[Goshen Association, pp. 307-327; Nolynn Association (S.B.), pp. 327-328; Highland Association, pp. 328-330.]
The early records of this fraternity are lost, and we must learn from other sources what can now be known of its origin. In 1815, the question as to the propriety of dividing Salem Association into two fraternities, was discussed in that body. The decision was that: -- "The Association think a division, at this time, not advisable." But the churches in the western part of the Association deemed it to their advantage to have a separate organization. Accordingly, in 1817, the following churches obtained letters of dismission from Salem Association: Goshen, Pisgah, Bethel and New Hope, in Breckinridge county; Caney Creek, Concord and Pleasant Run, in Grayson county; Rough Creek, in Ohio county, and Gilead, in Perry county, Indiana. Mt. Pleasant and Panther Creek, both in Ohio county, also obtained permission to join in the new organization. These churches met, by their messengers, in the fall of 1817, and constituted Goshen Association. It is presumed that the meeting convened at Goshen church, from which the new fraternity derived its name. The 11 churches of which it was constituted, aggregated 300 members.
Where the Association held its first anniversary, has not been ascertained; but, in 1819, it met at Concord, in Grayson county. Thomas Downs preached the introductory sermon. James H.L. Moorman was elected Moderator (a position he continued to occupy to the close of his life), and James Moorman was chosen Clerk. At this time the body had increased to 18 churches, with 447 members.
The third anniversary of the body was held with Rock Spring church, in Daviess county, in 1820. Ancil Hall preached the introductory sermon, and Martin Utterback was chosen Clerk. There were 21 churches represented, which reported 178 baptisms, and an aggregate membership of 773. During the next decade, the growth of the body was slow. The revival that spread so extensively over the State, in 1827, and the two years succeeding, seems not to have pervaded the churches of this fraternity to any considerable extent. Neither did the heresy of Alexander Campbell effect them seriously. Indeed it is not known that the fraternity lost a single member by the Campbellite schism of 1830. In 1828, it numbered 19 churches, with 929 members, and, in 1831, 22 churches, with 1,084 members.
In 1832, the body withheld correspondence from Green River Association, on account of a schism in that fraternity. But two years later, the schism being healed, the correspondence was restored. Meanwhile the spirit of Antinomianism began to be manifest in some of the churches; and out of it grew considerable opposition to missions, and other benevolent institutions. In 1833, two of the most influential preachers in the Association -- James H. L. Moorman and David J. Kelley -- were engaged as missionaries, under the patronage of the Kentucky Baptist Convention. In order to have an expression from the association, on the subject of benevolent societies, Cloverport church, in 1833, sent up the following query: "Should it, or should it not, be a matter of dealing, in a church, or a bar to communion, for a member of a church, either to join, or not to join, the Baptist Board of Missions, the Bible society, the Sunday-school society, the Kentucky Baptist Convention, or the Temperance society?" The body answered the query as follows: "We believe that members ought to be left to their own choice, respecting the joining of any of those institutions; and we believe that it ought not to be a matter of dealing, in any church, or a bar to communion, either to join, or not to join, any of these institutions." Hopeful church desired to have the opinion of the Association, as to the propriety of church members joining "the Temperance society." The church was referred to the above answer. J. H. L. Moorman and D. J. Kelley were both in the Association that year, for the last time. They both went to their reward, the following summer. This weakened the missionary party, to the measure of their very extensive influence. The next year, Little Flock church (now Bells Run, sent the following to the Association: "Dear Brethren, we had it in contemplation to remonstrate against the answers to the queries from the churches at Cloverport and Hopeful, as found in your last minutes; but, on reflection, more Christian like, and, as we believe, better calculated to heal the wounds, given in consequence of those answers, we have barely thought it advisable to humbly entreat the Association to reconsider
those answers, by sending them back to the sovereign churches, for their approval or rejection." The Association did not deem it advisable to reconsider the matter.
A very precious revival prevailed among the churches of the Association, during the year 1834, under the able and zealous ministry of the two missionaries alluded to above; and 349 baptisms were reported to the Association, that fall. But the success of missionary labor, in their midst, did not stop the clamor of the anti-missionaries. They were in a small minority, but they had some respectable preachers on their side, and they continued to embarrass the Association, and to prevent the co-operation of several of the churches, in any missionary enterprise. In 1835, Hopeful church sent up the following query: "Is the Association in favor of the Mission System, or not?" The timid reply was as follows: "Agreed, That the Association do not think that they are prepared to give an answer, at this time, further than to say, that the churches should be left to their own choice upon the subject of missions; but would advise the churches not to make the joining, or not joining, of the missionary society, a bar to communion, or a matter of dealing." This action proves that the Anti-missionary party exercised considerable influence in the body, at that period. This year, the Association answered a query, from Rock Creek church, in the following words: "First, We believe that it is wrong to commune with unbaptized Christians of any denomination. Secondly, The general tenor of the New Testament throughout forbids it. Thirdly, The universal usage of all orderly Baptist churches forbids it."
Notwithstanding the violent opposition, the Missionary party, who had already witnessed the happy effects of domestic missions, continued to devise such means as they could, to supply the destitution within the bounds of the Association. In 1838, the church at Owensboro sent up the following: "Dear Brethren, would it not be well for the Association to request the churches to delegate their members to meet at such time and place as the Association may think best, to take into consideration the propriety of having more preaching among the churches, generally." Answer: "The Association do not think it their duty to appoint a day for the churches to do any thing with the proposition named; but we feel it our duty to
leave the matter with the churches, for their own consideration, to act as they think right upon the subject. The Association further renew the request for the ministers to visit, and preach to the churches in this Association, two and two." Some of the churches acted upon the suggestion of Owensboro church. A convention was called, and, although we have not the particulars of its proceedings, we are assured that it resulted in much good. A general revival pervaded the churches, and it is estimated that not less than 500 were converted, and the missionary spirit was widely diffused.
The following year, the Association opened correspondence with the General Association of Kentucky Baptists, and became auxiliary to that organization. This fully committed it to the "mission-system," and was more than the weak consciences of the Antinomians could bear. Several churches and factions of churches withdrew from Goshen, Salem and Long Run Associations, and constituted what they styled "Otter Creek Association of Regular Baptists." By this schism, Goshen Association lost two preachers -- J. A. Kelley and Charles, H. Stuteville. They were both men of good reputation, and the latter was a preacher of considerable influence and ability. The Association was now less embarrassed by opposition to its benevolent enterprises. There was, however, a small Anti-missionary party among the churches, who were not Antinomian in sentiment. When, therefore, the Association, in 1840, "cordially approved" the American and Foreign Bible Society, and, the next year, appointed an executive committee, and put two missionaries into the field, and, further, in 1842, indorsed the Western Baptist Publication Society, and commended the American Baptist Home Mission Society, this faction withdrew, and formed what they styled "Panther Creek Association of United Baptists." At first, it numbered three churches, aggregating 96 members. This schism freed Goshen Association from all open opposition to missions and benevolent societies. From that period, its history has been similar to those of the older fraternities, and, therefore, need be but very briefly sketched. It has kept constantly in view the supply of the destitution within its bounds, both with the Bible and the preaching of the gospel, as well as the contributing to other benevolent enterprises.
This Association has been generally prosperous. In 1840, it numbered 35 churches, aggregating 2,369 members, 681 of whom had been baptized during the year. In 1844, it dismissed 9 churches, with 1,145 members -- nearly half its aggregate membership -- to go into the constitution of Daviess County Association. In 1850, it had increased to 27 churches, with 1,769 members, and, in 1860, it had reached a membership of 30 churches, aggregating 2,346 communicants. Its losses by the severance of the colored people from its churches, and its gains, during the next decade, were nearly equal; so that in 1870, it numbered 31 churches, with 2,272 members. From this time, till 1877, it enjoyed a rapid increase, and, at the latter date, numbered 36 churches, with 3,058 members -- the largest membership it has ever attained. But this year, it dismissed 14 churches, with 1,320 members, to go into the constitution of Blackford Association. In 1880, it numbered 21 churches, with 1,728 members. During 56 of the first 64 years of its existence, there were baptized for the fellowship of its churches, 8,286 converts.
For the following brief sketches of the older churches of this Association, we are indebted principally to the researches of John L. Waller, LL. D., who labored within its bounds, under the auspices of the General Association, in 1841.
Goshen church, in Breckinridge county, is the oldest, as well as one of the most influential in the Association. It was constituted of 11 members, by Walter Stallard, Alex. McDougal and Warren Cash, November 23, 1808. J. H. L. Moorman was its first pastor. He was followed, in succession, by Christopher Wilson, Samuel Anderson and Simeon Buchanan. D. Dowden served the church many years, and was succeeded by S. L. Helm,* the present pastor. The next oldest church was Concord, in Grayson county. It was received into Salem Association, in 1813. It was almost destroyed by the Antinomian schism in 1838.
New Hope, in Breckinridge county, was constituted of 10 members, in 1813. It was successively served by J.H. L. Moorman, Christopher Wilson, Samuel Anderson and Simeon Buchanan. Mt. Pleasant, in Ohio county, was constituted,
* Dr. Helm departed this life, Oct. 26, 1885.
about 1815, and was probably gathered by Benjamin Kelley, who appears to have been its first pastor. D. J. Kelley, son of the above, was the second pastor. His son, C. J. Kelley, also served the church a short time. Rock Spring, in Daviess county, was constituted of 11 members, June 30, 1813. It first took the name of Panther Creek, but changed it, in 1817, to Rock Spring, and, more recently, to Yelvington. Panther Creek, in Ohio county was constituted of 18 members by Benjamin Kelley and Ancil Hall, Sep. 23, 1815. It divided on the subject of missions, in 1842. At its house of worship, Panther Creek Association held its first annual meeting, in 1843. Green Brier, in Daviess county, was constituted of 25 members, by Benjamin Talbot and Thomas Downs. Mr. Downs held his membership with this church, and served it as pastor many years. Walnut Grove, in Breckinridge county, was constituted in 1818. Who were its early pastors, is not known. William Head served it about 25 years, and was succeeded by D. Dowden, its present pastor. Pisgah, in Breckinridge county, was constituted, in 1813, and was served by the Kelleys and Thomas Newton. Blackford, in Hancock county, was constituted of 21 members, by Thomas Downs, D. J. Kelley, Wm. Moorman and Ancil Hall, in 1825. Thomas Newton was long a member, and a preacher in this church. Rock Creek, in Grayson county, was one of the early churches of Goshen Association. It was under the care of Charles H. Stuteville, who led it into the ranks of the Antinomians. Bacon Creek, was located in Hart county. Little is known of its history. Mt. Zion was in Hancock county. It flourished for some years, under the pastoral care of Thomas Willian, but was finally dissolved. It was located on the Ohio River, opposite to Troy, Ia. Indian Camp was in Butler county, nine miles north of Morgantown. J. Emery was its preacher. The history of Rough Creek church is unknown. It was located in Ohio county, and was received into Salem Association in 1813. It was in the constitution of Goshen Association; but early disappeared from her records. Bells Run was constituted, December 24, 1820, under the style of Barnetts Creek, but afterwards took the name of Little Flock, and was gathered by Thomas Downs, who was some years its preacher. It continued a small weak body, till J.S. Coleman took the care of it, about 1881. It has since
enjoyed two wonderful revivals, and is now (1885) a strong flourishing church. Beaver Dam was a small church located near Litchfield, in Grayson county, which was probably destroyed by its anti-missionary proclivities. The church at Cloverport, which is the largest town in Breckinridge county, was constituted of 8 members, by J. H. L. Moorman, Wm. Moorman and Charles Polk, in 1829. Among its pastors have been J. H. L. Moorman, J. H. Brown, William Head, A. J. Dye, J. H. Spencer, D. Dowden, William M. Burr, A. J. Miller and H. T. Lampton.
James H. L. Moorman was the most prominent preacher in Goshen Association, in his generation. He was a native of Virginia, and was raised up to the ministry, in Little Otter church, in Bedford county. He commenced exercising in public during a great revival which prevailed in that church, in 1801-3, and eras soon afterwards ordained to its pastoral care. About 1810, he moved to Kentucky, and settled in Hardin county, where he united with Bethel church. But having been called to the care of Goshen church, he moved to its vicinity, in Breckinridge county. The country was thinly settled, at that time, and Goshen was the only church in the county, as Mr. Moorman was probably the only preacher. As he was a man of better education than most of the settlers, he was called to fill the office of justice of the peace, and, afterwards, that of sheriff of his county. However, he was active and zealous in the ministry, and aided in laying the foundation of a number of churches. In 1829, he gathered a small church in the village of Cloverport, and became its pastor. He was a warm advocate of missions, and was one of the first collecting agents of the Executive Board of the Kentucky Baptist Convention. He assumed the duties of this office, the first of March, 1834. His labors were prosecuted with much zeal and efficiency, for more than three months, when he was suddenly called, by the messenger death, to his final reward, June 17, 1834.
Mr. Moorman was a preacher of superior ability, and it is much regretted that more particulars of his useful life have not been preserved. He was of an extensive family, many of whom have been prominent citizens and valuable church members, in Breckinridge and the surrounding counties.
William Moorman was a brother of the above, and was
set apart to the ministry, by the same church, and about the same time. He emigrated to Kentucky in 1818, and settled in what is now Hancock county. He aided in disseminating the gospel among the early settlers, and in gathering several churches, within the bounds of Goshen Association. Among these was Blackford, in Hancock county, which was constituted in 1825. Of this congregation, he was immediately chosen pastor, and continued to serve it in that capacity, till the Lord took him to himself, in 1834 -- the same year that his brother went to his final reward. At his death, he was about 62 years of age, and had been in the ministry 32 years. Although not so gifted as his brother, he was an interesting preacher, and the Lord wrought a good work by him. Anexceedingly sad circumstance in the life of this good man, was, that he accidentally shot his wife through the head, producing instant death.
Benjamin Kelley was of Irish extraction, and the name was originally written O'Kelley. His grand father was the only child of Irish parents, and was born on the Ocean, as his parents were emigrating to America. The parents settled in Virginia, and the child grew to manhood, married, and raised a large family. His father returning to Ireland to see after his estate, was supposed to have been lost at sea, as his family never heard from him afterwards.
Benjamin Kelley was born in Bedford county, Virginia, not far from 1763. At about the age of fifteen years, he came to Kentucky, and sheltered himself from Indian fury, with the first settlers of the country, at Boonesboro. In January 1778, while with a party of 27, headed by Daniel Boone, engaged in making salt at Blue Lick, he, with the whole party, was taken prisoner, by the Indians. He fell into the hands of the tribe of which the notorious white renegade, Simon Girty, was the Chief. An old squaw adopted him as her son, and he remained with the Indians about six years. At the expiration of this time, aided by his foster mother and an old Indian, he made his escape, and returned to his parents, in Virginia. Here he married the daughter of David Jerrell, and afterwards emigrated with his father-in-law, to Kentucky. The next information we have of him, he was pastor of Mt. Pleasant church, in Ohio county. He probably gathered this church, which was constituted in 1814, and ministered to it about ten years. His labors
were greatly blessed in bringing sinners to Christ. His last sermon was preached in the midst of a great revival, during the continuance of which, about too had been added to the church. After baptizing some converts, he went home, and was taken down with a violent fever. He finally recovered from the fever, but he was bereft of reason, and so remained till about two hours before his death, which occurred, about 1824. After his reason returned, he talked freely of his hope in Christ, and departed in joyous triumph.
David Jerrell Kelley, oldest son of Elder Benjamin Kelley, was born in Amherst county, Va., Mar. 22, 1791. He was raised by his maternal grandfather, after whom he was named. His grandfather being wealthy, young Kelley was raised up in idleness and self-indulgence, and became a wayward, self-willed boy. At the age of fifteen, he left his grandfather's home, in Mercer county, Ky., to visit his father in Ohio county. Arriving at Louisville, then a small village, he engaged as a laborer, in well digging. After a while, he engaged to go as a hand, on a perogue, loaded with whisky. This vessel descended the Ohio river to its mouth, and then ascended the Mississippi, to Cape Girardeau. From this point, he traveled on foot, through the territories of Illinois and Indiana, to Louisville, and thence to his grandfather's, withouthaving visited his father. He remained with his grandfather, till his marriage to Fannie, daughter of William Carter of Ohio county, Feb. 10, 1810. After living in Ohio county a short time, he moved to Mercer county. Here he and his wife professed hope in Christ, and were baptized by Richard Shackleford, in 1812. Soon after this, he moved back to Ohio county, where he united with Mt. Pleasant church. Some years later, he became dissatisfied with the practice of "close communion," and was excluded from the church. After a time, becoming convinced of his error, he was restored to the fellowship of the church.
He was ordained to the ministry, by Thomas Downs, Ancil Hall and Simeon Buchanan, Jan. 25, 1825, and almost immediately called to the care of Mt. Pleasant church. To this congregation he administered, the remainder of his earthly life. He was also pastor of Beaver Dam, Waltons Creek, and Cane Run churches, all in Ohio county. In 1834, he and J. H. L. Moorman were appointed collecting agents for the Executive Board
of the Kentucky Baptist Convention. They assumed the duties of that office, about the first of March, and sometimes together, and sometimes apart, prosecuted their labors, till the 17th of June, when Mr. Moorman suddenly died. Mr. Kelley continued his labors, till about the 20th of July, when he was attacked with fever. This was followed by a fatal flux, of which he and six of his family died, between the 13th of August and the 5th of September, 1834.
Mr. Kelley's early education was very limited; but he had a good intellect, and was fond of books, and, after his marriage, applied himself to study and to teaching, until he became a fair English scholar. He was an eloquent speaker, a good pastor, and a man of active enterprise. He and his neighbor, Josiah Haynes - a man worthy to be remembered, organized a Sundayschool, and a temperance society of Too members, as early as 1830, and kept them alive as long as Mr. Kelley lived.
Carter Jerrell Kelley, oldest son of Elder David J. Kelley, was born in Ohio Co., Ky., Dec. 18, 1810. He was raised on his father's farm, and received a fair English education. On the 11th of January, 1832, he was married to Paulina, daughter of Josiah Haynes. He studied medicine, after his marriage, and commenced the practice of physic, in 1839. After practicing medicine about ten years, he was ordained to the ministry, at Mt. Pleasant church, by Simeon Buchanan, Joseph P. Ellis and J.R. Gillaspy, in July, 1849. After laboring a few years in his native county, he moved to Illinois, and settled in White county, where the Lord abundantly blessed his labors, till the Master called him home, about the beginning of the year 1883.
Thomas Willian moved from Green county, Ky., and settled a few miles below the present town of Hawesville, in Hancock county, about the year1817. He, with some dozen other Baptists, entered into the constitution of a church, which they called Mt. Zion, about the year 1820. This church was thirteen miles from any other similar organization. The church was served a few years by Thomas Downs, John Hall, and Samuel Anderson, in succession. It then called Thomas Willian to be its pastor, and he was ordained to that office. Mr. Willian was a very moderate preacher, but he was a good man, and full of zeal, and served the church faithfully. He lived only a few
years after his ordination. He died, about 1842; and other churches being raised up within its territory, Mt. Zion was dissolved, in 1845.
John Thompson Dean was the tenth child of Michael Dean, a native of Scotland, and a pious Baptist, as was also his wife. He was born in St. Mary's county, Md. Oct. 16, 1793, and arrived at Maysville, in Mason county, Ky., with his parents, on the first anniversary of his birth. He was raised up almost without education, having attended school only 16 days during his minority, and one month, after he attained his majority. He was deeply impressed with the importance of religion, at the early age of nine years. These impressions were produced by the private prayers of his mother, which he sometimes overheard. In his 17th year, he was married to a Miss Vanhorn, who lived only seven months after her marriage. In 1814, he went into the army, and was in the battle of New Orleans, Jan. 1815. In the fall of the latter year, he professed religion, and was baptized by David Scott, for the fellowship of Kingston church, in Bourbon county. This church was afterwards moved to Carlisle. David Scott preached to it several years, and then moved west. Mr. Dean moved to Washington county, where he married the second time. He afterwards moved to Bowling Green, where he spent three years; after which he moved back to Washington county. During these years of wandering, he had neglected his religious duties, and had been excluded from the church. He now became awakened to his condition, and obtained admission into Bethlehem church, in Washington county. About this time he became deeply impressed with a desire to warn sinners to repent. Elijah Jeffries, his neighbor, and a member of the same church, was laboring under a similar impression. The two often conversed with each other, on the subject. They finally agreed to meet once a week at each other's houses, and pray together. The neighbors, finding out this arrangement, began to meet with them; and their houses were soon filled with people. They sang and prayed, and sometimes exhorted the people to repent. A precious revival followed, and many souls were added to the Lord. Mr. Jeffries and Mr. Dean were licensed to exercise their gifts, in 1827. About this time Mr. Dean moved to Bracken county; for the purpose of taking care of his parents, who had unwisely conveyed
their small estate to their youngest son, and had, by him, been turned out of doors in their extreme old age.
Mr. Dean gave his membership to Ridge Willow church. Here his license was renewed, and Abner Holton and a Mr. Walker were licensed to preach, at the same time. Walker soon moved away. Dean and Holton began to preach at Ohio Willow church. A revival soon followed, a number were baptized. The church called the two brethren to their joint pastorate, and they were ordained to that office, at Ridge Willow, by Thomas Williams and B.L. Abernathy, in 1828. Mr. Holton soon fell into Parker's Two-Seeds doctrine, and afterwards joined the Campbellites. Mr. Dean continued his labors with Ohio Willow church, two years, and, among others, baptized Oliver C. Toliver, who was afterwards a missionary in Burmah.
In 1830, Mr. Dean moved to Pendleton county, and settled on South Licking. Before moving, he had visited a small church in that neighborhood, called Point Pleasant. This church, which consisted of only seven members, was dissolved, and a new one, called New Point Pleasant, was constituted of 9 members. Five were baptized for its fellowship, the same day it was constituted. Mr. Dean became its pastor, and severed it four years, during which time he baptized ever 100 for its fellowship. Among these was William Myers, who afterwards became a useful preacher in one of the Western States. During his residence in Pendleton county, Mr. Dean preached two years to the church at Cross Plains (now Athens, in Fayette county, and baptized several.
In 1833, he moved to Madison county, and took charge of White Oak Pond church, in that county, Buckeye, in Garrard and Mt. Freedom, in Jessamine. He enjoyed but a moderate degree of success, in these churches, and, in October, 1835, moved to Mercer county. On the 17th of the following March, he lost his second wife. He was married to Miss Matilda Ann Jenkins, on the 9th of September, of the same year. He lived in Mercer county nine years, during which time he served, for longer or shorter periods, Bethel, Brush Creek, Unity and Perryville churches, in Mercer county; Goshen, in Anderson; Clear Creek and Clover Bottom, in Woodford county, and Chaplin, in Nelson county. At Clear Creek he preached four years, and baptized over 100. He preached the same length of
time at Chaplin Fork, and baptized 141. He enjoyed a moderate degree of success, in his other charges. In addition to his pastoral labors, he preached much to the destitute around him, and gathered a church called New Salem, near his home.
In March, 1845, he moved to Breckinridge county, and settled two miles from Hardinsburg. He took charge of Dorretts Creek and Clover Creek churches. At the former, he baptized 50, and about the same number at the latter. He served Walnut Grove church four years, and baptized 60 or 70. During a two yea's pastorate at Pisgah, he baptized about 27. He gathered a small church, called Hillsboro, six miles north of the Falls of Rough Creek. Here he baptized 23. This church was afterwards dissolved. All these churches were in Breckinridge county. Mr. Dean also gathered Sand Hill church, in Mead county, to which he preached two years, and baptized 23. He preached two years to Bear Creek, in Perry county, Ia., where he baptized something less than 20.
In October, 1851, he moved to Hardin county, and settled on Middle Creek, where he lived about eight years. Here he gathered Sycamore Grove (now East Roods Creek) church, and brought it up to 36 members. He gathered Barren church, and brought it up to something over 30 members. He was pastor of Pleasant Grove church, in LaRue county, two years; was joint pastor (with W.L. Morris) of Big Spring church, in the same county, three years, and labored as missionary of Salem Association, portions of three years.
In April, 1860, he moved to Grayson county, and settled in his last earthly home, six miles north-east of Litchfield. Although now far advanced in life, he still manifested all the zeal and fervor of youth, in the cause of his beloved Master. In Grayson county, he was pastor of Rock Creek church two years. With the assistance of Joshua Armstrong and H.T. Lampton, he constituted Little Flock church, which he served ten years, baptizing 53. He preached six years to Meeting Creek church, where he baptized 23. During a pastorate of two years, at Hanging Rock, he baptized over 20. During his second pastorate at this church, beginning in 1869, he baptized 70, within 16 months. He preached four years to Hopewell, three years to Lost Run, in Breckinridge county, and one year to each of Franklin Cross Roads and Blue Ball churches, both in
Hardin county. About 1873, he was disabled by a fall from his horse, after which he did not attempt to preach. On the 15th of January, 1881, the veteran soldier of the Cross answered the summons to come up higher.
There were born to Mr. Dean 21 children, 13 of whom are known to have become Baptists, and one of them - Abner Holton Dean - is a Baptist minister, at Harrisonville, Mo.
Ancil Hall was one of the early preachers of Goshen Association. His membership was at Panther Creek church. From the associational and church records, he appears to have been active and useful, during a somewhat extended ministry. He aided in constituting a number of churches. Beyond this, little is known of him, except that he has left behind him a good reputation. He closed his earthly labors, not far from 1841.
David W. B. Tabor. This singularly gifted and ill fated man was among the early preachers of Goshen Association. He appears to have been raised up to the ministry, in New Hope church, of which he remained a member, till 1834. He then united with Dorretts Creek church. He was an uneducated man, but possessed a brilliant genius and a vivid imagination and was, for a number of years, one of the most eloquent, popular and effective preachers, in theAssociation. He labored abundantly, and with great success, on both sides of the Ohio river. But in the midst of his brilliant and hitherto unsullied career, he conceived, and warmly advocated the idea that all property was, by natural and inalienable right, the common possession of all. Although apparently sane on other subjects, he was insane, doubtless, on this. About 1835, he put his theory into practice. While preaching in Perry county, I[ndian]a., he conceived that he needed a better horse than the one he had been using, and, finding one suitable to his purpose, took possession of it, and applied it to his use. He was speedily arrested, convicted of theft, and sent to the penitentiary, at Jeffersonville, I[ndian]a.
While serving his term, in the prison, he obtained leave to preach to his fellow-convicts, on Sundays. An extensive religious awakening followed, and a large number of the prisoners professed hope in Christ. On being released from prison, at the end of his two years' term of service, he started to return to his family, in Breckinridge county, Ky., on foot. Coming within ten miles of home, he found a horse, not in use, and at once
took possession of it, and rode it to the end of his journey. He was speedily sent to the Kentucky penitentiary, for a term of two years. After his release, he went to East Tennessee. After a few years, he wrote to Dorretts Creek church, asking a letter of recommendation. This request was, of course, refused, and little or nothing was heard of him afterwards.
Robert M. Snider was early a member of Blackford church, in Hancock county, but afterwards moved his membership to Union, in the same county, where he was licensed to preach, about 1838. In 1839, he was ordained to the full work of the ministry, and, three years later, moved to Perry county, I[ndian]a. Being near the border, he preached on both sides of the Ohio river, about 20 years. After being much afflicted with sore eyes, for a number of years, he became entirely blind, about 1859. He was a plain, uneducated man; but he had a very good mind, maintained a good christian character, and was well versed in the scriptures. He was termed a rather dry preacher, but was instructive, and doubtless accomplished good, in the Master's cause.
Thomas Newton was among the early ministers raised up in Breckinridge county. He appears to have been called into the ministry by Pisgah church, and was many years a member and, at least, a part of the time, pastor of that congregation. About 1841, he moved to Hancock county, and gave his membership to Blackford church. He was a preacher of moderate gifts and acquirements; but he maintained a good religious character, and his influence was salutary. He was called to his reward, about 1851.
Hardin Haynes Ellis was born in Shelby county, Kentucky, April, 1813. In 1829, he went with his parents to Daviess county, where he grew up to manhood, and obtained a fair English education. In 1834, he united withPanther Creek church, in Ohio county; and was baptized by Ancil Hall. After exercising a public gift some years, he was ordained to the ministry, at Bethabara church, in Daviess county, about 1840. He was pastor, at different periods, of Green Brier, Hawesville, Union, Blackford and some other churches. He was a preacher of more than ordinary ability, was very active in the ministry, and a good degree of success attended his labors. His earthly course was finished, about 1864. He was a brother of
the now venerable Elder Joseph P. Ellis of Blackford Association. His youngest son, F. G. Ellis, is a young preacher of good promise, and is now pastor of Union and Lewisport churches, in Hancock county and that of Grand View, I[ndian]a.
James D. Philips was a native of Ohio county, and exercised a brief ministry in Goshen Association. He was ordained to the ministry, in early manhood, about the year 1856, and was soon afterwards called to the pastoral care of a small church in the mining village of Bennettsville, in Hancock county. To this congregation he ministered several years with some degree of success. Whether he was pastor of other churches is not known. The Lord called him home, about 1869. He had the reputation of being a good, humble man, of very moderate preaching talents.
William Head, son of John A. Head, a native of Virginia, was born in Scott county, Kentucky, November 17, 1807. He was raised on a farm, and received a common school education. In his 22d year he married Sarah Jane, daughter of Joseph S. Norris. She only lived one year after their marriage. In his 24th year, he married Anestasia Teresa, sister of his first wife. Both of his wives were Roman Catholics, as were their parents, but the second Mrs. Head and most of her father's family afterwards became Baptists.
Mr. Head was converted, in 1834, and was baptized by J. D. Black, at Stamping Ground, in his native county. The following year, he moved to Owensboro, in Daviess county, where he united with a small church which was constituted soon after he arrived there. After this, he became very cold in religious duties, and when awakened to his condition, was deeply troubled. He found George McKay and Elijah Griffin in a similar state of mind. The three held frequent conversations on the subject, and finally agreed to meet at each others houses, and pray together. This being found out, the people began to meet with them, and regular prayer meetings were held, at which considerable crowds assembled. John G. Howard was finally induced, to take part in the prayer meetings, and soon a deep religious interest pervaded the entire community. About this time, (1839) John L. Burrows, agent for China missions, visited Owensboro. Mr. Head laid the condition of himself and his brethren before Mr. Burrows, who promised to
return and hold a meeting with them, after filling a series of appointments. The Methodists, learning the arrangement, anticipatedthe Baptists, and got possession of the Court House, the only suitable place for preaching, in the village. When Mr. Burrows returned to redeem his promise, he obtained leave to preach a few sermons in the Court House. The people, having heard the brilliant young orator, so clamored for his preaching, that the Methodists were compelled to give place to him. He continued preaching for some weeks, and God wrought a glorious work of grace, among the people. The burthened young church members, who had originated the little private prayer meeting, were joyously relieved, and more than 100 converts were baptized. The revival spread to the neighboring churches, and it was estimated that not less than 500 or 600 were baptized, while the spirit of missions was widely diffused.
Mr. Head was very active during the revival, and being licensed by the church to exercise his gift, he proclaimed to all around him, with burning zeal, the joyous news of salvation. He crossed over the Ohio river, and raised up a church at Booneville, and laid the foundation for several others along the southern boundary of Indiana. In 1841, he was ordained at Owensboro, by Thomas Downs and Reuben Cottrell, for the pastorship of Booneville and Bakers Creek churches, both in Indiana. The next year, he was called back to Kentucky, and took charge of Rock Spring and Friendly Grove churches, in Daviess county. In 1843, he was called to Rock Spring, for all his time. He preached twice a month at the church house, once a month at the present site of Chesnut Grove meeting house, and once at the present location of South Hampton church. At these mission stations, he gathered the last named two churches.
In 1849, he took charge of the church at Cloverport, where he labored with success, eight years. He then moved to a farm, near Webster, in Breckinridge county, where he still resides (1885). He preached to Walnut Grove church, 25 years, to Lost Run, 20 years, and to Clover Creek, 17 years. He has also served the churches at Caseville, Flint Island and Little Bend, at different periods. In addition to his pastoral labors, he has done a great deal of missionary work, during his entire ministry. He is a plain, strong, practical preacher, rather than a
brilliant one; and it may be confidently said, that few preachers have been more useful to the cause of Christ, in the field in which he has wrought. Although far advanced in years, the old soldier is still able to do good service in the army of the Lord.
Joshua Armstrong was born of Irish and German parents, in Nelson county, Ky., March 13, 1821. He was sprinkled by a Presbyterian preacher, in infancy. At the age of about nine years, he was carried by his parents to Shelby county, where he grew to manhood, laboring as a hired farm hand, and receiving only education enough to enable him barely to read and write. On the 9th ofFebruary, 1840, he was married to Amanda F. Lowell, and, leasing a farm, he commenced housekeeping, with less than $100 worth of property. In 1843, he was brought to a knowledge of his sins, under the preaching of Smith Thomas, and was soon afterwards baptized into the fellowship of Chaplin Fork church, in Nelson county, by D. Dowden. The following spring, he, with H. H. Prather and J. L. Trower, was licensed to preach.
In February, 1845, he moved to Breckinridge county, and united with Dorretts Creek church. Here he labored on a farm, and preached with great zeal, till October, 1847. At this date, he was induced to move to Grayson county, where he settled on a tract of land, which he afterwards bought. He at once began to arrange for the constitution of a church, in his neighborhood. In November of the same year, he was ordained to the ministry, at Dorretts Creek, by Simeon Buchanan, John T. Dean, and N.H. Wood. He immediately entered into the constitution of Hanging Rock church, in Grayson county, of which he was chosen pastor. From this period to the present time, he has been an incessant laborer, both as a missionary and a pastor. In the latter capacity, he has, at different periods, served at least 20 churches, in Goshen and Salem Associations. He.was at first very weak, awkward and ignorant, in the ministry, but he has had constant growth and extraordinary success. For years past, he has been a strong preacher, and it is probable that no minister has ever been more beloved, or more useful, within the bounds of Goshen Association. He is still laboring in the cause he so dearly loves, with the zeal and ardor of youth.
Darnell Dowden was born and raised near Mt. Vernon church, in Woodford county, Ky. He received but a scanty knowledge of letters in his youth; but by dint of close application to study, in after years, he became a good English scholar, and acquired some knowledge of the Greek language. He professed faith in Christ when about 15 years of age, and united with Little Mount church. He was licensed to preach, about 1841, and ordained to the ministry, some two years later. About 1852, he moved to Litchfield, and took charge of the church in that village, accepting also the pastoral care of some country churches. He labored in this field some ten years, and then moved to Breckinridge county, where he took charge of Goshen and other churches. About 1866, he moved to a farm near Brandenburg, in Meade county, where he still resides (1885.)
Mr. Dowden is a preacher of excellent acquirements and a high order of talents, and a writer of considerable ability. He was chosen Moderator of Goshen Association, in 1855, and has served in that capacity, except four years during the civil War, to the present time.
John Briant was born in Adair Co., Ky., Dec. 10, 1814. He acquired a very limited knowledge of reading and writing. In young manhood, he moved to Perry county, Ind., where he lived a wild, and rather a reckless life, till about 1844. At this time, he was converted to Christ, and, with 129 others, was baptized by T. J. Drane. In 1849, he was licensed to preach, and was ordained by D. R. Murry, John F. Christian and others, at Bear Creek church, in his adopted county, in 1850. His preaching talent was not great, but he was industrious, zealous, and very fervent in exhortation. He labored much among the destitute, on both sides of the Ohio river. He was pastor, at different periods, of several churches; first in Perry Co., Ind., and afterwards, in Breckinridge Co., Ky. He gathered two or three churches in Indiana, and at least one in Kentucky. About 1860, he moved to Breckinridge county, Ky., where he still resides (1885.) For several years past, he has been able to preach but little, on account of his having been partially paralyzed.
Henry Thornton Lampton was born in Nelson Co., Ky., Jan. 20, 1814. When one year old, he was carried by his parents to Breckinridge county, where he was raised on a farm. He was
extremely fond of books, and, with few advantages, obtained a fair stock of knowledge. In early life, he joined a Methodist class, but was not fully identified with a church of that order, till about the 25th year of his age. About 1842, he was licensed to exercise his gift, and, in 1847, was ordained a deacon, by Bishop Capers. After laboring as a local deacon, about four years, he began to doubt the correctness of the Methodist doctrine and polity. After a very tedious investigation of the subject, he was baptized into the Constantine Baptist church, by Elzy T. Hickerson. One month later, that church licensed him to preach, and, at the end of another month, he was ordained, by D. Dowden, J. Armstrong and A. J. Dye. This was about 1856. He immediately became pastor of Constantine church, and was soon afterwards called to the care of Hanging Rock church, in Grayson county. At different periods, he served the churches at Stephensport, Hopeful, Millerstown, Litchfield, Panther Creek, Bethlehem, Union, Pleasant Grove and Mt. Pleasant.
In 1865, he held a four days' debate with a Mr. Tandy, a Campbellite preacher. In 1870, he was called to the care of Yelvington church, in Daviess county. The same year, he was chosen pastor of Chestnut Grove, and also served the churches at Macedonia, Oak Grove, and Blackford.
During the War, he labored as a missionary of Goshen Association. About 1875, he commenced laboring at Bakers Creek, Grandview, Newtonville and Rockport, in Indiana. At the latter place, he gathered a church, and ministered to it about three years. He has since been pastor of the church at Cloverport, Ky.
Mr. Lampton has been exceedingly laborious, and eminently successful, during his entire ministry among the Baptists, and is justly held in high esteem.
Ernest Petri was a native of Prussia, was raised in high life, and was finely educated. On account of having committed some political offense, he deemed it prudent to leave his country. He came to America, and, making his way to Hawesville, Ky., located as a teacher, while quite a young man. He had been raised up in the Lutheran church, but now coming in contact with the Baptists, he was induced to study their doctrine and practice more closely than he had done hitherto. This resulted
in his conversion, and union with the Baptist church at Hawesville. By this church he was licensed to preach, about 1858; and was ordained at Cloverport, the following year. For about ten years, he labored within the bounds of Goshen Association, chiefly, as an evangelist, with extraordinary success. But being a poor economist, he was constantly harrassed about providing for the temporal wants of his household. He finally accepted an insurance agency, which brought him a good income, for several years. While prosecuting this agency, he frequently held protracted meetings, and usually with good success. He was pastor of the church at Franklin, in Simpson county, for a time, and afterwards had charge of the church at Glasgow. But he did not succeed well in the pastoral office. About 1879, he moved from Glasgow to Nashville, Tenn., where he shortly afterwards died, being scarcely beyond the prime of life.
Nolynn Association [S. B.]
This fraternity originated in a division of South Kentucky Association of Separate Baptists, for the sake of convenience. It was constituted at Little Mount, in what is now LaRue county, on the first Saturday in November, 1819. At its first annual meeting, which convened at Lowe's M. H. in Robertson county, Tennessee, its churches, the number of which is not recorded, aggregated 800 members. For some cause, now unknown, it decreased rapidly during the next two years. In 1822, it reported 15 churches, with only 585 members. A further decrease of aggregate membership gave it, in 1826, 21 churches with only 419 members. From this period, it began to increase in numbers, and continued to enjoy a moderate degree of prosperity, till 1840, when it reported 15 churches with 1,213 members. This is the largest aggregate membership it has yet attained. From that date, it gradually declined, till 1878, when it numbered 7 churches with 411 members.
For the faith and practice of this fraternity, and its gradual recession from Baptist principles, the reader is referred to the history of the mother fraternity, whose steps it has closely followed. Whatever its theory may be, it has been antimissionary
in practice. It has accomplished almost nothing, except what itspreachers have done by their gratuitous labors. In 1848, eight of its preachers signed and published a remonstrance, in which they say: "In future, we will not attend to any church, unless they will, according to their several abilities, support the gospel." The remonstrance appears to have had little effect. The Association had a super-abundance of preachers, who were glad of an opportunity to "attend to" the churches, without pecuniary compensation. Several preachers of considerable ability have been raised up to the ministry, in the churches of this fraternity. But they have generally discarded its practice, and identified themselves with the United Baptists, as soon as they were able to comprehend the inconsistency of their own denomination. The same may be said of many of their more intelligent private members. Various attempts have been made by the neighboring associations to establish correspondence with this body, and-thereby bring it up to the standard of Baptist orthodoxy. But these efforts have only resulted in drawing off their best preachers and churches.
This Association, in the days of its greater prosperity, occupied a broad belt of territory extending from the Ohio river across the central part of the State, and far into Tennessee. But at present, its churches are located principally in Green, and some of the neighboring counties. It corresponds only with the mother fraternity and a small organization, recently formed, and known as East Kentucky Association of Separate Baptists.
Thomas J. Chilton was regarded a father in this fraternity, and his son, Hon. Thomas Chilton, was a preacher among its churches a number of years. Of these, something has been said elsewhere. Of other ministers in this Association no particular account has been received. _________________
Previous to 1836, this small fraternity represented the entire Baptist interests, in an area of country now embraced in five or six counties. It was formed of 13 churches, 12 of which
had been dismissed from Little River Association. At least 7 of these churches had originally belonged to Red River Association, and some of the others, to Union. These 13 churches aggregated 429 members. Their names were as follows: Bethel, Cypress, Canoe Creek, Cane Run, Flat Creek, Grave Creek, Highland, Providence, Salem, Tirza, Unity, New Hope and Little Bethel. The ministers belonging to these churches, as far as known, were William C. Buck, Benjamin Bourland, William Davis, John Christian and Benjamin Berry. The licensed preachers were Henry Garrard, Timothy Sisk, John Grantham and Reuben Owen.
The Association was constituted at, and derived its name from Highland church, in Union county, September, 1820. Most of the churches and preachers of the fraternity, were tinctured with Hypercalvinism and were opposed to missions and benevolent societies. The growth of the body was very slow. This may be accounted for from the divided condition of the churches and ministry, or, rather, the preponderance of the anti-missionary sentiment, and the additional fact that a large proportion of the population in its field of operations were Roman Catholics. It was estimated that at least two-thirds of the people of Union county were of that persuasion. During the first ten years of the existence of the Association, it made a gain, in its aggregate membership, of only 57: So that, in 1830, it numbered 15 churches with 486 members. At this date, a Bible society was organized within its bounds, and William C. Buck became its president. This aroused the spirit of opposition to benevolent societies, and, in 1835, the Association took Such high grounds against these institutions, that Bethel, Little Bethel, Highland and Grave Creek churches withdrew from its fellowship, and, the following year, formed Little Bethel Association. Previous to this division, the body numbered 14 churches with 609 members. But after this period, it rapidly declined, and soon dwindled into comparative insignificance. After the division, it assumed the name of Regular Baptists, and, in 1877, that of Regular Predestinarian Baptists. It is avowedly opposed to missions and all benevolent societies. In 1880, it numbered 10 churches, aggregating 200 members. These churches intermingle with those of Little Bethel Association, and are located in the counties of Henderson, Webster,
Hopkins and McLean. Of the pioneer preachers of this body, who remained in its fellowship, little is now known. The most prominent of its early ministers identified themselves with Little Bethel Association.
Esias W. Earle was among the most prominent preachers that adhered to this fraternity. He was born in South Carolina, Feb. 4, 1800. At the early age of 13 he professed conversion to Christ, and united with a Baptist church. He was set apart to the ministry when he was only 17 years old. In early life he migrated to Kentucky, and settled in Hopkins county. He was pastor of Flat Creek church, a long series of years. He died at his home in Hopkins county, March 6, 1877.
Burnall P. Dorris was born in 1806. He united with Providence church, in Webster county, in 1844, and was there ordained to the ministry, in 1846. He was pastor of Providence church a number of years, and was esteemed by his brethren, a good, faithful preacher. The Lord called him to his reward, August 23, 1879. ================
[J. H. Spencer, A History of Kentucky Baptists, Volume 2, 1886; reprint 1984, pp. 307-330. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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