 1839, and was baptized by Isaac Christman. In June, 1844, he was licensed to exercise his gift
in preaching, by Zion church in his native county, and was ordained to the ministry, Sept. 4, 1847, by John Gilbert, John Day, Wm. Tyre and Jesse B. Berry. He was in a wide field of destitution, and was soon called to the care of three old churches and a new one which he had raised up. In this field he spent five years, after his ordination, devoting two-thirds of his time to preaching, and the other third to working at his trade and on a farm, for the support of his family. In 1852, he moved to Rockcastle county, Kentucky, and gave hismembership to Mt. Pleasant church. There, as in his native State, he devoted himself actively to the ministry, giving especial attention to the prudent advocacy of the cause of missions, which was quite unpopular in his field of labor, at that period. He was soon called to the care of several churches. Since his removal to Kentucky, he has been the principal instrument in gathering Mt. Zion, Pine Hill, Flat Rock, Broadhead and Pleasant Hill churches, all of which he served as pastor, during longer or shorter periods. He has also been pastor of Hopewell, Freedom, Flat Lick, Liberty, Double Springs and Poplar Grove churches, for different periods of time, has raised up three churches that were scattered and demoralized, and was a leading instrument in forming Rockcastle Association. It is but just to say, that he has been a very laborious and self-sacrificing minister, and has contributed greatly to the prosperity of the Baptists in his region of the State.
Of the lives and labors of several other useful ministers in this fraternity no particular information has been obtained.
Shelby County Association
This intelligent community, located principally in the county from which it takes its name, held its first annual meting at Clayvillage in Shelby county, Aug. 16, 1872. It was constituted of the following churches: Buck Creek, Clayvillage, Shelbyville, Little Mount, Mt. Moriah, Mt. Vernon, Pigeon Fork, Salem, Buffalo Lick and Christiansburg. The first four had been dismissed from Long Run Association; the next four, from Middle District, and the remaining two, from Franklin. After the organization, Indian Fork church was received; when
the new fraternity numbered eleven churches, aggregating 1,797 members.
In its letter, asking correspondence with the neighboring fraternities, it says: "As a body we encourage all causes of benevolence. We sustain, by our prayers, our influence, and our contributions, Sabbath-schools and Foreign, State and Domestic missions." The body is located in one of the richest portions of the State, and most of its churches are large and wealthy. Its facilities for advancing the cause of Christ are surpassed by few similar bodies in the State, and some of its churches have been quite liberal in their contributions to the cause of benevolence; but others have done very little to advance the Redeemer's kingdom beyond their own limits.
The body adopted a constitution, in 1873, the 9th article of which refers to a matter of much practical importance to the peace and harmony of the churches. It reads as follows: "No church of this Association shall be considered as acting in good faith with sister churches, which practices receiving the excluded members of a Baptist church, without first investigating the case in connection with the church in which the exclusion occurred."
During the same session, the body appointed George W. Gibson a missionary to teach the churches sacred music. This is probably the only instance of a Baptist association’s appointing a missionary to the exclusive work of teaching music. But, as a large majority of the churches are very deficient in singing, the example of this body might be followed to great profit.
In 1876, the body expressed itself on the subject of temperance reform as follows: "We record the sentiment of this body as decidedly opposed to the manufacture, traffic in, and use of whatever intoxicates, except it may be for mechanical or medicinal purposes." In a resolution, adopted in 1879, it says: "No church can permit its members to engage in this traffic without ignoring the teachings of God's word, and compromising its claims to be a church of Christ."
This Association has contributed to the general missionary boards, and has been quite active in the Sunday-school work, singularly enough, it has had no missionary board of its own, and, as far as its records show, it has made no special provision for the supply of the destitution within its own bounds. The
only missionary it has ever appointed was what it termed “a musical missionary” as related above. Its progress in numbers has been rather slow, as compared with that of other bodies of its superior advantages. In 1872, it began with nearly 1,800 members; in 1880 it numbered fourteen churches with 2,096 members, and, in 1883, fifteen churches with 2,039 members. During the first twelve years of its history, it reported 1,165 baptisms.
B. F. Hungerford was the principal originator of this fraternity, and was its moderator during the first six years of its existence. He came West as a school teacher, and located at New Liberty in Owen county, where he was licensed to preach in October, 1856. He soon afterwards moved to Shelbyville, where he was ordained to the ministry, about 1860. Since his ordination, he has generally been pastor of several churches. Among those which he has served longest may be named Mt. Moriah, Clayvillage, Little Mount, Pigeon Fork and Elk Creek. He is still (1885) actively engaged in the ministry.
James W. Goodman is probably the oldest minister in this fraternity. He came West in early life in the character of a school teacher and preacher, andlocated at Frankfort, as early as 1847. In 1850, he moved to Shelby county, and, the next year, to Georgetown. For a time he was agent of the General Association. About 1858, he located permanently at Shelbyville, where, for some years, he conducted a female school. He has preached very little for a number of years past, and is now well advanced in life. Through life, he has sustained a character of unimpeachable integrity.
Zechariah Wheat, a distinguished jurist, was a member of this fraternity. He was born in Bourbon county, Ky., July 26, 1806. Although bred to the trade of a saddler, he commenced the study of law, at Columbia, Ky., in 1828, and was admitted to the bar, the following year. He arose rapidly in his profession, and successively filled the positions of Commonwealth's Attorney, Judge of the Circuit Court, and Judge of the Court of Appeals. In 1861, he moved from Columbia to Shelbyville, where he spent the remainder of his days in the practice of his profession.
Judge Wheat was a Baptist from early life, a man of unswerving integrity, and a Christian of eminent practical piety.
He was faithful to his duties as a church member, and, though never formally licensed to preach, did not hesitate to fill the pulpit, in the absence of a minister.
East Kentucky Association
This small community of Separate Baptists is located in Russell and some of the adjoining counties. It was constituted of six churches at Pleasant Ridge meeting house in Russell county, Oct. 27, 1876. These churches had been dismissed for the purpose from the old South Kentucky confederacy. Their names were Grave Hill, Pleasant Ridge, Beaver Creek, First Union and Pole Bidge. These six churches aggregated, in 1877, 320 members. L. B. Whiles and J. L. Weeks were the principal ministers in the body. In 1879, the Association numbered seven churches with 342 members. During the first three years of its existence it reported thirty-two baptisms.
This young fraternity is situated in the central region of the Kentucky mountains, its churches being located in Johnson, Lawrence, Carter and Elliot counties. It was constituted of 8 churches, which had been dismissed from Greenup Association for the purpose, at Providence meeting house in Carter county, November 10, 1876. The names of the churches were Flat Gap, Grayson, Hopewell, Liberty, Mt. Nebo, Providence, Pleasant Grove and Wolf Creek. The ministers belonging to these churches were J. Collins, Win. Jayne, D. F. Lee, H. G. Morris, Wm. Maddox, S. McKinney, C. A. Price, T. J. Rigg and I. Rice; and H. Daniel and Wm. McKinney licentiates. After the organization,the Association appointed a home mission board, and committees to report on education, State missions, Sunday-schools, and foreign missions. Resolutions were adopted to the following purport:
"That we solicit correspondence with, and become auxiliary to the General Association. That we procure our religious
literature from Baptist depositories. That the churches report annually what they spend in the cause of benevolence. That each minister make annual reports of his labors, to this body. That the churches exercise strict discipline. That we will not receive, or hold in fellowship any church that receives alien immersions."
The next year, it was resolved to establish a high school within the bounds of the Association. This resolution was promptly carried into effect. The school was located at Flat Gap in Johnson county, a good building was erected, and the institution has been successfully conducted by Rev. William Jayne, to the present time (1885). This school has already been of great value to the region of country in which it is located. The Association has endeavored to supply its missionary field with preaching, and something has been done in the Sunday-school work. The churches of the body are intermingled with those of one or more Antimissionary fraternities. Many of the members of the latter churches have become convinced of the scripturalness of missions, and have united with the missionary churches; hence, Enterprise Association has increased very rapidly. It started, in 1876, with 8 churches, aggregating 291 members; in 1880, it reported 13 churches with 5 34 members, and, in 1883, 17 churches with 837 members. During the first 7 years of its existence, it reported 381 baptisms.
William Jayne is the most prominent minister in this Association, and in this region of the State. He is a son of Henry Jayne, a prominent Baptist in Paint Union Association, and was born in Johnson county, Kentucky, September 23, 1843. In his youth, he received only such an education as the very inferior schools of his neighborhood could afford. At the age of nineteen years, he united with Bethel church in his native county, and was baptized by James Pelphry. In 1862, he entered the Confederate Army, and served in the capacity of a sergeant, till the close of the War. He was in several battles, and was wounded three times, being shot once through the lungs. At the close of the War, he returned home, and was licensed to preach, in August, 1866.
He now resolved to educate himself, preparatory to the work to which the Lord had called him. Through the influence of an intelligent Baptist woman, whose husband was looking after
some mining interest in Eastern Kentucky, he was induced to go to the Baptist University at Chicago, which institution he entered, in January, 1867. While here, he learned of the existence of Georgetown College in his native State. He entered this institution, in 1868,and remained till June, 1871. He had some tempting inducements to locate in the blue grass region of the State. But, after much deliberation and prayer, he decided that it was his duty to return to the mountainous region of his nativity, and spend his life in laboring for the good of the people among whom he had been reared.
In November, 1872, he was ordained to the care of Flat Gap church, near his birth place, by W. M. and H. G. Reynolds. After teaching school at Catlettsburg, Louisa and Prestonburg, he took charge of Enterprise High School, at Flat Gap, in 1878. Of this institution, he has remained the Principal to the present time. He has also continued in the pastoral office of Flat Gap church, and has been moderator of Enterprise Association, since 1877. His influence has been widely felt in his region of the State, and he has accomplished much in diffusing the spirit of education among the people, and of strengthening the cause of missions in the churches.
Sand Lick Association
This small Antimissionary community is located principally in Letcher county, and is a daughter of the New Salem Association. It was constituted at Indian Bottom meeting house, in Letcher county, in 1876, of the following churches: Cars Fork, Mallet Fork, Laurel Fork, Indian Bottom, Sand Lick, Big Cowan, Colley Creek and Big Leatherwood. Its principal preachers were Henry Day, S.C. Caudill, Ira Combs, William Smith and Felix Combs.
Notwithstanding this Association adopts the name of "Regular Baptists," it rejects the Hypercalvinistic sentiments usually held by the self-styled "Old Baptists." Three of its articles of faith read as follows:
"12. We believe washing one anothers feet is a commandment of Christ, left on record with his disciples, and ought to be practiced by his followers.
"13. We believe that any doctrine, that goes to encourage, or indulge the people in their sins, or causes to settle down on anything short of saving faith in Christ for salvation, is erroneous, and all such doctrine will be rejected by us.
"14. None of the above named articles shall be so construed, as to hold with particular election and reprobation, so as to make God partial either directly, or indirectly, so as to injure any of the children of men."
The young fraternity started off quite prosperously. At its constitution, in 1876, it numbered 8 churches with 390 members; in 1880, it reported 11 churches with 501 members.
Second North Concord Association
This small fraternity belongs to that family, formerly called "Go-betweens."
It was constituted at Salem meeting house in Russell county, Nov. 10, 1876. It was formed of the following churches, dismissed for the purpose from South Concord: Clear Fork, Union, Pleasant Point, New Friendship, Second Union, Liberty, Salem, Clear Spring and Second Bethel. These nine churches aggregated 468 members. The preachers in the body were Wm. Roy, P. Waters, S. H. Vier, W. H. Williams, Alex. Wilson, J. F. Withers and C. L. Bradley. The Association first took the name of North Concord, but, in 1883, prefixed the term "Second" to distinguish it from an older fraternity of the same name.
The growth of the body was very slow, and it manifested nothing of the spirit of enterprise, till 1883, when it was agreed “that a Report on Sunday schools, by G. S. Wickersham, be appended to the minutes, viz: since last July, traveled 589 miles, visiting 281 families, made eleven Sunday school addresses, witnessed nine professions and four baptisms and attended three protracted meetings fifteen days. The next year a resolution was adopted, requesting the churches to use all laudable means to suppress the use of ardent spirits. At its meeting in 1885, the body manifested an excellent spirit, inviting the superintendent of missions to speak before the meeting and appointing
him to preach on Sunday. The Association numbered, in 1885, nine churches, eight preachers and 592 members. Most of its churches are in Russell county.
This flourishing community is located in Hancock, Ohio, and some of the adjoining counties. It was constituted at Bethlehem meetinghouse in Hancock county, on the 30th of November, 1877, of the following fourteen churches, which had been dismissed from the old Goshen confederacy, for the purpose: Pisgah, Mt. Pleasant, Blackford, Union, Hawesville, Bethlehem, Pleasant Grove, Zion, Lewis Port, Friendship, Mt. Eden, Sandy Creek, Pleasant Valley and Roseville. The ministers belonging to these churches were Martin Young, H. V. Bruner, L. C. Tichenor, J. E. Stone, Calvin Voyles, Robert T. Bruner and J. J. Keown. The next year, Panther Creek, Yelvington, Pellville, Chestnut Grove and Pleasant Ridge churches, with Elder R. R. Gabbert, were added to the Association.
One of the first acts of this Association was the appointment of a missionary board, consisting of Robert T. Bruner. George W. Brown and Wm. T. Smith, the duty of which was to make provisions for supplying the destitute within the bounds of the fraternity, with preaching. The next year, the body appointedcommittees to report on Home Missions, Orphans’ Home, State Missions, Foreign Missions, Sabbath schools and Temperance. These objects of benevolence have been fostered by the Association, to the present time. The body has enjoyed uninterrupted harmony, and a high degree of prosperity. It began with fourteen churches, aggregating 1,320 members. In 1880, it reported twenty-one churches with 2,264 members, and, in 1882, twenty-four churches with 2,508 members. During the first five years of its existence, it reported 725 baptisms.
Martin Young was the oldest minister in this body. Of his early life nothing has been learned He was an ordained minister at Cloverport, Ky., as early as 1837, and, for many years after, was an humble preacher within the bounds of Goshen Association. He had become too old and feeble, before his
church entered into the constitution of Blackford Association; but he was much beloved by the brethren for his past labors; and his simple, unaffected piety. The Lord called him home, at a great old age, in 1882.
R. R. Gabbert filled the office of deacon in Pellville church a number of years, and was ordained to the ministry, in the spring of 1878. About one year afterwards, April 24, 1879, he committed suicide, in a fit of mental aberation, doubtless at his home in Pellville, Hancock county. At the time of his death he was pastor of Mt. Pleasant and Zion churches, and was held in high esteem as a citizen of integrity, a Christian of earnest piety, and a pastor of excellent gifts.
Robert T. Bruner has been a leading minister in this body, from its constitution. He entered the ministry, about 1857, and has been a very laborious and successful preacher, to the present time, both as a missionary and as a pastor. He was moderator of Blackford Association, at its first three meetings.
Wm. H. Dawson, of whom something has been said in the history of Daviess County Association, was a member of that body, before his removal to Rockport, Ia. Of several other useful preachers in this fraternity, no particular account has been received.
Green River Associaiton No. 2
This small community originated in the following manner: In 1872, Liberty Association withdrew its auxiliaryship from the General Associaton, in order to establish a correspondence with old Green River Association of Antimissionary Baptists. This correspondence was nominally effected, in1874, but gave serious offence to the minority of Green River Association. As the majority refused to withdraw the correspondence, the minority withdrew, and organized under the style of "Original Green River Association of United Baptists." Its churches, or, rather, fragments of churches, were Holly Spring, Bear Creek, Caney Creek, Beaver Dam and Sinking Creek. In 1879, the body reported five churches, aggregating 119 members.
Red River Association No. 2
This small confederacy of "Old Baptists" was constituted, in 1876, of the three following churches: Log Lick, White Oak and Salem. It is located in the eastern part of Clark, and some of the adjoining counties and takes its name from a tributary of Kentucky river, which flows through its territory. S. A. Elkin and T. B. White were its preachers. The eleventh article of its constitution reads: We believe the Lord's Supper and the washing of saints' feet are ordinances of the Lord, and are to be continued by the church, until his second coming." In 1880, the Association reported seven churches, six of which aggregated 110 members.
Union County Association
This young community was constituted, in the fall of 1878, of nine churches, of which Uniontown, Little Bethel, Woodland, Highland, Seven Gums and Mt. Olivet had been dismissed from Henderson County Association, and Little Union, Pleasant Ridge and Bethany, from Little Bethel Association. All these churches were located in Union county. The preachers belonging to them were Newton Short, J. B. Haynes, S. B. Withers and J. L. Perryman. A constitution and rules of order, according to the usual form, were adopted. The Association favored missions, Sunday-schools and other benevolent enterprises, usually fostered by the denomination. It has started off prosperously, and bids fair to accomplish a good work in the fertile field in which it is located. At its first anniversary, in 1879, it numbered nine churches, aggregating 526 members; in 1880, it reported twelve churches with 890 members, and, in 1883, twelve churches with 983 members. From its constitution, in 1878, to its meeting, in 1883, it reported 325 baptisms, an average of sixty-five a year.
Old Churches. Highland is the oldest church in this Association. It was constituted at the house of Henry Morris near Highland creek in Union county, March 17, 1812, by John
Bourland, Job Hobbs, John Welden and John Grantham. The following eight persons were in the constitution: Henry Morris, Jane Morris, Sarah Wade, James Davis, John Buck, Aquilla Davis, Francis Berry and Mary Berry. The church united with Little River Association, with John Grantham as its pastor, in 1814. In 1820, it called the subsequentlydistinguished William C. Buck to its pastoral care, and, the same year, entered into the constitution of Highland Association. Mr. Buck served the church till 1835, when Wm. Morrison, who had been ordained by the church, the previous year, became his successor. About this time, the church divided on the subject of missions, and formed two churches, which continued to occupy the same house, till the Antimissionary organization perished. Mr. Morrison continued to serve the church, except during a brief interval, occupied by Joel E. Grace, till he was called to his reward, in 1858. Since his death, the church has been served, in turn, by M. H. Utley, William G. Inman, James L. Tichenor, Nicholas Lacy, J. S. Taylor, J. C. Hopewell, J. M. Ezell, F. J. Jessop, J. B. Haynes and others.
Little Bethel was the second church planted in Union county. It was gathered by William C. Buck, and was constituted, Sept. 14, 1820, of the following persons: Wm. Hammack, Jeremiah Collins, Asher Cox, Charles Buck, Wm. C. Buck, Peggy Young, Sarah Collins, Elizabeth Young and Christopher Young. Wm. C. Buck was chosen pastor, and served the church till he moved to Louisville, about 1835. The same year it was gathered, it entered into the constitution of Highland Association, in which it remained till 1836, when it withdrew from that fraternity, on account of its attempting to interfere with its internal government. The church had excluded nine members, including two deacons, because of their adhering to the Association against an act of the church. The Association nullified this act of the church; hence the withdrawal. Richard Jones succeeded Mr. Buck in the pastoral office, in 1837. Since that time, the church has been served, in turn, by J. W. Collins, John Withers, T. B. Rushing, M. H. Utley, N. Lacy, Collin Hodge, J. C. Hopewell, J. M. E. Bell, S. W. Martin, J. J. Barnett and J. B. Haynes.
Newton Short is the oldest minister in this Association. He is a native of Virginia, and was raised up to the ministry, in
that State. Soon after the Civil War, he moved to Kentucky, and settled in the lower Green River country, where he has continued to preach, and practice dentistry. He is a man of extensive reading, and is well versed in theology.
James B. Haynes may be regarded the father of this fraternity. He has served it as moderator from its constitution, and has generally been pastor of four of its prominent churches. He is a native of Ohio county, Ky., and a descendant of an old French Huguenot family, which settled, early, in that region of the State. His father was, early, a member of old Beaver Dam church, and was accustomed to walk twenty-five miles to his church meeting, when his was the only church in the Ohio Valley, below the mouth of Salt River. The subject of this sketch is a son of his old age, and was born, probably, about the year 1825. His early education was very limited, being obtained in the common schools of his neighborhood. At an early age, he united with Panther Creek church in his native county, where he, with David Whittinghill and D. J. Philips, was licensed to preach, in January, 1856. At the call of Bethabara church, he was ordained to the ministry, by J. P. Ellis, J. S. Taylor and J. R. Gillespie, in February, 1857. One year later, he was called to the care of Panther Creek church, to which, and to some others, he ministered, till 1861, when he was arrested by the "Home Guards," and committed to a military prison. After his release, he moved to Henderson county, where he labored, both as a missionary and a pastor, till his final settlement in Union county, not far from 1870. Since that period, he has labored with great zeal and diligence to build up the Redeemer’s Kingdom in his adopted county, and his efforts have been much blessed. It is regretted that his health has recently become feeble.
Miles B. Holman was a native of what is now Webster county, Kentucky, and was born Dec. 22, 1848. Being early deprived of both his parents, he was raised by an uncle, who gave him a limited common school education. In March, 1866, he united with New Harmony church in his native county, and was baptized by J. B. Haynes. In November, 1869, he was licensed to preach, and, soon after, went to Missouri, where he entered William Jewell College. On the 3d of June, 1871, he was ordained to the ministry, at Pleasant Grove church in
Maries county, Mo., by John A. Frost and Wm. M. Biggs, and was chosen missionary of Dubois Association, in the same State. In this position he soon gained an excellent reputation as an earnest, devoted and successful young preacher. On the 10th of January, 1877, he was married to Mary M. Joice of Missouri, and returned to the place of his birth. At the beginning of the year 1878, he entered the work of the pastoral office in four churches in Webster and Union counties. In this position, he labored nearly three years with unusual success, both in strengthening the churches and in leading sinners to the Savior. In the fall of 1880, he went to Missouri, with the hope of improving his health. But he grew worse, and, in the following Spring, was barely able to return to his birth place, where he died of lung disease, May 7, 1881. Mr. Holman was an excellent preacher, and few young men have been more universally loved by acquaintances.
This small fraternity lies in Wolf and some of the adjoining counties. It originated in a division of the territory of Boonville Association, the Kentucky river forming the dividing line. On the 7th of November, 1879, messengers from Greenville, Shiloh, Rock Spring, Zion, Union and Strongville churches met at Greenville meeting house, in Wolf county, and constituted GREENVILLE ASSOCIATION OF UNITED REGULAR BAPTISTS. The 6 churches of which it was composed aggregated 100 members. The preachers belonging to these churches were H. D. Keith, John Brown, J. M. Roberts, Abner Miller, G. W. Fields, Peter Johnson, G. B. Wills, Spiril King, Garvy Slusher, D. L. Williams, A. Gentry, M. H. Kelly and J. S. Campbell.
This Association is one of the family of missionary fraternities that grew up under the labors of those zealous and efficient missionaries, J. J. Edwards and N. B. Johnson, and their fellow helpers. It exhibits a fine spirit of benevolence, advocates missions and temperance reform, and corresponds with the General Association. Its growth has been quite rapid. In 1884, it numbered nine churches with about 280 members.
Long Creek Association
This small community is located in Allen county and the adjoining border of Tennessee. It was constituted under the style of "Kentucky and Tennessee Association," in 1880, but subsequently changed its name to "Long Creek." Its original churches were New Salem, Rough Creek, Garretts Creek and Rocky Mound. Its preachers were A.W. Keene, Christely Miller and O'Neal. The churches were all small. Some difficulty in the Association caused Mr. Miller and Rocky Mound church to withdraw and join the General Baptists. Subsequently, Brier Field church in Allen county, was added to the confederacy. The Association is weak and inefficient. In 1884, it numbered six churches with 336 members.
This confederacy was constituted of Beech Grove, Caney Fork, Richland and Lusbys Mill churches, in 1880. The last named was a new church, the other three had been dismissed from Concord Association. J. L. Ballard and J. D. Clark Were the only preachers in the organization. The Association favors the benevolent enterprises of the denomination, and has been quite prosperous. At its constitution, it numbered four churches with 641 members; in 1885, it reported nine churches, 163 baptisms and 1,123 members.
Ohio River Association
This is (Nov., 1885,) the youngest confederacy of the kind in the State. Messengers from fifteen churches, which had been dismissed from Little River Association, met at Crooked Creek meeting house, in Crittenden county, Oct. 13, 1883. Hon. J. L. Hibbs was chosen moderator of the meeting and
Elder J. S. Miller, clerk. A confederacy was constituted in the usual manner, and took the name of OHIO RIVER ASSOCIATION OF UNITED BAPTISTS. J. W. Crewdson was chosen moderator, and J. S. Miller, clerk. The churches entering into the constitution were Blooming Grove, Caldwell Springs, Camp Creek, Clear Spring, Crooked Creek, Deer Creek, Dyers Hill, Friendship, Good Hope, Mt. Olivet, Piney Creek, Pinkneyville, Sulphur Spring, Walnut Grove and Walkers Hill. They aggregated 1,425 members. After the organization, Cave Spring, with thirty members, was received into the union. The ministers belonging to these churches were W. R. Gibbs, C. Ogleby, J. M. Bebout, J. S. Miller, Collin Hodge, J. W. Crewdson, D. P. Campbell, Peter Melvin and E. B. Blackburn.
The first anniversary meeting of the body was held at Good Hope meeting house in Livingston county, beginning Oct. 4, 1884. The introductory sermon was preached by J. S. Henry. Collin Hodge was elected moderator, and J. S. Miller. clerk. A new church at Marion, the county seat of Crittenden, was received; and Union, Dunn Spring and Salem came in by letter, from Little River Association. A lively interest was manifested in missions and other benevolent enterprizes. The following article was added to the constitution:
11th. This Association will not retain in fellowship any church which will persist in keeping, as a member of her body, any one engaged in the manufacture or sale of alchoholic drinks to be used as a beverage.
The Association numbered, in 1884, twenty churches with 1,844 members.
Some of the border associations have a few churches in Virginia and Tennessee. But these are counter balanced by Kentucky churches in Bulah Association, and some dozen or more unassociated churches in different parts of the State. The 104 associations, therefore, whose histories have been given, represent with sufficient accuracy, the number of white Baptists in the State, exclusive of the General Baptists and Free Will Baptists, of which brief mention will be made hereafter.
As has already been noted, the colored people emigrated to Kentucky with their owners, and the Baptists among them entered into the constitution of the first churches that were formed in the wilderness of the great West. There were few early churches that did not have a greater or less number of black members, and the colored Baptists generally lived in the same churches with their white brethren, till they were freed from slavery during the Civil War. They, however, had among them many preachers and exhorters of their own race, some of whom were regularly ordained, and, in some of the larger towns, they formed independent churches. At the beginning of the Civil War there were 17 such churches in the State, aggregating 5,737 members, and ministered to by pastors of their own color. These churches were located at the following points: Maysville, Mayslick, Danville, Harrodsburg, First, Green Street, and York Street, in Louisville, Frankfort, Tates Creek, in Madison county, Stamping Ground, in Scott, Hillsboro, in Woodford, First and PleasantGreen, in Lexington, Paris, Versailles, Nicholasville, and Paducah. Besides these, there were large bodies of colored members, known as the colored branches of white churches, at Hopkinsville, Henderson, Georgetown, and, perhaps, other points, which also had preachers and exhorters of their own race.
The first colored church organized in Kentucky, was composed of Separate Baptists, and was gathered at Lexington by a colored man named Captain. The exact date is not known, as it kept no records; nor is it likely that the church was constituted with much formality, or in very strict accord with Baptist usage.
Old Captain, as he was usually called, was a native of Caroline county, Virginia, and was born the property of Capt. Durrett, about 1733. At the age of 25, he was pungently convicted of sin, and was brought almost to the point of despair. But he finally obtained hope in Christ, and experienced great joy. His heart now deeply felt for the situation of his fellowservants, and, immediately after he was baptized and received into a Baptist church, he began to exhort from house to house. Several years after this, the man who owned his wife, being a
pious Christian, determined to emigrate to what was then the wilderness of Kentucky, and being unwilling to part man and wife, he exchanged another slave for Captain, by which means the latter was brought to the new country.
Soon after his arrival in Kentucky, Captain went into the organization of a small Separate Baptist church, which was constituted on the "Head of Boone's Creek," in Fayette county, in 1785. In a few years this little church was dissolved, and about the same time, Captain hired himself and his wife of their master, and moved to Lexington. Here he was kindly received, and John Maxwell allowed him space on his land for a cabin, aided him in building one, and continued to be his friend as long as he (Maxwell) lived. As soon as he was settled, he began to hold meetings in his cabin, and to visit from house to house, exhorting the colored people to repent and turn to God. Soon a number professed conversion, and desired him to baptize them. This request he declined at first, because he had not been ordained. But finally he went to South Kentucky Association, accompanied by 50 of his converts, and applied for ordination. "The fathers and brethren, after having taken the matter into consideration, did not consider it proper to ordain him, in form; but, being fully informed of his character and labors, they gave him the right hand of Christian affection, and directed him to go on in the name of their common Master."* After this, he examined such as applied to him, and, if satisfied of their conversion, immersed them. When a sufficient number had been baptized, hegathered them into a church, about the year 1801. But he seems either to have misunderstood the design of "the fathers and brethren," or to have ignored it, for South Kentucky Association, at its meeting in 1801, which was the last it ever held, passed the following order: “Bro. Captain, a black man, who was a member of our Society, and who is now preaching and baptizing without having been ordained, is advised to join some convenient church, together with those he has baptized.” It is not known that Captain was ever formally ordained. He probably regarded the giving of him the right hand and directing him to go on in the name of the Master, a sufficiently solemn ordination.
However, this may be, he continued to watch over the church he had gathered, and it greatly prospered. It is said to have numbered, at one time during his ministry, upwards of 300 members. He continued to hire the time of himself and his faithful helpmeet till they were too old to be of any value as slaves, and to labor in the gospel, till his strength failed. He died at his cabin near Lexington, in the summer of 1823, at the age of go years.
London Ferrill, the second pastor of this church, was born the property of Mrs. Ann Winston in Hanover county, Va., about 1789. At about the age of nine years, his owner having died, he was sold to Col. Samuel Overton for $600. He was taught the trade of a house carpenter, and, at the age of 20, was baptized on a profession of his faith, by Absalom Waller. Some time after his baptism, he began to exercise in public, and soon became a popular preacher. The law of Virginia forbade slaves to baptize, and, as a consequence, they were not ordained to the gospel ministry. But Ferrill’s brethren solemnly authorized him, as far as their power extended, “to go forth and preach the gospel” wherever the Lord might cast his lot, and a door should be open to him. Soon, about fifty persons professed conversion under his ministry, and were baptized by a white preacher of the name of Bowles. His master perceived his remarkable natural gifts, and resolved to educate him, but died before he could execute this purpose.
Soon after the death of his master, having been freed from slavery, he moved to Kentucky, and settled near Lexington. Old Captain having become too feeble to discharge the duties of a pastor, the colored church desired Ferrill to unite with it, and become its pastor. This he declined to do on account of that organization's not being in fellowship with the Baptist denomination, although holding to the faith and general practice of the Baptists, but, instead, entered into the constitution of the First [white] Baptist church, in 1817. He preached extensively among those of his own race, and made so favorable an impression, that the trustees of the town of Lexington engaged him to preach to the colored people of that corporation. In order to secure his membership andpastoral services, the African congregation applied to the white church to be received as a branch of that organization. On receiving this application,
the 1st church sent to Elkhorn Association, in 1821, the following queries:
"1st. Can persons baptized on a profession of faith by an administrator not ordained, be received into our churches under any circumstances whatever, without being again baptized?
"2d. Is it admissible by the Association to ordain free men of color ministers of the gospel?"
The queries were taken up by the Association, and a committee, consisting of Jeremiah Vardeman, James Fishback, John Edwards, Edmund Waller, and Jacob Creath, was appointed to consider the matter, and report to the Association at its next annual meeting. The committee reported, in answer to the first query, "that it is not regular to receive such members;" in answer to the second, "that they know of no reason why free men of color may not be ordained ministers of the gospel, the gospel qualifications being possessed by them."
In accordance with the latter opinion, adopted by the Association, London Ferrill was regularly ordained to the full work of the gospel ministry by the 1st church at Lexington, and, notwithstanding the irregularity of the baptism administered by Old Captain, a compromise was effected by which the African congregation, which had now been constituted upon a written covenant (July 1822), was admitted to fellowship by the 1st Baptist church in Lexington, and, in 1824, received into Elkhorn Association. London Ferrill now took regular charge of this church, on its new foundation, and served it 32 years, during which it increased from 280, to 1,820 members, and became the largest church in Kentucky. On the 12th of October, 1854, the faithful and venerable pastor was called to his final reward. The funeral procession which followed his corpse to its burial, was said to be the largest that ever passed through the streets of Lexington, except that which attended the remains of Henry Clay.
London Ferrill was a remarkable man. He was descended from a royal family in Africa, born a slave in Virginia, and was without scholastic training. Yet, Dr. Wm. Pratt says of him "He had the manner of authority and command, and was the most thorough disciplinarian I ever saw. He was respected by the whole white population [of Lexington], and his influence was more potent to keep order among the blacks than the police
force of the city." His moral courage was dauntless, and his Christian integrity unwavering. When the cholera visited Lexington in 1833, he was the only minister that remained in the city. The scourge was terrible, as many as 60 dying in a singleday. He remained at his post, burying the dead, white and black, including his own wife, until the fearful plague subsided in the city, after which he went forth to aid and comfort the sick and bereaved in the surrounding country. As a preacher, he was clear, strong, and remarkably effective. He baptized at one time 220 persons in 85 minutes, and, at another time, 60 in 45 minutes. During his ministry, he baptized over 5,000. In marrying slaves, he pronounced them "united until death or distance did them part."
Frederick Braxton succeeded Elder Ferrill in the pastoral charge of the old 1st African church. Under his ministry, it continued to prosper, and, at the beginning of the War in 1861, numbered 2,223 members. Since the War, it has somewhat diminished, but is still a large and prosperous body. Elder Braxton continued to enjoy the confidence of his brethren till his death, which occurred Jan. 31, 1876.
The First Colored Church in Louisville was the second organization of the kind in the State. It was formed an independent body by a separation of the colored members from the 1st Baptist church in Louisville in 1842, and united with Long Run Association the same year. At the time of its formal separation from the mother church, it numbered 475 members.
Henry Adams was the first pastor, as well as the chief originator of this church as an independent body. He was a native of Franklin county, Georgia, and was born Dec. 17, 1802. At an early age he gave indications of extraordinary sprightliness of mind, and, being converted and baptized at the age of 18 years, was licensed to exercise his gift within the bounds of his church the same year. In 1823, his license was extended without limit, and, in 1825, he was ordained to the full work of the ministry. After preaching a few years in Georgia and South Carolina he emigrated to Kentucky, and was settled as, pastor of the colored branch of the 1st Baptist church in Louisville, in 1829. In his new field, he was active and zealous in his labors among the colored people of the city, and his ministry was much blessed. He devoted himself to study,
and not only improved rapidly in preaching, but also advanced in literary knowledge till he became a good English scholar and made considerable proficiency in some of the dead languages. His conduct was so uniformly exemplary, and his Christian meekness and humility so manifest, that he gained the respect and confidence of the white as well as the colored people of the city, and numbered among his friends and counsellors those eminent ministers of Christ, A. D. Sears, Wm. C. Buck, Thos. S. Malcolm, and John L. Waller.
In April, 1842, the colored members of the 1st Baptist church in Louisville, to the number of 475, were constituted a separate organization, with Henry Adams as its pastor. This faithful overseer continued in its service, after itsindependent organization, about thirty years. During the first twenty years of this period, he baptized for its fellowship over 1,300 persons. Meanwhile, the congregation now called Green Street Church, which became a separate body in 1846, grew up under the care of George Wells, first, and R. Sneathen, afterwards, to a mnembership of 725: and York Street church, constituted Dec. 7, 1857, numbered 46 members. During the progress of the War, these churches did not grow much; but after the return of peace, they again became prosperous, and, at the time of Elder Adams' death, which occurred on the 3d of November, 1872, there were seven colored churches in Louisville, with an aggregate membership of more than 3,000.
After the colored people were freed, Elder Adams manifested a deep interest for the welfare of his brethren. He aided them in organizing churches, associations, conventions, and such other institutions as he hoped would promote their temporal and spiritual prosperity, and was especially solicitous that they should build up schools and educate their children. His heart was much set on seeing a school established in Louisville for the literary and theological training of preachers. He did not live to see this object accomplished; but his brethren did not forget his counsel, and such a school is now in existence, and quite prosperous.
Of the other churches that existed before the War, and their pastors, no particulars have been ascertained. The colored members of the 17 independent churches, and those connected with the white churches belonging to South District, Long
Run, Russells Creek, Lynn, Elkhorn, Bethel, Little River, Daviess county, and Goshorn Associations, at the beginning of the War, aggregated 11,659. Those connected with the remaining churches of the State, it is believed, would aggregate a somewhat larger number. It is estimated, therefore, that the colored Baptists in the State numbered about 25,000. During the succeeding five years, the number was much diminished by a large emigration to the free States, the fall of colored soldiers in the War, and other causes. The number that remained in the State, and retained the character of worthy church members, at the close of the War, could scarcely be estimated, with fairness, at more than 15,000. Most of these had virtually, if not formally, separated from the white churches, and were, therefore, without church membership. But many of them were true and earnest Christians; they had among them some pious and worthy preachers, and a few ministers of strong native intellect and fair acquirements. Prominent among the latter were Henry Adams, of Louisville, G. W. Dupee, of Paducah, E. W. Green, of Maysville, and J. F. Thomas, of Bowling Green. These, with others, began to gather their people into churches, and to encourage them to walk in the good way of the Lord. Recently freed from slavery, they were almost destitute of property; but their religious zeal amounted to a continuous enthusiasm. They met together in their churches, not only on Sabbath days, but in many cases, especially in cities and villages, where nearly all their early churches were formed, almost every night in the week for months together. Multitudes were converted and brought into their churches, and many backsliders were reclaimed. At the time of their associational meetings, in 1870, they were as well organized as could reasonably have been expected of a people almost entirely illiterate and wholly destitute of experience in conducting the affairs of deliberative bodies. They had, at that time, a General Association and at least six District Associations; and, although exact statistics have not been preserved, it may be fairly estimated that they had fully regained, in numbers, what they had lost by the War, and had, therefore, a total membership of 25,000.
George W. Dupee deserves especial remembrance in connection with the organizing of the colored Baptists of Kentucky, after their liberation from slavery. Although not so well
educated as Henry Adams, he possessed an equally strong intellect, was probably a more popular preacher, and was, at the period under consideration, much more vigorous and active. He was born the property of Elder Joseph Taylor, in Gallatin county, Ky., about the year 1826, and was raised in Franklin and Woodford counties. He professed religion and was baptized for the fellowship of Buck Run church, in Franklin county, by Peter Kenney, on the third Sunday in August, 1842. Three years later, he began to exercise in public exhortation, was licensed to preach in 1846, and in 1851, was ordained to the care of the colored Baptist church in Georgetown, by J. M. Frost and J. L. Reynolds. He continued to serve this church till the 1st of January, 1856, on which day he was sold at public auction at the courthouse door. Elder Wm. Pratt and some others bought him, and allowed him to purchase his freedom. In the spring previous to this transaction, he had accepted a call to Pleasant Green church in Lexington, where he continued to minister, till 1864, giving a portion of his time to the church at Versailles. In 1861, he called together, at Versailles, Elders Armstead Steel, James Monroe, Robert Martin, Stephen Breckinridge, and John Oliver, and organized the first ministers’ and deacons’ meeting among the colored Baptists of the State. While living at Georgetown and Lexington, he gathered the colored churches in Covington and Paris.
In 1865, he moved to the west end of the State, and took charge of Washington street church in Paducah, where he has continued to minister to the present time, occasionally devoting a portion of his labors to the church at Owensboro, and to serving some other congregations. In 1871, he reorganized Fair View church at Mayfield, and established that at Jenkins’ Chapel, both in Graves county. In 1867, he invited the churches at Elkton, Mayfield, Franklin, Henderson, and Paducah to send messengers to the last named place, where the First District Association of Colored Baptists was constituted, in September ofthat year. Of this body, now much the largest district association in the State, he has been moderator from its constitution to the present time. He was also moderator of the General Association of Colored Baptists from 1871 to 1882. On the 10th of November, 1873, he brought out the first number of the
Baptist Herald, a monthly journal, which he continued to edit and publish five years and one month.
Elder Dupee has been one of the most active, laborious, and successful preachers that have ever lived in Kentucky. In addition to his labors in organizing churches, associations and other societies, and discharging the duties of a pastor, he has preached extensively among the churches in the State, and, in February, 1883, had baptized 7,000 persons — a greater number, perhaps, than any other minister in the State has baptized.
The first association of churches formed by the colored Baptists in the State, was a Baptist State Convention. It was constituted in 1865, and its object was kindred to that of a similar organization instituted by their white brethren in 1832. But the former, like the latter, failed to give satisfaction, and, at its third anniversary, in 1868, after passing a resolution in favor of forming a general association, it was dissolved.
On the 3d of August, 1869, a meeting of messengers from such churches as desired to enter into the new organization, convened at Lexington. Messengers were present from 55 churches, which aggregated 12,620 members. The venerable Henry Adams, of Louisville, was chosen Moderator, and R.T. W. James, of Paducah, Clerk. A permanent organization was effected, and the body adopted the name of "The Kentucky General Association of Colored Baptist Churches." The object of the organization, as set forth in its constitution, is to promote purity of doctrine, union, fellowship, and co-operation in promoting Sabbath-schools, and missionary operations. The advancement of education, though not directly expressed in its constitution, has been one of the leading objects of the body. Indeed, the colored Baptists, in all their meetings, whether in their General Association, their conventions, or their district associations, have manifested a commendable zeal for the education of their children, and especially for the better education of their ministers.
Their efforts to build up a school for the literary and theological training of their preachers, has been untiring. They opened a school for this purpose in the Olivet meeting-house in Louisville, on the 24th of November, 1874, under the superintendence of Elder A. Barry. But, after a session of five months, during which 18 students were in attendance, they
were compelled to abandon the enterprise for the present for want of means to meet expenses. They, therefore, recommended their young men to attend the Normal Institute, at Nashville,Tenn., until they could establish a suitable school for their accommodation in their own State; and several young preachers were sent by the different associations to that institution. Meanwhile, the effort to establish a college in Louisville was continued with unabated zeal, until it was crowned with success. A suitable lot and buildings were purchased by the General Association, which had been incorporated by the Kentucky Legislature for that purpose, and the school was opened Nov. 23, 1879, under the charge of Elder E. P. Marrs. In its report to the General Association in 1880, the Executive Board says: "The Theological Seminary is a very handsome piece of property. It is located in the city of Louisville, on the south side of Kentucky street, between Seventh and Eighth streets. The lot is 217 feet by 375 feet, extending through the whole square to Zane street." This property was purchased at a cost of about $13,000. In the fall of 1880, "Rev. Wm. J. Simmons, a well-educated and very energetic colored brother," was elected President of the institution. During the succeeding session, in students were enrolled. The school is now regarded a permanent institution, and will doubtless prove of great advantage to the colored Baptists of the State.
The Sunday-school interest has been regarded from the first one of primary importance by the colored Baptists. In all their associations this cause has been constantly a principal subject of discussion and earnest commendation; and, besides a State Sunday-school convention, which was organized about 1869, district conventions have been instituted in most, or all, of the associational districts. Missionaries have been instructed to give special attention to organizing and encouraging Sundayschools, and some have been employed to devote their labors exclusively to this work. These benevolent efforts have been greatly blessed. In 1881, the First District Sunday-school convention, which occupies the west end of the State, reported 47 schools with 273 teachers and 3,392 scholars. The General Association reported, the same year, in the churches it repreresented, 147 schools with 8,761 scholars.
The ministers’ meetings, connected with the associations, and
held at various times and places, all over the State, though too frequently occupied in discussing speculative and impractical questions, have been of incalculable benefit. They have been a species of theological schools, in which the illiterate preachers have been instructed by their more learned and gifted brethren, in the doctrines of the Bible and the principles of good morals. These teachings have been adopted by the churches and associations, to such an extent, that it would be difficult to discriminate, unfavorably to the illiterate colored Baptists, between them and their white brethren, as to soundness in doctrine, purity in moral sentiment, and practical wisdom in propagating the gospel. Somespecimens of associational utterances on these subjects are worthy of serious attention. The General Association, at its first meeting, recorded these sentiments: All regular Baptist churches acknowledge the Bible as their guide in faith and discipline. The same law, therefore, that governs one Baptist church, governs all others; hence, the law which disqualifies a person for membership in one church, disqualifies him for membership in any other. Therefore, we deem it wrong, and highly injurious to the cause of Christ, to recognize the reception of any justly excluded person from a regular Baptist church, by any church of the same faith and order. We present this item of vital interest, hoping it may be carried out so as to preserve our christian fellowship inviolate. During the same session, this body "resolved, that this Association will consider the high advantages arising from industry and economy, which are so calculated to promote our future success and happiness," and, "that we will, in our several localities, oppose the use of spirituous liquors as a beverage." In 1872, the Ministers and Deacons' meeting associated with this body, advised, that none of the ministers nor churches receive Pedobaptist or Campbellite immersion, "nor any other immersion, unless performed by a legal administrator." About 1877, chartering railroad cars and making Sunday excursions for the benefit of benevolent causes, became quite common. At that date, the General Association adopted the following: "Whereas, There is a disposition on the part of a number of our pastors to encourage and engage in Sunday excursions, and since it has been practiced, to a great extent, it is becoming destructive to the interests of good morals and a thorough religious sentiment; therefore, be it Resolved,
That it is the sense of this Association, that said Sunday excursions are wicked, and in direct violation of the command of God, when He says, 'Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.'" The First District Association adopted similar resolutions, the same year, and also took a position on alien baptism, similar to that expressed by the State Ministers' and Deacons' Meeting. About this period, there were numerous disensions in the churches in various parts of the State, which the General Association supposed to have originated from a "lack of knowledge of Baptist church government and discipline." That body recommended the churches to procure Hiscox's Baptist Church Directory, and study it; and, in 1879, advised, that no aspirant for ministerial honors be licensed, unless he possessed "at least a limited knowledge of the fundamental principles of an English education." In 1881, the Association insisted very emphatically, that license to preach should be granted to no one who could not read intelligently and without blundering, any portion of the Bible, and pass an examination in Arithmetic, through fractions, spell and parse fairly, and show a knowledge of the outlines of Geography; and that acandidate should not be ordained, except for a special work -- such as a pastoral charge, the work of a missionary under appointment, &c. It also resolved not to countenance any brother who should "change from one council to another, apparently with the idea of slipping into the ministry without solid acquirements."
First District Association Of colored Baptists is the oldest, as well as much the largest organization of the kind in the State. It was constituted of the churches at Elkton, Franklin, May field, Henderson and Paducah, at the last named place, in September, 1867. The next year, it received nine new churches, and in 1869, eight more. At the latter date, it numbered 22 churches with 3,228 members. Its preachers were G. W. Dupee, Lewis Norris, S. Underwood, Wm. Jones, A. Chapman, Wm. Hubbard, Malachi Dunn, Peter Bronough and Wm. Lee.
This Association includes the churches at Franklin, Bowling Green and Cloverport, and occupies all that portion of the State lying west of those towns, except portions of Trigg and some of the adjoining counties, which are occupied by Little River and Cumberland Valley Associations. It has been, from the
beginning, a prosperous and enterprising body. A Ministers' meeting, and a Sunday-school convention are located on its territory, and are, in some sense, under its fostering care. By its request, the Baptist Herald, the first religious periodical edited by a colored Baptist in Kentucky, was published at Paducah by G. W. Dupee, the first number being issued in September, 1873. The growth of the Association has been unusually rapid. In 1870, it numbered 45 churches with 4,611 members, and, in 1880, 106 churches with 13,336 members, of which 1,650 had been baptized during the year.
Elkhorn Association was constituted, in 1868, and occupied the territory of the white Baptist Association of the same name, but extended considerably beyond the borders of the latter fraternity. It had the advantage of a large membership, to begin with, the churches of Elkhorn Association of white Baptists having contained 4,853 colored members, at die beginning of the War. The body under consideration was not as prosperous as might have been expected. It favored the benevolent enterprises of the time, however, and accomplished something in the causes of missions, education and Sundayschools. In 1877, it numbered 30 churches, 21 of which aggregated 5,303 members, the other 9 having failed to report their statistics. In 1880, it consolidated with the Mt. Zion fraternity in forming the Educational Association.
Mt. Zion Association was constituted about the same time with the last named. It included in its territory Bracken, Mason and Lewis counties. Noparticulars of its history have come to hand. It united with Elkhorn in forming the Educational Association, in 1880.
Liberty Association was constituted, in 1868, and is located in Barren, Hart, and some of the adjacant counties. Among its preachers are Peter Murrell, J. W. Harlow, N. Gassaway, D. Wilson, Isaac Owen, S. W. Crenshaw, J. F. and Elijah Lewis, J. W. Page, Wm. Rowlett, R. Harston and G. Buford. Of its doings, little has been learned. In 1877, it reported 30 churches with 2,236 members.
South District Association is located in Washington, Boyle, Lincoln and other counties, and was constituted in 1869. Among its ministers are Isaac Slaughter, M. Broadus, S. Shearer, J. C. Harrison, A. G. Graves, W. Fisher, G. R. Gaddie, S.
Carter, P. Durrett and J. Reid. Little has been learned of its history. It reported 31 churches, with 2,716 members, in 1876.
Central District Association was constituted in 1871, and includes some of the churches in Louisville, together with those of several counties east of that city. It is a large and prosperous fraternity, and has exhibited a commendable zeal in promoting the causes of missions, Sunday-schools, and education. It has been especially earnest in its endeavors to establish and maintain the Louisville Normal and Theological Institute. When the General Association became discouraged, and had almost abandoned the hope of establishing such an institution, in the near future, this body, in 1877, appointed a special agent to solicit means to build up the school, and, although the agent accomplished but little, the interest was kept up until the enterprise finally succeeded. A ministers’ meeting and a Sundayschool convention are fostered by the churches of this body. This fraternity and at least one other district association, in the State, have one feature that is not according to Baptist usage viz, the admission of annual and life members on the payment of a specified sum of money. This has been practiced, with at least doubtful propriety, by general associations, Baptist State conventions, and other societies organized purely for the promotion of benevolent enterprises. But a district association is an association of churches, and its deliberative body is rightly composed only of a specified number of messengers from each church. Such a body is not merely a missionary society. Despite any number of theories to the contrary, it gives advice, decides questions of doctrine and fellowship, and performs many other acts that affect the peace and union of the churches represented in it. Central District Association admits an annual member on the payment of one dollar. In 1880, the time this principle was engrafted in the constitution, there was less than an average of one messenger from each church. One dollar, therefore, had a more potent representation in the body than one church. This does not accord with the democratic principle of Baptist church government. The practice maynot result in serious injury but it is a grave violation of principle, and is liable to produce disastrous effects.
The Association has had a rapid increase, and is now one of the large and influential fraternities in the State. In 1873, it
reported 15 churches with 3,140 members; in 1880, 38 churches, 20 of which reported 4,922 members, the remaining 18 churches failing to give their statistics; in 1882, 47 churches were reported, 39 of which numbered 7,310 members, the other 8 churches failing to report their numbers.
Among the early ministers of this body were C. Clark, S. Grigsby, A. Taylor, W. Lewis, W. J. Brown, S. Mack, and J. M. Harris.
Mt. Vernon Association was a small fraternity located in Trigg and some of the adjoining counties. It was constituted in 1871. There were only two or three preachers connected with its churches, and it did not prosper. After four or five annual meetings, it was dissolved, and its churches united with the neighboring fraternities.
Little River And Cumberland Valley Association was constituted of 15 small churches, at Cadiz, Trigg county, July 19, 1876. These churches aggregated 438 members. Their preachers were S. Buckner, Wm. Waddle, Thomas Ladd, A. Chapman, R. Carr, and S. Jones. The Association, as soon as it was organized, began to make endeavor to correct some evil habits that prevailed among the preachers and other church members. The first report it adopted, after earnestly commending abstinence from intoxicating drinks, continues: "We commend ministers especially to stop all evil practices -- visiting saloons, groceries, shops, &c., and sitting with the worldly, using all kinds of language." The report on destitution calls attention to several points at which there was no preaching, and adds: "Whereas a number of preachers are hanging around certain churches, making disturbance with the pastors, we urge them to go into these fields of labor,” and, upon failing to do so, that they be published in the Baptist Herald, as being “no longer preachers.” The next year it was d recommended that churches which had preachers, who would not preach, should recall their credentials. This body has a custom which is not common. In addition to an introductory discourse at the opening of its annual meeting, it has a valedictory sermon at its close. The fraternity has been generally peaceful and moderately prosperous. In 1880, it numbered 21 churches with 1,295 members, and, in 1882, 24 churches with 1,370 members.
Aid Association was constituted at Little Flock meeting house
in Louisville, October 24, 1877, of the following five churches Little Flock, Limerick, First Corinthian, Mission, and Forest. The first four were located in Louisville, the other, at Newburg, in Jefferson county. They aggregated 278 members. Their ministers were C. Oldham, Elisha Clay, Ross Gofney, W. Harris, and John Hix. The constitution admits orderly Baptists to seats in the Association upon the payment of 50 cents each, and to membership for life, on the payment of $2.50. The body has had a rapid growth. In 1879, it numbered 11 churches, with 1,350 members.
Educational Association was formed by the consolidation of the Elkhorn and Mt. Zion fraternities. It held its first session in Covington, July 14-21, 1880. It reported at that date 43 churches with 7,301 members, and was the largest district association in the State, except First District. It has about 25 preachers, a number of whom are men of good ability and fair acquirements.
Of Cumberland River And South Kentucky And Mt. Pleasant Associations no account has been received.
All the colored Baptists in Kentucky are missionary in sentiment, and, in proportion to their ability, accomplished much more in the work of home missions, during the decade under consideration, than their white brethren. They used comparatively little money, because they possessed but little; yet they were very liberal with the little they had. Their preachers, nearly all of whom were home missionaries, to a greater or less extent, were men inured to hardships and accustomed to frugal living, and labored for a very small pecuniary compensation. They endured hardness like good soldiers, and their labors were abundantly blessed. During a period of ten years, extending from 1870 to 1880, the number of colored Baptist church members in the State increased about one hundred per cent. At the former date, they numbered about 25,000, at the latter, about 50,000. The General Association reported, in 1880, 210 churches, aggregating 39,138 members. Nine district associations reported 133 churches, aggregating 8,435 members, which churches did not report to the General Association. This gives, including the General Association, 10 associations, 343 churches, and 47,573 members. But in these associations, there were 35 churches that did not report their statistics, besides
two associations which have not been heard from. If we estimate these two associations as numbering 15 churches each, we shall have 65 churches from which no statistics have been received. Suppose these churches to average 43 members each, which would be a low estimate. This would give an aggregate of 2,795. Add these to the numbers officially reported, and we have a total of 12 associations, 408 churches, and 50,368 members, as the numerical strength of the colored Baptists in Kentucky, in 1880.
There have been a few churches of this sect in the western part of the State, more than a half century. The first of these was gathered by Benoni Stinson, in Henderson county, not far from 1830. It took the name of Liberty, and united with an association of the same name, in Indiana. Between this and the year 1839, Chalybeat Springs and Liberty churches in Caldwell county, and Friendship in Crittenden, were gathered. During the last named year, the four churches named above confederated under the style of "Union Association of General Baptists." This fraternity extended its boundary so rapidly, that, in 1845, it was deemed prudent to divide it. The western division took the name of Cumberland Association. Since that period only one new association has been formed.
Union Association, as stated above, was constituted of four churches, about 1839, and for a few years, increased quite rapidly. After that, it appears to have declined. Just after the Civil War, it again seemed to prosper, for a few years. In 1871, it numbered 22 churches with 1,534 members. In 1875, it again divided its territory, the churches of the eastern division forming Mt. Union Association. In 1881, Union Association numbered 24 churches with 1,152 members.
Cumberland Association was constituted of six churches, at Caldwell meeting house in Caldwell county, in October, 1846, by Benoni Stinson, Jacob Spear and E. C. McCoy. Like the mother fraternity, it was quite prosperous for a few years. It extended its operations westward to the lower end of the State,
and gathered many small churches, which, at one time, aggregated over 500 members. It also planted a number of churches in the southern part of Illinois, of which an association, called Ohio, was formed. But after this, it began to wither away, and finally became extinct.
Mt. Union Association was formed, in 1875, of churches, dismissed for the purpose, from Union Association. Its churches are located in Allen, Barren and some other counties. It has had some increase in numbers. In 1879, it reported 17 churches with 826 members. This sect holds the doctrine and theory of government of the Baptists in general; but practices "open communion," and admits the possibility of the final apostasy of saints. Its numbers, in 1880, may be put down at two associations, 41 churches, and 1,978 members.
Benoni Stinson may be regarded the father of the General Baptists in Kentucky. He was a native of Jefferson county, Ky. In early life he moved to Vanderburg county, Indiana, where he was ordained a Baptist minister. Becoming dissatisfied with the practice of "close communion," soon after his ordination, he united with the General Baptists, not far from the year 1825. Besides his extensive labors in his adopted State, he preached often in the lower part of the Green River valley, in Kentucky, and was the principal instrument in gathering the first churches of his sect, in that region. He was regarded a good preacher, a man of unimpeachable moral character, and a sincere Christian. After a long and active ministry, at a ripe old age, he was called to his reward,
Free Will Baptists
There was no church of this sect in Kentucky, until within the last few years, and even now, its numbers in the State are in significant. Some few years past, a disturbance originated in Paint Union Association, which resulted in a division of some of the churches, or, at least, in the exclusion of some prominent members. These expelled members were gathered into one or more churches, which took the name of Free-Will Baptists.
Under the ministry of Thomas S. Williams, these churches increased to the number of four, and, in 1880, aggregated 180 members. They associated under the style of "Johnson County Quarterly Meeting." The fraternity is located in the county from which it takes its name, and is a constituent of Ohio Yearly Meeting, an association located in the State whose name it bears. Like the General Baptists, this sect differs from the regular Baptist denomination, in leaning towards the Arminian, rather than the Calvinistic theory, and in practicing open communion.
As we have seen, there are in the State, four sects, which have seceded from the Baptists, and still retain the Baptist name viz. General Baptists, Free-Will Baptists, and United Baptists. The first named have continued to diminish in numbers from soon after their secession, and, without some unforseen change, must, in a few years more, come to nought. The General Baptists, also, appear to be diminishing, while their numbers are already small. The Free-Will Baptists have scarcely more than a nominal existence in the State, and their seems to be no probability of their increasing to any considerable extent.
The United Baptists, or, as they sometimes distinguish themselves, the Original United Baptists, differ little from the main body of the denomination, except in their opposition to missionary and other benevolent societies organized for the spread of religious knowledge. They claim to be missionaryin sentiment, but believe the church to be the only society authorized to send out missionaries. This sect has made some progress in numbers and influence, and is manifestly approximating nearer the denomination from which it seceded.
There is reason to hope that, in the near future, all the Baptists in the State will be reunited, and thereby better enabled to meet the responsibility that rests upon them to give an unadulterated gospel to the people among whom they live, and to aid more largely in sending it to the uttermost parts of the earth.
[J. H. Spencer, A History of Kentucky Baptists, Volume 2, 1886; reprint 1984, pp. 603-671. -- jrd]
Go to next section
Go to Spencer History, Volume 1
Return to Kentucky Baptist Church Histories
Return to American Church Histories
Return to HOME Page