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A History of Kentucky Baptists
By J. H. Spencer
Volume II, 1885, Chapter 1.
[Section 2]

[South River Association of Separate Baptists - p. 80; South Kentucky District Association - pp. 80-88;
Tates Creek Association - pp. 88-96; Bracken - pp. 96-105; Green River Association - pp. 105-118]

South River Association of Separate Baptists

[p. 80]
The origin and early history of this fraternity are difficult to trace. For, although we have such records as it kept, those records are extremely obscure and defective. The original records, from the constitution of the Association to 1794, were not kept in any permanent form. But during the meeting of the body, at the date named, Joseph Bledsoe and Moses Bledsoe were appointed a committee "to collect the records of the Association, from its constitution to the present, and enter them in a book." This duty was performed. The book was presented to the body, in 1795, and the report of the Committee was received. This book, or a literal transcription of it, is still preserved; and from it, we learn what may be known of the origin and early proceedings of the body. The book is in the possession of Elder William Rupard, of Clark county. There is also another book of records, dating back to 1791, in the hands of Elder L.B. Whiles, of Pulaski county.

John Asplund, in his Register of 1790, makes a mistake of two years, as to the age of this organization. His account of it is as follows

South Kentucky District Association

"This association was constituted about 1785. Adopted no articles of faith, only the Bible; they hold to general provision. Correspond only with the general committee, by letter, and sometimes delegates. Their annual association is held on the second Thursday in October, and besides this, they have two occasional associations in May and August, hold three days."

Dr. Benedict and Dr. S.H. Ford have followed Asplund, and popular writers and speakers, on the subject, have followed them, and thus perpetuated the mistake, to the present time. Dr. B. Manley, Jr., in his Annals of Elkhorn Association, follows Dr. Ford, giving not only the alleged time of the constitution of South Kentucky Association, but the names of the churches; of
[p. 81]
which it is alleged to have been constituted. There appears to be no higher authority for this, than Dr. Ford's inference, which, however plausible, is not conclusive, but tends rather, to confirm, in the popular mind, the mistake of Asplund; if indeed, his indefinite statement amounts to a mistake. It is observable that Asplund says. -- "This association was constituted about 1785," showing that he was not confident, as to the date. On the same page (51) of this Register, he says, of the old Salem Fraternity. -- "This association was constituted about 1789." Since we have the records of that body, stating definitely that it was constituted, of four churches, (the names of which are given), at Cox's Creek, in Nelson county, on Monday, October 31, 1785, we see that he made a mistake of four years, notwithstanding he was within itsbounds, only five years after its constitution. It is needful therefore, in order to be exact, in these dates, to appeal from the historians of the time, to the official records.

In the minutes of the proceedings of South Kentucky Association, at its annual meeting, in 1791, the following item is recorded:

"The association agrees to abide by the plan upon which the churches of our union were constituted (an association), in October, 1787, and May, 1788."

That is, after the example of Elkhorn, they held a preliminary meeting, in October, 1787, and met again the following May, to complete the organization. The constitution of this ancient fraternity therefore, properly dates from May, 1788.

The preliminary meeting convened at Tates Creek meeting house, in Madison county, the first Friday in October, 1787. Eleven churches were represented. The names of the church's are not recorded in the book now in existence. It will be kept in remembrance however, that this book contains the records only in the condensed form of the report of the committee, as stated before. The Separate Baptist churches in Kentucky, which are shown by the best authorities now extant, to have existed at this period, were Head of Boones Creek, and Second Boones Creek, afterwards called Boffman's Fork, and finally known as Bogg's Fork, both in Fayette county; Howard's Creek, now called Providence, in what is now Clark county; Forks of Dix River and Gilbert's Creek in what is now Garrard County; Rush Branch, in Lincoln county; Tates Creek, in
[p. 82]
Madison county, and Lick Creek, afterwards called Buffalo, and Pottengers Creek, in Nelson county. The other two were probably Huston's Creek, in Bourbon county, and Nolin, since called South Fork, in what is now LaRue county. This was one church more than was embraced in Elkhorn Association, at that period, and five more than was embraced in Salem. But the aggregate number of their membership cannot be known.

The following business, if such it might be called, was transacted at this primary meeting:
1. "Declared that they thought all ministerial difficulties should be settled by a company of ministers, and that, if any minister was supposed to preach any unsound doctrine, two ministers might suspend or stop him from preaching, until he could be tried by a sufficient number of ministers; and it was provided also, that the churches should have power to cite any one, suspected of preaching unsound doctrine, before the ministers, in order for trial."
2. "They also defined what power there was in a gospel church, viz.: To receive into her communion, and expel from it, such members as she may choose, according to gospel discipline; also to choose their own pastor, orrefuse him, when it shall appear that he is no longer their pastor; also to excommunicate him for immoral conduct, as any other member."

1788. The place of meeting is not known. Query: "Whether the washing of saints' feet is a duty, enjoined on Christians? Ans. It is." Agree to write a circular letter, and have it printed. Query: "Is there any officer in the church besides Bishop and Deacon? Agreed, there is." The other officer implied to be in the church, is supposed to be that of Elder. Query: "Whether members should sit in the church to do business together, when irreconciled? Agreed, they ought not."

1789. "Agree to write a letter to Elkhorn Association, respecting a union between the two associations in the country. But the Elkhorn Association answered, that as long as so great a diversity of sentiment prevailed, with regard to the Bible, a union that would be for their mutual happiness, could scarcely be hoped for."

1790. This year we have no official records. But Asplund's Register records the names of the following churches, in addition to those named above, as belonging to the Association, at this
[p. 83]
period: Unity, in Clark county; Hickmans Creek and Jessamines Creek, in Fayette county; Head of Beech Fork, Head of Salt River and Shawnee Run, in Mercer county; 2d Hardins Creek and West Fork of Cox's Creek, in Nelson county; and 2d Forks of Elkhorn, now called Mt. Pleasant, in Franklin county.

The association, at this time, embraced 19 churches, aggregating 1,311 members. Elkhorn embraced 13 churches, with 1,365 members and Salem contained 8 churches, with 404 members.

1791. Met at Rush Branch, in Lincoln county. Agreed to pay Wm. Bledsoe the balance promised him for attending the General committee, at Richmond, Va.

At this session, the association first began to be disturbed by the doctrine of restoration from Hell, or "Hell Redemption." John Bailey had been propagating the heresy; and Wm. Bledsoe embraced it, soon afterwards. The association took action on the subject, as follows:

"Query. Whether the association will hold a member in society, that propagates the doctrine of Restoration from Hell? Agreed they could not." Two were neutral, and John Bailey was in the affirmative. "Proof was given to the association that John Bailey held and propagated Redemption from Hell." A presbytery, consisting of James Smith, Joseph Bledsoe, Andrew Tribble, Robert Elkin, and Thomas Ammen, was appointed to examine John Bailey, and demand of him his credentials if they thought fit. James Smith, one of the committee, was accused of saying that he believed that all men, for whomChrist died, would be saved. The accusation was proved. But upon examination of him, the association agreed that he did not teach Redemption from Hell. At this juncture, the body saw fit to "agree to abide by the plan, upon which the churches of our union were constituted, in October, 1787, and May, 1788." It was queried whether the ministers have the keys of the church and rule the same? The answer was in the negative. The committee reports that John Bailey is no more of us, as a minister or a member. It was declared that the association would not fellowship any person, who propagates the doctrine of eternal justification. Several petitions were presented, in answer to which, presbyteries were appointed, to ordain preachers and constitute churches.

1792. Met at Jessamine, in Jessamine county. A correspondence was opened with Middle District Association, in Virginia.
[p. 84]
Two years later, the churches were advised to style themselves United Baptists, in order to make the correspondence more agreeable, the Virginia Baptists having assumed that title, in 1787.

1793. There were two meetings of the association, this year. The first was held at Tates Creek, in June. Messengers came from Elkhorn Association, desiring a union between the two fraternities. It was agreed that a convention, representing churches of both associations, should meet at Marble Creek, (now East Hickman, in Fayette county), the last Saturday in July. The convention met accordingly. "But the Regular Baptists were tenacious about their Philadelphia Confession of Faith," and the union was not effected. The final terms of union, proposed by the Regular Baptists, were deferred, for consideration, till the meeting of South Kentucky Association, the following October, when they were rejected by that body, by a large majority. Upon this decision, five ministers and four churches broke off from the association. The dissenting churches appear to have been Head of Boones Creek, Jessamine, Forks of Dix River and Hickmans Creek. These formed an association, afterwards called Tates Creek, to which Unity was added, the following year. The seceding preachers were Thomas Ammen, Andrew Tribble, Robert Clark, James Smith and Thomas Shelton.

The loss of these ministers, together with the apostasy of John Bailey and William Bledsoe, left to the Association, but a feeble ministry. After the secession of the four churches and five ministers, the body saw fit to reaffirm its original principles; which it did, in the following questions and answers:

"1. What was the Separate Baptists first constituted into a society upon, in Kentucky?" Ans. "The Bible."

"2. How did we become united with the Baptists in Virginia, called United Baptists?" Ans. "On a letter the Committee of Baptists, in Richmond, directedto be written to us, in Kentucky, bearing date, October 2, 1788, from under the signature of Reuben Ford and William Webber."

"3. Did those terms oblige us to receive any part of the Philadelphia Confession of Faith?" Ans. "No."

"4. Do we agree to abide by the constitution and terms of union with the United Baptists of Virginia?" Ans. "We do."

1794. Met at Gilberts Creek, in Garrard county. The business
[p. 85]
of the session was unimportant. The name of Lick Creek church was changed to Buffalo. Pottengers Creek petitioned for the ordination of Joseph Milburn. Some Baptists about the mouth of Silver creek desired to be constituted a church, to move to the Illinois country.

1795. Met at Shawnee Run, in Mercer county. Two new churches, Cartwrights Creek, in Marion county, and Spencer Creek, in Montgomery, were received. Brethren were appointed to install Elijah Summars pastor of Blue Ash (since called Bethel) church, in Montgomery county. Messengers were appointed to the General Committee, in Virginia, and the churches were requested to style themselves United Baptists.

1796. Met at Jessamine. The application for membership of a church on Chaplin (now called Deep Creek) was rejected, because it had received an excluded preacher into its fellowship. An application from Tates Creek Association, for union and correspondence was rejected.

1797. Met at Howards Creek. A presbytery was appointed to ordain Isaac Crutcher and Matthew Rogers.

1798. Met at Harlan meetinghouse, in Mercer county. A new church, on Red river, in Clark county, was received. Agreed to change their name, from United Baptists, to their original name of Separate Baptists, but to still retain their relation to the United Baptists, of Virginia.

1799. Met at Gilberts Creek, in Garrard county. A petition from Boffmans Fork church for a letter to join Tates Creek Association was rejected. James and Matthew Rogers were appointed to attend the church at Brush Creek, and to continue or constitute the churches in that part, or not, as they may think fit. The Association made a move this year that caused much trouble and confusion afterwards. A number of persons, including the two most prominent ministers in the body, had been excluded for teaching "Hell Redemption," or what is now termed Universalism. The churches were now advised to open a door, for the reception of these persons, without inquiring into their private sentiments, provided they were orderly in their lives. Joseph Bledsoe and Michael Dillingham were appointed to attend some people at Rush Branch,called Universal Baptists, to aid them in their standing, respecting society. This apostate
[p. 86]
church, with John Bailey at its head, was restored to membership in the Association, without renouncing "their private sentiments."

1800. Met at Shawnee Run, in Mercer county. Most of the records of this year were lost.

1801. Met at Tates Creek in Madison county. This was the last meeting of this old fraternity. It now embraced 31 churches, aggregating 2,383 members. Its territory extended from Montgomery county, on the north-east, to Hardin county, on the south-west. A motion prevailed to divide the Association into two districts. The line of division to begin at the head of Paint Lick creek, and run down that creek to its mouth, thence down the Kentucky river to its mouth. The churches south of this line were to compose South District Association, and those north of it, North District Association.

A union with Elkhorn Association was consummated this year, a full account of which has been given in the general history. After the transaction of some other unimportant business, Old South Kentucky Association of Separate Baptists adjourned to meet no more.

James Smith, an early minister of this old fraternity, was a native of Virginia, in which State he was raised up and inducted into the ministry, among the Separate Baptists. He emigrated at a very early period, to what is now Garrard county, Ky., was very active in the ministry, and aided in gathering some of the earliest churches in the new country. He assisted John Whitaker in constituting Beargrass church, in Jefferson county, in 1784. He was early a member of Forks of Dix River church, in Garrard county, and was probably in the constitution of that organization. He visited Illinois in the summer of 1787, and so far as is now known, was the first minister to preach to the early settlers of that now great and populous State. He visited that territory again in 1790, and, as on the former occasion, preached with success, in what is now Monroe county. A number of persons were converted under his ministry. But in the midst of his labors, he was captured by the Indians, near the site of Waterloo, and carried to the Kickapoo town, on the Wabash river. But so much was he esteemed by the few poor settlers, among whom he had preached, that they raised $170, with which they ransomed him, and returned him to his friends
[p. 87]
in Kentucky. He subsequently visited Illinois, but with what success is not known.

Mr. Smith was a prominent member of South Kentucky Association from its constitution till 1793. But, although among the Separate Baptists, he does not appear to have harmonized with them in doctrine; for, while they were generally Arminian in sentiment, he believed in a limited atonement, and waswilling to adopt the Philadelphia Confession of Faith. In 1793, he, with four other ministers and four churches, seceded from South Kentucky, and entered into the constitution of Tates Creek Association, of which he remained a member until his death. Among his numerous and highly respectable descendants, one of his sons was Governor of the State of Texas, and the well known Elder John L. Smith, of Fayette county, Ky., is his grandson.

Thomas Shelton was an early emigrant from Virginia to Madison county, Ky. Here he became a member of Tates Creek church of Separate Baptists, which was gathered by Andrew Tribble, in 1786. Mr. Shelton was a licensed preacher, in this church, as early as 1790. He was a minister in South Kentucky Association, till 1793, when he, with others, seceded from that fraternity, and went into the constitution of Tates Creek Association. The same year, he was appointed by the latter fraternity, to bear a letter of correspondence to the General Committee of Virginia Baptists, which met that year, at Muddy Creek meeting-house, in Powhatan county, Va. He started on his journey, to perform this duty, but did not reach his proposed destination. As he was traveling on horseback, through the mountains, he was attacked by Indians, and massacred. He left a family, from whom have sprung a numerous posterity. Among the latter, are the venerable Dr. Thomas Shelton Moberly, of Richmond, Ky., a grandson, and Rev. R. M. Dudley, D.D., President of Georgetown College, and Rev. A. C. Caperton, D. D., Editor of the Western Recorder, great grandsons.

Thomas John Chilton was a prominent leader among the Separate Baptists, in Kentucky, about forty years. He is believed to have been a native of Virginia, and was born about the year 1769. He was brought to what is now Garrard county, Ky., at the age of ten years. He received a better education than most boys, in the new Country, at that time. He professed
[p. 88]
religion and united with Gilbert's Creek church of Separate Baptists, during a great revival which prevailed in that region, under the ministry of Joseph and William Bledsoe, in 1789. He began to exercise in public, soon after he joined the church, and was ordained to the ministry by Joseph Bledsoe, Moses Bledsoe and John Rice, in 1791: He was one of the committee that signed the articles, commonly known as the "Terms of General Union," upon which the Regular and Separate Baptists united, in 1801, and claims to be the author of that document. When South District Association split, in 1803, Mr. Chilton was one of the leaders of the party which formed the present South Kentucky Association of Separate Baptists. He continued to preach in Garrard and the surrounding counties, till about the year 1822, when, having lost his property, in an abortive attempt to establish salt works, he moved to what is now LaRue county, and settled on Middle creek. Here he took charge of a church, which he and William Summers had constituted, under the style of the Separate Baptist church on Middle creek, in 1816. The name of this church was afterwards changed to Republican, and is now called Big Spring. To this church he ministered till 1836, when he resigned on account of declining age. In 1835, he published a small volume which he titled "A History of the Baptists." It bears the marks of having been written carelessly, and in haste, and is of little value. Mr. Chilton was a strong preacher; but appears to have been a plausible, rather than a logical controversialist. He died from the effects of a fall from his buggy, into a stream of water which he was crossing, about 1839. His son, Thomas Chilton, was a lawyer, preacher and politician of considerable prominence.

Tates Creek Association

This was the fourth Association organized in Kentucky, and the first that was constituted under the style of "United Baptists." It was formed of four churches, which broke off from South Kentucky Association in consequence of that fraternity's refusing to accept terms, of union, proffered by Elkhorn Association, in 1793. The names of the churches are not given in
[p. 89]
the minutes of the organization, but subsequent records indicate that they were Head of Boones Creek, Forks of Dix River, Jessamine and Hickmans Creek. With these four churches, five ministers also seceded from South Kentucky Association. Their names were James Smith, Thomas Ammen, Andrew Tribble, Robert Clark and Thomas Shelton. Unity church, of which Andrew Tribble was a member and the pastor, withdrew from South Kentucky Association, and joined the new fraternity the following year.

The four churches spoken of above, met, by their messengers, at Jessamine Meetinghouse, Nov. 23, 1793.

"On motion, agreed to form an association of the four churches, which lately entered into union with the Regular brethren; and to make the terms of union their constitution."

The terms of union here referred to, were those offered by Elkhorn to South Kentucky, as a basis of union between the two bodies. These terms were rejected by a large majority of South Kentucky Association. They read as follows, and were now adopted as

The Constitution of Tates Creek Association

"We agree to receive the Regular Baptist Confession of Faith; but to prevent it usurping a tyrannical power over the conscience of any, we do not mean that every person is to be bound to the strict observance of everything therein contained; yet that it holds forth the essential truths of the gospel, and the doctrine of Salvation by Jesus Christ, and free, unmerited grace alone, ought tobe believed by every Christian, and maintained by every minister of the gospel. And that we do believe in these doctrines relative to the Trinity; the divinity of Christ; the sacred authority of the Scriptures; the universal depravity of human nature; the total inability of men to help themselves, without the aid of divine grace; the necessity of repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; the justification of our persons entirely by the righteousness of Christ, imputed; believers' baptism by immersion only, and self denial; and that the supreme judge, by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient
[p. 90]
writers, doctrines of men and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be none other than the holy Scriptures, delivered by the Spirit, into which Scriptures, so delivered, our faith is finally resolved."

After the Association was constituted, a committee, consisting of John Price, Andrew Tribble, Thomas Ammen, Robert Clark, and George Smith, was appointed to draw up rules of decorum, and prepare a letter of correspondence to the General Committee, in Virginia. Thomas Shelton was appointed to bear the letter; but was massacred by the Indians, before he reached Virginia. Helps were sent to aid Unity church in adjusting her difficulties.

1794. Met at Forks of Dix River. Unity church, in Clark county, was received. Inquiry was made as to the union with Elkhorn's being dissolved. A letter was written to the General Committee, but no one was appointed to bear it, this year. It was agreed that one preacher and two elders might constitute a church.

1795. May. Met at Head of Boones Creek. At the request of Otter Creek church, Andrew Tribble and Dosier Thompson were appointed to ordain Peter Woods and Cornelius Bowman, if found qualified. According to an early custom of this body, appointments for preaching and communion, at several different churches, were made.

1795. October. Met at Hickmans Creek. Agreed to send a letter of correspondence to Holston Association, in East Tennessee. A committee was appointed to confer with Elkhorn Association, about terms of union. The committee was received by Elkhorn Association, in a most friendly spirit. It was recommended that the ministers of the two associations should preach together, and the brethren mingle with each other, that they might ascertain how nearly they were agreed in doctrine. This experiment proved satisfactory, and, in 1797, a correspondence was established between the two fraternities, that has continued to the present time.

1796. May. Met at Tates Creek, Madison county. Agreed to pay Carter Tarrant $30 for attending Holston Association. Peter Woods and Isaac Newland were appointed to visit the destitute brethren on Green river, with their ministerial labor.
[p. 91]
1796. October. Met at Forks of Dix River, in Garrard county. The tabular statistics were recorded as follows:

Hickman. T. AMMEN, J. Hudson, A. Bourn. -- 32.
Tates Creek. A. TRIBBLE, J. Mobley, Isaac Newland. -- 176.
Forks of Dix River. C. TARRANT, R. HALL, B. Ball, J. Hays. -- 61.
Howards Creek. Joseph Embry. -- 61.
Dreaming Creek. C. HARRIS, J. Woods, Peter Woods. -- 90.
Head of Boones Creek. R. CLARK, A. Adams, J. Rash. -- 45

1797. Met at Head of Boones Creek. Muddy Creek, consisting of 20 members, was represented. A committee was appointed to look into the standing of the church at Big Pond (Hickmans Creek).

1798. The church on Pitman, now called Good Hope, in Taylor county, was received.

1799. Met at Tates Creek. The following churches were represented this year, for the first time: Viney Fork and Clear Creek, in Madison county. Sinking Creek and Flat Lick, in Pulaski, Stony Point, in Mercer, and Cedar Creek (now Crab Orchard), in Lincoln.

1800. Met at Forks of Dix River. The churches of Boffmans Fork, in Fayette county, and Hurricane (since called Mt. Salem,) in Lincoln, were received. It was agreed to have the minutes printed. Peter Bainbridge, an excluded preacher, had been received into Forks of Dix River church, this year, which was regarded disorderly. It was a singular circumstance, even at that period, that a Baptist association should exist seven years, without a name. Yet such was the case with this fraternity. At this meeting, it was "agreed that this Association shall be known hereafter by the name of Tates Creek Association."

1801. Met at Viney Fork. Three new churches were received: White Oak, Flat Woods, and Otter Creek. The Association expressed a hope that, through the negotiations of Elkhorn, a general union would be consummated.

Query. Is an immersion performed by a Pedobaptist scriptural? Ans. No.

This was a season of great prosperity. The Association had increased from 12 churches, with 579 members, in 1800, to 19 churches, with 1823 members, in 1800. The number of baptisms
[p. 92]
was not reported at this, or any preceding meeting of the body. But, in 1802, there were reported 22 churches, 192baptisms, and 1,990 members. This was the largest number of members ever reported by the churches of this Association, except in 1828 and 1829, when about two-thirds of its membership were Campbellites.

In 1802, the following new churches were received: Calloways Creek, Sugar Creek, White Oak Pond, Brush Creek, Masons Fork and Silver Creek. Correspondence was established with Green River and South District Associations. In 1803, Mt. Tabor church was received, and, in 1804, Goose Creek, Double Springs, and Big Sinking were admitted to membership. Forks of Dix River, Hanging Fork, Stony Point, and Sugar Creek were dismissed, to join South District Association. Gilead church was received, in 1806, Forks of Cumberland, in Pulaski county, Station Camp, in Estill, and the church in Adair and Pulaski, in 1808, and Union church, in 1809. The territory of the Association had now become very large. Some of its churches were in Fayette county, and others were south of the Cumberland river, in Wayne county. It was deemed expedient, therefore, to form a new association of the more southern churches. Accordingly, at the date last named, it was voted that "the following churches, from the south part of this Association, be dismissed, when joined in another association, according to the terms of general union: Big Sinking, White Oak, Sinking Creek, Forks of Cumberland, Union, and Double Springs." Of these and two other churches, Cumberland River Association was formed, in 1809. In 1810, Flat Lick and Hurricane churches were dismissed, to join Cumberland River Association.

In 1812, Jeremiah Vardeman and Silas M. Noel proposed to write a history of the rise and progress of the Baptists, in Virginia and Kentucky. The churches of Tates Creek Association were advised to furnish them with such materials as would aid them in the enterprise. In 1813, New Providence and South Fork churches were received. In 1811, the Association unanimously agreed to correspond with the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions, and, in 1816, expressed the opinion that "it is not advisable for members of our society to join the Free Masons."

From this period till, 1828, the body had an even course of
[p. 93]
moderate prosperity; and nothing very remarkable occurred in its history. A considerable revival prevailed within its bounds, in 1818-19, and, during those two years, the churches reported 740 baptisms. But in 1828, a most remarkable excitement occurred among its churches. It was an excitement, however, that, instead of building it up, wasted and very nearly destroyed it. The introduction of Campbellism found the churches of this Association illy prepared to meet the plausible sophistries of that system. The early ministers of the body had all passed away, either to their home above, or to the newer settlements of the great West, and, with few exceptions, the churches were served by a very weak ministry. Many zealous proclaimers of Mr. Campbell's theories, among whomwere some men of considerable ability, as the Creaths, Mortons, Josephus Hewett, and John Smith, visited the churches, and succeeded in leading off a number of their most active and zealous preachers. Baptizing people in order to the forgiveness of their sins, became the order of the day, and multitudes submitted to an old ordinance, with a new design.

When the Association met at Tates Creek, in Madison county, in 1828, the 25 churches, which then composed the body, reported 1,395 baptisms, which considerably more than doubled their aggregate membership. In 1829, the Association met at Red Lick, in Madison county. The churches reported 219 baptisms, making an aggregate of 1,614, during the "revival." Most of the converts were zealous Campbellites, and the "Reformation" had everything its own way, in the Association. The excitement, which had pervaded the people, rather than the churches, all over Northern Kentucky, and more especially within the bounds of Boones Creek, North District and Tates Creek Associations, had been an enthusiastic reception of Campbellism, rather than a revival of religion. The name and prestige of the Baptists, had been used with such skill and assiduity, to convert the people to the new doctrine, that the old fraternity under consideration, had become practically Tates Creek Association of Campbellites. The Baptists in the body, had become a small, rather than a large minority; and were entirely helpless, in the Association, as well as in a majority of the churches. This became so painfully manifest, that they resolved to separate from the Campbellites. Accordingly,
[p. 94]
they held a convention at Viney Fork, in Madison county, on Friday, June 11, 1830, to consider the matter. After due consideration, the convention issued a protest, of which the following is the substance

"DEAR BRETHREN: We have lived long together, and have enjoyed the confidence and fellowship of each other. But now a number of our brethren in the ministry, professing to teach the ancient gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to have resumed the ground of the Apostles, are holding forth the following unscriptural doctrines:

"1. That there is no promise of Salvation without baptism, and that this ordinance should be administered to all who say that they believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, without examination on any other point.
"2. That there is no direct operation of the Spirit on the mind, prior to baptism.
"3. That baptism procures the remission of sins, and the gift of the Holy Ghost.
"4. That the Scriptures are the only evidence of an interest in Christ.
"5. That obedience places it in God's power to elect to Salvation.
"6. That no creed is necessary for the church, but the Scriptures, as they stand; and that all baptized persons have a right to administer that ordinance.
"7. That there is no special call to the ministry.
"8. That the law given by God to Moses is abolished.
"9. That experimental religion is mere enthusiasm; and that there is no mystery in the Scriptures.

"They charge us with wishing to set up articles of human production in preference to the Bible. As we are either misunderstood, or misrepresented, we wish to let them and the world know, that we hold no instrument of writing, tantamount to the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. But as every denomination of Christians goes to the Bible to support its views, we find it needful for the well being of any body of Christians, that they, in a plain, concise manner, state what they consider the essential truths of the gospel, and in some way make them public, so that every individual who may wish to become a member of their body, may act advisedly. Painful
[p. 95]
as it is, we feel it a duty which we owe to our Master, our brethren, the rising generation, and ourselves, to inform you that T. S. Bronston, Josiah Collins, J. R. Pond, F. Shoot, O. C. Steele and Samuel Willis have, in their public exhibitions, held forth some of the above and other views, which we think are inconsistent with the gospel. Now, as we are commanded to mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which we have learned, and avoid them, we enter our protest against those brethren, and all those who adhere to, and advocate any of the above views."

The convention then adjourned to meet at New Providence church, on Friday before the 3d Saturday in July, following. They met according to adjournment, and appointed to meet, as an association, the following month. Accordingly, the remnant of Tates Creek Association met at Round Top meetinghouse, in Madison county, August 28, 1830. Nine churches, aggregating 502 members, were represented. It was voted that this Association unanimously esteem it their duty to drop correspondence with any and every association, or church, where the heresy of Campbellism is tolerated.

From this time, the Association gradually increased in numbers, till 1840, when it numbered 19 churches, with 1,124 members. During the next two years, it was reduced, by the Antimission schism, to 10 churches. But, being in the midst of a revival, it gained more than it lost: so that, in 1843, it numbered 13 churches, with 1,234 members. Since that time, it has experienced few vicissitudes. It lost some 500 members, by the severence of the colored people from its churches, during, and after the War. Since the Antimission split, it has heartily favored the benevolent enterprises of the denomination, and contributed to their support. Since 1800, according to its official records, there have been baptized into its churches, besides those baptized, during sevenyears, of which we have no report, 9,079 converts. Of these, 1,148 were baptized, in 1800, and 1,395 in 1828. In 1880, it embraced 20 churches, aggregating 1,592 members.

Of most of the early preachers of this fraternity, biographical sketches have already been given. Since these passed away, there has been a great destitution of ministers, in the body. A number of able ministers have lived, and labored
[p. 96]
temporarily, within its bounds; but few preachers of note have resided permanently on its territory, since the days of the pioneers; and of these few, no memoirs have been preserved, except in two or three instances.

George W. Broadus was a good minister of the Lord Jesus. He was born in Madison county, Ky., about 1808. It is believed that he was raised up to the ministry, in Viney Fork church, of which he was long pastor. He labored extensively in Estill, Madison, Lincoln, and Rockcastle counties. He succeeded Moses Foley as Moderator of Tates Creek Association, in 1856, and continued in that position, a number of years. He departed this life, Sept. 1, 1871.

John H. Newton was born in Garrard county, Ky., March 9, 1827. He was raised up by a pious Methodist mother. But being converted under the ministry of Nelson Alspaugh, he united with the Baptist church, at Scaffold Cane, in Rockcastle county, in 1858. He was ordained to the ministry, in 1859. He spent much of his time, preaching in the mountains, often laboring in connection with that noble man of God, N. B. Johnson. He was never married, and being of a very cheerful temperament, some of his brethren thought he indulged too much in levity. But the Lord used him to good account. He was killed by the explosion of a steam boiler, April 14, 1878.

John G. Pond is one of the oldest and most prominent ministers of Tates Creek Association, of which he has been Moderator for some years past. It is regretted that materials for a sketch of his ministry are not at hand.

Bracken Association
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This is the eldest daughter of the Old Elkhorn fraternity, and the fifth association constituted in Kentucky. According to an arrangement made by Elkhorn Association, messengers from 8 churches met at Bracken meetinghouse, near the present site of Minerva, in Mason county, on Saturday, May 28, 1799. A sermon was preached by the venerable David Thomas. James Turner was chosen Moderator, and Donald Holmes, Clerk. After proper consideration, Bracken Association was
[p. 97]
constituted in due form. Five of the churches, viz: Washington, Mayslick, Bracken (now Minerva), Stone Lick and Locust Creek, had been dismissed from Elkhorn Association. The ministers of the new fraternity were Lewis Craig, David Thomas, Donald Holmes andPhilip Drake. William Wood, the first preacher who had settled within the present bounds of Bracken Association, had been excluded from Washington church, the year before the Association was constituted. The venerable and illustrious Lewis Craig was regarded the father of this Association.

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

About this time the subject of slavery began to be much agitated, among its churches. Donald Holmes had established an Emancipation church in 1802, not far from Mayslick. Bracken church had also adopted Emancipation principles. In 1805, these churches, with Elders Donald Holmes, James Thompson and Joseph Morris were dropped from the Association. From this time, the Association decreased in numbers, till 1812, when it reported 15 churches, with only 600 members. This was exactly the number of members that it reported at its first regular meeting. The body became discouraged, and submitted to the churches the question, as to whether the Association should be dissolved. A majority of the churches answered in the negative, and the following year a revival commenced, which continued two years, and during which, 423 converts were baptized into the churches of the Association. About this time, that eminent man of God, Walter Warder, settled at Mayslick, and took charge of that and other churches within the bounds of the Association. A new impulse was given to the cause of religion, and within the next six years, the aggregate membership of the churches was more than doubled; so that, in 1821, the Association numbered 17 churches, with 1,532 members.
[p. 98]
In October, 1823, Alexander Campbell held a debate on baptism, with William L. McCalla, a Presbyterian, at Washington, one of the churches in Bracken Association. Mr. Campbell was then a member of a Baptist church; but he had already begun to disseminate his peculiar views, through the Christian Baptist, as well as from the pulpit. His debate with McCalla gave him great popularity among the Baptists of this region, and disposed them to read his periodical with favor. As his teachings were antagonistic to Baptist principles, unhappy disputations were gendered in the churches. The cause of religion languished, and vital piety rapidly decayed. The Association gradually decreased in numbers, till 1827, when it reported an aggregate membership of only 1,103. Meanwhile, many of the members, and some of the ministers, had fully embraced the views of Mr. Campbell. Even the pious and popular Walter Warder appeared to look favorably on the "Reformation," and Jeremiah Vardeman, by far the most popular and successful preacher in Kentucky, so far yielded to the new system, about this time, as to baptize "for the remission of sins." And, although he did not live within the bounds of Bracken Association, he frequently labored with his intimate associate, Walter Warder.

In the Winter of 1827-8, the great religious awakening began, in northern Kentucky; and, within the bounds of Bracken Association, 1,116 persons were baptized, within a single year. The aggregate membership of the Association was a little more than doubled. To what extent these people were formally "baptized for the remission of sins," does not now appear; but it is probable that a majority of them submitted to the ordinance, on that principle. The Association was now numerically stronger than it had ever been before. But instead of that peace and harmony that ought to follow a true revival of religion, the strife and contention had increased in proportion to the growth of the Campbellite element. The "Reformers" were largely in the majority, and were determined to conform the churches to their new doctrines. There was not a preacher in the Association, who was not wanting, either in disposition or courage, to oppose Campbellism, boldly and openly. Even Walter Warder was either inclined to accept the "Reformation," or deemed it imprudent to oppose it.
[p. 99]
At this juncture, after the meeting of the Association, in the fall of 1829, William Vaughan returned from Ohio, and again settled within the bounds of Bracken Association. He was probably the ablest theologian then among the Baptists of Kentucky, not even excepting the polished and scholarly Silas M. Noel. Mr. Vaughan at once began, in a masterly manner, to expose the vaguely taught principles of the "Reformation," which had been so obscurely advocated that even Warder and Vardeman seemed not to have understood them. Mr. Vaughan soon made the differences between Baptist principles and Campbellism, manifest to the people. Warder joined him in exposing the heresy, and the lines were speedily drawn between the Baptist and Campbellite parties.

The Association met at Washington, in Mason county, the first Saturday in September, 1830. Although the Campbellites had a popular majority in the churches, a majority of the messengers were Baptists. Mr. Vaughan was elected Moderator. This was a test vote, and exhibited the relative strength of the respective parties, in the body. Two parties from each of Mayslick and Bethel churches, presented letters to the Association. The majority of the former and the minority of the latter were received, on the ground that their rivals had "embraced a system of things called, Reformation, thereby departing from the principles of the United Baptists, in Kentucky, and of the Association." This action was decisive, and led to a formal separation of the Baptists and Campbellites, in the churches composing the body. As in thecases of Tates Creek, North District, and Boones Creek Associations, only a small remnant was left to the Baptists. At the close of the "revival," in 1829, Bracken Association numbered 18 churches, aggregating 2,303 members; in 1831, after the separation from the Campbellites, it numbered 16 churches, with only 890 members.

The Association was greatly reduced, but it now enjoyed internal peace, and soon began to prosper again. Its progress was slow for several years; but in 1838, its churches enjoyed a refreshing from the Lord, under the ministrations of Gilbert Mason and T. J. Fisher. There were reported to the Association 292 baptisms, that fall. From this time till 1847, the Association enjoyed a course of prosperity. At this date it numbered 16 churches, with 1,723 members. But, as if this
[p. 100]
fraternity was destined to perpetual discord, another grievous schism occurred, at the last named date. Gilbert Mason, the most prominent preacher in the Association, and the pastor of Mayslick, Washington, Bracken, and Maysville churches, had been convicted of grave misdemeanors by a council, called for the investigation of certain charges which had been preferred against him. He refused to submit to the decision of the council, and the matter was now brought before the Association. Washington church, adhering to her pastor, was dropped from the Association. Five other churches sympathized with that at Washington, and, in 1849, the six churches, aggregating 527 members, formed Washington Association. The two Associations continued to occupy the same territory, and rival each other, till 1856, when, Mr. Mason having returned to Virginia, they were happily reunited, under the old name of Bracken Association of United Baptists. The body continued to enjoy peace, and a good degree of prosperity, till 1862, when it numbered 26 churches, with 2,575 members. This is the largest number of members it has ever reported. It lost about 1,000 members by the severance of the colored people from its churches, at the close of the War. From that time to the present, it has moved on prosperously. In 1880 it numbered 25 churches, aggregating 2,523 members. From its constitution in 1799, to 1880, there have been baptized into the fellowship of its churches, according to its official reports, 8,917 professed believers.

This Association has been a missionary body during its entire history, and has contributed liberally to the benevolent enterprises of the denomination. Since the War, it has probably surpassed any other association in the State in its zeal, liberality and efficiency in Home missions and Sunday school enterprises. It has enjoyed the labors of a number of very able ministers, none of whom, it is believed, have been raised up to the ministry, in its churches. Sketches of most of its prominent preachers have already been given.

Philip Drake was one of the pioneer ministers in Bracken Association. He appears to have been a preacher of respectable gifts; but very little is now known of him. He was several times chosen to preach before the Association, at its annual meetings, and was a minister among its churches, at least as late as 1812.
[p. 101]
Blackstone L. Abernathy preached a short time within the bounds of Bracken Association. He succeeded William Vaughan, in the pastoral care of Lees Creek church, about 1828. He succeeded in leading off a majority of its members to the Campbellites, with whom he was afterwards identified.

Jesse Holton labored some dozen or more years, within the bounds of Bracken Association. He possessed fair preaching talents, and was quite popular among the churches. He was twice Moderator of the Association, and as often preached the introductory sermon before that body. He went off with the Campbellites, in 1830.

John Callorman was a Methodist, in early life; but having united with the Baptists, he was set apart to the ministry, perhaps as early as 1824. In 1825, he was called to the care of Bethel church, in Flemming county, where he ministered about five years. He preached before the annual convocations of Bracken Association, in 1828 and 1830. At the latter date he was cut off with the Campbellites.

John Holliday labored much longer within the bounds of Bracken Association than any other preacher, who has ministered among its churches. He was a grandson of the famous old pioneer preacher, Thomas Ammen, of Tates Creek Association. He was born April 24, 1797. His father being a reckless, dissipated man, he grew up with very little education, and what was still worse, he followed the paternal example, till he was thirty years of age. He was converted under the ministry of Robert M. Batson, and baptized into the fellowship of the church, at Millersburg, in Bourbon county, in the spring of 1828. He commenced exhorting, with great zeal, immediately. He was elected a deacon of the church, the following September, and licensed to preach a few months later. He was ordained to the ministry, by William Vaughan and Walter Warder, January 30, 1830. Jacob Creath, jr., was present, and desired to take part in the ordination; but was prohibited from doing so, on account of his Campbellite proclivities.

Mr. Holliday was called to the pastoral care of Millersburg church, in 1832, and continued to fill that position, except during two brief intervals, till 1862 -- a period of thirty years. Soon after his ordination, he was called to the care of Pleasant Spring church, located between Millersburg and Carlisle, to which he
[p. 102]
ministered about forty years. In 1842, he gathered the church at Sharpsburg,which he served about five years. Besides those already mentioned, he was pastor, at different periods, of the churches at Two Lick and Mt. Olivet, in what is now Robertson county, Beaver Creek and Union, in Harrison, Poplar Plains, in Flemming, Irvingsville and Locust Grove, in Nicholas, and perhaps some others. His last pastorate, which he resigned in 1876, on account of failing health, was at Locust Grove. After this he labored in protracted meetings, and on other occasions, as his failing strength would permit. He died at his home in Carlisle, Oct. 7, 1881.

Mr. Holliday's gifts were scarcely above medium; but they were diligently used, and were consecrated by a warm, cheerful piety and a spotless life; and his labors of more than fifty years, were abundantly blessed of God, to the good of his race.

Francis Winter Stone, son of Elder J. E. Stone, was born in Hawesville, Ky., July 10, 1842. He was carefully educated in his boyhood; first in his native village, and then in an academy at Greenville, Ky. At the age of thirteen years he professed conversion, and was baptized by his father, into the fellowship of Hawesville church. After finishing his academic studies, he spent some time in reading law. In 1860 he entered Georgetown College, where he remained one year, and then entered the Confederate Army. When his term of service expired, he returned home, and entered the Seignior class in Bethel College, in 1864, where he graduated, in June, 1865. He had not entered college with a view to the ministry; but while at Georgetown, he became so deeply impressed upon that subject, that he could find no rest, until he resolved to devote his life to preaching the gospel. While at Russelville, after his return from the army, he became much troubled about the condition of his soul, and was finally led to the conclusion that he had never been "born again." For some time he was deeply overwhelmed with a sense of guilt and condemnation. That he was a member of the church at Hawesville, in good standing, rather added to the anguish of his spirit, than relieved it. But at last he found great joy of soul, in trusting in Christ. He now sought and obtained membership in the church at Russellville, being baptized by W.W. Gardner. He began at once to exercise his gifts in exhortation and preaching. Immediately
[p. 103]
after he graduated, he visited Maysville, with the view of accepting the pastoral care of the church, at that place, and that of Washington church, in the same county. To the charge of these churches, he was ordained, at Maysville, by Cleon Keys, W. Pope Yeaman, and H. W. Mitchell, Jan. 3, 1866. He served these churches two years, and then resigned. After this, he preached, with great zeal, over several counties, extending his labors into the mountain region.

On the 29th of April, 1867, Mr. Stone was married to Hattie Warder, a grand-daughter of the famous Elder Walter Warder. The marriage was a most happyone. The brilliant and godly young couple gave promise of great usefulness. But God's ways are not as our ways. Three days after the birth of their first-born (a daughter), Mr. Stone started on a preaching tour, which led him to Winchester. Here a false report of the illness of his wife caused him to hurry homewards. He purposed to go by stage; but failing to make connection, he went to Cincinnati by Rail Road. Here he took passage for Maysville, on the steamer Magnolia. On the way a boiler exploded, and set the boat on fire. Mr. Stone was injured on the head. He said to a friend: "I would rather be drowned than burned to death." Then kneeling on the deck of the burning boat, and spending a moment in prayer, he plunged into the turbulent waters, hoping to swim to the shore. But after struggling a few moments with the furious waves, he sank to rise no more in mortal flesh. Thus passed away on the 18th of March, 1868, this gifted and consecrated young man.

Harry W. Mitchell, a young preacher of excellent gifts, was raised up to the ministry in Maysville church. He was born Oct. 28, 1842. He received a fair English education, and having united with the church in early life, was licensed to preach, Dec. 7, 1861. The well-known W.P. Harvey, now of Harrodsburg, was licensed to preach at the same time and place. Mr. Mitchell preached as a licentiate, with zeal and efficiency during the War. He was ordained at Maysville, by Cleon Keys, J. W. Bullock, J. M. Bent and J. M. Bennett, Feb. 23, 1865. He preached for a time, with much acceptance, at Aberdeen, Ohio. From thence he was called to the care of Stone Lick church, in Mason county, Ky. Here he was much beloved by his people. But he did not live long to minister
[p. 104]
to their spiritual wants. He died of consumption of the lungs, July 11, 1866. "He was a noble young man," says Prof. H. M. Smith, "and a pattern of piety and devotion to the cause to which he had devoted his life."

Cleon Keys is one of the oldest and best preachers in Bracken Association. He is a native of Virginia, and began his ministry in that State. But he has been in his present field of labor more than a quarter of a century. He is a man of fine practical judgment, and has been a leader in the enterprises of his Association, as well as a prominent actor, in the benevolent enterprises of the denomination, in the State. Bracken Association owes much of its prosperity to his zeal, wisdom, and diligence.

Joseph S. Felix, a younger brother of Rev. William H. Felix, now of Covington, Ky., was born in Woodford county, Ky., April 19, 1851. He graduated at Georgetown College, in 1871. He united with Hillsboro church, in his native county, in early life, and was baptized by Daniel Case. He was licensed to preach, by Hillsboro church, in 1871, after which he spent a year at Crozer Theological Seminary. He was ordained to the pastoral care of Augusta church, in Bracken county, in 1872, and has continued to occupy that position to the present time. He is a young man of fine gifts and acquirements, and has suceeded well in the pastoral office.

M. M. Riley, a native of Owen county, where he was raised up to the ministry, and a graduate of Georgetown College, was called to the care of Mayslick church, in Mason county, about the year 1895, where he has continued to minister, much to the satisfaction of the church, to the present time.* He is a young man of excellent attainments, and is much esteemed for his deeptoned piety and devotion to the cause of Christ.

Samuel S. Minor, a deacon in the church at Maysville, has long been one of the most worthy and useful members of Bracken Association. He was born in Wethersfield, Ct., March 8, 1808. He moved to Kentucky, in 1832, and settled at Maysville where he still resides.+ He was baptized by Gustavus F. Smith, D.D., at Hartford, Ct., while on a visit to his parents, in 1834. He
* He has gone to Bowling Green.
+ He has recently died.
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was a number of years Clerk of Bracken Association, and has been prominently connected with all its benevolent enterprises, nearly fifty years.

Judge Joseph Doniphan was a member of Augusta church, in Bracken Association. He was born in Augusta, in 1823, and was educated in his native village. He was admitted to the bar in 1848, and was, at different periods, Mayor of Augusta nine years. He served one term in the Kentucky Legislature, was four years judge of Bracken County Court, and six years, judge of the Circuit Court, of the 9th (now 12th) judicial district. In 1871, he was elected Chancellor of Bracken, Kenton, Campbell and Pendleton counties, and held the position till his death, which occurred, May 2, 1872. He was highly esteemed for the purity of his character.

[p. 105]

Green River Association

This was the sixth organization of the kind, constituted in Kentucky. Most of its early records are lost, and, consequently, many particulars of its early history, which would doubtless be of much interest, cannot be ascertained. In 1799, there were about eight churches in what was known as the Green River country. In June of that year, a conference was held at Sinking Creek meeting house, in Barren county, for the purpose of considering the propriety of forming an association. The conclusion of the meeting was, that it was expedient for the churches to associate. An appointment was made for a meeting at the Sinks of Beaver Creek, to convene on the 3d Saturday in the following October, to carry into effect the sense of the present conference. The time and place of meeting were afterwards changed. Accordingly, messengers from several churches met at Mt. Tabor meeting-house, in Barren county, onthe 3d Saturday in June, 1800; and Green River Association of nine Regular Baptist churches, was constituted, in due form.

A list of these churches is not now accessible; but those known to have been in existence, at that time, within the territory, occupied by the new fraternity, were Concord, Mud Camp (now Blue Spring), Mt. Tabor, and Sinking Creek, in Barren
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county; Brush Creek (and probably Pitmans Creek), in Green county; Sinks of Beaver Creek (now Dripping Spring, in Metcalf county); Mill Creek, in what is now Monroe county, and Severns Valley, in Hardin county. The last named had broken off from Salem Association, some years before, on account of that body's tolerating slavery; hence its connection with Green River Association. It returned to Salem Association in 1803. The nine churches of which Green River Association was constituted, aggregated about 350 members. The preachers in the organization, as far as known, were Alexander Davidson, Carter Tarrant, Robert Stockton, Robert Smith, John Mulky, and probably, Alexander McDougal and Baldwin Clifton.

The Association was constituted just at the commencement of "the Great Revival." The growth of the young fraternity was exceedingly rapid. Its third annual meeting was held at Mill Creek, in what is now Monroe county, July 31, 1802. Robert Stockton was chosen Moderator, and John Chandler, Clerk. Messengers were present from 30 churches, which aggregated 1,763 members. The numerical strength of the body multiplied more than five-fold, within two years. The famous Benjamin Lynn, the Daniel Boone of the Kentucky Baptists, was present at this meeting, and was invited to a seat in the body. Elder Jonathan Mulky was present from Holston Association, in East Tennessee, Lewis Moore, from Mero District, Owen Owens, from Salem, and letters, from Elkhorn, Bracken and Neuse (N. C.). It was "agreed to open correspondence with all the Baptist associations in Kentucky." These were Elkhorn, Salem, Tates Creek, Bracken, North District, South District and Mero District, the latter being partly in Kentucky, and partly in Tennessee. This shows that there was a time when all the Baptists in Kentucky were united. The circular letter of this year is an able defense of restricted communion. The following queries were disposed of as indicated: Query from Beaver Creek. -- Is it agreeable to scripture, for a man, having had a wife, who left him and married another man; and he, in her life-time, married another woman, to be received into church membership, under that circumstance? Answer -- No. Query from Severns Valley -- What is duty to do with a church or member, that holds redemption from hell? Answer -- We
[p. 107]
think, a church, holding that doctrine, ought to be excluded from the Association; and a member, who holds it, ought to be excluded from the church of which he is a member.

In 1804, the Association having attained a membership of 38 churches, aggregating 1,876 members, and its territory having become. very large, it wasdeemed expedient to divide it into three parts. Accordingly, 11 churches, containing 457 members, and located in Green, and the surrounding counties, were dismissed to form Russells Creek Association, while something like the same numbers were apportioned to Stocktons Valley Association, which is located in Cumberland, and the surrounding counties. This reduced the parent body to small dimensions, and numbers. From this time, its growth was quite slow, for a number of years. About 1807, the subject of slavery agitated the churches, and several preachers, among whom were Cornelius Dewese and John Murphy, became so zealous for the abolition of slavery, that they withdrew from the churches. About 1809, a revival spread among the churches, and prevailed two or three years, during which large numbers were baptized. Meanwhile an Association called Union, located west of the Green River fraternity, dissolved, and most of its churches united with the latter organization. By these means the body was greatly enlarged. When it met at Dripping Spring, in July, 1812, it numbered 33 churches, with 2,499 members. Its territory had again become so large that it was deemed expedient to have another division. Accordingly, the churches, 16 in number, west of a line running north and south, near the center of what is now Allen county, were dismissed to form a new association, which took the name of Gasper River. This left the mother association 17 churches, which was soon afterwards increased to 18, aggregating, in 1815, only 1,199 members. But, in 1820, another revival prevailed within its bounds, and 552 baptisms were reported, that fall. This brought it up to 24 churches, with 1,648 members.

At this time, the association appears to have been full of zeal for the cause of Christ. The churches were warned against an excluded preacher, of the name of Love. The circular letter warmly recommends Bible societies, missionary societies, home and foreign missions, the support of ministers, and the means of qualifying them for their work. The circular letter of 1822,
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contains the sentence. -- "While praying the Lord of the harvest for more laborers, our alms for their support, should ascend before God, for a memorial." Up to this period, Green River Association had been decidedly a missionary body, at least in theory, and had prospered accordingly. But the Antimissionary spirit began to be manifest, in some of its churches, as early as 1824, when, "on motion to introduce a system of itinerant preaching, throughout the churches of Green River Association, a large majority voted in the negative."

In 1823, several of the churches virtually remonstrated against the habit of allowing peddlers to sell intoxicating drinks, at the meetings of the Association; whereupon the body advised that, "if ardent spirits be introduced at the Association, it be used with great moderation and discretion." The vending of spirituous liquors at large religious meetings, was a common evil of that period. But the popular sentiment was so strongly in favor of it, especially when the Antimissionary spirit prevailed, that nothing could be done to remedy it till many years later. This year the body endorsed, in its circular letter, the position previously assumed by Salem Association. That "each church united to an association, stands in the same relation to the association that an individual does to the church, of which he is a member."

The Association was inharmonious on the subject of missions, from 1824, until its final division on that subject, sixteen years later. The Missionary party was either in the minority, or was willing to be silent on the subject for the sake of peace; while the Antimissionary party embraced every opportunity to exhibit their opposition to missions. In 1825, the Association expressed its opposition to the Baptist Tract Society, whose Board was located at Washington City. There was little change in the statistics of the body, for several years. Meanwhile Campbellism was being diffused among the churches, and several of their preachers were carried away with that heresy. A great spiritual dearth prevailed, several years; and the churches composing the Association were unhappy and contentious.

In the fall of 1828, a very remarkable religious awakening commenced, and continued to increase in power, for more than a year, and great numbers were added to the churches. When the Association met at Mt. Tabor, in 1829, the churches reported
[p. 109]
1,351 baptisms. The next year, Green River Association numbered 38 churches, with 2,951 members. This is the largest number, both of churches and members, ever reported by that body. The contentions were silenced by the wonderful revival, during its continuance; but the three parties (Missionaries, Anti-missionaries, and Campbellites), still remained in the churches. It was now concluded to have another division of the Association. This time, the dividing line was drawn east and west, near the center of Barren county. The churches south of this line, 15 in number, composed Barren River Association. The old Association was reduced, in 1831, to 18 churches, with 1,193 members; but its internal contentions were not diminished. The churches at Glasgow, Smith's Grove, Green River, and Mt. Pisgah, each sent two letters to the Association, this year. These letters were all laid on the table, for future consideration. These divisions were produced by Campbellism. The Association, unfortunately, hesitated to take any measures for separating the Campbellites from the aggrieved churches. The Anti-missionaries took advantage of this delay, to associate, in the popular mind, the Missionaries with the Campbellites, and thereby prejudiced the neighboring associations against them. The confusion became so great that the Association divided, in 1832. The divisions were known as the Lock and Petty parties, each, of course, claiming to be Green River Association. The party led by Mr. Petty, met at Sinking Creek, in Barren county, in 1833. Seven churches, aggregating 402 members, were represented. Ralph Petty was chosen Moderator, and PeytonCook, Clerk. The following transaction sufficiently illustrates the status of this faction, with reference to missions: "Whereas it is inserted in the minutes of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, that the Green River Association has, by her delegates, paid to said institution the sum of $26, and is represented by said delegates, in said convention, We, the Green River Association, deny that we ever authorized the payment of any money, whatever; nor have we, at any time, sent a delegation to said convention."

Efforts had been made to unite the two parties. But the Petty faction, although comprising less than one-third of the original association, had been arrogant and presumptuous, and had demanded that the Lock party should disband, and that the
[p. 110]
churches of which it was composed, should make application for admission into "Green River Association" (the Petty party), in their individual capacity. This unreasonable proposition was rejected by the Lock party, which comprised more than two-thirds of the original Association.

The Lock party met at Salem church, in the same county, and on the same day (2d Sat. in Aug. 1833), that the other party met at Sinking Creek. Sixteen churches, aggregating 860 members, were represented. Jacob Lock was chosen Moderator, and Richard Garnett, Clerk. The principal business of the body consisted in making endeavors for a re-union of the divided Association and churches. Meanwhile the neighboring associations had become suspicious of their orthodoxy, and all of them, except Gasper River, had dropped correspondence with the Lock party, and showed a disposition to acknowledge the minority, as Green River Association. Of this uncomfortable circumstance, the Lock party say, in their minutes: "We cannot help ascribing our cold reception at Stocktons Valley Association and other places, to the great officiousness of Andrew Nuckols, who seems determined, wherever he has any influence, to infuse in the public mind an indiscriminate and unqualified opposition to us, and to every benevolent operation of the day."

Brethren of Russel's Creek and other neighboring associations interested themselves in bringing about a reconciliation between the contending factions of Green River Association. A meeting, composed of five brethren from each of the parties of Green River Association, and several brethren from other associations, met at the house of William Savage, in Barren county, May 17, 1833. H.G. Waggoner, was chosen Moderator, and W.M. Brown, Clerk. The following terms of reconciliation were agreed upon, and sent to the churches of Green River Association, for their consideration:

"1. We agree to unite with all churches, or members, who stand firm in the principles of the United Baptists' usages and customs, of the Green River Association.
"2. We agree that all minorities of churches, as well as majorities, who did oppose Campbellism, were right in doing so.
"3. We agree that the called association, in 1831, was without authority, and, therefore, wrong; inasmuch as the churches did not concur in it, and its acts should not be regarded.
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"4. We agree that the August Association, in 1831, was wrong in receiving Mt. Zion church.
"5. We do further agree that the Association has been imposed on, and was wrong in receiving other members who were accused of Campbellism, without first making diligent inquiry into the facts, by a proper committee.
"6. We agree that the Association did wrong in appointing a member to office, who was suspected of heresy."

The two parties of Green River Association held a joint meeting, the following September, "and agreed to submit their difficulties to a committee, composed of the following brethren, to wit: Johnson Graham, W. M. Brown, Isaac Denton and G. W. Towles, who reported as follows: 'The next Association to meet at Blue Spring, Barren county, Ky., at the usual time of the Green River Association. Brother Ralph Petty, Moderator, and brother Richard Garnett, Clerk, and then proceed in the usual manner; and the two contending parties agree to use their exertions to get their respective churches to unite and agree to the foregoing resolutions.'"

The churches accepted these terms, and the Association was again united. But the union was not a happy one. The Campbellites had been excluded; but the other two elements grew more and more discordant. At almost every meeting, the subject of missions was presented, in some form. But the Antimissionary party maintained the ascendency, and nothing could be accomplished, in that direction. In 1837, "in the case of the memorials from Bowling Green and Mt. Tabor churches, a motion was made to advise the churches of this Association, to take into consideration the subject of adopting some plan to procure a more general preaching of the gospel, in the bounds of this Association, and for the supply of the destitute parts of it." The motion was lost. The circular letter shows that there was much dissension in the body. The subjects in dispute were the extent of the atonement, missionary enterprises, and temperance reform. A division of the Associationseemed inevitable. But, in the fall of this year, a revival pervaded most of the churches, and continued to prevail, about a year. This quieted the disturbance in the Association, in 1838, and great joy was expressed, on account of the divine visitation.

In 1839, the Association numbered 22 churches, with 1,716
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members. But the revival had now subsided, and the contention broke out afresh. "A charge was preferred against Glasgow, Mt. Olive, and Bowling Green churches, for having joined, or represented themselves, as churches, in the general Association." This grave charge was referred to the churches of the body, with a request that they send up their decision to the next Association. Correspondence with Gasper River Association was dropped, because she "held missionary churches in her body." "A proposition for the Association to come to a friendly division, was made." But the matter was deferred till the next annual meeting.

When the Association met, in 1840, Mt. Olive, Mt. Tabor, Bowling Green, Glasgow, Three Springs, and Salem churches were excluded from the body, for having entered into the constitution of a new association, called Liberty. Correspondence was withdrawn from Russells Creek, Salem, and Goshen Associations, on account of their holding connection with the General Association. From that time to the present, this Association has been numbered among the Antimissionary organizations, in the State. They still retain the name of United Baptists, and claim to adhere to the principles of general union, adopted by the Baptists of Kentucky, in 1801. They deny prohibiting their members "from contributing to the support of the gospel, but aver that the Bible knows no society but the church, in a religious point of view." They condemn all benevolent societies, and advise their churches to have nothing to do with them.

This Association has not prospered since the severance of the Missionary party from its fellowship, in 1840. It now numbers less than half as many members as it reported in 1839. In 1871, it agreed on terms of correspondence with Liberty Association. By this means, some of its churches have enjoyed the ministrations of several of the Missionary preachers, and, although this measure caused the secession of some three or four of its churches, of which a small association was formed, under the style of the "Original Green River Association," it has made some progress, since that period. In 1880, it numbered 16 churches, aggregating 881 members. The number of baptisms, reported by its churches, during 57 of the first 80 years of its existence, aggregates 4,935. Of these, 3,692 were reported during 27 years, before the split on
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the subject of missions, and 1,243, during 30 years, since that period.

Of the pioneer preachers of this old fraternity, a number of sketches have been given. To these, a few names of preachers, and other prominent persons are added here.

William Ratliff was one of the early preachers in Green River Association. He was ordained to the ministry, at Blue Spring church, in Barren county, in 1806. He was immediately called to the pastoral care of this church, and served it some ten or a dozen years, when he was called to his reward. He had the reputation of being a good, faithful man. It is regretted that so little is now known of him. Some of his posterity still live around old Blue Spring church.

Daniel Shirley was another good old preacher, in his day. He was probably raised up to the ministry, at an advanced age, in Blue Spring church, where he succeeded William Ratliff, as pastor, about 1815. He served this church, and perhaps others, till he was called to his reward, about 1823. He has a large relationship in Barren county.

Elijah Davidson, probably a son of the old pioneer preacher, Alexander Davidson, united with Mt. Tabor church, in Barren county, in 1801. He was probably baptized by Carter Tarrant, who was then pastor of that church. He warmly espoused the cause of the Emancipationists, and, with Elder John Murphy, in 1808, declared non-fellowship for the church, because it tolerated slavery. Two years later, he returned to the church, and was restored to fellowship. He was elected deacon, in 1812, licensed to preach in 1820, and ordained, in 1824. It is probable that he lived to preach only a few years. An extensive family connection, of his name, still resides in Barren, and the surrounding counties. Of this family, John Davidson was a Baptist preacher, at Holly Springs and New Hope churches, from 1823 to 1827.

John Conlee was a preacher in Green River Association, a few years. He is supposed to have been a native of New Jersey, but was raised up in South Carolina. He migrated to Tennessee while he was a young man, and there became a member of a Baptist church. From thence he moved to Barren county, Kentucky, and united with old Mt. Tabor church. Here he was ordained to the ministry, by Zechariah Emerson
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and Robert Stockton, in April, 1811. He was, for a short time, pastor of a church on Alexanders creek, in Warren county. After a few years he moved to Missouri. His gifts were small, and he acquired the habit of exaggerating in his conversation, that impaired his usefulness.

Samuel Greathouse was, for a number of years, one of the most active and useful preachers in Green River Association. He was of German extraction, and a native of Maryland. He emigrated to northern Kentucky, while a young man, and, after marrying his cousin, Susan Greathouse, became one of theearly settlers of Warren county. Here he became alarmed about the safety of his soul, by the following circumstance: At a house-raising, he was carrying up one of the corners of the building, when a fork, with which the men on the ground pushed up the logs, split open and allowed the log to roll back, by which two men were instantly killed. "What would have become of my soul, if I had been one of those men?" soliloquized Mr. Greathouse. This was not long after the beginning of the present century. Mr. Greathouse was soon afterwards baptized, probably by John Hightower, and entered into the constitution of Bays Fork church, located about eight miles east of Bowling Green. He was soon afterwards set apart to the ministry, and called to the care of the new organization. The church was prosperous under his ministry, and he became very popular, as a preacher. About 1820, he was invited to preach, one Sunday in the month, to Bethel church, in Allen county, while Zechariah Emerson occupied its pulpit another Sabbath. Mr. Greathouse was of a jealous and stubborn temper, and soon began to manifest a dislike for his co-laborer, and to circulate reports about him that could not be substantiated. This led to an investigation, and Mr. Greathouse was convicted of slandering his brother. A majority of Bays Fork church adhered to him, which led to a division of that organization. The minority was constituted, under the name of Rocky Spring church, and was sustained by the Association. This church was very prosperous for many years, under the pastoral care of Younger Witherspoon, a son-in-law of Mr. Greathouse. Bays Fork church was dropped from the Association. Mr. Greathouse continued to preach occasionally, for several years, and to make strenuous efforts to obtain his former standing in the Association,
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without acknowledging his fault. But his efforts all failed. His church withered, and finally dissolved. He became discouraged, and resorted to the free use of intoxicating liquors. For a number of years before his death, he did not attempt to preach. He died under a dark cloud, about 1850.

Mr. Greathouse left a respectable family, of whom his youngest son, Thomas Greathouse, became a Baptist preacher, of small gifts, and a teacher and composer of vocal music.

Peter Bainbridge was a preacher in Green River Association as early as 1813. He was a man of superior gifts and attainments, and, but for his fickleness and thoughtless manner of living, might have been eminently useful. He was born in Frederick county, Md., June, 1761. He finished his education at Charleston, S.C., where he was baptized by Joseph Reese, Dec. 11, 1784. He was ordained at Charleston, by Edmond Botsford, Joshua Palmer, Charles Cook, Joshua Lewis, and Henry Easterling, April 4, 1790, and was settled over the church on Muddy creek, in Orange district, the same year. He soon afterwards moved to Petersburg, Va., and established himself in the practice of medicine, to which profession he had been bred. From Petersburg, he moved toMaryland, and thence, in 1793, to western New York. He remained here, preaching and practicing medicine, till 1797. He then moved to Kentucky, settling first at Stanford, but moving, the next year, to Lancaster, in Garrard county. Touching his ministerial character, Elkhorn Association saw fit to enter on her minutes of 1798, the following item:

"Agreed to caution the churches of a certain John Duncan, who has sustained the character of a Baptist preacher, but is not in union with us or any of our churches; and that he is a man not of a fair religious character. Also, there is a certain Peter Bainbridge in the same situation." In 1800, Tates Creek Association rebuked Forks of Dix River church, for having received into fellowship Peter Bainbridge, who had been excluded from another church. Mr. Bainbridge appears not to have attained a good standing, as a preacher, while he remained in the northern part of the State. In 1813, he moved to the Green river country, and settled in Glasgow. Here he was well received, and was popular, both as a preacher and a physician. He remained here about twelve years. In 1825, he moved to
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Franklin county, Mississippi, where he preached and practiced medicine one year. He died, after a brief illness, Sept. 1, 1826.

Dr. Bainbridge appears to have been a man of large generosity, true benevolence, and purity of morals. His faults were, a want of firmness, negligence in business, and a fondness for worldly amusements.

Zechariah Emerson was born in Albemarl Co., Va., Jan. 16, 1771. He was converted in his nineteenth year, and united with "Mt. Ed" (Whitesides) church, of which his parents were members, being baptized by Benjamin Burgher. He commenced exercising in public, soon after he was baptized, and was ordained to the ministry, in his twenty-first year. At first, he labored under serious embarrassments. He stammered badly, and his education was poor. Some of his friends despaired of his succeeding in the ministry. But he was irresistibly impressed with the duty and desire to talk to sinners about the salvation of their souls, and continued to try to preach as often as opportunity was afforded. Meanwhile he applied himself closely to the study of the Bible. He improved slowly, but constantly, and in a few years, he had the care of three small congregations, which he continued to serve, until he moved away.

In 1809, he moved to Kentucky, and settled in Barren county, about seven miles south-west from Glasgow. He gave his membership to Bethlehem church, in Allen county, which was about 12 miles from his home, but, at that time, the most convenient to him. He became pastor of Bethlehem and Bethel, in Allen county, Sinking Creek, in Barren, and Smiths Grove, in Warren. To the first named, he ministered 30 years. During the last years of his life, he wasmuch afflicted with a cancer on his face, which terminated his earthly career, May 10, 1851.

Mr. Emerson's ministerial gifts developed slowly, and he never became what is termed a brilliant preacher. But he was a close Bible student and a clear thinker, and became one of the ablest theologians in Green River Association. He was a man of grave, dignified deportment, and was much respected by all classes of people. He raised a large family, of whom his son, Henry Emerson, became a young preacher of considerable promise, and was, for a short time, pastor of Beaver Creek church, in Barren county. But he died suddenly, in August, 1845.
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William Whooberry is among the oldest and most prominent ministers of Green River Association. He was licensed to preach, at Big Reedy church, in Butler county, about 1845, and ordained soon afterwards. He is highly esteemed by his brethren, who regard him an excellent preacher. He preached the introductory sermon before his Association, ten times, in twentyfive years, and has usually been Moderator of that body, since 1868.

Many prominent citizens have been members of the churches in old Green River Association. Among these may be mentioned the following:

John Hall, an early settler in Barren county, was one of the first judges of that district, and was eminent for his piety. He "died in a most joyful manner," not far from 1810.

Judge Michael W. Hall, a son of judge John Hall, succeeded his father on the bench. He was long an esteemed member of old Mt. Tabor church, and was clerk of Green River Association many years. He served two terms in the Kentucky Legislature. He died, much lamented, Mar. 7, 1828.

James G. Hardy was a prominent citizen of Barren county, and an active, zealous church member. He served eight years in the Kentucky Legislature, and was Lieutenant Governor of the State, from 1854, to 1858. When the split occurred in Green River Association, in 1839, he adhered to the Missionary party, and became a member of Rock Spring church, in Liberty Association. Elder Samuel Hardy, now of Missouri, is a son of his.

Richard Garnett, whose father was the first permanent settler in what is now Barren county, was born in Virginia, about the year 1776. He came with his parents to the wilds of the Green river country, while yet a boy. Arriving at manhood, he married a daughter of Elder Robert Stockton. This marriage was blessed with several children, of whom William Garnett, of Chicago, and the wife of J.M. Pendleton, D.D., now of Upland, Pa., are still living. Mr. Garnettunited with the Baptists, in early life, and maintained a spotless christian character till his death, which occurred, at a great old age. He was Clerk of Barren county Court, almost a half century, was in the Kentucky Legislature, during the term of 1841-2, was generally Clerk of Green River Association, from 1826, till
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1839, and served Liberty Association, in the same capacity, from its constitution, in 1840, till he was succeeded by his sonin-law, Henry Eubank, in 1853. He died, about 1869, and doubtless received a crown of righteousness.

George Wright was a member of Smiths Grove church, and was a distinguished and popular citizen of Warren county. He served eight years in the Kentucky Senate. He was elected Clerk of Green River Association, in 1846, and served in that capacity, with the exception of one year, till his death, which occurred about 1883.

[ J. H. Spencer, A History of Kentucky Baptists,Volume II, 1885, pp. 80-118. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

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