Baptist History Homepage

A History of Kentucky Baptists
By J. H. Spencer
Volume II, 1885
Chapter 1.
[Section 7]

[Little River Association -- 268-285; Burning Spring Association -- 286-287
South Union Association -- 287-289; Franklin Association -- 290- 306]

Little River Association

[p. 268]

This was, in 1880, the largest fraternity of white Baptists in Kentucky. It originated in a division of Red River Association, for the sake of convenience. At the annual meeting of that body, held at Muddy Fork of Little River, at what is now the village of Cerulean Springs, in Trigg county, on Saturday before the 2nd Lords Day in August, 1813, the following items of business were transacted:

"24. Agreed to divide this Association into two distinct associations, beginning the line of boundary at the church on Spring Creek of the West Fork, passing northwardly, so as to
[p. 269]
include West Fork of Red River, Barren Spring, Goshen, Long Creek, Ebenezer and Center, with all the churcheslying east and south of said line, which still remains the Red River Baptist Association.

"25. Appointed Elders Sugg Fort, Ashur Shelton, Jesse Ford, John Bobbit and Bro. Anthony New, to help the lower district form themselves into an association, to be called Little River Baptist Association." According to the Latter Day Luminary, the organization was effected the same year; but at what time or place has not been ascertained.

The new organization embraced the following 18 churches, as nearly as can be ascertained: Blooming Grove, Big Creek, Cubb Creek, Cypress, Dry Creek, Dry Fork of Eddy Creek, Eddy Grove, Flat Creek, Muddy Fork of Little River, New Hope, New Bethel, Providence, Salem, Sinking Fork of Little River, Saline Creek, Terzah and Unity. These churches aggregated 1,029 members. Among the ordained ministers of the body were Josiah Horn, John Wall, Dudley Williams, Thomas McLean, Henry Darnall, Fielding Wolf, M. B. Roland, Daniel, Brown, James Rucker, Colden Williams, John Dorris and Thomas Ross. Among the licensed preachers were F. Yarbrough, Wm. Bradley, Thomas Evans, John Stone and Reuben Owens.

The earliest records of the body are lost. The first minutes, of which a fragment has been preserved, are those of 1817. At this time, the Association numbered 32 churches, 16 ordained ministers, and 1,859 members. This year, two questions were answered as follows: "We think it improper to continue any person in fellowship, who has a living wife or husband, and marries, in any case." "We think it a bar to fellowship for one of our society to join a Masonic lodge." It was resolved to "correspond with Bethel Association, in Missouri Territory." The churches were warned against one Nathan Arnett, pretending to be a Baptist preacher.

"A circular letter … from the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions was handed in and read." Whereupon it was "Resolved, that this Association recommend to the churches to set apart the 1st Monday in each month to unite in the general concert of prayer meetings, for the purpose of imploring the blessing of Almighty God on missionary efforts."
[p. 270]
In 1818, the Association met at Grave Creek, in Henderson county. Thomas Ross was reelected Moderator. Isaac McCoy missionary to the Indians, preached the introductory sermon. "Query from Salem church: What shall be done in the reception of a member, dismissed from a church not in our faith and order, but he having faith in his baptism? Ans. We advise the church to receive him on a profession of his faith in Christ, and baptize him agreeably to our order."

The Association speaks hopefully of Indian missions, and resolves to form a society for the purpose of promoting them.

In 1819, the Association declines to answer a question as to the propriety of educating young men, called to preach the gospel, alledging a want of information on the subject.

In 1820, Union (Livingston county, Elk Creek, Clarks River and Deer Creek churches were received into the body. The Association still declines to express an opinion as to the propriety of the educational enterprise which had been inaugurated at Philadelphia. This year, about 15 churches were dismissed to form Highland Association.

In 1821, Walnut Fork of Obion, and Birds Creek churches were admitted into the body.

Up to this period, the Association had warmly favored missionary operations. But now the leaven of the mother fraternity became manifest. It is probable that a majority of the Association was still in favor of missions and theological education; but the antimissionary element had become so determined in their opposition, that the body was threatened with schism. To avoid this, it was deemed prudent to yield to their demand. Accordingly the Association dropped correspondence with the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions and two neighboring Associations.

From this period, till 1829, the transactions of the body were unimportant. In 1823, several churches were dismissed to go into the constitution of Western District Association.

As early as 1827, the tenets of Alexander Campbell began to agitate some of the churches of the body, and that year, a circular letter, strongly commending the propriety of having a confession of faith, or a declaration, in current language, of what we understand the Scriptures to teach, was appended to the minutes of the Association. In 1829, several churches remonstrated
[p. 271]
against having an abstract of principles printed with the minutes. This brought the subject before the Association. After some discussion, it was "ordered that our constitution, abstract of principles and rules of decorum be annexed to the minutes." This prompt resistance to Campbellism nipped it in the bud: so that, even to the present day, that heresy has obtained but little foothold, within the bounds of Little River Association. It is also observable that the revival, which prevailed so extensively in other parts of the State, in 1827, and the following two years, and which was conducted principally by the followers of Mr. Campbell, did not reach the territory of this Association. The loss sustained by the churches of this fraternity, by the Campbellite schism, was inconsiderable.

There was, however, another element of discord in the body, which could not be eliminated, at so small a cost. For more than a decade, the Antimission party had been conciliated by concessions to their demands. But the Missionary, party at last, began to weary of their domineering. It now needed only a suitable occasion to array the parties against each other, in open contest. Such an occasion was soon presented. In 1832, a motion was made to drop correspondence with Red River Association, which was avowedly an Antimissionary body. A lengthy discussion ensued, and the motion finally prevailed. No further progress towards a division of the Association was manifested at this session; but the matter was discussed among the churches, during the ensuing year.

The memorable session of 1833, convened at Mt. Pleasant, in Trigg county, Wm. Buckley, an Antimissionary, was elected Moderator. Letters from several of the churches remonstrated against the doctrine of general atonement, which was generally held by the advocates of missions, and usually opposed by the Antimissionaries. The subject of the remonstrances was taken up. The following extract from the minutes of the proceedings will show how the matter was disposed of:

"After various efforts by the dissatisfied party to extort propositions on which the Association might divide in a friendly manner, we constantly affirmed we had no such propositions to offer; but closely to adhere to the principles of general union. And after various propositions and motions, the following motion was offered by Eld. Mansfield, to-wit: 'I move that the
[p. 272]
question be taken whether the Association will support the principles of the United Baptists; or will they usurp dominion over the consciences of men.' The question being taken, the result was twenty-six in favor of the general union -- it being a majority of the Association. We then proposed that we would live together in peace and in brotherly love, upon the principles of general union, allowing the brethren on either side to entertain their own views relative to our own confession of faith, which they refused by rending themselves from us, and the Moderator resigned his office by saying: 'Brethren, I resign my office as Moderator of Little River Asociation.' The messengers from the following churches withdrew from the Union; viz: Cubb Creek, Dry Creek, Dry Fork, Eddy Grove, Muddy Fork, Crocketts Creek, Sinking Fork, Salem Creek, and Tennessee. Charles Pope immediately returned, and was recognized as the delegate from Sinking Fork church." The churches withdrawing had 409 members. Those remaining, 791. The Antimissionary party organized under the style of the "Original Little River Baptist Association." The next year, (1834), it numbered 10 churches, aggregating 385 members, while the old organization numbered 14 churches, aggregating 860 members.

Disenthralled from the internal embarrassment which had hitherto forbidden all enterprise, the Association dropped correspondence with Highland and Muddy River (Ill.) Antimissionary fraternities, and petitioned for correspondence with Bethel Association, which had been a Missionary body from its constitution. It also "Resolved, That we recommend the churches to encourage itinerant preaching by contributions etc."

In 1836, the following query from West Union church, with the answer, was recorded: “Shall we receive a member in full membership, who has been immersed by a Pedobaptist? Ans We think not."

In 1837, after deploring the destitution of preaching within the bounds of the Association, it was recommended that some minister devote all his time to supplying this destitution, and that each church, or congregation to which he ministered, contribute ten dollars a year to his support. This plan being rejected by a large majority of the churches, it was recommended the following year, that the churches sustain their ministers, "not
[p. 273]
only to enable them to preach to their churches, but also to destitute neighborhoods."

From this period, the body exhibited a commendable zeal for missions, both at home and abroad, and the Association increased in numbers, very rapidly. It had required seven years to regain what it lost by the split of 1833. In 1840, it numbered only 17 churches, with 1,117 members. But in 1841, the first extensive revival pervaded its churches, and continued to prevail, with only an occasional depression, until it was checked by the beginning of the Civil War, twenty years later. In 1850, it numbered 34 churches, with 2,865 members; and in 1860, it reported 48 churches, with 3,998 members. Meanwhile it came up abreast with the leading fraternities of the State, in the spirit of zeal for the Master’s cause, and in the advocacy of all the benevolent enterprises of the day; although it collected and expended less money than some of the older and more wealthy associations.

The War put but a brief check on the progress of this prosperous and harmonious fraternity. It lost, perhaps, something more than 1,000 members, by the severance of the colored members from its churches; but the deficiency was soon made up by the large numbers baptized by its zealous and indefatigable pastors and missionaries. In 1870, it numbered 51 churches with 4,198 members; in 1880, 5 7 churches with 4,944 members, and in 1882, 58 churches, with 5,339 members. In 63 of the first 67 years of its existence, it reported 13,693 baptisms. In 1883, it dismissed 15 churches, aggregating 1,425 members, to form Ohio River Association.

Most of the early ministers of this body were formerly members of the old Red River fraternity, and were generally hypercalvinistic and anti-missionary, in their sentiments. None of them were men of much ability; but they were usually pious and zealous, and the Lord wrought by them a good work. As they passed away, the Lord raised up men of a more tolerant spirit, who built on the foundation they had laid. During the entire history of the body, it has had but few ministers of extraordinary gift, or acquirements; yet it is probable that no fraternity of the kind, in the State, has had a more harmonious or efficient ministry. But their works speak more to their praise than could any human eulogy.
[p. 274]
Eddy Grove, was the first church organized within the bounds of this Association. It was constituted, in 1799, and was located in Caldwell county, some two or three miles south-east of Princeton. Among the early settlers of this region, most of whom emigrated from South Carolina, were three plain old preachers of the names of Daniel Brown, Edmund Bearden and Reuben Roland. These men preached in the cabins of the settlers till a sufficient number of Baptists was collected to form a small church, which they constituted, at the time specified above. Daniel Brown was the first pastor of the church. He was succeeded by the venerable James Rucker, who was an early co-laborer of the Craigs, Taylor, Hickman and others, in Woodford and the adjoining counties, and had moved to Caldwell county, about 1800. He was succeeded by his son-in-law, John Tanner, who afterwards settled near New Madrid, in Missouri. Wm. Buckley, of whom some account has been given elsewhere, served the church, after Mr. Tanner, until he was silenced from preaching, for intemperate drinking. In 1833, the church divided, and the majority, united with Original Little River Association. In 1837, it changed its name to Equality. In 1841, it divided again, and the minority was reorganized by the Association. It finally dissolved, in 1850.

Salem, located two and a half miles west of the village of that name, in Livingston county, was the second oldest church in this Association. It was constituted of 17 members (according to tradition, by Edmund Bearden, Daniel Brown and Robert Smith), June 22, 1805. There was some hesitation as to whether it would unite with Union Association, or that of Red River. It finally decided in favor of the latter, which it joined, in 1808. Daniel Brown is supposed to have been its first pastor. Wm. Buckley served it for a time, and was succeeded by J. W. Mansfield. Willis Champion, who was raised up to the ministry in its membership, served it as pastor many years. From its membership were constituted Union church, in Crittenden county, and Friendship [Gum Spring], between Cumberland and Tennessee rivers. From these have sprung many churches, on both sides of Cumberland river.

Edmund Bearden was one of the first preachers that settled in the present territory of Little River Association, if he were not the very first. He was an ordained preacher in a church on
[p. 275]
Reedy river, in Greenville District, S. C. as early as 1790. Soon after this date, he moved to what is now Caldwell county, Ky., and settled near the present site of Princeton. He appears to have been active in preaching among the settlers in a large area of territory. With the aid of Reuben Roland and Daniel Brown, he constituted Eddy Grove church, near his home, in 1799. In 1805, he, with the aid of Daniel Brown and Robert Smith, constituted Salem church in Livingston county. These two churches became the mothers of a numerous offspring. It is not known that Mr. Bearden was pastor of any church in the new country; nor have we any account of him, after the performance of the above labors.

Daniel Brown was one of the early settlers of what is now Caldwell county, and is believed to have emigrated from South Carolina. He aided in gathering Eddy Grove church, in 1799, and Salem church, in Livingston county, in 1805. His membership was at Eddy Grove, and he is believed to have been the first pastor of that, and also of Salem church. He was in the constitution of Red River Association, in 1807, and preached the introductory sermon before that body, in 1811. He was also in the constitution of Little River Association, in 1813, and labored among its churches some three years. About 1816, he emigrated to Alabama.

Josiah Horn was an early settler in what is now Stewart county, Tenn. He was a member, and perhaps the pastor, of Blooming Grove church, in that county. This church was constituted, in 1805, and was probably gathered by Mr. Horn. He was in the constitution of Red River Association, in 1807, and preached the introductory sermon before that body in 1810. In 1813, he entered into the organization of Little River Association. In this body he held a respectable position, till 1830, when his name disappears from the records. He appears to have been a good and useful preacher of moderate, though respectable gifts.

Dudley Williams was among the younger ministers who entered into the constitution of Red River Association, in 1807. He was at that time, a member, and most likely the pastor, of Dry Creek church, in Trigg county. He had probably gathered the church, which was constituted, in 1805, and of which he continued a member, till 1831, when he moved his membership
[p. 276]
to Harmony church, in Caldwell county. He was in the organization of Little River Association, in 1813, and was a prominent actor in that body, about 25 years. He was Moderator of the Association at least six years, and, on two occasions, preached the introductory sermon before that body. When difficulties arose in some of the churches, about 1829, in regard to their members uniting with atemperance society, he and J.W. Mansfield defended the society, and the church members who united with it. This, with some other causes, produced a division of the Association, in 1833. Mr. Williams adhered to the missionary party, and warmly advocated the cause of christian benevolence. His name disappears from the associational records, about 1839.

Fielding Wolf was a native of South Carolina, and an early settler in what is now Trigg county, Ky. He was an ordained preacher when he entered into the constitution of Red River Association, in 1807. Both his natural gifts and his acquirements were meagre; but he possessed a degree of self-confidence, and persistence that gave him no inconsiderable influence over that rather numerous class of people, who value a man according to his estimate of himself and the persistence with which he asserts it. Mr. Wolf became a member of Muddy Fork church, perhaps at its constitution, and served it as pastor, some 25 years. With his church, he entered into the constitution of Little River Association, in 1813, and, on at least two occasions, preached the introductory sermon before that body. About 1829, Stephen Ashby, an old licensed preacher, brought a charge before the church against Mr. Wolf, for preaching Daniel Parker's Two-Seeds doctrine. The difficulty resulted in the exclusion of Mr. Ashby, and the withdrawal of several prominent members from the church. About 1831, Mr. Ashby died, and near the same time, Mr. Wolf moved to Pettus county, Missouri, where he died, about 1845. As far as known, his morals were unexceptionable, and he appears to have been quite active in the ministry; but the speculative character of his preaching produced discord among the brethren, and it is feared that his ministry, in Kentucky, at least did more harm than good.

Jesse Cox was born in South Carolina, about 1774. His parents being poor, he grew up quite illiterate. He obtained
[p. 277]
hope in Christ, in early life; but, doubting the genuiness of his conversion, he did not unite with a church, till Nov. 2, 1802. He moved to Kentucky, and settled in Trigg county, about 1808. Here he united with Dry Creek church. He was licensed to preach, at least as early as 1827, and labored with great zeal, as a licentiate, for a number of years. He was ordained, Sep. 2, 1835. His ministry was profitable, and he baptized a considerable number of converts. Among these were A.P. Hodges and Wm. Skinner, of Blood River church, in Calloway county, who became useful preachers. His gift was principally in exhortation, but it was used diligently. He died in great peace, July 12 1849.

Willis Champion was born in Edgecomb Co., N.C., Feb. 1801. He was only four years old when he was brought by his parents to Livingston Co., Ky., where he spent most of his long and useful life. His father went into the constitution of Salem church, in 1805, and he was baptized into the sameorganization, in October 1819. He was licensed to preach, in June 1833, ordained, by J.W. Mansfield and Abel Teague, in December, 1834, and immediately called, unanimously, to the pastoral care of Salem church, of which he still remained a member. To this church he ministered 40 years. In 1840, he gathered Friendship church, between Cumberland and Tennessee rivers. To this church, which, at the time of his death, was the largest in Little River Association, he ministered 20 years. About a year before his death, he moved to Illinois. But he soon returned to his home in Kentucky, and died, at the residence of his brother, in Livingston county, Aug. 9, 1876.

Mr. Champion's gifts were not above mediocrity; but he was a man of undoubted piety, and his zeal was according to knowledge. He was five times elected Moderator of his Association, and was four times chosen to preach the introductory sermon before that body. During his ministry, he baptized 870 persons; and his great popularity was evinced in that he married 440 couples.

James W. Mansfield was one of the most laborious, useful and highly esteemed ministers that ever lived in western Kentucky. He was born in Albemarle Co., Va., Mar. 18, 1794, but was raised principally in Orange county of that State. He was married to Mildred Clark, Nov. 18, 1813, and moved to
[p. 278]
Kentucky, in the Fall of 1815. He first settled near Danville, where he was baptized, in October of the following year. The same fall, he moved to Christian county, and united with Salubria Spring [now Bethel] church. In 1819, he moved to Caldwell county, where he united with New Bethel church, in what is now Lyon county, by a letter from Salubria Spring church, which recommended him as having gifts suitable to the ministry. On the 10th of May, of the following year, he was licensed to preach. In September, 1825, Donaldson church petitioned New Bethel to grant him a letter of dismission to join them, that they might ordain him to their pastorate. The request was granted, and, in April, 1827, he was ordained pastor of Donaldson church. He served this congregation, about 25 years. In January 1828, he was called to the pastoral care of New Bethel church, which, he served, one Sabbath in the month, till 1851, and two Sabbaths in the month, from that time till his death. He was soon called to two other churches, and was, most of his ministerial life, pastor of four churches. When Little River Association divided, in 1833, most of the older ministers of the body adhered to the Antimissionary party. This left the churches of the Association in great destitution. To remedy this evil, Mr. Mansfield regularly supplied several churches with monthly preaching on “week days,” till the Lord raised up preachers to take charge of them. In 1851, he gathered a small church in Princeton, the county seat of Caldwell. To this church he ministered during the remainder of his earthly life. He also preached to Harmony church, in the same county, from 1840, till his death, which occurred, at his residence, in Caldwell county, on Sunday, Oct. 15, 1853.

Mr. Mansfield possessed only a moderate English education, and his gifts were of a practical, rather than a brilliant character. His morals were pure, and he was devoutly consecrated to his holy calling. He labored almost without pecuniary compensation; but was earnest in his advocacy of missions, education, temperance reform, and other schemes of benevolence. He possessed quick penetration and excellent judgement. He was Moderator of Little River Association 13 years, and preached the introductory sermon before that body, on six occasions. He was eminently successful in winning souls to Christ, as he was in every good work in which he engaged.
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William Bigham was a pious, zealous, and useful minister of Jesus. He united with the Cumberland Presbyterian church, in Caldwell county, in early life; and was set apart to the ministry, by that fraternity, about 1822. He labored several years, first in West Tennessee, and afterwards in the southern part of Missouri; but finally moved back to Kentucky, and settled in Livingston county. Here he united with the Baptists, and was ordained to the pastoral care of Dyers Hill church. In August, 1852, he was appointed missionary in the western part of Little River Association, and immediately entered this field of labor. But he was soon attacked by a malignant fever, of which he died, Sept. 23, 1852, in the 56th year of his age. He had labored in the ministry, with great success, about 30 years.

Joel E. Grace was born in South Carolina, Feb. 16, 1801. He obtained a moderate English education, and, in early life, moved to Kentucky. At the age of about 30 years, he united with Union church, and was baptized by J.W. Mansfield. He stated that he could not distinguish between the time he fully believed in Christ, and that at which he felt called to the ministry. He very soon commenced holding prayer meetings, and exhorting christians to faithfulness, and sinners to repentance. The church gave him license to exercise his gift, and he was ordained to the work of the ministry, by Abel Teague and J.W. Mansfield, Sept. 19, 1835. He labored in the ministry, with faithfulness and success, about 29 years. He was pastor of several churches, during his ministry, and spent considerable time in the missionary field of Little River Association. He was an easy pleasant speaker, and his preaching was supported by a spotless christian character. At the time of his death, he was serving Pinkneyville and Caldwell Spring churches, being a member of the latter. He died of erysipelas, at his residence in Crittenden county, Jan. 27, 1864.

Of Mr. Grace, a contemporary says: "His natural good judgement and close discrimination, with a pleasant and easy manner of address, made him a very pleasant speaker. There were but few men in this Association, if any, who had more correct views of thedoctrines of the Bible, who were more useful in the churches, and more beloved by all who knew him." He was clerk of Little River Association, four successive years,
[p. 280]
Moderator three years, and preached the introductory sermon, on two occasions.

John W. Kelley was of a Virginia family, from which sprang many useful preachers. Of these, himself, Benjamin Kelley, D. J. Kelley, J. L. Kelley and C. J. Kelly have labored among the Baptists of Kentucky. John W. Kelley was a son of James Kelley, and a nephew of Elder Benjamin Kelley, who labored and died in Ohio county, Ky. He was a native of Halifax county, Va., where he was raised up to the ministry, and is said to have been very successful in his holy calling. He emigrated to Kentucky, about 1833. At first he settled in the northern part of Christian county; but soon afterwards moved to Trigg county. Soon after his settlement in Kentucky, he was called to the care of Little River and West Union churches, both in Christian county, and, it is believed, Harmony church in Caldwell county. To these congregations he ministered with much acceptance. His preaching gifts were above mediocrity, and were faithfully and wisely used. He was a warm friend to missions and ministerial education, which he evinced by contributing $100, to Georgetown College. His useful ministry, in Kentucky, was very short. He died, Aug., 17, 1840.

Claibourn Wilson was born about 1809. He united with Crooked Creek church, in Crittenden county, and, after laboring some years as a licensed preacher, was ordained to the ministry by J.W. Mansfield, Joel E. Grace, and Willis Champion, March 25, 1843. He was called to the care of Crooked Creek and two other churches, which he served acceptably, during the remainder of his brief ministry. He also labored much among the destitute around him. His last sermon was preached at Piney Creek church. Immediately after the close of his discourse, he was attacked with pneumonia so violently that he was unable to ride home, a distance of seven miles. He went to the house of a brother Crane, where he died, February 12, 1849.

Thomas W. Matlock was born, about the year 1807. He united with Harmony church, in Caldwell county, in January, 1840, and was baptized by John W. Kelley. In October, 1847, he was licensed to preach. He exercised as a licensed preacher, with good success, during several years. Having been the principal instrument in gathering Blue Spring church, in Caldwell
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county, he was ordained to its pastoral care, by J. F. White and J. W. Mansfield, in December, 1852. To this church he ministered successfully, several years. Subsequently, he was called to the care of Princeton, Harmony and Liberty churches. But, in the midst of his useful and highly appreciated labors, his brief ministry was suddenly terminated. He died from a stroke on his forehead, by which his skull was fractured, February 16, 1866. As the mortal wound wasinflicted while he was alone, in his horse lot, after dark, it could not be ascertained whether it was done by the hand of an enemy, or the kick of a mule.

William A. McChesney was born in 1812. He was baptized into the fellowship of Donaldson church, by J. W. Mansfield, in 1841. About 1843, “he moved his membership to Clear Spring church, in Crittenden county, where he was licensed to preach, in 1847, and ordained by William Hall, J. W. Mansfield, Gabriel Sisk and J. E. Grace, in 1852. He was pastor of several churches, at different periods, within the bounds of Little River and Little Bethel Associations. His gifts were not of a very high order, but he was a good man, and full of zeal and faith, and the Lord wrought a good work by him. He was called to his reward, from his home, at Shady Grove, in Crittenden county, April, 30, 1879.

G. A. Patterson was born in Berkley county, Va., Jan, 11, 1814. He moved to Kentucky, in early life, and, about 1840, was baptized into the fellowship of Little River church, in Christian county, The following year, he moved his membership to Antioch church, where he was set apart to the ministry, in 1843. He was, at different periods, pastor of the churches at Antioch, Cadiz, Shady Grove, Mount Pleasant, Blue Spring, Hurricane, Canton, Donaldson Creek, Cumberland River and Pleasant Valley, all in Trigg and adjoining counties. All these churches he "served," says a contemporary, "with that fidelity and zeal which was ever chacteristic of the man." In the latter years of his life, he devoted himself with zeal and energy to the work of a missionary, within the bounds of Little River Association. His gifts and acquirements were moderate; but they were used diligently, during a long and honorable ministry. He died at the residence of his son, J. J. Patterson, near Cadiz, in 1880.

Seldon Y. Trimble was born in Logan county, Ky., Sept.
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17, 1827. At the age of about 21 years, he obtained hope in Christ, and was baptized by Thomas Felts, into the fellowship of New Hope church, in his native county. In 1850, he was licensed to preach, and immediately afterwards entered Union University, where he graduated, in 1854. In 1855, he was sent by Hopkinsville church, as a missionary within the bounds of Little River Association. In 1856, he was appointed a missionary to Africa, by the Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, and set sail from New York for his distant field of labor, on the 19th of September of that year. He established himself at Ogbomishaw, where he labored among the benighted Africans, about one year, when the failing health of his wife (formerly Miss Mary E. Morehead) induced him to return to his native land. In 1859, he took charge of Canton and Donaldson Creek churches, in Trigg county. He was afterwards pastor of Donaldson, New Bethel, Eddyville, Eddy Creek, Bethany and Parkersville churches. He also labored as missionary of Little River Association, about two years. A colaborer in the ministry says of him: "Brother Trimble was a man of earnest piety and unswerving devotion to the truth; bold in preaching, reproving and rebuking, he sometimes made enemies; but no one in our midst had stronger or more devoted friends. He was a good minister of Jesus Christ. His preaching was plain, forcible, and instructive, abounding in scripture quotations and scripture language. He was always at work." He died of pneumonia, at his residence, in Parkersville, Lyon county, Oct. 4, 1873.

Collin Hodge is among the oldest and most prominent ministers of Little River Association. He was born in what is now Crittenden county, Ky. Feb., 22, 1816. He was raised on a farm and received a fair common school education. Having a strong intellect, and being fond of books, he acquired an extensive and varied reading. In his youth, he was very fond of worldly amusements. In his 25th year, he was converted to Christ, under the following circumstances: On his way to a horse race, he met the people returning from Union meeting house, where a revival meeting had just closed, and this thought occurred to him: "As we are going now, so will it be in the end." He became pungently convicted of his sins, and withdrawing a bet he had made on a horse race, turned his attention to the affairs of his soul. The next day, he went to a Methodist meeting,
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and joined the Methodist church, as a seeker. About two months afterwards, he obtained hope in Christ. He now gave himself to a diligent study of the Bible. Finally, against his former convictions and prejudices, he became convinced of the Scripturalness of Baptist Doctrines, and united with Union church, in Crittenden county, being baptized by Joel E, Grace. He was licensed to preach, in May, 1841, and ordained, by Claibourn Wilson, Willis Champion, J. W. Collings and Joel E. Grace, in July, 1842. He lived in a field of wide destitution, in which he commenced laboring with great zeal and efficiency. In 1844, he gathered Caldwell Spring church, and became its pastor. He afterwards gathered Dyers Hill, Good Hope, Smithland and Golconda (Ill.) churches. Besides those he raised up, he has served the churches at New Bethel, Crooked Creek, Princeton, Friendship, and Paducah. He was early recognized as the most attractive and eloquent preacher in his Association; and, but for his extreme diffidence, might have, ere this, enjoyed a national reputation, as a pulpit orator. He has been three years Moderator of his Association, and has preached the introductory sermon, on eight occasions.

William Gregston has been a useful preacher in this fraternity about 30 years. He was born in North Carolina, in 1823, where he received a commonschool education. In his 21st year he moved to Kentucky, and settled in Crittenden county. Here he united with Crooked Creek church, in 1844, and was baptized by Claibourn Wilson. He was licensed to preach, about 1848, and, in 1852, was ordained to the care of Camp Creek church, by Wm. Hale, W.A. McChesney and R.B. Tudor. He was soon afterwards called to New Prospect church. He has since been pastor at different periods, of Livingston Creek, Piney Creek, Dollason, Clear Spring, White Sulphur Spring, New Bethel, Eddy Creek, Pleasant Grove, Harmony and Lebanon churches, all in Little River Association. He is still actively engaged in the ministry. His son, Collin Hodge Gregston, has been several years in the pastoral office, and is said to be a young preacher of excellent promise. He is located at Seven Gums in Union county.

A. W. Meacham has been connected with this Association about 30 years. He was born in Christian Co., Ky., Feb. 13, 1818, where he was raised on a farm, and acquired a fair English
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education. On the 10th of December, 1838, he was baptized into the fellowship of Pleasant Hill church, in his native county, by Robert Williams. By that church he was licensed to preach, May 11, 1839, and ordained by the hands of O.H. Morrow, W.S. Baldry and Robert Williams, Dec. 10, 1839. After spending some months in the work of an evangelist, he accepted a call to the church at Paducah, where he remained one year, and baptized 72 converts. He then went to Middle Tennessee, where he labored some time in the employ of the General Association of Middle Tennessee and North Alabama. In 1844, he accepted a call to the church at Shelbyville, Tenn. He was afterwards pastor of the churches at Cornersville, Giles county, Mt. Lebanon, Marshal county, Antioch, Davidson county, and Lebanon Wilson county, all in Middle Tennessee. The last named church, he served three years, and baptized over 200 persons. At the close of this period, he was attacked by hemorrhage of the lungs, which rendered him unable to labor, for about two years. Supposing that his earthly pilgrimage was drawing to a close, he moved back to his native county, to die among his kindred. But having partially recovered his health, he was called to the pastoral care of West Union church, in Christian county, in January, 1854. Since that time, he has served a number of churches in Little River Association, and has been Moderator of that body, 20 years. Although he has been a man of feeble constitution and very delicate health, during his entire ministry, few men have been more active or successful. In a letter to the author, dated June 1, 1880, he says: "I have aided in the constitution of 25 churches, and have baptized 4,000 persons, more than 20 of whom, to my knowledge, have engaged in the ministry." He is still actively engaged in the duties of his holy calling.

Robert W. Morehead is a highly esteemed minister in this Association. He was born in Logan Co., Ky., April 13, 1834. He was raised up on a farm, andattended the neighborhood schools as opportunity was afforded. In 1849, he united with Union church, in his native county. In 1854, he entered Bethel College, where he spent two years. He was licensed to preach, in January, 1856, and entered Union University, at Murfreesboro, Tenn., the following September. Here he graduated, with the honors of a class of 16, in June, 1859, and received
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the degree of A. M. He was ordained to the ministry, Sept. 17, 1859, and took charge of Bethel church, in Christian county, the following January. When the civil war broke out, a large number of young men of Bethel church entered the Southern Army; and the young pastor was induced to go with them, and look after their spiritual wants. After his return from the Army, he took the pastoral care of Cadiz church, and some others, in Trigg county. Subsequently, he moved to Princeton, in Caldwell county, and took charge of the church in that village, and of New Bethel church, in Lyon county. Recently, he resigned the charge of Princeton church, and accepted a call to Harmony church, in the same county, between which and New Bethel, he divides his time equally.

John F. White has been a minister in this Association more than 30 years. Most of that period, he has been pastor of Rocky Ridge church, in Trigg county. During his early ministry, he was very active and efficient in his sacred calling, and many were added to the Lord under his labors. But unfortunately for the cause he advocated, he was very successful in worldly business. This gradually absorbed his time and thought and he became proportionately less active in the ministry. He has however, kept his garments unspotted from the world, and is held in high esteem by his brethren. His daughter, Ambie White (now Mrs. Tate), is widely known to the public, as the author of "Leander Hall and other writings."

T. E. Richey has been a minister in this fraternity a number of years. He is a native of Allen county, Ky., and was raised up on a farm. He finished his education at Bethel College, in 1856; after which he spent some years in teaching. He was in the pastoral office a short time, but has not been very active in the ministry. He is a man of great energy, and, although he has been an invalid most of his life, he has never been idle. He wields a ready pen, and is widely known as a writer on the subject of temperance, of which he is an earnest and persistent advocate. He is now conducting a literary journal called the American Home. There are a number of other valuable ministers in this Association, the particulars of whose lives and labors have not been obtained.
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Burning Spring Association

This fraternity, which takes its name from a spring that emits inflamable gas, in Magoffin county, is located in Morgan and the surrounding counties. It was constituted in 1814, of eleven churches, most of which were dismissed from North District Association. These churches aggregated 403 members. For a few years this Association was in harmony with the general union of Kentucky Baptists; but it subsequently adopted the title of Regular Baptists, which it still retains. It is anti-missionary in theory, and practice, and opposes all benevolent societies. For a long time, its growth was very slow. As late as 1860, it numbered only thirteen churches, aggregating 560 members. But after the close of the Civil War, it began to increase in numbers, very rapidly, and has since been quite prosperous. In 1880, it numbered thirty-one churches, aggregating 1,376 members. It has thirty-two ordained, and nine licensed preachers, and its territory extends into at least ten counties. Its preachers are nearly all very illiterate, and are far from agreeing in doctrine or polity. Some of its older ministers are Hypercalvinists; but the younger are divided much in their views, some being inclined to Arminianism, some holding to Fuller's views of the atonement, and some teaching Parker’s doctrine of the Two- Seeds. Some of them believe in making special efforts for the salvation of sinners, and go so far as to hold protracted meetings. This is a modern innovation in this fraternity, to which, however, it owes its recent prosperity.

Daniel Williams, a plain, pious old preacher, was regarded the father of this fraternity. He was an early settler in Montgomery county, where he was, for a few years, a preacher in Lulbegrud church. Subsequently, he moved to Morgan county, then an almost unbroken wilderness, and settled on Licking river, where West Liberty is now located. For many years he preached to the settlers as they came into the country. At length he succeeded in gathering a number of small churches which united with North District Association.
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In 1814, these distant churches, located in the upper part of Licking Valley, obtained letters of dismission, and formed themselves into Burning Spring Association. Mr. Williams lived to a good old age, and is still remembered with reverence and affection, by the aged Christians of Morgan county.

William Lykins is a grandson of Elder Daniel Williams. He is a lawyer of some prominence, in Morgan county, and has long been the most prominent preacher in Burning Spring Association, of which he has been moderator for many years past. He is now about 75 years of age, if living, and when last heard from, two or three years ago, was actively engaged, both in the ministry and at the bar.

William Coffee was among the most prominent of the early ministers of this Association. He was moderator of the body about twenty-years. He lived at Low Gap, in Morgan county, where he closed his long ministry, about 1856.

South Union Association

This fraternity, located principally in the counties of Whitley and Knox, is the oldest association in Cumberland Valley, above the Cumberland Falls. It was constituted, at Clear Fork meeting house, in Whitley county, on the third Friday in September, 1815. Some of the churches, at least, of which it was composed, were dismissed from Stocktons Valley. The early records of the body are lost, and very little of its early history is now known.

The first congregation of Baptists, that was collected within the bounds of this fraternity, met near the present site of Barboursville, in Knox county. About the beginning of the present century, Moses Foley, Sr., and his son Elijah, both ordained preachers, moved from Virginia, and settled on the Cumberland river, a short distance below where Barboursville is now located. A few other Baptists settled near them, and they began to hold meetings for mutual edification. After some time, they concluded to form an organization. Accordingly a church was constituted by two ministers from Tennessee, of the Dames of William Jones and Matthew Sims, on the 12th of March, 1804. It was
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organized of the following persons: Elijah Foley, Isaac Martin, Lemuel Hibbard, James Parker, Sarah Bailey and Martha, Mary and Elizabeth Barbour. The church took the name of Cumberland, and went into the constitution of Stocktons Valley Association, the following year. The church greatly prospered, and soon began to establish arms, in all directions. These, in time, became independent churches, and, at the time and place above specified, formed South Union Association. The earliest statistics we have of this fraternity, are those of 1830, when it numbered eighteen churches, with 489 members. The growth of the body was very slow: so that, in consequence of its dismissing a number of churches to form new associations, it was reduced, in 1854, to ten churches, with 254 members. During the next six years, it was very prosperous. In 1860, it numbered fourteen churches, with 749 members. It sustained a loss of less than 100 members during the war. In 1868, a very precious revival prevailed throughout its territory; and more than 500 members were added to its churches. The revival continued till 1870, when the Association numbered twenty-six churches, with 1,744 members. This year it divided its territory, and the churches west of the division line were formed into West Union Association. This reduced the mother fraternity to fifteen churches, with 1,015 members. It has since had a moderate increase, and, in 1880, numbered seventeen churches, with 1,275 members.

This body has generally been inefficient, and, although nominally in the general union of Kentucky Baptists, its churches have been either anti-missionary in sentiment, or indifferent on the subject. It has only been within the last few years, that it has ventured, in a hesitating and cautious manner, to express itself in favor of temperance, religious periodicals, Sunday-schools and the support of the ministry. It has now a class of better informed ministers, and a more liberal spirit is beginning to be manifest in its councils.

Among the pioneer preachers of this body, were Moses Foley, sr., and his son, Elijah, and Blackgrove Hopper and his son or nephew, William Hopper. Of the Foleys, some account has been given elsewhere.

Blackgrove Hopper formerly belonged to Lick Creek church, is Holston Association, and was probably pastor of that
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congregation, as late as 1812. Soon after this date, he moved to Knox county, Ky. He is said to have been very active in laying the foundation of the early churches in South Union Association. He gathered, among others, Providence church, on the head of Laurel river, of which William Hopper afterwards became pastor. He traveled as far north as the valley of Goose creek, and aided in gathering the churches of which Red Bird Association was formed. The time of his death has not been ascertained, but it occurred some time after the year 1830.

William Siler was born in Chatham county, N.C., September 9, 1791. He moved to Kentucky, in early life, and settled in Whitley county. Here he united with Clear Fork church. After exercising a public gift, several years, he was ordained to the ministry, in July, 1830. He was soon called to the oversight of Clear Fork, and some other churches, and proved to be an excellent pastor. He was regarded a good disciplinarian, and was many years Moderator of South Union Association. He died at his residence, in Whitley county, March 24, 1872.

Mark Sumner was born October 1, 1796. He united with Red Bird church, in Whitley county, in 1833. He began to exercise in public soon after he joined the church. His gifts appearing to be useful, he was ordained to the ministry, and was soon afterwards called to the care of four churches. He was frequently elected Moderator of South Union Association, in which capacity he served, the year preceding his death. He died September 15, 1869. His death was joyously triumphant. Just before he expired, he quoted from the 23d Psalm, the words: "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me." His last words were: "O! the sunny banks of deliverence, where my soul will be at rest."

William Baird was a native of Jonesboro, Tennessee; but, for many years preceding his death, resided in Campbell county of that State. He united with Clear Fork church, in Whitley county Ky., in June, 1824, commenced exercising in prayer and exhortation, in 1828, and was ordained to the ministry, in June, 1841. He was pastor of several churches, and is said to have been greatly blessed in his labors. He was occasionally called on to serve as Moderator of his Association. He died, July 23, 1869.
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Franklin Association

This fraternity takes its name from the county in which most of its original churches were located. It was constituted, in 1815, of the following churches [as nearly as can be ascertained]: Mouth of Elkhorn, South Benson, Salt River, Twins, [now New Liberty], Hopewell and Mt. Pleasant. The aggregate membership of these churches has not been ascertained. The first anniversary of the body was held at Mt. Pleasant, in Franklin county, in 1816. John Scott preached the introductory sermon. John Penny was chosen Moderator, and John Scott, clerk. The Association now numbered 12 churches, aggregating 819 members. A revival commenced at this meeting, and 351 members were baptized into the churches of the body, the succeeding year. The revival continued till 1820, when the body had increased to 19 churches with 1,709 members.

Although this Association was in full sympathy with foreign missions, at the time of its constitution, an antimissionary spirit began to be manifest, soon after the famous John Taylor became connected with the body in 1816, and, as early as 1819, it was declared to be inexpedient to keep up the correspondence with the Board of Foreign Missions. The Association was divided and embarrassed, in all its attempts to promote either home or foreign missions, during a period of more than 20 years. As late as 1840, South Benson, one of the oldest and largest churches in the body, refused the request of the Association, to contribute money to support a missionary within its bounds, and denied its right to make the request. However, the majority of-the Association was in favor of missions, and, under the leadership of the eminent and godly Silas M. Noel, much was done for the spread of the gospel, even before the anti-missionary element was eliminated from the body.

In 1821, the Association sustained considerable loss, both of churches and preachers, by the formation of Concord Association, on its northern border. This loss, however, was soon made up by the fruits of a precious revival, which commenced about that time: so that, in 1824, the aggregate membership of the Association was 1,710 -- one more than in 1820.
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During the year 1824, the influence of Alexander Campbell’s teachings began to be manifest in the Association. The church at Hopewell, in Woodford county, and that at Mt. Pleasant, in Franklin county, sent a request, that the Association would reconsider an act of the previous year, by which the Philadelphia Confession of Faith had been adopted. The request was promptly refused; but Campbellism continued to disturb a number of the churches. In 1829, at the request of Frankfort church, of which Silas M. Noel was pastor, the Association protested against the new heresy, by presenting some of its features, and advising the churches to discountenance it. This, it is believed, was the first official protest against Campbellism, by any association in Kentucky. The disturbances that followed, and the final issue of the contest, has been detailed in the general history. During this period of confusion, the Association continued to prosper. In 1826, Sulphur Fork and Baptist associations were constituted on its borders, and took away several of its churches. Still, it continued to increase, and, in 1829, numbered 18 churches with 1,860 members.

In 1830, the Campbellite schism was consummated in this, and all the surrounding fraternities. Franklin Association held an extra session, in July of this year, and issued a circular to the churches, in which the doctrines of Mr. Campbell were set forth at length, and with remarkable clearness, by the pen of Silas M. Noel. The document contained the following unambiguous language: "If you would protect yourselves as churches, make no compromise with error; mark them who cause divisions; divest yourself of the last vestige of Campbellism. As an Association, we shall esteem it our duty to drop correspondence with every association, or church, where the heresy is tolerated." At the annual session of the body, in September of that year, the following item was recorded on the minutes: "In answer to the request of the church at Frankfort, in regard to communing with those who have departed from original principles, the Association unanimously answers. -- We wish is to be distinctly understood, that all persons aiming to prostrate our constitutions and the union, by declaiming against creeds, or by sapping and mining the pillars of our constitutions, by innovations on our faith, customs, and usages, ought to find no place
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in our pulpits, or at our communion tables. Our members should plainly understand, that by approaching any table set by those people to commune, they would thereby forfeit the fellowship of all Regular or United Baptist churches." A committee was appointed to visit the church at Hopewell, which was accused of favoring Campbellism, and to report to the next annual meeting of this body. It was also "certified to the churches, that Jacob Creath, Sr. and Jacob Creath, Jr. have been cut off from the general union of Baptists by the competent tribunal, and that josephus Hewett stands suspended." This prompt and decisive procedure saved the Association from much trouble, and her loss by the schism was comparatively light. During the next ten years, the Association did little in her organized capacity, to encourage missions. In 1833, the committee appointed to superintend the printing of the minutes, appended a series of very incisive questions, implying the duty of christians to send the Bible and a preached gospel to the whole earth, and that God would hold them responsible for failing to discharge this duty. But even this mild and unofficial hint gave offense to the Anti-missionary party in the churches, and the Missionary party was compelled to conduct its benevolence through some other channel. The questions which gave offense to the Anti-missionaries were, doubtless, written by Silas M. Noel, and read as follows:

"Submitted, by the publishing committee, to the prayerful consideration of the churches; to which they respectfully solicit replies, through the medium of the Cross and Banner.
"1. Is the church under no obligation to aid in sending Bibles and preaching to every creature, at home and abroad?
"2. Can Bibles be published and preachers give themselves to the work, without pecuniary aid?
"3. Is it the mind of Christ that church members shall pay nothing for these purposes?
"4. Is it not a fact that the plans now in progress have done much by sending the gospel to the poor and needy, at home and abroad?
"5. Are these plans to be discarded without presenting better; and, in so doing, may we not be found among the cumberers of the ground?
"6. Has the Bible yet appeared in 100 of the 3,000 languages, spoken on earth? Now if a church neglect to contribute to the extent of her resources, to give the holy scriptures to the millions yet in Pagan darkness, may not their blood be found at her door, when their voices shall rise in judgement against her?
"7. Are not ministers servants of the churches; and is it not the duty of those churches to see that those servants give themselves wholly to their work?
"8. If it be not the mind of Christ that his kingdom shall be built up in the world, without money, then is it not wicked to object to any plan calculated toevangelize our own country, or other countries, simply because it requires money?
"9. If all missionary and Bible societies were now to stay their efforts, and leave the work to others, how would they go about it? and how many hundreds of centuries would pass away before the gospel could be preached, and the Bible be read in the 3,000 languages? and how many thousands, even in our own country, might perish for the lack of knowledge?
"10. Can it be said, 'Well done good and faithful servant,' to the man who contributes little or nothing to support and to spread the gospel, and who even reproaches those who do? Does such a church member render to God the things that are God's?
"11. Can a church neglect all these duties, and even pour contempt upon them, with any well founded hope of lasting prosperity?"

The Kentucky Baptist Convention, which originated in the fruitful and consecrated brain of Silas M. Noel, had been organized at Bardstown, in March, 1832, and a missionary society, known as Frankfort Association, had been organized within the bounds of Franklin Association, and made auxiliary to the Convention. This auxiliary society formed a medium through which the friends of missions might direct their benevolent contributions. But Dr. Noel much desired to see the district Associations and, still more, the individual churches become channels of missionary operations. His laudable desire was not
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gratified. The Lord called him home, May 5, 1839. But his works follow him.

In 1840, the Association appointed an executive committee whose duty it was to employ a missionary to labor among the destitute within its bounds; and the churches were appealed to, to furnish the means of sustaining him. The plan was adopted by a majority vote, and gave decided dissatisfaction to some of the churches. The executive committee employed William W. Ford, who labored only a few weeks, when the Lord called him to his reward. The next year, the executive committee was discharged, and it was: -- "Agreed, That this Association commend to the several churches composing it, to be more liberal in voluntary contributions of money, to sustain the ministry; and also request the ministry, as far as they can, to supply the destitute churches and portions of the country within the bounds of the Association.” Resolutions were passed, recommending Georgetown College to the prayers and liberality of the churches. In 1842, the letter from Harmony church suggested that some means be adopted for the better supplying of the churches with preaching. But the Association took no action on the subject, further than to reaffirm the resolution of the preceding year. The antimissionary elementyielded slowly. In 1844, the Agent for Indian Missions was permitted to take up a public collection, at the meeting of the Association. Two years later, the same permission was granted. But it was not till 1848, that a correspondence with the General Association was entered into. In 1850, protracted meetings were recommended as a means of supplying, in some measure, the destitution within the bounds of the Association. On application of their messengers, the Association appointed meetings to be held, during the succeeding year, with nine, out of seventeen, of her churches. Ministers were also appointed to conduct these meetings; but no provision was made for their compensation. This experiment was repeated the next year, and then abandoned. In 1851, after a silence of ten years, on the subject, the Association again commended Georgetown College to the prayers, contributions and patronage of the brethren.

In 1853, the Association appointed an Executive Board to supply the destitution within her own bounds, as far as the means, appropriated by the churches, would enable it. It also
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resolved to attempt to raise $500 for the purpose of establishing a book depository, and a system of colportage. From this period, the Association had been unequivocally a missionary body, although the results of its laudable enterprises are not given on its records, until a more recent date.

In 1854, the question as to the propriety of church members joining temperance societies, was introduced in the Association. It was resolved that to advocate temperance, or join a temperance society, ought to be no bar to fellowship. Notwithstanding this resolution, the church at Lebanon, in Franklin county, expelled several of its members for joining the Sons of Temperance. At its next session the Association passed the following:

"Resolved, That we affectionately and sincerely advise and request said [Lebanon] church to reconsider their action, and reinstate those brethren into their fellowship,"

Disregarding this second resolution on the subject, Lebanon church continued to exercise its prerogative in expelling such of its members as joined the interdicted society. This called forth a third resolution on the subject, in which the Association declared "the grounds for such expulsion insufficient, and that any other church receiving such expelled members will not be acting contrary to the rules of this Association."

In 1857, the subject of reading sermons from the pulpit was brought before the Association, and deferred for consideration, until the next session of the body. At the succeeding meeting of the Association, the following was passed:

"Resolved, We do not approve of reading sermons from the pulpit, as a common custom, in our denomination."

The evil complained of still continued, and the Association again expressed itself on the subject, in its circular letter for 1865, in language of the following purport:

"Again, another evil of the times is the reading of sermons, in place of speaking them from the fullness of the heart. Who but the ministry is responsible for this soul-sleeping custom? Imagine for a moment, Paul or Peter reading his sermons to his congregations! How ridiculous! how absurd! As an evidence of God's disapprobation of this custom, we would ask those who practice, it to give an instance, a single instance of one individual's being awakened by such a brother's
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reading a sermon, on such an occasion. And yet, with this evidence against this practice, we see it growing more and more common among the ministering brethren. This is one sin for which the ministry is responsible. The church has never demanded it; the world has never required it at their hands. It is opposed to the spirit and pathos of the religion of our fathers."

In 1859, the report on resolutions contained this paragraph: "We have, heretofore, recognized the following subjects as having claims upon our prayers and contributions, viz: The supply of the destitute with the printed word of God, the preaching of the gospel to the poor and to the heathen in foreign lands: assisting new and feeble churches, and young and needy ministers in the bounds of our Association, and in our own country." To these objects, and to other benevolent enterprises, which have since been inaugurated, the Association has continued to contribute her quota. The records of the body were destroyed by fire a few years past, for which reason many of its transactions cannot be given. A very great increase in numbers has been prevented by the frequent dismission of churches to form other associations. Besides those already mentioned, Middle District Association was constituted on the south-west border of Franklin, in 1836, and Shelby County Association, on her western border, in 1872. Both of these fraternities took off some of her most populous churches. Several of her churches also joined Licking and Mt. Pleasant Associations of Antimissionary Baptists.

In 1830, the Association numbered 19 churches with 1,720 members. During the succeeding decade, the Campbellite schism, with the dismission of several churches to Middle District Association, reduced her number considerably. But, in 1838, a revival commenced among the churches, and the Association increased from 14 churches with 1,431 members, in 1837, to 15 churches with 1,864 members, in 1840. The year 1842 was a season of great joy. The gain to the churches of the Association, by experience and baptism, was 679. The churches continued to enjoy a good degree of prosperity, for a period of about20 years, from the beginning of the revival, in 1838. In 1850, the Association numbered 17 churches with 2,821 members. In 1860, it had increased to 19 churches, with 3,125 members. The severance of the colored members from
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the churches, during the next decade, reduced the aggregate membership to about 2,500.

In 1882, the body numbered 17 churches with 2,500 members. The oldest churches in this fraternity are Forks of Elkhorn, constituted in 1788. Mt. Pleasant, constituted in 1790, and South Benson and North Fork, both constituted in 1801. The early preachers of the body were William Hickman, Jr., Tobias Wilhoit, John Taylor, Abraham Cook, Wm. W. Ford, Isaac Crutcher, John Penny, Wm. W. Penny, and John Scott. To these were soon added Silas M. Noel, Joseph Taylor. William Hickman, Sr., John Brown. Porter Clay, John S. Major and William C. Blanton. These presented an array of ministerial talent, consecration and efficiency that has seldom or never been surpassed in any association in Kentucky.

William Hickman was the son of the famous pioneer, Elder William Hickman, Sr., and was born in Virginia, (probably) Buckingham county, June 1, 1768. He came with his parents to Kentucky in 1784. He married, at the age of about 19, and settled near the Forks of Elkhorn in Franklin county. He was probably baptized by his father, and united with Forks of Elkhorn church. On the 28th of February, 1801, he, with his wife, Obedience, John Major, Gilbert Christian, Nancy Berryman and Lucy Christian, entered into the organization of South Benson church, which was constituted by Wm. Hickman, Sr., Warren Cash and John Penny. He soon began to exercise in public prayer and exhortation, and, in 1802, was ordained to the pastoral care of South Benson church. To this congregation he ministered more than 40 years, and probably preached monthly to several other churches, at different periods. He was a preacher of medium ability, but his unswerving piety, integrity and faithfulness gave him an extended influence, and he was eminently successful in his holy calling. He died, at his home in Franklin county, December 24, 1845. Among his descendants are judge P.H. Lockett, of Trenton, Kentucky, a grandson, who has been engaged in the ministry several years, and William W. Harris, a great grandson, who is now pastor of one of the Baptist churches of St. Louis, Mo.

Joseph Taylor* son of the distinguished pioneer, Elder
The well known colored preacher, G. W. Dupee, was born the slave of Elderr Joseph Taylor.
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John Taylor, was born in Woodford county, Kentucky, August, 1786. When he was nine years of age, his parents moved to a small new settlement in what is now Boone county, and five years later, to a still more recent settlement, on Corn creek, in what is now Trimble county. Here he grew up to manhood. He subsequently moved to Franklin county, where, in 1827, he professed faith in Christ, and was baptized into the fellowship of Buck Run church, probably by his father. He began to exercise “a public gift” almost immediately, and was ordained to the ministry,about 1829. After laboring in Franklin and the surrounding counties a few years, he moved to Illinois, in 1834. While on a visit to Kentucky, some years later, he was attacked with typhoid fever, of which he died, at Lexington, September 23, 1845.

John Brown was a minister in Franklin Association, about ten years. He was probably a native of Virginia, but was raised up in Franklin county, Ky. He first joined Forks of Elkhorn church, but, having married a daughter of Elder William Hickman, Jr., he moved his membership to South Benson, in 1817. The following year, he was licensed to preach, and was ordained, in 1820. In October of that year, he accepted an invitation to preach, one Sunday in the month, at South Benson church, of which his father-in-law was pastor. This arrangement resulted badly. Mr. Brown soon attached a party to himself, and became disaffected towards the pastor. This disaffection was afterwards encouraged by the followers of Alexander Campbell, and finally resulted in a division of the church. The Brown party, consisting of 64 members, were constituted a church of the faith and order of Mr. Campbell, and Mr. Brown was installed its "bishop," by Jacob Creath, Sr., and Jacob Creath, Jr. This occurred in January, 1830. From this period, Mr. Brown was identified with the Campbellites.

Porter Clay was a son of Elder John Clay of Hanover county, Virginia, and a brother of the illustrious statesman, Henry Clay. The exact period of his birth has not been ascertained, but it could not have been later than 1782, at which date his young father died, pastor of Chicahominy church. He, with most, or all of his mother's family, moved to Kentucky. Here he married Mrs. Elizabeth Hardin, widow of Martin D. Hardin, at one time U.S. Senator from Kentucky, and daughter
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of the distinguished pioneer, Gen. Ben. Logan. As early as 1819, he established himself in the practice of law, at Versailles, Ky., at which period he was an influential member of the Baptist church at that place. Soon after this, he moved to Frankfort, and, by the church at that place, was set apart to the ministry, about the year 1820. Of this ordination, and the installation of Silas M. Noel, as pastor of Frankfort church, John Taylor writes as follows:

"A farce, of the most outlandish kind that I ever knew played in a Baptist church, was acted. The subject was the installing of a pastor, and the ordination of a young minister. To perform this great solemnity, ministers were sent for, twenty or thirty miles distant, and in various directions, to the amount of five or six ripe and orthodox men. The examination was very close. All the questions and answers were recorded, and they were all on deep subjects in divinity. But few questions were asked on practical godliness, for this would come of course, if men were right in doctrine. I recollect only one of the solemn questions that were asked of the candidate for ordination, which was: -- 'Do you recollect brother, that you ever knew a sheep turned into agoat, or a goat into a sheep?' After a long and solemn pause, the candidate replied: -- 'I do not recollect that I ever knew such a circumstance.' What would common spectators think of such dark, mysterious questions and answers? After a very pompous parade, they installed the pastor, and ordained the minister."

About a year after his ordination, Mr. Clay was called to succeed Mr. Noel as pastor of Frankfort church. For a few years he served the church acceptably. Meanwhile he was chosen Auditor of the State. This displeased Jeptha Dudley, who was a prominent member of Frankfort church, and, at that time, a member of the Kentucky Senate. He attempted to have Mr. Clay removed from the auditorship. In this he failed, and a bitter, irreconcilable quarrel was gendered between the two brethren. The difficulty was brought before the church, and they were both excluded. Mr. Dudley was soon afterwards restored; but Mr. Clay remained out of the church, as long as he resided in Kentucky. After some years, he moved to Illinois, and located, it is believed, in Jacksonville. At his new home he found no church; but there were a few Baptists who desired
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him to enter with them into the constitution of one. He informed them that he was an excluded member, and that it would be disorderly for him to join another church of the same faith and order, without first being restored to the one from which he had been expelled. He applied to the church at Frankfort to restore him, and proposed to the brethren to join with him in a day's fasting and prayer to God, that his application might be granted. The church restored him, and gave him a letter of dismission, and he again entered the ministry. About 1848, he moved back to Kentucky, and located in Shelbyville. He remained here a short time, and then moved to Arkansas, where he is said to have been abundantly useful in the ministry, as he had been in Illinois. His last work was at Camden, Ark., where his remains rest under a great oak near that village. He was an excellent preacher, and was much beloved by those among whom he labored.

John S. Major was raised up to the ministry in South Benson church. He was appointed a deacon, in 1822, and, after serving in that office six years, was ordained to the ministry, by William Hickman, sr., G. T. Harney, William Hickman, jr., and John Brown. On the death of William Hickman, jr., in 1845, Mr. Major was called to succeed him, as pastor of South Benson church. The same year a revival occurred in the church, and 29 were baptized. After serving this congregation, as pastor, about four years, he moved to Missouri, in 1849. As a preacher, Mr. Major was below mediocrity; but his many excellent qualities much endeared him to his people.

Wm. C. Blanton is a name of blessed memory to many aged Christians in Franklin Association. While he was not an especially great man, in the common meaning of the term, he possessed fair gifts, which were supported byso simple and constant a piety, and used with such indefatigable zeal and industry, that they were effectual in the accomplishment of a great work, during his brief ministry. He labored in the pastoral office about eleven years, during the latter half of which period he suffered from feeble and continually declining health. And yet, he baptized over 400 converts.

Mr. Blanton was born of Baptist parents, in Franklin co., Ky., Feb. 3, 1803. He received only a common school education, and, as he approached the years of manhood, became exceedingly

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wicked. He continued his career of folly and madness till 1827, when, under the preaching of Wm. Hickman, sr, and George Blackburn, he professed religion, and was baptized by Mr. Blackburn, into the fellowship of Forks of Elkhorn church. In 1831, he moved to the neighborhood of South Benson, and united with that church. In 1832, he was licensed to preach, and, on the solicitation of Lebanon church, was ordained to the ministry, by Wm. W. Ford, Wm. Hickman, sr., Wm. Hickman, jr., and John S. Major, in July, 1833, He immediately took the pastoral care of North Benson and Lebanon churches, both in Franklin County. With these congregations, he labored till failing health forced him to desist, about a year before his death. He was also, at different periods, pastor of Buffalo Lick, Pigeon Fork, Providence, and Mt. Pleasant churches, all in Franklin Association. With all these congregations, he labored with good success, and much to their satisfaction. But his work was soon done; and, on the 21st of August, 1845, the Master called him to his reward.

James Madison Frost, one of the most amiable, pious and consecrated preachers that have labored among the Baptists of Kentucky, ministered for a time within the bounds of Franklin Association. He was a native of Jessamine county, Ky., and was born of Baptist parents, Sept. 2, 1813. When he was about eight years old, his parents moved to Washington County, Missouri, where he grew up to manhood, with few educational advantages. In 1831, he made a profession of religion, and was baptized into the fellowship of Cartois church, by Joseph King. He was licensed to preach, in July of the following year, and ordained, by Joseph King and W.W. Tucker, in December, 1833. In 1834, he entered Shurtleff College, at Alton, Ill., where he remained three years, taking a course in both letters and theology. On leaving college, he took charge of the church at Potosi, Washington county, Mo. In 1838, he returned to his native State. His first regular work in Kentucky, was the supplying of Davids Fork and East Hickman churches, in Fayette county, while their pastor, Ryland T. Dillard, made a trip to Europe for the benefit of his health. After this, he served the church at Mt. Vernon, in Woodford county, a short time. In January, 1840, he accepted a call to the church at Frankfort. After laboring there about three years,
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his health failed, and, resigning his charge, he moved to Georgetown. In October, 1843, he was appointed collecting agent for theGeneral Association of Kentucky Baptists. The duties of this office required him to travel over the State on horseback. He made a successful agent, and, in two years, regained his health. In January, 1846, he took charge of the church at Covington, Ky. In less than two years his health failed again, and he returned to Georgetown. He now accepted an agency for Georgetown College. After a time, he took charge of Mays Lick church, in Mason county, then of the church at Georgetown, about 1850. Here, in 1852, he was brought nigh unto death; and, for two years, was unable to labor in the ministry. When he was sufficiently recovered, he again entered the pastoral office. He was called to Cane Run church, in Fayette county, in 1854. To this congregation he ministered ten years, greatly strengthening and developing it. In 1865, he took charge of the church at New Liberty, in Owen county, to which he ministered three years. After this, he was successively pastor of the churches at Harrodsburg, Lawrenceburg, and Unity in Mercer county, Madison Street in Covington, and South Elkhorn and Cane Run, in Fayette county. He preached his last sermon at South Elkhorn, on the last Sabbath but one, that he spent on earth; and baptized several persons the same day. A few days afterwards, he was attacked violently with pneumonia, and, after about a week’s illness, departed to be with Christ, May 24, 1876.

Mr. Frost was a plain, direct speaker, and always appeared to be master of his subject. He exhibited in his preaching neither learning nor eloquence, but always a more effective power for good than either. His sermons were well prepared, and his subject was treated systematically, and in a manner so clear and simple, that his most illiterate hearers could easily understand him. None who heard him could doubt his sincerity and deep earnestness. He studied much, prayed much, and labored up to the full measure of his strength. He excelled as a pastor. Diligent, watchful and faithful, in all the minutia of his pastoral duties, he always enjoyed a good degree of success. But his great source of power was the intimate relation in which he lived with his Master. Among his papers was found a prayer, hastily written with a pencil, and supposed
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to have been indited a short time before his last illness. The following extract exhibits the inner life of the godly man:

"Lord Jesus, I am somewhat in doubt, and troubled as to my future labors in this life. I believe thou didst call we to preach the gospel, and under that conviction ALONE thou knowest I acted. At different times since, I believe thou didst renew or recognize the call. I believe thou hast hitherto directed me to and in my fields of labor. And thou didst direct to my present field of labor. Now, Lord Jesus, thou knowest my present difficulties, better than I can tell thee. Thou canst enable me to overcome this difficulty. … Lord, I want an earnest fervent spirit, and a fruitful fertile mind. I desire this more than anything else, that I may be useful. Lord Jesus, wilt thou give it? Yet not my will but thine, even in this, be done. … Lord Jesus, thou knows I do not wantto remain here after my activity ceases. But, Lord Jesus, I would not choose; I submit to thy choice. Continue me or call me hence; but do keep me from sinning against thee. My family, Lord Jesus, I here ask thee to take; and I thank thee for what thou hast done. Lord, I want to leave them entirely in thy hand, while I live and after death."

The following extracts are taken from his conversations to his friends, during his last illness.

"I have no choice in the matter; I would not choose, it God gave me the privilege; I leave it all with him. If he says stay here and labor, I will submit and work on; but if he takes me, it will be a glorious liberty from a most terrible bondage. I was just thinking the other day, my death will be no more to this community, than a worm, but everything, everything to me." "If I have any preference, it is to go; but I would not ask that, but surely to die is great gain, to depart and be with Christ is far better." "This pays for all the sneers and flings I ever heard made at religion. What could a man do in my condition without the Savior?"

"Have you any fear?" asked a friend. "Oh no, not a particle." "Do you feel the Savior's presence?" asked the friend. He replied: "Yes; but I have no ecstasy, no rapture. I have just a quiet, peaceful solid trust that gives one untold consolation." "My fight is finished." "Lord Jesus, into thy hands I commit my spirit. Come, Lord Jesus, come
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quickly. I am just waiting. I am getting impatient to go, no, not impatient, I leave it all with Jesus."

"I desire a very plain burial. I have seen so much foolish pride in burying the dead. I wantonly a plain coffin and everything in proportion. I do not want a flaming notice, by any means, but an humble statement of my life work. My service has been so poor and imperfect."

"Saved in fact, saved in the kingdom of God," were the last words of the dying saint, and thus, with triumph, he entered the realms of fadeless glory. He left an only son, J. M. Frost, Jr., who entered the ministry some years before his father's death. After laboring several years in his native State, he was called from Lexington, Ky., to Virginia, where his labors have been much blessed.

Frank H. Hodges was among the most successful preachers in Franklin Association. His education was limited; but he had a strong mind, and acquired a good reading. His voice was strong and rather harsh, and he was a forcible and ready speaker. He was very active in the ministry, and was, at different times, pastor of most of the churches in Franklin Association. He was better adapted to leading sinners to Christ, than to developing churches. He kept no record of his labors, but estimated that he had baptized over 4,000 people. This estimate was probably much too large, yet, his labors were greatly blessed in that direction.

Mr. Hodges was born in Fayette county, Ky., July 26, 1809. In 1830, he moved to Franklin county, and, in 1834 was married to Laura Virginia, daughter of Silas M. Noel, D. D. He professed hope in Christ, and was baptized into the fellowship of Bethel church, in Franklin county, by James E. Duval, August 19, 1842, and was licensed to preach, the following month. His ordination to the care of Mt. Pleasant church, in Franklin county, took place at Bethel, April 18, 1844. The presbytery consisted of Y. R. Pitt, William C. Blanton, J. E. Duval, Abner Goodell, and Josiah Leak. He was soon called to other churches, and, from that time he was generally pastor of four congregations. He died, at his home in Franklin county, about 1879.

Isaac Crutcher was one of the early preachers raised up in Old South Kentucky Association. He was licensed to
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preach at Mt. Gomar (now Mt. Pleasant) church, in Franklin county, August 27, 1796. His ordination probably took place the following year. At this time, of course, he was a Separate Baptist; but entered into the general union of Baptists, in 1801. His preaching talent was not above mediocrity; but he was a good, respectable man, and was full of zeal and energy in the cause of his Master. He was pastor of Mt. Gomar church, and perhaps others as late as 1830. Little is now known of his faithful labors in the Lord, except that he preached at least 35 years, among the pioneer preachers of Franklin county, and left behind him a good name. Some idea of his personal appearance may be gathered from the following anecdote: "On one occasion Mr. Crutcher (usually pronounced Croucher, at that period,) was sitting in the pulpit behind the eccentric Jo. Craig, who, in a rather tedious sermon, was attempting to explain his conception of the personal appearance of the Devil. Not succeeding to his satisfaction, he suddenly turned around and said, 'I imagine that the Devil is a great, big, black looking fellow like Brother Croucher here.'"

Adison M. Lewis, an uncle of the late distinguished Cad Lewis. LL. D., and a preacher of learning and ability, moved from Virginia, and took charge of a female academy in Georgetown, Ky. in 1833. The next year he gave his membership to Buck Run church, in Franklin county. He also took the care of Great Crossing church, in Scott county, and perhaps others. He wrote the circular letter for Franklin Association, in 1836, and preached the introductory sermon before that body, in 1838. Soon after this, he moved to Missouri.

Benjamin Franklin Kenney united with Twins church, in Owen county, by letter, in May, 1831, and was licensed to preach, in July following. In December, 1832, he was ordained by William Morgan, Joseph Crouch, and Cornelius Duval, and soon afterwards took charge of Twins church. In thisoffice, he served till May, 1835, when he took a letter of dismission, went to Scott county, and united with the church at Great Crossing. Feeling the need of a better education, he entered Georgetown College, and spent some time in that institution, preaching, meanwhile, to some of the neighboring churches, on Saturdays and Sundays. In 1841, he moved his membership to Buck Run, in Franklin county, where he
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remained about fourteen years, actively engaged in the work of the ministry. About 1856, he moved to Missouri, where he occupied a prominent position among the ministers of that State. He was regarded a good man, and an excellent preacher.

James E. Duval, M. D. is among the oldest preachers in Kentucky. He was raised up to the ministry, at Silas church, in Bourbon county, as early as 1831. Some years later, he moved to Owen county, and united with Bethel church, of which he is still a member. He is the only preacher living, who was in the constitution of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, in 1832, and one of the very few remaining on earth, who were in the organization of the General Association, in 1837. In his early ministry, he was quite successful as a missionary; but, for many years past, he has been engaged in the practice of medicine, and has done comparatively little in the way of preaching.

Alexander R. Masey was ordained to the ministry, at Frankfort, in 1843. After preaching to some of the neighboring churches, for a few years, he engaged in various agencies, and finally moved South, where he died.

Benjamin D. Onan. was a young man of much promise. After finishing his education at Georgetown College, he entered upon the work of the ministry, with great zeal and industry. His labors were principally those of a missionary, and were much blessed in bringing sinners to Christ. He labored chiefly within the bounds of Franklin Association. He was called from his brief, but ardent labors, to his endless reward, in 1865.

Benjamin T. Quinn is now among the elderly preachers of Franklin Association. He was licensed to preach, at Buck Run church, about 1846, and was ordained the following year. He was active in the ministry for a number of years, and was very highly esteemed as a faithful and successful pastor. But for several years past, he has been greatly afflicted with asthma, which has rendered him unable to perform much labor.

There are, and have been, a number of other valuable ministers in this Association, of whose lives and labors no particulars have been received.


[J. H. Spencer, A History of Kentucky Baptists, Volume 2, 1886; reprint 1984, pp. 268-307. jrd]

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