Long Run Association
In accordance with a resolution adopted by Salem Association, at its 19th annual meeting, all the churches of that body, north of Salt river, were set off to form a new association. The boundary occupied by these churches included, not only all the country lying between Salt river and the Ohio, from their junction to a line running due south from the mouth of Kentucky river to the first named stream, but also the adjacent border of what is now the State of Indiana. The churches thus designated, 24 in number, and aggregating 1,619 members, met by their messengers, at Long Run meetinghouse, in Jefferson county, on the 16th of September, 1803. A sermon was preached by John Taylor, from the words: "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord:" I. Corinthians 15:58. It would be well if the Association, then about to be formed, would perpetually cherish that text, as a motto.
After the sermon, the names of the churches and their messengers were enrolled, in the usual form. James Dupuy was chosen Moderator, and William Ford, Clerk. Ministering brethren, not messengers, invited to seats. Being thus organized, it was, "Agreed unanimously, that this Association be constituted, on the Philadelphia Baptist Confession of Faith, excepting some things contained in the 3d and 5th articles, if construed so as to make God the author of sin. Also, in the 31st article, respecting laying hands on newly baptized persons, that the using, or not using that ceremony, be no bar to fellowship. And that an oath before a magistrate be not considered a part of religious worship as contained in the 24th article of the same. The rules of decorum used by Salem Association, were adopted, till the new
fraternity should agree on rules of their own. Such rules, having been prepared in the usual form, by James Dupuy, William Ford and Isaac Ellis, were adopted at the next session.
The new fraternity took the name of "Long Run Association." They tendered correspondence to Salem and Elkhorn Associations. Some confusion, in two of the churches, demanded the attention of the body. Long Run church had divided into a majority and a large minority.* The matter was investigated and the minority was recognized as Long Run church. William Marshall, who was excluded from Fox Run church about this time, charged that organization with tolerating Arianism among its members. The Association took up the charge and appointed Philip Webber, James Dupuy, Moses Scott, Samuel Tinsley, David Standifer, John Taylor, John Penny, George Waller, Isaac Ellis, William Kellar, Thomas White and Reuben Smith, or a majority of them, a committee to investigate the matter and report to the next Association.
It was agreed to appoint three quarterly meetings for the ensuing year: The first, at Sulphur Fork, the 3d Saturday in November, to be attended by John Taylor and John Penny; the second at Burks Branch, the 3d Saturday in April, to be attended by Moses Scott, James McQuade and George Waller; the third at Silver Creek, the 3d Saturday in July, to be attended by Reuben Smith, George Waller and John Dupuy. The churches were advised not to send more than two or three messengers to the Association, in future. A circular letter was adopted, the ordinary appointments made, and the body adjourned.
Besides the 24 churches which entered into the constitution, two others were received immediately after the organization. Their names were East Floyds Fork and Port William. The churches now comprising the new fraternity were located, (as the counties now stand) as follows: Beargrass, Chenowiths Run, Long Run and Cane and Back Run, in Jefferson county; Brashears Creek, Fox Run, Beech Creek, Tick Creek, Plum and Buck Creek, Six-Mile, Burks Branch and South Long Run, in Shelby; Buck and Elk Creek, Little Mount and Ridge (probably) in Spencer; Harrods Creek, Floyds Fork, Eighteen-Mile and Lick
* For an account of this division, see the history of the Long Run church.
Branch, in Oldham; Rocklick, Sulphur Fork and East Floyds Fork, in Henry; Salt River, in Anderson; Corn Creek, in Trimble; Port William, in Carroll, and Silver Creek, in Floyd county, Indiana.
Of these 26 churches, Salt River (now Anti-missionary), Beech Creek (also Anti-missionary), Harrods Creek, Long Run, Eighteen-Mile, Corn Creek, Burks Branch and Little Mount still retain their original names and localities. Beargrass was destroyed by Campbellism. Brashears Creek changed its name to Clear Creek. Most of its members went into Shelbyville church, and the remnant dissolved. Chenowiths Run was greatly reduced by Campbellism. The remnant moved to a point on the Bardstown turnpike, twelve miles south of Louisville, and took the name of Cedar Creek. Fox Run moved its location, a few years past, a short distance, to Eminence, in Henry county; but retains its original name. Bucks and Elk Creek, split on the subject of missions, about the year 1838. The Anti-missionary party finally dissolved. The missionary party took the name of Elk Creek. A few years past, it split in a contention about its pastor. At present, there are two churches, nominally of the same faith and order, worshipping in the same house, and each calling itself Elk Creek church. They occupy the original locality of Buck and Elk Creek. Ridge numbered only five members when it went into the constitution of Long Run Association. It dissolved the same year. Tick Creek took the name of Bethel, in 1810. About 1840, it split on the subject of missions, and formed two churches. The Anti-missionary church retained the name of Bethel, and still occupies its ancient locality. The Missionary church moved about a half-mile, and took the name of Clay Village, which it still retains. Silver Creek, which was at first called Plum Creek, after various vicissitudes, located at the county seat of Floyd, where it is known as the church of Charleston. It was the first religious organization, of any kind, in what is now the State of Indiana. Plum and Buck Creek took the name of Buck Creek, in 1806. In 1849 it split over a difficulty about its pastor, and formed two churches in the same house, called Buck Creek, and Second Buck Creek. About 1860, the two churches reunited and formed the present Buck Creek church, which still occupies the ancient location of Plum and Buck Creek. Six-Mile took the name of Christiansburg, from a
small village that grew up in its locality, on the Louisville and Frankfort Railroad. It is now in a very flourishing condition, under the pastoral care of T. M. Vaughan. Lick Branch, moved its location a short distance to the county seat of Oldham, where it is now known as the Church at Lagrange. Floyds Fork enjoyed a moderate degree of prosperity for a few years. But most of its members, including three preachers, of the name of Stark, having moved to Indiana, it dissolved, about 1816. The reader should not confound this ancient organization with the church now called Fisherville, which formerly bore the name of Floyds Fork. Cane and Back Run was located in the Southeast comer of Jefferson county. It split in two on the subject of missions. The Anti-missionary party retained the original name till it dwindled away. The Missionary party moved a short distance within the bounds of Bullitt county, and took the name of Kings church. It is now quite prosperous under the ministry of that valuable servant of Jesus Christ, W. E. Powers. Sulphur Fork split on the subject of missions about 1840. The Anti-missionary party still retains the original name and location. The Missionary party moved less than a mile and took the name of Campbellsburg, from a small village in which it is located. Rocklick united with North Six-Mile, and took the name of Mt. Pleasant. It is now a small Anti- missionary church located near the village of Pleasureville, in Henry county. South Long Run was considerably reduced by the Campbellite schism in 1830. Most of the members who remained Baptists went into a church at Simpsonville, in Shelby county, about two miles distant, and the remnant dissolved. East Floyds Fork remained at its original location till a few years past, when it moved some two miles north, to Smithfield, a small village on the Louisville and Frankfort Railroad, where it is known as East Fork church. Port William was constituted in 1800, on the present site of Carrollton, at the mouth of Kentucky river. It was afterwards moved a few miles up the Ohio, and took the name of McCool's Bottom. Again, after some years, it was moved to the village of Ghent, the name of which it now bears.
The ministers who went into the new Association were: James McQuade, Reuben Smith, James Dupuy, Moses Scott, William Kellar, John Penny, Isaac Edwards, Philip Webber,
Abraham Cook. John Metcalf, John Dupuy, John Taylor, Henson Hobbs, and William McCoy. Several others were in the organization, who afterwards became ministers, and some of whom were then licensed preachers. Among these were John Edwards, Stark Dupuy, David Standifer, William Ford, Martin Utterback, Isaac McCoy, Isaac Whitaker, William Dawkins, Abraham, David and Jonathan Stark, Edmund Waller, Thomas White and George Waller. Alan McGuire came into the Association, with East Floyds Fork, and William Marshall, so famous for his eloquence and power in Virginia, had recently been excluded from Fox Run church.
In 1804, the Association held its second session, at Six-Mile. Four additional churches were admitted into the union. Drennons Creek (with Lazarus Whitehead as its minister), which had united with Elkhorn Association in 1799, now joined Long Run, by letter. It was for many years the largest church in the Association, and, perhaps, the largest in the State. It is located at the county seat of Henry, and is now known as the Church at Newcastle. Drennons Ridge had been admitted into Elkhorn, in 1802. It still retains its original name and location, in the eastern part of Henry county. Twins had been admitted into Elkhorn in 1801. It has been a very flourishing church. It is located in the northern part of Owen county, and is now known by the name of New Liberty. Bluestone was a small newly constituted church, located near the line between Shelby and Anderson counties. It dissolved in 1810. John Scott, a valuable preacher came into the Association with Twins church, and Isaac Malin came in with Drennons Ridge. The church at Fox Run was acquitted of the charge brought against it the previous year, and the Association admitted that it had cause of grief on account of the charges having been entertained. It will be remembered that the complaint had been made to the Association, by an excluded member. This year (1804), Six-Mile church brought four charges against Fox Run, all pertaining to the exclusion of William Marshall and the causes which led to it; but the Association decided that none of the charges were authenticated. The Association, at its first meeting, had invited to seats in the body, a number of members of the churches of which it was composed, who had not been sent by those churches. In answer to a query from Plum & Buck, as to the legality of such proceeding,
the Association answered that it was lawful, but not expedient. It also advised, in answer to a query from Buck & Elk, "that no stranger be invited to preach, without coming well recommended."
In 1805, the Association met at Brashears Creek. Some of the churches were still agitated, about the exclusion of William Marshall. Six-Mile complained of the Association for refusing to receive Mr. Marshall's charge against Fox Run. But the Association answered: "After having the matter fairly investigated, we think no excommunicated person has a right to appeal to an Association." The subject of Freemasonry was discussed, and it was decided that "any member of our society is condemnable in joining a Freemason lodge." Buffalo Lick church, which still retains its original name and location, in the eastern part of Shelby county, was received into the Association, this year. Flat Rock church petitioned for admittance. But having been formed of the disorderly majority of Long Run church, referred to in the minutes of 1803, it was rejected. However, a committee was appointed to visit the church, and to endeavor to set it right. The next year it was cordially received. It was located some three miles west of Long Run church. A large majority of its members became Campbellites, and held possession of its house of worship. Those who remained Baptists organized what is still known as Pleasant Grove church, in Jefferson county.
In 1806, South Benson church, which had joined Elkhorn, in 1801, was received into the Association. It still retains its original name and location, in Franklin county. A query from Brashears Creek was propounded and answered, as follows: "Is it consistent with the Scriptures to preach, or perform any religious service, at, or because of the burial of deceased persons? Answer. We think it is inconsistent."
In 1807, Crooked Creek church, in Indiana, and the church still known as Indian Fork, in Shelby county, were received. With the former, Jesse and John Vawter, both good preachers, came into the Association. Twins church complained of Drennons Ridge, for having received one of her excluded members. This breach of order, on the part of Drennons Ridge, not only kept up an ill-feeling between the two churches, but was also an annoyance to the Association, for two or three years. If a church has a right to receive into its fellowship persons excluded from a
sister church, it is certainly very imprudent to exercise that right in a majority of cases.
From the constitution of the Association, till 1809, a great spiritual dearth prevailed throughout its territory, and it had little increase. But the body was watchful of the peace, order and sound faith of the churches, and advised great tenderness, but also great firmness, in discipline. Towards the close of the last named year, a revival spirit began to be manifest among the churches, an increased in-gathering of souls was reported to the Association. This was "like the falling of a few drops before the more copious shower." In 1810, the churches reported 956 baptisms; and five new churches were received. These churches were Knob Creek and Indian Creek, in Indiana; Little Flock, in Bullitt county; Plum Creek, in Spencer, and Whites Run, in Gallatin. The last three still exist, though Little Flock is in rather a feeble state. The revival aroused the spirit of missions. A letter from Stark Dupuy, urging the sending of the gospel to the Indians, was read, and referred to the consideration of the churches till next Association. In 1811, three new churches were received: Upper Blue River and Lower Blue River, in Indiana, and Beech Ridge, in Shelby county. The latter was located some five miles south-east from Shelbyville. In 1823, it changed its name to Salem, by which designation it is still known. It is now in a prosperous condition, under the care of J. B. Tharp. The spirit of missions still animated the Association, in 1811. The letter of Stark Dupuy was again under consideration, but was referred to the churches for another year's consideration. The following was recorded on the minutes of this year: "Query from Harrods Creek: Is it not advisable that the ministers, belonging to the churches of this Association, visit the churches round, and preach to them once a year? Answer: Yes, so far as ministering brethren will voluntarily engage in this good work. Brethren, John Taylor, Joshua Rucker, Benjamin Allen, William Kellar, George Waller, Abraham Cook, Alan McGuire, James McQuade, William Hickman, Philemon Vawter, Daniel Robins, and William McCoy have given their consent to put in practice the above."
The Association now numbered 41 churches, aggregating 2,925 members, and was, at that period, the largest fraternity of the kind in the state. A division was proposed, and referred
to the churches for consideration. During the ensuing year, six of the churches, located in Indiana, went into the constitution of Silver Creek Association. These churches were: Silver Creek, Crooked Creek, Knob Creek, Upper Blue River, Indian Creek and Lower Blue River. They aggregated only one hundred and sixty-five members.
In 1812, in accordance with a request from David Benedict, who was then preparing a history of the American Baptists, the names of ministers were, for the first time, printed in small capitals. The following items were recorded on the minutes of this year:
"Query from Burks Branch: What shall be done with a black member having his wife taken from him and removed to a distant part, and he marry another?
Answer: We advise that churches, in such cases, should act prudently and tenderly toward that afflicted people."
A request from East Floyds Fork, that this Association shall form some plan which would be likely to prevent the ordination of improper persons to the ministry. We advise that in the ordination of ministers, the united consent of the church be gained; and we think it not improper for her to advise with the sister churches most convenient; and [that] at least three experienced men in the ministry be called to assist in the work, having due regard to the word of the Lord on the subject." Two churches were received into the Association: Dover in Shelby, and Goshen in Anderson county. Both these churches still retain their original names and locations; but the latter is now a small Anti-mission fraternity.
The only item of general interest, considered at the meeting of I 8 I 3, was the subject of a general meeting of correspondence for the Baptists of the whole State, proposed and advocated by Silas M. Noel, in the first number of the Gospel Herald. The conclusion of the Association was, "That we think the Scriptures know nothing of such meetings, [and] therefore think them unnecessary." Two new churches were received at this session: Pattons Creek, in Trimble county, and Flat Creek, the locality of which is unknown. The latter dissolved about 1821, the former changed its name to Pleasant Ridge * about 1838.
In 1814, Cane Run church, in Henry county, was received. In answer to queries from the churches, the Association expressed
* It is now called Sligo.
the opinion that the office of a deacon was to administer the temporal affairs of the church. Also, that a witness in a case of church discipline may vote in the case, but the accused may not.
In 1815, the First Church in Louisville was received into the Association. Previous to this, there had been no Baptist organization in that city.
The First Baptist Church in Louisville was gathered by Henson Hobbs, and was constituted of fourteen members, at the house of Mark Lampton, just east of the Marine Hospital, in 1815. Mr. Hobbs served it as pastor, from its constitution, till his death, which occurred August 14, 1821. He was immediately succeeded by Philip S. Fall, who ministered to it three years. After this, it was supplied with preaching, by Benjamin Allen and John B. Curl, till 1830. At this date, it numbered two hundred and ninety-four members. But both of its preachers apostatized to Campbellism, and carried with them all the church, except eighty-five members. To this remnant, George Waller ministered, till 1834. He was succeeded by John S. Wilson, who served the church till his death, which occurred August 28, 1835. He was succeeded by William C. Buck, who served the church four years. Mr. Buck was followed by John Finley, in 1840. He resigned the next year, and moved to Tennessee. The church had been so regularly prosperous, that it had increased from eighty-one members, in 1831, to six hundred and ninety-seven members, in 1841. The next year it was reduced to two hundred and seventy-nine members, by the dismission of five hundred and fifty-nine colored members, to go into a separate organization. In 1843, A. D. Sears was called to the care of the church. He baptized one hundred and thirty-six, the first year. Mr. Sears served the church till 1850, when it united with the Second Church in Louisville, numbering one hundred and ten members, and took the name of Walnut Street Church, by which title it is still known.
In 1815, the subject of foreign missions was brought before Long Run Association, as follows: "A letter from Brother Luther Rice was received, . . . and agreeably to a request in said letter, Brother George Waller was appointed a Corresponding Secretary, for the purpose of obtaining such information from the Board. . . as may be necessary to diffuse through
the society. The pamphlets, entitled 'Missionary Reports,' were distributed among the churches, and paid for."
William Ford, William Kellar, Robert Tompkins, Z. Carpenter, Isaac Forbes, John Jones, and James Bartlett were appointed a committee to receive contributions, and appropriate the same to the support of missionaries on the western frontiers. This was the first missionary board appointed by Long Run Association. Their first annual report showed that they had received $209.06, all of which, except $63.24, which remained in the treasury, had been expended in support of western missionaries.
In 1816, in answer to a query from Indian Fork, concerning the ordination of deacons, the Association opined that "ordination by a presbytery is not necessary, the setting them apart by the church being sufficient." This opinion appears to have been given from a partial view of the subject, and does not accord with the general practice of the denomination, or with apostolic example.
During this year, a revival commenced among the churches, and continued about four years, during which 1,138 converts were baptized, within the bounds of the Association.
In 1816, McCools Bottom, Goshen and Whites Run churches were dismissed to go into the constitution of Franklin Association, and the next year, Six-Mile, Indian Fork, Buffalo Lick and Beech Creek were dismissed to join that organization. In 1818, North Six-Mile and Union Spring, newly constituted churches, were received into the Association. The next year, Shelbyville, Pigeon Fork, Mt. Moriah and Hunters Bottom were received. North Six-Mile, probably gathered by John Metcalf, was located in the southeastern part of Henry county. In 1837 it united with Rock Lick to form Mt. Pleasant church. Union Spring was located on Little Kentucky river, in the northern part of Trimble county. It lost nearly half of its members by the Campbellite schism, in 1830. In 1840, it identified itself with the Anti-mission faction of Sulphur Fork Association, after which it withered, and finally dissolved. Shelbyville and Mt. Moriah retain their original names and locations, in Shelby county. Pigeon Fork was located about a half mile from the present village of Smithfield, in Henry county. Hunters Bottom was gathered by John Wallace, and located near the Ohio
river, in Trimble county. It dissolved about 1830. Hopewell church, in Henry county, was received into the Association, in 1820; but was dismissed the next year, together with Hunter's Bottom and Dennons Ridge, to go into the constitution of Concord Association.
In 1818, the Association passed the following resolution: "That we advise the churches composing this Association, to make preparation against our next, for aiding the missionary cause, so far as it relates to the instruction of Indians." In answer to a query from Drennons Creek, in 1822, the Association replied: "We believe it wrong for members of our churches to belong to a Masonic lodge, and if they cannot be reclaimed, exclude them."
In 1823, Drennons Creek church called to its pastoral charge, Thomas Chilton, a Separate Baptist. He was both a lawyer and a preacher of extraordinary ability. He soon induced the church to establish a correspondence with the Separate Baptists. This gave offense to the Association of which it was a member. That body, at its meeting in 1823, declared that the church at Drennons Creek had departed from the principles of the Association; and sent to it a letter, by the hands of a committee of seven brethren, who were also directed to labor to reclaim the erring church. Before receiving the report of this committee, at the meeting of 1824, the Association unanimously re-affirmed the principles upon which it was constituted, in the following language:
"The Long Run Association not only considers herself as belonging to the general union, but she wishes to maintain, cherish and perpetuate that union, and to be governed by its principles, in her conduct towards other associations, provided, nevertheless, that nothing contained in those terms of union, shall be so construed as to effect, modify, or destroy any sentiment in her original constitution, or be so expounded as to come in conflict with that instrument."
The case of Drennons Creek church, was then taken up, and the committee, appointed to attend them, produced a letter from that church. It was agreed by the Association that she have liberty to state any further reasons why this body should be satisfied with her course. After much discussion, it was agreed that the following, respecting that church, be inserted in our minutes: Forasmuch as the church at Drennons Creek expresses
no desire to be separated from us, or to bear on the feelings of this Association, and notwithstanding we believe she has acted inconsiderately, in professing fellowship and communion for the Separate Baptists, who are distinct from, and not in union with us, we feel disposed to exercise forbearance towards her, with this special advice: -- that she rescind her order establishing full fellowship and communion with the Separate Baptists."
At the meeting of 1825, it having been proved that the church at Drennons Creek had rejected the advice of the Association, the following was adopted by a large majority: "Whereas it satisfactorily appears to this Association that the church at Drennons Creek has rejected their special advice, and whereas it is also proved that the church has refused to send either letter or messenger to this meeting, we do hereby declare, that we drop from our union the said church at Drennons Creek; and we do moreover advise the minority to form themselves into a church, and to receive into their body brethren Marshall and Baker, whom we believe, from the evidence before us, to have been unjustly expelled from said church."
In accordance with this advice, the minority was constituted a church. But before the year was out, the old church rescinded her offensive act. The two parties were happily re-united, and the Association welcomed them back to the union, as Drennons Creek church.
Such was the result of a Baptist church's calling a pastor who belonged to another denomination. For the sake of having a brilliant preacher, who soon afterwards quit the pulpit for a seat in Congress, and finally, in a drunken delirium, made an abortive attempt to commit suicide, this church violated her own principles, wasted nearly half of her membership, and kept the whole Association in confusion, four years.
In the minutes of 1825, the following was recorded: "Query from Dover; Does the Association, from the face of the Scriptures, consider that a man who puts away his wife, or a woman who puts away her husband, is an adulterer, or an adulteress, although a bill of divorcement be obtained? Answer: We know of no rule by which to judge of what constitutes the crime of adultery, except the holy Scriptures, in which we read that (Matt. 19: 9.) Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery. And
whoso marrieth her which is put away, doth commit adultery. And we are of opinion that an act of the Legislature of the State cannot justify a course of conduct before God, which has been condemned by our blessed Savior. Wherefore if an individual obtains a divorce for any other cause than that specified by the Bible, and marries another, he is guilty of adultery, (see also Matt. 5: 32. Luke 16: 18. Mark 10: 11, 12.
In 1826, Sulphur Fork Association was formed. For that purpose, the following churches were dismissed from Long Run: Sulphur Fork, Pattons Creek, North Six-Mile, Union Spring, Pigeon Fork, Lick Branch, and East Fork. This left Long Run Association 23 churches, aggregating 2,721 members. This was the strength of the body, when Campbellism began to seriously agitate the churches. The leaven of the Christian Baptist began to ferment early in some of the churches of this Association. Benjamin Allen, Zacheus Carpenter, John B. Curl, Philip S. Fall, and some other preachers of less notoriety, were among the first fruits of Mr. Campbell's sowing, in this field. Those named were all men of respectable talents and commanding influence, unless Mr. Carpenter be excepted. And if he fell somewhat below the others, in preaching talent, he supplied the deficiency, by a tireless zeal and an unyielding persistence. They were all men of good moral character, and of respectable standing in the churches and communities in which they were known. When they adopted Mr. Campbell's views, and (what was even more pernicious to the immediate peace and order of society) his spirit and manner, their influence could not fail to be speedily felt and reflected, by the churches to which they preached. They had hardly had time for mature deliberation on the radical changes Mr. Campbell proposed to make in the doctrine, polity and long established customs of the Baptists. The thirteenth number of the Christian Baptist had just been issued, when Long Run Association met, at Brashears Creek, the first Friday in September, 1824. Yet had its influence been so great on these preachers, that they strongly reflected its doctrines and spirit, both through the churches they served, and in their personal deportment. Philip Fall was Clerk of the Association, that year. On the minutes of its proceedings, are found, for the first time in its annals, the term bishop, instead of elder or brother, and the expression, Lords Day, instead of Sunday or Sabbath. The terms
were not, in themselves, either, unscriptural, or otherwise objectionable. But the changes were a needless violation of an established custom, equally unobjectionable, and showed how thoroughly Mr. Fall was under the influence of Mr. Campbell.
Several queries from the churches, exhibited the same spirit of insubordination, in factions and individuals. Union Spring, was divided in sentiment, as is shown by the following query, sent to the Association for solution; "Is it consistent with gospel order for any church, which is a member of this Association, to invite and permit a preacher to administer the ordinances to them, who is not in union with us, and denies the doctrines on which we are constituted?" The Association simply answered, -- "No." But its asking of such a question showed that there was a new influence at work, among its members -- an influence which presently divided the church, and ultimately destroyed it. New views of the Scriptures had also confused Sulphur Fork church, as the following query evinced: "Is there any scripture to prohibit the members of the Baptist Society from communing with other orderly Christian societies?" The Association answered. "We think it unadvisable and unscriptural, for members in the Baptist Union, to commune with members of other christian societies, though orderly, according to their views, yet differing from us, in faith and the administration of the ordinances."
But the query from Beargrass church, this year, was especially significant. It evinced the spirit and tactics of Mr. Campbell, in a manner that proved its author to be fully under the influence of the "sarcasm, ridicule and, especially, the caricature and sophistry" of that belligerent controversialist. The query was as follows: "Is there any better rule of faith and practice, for christians, than that contained in the Old and New Testaments?" The question was simple enough, and sufficiently easy for the Association to answer with an emphatic "No." But it contained a false implication, that was one of the chief implements of warfare used by Mr. Campbell and his followers, against the Baptists. It implied, with a covert sneer, that the Baptists did not take the Old and New Testaments, as a rule of faith and practice; whereas every Baptist organization that had ever existed, and had made any declaration on the subject, had unequivocally affirmed the Bible to be its "only rule of faith and
practice." The Baptists had indeed, embodied, in brief confessions of faith, creeds, or abstracts of principles, what they regarded the fundamental teachings of the Bible; but these creeds were universally held in subordination to the sacred Scriptures. And, when any item in such creed, appeared to them to come in conflict with the word of God, it was immediately abolished, or so altered, as to make it conform to their understanding of the Bible. Was it possible that the church at Beargrass, or any others of Mr. Campbell's disciples, could do more than this, to honor the Author of the Bible? It is impossible that a christian, whose very salvation depends on his belief, should be without a creed; and the outcry against his confessing such creed, in writing or print, is as ridiculously [sic] absurd, to a thinking being, as was the query from Beargrass church. It is hardly necessary to state, that the ancient and hitherto prosperous organization, which acknowledged the maternity of this query, speedily came to nought.
In 1825, there was an increased agitation among the churches, on the subject of the then chaotic teachings of Mr. Campbell. Elk Creek evinced its desire to know somewhat more about Baptist bishops, by sending to the Association the following query: "Is it for the honor of the cause of Christ, that all ordained Baptist preachers be called bishops?" The Association answered, "That it was evidently the practice in the first churches, to denominate the pastor of one congregation, a bishop. It is also clear that the terms elder, shepherd, teacher, and overseer, all refer to the same persons. It is, therefore, according to the word of God, and for the honor of the cause of Christ, that the teacher of one congregation be called a bishop." The Louisville church had become so much perplexed, under the teaching of Philip Fall, in regard to the correctness of Baptist polity, that it sent to the Association the following queries:
1. "Is there any authority in the New Testament for religious bodies to make human creeds and confessions of faith, the constitutions or directories of such bodies, in matters of faith and practice?
2. "Is there any authority in the New Testament for Associations? If so, what is it? If not, why are they held?"
The following query from the church at Shelbyville was also
presented: "Are our associations, as annually attended, of general utility?"
All these questions were referred to the churches, for their investigation, with the request that they should express there [sic] sentiments, on these subjects, in their letters to the next Association.
The churches doubtless felt a deep interest in these questions, and they were earnestly discussed, on both sides. The Cambellite partisans here, as everywhere else, were full of zeal for the newly discovered truth, as they deemed it, and were confident in their expectation of its speedy triumph. The ministers who adhered to Baptist principles, were also active in defending their ancient doctrine and practice. By far the most prominent among these, was the wise, earnest and eloquent George Waller. He was preeminently the leader of the Baptists, in this struggle between the friends of order and the revolutionists. With a grave and well tempered zeal, he labored indefatigably to defend what he deemed long established truth, with such power and prudence, that his opponents made but little headway.
When the Association met at Elk Creek, in 1826, the result of the year's investigation was summed up in the following words:
>"In answer to the queries from Louisville and Shelbyville churches, we now say, that having referred those queries to the several churches composing this Association, and having received their answers, we find that 12 out of 22, report in favor of a declaration of faith, and 21 in favor of Associations. We disavow any authority over the book of God, unanimously believing that it is the only supreme directory of our faith and practice; but, in accordance with the answers of its churches, we consider it necessary, in order to unity and purity in the churches, that we have a written declaration of faith. . . . Respecting the revisal of the Philadelphia Confession of faith. . . . as we have lived happily for more than twenty years, we think it improper at this time to intermeddle with it."
During the ensuing year, a revival commenced in the churches, and prevailed about three years. In 1827, the churches reported to the Association, 780 baptisms; the next year, 362, and the third year, 536: making an aggregate of 1,678, during the three years' revival. Four new churches were received during the revival:
Fishpool, in 1827, and Taylorsville, Floyds Fork and Hopewell, in 1828. Fishpool was located in the southern part of Jefferson county. It enjoyed the ministrations of Robert Gailbreth and Peter M. Carr. It was dissolved about 1853. Taylorsville church, in the county seat of Spencer, is still a prosperous body, and, at present, enjoys the pastoral labors of J. S. Gatton. Floyds Fork was located in the eastern part of Jefferson county. Some years past, it moved about a half mile, and took the name of Fisherville, from a small village in which it is located. Hopewell was located near the present village of Ballardsville in Oldham county. It was soon dissolved.
The subject of Cambellism was not discussed in the Association, during the revival. But the advocates of that system, if it may be called a system, were zealously engaged in propagating it among the churches. In 1829, Benjamin Allen and Zacheus Carpenter gathered two small churches, known as Goose Creek and Pond Creek. They were "constituted on the Bible," and the same year, applied for admittance into the Association. As they had adopted no creed, the question of their reception was referred to the next Association. A committee consisting of Elders Zacheus Carpenter, George Waller, Joel Hulsy, Reuben Cottrell and Brother B. C. Stephens, was appointed to confer with these churches, and report to the next Association. This afforded an additional opportunity for the discussion of Campbellism, which was well improved, during the ensuing year.
In 1830, the Association met at New Castle, in Henry county. The committee appointed to visit the churches on Goose Creek and Pond Creek, reported that those organizations declined to adopt any creed. The vote was then taken on the question of their reception, and they were rejected. Bethel and Buck Creek churches, both under the pastoral care of George Waller, asked advice of the Association, concerning Campbellism; to which the Association replied as follows:
"In answer to requests from two of our churches, that we inquire into, and advise them of the facts in relation to Campbellism, and of their duty in relation to those who support that system of things, we say, that this Association was constituted on the Philadelphia Baptist Confession of Faith (with the exception taken by the Elkhorn Association,) as an expression of her views of the doctrine of the Bible, and as it is one of the
plainest dictates of sober reflection, that while we continue members of the body, we should maintain the principles of its existence; and as the writings of Alexander Campbell are in direct opposition to the existence and general dictates of our constitution, we, therefore, advise our brethren, that they discountenance those writings, and all those who support that course of rebellion against the principles of our Associational existence. And we further advise our brethren, that they exercise great tenderness in relation to those among us, who think differently from us, remembering, that as we are in the flesh, we are at best imperfect creatures. "
This closed the long and exciting controversy between the Baptist and Campbellite parties; and the latter became a distinct sect. "Then had the churches rest." The loss to this Association, by the Campbellite schism, although considerable, was proportionately less than in the associations lying east of it. In 1829, the Association numbered 27 churches, with 3,957 members; in 1831, it numbered 27 churches, with 2,845 members, which shows a loss of 1,112 members. The churches left to the Baptists were prosperous, and the Association soon regained what it had lost by the schism.
Simpsonville church was received into the Association, in 1830; in 1833, the church at Rollington was received; Mt. Pleasant and Bethlehem were received, in 1834, and, in 1839, the Second Church in Louisville. Rollington church was located in what is now called Pewee Valley, in Oldham county. It dissolved only three years after it was constituted. Mt. Pleasant was located in Henry county, and was formed, as stated heretofore, by the union of Rock Lick and North Six-Mile. Bethlehem was located in Spencer county. It was dismissed from Long Run, in 1837, to join Middle District Association. The Second Church in Louisville was constituted, September 30, 1838. It united with the First Church, about 1850, to form Walnut Street church. In 1842, East Church, in Louisville, and Shiloh were received into the Association. Shiloh was located in Jefferson county, about ten miles south-west from Louisville. It ceased to meet, about 1852. The African church, in Louisville, constituted of 475 members, was received into the Association, in 1842.
Since 1842, the following churches have been received into
the Association, at the dates indicated: In 1843, Union Ridge, in Oldham county. It was soon dissolved. In 1844, Liberty, in the same county. In 1846, the Fourth Church in Louisville, (since dissolved,) Jeffersontown, in Jefferson county, and Bethel, since called Clay Village, in Shelby county. In 1854, Jefferson Street church, now known as Chestnut Street church, and the German church, both in Louisville. In 1858, Fifth and York Street African church, and Portland Avenue, both in Louisville. In 1860, Beechland, in Jefferson county, and Knob Creek, in Bullitt. In 1868, Pilgrim and Broadway, in Louisville, Pewee Valley, in Oldham county, and Jeffersonville, in Indiana. Since the War, the following churches have been received into the Association, and have since been dissolved: Pleasant Grove, Olive Branch, and Valley, in Bullitt county; Westpoint, in Hardin county; Falls and Middletown, in Jefferson county, and Hope, in Louisville.
After the Campbellite schism, the Association moved on harmoniously and prosperously for a number of years, with few vicissitudes. Some disturbance about doctrine began to be manifest, about 1836. Licking Association, with which Long Run was in correspondence, was accused of advocating, through her ministers, "That it is not the duty of unregenerate men to repent and believe the gospel." A committee, composed of William C. Buck and W. Stout, was appointed to inquire as to the truth of the accusation. The report being confirmed, Long Run dropped correspondence with Licking, in 1837. The General Association was formed this year; and the following year, Long Run sent messengers to sit in council with that body. This gave offense to some members in several of the churches, and some schisms resulted. The Antimissionary party at Elk Creek, formed a small church, and united with Otter Creek Association. The churches at Dover, Floyds Fork, Kings, and perhaps two or three others, had considerable trouble with Antimissionism and Antinomianism. But these troubles soon passed away with comparatively little loss to the Association.
In 1839, the Association agreed to have a corresponding letter published, with the minutes, a separate letter in manuscript having been sent to each corresponding Association, hitherto. The present letter was prepared by Samuel Baker and Abner Goodell, and contains the following paragraph:
"For ourselves we would say that we feel an increased desire to share in the honor of instrumentally converting the world to Christ. Our prayer is, 'O send out thy light and thy truth.' Hasten, O Lord, in thy time, the period when 'the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.' With the Psalmist we would say, 'Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy gates, O Jerusalem;' and with the Prophet, 'For Zion's sake we would not hold our peace; and for Jerusalem's sake we would not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof, as a lamp that burneth.'"
This was at the beginning of a precious revival, and the sentiment was doubtless a true exponent of the hearts of the brethren composing the Association. At the present meeting, the churches reported, as the first fruits of the revival, 216 baptisms; the year following, 675 baptisms were reported. This work of grace continued several years. In 1842, the churches reported 899 baptisms, and the next year, 621. This happy and long continued revival seems to have been a gracious expression of God's approval of his people's efforts to spread the light of his truth; and they so regarded it.
This Association, beyond any other in the State, not even excepting Elkhorn, was constant and zealous in its advocacy of missions, Bible distribution and collegiate and theological education. It never once gave even the appearance of hesitancy in regard to the benevolent enterprises of the denomination. The General Association, the American and Foreign Bible Society, the Indian Mission Association, the China Mission Society, Georgetown College, the South Western Baptist Theological Institute, its own associational missions, and all the more modern enterprises of the denomination, have been encouraged by its resolutions, and aided by its contributions. Even the most succinct account of its transactions, from year to year, relating to these enterprises, would extend these pages far beyond our limits. We must be content with the above general statement. It would be unjust not to admit that the zeal and activity of this Association, in the cause of missions, was, at the period when other associations were doubting the propriety of, or opposing benevolent societies, due, in a large measure, to those noble and enlightened men of God, John L. Waller, William C. Buck and George Waller.
In 1846, the Association adopted the following:
"Resolved, That the churches hereafter adopt some regular system of benevolence, by collections annually, semi-annually, or quarterly, as by them may be deemed necessary, and thereby supersede the necessity of traveling agents." It appeared to be a wise and important measure; but the churches have been slow in putting it into practice.
In 1848, a serious affair occurred in Buck Creek church, which affected the happiness of the whole Association, for a series of years. Some business transaction, in which the venerable George Waller, who had been pastor of the church forty-five years, and Moderator of Long Run Association twenty-five years, was concerned, caused some accusation to be brought against him. A church trial resulted in his acquittal, by a large majority. But the minority, headed by B. C. Stephens, a prominent member of the church, and a man of very determined, persistent spirit, refused to accept the decision. The result was a division of the church. The minority sent a letter to the Association, in reference to the affair. But that body, in accordance with the report of a committee, refused to have it read before the organization, and advised the church to call a council, from beyond the bounds of the Association. The council was called, but failed to effect a reconciliation. The next year, each party presented a letter to the Association, under the style of Buck Creek church. The Association decided that, inasmuch as the division had grown out of internal discipline, involving no question of doctrine, she had no jurisdiction in the case. The church was accordingly suspended from the privileges of the body. But, in 1850, the Association passed a resolution, offering membership to both parties, "as separate churches, the Waller party to be received as the Buck Creek church, and the other party, as the Second Buck Creek church." The proposition was accepted by both parties, and thus, two churches worshiping in the same house, became members of the same Association. The case was unique, and should by no means be used as a precedent. The author has seen no similar case on record. The Waller party numbered 140 members. The other, 72. When they reunited, ten years later, the former numbered 102, the latter, 51.
Notwithstanding the frequent dismission of churches, to form
other organizations, the Association continued to increase in numbers, till 1861. At that date, it numbered 26 churches, aggregating 5,350 members. It lost, by the changes wrought during the War, about 2,000 members. In 1871, it dismissed Shelbyville, Clayvillage, Buck Creek and Little Mount churches, to go into Shelby county Association. This reduced it, in 1872, to 22 churches, with 2,691 members. Since that time, it has enjoyed almost uninterrupted prosperity. In 1880, it numbered 25 churches, aggregating 3,820 members. The records of the body, from its constitution, till 1880, are preserved, except for the years 1860, 1862 and 1863. These show that there have been baptized into the churches of this body, during 75 of the first 78 years of its existence, 17,664 professed believers.
Biographical sketches of most of the early preachers of this old fraternity have already been given. Some additional sketches are, as usual, appended here. Many transient preachers have labored within the bounds of this Association, with sketches of whose lives it would not be expedient, even if it were practicable, to multiply these pages. Only a few of the most prominent of these, will be briefly mentioned.
William Calmes Buck was one of the leaders of God's host, in Kentucky, at a period when a wise, bold leader was most needed. To him, the Baptists of this Commonwealth, and of the whole Mississippi Valley, owe, more than to any other man, their deliverance from the narrow prejudice against missionary operations, which had been chiefly fostered by Alexander Campbell, and the chilling spirit of Antinomianism, enkindled by Parker, Dudley, Nuckols and their satellites. More than any other preacher in the State, did this champion of christian benevolence stir up and foster the spirit of missions. Possessing great physical strength and remarkable powers of endurance, he traveled on horse-back, among the churches, winter and summer, day and night, and urged upon them the solemn duty of supporting their pastors, at home, and sending the gospel to the perishing, abroad. He possessed a strong, steady nerve, a cool self-possession and a courage that did not falter. His tongue was as the pen of a ready writer, and his voice was as the roaring of a lion. Perhaps no other man ever preached, in Kentucky, that could command the attention of so large an audience, in the open air.
Who will question, that God called and qualified him, for the specific work he performed!
William C. Buck was born in Virginia, August 23, 1790. His educational advantages were poor. But having a quick, strong native intellect, and being ambitious to acquire knowledge, he became what is termed a self-made man, of excellent attainments, both in general literature and theology. In early life, he united with the church at Waterlick, in Shenandoah county, Virginia, where he was ordained to the ministry, in October, 1815. In 1820, he moved to Kentucky, and settled on the present site of Morganfield, in Union county. Here he took charge of a little church, called Highland. The same year, he gathered another small church, called Little Bethel, to which he alsoministered. He afterwards took charge of a church near Princeton, where he baptized William Morrison, a Presbyterian licentiate, who became a very useful Baptist preacher. In September, 1820, Highland Association was formed, of the two churches ministered to by Mr. Buck, and a few others, almost equally small and poor. Within the bounds of this little fraternity, with no other Baptist preacher within thirty miles of him, and two-thirds of the population of his county being Catholics, he labored about sixteen years.
In 1836, he moved to Louisville, where he succeeded the lamented John S. Wilson in the pastoral charge of the First Baptist church in that city. He served this church four years, during which period, its membership increased, from 306, to 532 In 1838, with the consent of his pastoral charge, he accepted the General Agency of the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky. It will be remembered that, at that period, very few Baptist pastors, in Kentucky, received a salary for preaching. It is probable that a very large majority of them received less than five dollars a year, for their ministrations: and the small pittances they did receive, were understood to be "gifts," and not pay. The first object of the General Association, was to correct this evil. To secure the payment of reasonable salaries to the pastors, was the principal object of Mr. Buck's agency; although he collected such small amounts as he could, consistently with this object, for missionary purposes. The following extract from his report, slightly abridged, will give some idea of the nature of his work, and his competency to perform it:
"Agreeably to arrangements previously made, I left home on the 16th of April, and rode to Harrods Creek, when I met Brother J. Dale, and preached in the afternoon to a small but attentive assembly. On the next day, I preached at the same place. The weather was cold and rainy, but the people came out. A deep impression seemed to be made on all present, and some comfortable indications of a revival were manifested. I collected here $11.31 3/4 for the General Association, and $10.90 for the China Mission; but made no effort for the pastor, as I had no opportunity of conferring with him.
"On Wednesday we met a few persons at Dover church. The little audience attended to the word spoken, with deep attention and evident interest. They have no settled preacher here. Some difficulties agitate the church, and many of the members are so prejudiced against all efforts, that they would not come out. Still, the generous few who were present gave me $13.50 for the General Association, and $12.75 for the China Mission.
"The next day we met at Fox Run. Few of the members attended. Prejudice here seems to be so strongly set against the light, that they who need it most will not come to it. Few seemed to receive the word with gladness, and had not God provided for us, by sending the family of Brother King to meeting, I am not sure but we would have been compelled to go out of the neighborhoodfor our dinners; but in him and his family, we found friends. Here I collected $2.00 for the General Association, and $3.43 3/4 for the China Mission.
"On Friday we went to New Castle. Prospects here were at the first very discouraging; but, whatever their prejudices might have been, like the noble Bereans, they came out to hear for themselves; and, by the evening, the clouds began to dissipate. Twice we met them again, on Saturday; and, on Sabbath morning, the house, though large, could not contain near all the people. Every cloud was now gone, a bright heaven canopied the church, and harmony pervaded the entire rank and file of the host. I met them again in the afternoon, and obtained individual pledges to the amount of $400 for their pastor, and donations in cash for the General Association, of $48.10, and for the China Mission, $22.75. The prospects here are bright."
"On Monday and Tuesday I preached at Hillsboro, where
Elder J.A. McGuire is pastor, and obtained, by individual pledges, the sum of $150 for his support one-half of his time and $1 in cash for the China Mission. I regret to state that there is remaining here some opposition to the plan of sustaining the ministry, but I trust that the prudent and persevering course of their pastor will soon convince them of their error.
"On Wednesday and Thursday following, we met the church at Sulphur Fork, and obtained the like pledge of $150 as at Hillsboro, for an equal share of Brother McGuire's time here as at the above place. Their pastor will have some difficulties to meet from those who love their gold better than their God; but this should not discourage him, nor tempt him to relax his efforts. Here I obtained $2.00 for the China Mission.
"On the next day we met a congregation at Cane Run. A great deal of solemnity seemed to pervade the assembly during service, but, owing to circumstances beyond my control, I attempted nothing for the General Association. A young Mr. Stanton gave me 50 cents for the China Mission, and we crossed the Kentucky. Having Saturday as a recess, we passed to the mouth of the river.
"On Lord's-day we met a large congregation at Four-Mile. Elder John Price is the pastor here. His age and infirmities render him unable to labor, so that I made no special effort here a few friends here gave me $2.50 for the China Mission. Here Elder Scott met us, and continued with us all the time we were on that side of the river, being near three weeks.
"On Monday and Tuesday we met the church at Whites Run. Elder L.D. Alexander has the care of this little body, and I feel justified in applauding the alacrity with which they pledged the sum of $79.00 for one quarter of his time, besides a liberal donation to the China Mission.
"On Wednesday and Thursday we met the church at McCooles Bottom. It rained both days; still the people came out. Much interest was taken in the preaching, and on Thursday, besides a liberal donation to the China Mission, $100 was pledged for their pastor, Elder Alexander, one quarter of his time. From the promptness with which this sum was pledged, I doubt not that much more would have been supplied had I asked it. On Friday and Saturday we remained with Elder J. Scott, and met the church at Sharon. Elder Scott is wealthy, and, although he
preaches much, is not in a situation to give all his time to the Ministry: consequently he refused to take any pay of his church; but still the church, at my suggestion, pledged $42.50 for him, to be appropriated as he thought best. They also raised a contribution for Brother Dale and myself: $3.62 1/2, being mine, I gave to the China Mission, as I did in all other cases where private presents were made me. Here also a liberal donation was made to the China Mission.
"On Lord's-day morning we rode ten miles, to New Liberty; and, although it rained, their spacious house was filled, and I preached to them twice; and on Monday we met again, and obtained, by personal pledges, the sum of $222.50 for the use of the ministry there; $100 of which will be appropriated to Elder Alexander, as pastor for one quarter of his time, and the balance it is likely the church will divide between brethren Smith and Montgomery, so as to have the labor of each, one Sabbath a month. Here also I obtained a liberal donation to the China Mission. I doubt not but this church will, after this year, secure the entire time of their pastor.
"On Tuesday we met the church at Emmaus, and, although but few of the members were present, yet, by the liberal aid of some of the friends from New Liberty, I had but little trouble in securing pledges to the amount of $102.50 for the last quarter of Elder Alexander's time; so that his hands are quite free to the work to which he is called.
"On Wednesday we met the church at Long Ridge. Here Brother Suter presides as pastor, with whom I conferred as to the possibility of his giving his whole time to the work of the ministry, and of his disposition to do so, under such arrangements as I might be able to make in his favor. He seemed willing to devote all his time to the work, and approved the general objects of the Association; but doubted the propriety of his accepting funds raised by me, without a special act of the church appropriating them to his use. I proceeded to preach, and then to raise $100 for the pastor, believing that a prophet should not care whether angels or ravens fed him, so that thereby he was enabled to do his Master's will. And I, with great ease, obtained pledges to the amount of $105 which I left with the church, not doubting but Brother Suter would go to work. Here also I obtained a liberal contribution to the China Mission.
"On Thursday we met the church in Owenton. Brother C. Duval preaches to this church. I preached, and explained the objects of the General Association to them, and, with great ease, obtained pledges for $105 for their pastor, besides a very liberal appropriation to the China Mission.
"On Friday we went to Greenups Fork. There are a few here that should not eat because they will not work, as there are in some other churches where I have been, but, after sermon, I had but little trouble to secure pledges to the amount of $110 for Elder Suter, as well as a contribution to the China Mission.
"We left Greenups Fork at half-past three, recrossed the Kentucky river, and rode about 19 miles, to a Brother Thompson's, and on Saturday I met the church at Indian Fork. Being their regular day of business, their aged pastor, Elder Cook, invited me to preach, with which I cheerfully complied; and after the transaction of their usual business, I asked and obtained leave to explain the objects of the General Association. I found the church here much more ready to do their duty than their pastor was to receive their support; and yet he thinks it right that they who preach the gospel should live of the gospel, but, like Paul, does not wish it so done unto him...
"On Tuesday I met a large assembly at Salem, and after addressing them about three hours, I obtained pledges for $105 in behalf of their pastor, and an appropriation of $1.70 for the China Mission.
"On Wednesday I met a large assembly at Buck Creek. This church had anticipated my arrival, and, with a noble liberality, which I commend as an example to others, had pledged the sum of $200 to Elder G. Waller, their pastor, for one quarter of his time. They also contributed $23.90 to me for the China Mission.
"On Friday, the 17th of May, I arrived at home, after an absence of 31 days. I averaged at least three hours' pulpit labor each day while absent, traveled about 210 miles, and collected in cash for the General Association $77.41, for pastorates $1,671.50, for the China Mission $272.89, and for the Banner $28.50, making a total of $2,050.30."
This lengthy extract, giving so graphic a picture of Mr. Buck's labors, and indicating the condition of the Baptist denomination, in Kentucky, at that period, with respect to the support
of pastors, by no means gives an adequate idea of the opposition the agent met with. The report would soon be read by the public, and had it embodied a full account of the opposition, from both churches and preachers, it would have encouraged the foes, and dispirited the timid and lukewarm friends of missions and ministerial support. Within two years after this report was published, several of the churches named in it, were divided on the subject of missions and ministerial support; insomuch that a new association, which declared openly its opposition to benevolent institutions and "hireling preachers," was formed on the territory referred to in the report. This new fraternity was called Mt. Pleasant Association of Regular Baptists, and still maintains a feeble existence.
In the manner described in the report, Mr. Buck continued to canvass the churches, as long as he was Agent of the General Association. But, in 1841, believing that he could reach the churches of the whole State, more speedily and effectively, through the medium of the press, he took the editorial charge of the Baptist Banner and Western Pioneer, a large religious weekly, hitherto conducted by John L. Waller. He edited this paper about nine years, with much ability. In 1840, he resigned the charge of the First Church, after which, among a multitude of other engagements, he preached in a market house, in the eastern part of the city, till East Church was constituted, in 1842. To this Church, he preached the rest of the time that he remained in the State.
In 1850, having lost his property, through an attempt to conduct the Louisville Advertiser, which he had purchased, on the retirement of Shadrach Penn, he moved to the State of Alabama. Here he labored some ten years, both with tongue and pen. He published a book entitled the Philosophy of Religion, and was editing a religious paper at the breaking out of the Civil War. After this he went to Texas, where he spent the evening of a long, busy and eminently useful life. He died of a cancer on his face, at his residence near Waco, surrounded by his children, on the 18th of May, 1872.
James Mcquade, Sr., was one of the first preachers, raised up to the ministry, within the bounds of Long Run Association. The place of his nativity is not known, but he was born about 1761. He was among the first emigrants who forted in what is
now called Shelby county. When William Hickman first preached in the little forts in this region, in the beginning of 1789, this youth attended his meetings. Of him, Mr. Hickman says: "Brother James McQuade stood by me from the first, and was my singing clerk. A little after this, Brother Gano baptized him and two or three others." Mr. McQuade united with Brashears Creek church; and here he was set apart to the ministry. He was more distinguished for his piety and devotion, than for the brilliancy of his gifts. But he was a good and useful preacher, in his generation, and was held in high esteem by his brethren. He was called to his heavenly reward, May, 23, 1828.
David Standifer was a prominent member of Brashears Creek church, as early as 1803. He was usually a messenger to the Association, and appears to have been an active member of that body. His preaching gifts were not above medium, at any time, and were slow of development. He appears to have been of a practical, business turn, and was a judicious actor rather than a fluent speaker. He must have been considerably advanced in life before he entered the ministry. He was ordained at Brashears Creek, about September 1823, and succeeded James McQuade sr., in the pastoral office, in that church. He occupied this position several years. He preached the introductory sermonbefore Long Run Association, in 1829. His labors in the Lord's vineyard, appear to have ceased not far from 1832. E. D. Standifer, M.D., the well known Rail Road magnate is his son.
Jonathan Stark, like the Dupuys, Holmeses and Hayneses, was of French extraction, and descended from that class of Protestants known as Huguenots. The old Huguenot families referred to, were early setlers in several different localities in Kentucky. Jonathan Stark settled in what is now Spencer county. Here he was baptized into the fellowship of Elk Creek church, in July, 1795. The family with which he was connected, moved to what is now Oldham county, where a church was gathered, perhaps by an old patriarch of the tribe, of the name Abraham Stark, during the great revival of 1800-3. At this church, which was named Floyds Fork, but was popularly known as Stark's Meetinghouse, Jonathan Stark was ordained to the ministry, in 1803. He preached in this church, at least nine years, after which he moved to Indiana.
David Stark appears to have been a brother of Jonathan Stark, and was a minister in the same church, in Oldham county, as early as 1812, and perhaps several years earlier. Floyds Fork church was made up largely of the Stark family. These moving away from year to year, gradually reduced the church, till it numbered, in 1815, only 13 members. David Stark continued to minister to it, doubtless with the hope of building it up again, till the above named period, when he followed his kindred to Indiana, and the forsaken little church dissolved.
William Stout was born of pious Baptist parents, in Culpeper county, Virginia, in 1781. He received barely the simple elements of an English education. He came with his parents to Kentucky, and settled in what is now Spencer county, in 1797. Here, in 1807, he was married to Mary Vandyke. The marriage was blessed with a number of children, all of whom ultimately settled in Indiana. Mr. Stout professed religion in his 28th year, and was baptized into the fellowship of Elk Creek Church, by Reuben Smith. He was immediately filled with a great desire for the salvation of his neighbors, and soon began to exhort them to repent and return to God. The following year, 1810, he was licensed to exercise his gift. During the same year, Plum Creek church was constituted, in the same county. Having no preacher among its members, and being favorably impressed with Mr. Stout's efforts, it petitioned Elk Creek church to send it "a preaching gift." Elk Creek responded favorably, and induced Mr. Stout to take his letter to Plum Creek, which he did, October, 12, 1812. On the 5th of December following, he was ordained to the pastoral charge of this church, by Reuben Smith and Henson Hobbs.
He was pastor of Plum Creek church about forty years; of Taylorsville, about twenty years, and a number of other churches, during briefer periods. Hecontinued to serve several churches, until his strength failed. In 1853, he resigned all his pastoral charges, and went to Indiana to spend his few remaining days with his children. Here he preached as often as he could make opportunity. He died at the house of his son, in December, 1860.
No one supposed Mr. Stout to be a great man. He was illiterate, and his natural gifts were not above, mediocrity; yet there is little difference of opinion, as to his having been the
most popular and useful preacher that has yet lived in Spencer county. He was a good man, and so lived as to force the conviction of this truth on even the wicked and profligate. He had so much of the spirit of his Master, that his heart yearned tenderly for the good and happiness of every body around him. In his later years, he was universally called "Uncle Billy," by those younger than himself, and was more than a welcome guest in every house. He preached the gospel of Christ in its true spirit, both in the pulpit and at the fireside, and practiced what he preached. It is not wonderful that he was universally loved, and that he exerted almost an irresistible influence.
George Marshall was raised up to the ministry, in Kings church. He was licensed to preach, in July, 1818. On the death of Henson Hobbs, who had been pastor of the church many years, Mr. Marshall was called to succeed him, and, for that purpose, was ordained by Moses Pierson, Z. Carpenter, Silas Garrett and Francis Davis, in March, 1823. He served the church at Kings, but a brief period, perhaps less than two years, when he moved to Blue river in Indiana.
Robert Gailbreath was of Irish extraction, and was born in Westmoreland county, Penn., 1791. His parents moved to Kentucky when he was about eight years old. Being fond of study, he acquired, with few advantages from schools, a very fair English education. He was raised up in a Presbyterian church, but when he obtained evidence of his conversion, a candid examination of the subject of baptism led him to accept Baptist views. He united with old Beargrass church, not far from 1817. He was licensed to exercise his preaching gift, in 1819, and having been sufficiently proved, he was ordained to the pastoral care of Little Flock church in Bullitt county, by Moses Pierson, George Waller, Ben. Allen and Z. Carpenter, April 24, 1824. In 1827, Mr. Gailbreath gathered a small church called Fishpool, some four miles North of Little Flock. Of this new organization, also, he was chosen pastor, having, for the sake of convenience, given his membership to it. He was also pastor of the church at Shepherdsville, for a time. In 1851, he resigned the charge of Little Flock and Fishpool, and moved to Louisville. This move was unwise. It took him from a field of labor in which he was appreciated and loved, and
where he had spent the prime of his life usefully, and might still have been useful, for years to come. In the city, he was comparatively a stranger, he was a countrypreacher, and there was no demand for his ministrations. The move virtually closed his labors, and he spent about thirteen years in idleness, as far as his holy calling was concerned. He died at his home in Louisville, August 23, 1864.
Mr. Gailbreath was above medium, as a preacher. He had considerable poetical genius, which he indulged, for recreation. He was a man of unblemished morals, and of faultless christian deportment.
John Gillespy was a native of Virginia, but emigrated to Shelby county, Kentucky, with his parents, in his childhood. He united with the church at Dover, in that county, and after having been proved, as to his fitness for the work of the ministry, was ordained, at Dover, in 1821. About the same time, he moved to Trimble county, where he took charge of Providence church, to which he ministered many years. He was also pastor at Corn Creek, for a time, and served the Covington church, which he aided in gathering, in 1845, a few years. He was a man of moderate preaching talent, and maintained a fair christian character. But it is said he was inclined to be indolent and improvident, which detracted from his usefulness. He died at his home in Trimble county, about 1856.
Silas T. Toncray was a young preacher of excellent attainments. He was ordained at Brashears Creek, in Shelby county, about July 1821. The two years following he was Clerk of Long Run Association, and was held in high esteem by the brethren. But, in 1824, he moved to Little Rock, Arkansas, after which we have no farther account of him.
John Wallace was a licensed preacher, several years, in Corn Creek church, in Trimble county, and, in the absence of a pastor, would conduct public worship. In 1818, a small church called Hunters Bottom was constituted, principally of members from Corn Creek. Among these was Mr. Wallace, who was soon ordained to the pastoral care of the young church. He served this congregation some eight or nine years, when the Lord was pleased to call him up higher. His son, W. Wallace, was raised up to the ministry at Hunters Bottom, and became a good preacher, in Indiana.
John B. Curl was set forward in the ministry by Long Run Church, in Jefferson county. After preaching sometime as a licentiate, he was ordained, in 1826. About the same time he was associated with Ben Allen in ministering to the First church in Louisville. In 1827, he accepted the pastoral care of the newly constituted church, called Floyds Fork, but now known as Fisherville Church, in Jefferson county. He led a majority of the members into the meshes of Campbellism, and was, of course, from that time, identified with the Campbellites.
Philip S. Fall was put into the ministry, at Frankfort, or, at least, was licensed to preach by the church at that place. In 1822, he was called to succeed Henson Hobbs as pastor of the First Church in Louisville. To that congregation he ministered three years, during which he baptized nineteen converts. Mr. Fall it is believed, was an Englishman by birth and education. He was regarded a young man of more than ordinary sprightliness, and was very popular in Long Run Association. In 1824, he was chosen clerk of that body, and, the following year, was clerk, preached the introductory sermon, and wrote the circular letter. The latter, however, was regarded unsound in its doctrinal features, and was rejected by the casting vote of the Moderator. Soon after this, Mr. Fall moved to Nashville, Tenn. Here he fully identified himself with the Campbellites, and continues to advocate their peculiar tenets to the present time; for, although he commenced preaching more than sixty years ago, he is still living, and occasionally writes for the periodical press. After he became too old to fill the pastoral office, he returned to Central Kentucky to spend the twilight of his life.
James P. Rucker was a native of Amherst county, Virginia, and was born Feb. 9, 1784. He was brought by his parents, to Woodford county, Kentucky, where he was raised up in the midst of a large and respectable family. In early life, he professed conversion, and was confirmed in the Methodist church, of which his parents were members. He commenced preaching at about 20 years of age. After some years, he had occasion to search the Scriptures for authority to administer infant baptism. This led him to investigate the whole subject of baptism, and resulted, as usual, in bringing the candid investigator to the Baptists. He was soon afterward ordained to the "ministry among the Baptists." Of him, Elder John Dale says: "Brother Rucker
gave himself up almost entirely to the work of the ministry, preaching day and night. His field was large. In several counties of this State his labors were greatly blest. In Owen, Gallatin, Fayette, and many other sections, he was the happy instrument in bringing many to Christ, and had the happiness of baptizing hundreds, and was greatly beloved by the people of his charge." About 1838, he moved to Shelbyville, where he engaged in secular business. He had some misunderstanding with his partner, which, however justifiable he may have been in the matter, gave him considerable annoyance, and he did not preach much afterwards. He compiled a hymn book, under the title of Rucker's Hymns. He died, while on a visit to a stepson, near Charleston, Ind., Jan. 24, 1858.
Abner Goodell is supposed to have been an Eastern man; but he came to Kentucky while young, and was identified with the interests of the Baptist denomination in this State for a number of years. He was pastor of the churchat Paris in Bourbon county, as early as 1838. In 1839, he accepted a call to Drennons Creek church, at Newcastle, in Henry county. To this church he ministered about five years. During the first three years the church was cold and uncomfortable. Only four persons were baptized in the three years. But, in 1842, a most joyous refreshing from the Lord visited the church, during which 121 converts were baptized. Mr. Goodell was so overcome with a sense of the goodness of God, that during much of the time of the revival, he could do little else than sit on the pulpit step and weep aloud. The revival continued during a portion of next year, during which 33 more were baptized. In 1844, he took charge of the church at Frankfort, to which he ministered three years, and baptized for its membership 50 persons. Success appeared to crown his labors wherever he went. But his health was failing, and he resolved to seek a milder climate. Accordingly, he resigned his charge at Frankfort, and moved to Franklin county, Mississippi, where he fell asleep in Jesus, Oct., 1, 1848. Of this good and useful minister, John L. Waller said: "He was long a resident in Kentucky, having filled several important agencies, and having been pastor successively of the churches at Paris, New Castle and Frankfort, at all of which places his labors were much blessed. He was an able and eloquent minister of the New Testament."
F. A. Willard was a native of Massachusetts, whence, after having finished his education, and received ordination to the gospel ministry, he came to Louisville, Kentucky, in 1839. The 2nd Baptist church in that city had been constituted of 14 members, in September of the previous year, and had remained six months under the pastoral care of a Mr. Morey. At the expiration of this time, Mr. Willard was settled over the church, and ministered to it about three years, when he was succeeded by Thomas S. Malcom. Mr. Willard baptized only nine converts into the fellowship of this church. Whether he returned to his home in the East, or moved farther South, does not appear.
John Finlay made but a brief stay in Kentucky. He took charge of the 1st church in Louisville, in 1840, and served it two years, receiving into its membership, by baptism, 184 converts. He resigned, in October, 1841, and moved to Tennessee.
Thomas Moor Rice, a son of Samuel Rice, an early emigrant from Virginia, was born in jessamine co., Ky., Dec. 7, 1792. His opportunities for obtaining an education were very poor. He attended school only about ten months, during his minority. But he very early developed a remarkable thirst for knowledge. His father was a small farmer, and, as was not uncommon, at that period supplemented his income by running a small distillery, during the fall and winter. Thomas was early taught to manage the stills, and the still-house became his academy. With insatiable appetite, he devoured the contents ofevery book he could procure. Nor did he read for mere pass-time. He did not allow a book to pass from his hands till he had mastered it. He studied mathematics and the Greek, Latin and Hebrew languages, without a master, but with a zeal, patience and perseverance that insures success. At the age of twenty, he was regarded an accomplished mathematician and a prodigy in the knowledge of the dead languages. Fond as he was of learning, he was equally fond of fun and adventure. When the British war of 1812-15 broke out, he enlisted as a volunteer, and served under General Harrison in the Northwestern campaign, being in the famous battle of Tippecanoe. After the close of the war, he taught vocal music, or "Singing School," several years. In 1820, he married Betsy, daughter of Lewis Bane, of Trimble county.
Soon after his marriage, he professed conversion under the ministry of the well known Ben. Crouch, and notwithstanding his father was a Presbyterian, and his mother a Baptist, he united with the Methodists, and shortly afterward joined the Kentucky conference. He rode the circuit only a few years, when he was forced to desist from regular preaching, on account of hemorrhage of the lungs. Retiring from the "traveling connection," he settled at Floydsburg, in Oldham county, and adopted school teaching as his occupation. He taught at Perryville, Harrisburg, Lagrange, and perhaps at some other points. He was regarded as an excellent teacher of young men, and such was his reputation for scholarship, that he was, in 1838, elected to the chair of mathematics in Georgetown College. This position he declined on account of the failing health of his wife, who died the following year.
Mr. Rice, who, like his first cousin, the distinguished N. L. Rice, D.D., was fond of debate, continued to preach frequently, especially on controverted subjects. He was engaged in several public debates. One of these was with Thomas Fanning, a distinguished Campbellite preacher; and another was with a Universalist, at Floydsburg. About 1839, he resolved to prepare an unanswerable sermon on the "mode of baptism." He had frequently preached on the subject; but being familiar with the controversial literature, relating to the question, he had used the arguments of the learned in favor of aspersion, without examining the subject for himself. But he now resolved to make a thorough investigation for himself. The result was, just what it has always been, and always must be, a full conviction that nothing but the immersion of a believer is scriptural baptism. He was not a man to hesitate, when convinced of a duty. He at once sought membership in Pleasant Grove Baptist church, in Jefferson county, and was baptized by John Dale, early in the year 1840. He was ordained a Baptist minister, in May or June of the same year, by F. A. Willard, John Dale and, perhaps, others. On being asked by one of the Presbytery, how it was that he, a classical scholar, had so long advocated sprinkling as baptism, he replied that he had simply taken the theory of his church for granted, and had never before examined the subject.
Soon after his ordination, he took the pastoral charge of
Pleasant Grove church, and also of Clear Creek, in Shelby county. To these he ministered with mutual satisfaction the remainder of his days on earth. He was on his way to fill his appointment when the summons came to him, in the form of a "congestive chill." He was immediately carried to his home, where he died, Oct. 3, 1842.
Farmer Rees was born in Henry Co., Ky., May 24, 1801, He received a common school education, and adopted the practice of medicine as his profession. In 1822, he married a Miss Forsee, and settled near Owenton. In 1828, he professed faith in Christ, and was baptized by Cornelius Duval, into the fellowship of Long Ridge church, in Owen county. The next year, he went into the constitution of Owenton church. On account of his great zeal and undoubted piety, he was licensed to exercise his gift by way of preaching and exhorting. His preaching gifts were very moderate, but possessing good practical wisdom, sound piety and unaffected zeal, he accomplished more than many abler preachers. His habit was to seek out such neighborhoods within reach of him, as were destitute of the gospel, and preach to the people gratis, while he practiced medicine for a livelihood. He continued to labor in this way, about twenty years, when he resolved to abandon his secular calling, and give the remainder of his life wholly to the work of a missionary among the poor and destitute. In 1853, having been ordained to the full work of the ministry, about four years previously, he moved to Louisville, and entered on the work of a city missionary. But his labors here were very brief. He died from injuries received from falling down a stairway in Walnut Street meeting-house, Nov., 24, 1854. The estimation in which he was held may be gathered from the following, adopted by Long Run Association, in 1855: "Resolved, That in the removal of this brother, who was pre-eminently like John, a 'beloved disciple,' and like Barnabas, 'a good man,' through whom much people were added to the Lord, our cause has been weakened where it most needed strength."
Albert G. Curry was called from Paris, Kentucky, to the church at Shelbyville, about the beginning of 1842. At the latter place, a precious work of grace attended his ministry, and 170 converts were baptized, the first year. In this wonderful revival, he was assisted by A. D. Sears. The next year, after
baptizing 10, Mr. Curry resigned, most probably on account of failing health. He died in 1844.
Thomas S. Malcom a son of the late venerable Howard Malcom, and a native of Pennsylvania, came with his father to Kentucky at the time the latter assumed the presidency of Georgetown College, in 1840. In the spring of 1842, he aided Mr. Willard in a protracted meeting at the 2nd Baptist church in Louisville, being a licensed preacher at that time. On the resignation of Mr. Willard, Mr. Malcom was called to succeed him as pastor of the 2nd church, to which office he was ordained July, 8, 1842. He served this congregation four years, during which time 124 converts were baptized for its fellowship, and its membership was increased from 96 to 171, Thomas S. Malcom was not only a most excellent preacher and pastor, but was also a young man of extraordinary practical intelligence and business energy. During his brief sojourn in Kentucky, he compiled statistics of all the associations in the State except one. He compiled a brief history of Long Run Association, from its constitution to 1842, and published various other historical tables and sketches, which have been of great value to the denomination, and, especially, to the historian and statistician. He resigned the pastorate of the 2nd church and returned to Philadelphia, in 1845.
George B. Peck was the son of a very plain old Baptist preacher of the name of Benjamin Peck, who lived many years in the neighborhood of Perryville, in Boyle county. He was also a brother of that excellent preacher, Willis Peck, well known in South District and Russells Creek Associations. He was regarded an abler preacher than either his father or brother. About the time that George B. Peck arrived at manhood, the Cumberland Presbyterians were numerous and influential, in Kentucky, and especially in Boyle county, where Mr. Peck was raised. The elder Peck had been in some difficulties with the church at Perryville, which may have prejudiced the young man against the Baptists. However this may have been when he made a profession of religion, he united with the Cumberland Presbyterians. Among these zealous people, he soon became a popular and effective preacher. But the change of the learned Thomas M. Rice, from the Methodists to the Baptists, stirred up much excitement and investigation. Only a few months
after Mr. Rice joined the Baptists, at Pleasant Grove church, in Jefferson county, Mr. Peck joined the same church. But unfortunately, this church, which has never been remarkable for its steadfastness in maintaining Baptist principles, received him on his alien immersion. The church soon afterwards called a council for the purpose of having him ordained. But when the Presbytery was informed that Mr. Peck had received no other baptism than that administered by Pedobaptist authority, they refused to lay hands on him, unless he would submit to baptism, according to Baptist usage. This he refused to do, answering that he would suffer the loss of his right arm rather than a repetition of the solemn ordinance. Accordingly the council adjourned, and the candidate was not ordained. This occurred in thewinter of 1841-2. Not long afterwards, Mr. Peck joined Clear Creek church, in Shelby county, and was baptized according to Baptist order. Here he was ordained to the ministry, by A. G. Curry, Smith Thomas and others, Sep. 13, 1842.
Mr. Peck was a sprightly, popular preacher, and was soon called to preach at Clear Creek, Union Ridge. Dover and Plum Creek. At the last named church, he preached one Sunday in the month, William Stout being the pastor. He was quite active in the ministry, a few years, both in Long Run and Salem Associations. But the Lord was not pleased to detain him long in his vineyard. He died of a violent fever, in the prime of life, about 1855.
James Mcquade Jr. was a son of the old pioneer, James McQuade Sr. He united with Brashears Creek church in early life, probably under the ministry of his father, but he did not begin to preach as a licentiate till about 1841. He was ordained in 1847, and took the pastoral care of, or at least, preached monthly to, Clear Creek and Dover churches, some two or three years, when he was attacked by paralysis, which closed his ministry, about 1851.
Benjamin Osburn Branham * was born in Georgetown, Ky., March, 1829. Being left an orphan almost in his infancy, he was raised by his uncle Ben. Osburn, a wealthy farmer of Scott county. About 1844, he went to Frankfort, and apprenticed himself to a house carpenter. Here he joined the church, and
* From E. Burris.
was baptized by Abner Goodell. In 1846, he went to Mexico as a volunteer, and, in the Battle of Buena Vista, lost his left arm. On his return home, he entered Georgetown College, where he remained a short time. In the winter of 1847-8, he was Doorkeeper of the House of Representatives. At the expiration of his term of office, he went to Port Royal, in Henry county. Meanwhile he had become "religiously demoralized," and was excluded from Frankfort church. At Port Royal he was awakened to a sense of duty, was restored to Frankfort church, and was soon afterwards set apart to the ministry. He was, at different times, pastor of Long Ridge, Lancaster, Shawnee Run, Salvisa and other churches, in Kentucky, and Greenfield, in Indiana. During the last few years of his life, he was pastor of the churches at Taylorsville, in Spencer county, and Buck Creek, in Shelby. He died of softening of the brain, Jan. 28, 1871.
Of the living ministers of this old fraternity, a number of whom are men of eminent distinction, there is space to say but very little.
Joseph Alexander Ireland M.D. is among the oldest living preachers of this Association. He was born in Jefferson county, Ky., Sept. 15, 1824. After obtaining a good English education, with a fair knowledge of the Latin and Greek languages, he entered upon the study of medicine, in which hegraduated, in 1851. After practicing his profession in Louisville some three years, he moved to his farm in Bullitt county, in 1854. Here he practiced medicine about ten years, when he was elected to a professorship in one of the medical schools in Louisville. From 1864, to the present time, he has filled a chair in one or more medical schools.
In his youth, Dr. Ireland professed Religion and united with Little Flock church in Bullitt county, where he was licensed to preach, in 1848. He was soon afterward ordained, and, at different periods, was pastor of the churches at Little Flock, in Bullitt county, Jeffersontown, in Jefferson county, and Jeffersonville, Indiana. Besides his labors in the ministry, he has performed valuable service to the cause of Christ in connection with the missionary enterprises of his denomination.
Aaron Brightwell Knight Is also among the elderly ministers of Long Run Association. He was born in Todd county, Ky., Feb. 24, 1824. He professed conversion during an extensive
] Revival in Russellville, under the preaching of Wm. Vaughan and J. M. Pendleton, in 1841, and was baptized into the fellowship of Russellville church, by Samuel Baker, in 1842. In 1845, he graduated at Center College, in Danville, Ky. Being licensed to preach, by the Russellville church, in 1846, he went three years to Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey. He was ordained to the full work of the ministry, in 1850, after which he served Salem church, in Christian county, for a time. In 1858, he accepted a call to the care of Burks Branch church in Shelby county, serving in connection with it, for one year, the church at Clay Village. In 1871, he was called to the church at Simpsonville in Shelby county. Between this church and that of Burks Branch, he divided his time equally, till forced to resign the care of both, on account of impaired health, having served the latter 23 years, and the former, 10 years. He was Moderator of Long Run Association, from 1865 to 1877. He was Moderator of the General Association, in 1863.
Wm. W. Everts was called to succeed the greatly lamented Thomas Smith, in the pastoral charge of Walnut Street church in Louisville, about 1853, and ministered in that capacity some seven years. A man of excellent gifts and fine scholarly attainments, he was very cordially received by the Baptists of Louisville, and, indeed, of the whole State. He was a man of great energy and enterprise. As soon, as he was settled in the pastoral office, he began to lay plans for church extension, in the city. His plans appear to have been wise, and it is believed he would have accomplished much in strengthening the Baptist cause in Louisville, if he could have retained the sympathy and co-operation of his brethren. But he came to Louisville just at a time when the excitement on the Slavery question was at fever heat. He was opposed to slavery, and perhapswas imprudent in manifesting his opposition. Prejudice was soon excited against him, and strong opposition was created. The Baptists of the city were divided into excited parties. Dr. Everts was the recognized leader of the party which sustained him, while S. H. Ford (now Dr. Ford of Missouri) was recognized as the leader of the opposition. The excitement soon extended far beyond the limits of the city, and party spirit grew extremely bitter. Members excluded from, one church were immediately received into the fellowship of another. Councils
were called and bitter prosecutions were instituted. In the city the "Everts party" appeared to be in the majority; but in the country, the "Ford party" had the pre-eminence. The contention was kept up, with increasing bitterness, for several years. As to what the quarrel was about, or who was to blame in the disgraceful affair, are questions of speculation that will probably remain unsolved. Nor does it appear at all desirable that they should again be agitated. A thousand trifles, light as air, Were magnified under the pressure of strangely excited passion, and much harm was done the cause of Christ. In the midst of the trouble, Dr. Everts was called to the 1st church of Chicago, and accepted the call, about 1859. In that city, he accomplished a most excelent work. He is still living, and although somewhat beyond the meridian of life, he is yet able to perform much labor.
Samuel Howard Ford was a prominent member of Long Run Association, from 1853 to 1861. If he was not a native of Missouri he was raised up in that State, and there commenced his ministry. About 1851, he located in Paducah as a teacher. He remained there about two years. In 1852, he preached a discourse before West Union Association, on the "Past and Future of the Baptists". The sermon was published, and attracted some attention. The next year he moved to Louisville, and became joint editor, with John L. Waller, of the Christian Repository. He soon attracted the attention of the denomination as a brilliant writer, and an eloquent preacher. After the death of Dr. Waller, Mr. Ford became the sole editor of the Christian Repository, except that his brilliant and accomplished wife conducted the family department. The magazine soon became very popular, and so continues to the present time. Mr. Ford also edited the Western Recorder a part of the time that he spent in Kentucky. He was pastor of East church in Louisville, some years, and afterwards, of Long Run and Floyds Fork (now Fisherville), in the east end of Jefferson county.
In the Fall of 1861, Mr. Ford left Louisville privately, and hastened to share his fortune with the Southern Confederacy. He was a member from Kentucky, of the first Confederate States Congress. At the close of his term he went to Memphis, and from there to Mobile, Alabama. At the close of the war, he returned to Memphis. Here he was instrumental in establishing
a new church, to which he ministered, in connection with his editorial labors, several years.Subsequently he moved to St. Louis, where he still resides, devoting his time principally to conducting the Christian Repository, or, as it is now called, Ford's Christian Repository. Dr. Ford is now (1885) about 65 years of age. He has been conducting his valuable and deservedly popular monthly, about 30 years. He is still robust in health, and apparently able to perform as much mental labor as when he commenced his editorial career.
Notice of the younger ministers and a number who have been within the bounds of the Association but a short time, must be omitted for want of space. =================
[J. H. Spencer, A History of Kentucky Baptists, Volume 2, 1886; reprint 1984, pp. 150-192. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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