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Biography of Elder Alfred Taylor

Written and compiled by his son,
William Carey Taylor, Sr., 1878

Chapter I
His Birth and Early Life
Elder Alfred Taylor, the youngest son of Joseph Taylor, was born in Warren county, Kentucky, July 19, 1808. His parents emigrated shortly after marriage from North Carolina to the county of his birth. They embraced religion in early life, and became members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In this connection Joseph Taylor began the ministry. Some years before the birth of their son Alfred, they were constrained by the force of truth to forsake the church of their fathers and identify themselves with the Baptist, and were baptized by Nathan Arnette, of Tennessee. In September, 1804, four years before the birth of Alfred, they, with others, were constituted into what is known as Providence Baptist Church, Warren county, Kentucky. The fountain-head becoming Baptistic, the streams have been strongly marked with the same peculiarities. Alfred was born of Baptist parents. His father was a good man, lived above reproach, and did some good as a minister of Jesus Christ. His mother's family gained some political distinction in North Carolina.

When Alfred was three years old his parents moved to Butler county, Kentucky. Here he lived until his removal to Ohio county, which occurred some time after his marriage. His early life was spent upon the farm, where he acquired habits of industry, and developed that energy which characterized his whole life. Aside from the influences of home, the moral atmosphere surrounding his youthful days was by no means healthy. No Sabbath-schools, and church opportunities being meagre, many of his Sundays were in fishing and roaming the woods. His constant associates in this Sabbath desecration were his brother Stephen, Reuben McCoy and Amos Russ. Drinking was common in those days. Most every family "kept it." At all public gatherings the jug was indispensable. To drink a little too much was not attended with that odium as it is now. Whatever is common becomes respectable with the masses. Christmas was the special season for drinking. At this time the best of the wine was brought forth. Alfred Taylor and his bosom friend, A. Russ, confined their dissipation to this annual festive season. For several years they yielded to the customs of that day, and on the 25th day of December drank to intoxication. This continued to be their annual celebration of the supposed birthday of the Savior until the subject of this biography was converted. He forsook the evil cup, to return to it no more. In his own account of his conversion he records the fact that through the evil influence of wicked associates he became profanely wicked. Having but little interest in literary pursuits, he spent many of his winter nights in hunting. This source of amusement and profit was suddenly cut off as follows: Upon cutting a tree for a "coon," it fell just opposite to what they had anticipated, from which his brother Stephen barely escaped instant death. In their great alarm they forgot their game, and hastened home. Their excitement was so great that they closed not their eyes to sleep that night. The cure was effectual and permanent.

Concerning his early education, I find this brief mention in his journal: "Although his desires were ardent for knowledge, his opportunities were so limited that at the age of twenty he could hardly read intelligibly, and could scarcely write his own name." The school advantages of those days were nothing to compare with those of our times. Now a want of a reasonable education is almost criminal; then it was pardonable. Schools then were few and inferior, and in the rural disfncts never lasted more than three months in the year. The teacher who had gone to "Proportion" in the arithmetic was thought to be well qualified for the office of pedagogue. The spelling-book and Bible were often the only text-books used by young ladies and gentlemen.

That the reader may know some of the disadvantages of his early day, I state it as a fact that my father borrowed a grammar, the only one in his reach, copied it, and therefrom he learned the rudiments of his mother tongue. Elder J. M. Pendleton, for many years his co-laborer, writes: "Your father had an active, investigating mind, and was always anxious to know the reasons of things. He and myself were accustomed to lament our lack of thorough education, but it was always our determination to do the best we could with the resources in our possession." In his journal for 1846 I find the following: "In view of my failure to improve my time heretofore, I resolve, by the assisting grace of God, hereafter I will try, as far as possible, to write something each day of my life on some profitable subject, to enable me to make some additions to my small stock of useful knowledge."

After entering the ministry he returned to
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Warren county and spent some time in going to school to Elder David Mansfield. At a still later period he became a student under Elder William Warder, of Logan county. The time spent at either place I have been unable to learn. But whatever of mental discipline he may have gained was mainly the results of his continued efforts after his school days were past. In his journal I see mention of the time when he began and when he finished reading many books, and often, in the same connection, he gives his synopsis of the book just read, which shows that he digested the work as he perused it. In the popular sense, Alfred Taylor was not an educated man. In the truer sense of the word he might have claimed that honor. He had learned to think. Wherever he was, there he could bring to bear the power of his mind. Often have I seen him, when about the various duties of life, take out his pencil and write down a thought. Many of his best discourses were made while about the other duties of life. During protracted meetings he often made his discourses new from day to day, and, while others were talking on every side, he would make and jot down the divisions and subdivisions of his sermon. In this, that his mind was trained to think, and to think under any and all circumstances, he was educated. In that, that he was ignorant of many of the higher branches now taught in our schools, he was uneducated.

Chapter II
His Conversion
In giving an account of his conversion, I will copy his own statements: "Being raised under the preaching of the Gospel, at an early age I saw the heinous nature of sin and the necessity of religion, but from the languid state of the church, and the influence of unconverted associates, I was led to indulge in many sinful practices, and eventually became profanely wicked. It is, however, a source of joy to reflect that my career in sin was short. After laboring four years trying to recommend myself into God's favor, I was enabled in my twenty-second year, October, 1829, to trust in Him whose blood speaketh better things than that of Able; in whom believing, I was enabled to rejoice with joy unutterable and full of glory. In November following I was baptized in Sandy creek, Butler county, Kentucky, by Elder Benjamin Talbott."

From him and his brother I have learned the following: His first impressions to seek religion were received when eleven years old. These endured only for a season. In his eighteenth year he was again awakened under the preaching of Elders Abner and Emery. These brethren were returning from an association, and preached in a private house near his father's residence. At the close of their discourses those wishing the prayers of Christians were invited forward. Alfred Taylor, with about twenty others, was found at the altar seeking the pardoning mercy of an offended God. There being no protracted efforts in those days, these men of God left this multitude of penitents and proceeded on their journey home. How mysterious this course appears to us of a better day. Every generation is fettered by its own customs. It was not customary to follow up these awakenings, hence the duty so apparent to us was unperceived and unperformed by them. For some weeks after the Christians of the immediate community met one night in each week to pray for the salvation of those who were seeking. Christ. During these meetings many were converted; but not so with him of whom we write. Those on the right and those on the left, friends younger and friends older, found the pearl of great price, but all was darkness in his own heart. For four years he sought and found not, because he sought not by faith. During all this time the doctrine of special election and reprobation confronted him and kept him from the cross. The thought, I am one for whom Christ has not died, hindered the exercise of that faith so essential to salvation. Doubtless his own troubles on this point had much to do in shaping his views of the same, and led him to oppose through life that feature of special, unconditional election, which had been such an obstacle in the way of his own salvation. The question was finally solved, and he was elected through sanctification of the Spirit and the belief of the truth. The full and precious assurance was given to his soul, not in the existed multitude, but in the dense forest, as he returned from an errand to a neighbor's house. There he made the vaults of nature ring with the praises of his new-found Savior, while angels caught and swelled the strain, until Heaven was filled with the glad tidings.

The first meeting following his joyous acknowledgement of Christ he joined Sandy Creek Baptist Church, and was baptized, as previously stated. From the baptismal grave he arises to
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walk in a new life. He forsakes the sins and dissipations of former years, and by a godly walk and conversation seals the testimony of his espousal to Christ. He soon began to exercise his gift in public prayer, and in less than one year and a half from the time he united with the church he was licensed to preach. The spirit of true obedience to Christ knows no end. It be- gins promptly, and continues to advance as God in His providence may open the way. So it manifested itself in the new life of this new creature in Christ Jesus.

Chapter III
The Beginning of His Ministry
He was licensed to preach the third Saturday in May, 1831. Where he preached his first sermon is a question of some doubt. Several places are contended for as the point where he made his first efforts. My opinion is that he attempted his first discourse at Sandy Creek Church. From the beginning of his ministry he was a Timothy to Elder Talbott. With him he made visits to Muhlenburg and Ohio counties. Upon these tours he tried to preach. His second effort was made at Brother Roade's, of Muhlenburg county; the thirc! at Brother Ashby's, of Ohio county. This is the order of his efforts as I gather them from the many reports received. Of these efforts there is but one opinion. The universal verdict is that his beginning was exceedingly unpropitious. Of all that have spoken of his first efforts, none have said Alfred Taylor could preach, or gave any hope of making a preacher at the first.

His first effort was attended with much sorrow. He arose under great embarrassment, took his text, spoke a few words, and then followed that dreadful pause so painful to all present. After a while he proceeded a little further, then complete silence reigned, and ceased not. Mortified even to bitter tears, he sat down. A few minutes covered the entire time of this unhappy effort. In an effort made shortly after this, at Nelson Creek Church, his confusion and embarrassment was so great that he turned his side to his audience, and remained in that uncomely attitude until he sat down. The masses said, "That man had better quit." Occasionally some of the more reflecting of his hearers could see the out-croppings of some new thought, that sparkled like a gem in the midst of the rubbish of his discourses. His developments were I slow; his discouragements abounded upon every hand.

Many who heard him in his prime will hardly believe me when I say his voice and delivery were miserably defective. The matter of his discourses, by no means the most entertaining, and this told in a squealing, whining tone, made bad worse. But we must not despise the day of small things; neither are we to expect perfection without practice. In speaking of his early ministry, he says: "I had been trying to preach four years, and had no assurance that I had been instrumental in the conversion of one soul." He was ordained at Sandy Creek Church, May, 1834, by Joseph Taylor, David Kelly and William Childres. His first pastorate was at Pond Run, Ohio county, and dates from June, 1834.

Chapter IV
His Family
We have now reached that period of life where he begins a new epoch. He becomes a husband and a father. In both of these relations he was affectionate and faithful. He became the husband of three wives, and the father of fifteen children.

His first marriage was to Mary Ann Mahon, of Butler county, and occurred September 22, 1835. His second marriage was to Marjary Jane Brown, of Ohio county, and dates __ , 1852. His third espousal was to Eliza Jane Gordon, of Daviess county; date of marriage, March I, 1859. With the first wife, he lived seventeen years; with the second, four years; with the third, six. By his first wife he had nine children -- six boys and three girls; of these three are dead -- one boy and two girls. Of the three children by his second wife two were daughters. The son died. By the .last wife there were three children -- two girls and a boy; of these one daughter died. Of the five gone, God took four of them in infancy and early childhood. Alice Newel, the first daughter and third child, became a wife and mother before death called her. She was a graduate of Bethel Female College, and a woman of superior quali.ties. Against the wishes of father and family she married a man by the name of Tatum. I am sorry to say the match was not a congenial one; so far from it that death welcomed her to the companionship of
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better things, for she was a dear lover of her Savior.

Of the living children all are. Christians save three -- Dr. V. M. Taylor, Mrs. Susan R. Grubbs, Rettie A. Taylor. These are the representatives of the three sets of children.

J. S. Taylor, J. P. Taylor and W. C. Taylor, sons by the wife of his early manhood, are all in the ministry, and following in the wake of their father. Whilst it is often claimed that in many respects they resemble their father in the pulpit, yet the want of age, and perhaps something that age can not give, leave them something short of the inimitable genius of Alfred Taylor.

As to the three wives, they were all good women. Mary Ann, the first, was a woman of fine education and most noble parentage, especially upon her mother's side, for her mother, Susanah Mahon, was known and felt throughout the Green River Country as a pious citizen and staunch Baptist. She raised a family of likely girls, most of whom managed to marry men of distinction; among the number we may mention President J. W. Rust, of Bethel Female College, and Elder H. B. Wiggin, a wealthy merchant of New York City.

Mary Ann was a faithful companion. in the ministry, and often, in the absence of her husband, would she read the Scriptures in her family, and dedicate her children to God in prayer.

Marjary Jane was universally esteemed for her amiable qualities, and admired for her great beauty. Their connection was most pleasant, which made the separation more bitter, for only four brief years and all was over.

His last wife, Eliza Jane, though a good woman, was thought by many to be too young for one more than fifty , she being less than twenty. Notwithstanding this, the covenant relation was held in harmony, and in affection did they walk together till God took His servant, and left a widow to deeply mourn his loss.

Chapter V
His Conversion
In a high degree Alfred Taylor was for many years a consecrated minister. After several years' labor. with but little fruit therefrom. he became doubtful of the reality of his call. Anxious to have this important question settled. and longing for the salvation of souls, he at once brings all of his tithes into the Master's store-house. In these times none might bring the charge that preachers in his section were hirelings. There was virtually no wages for the body. The reward was spiritual. Men labored five and six days in a week, and preached as best they could on Saturday and Sunday. My father, upon exam- ination, found he had means and surplus property enough to support his then small family for one year, and resolved to devote one year wholly to the work of the ministry. This resolution was faithfully executed, and he went every-where preaching the word, God working with him. During this year work so accumulated, preaching places so multiplied, and his heart was so much encouraged, that continued consecration seemed to be his imperative duty. To this demand he yielded, and for many years, time, talents and all were laid upon the altar of the ministry. Preaching during the week either was or became common. People loved God and His Gospel well enough to dismiss all business, and often would they meet in crowds to hear the word of our salvation. The preaching of the Gospel was not confined to church houses so much then as now. From house to house, as well as from church to church, he ceased not to warn both men and women, by day and by night.

Dr. Pendleton, who is certainly a competent witness, says, in his letter to me: "He loved to preach. It was his greatest joy to proclaim salvation to dying men. Few ministers of his day spent more time in preaching, made greater sacrifices for the cause of Christ, and received a smaller compensation for faithful wolk."

His was the consecration, not only of time and talents, but also of means. Besides preaching much without any remuneration, he gave a part of the actual income from his churches and farm to the Lord's cause. In his journal of 1848 I find the following resolution: "As I resolved to give five percent of my income, that is, of all the cash I received last year, to some religious purpose or purposes, so, in the fear of God, I renew my resolution this year." How long he kept up this system of benevolence we can not tell, as we have no journal of his life beyond the above date. The record of his contributions shows that these years were only in harmony with the general tenor of his life, as it respects giving. His sacrifice of time and means sometimes placed him in straightened circumstances. Once he had promised Elder J. F. Austin to aid
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in a meeting at Mt. Carmel, which he failed to do. At night, after a hard day's labor, he wrote as follows. After speaking of .the disappointment and manual labor of the day, he said: "And at night feel that a helpless family demands my attention, and that it would be sinful to go and preach and leave them to suffer." Amid all his zeal for the church of Christ, he never forgot that the religion of the Bible demands care for our own, and especially those of our own family.

The following well illustrates the illiberality of the churches and the self-denial of the ministry of his day, and is certainly in order in this connection: "Lord's day and Lord's day night, heard Simeon Buchanan preach at Green River, and gave him fifty cents. As I rode home, after making the gift, I asked myself: 'Had I done right?' I thought of a dependent wife and seven children; I thought on the fact that I had just been preachipg fifteen days and nights, and had received one dollar and fifty cents in cash, and three dollars in trade. I also found that I had promised the dollar to the church where I had been laboring to help pay for their meeting~house; and now the fifty cents is gone. Then I thought, above all, not only my time and money were gone, but my health, which is worth more than all, is gone, perhaps never to be regained. But why did I give it? Because I have learned long since that preachers go to churches respectable for their appearance and numbers, and preach until they are worn down, and when they are done the brethren gather around them to take their hand and charge them to return. When he starts he remembers their tokens of love, but when he counts up all he finds he is out so much and nothing in pocket. He thinks of sinners and mourners; then he thinks, 'I shall be compelled to return home and work for my family.' To prevent these thoughts and feelings in part, as a member of the church to and for which he had been preaching, is the obligation of this gift. May God bless the little gift and the imperfect giver. Amen." Thirik not of the little gift, but of the facts developed in this narrative.

With him the ministry was always first. If at times he became in part secularized, it grew out of the broad and constant failure of the churches to supply his temporal wants. The most received during anyone year of his ministry from the pastorate did not exceed $300. In many instances it fell far short of that. He labored to make it true in his day, "that the poor have the Gospel preached to them." Had he lived in this day of extravagance, with his small salary, he could not have given so much of his time to his life work. His generation was one of fewer demands than the one succeeding him. Though he labored upon a small salary, he did not believe in a worldly, secularized ministry. He believed the ministry should be sustained by the churches, and urged the rising ministry to demand a reasonable compensation for their services. Churches, whose unpaid subscriptions amount to hundreds, are never tired of praising Alfred Taylor's course with the churches. His was a kindness which circumstances seem to demand. In the decline of life he regretted the course adopted in early manhood. While to the ministry he leaves an example full of the spirit of consecration, in his charity to the churches to which he preached he has bequeathed to them a legacy of negligence in the support of the ministry that has robbed them of their best talent and filled them with the evil fruits of their own inexcusable neglect. That my father was willing, at much sacrifice, to preach Christ and Him crucified I most gladly record; that he indulged churches in willful neglect to support their pastor, I am neither proud of nor thankful for.

What I have just written prepares the reader more fully to appreciate that devotion which he manifested amid such discouragements. To be a consecrated minister then and now requires different degrees of grace. My father very often preached beyond his bodily strength, and gave far beyond the just demands of benevolence. He died poor and premature. Elder J. F. Austin, upon the occasion of his death, remarked: "Brother Taylor died as much a martyr to the cause of Christ as if he he had been burned at the stake." Subsequently Dr. Coleman made a similar statement. In contrast with the interest in the cause he advocated, he could truthfully say: "I count not my life dear." In days fair and days gloomy, in weather cold and hot, in nights calm and nights stormy, in health and in affiittion, in poverty and disappointment, with cheerful activity he went forth persuading men to be reconciled to God. He leaves behind an example in many respects worthy of the imitation of the many ministers whom he led to Christ and into baptismal waters. Many of us will never know, by experience, what sacrifices he endured in order to furnish us this nob1e example. He looked for his reward after the brief day of life
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was over. Elder Pendleton says: "He talked much of heaven, and his idea seemed to be that its joys would infinitely more than compensate for all the sorrows and trials of earth." To that reward he has gone; of those joys he has shared. The toils and afflictions of earth only exist in the recollections of the past. In all the glory of that heavenly home there is not one regret on account of the consecration which marked and adorned his ministry.

Chapter VI
Alfred Taylor Comes to the Front
It is said, circumstances make men. It would be truer to say, circumstances develop and test men. They bring to the surface what has been dormant. We hear that our civil war made bad men out of good ones. Not so. The war tested men and developed the weaknesses and wickednesses which previously existed. Circumstances opened the way for Alfred Taylor to step to the front. The providence of God led him to take that step, while the ability of the man, directed and sanctified by Divine grace, enabled him to hold the position assumed. Between August, 1835, and August, 1836, the following ministers were called to their reward: Elders Talbott, Mormon, Warfield, Chapman, Kelly, Warder and Wilson. The ministry of these brethren had been connected, more or less, with the Green River Country. This wonderful and mysterious providence took all of the strong men from the Green River section. A few aged brethren and a Timothy or two were all that were left. The people in sadness and despondency asked, "What shall we do?" Alfred Taylor, probably more than any other man, felt the pressure of increased responsibilities. He looked at the vast field already white to harvest, and then asked. "How and by whom shall it be reaped?" He had heard of Tom Fisher, and longed and prayed for him to come to the Green River Country. Fisher came not. Was it not God's will that another should lead his despondent host to battle and to victory? The sequel makes it certain that such was the Divine will.

To meet the increased demands Elder Taylor gives himself wholly to the work of preaching Christ crucified. The problem of protracted meetings was something new in his field of labor. He saw and contended that religious interest awakened should be fostered until the fruit was gathered. Convinced of the propriety of a continued effort for the salvation of sinners, he proceeds with the new departure. Many of the brethren and most of the aged ministers opposed outright this departure from the custom of the fathers. Argument failed to convince them. God convinced and won them by the precious fruits of the revival efforts. The first regular protracted meeting ever held in Ohio county was begun and carried on by Alfred Taylor, at Walton's Creek Church, December, 1837. Many were openly against the meeting. Others would shake their hoary locks, doubting what all this might lead to. Nerved by the honesty of his purpose and led, as we believe, by the spirit of God, the youthful pastor continued preaching, day and night, until opposition gave way. God utterly consumed it. The revival, in its power and influence, swept over the whole country for miles in every direction. All classes were reached. Christians were overwhelmed with a sense of the goodness of God, while old and young, parents and children, youths and maidens, sought and found Christ a precious Savior. Men professed religion every-where; even those not attending the meeting, in some instances, were converted. The like had never been seen by this people. But all felt and acknowledged the power to be of God, and not of man.

The meeting lasted just two weeks. Largely over one hundred persons professed conversion. During the meeting, and in a few months after, one hundred and fotty-six were received into this church by baptism. A part of these professed a hope in Christ at another meeting, held by their pastor, in Muhlenburg county. In one day, during this meeting, eighty-four persons united with the church. The news of this wonderful work of grace spread with rapid haste. Persons attended it living ten and fifteen miles away. The news of the great revival was upon all lips. By it a desire was awakened in many churches for a meeting of days. Elder Taylor was thought to be the man for the work. Impelled by a sense of duty and encouraged by recent success, he delays not to obey the many calls for his services. Pond Run, Ohio county, was the next church blessed. As God had wrought at Walton's Creek, so He did now at Pond Run. It was here the aged veteran, Elder George Render, was to espouse the new departure. He refused to attend the meeting at Walton's Creek. He came to Pond Run first as an
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idle spectator, but soon felt the power and joined the band. He felt that God was there, and there he was ready to work. Sandy Creek, the Little Bend of Green River, Green River Church, Beaver Dam, the Duncan House, near where Nelson's Creek Station now stands, and Stum's Tobacco House, where .Paradise has since been built, were points at which he labored during that winter and spring. At every place the meeting was a grand success. The Lord was ready and the people anxious.

So great was the work accomplished that Dr. Coleman confidently affirms, that in less than six months Alfred Taylor baptized over eight hundred persons. This estimate is perhaps a tittle too large; the precise humber I have failed to get, but perhaps it was nearer six than eight hundred. The number of professions was largely in excess of the number baptized. In some instances Pedobaptist churches were formed out of persons converted at these meetings. Where they had churches they gathered a part of the fruit. These remarkable results attending his labors pointed him out as the standard-bearer for the Baptists of three counties. The question as to who shall lead us to battle and to victory, was settled without dissent. They most cheerfully recognized Alfred Taylor as their God-given champion. His advice was sought upon all occasions, and every doubtful question. His decisions were generally satisfactory and final. Elder J. S. Coleman, his son in the ministry, says: "For twenty years after this great ingathering his word was as good authority among Baptists, upon any and all questions, as Webster's Dictionary is in determining the meaning of words." Again, he says: "For twenty years he was called upon to preach upon all popular occasions, both at home and abroad." These statements are corroborated by many of the aged brethren with whom I have conversed. Before he reached the age of thirty the providence of God placed him as the acknowledged leader of His Spiritual Israel. By the grace of God he honored and sustained his position until, falling with his face to the foe, he gave up the ghost.

All that is good bears the impress of the eternal God. I see it in every thing. I believe it more and more. In the beginning of these revival efforts, when all around were slumbering upon the eternal decrees of God, I recognize the Divine hand. In the one who starts in this blessed work I see the Divine choice. In the almost incredible results attending the labors of a man who had no evidence that he had ever led a single soul to Christ, I find no ground for glorying in man; but, upon the contrary, I would raise a monument to the praise of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will. In the first effort God gave the greatest ingathering. This seemed to be necessary to stop the mouth of the gainsayer, and forever seal it as a work of God. God had a work for Alfred Taylor, and by mysterious providences He ushered him into it. I would be untrue to the instincts of one born of the Spirit if my heart did not swell with gratitude to God at the remembrance of the undeserved honors conferred upon one whom I call my father. The firm belief that all that gave him position and influence was a special blessing from Heaven's King gives me special comfort. Should any ask, "What gave Alfred Taylor. his position among his brethren?" let it be replied, "The directing grace of that God to whom he consecrated the service of his life." Oh God, give us that same spirit of constant, earnest devotion, and permit us to occupy at least some humble place in Thy kingdom, where we may be useful servants!

Chapter VII
History of His Work with the Churches
Pond Run
Here was his first pastorate; 1834 marks the date of his first connection with this church. For four years the fountain of all blessings seemed to be sealed against this people. The weary flight of time, at the expiration of these years of sinful inactivity, found the church numbering four less than when he became pastor. He continued to go in and out before this people until the close of the year 1840. During these seven years he held but one meeting of days. This was early in the year 1838, immediately following the great awakening at Walton's Creek. In fact, the interest and influence of the one was parent of the other. Some from the immediate neighborhood of Pond Run sought and found Christ at Walton's Creek. They returned with their lamps already trimmed and burning. The work begins, and continues to widen and deepen, until, at its close, tile church finds herself more than tripled in numbers, there being seventy-two baptized into Christ as the fruit of the gracious work. During the next
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two years thirteen are added to this church -- nine by baptism and four by letter. He then retires from this field to labor elsewhere. Again he assumes the care of the church in 1856, but continues with them only one year. Nothing of interest have I gathered concerning this year's labor worthy of a place in this biography. During the time in which this flock was ministered to by others, he often preached to her delighted congregations. He aided at various times in meetings with these pastors. In 1841 he preached six days and baptized five persons. In 1846 he assisted Elder G. S. Smith in a seven-days' meeting, which resulted in twenty-three baptisms.

How many other meetings he aided in at this place I can not tell, as I have been unable to extract any information from the brethren. The few facts reported I have gathered from his brief journal and the minutes of the Association. For a fuller report of his work at this point, and the results attending it, we must wait the revelations of that day when we shall know even as we are known.

Sandy Creek
In the boundary of this church he spent the days of his youth and the years of early manhood. In their midst, and in answer to the prayers of this people, he was converted. By their pastor and into their fellowship he was immersed. Here he was licensed to preach; here he made his first effort to preach, and here he was ordained. In 1832 he was elected clerk of this church; January, 1835, he became their pastor. In youthful weakness he served them until his removal to Ohio county, about the beginning of the summer of 1836. Then the call of churches nearer home led him to sever his pastoral relation with his mother church. When the Lord enlarged his heart and opened wide the windows of heaven to pour out blessings upon his labors, he forgets not the people among whom he first tasted the sweets of redeeming, pardoning love. Here, in a few days' meeting, he reaped the fruit of seed previously sown, and into their fellowship he immersed twenty-eight. This was in connection with the other revivals of 1837 and 1838. At a later period in life he became their pastor again; but at what date, how long, and with what success he served them I am unable to record. He held many meetings at the church and in the community that brought many to Christ and the fellowship of this people. Elder J. M. Peay gives an account of a two weeks' meeting, which he held with this people, in which there were no conversions. The house was crowded day and night, attention good, and every body delighted with the preaching, but none ready to work for Jesus -- none ready to seek Him. It was one of those meetings in which the want of success is due to the unlawful confidence which churches sometimes place in an arm of flesh.

God designs active co-operation in pastor and church, in order to success. A church may cheat a pastor out of success by her inactivity, but not so with his eternal reward. It is not to be measured altogether by our apparent success. By this failure Brother Peay learned a lesson. From it he extracted an illustration which he often uses with good effect in the beginning of a revival. The moral is: Ministers alone can not bring good meetings -- good preaching is not the only prerequisite to successful revivals. There is comfort in the thought that even our failures God may bless to the good of others. Into the fellowship of this church he baptized Amos Russ, November, 1837, just prior to his great revivals. This was perhaps the baptism of his first Timothy. I presume it was into the fellowship of the same body he afterwards immersed Elder J. M. Peay.

Amid the ruin and desolation that is written every-where upon this once prosperous church, there stands the old-time edifice to remind us of the home of our fathers. When a youth in the ministry I visited this church as missionary of Gasper River Association. As from time to time I entered her old-fashioned pulpit I felt a strange sensation creep over me as I remembered here my grandfather preached the same Christ I recommend, and from the same sacred spot my departed father first spoke of the wondrous love of the same Redeemer.

Beaver Dam
This church, above all others, was instrumental in his removal from Butler to Ohio county. He accepted the care of this church in 1836. His first pastorate with them covers a period of ten years. During this decade of years the Lord abundantly blessed his labors in two revivals; the first in the spring of 1838; the second in January, 1842. In the first of these, and during that season, he received into the fellowship of the church sixty-five members. The second resulted in forty-six additions. In 1849 he again preaches to this people. By his faithful efforts the Lord increased their list by eighteen this year. At the close of the year he retires from this field because one family voted against him
[p. 10]
He usually preached to united churches. The vote of four members for some other minister was deemed a sufficient reason for him to labor elsewhere. This meets with my most hearty approbation. Churches should unite in the call of a pastor. Where it is otherwise no minister, in justice to himself and the cause he represents, should accept.

When he received the next call I can not tell, being unable thus far to gain any assistance from the membership. This we know, he was pastor in 1854. This year is noted in his labors with this people for two events. In a meeting held in February he rejoiced over the conversion of two of his children, the first of his offspring that had sought and found the Savior. Into the fellowship of Beaver Dam he baptized his son Judson and daughter Alice, February, 1854. The debate between him and T. C. Frogge, of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, occurred here in the summer of the same year, a fuller account of which you will find in another part of this work. Concerning his pastorate at this point, Dr. Coleman says: "The church had him as pastor whenever his services could be secured." After all, we can know but little of his labors, and perhaps less of their fruits, as it regards this community. When not connected with the church in official relationship he often aided in revivals, the last of which witnessed the conversion and baptism of his oldest son, W. K. Taylor.

Among those baptized at the first revival was J. S. Coleman, then but a boy. His first attempt at any public religious exercises was attributable to Alfred Taylor. The providence of God was in it. Brother Coleman had felt for some time that it was his duty to preach Christ to his dying fellow-men. After many vain endeavors to evade this duty, he at last most solemnly promised God the first opportunity to warn his neighbors of their fearful danger. Probably in less than one week a night appointment of the pastor called the people to the house of God. After preaching, and a short pause, the minister said: "We will join Brother James Coleman in prayer." His covenant with God came immediately to his mind, and he resolved to keep it. Instead of praying, Coleman arose exhorting. What he said he can not tell. The effect of this first effort he remembers well. A number of the sisters shouted, several of the brethren rushed forward and embraced the speaker, while many others felt it was good to be there. When the speaker had closed, upon turning to resume his seat, he looks into the pulpit and espies Elder Taylor with a babe upon each knee, the little affrighted refugees of the overjoyed mothers. How blessed those kind providences which open up the path of duty. Why J. S. Coleman should have been called upon to pray that night, for the first time in his life, is a question which can find its best solution in the doctrine of the secret and harmonious workings of the ever blessed Spirit.

Walton's Creek
This church was the third in order that chose Alfred Taylor as their under-shepherd. This call was extended in 1836. His labors with this church extends to the year 1863. During all this time he was pastor of the church, except three or four years. Elders Tanner, Peay and Coleman served the church one year each between these dates. Almost two years had elapsed before he had any indication of usefulness in this field of labor. The close of the year 1837 witnessed the gracious outpouring detailed in another place. In a short time from the beginning of this meeting the church swells her numbers from about sixty to over two hundred. Here he held the first protracted meeting ever held in Ohio county; here he witnessed the most marked displays of sovereign grace attending his ministry, or any like effort in this or adjacent counties; here he baptized one hundred and forty-six in a few short weeks; here he welcomed to the fellowship of the church eighty-four in one day.

Though pastor of this church for twenty-three years he held with them but five revival meetings. The success of these efforts may be understood in part when it is known that during his labors with this flock there were three-hundred and twenty baptized into their fellowship. All these, however, were not the immediate fruits of protracted efforts. Every year witnessed more or less baptisms.

The fewness of his revivals with this church may be attributed to the following: First -- In the introduction of such meetings they were not regarded so essential as now, hence but few churches had annually a meeting of days. The second reason may be found in the many urgent demands for his services in more destitute fields. The cry, "Come over and help us," came from too many quarters full of perishing souls to allow annually an effort meeting with the stronger churches. For ten years this was the strongest church in Gasper River Association. In 1849 she numbered, after great loss by death, letter
[p. 11]
and exclusion, two hundred and thirty-five. The church, under his ministry, sent out three colonies -- one to Hartford in 1838; one to West Providence, 1853; and one to West Point in 1857. The total loss of members during his pastorate here was two hundred and fifty. Still, when his fast failing health compelled his resignation, in 1863, he left a strong, vigorous church of one hundred and forty-four members.

Brother Ashby, who was baptized by him December, 1837, and for many years clerk of the church, says: "I am confident Walton's Creek never had a pastor who gave more general satisfaction than he." This is fully verified in the fact that they secured his services whenever possible, and when recent hemorrhages of the lungs forced him to desist preaching, with much regret they released him from the connection so long and faithfully maintained. Among the thirty odd ministers baptized by him, five came out from this church -- John Maddox, Jacob Igleheart, Thomas Tichenor, J. M. Bennette and L. C. Tichenor. The four first were the fruits of the first revival. Elder J. M. Bennette and T. Tichenor were ordained by this church January, 1843, Alfred Taylor aiding in the same. This church stands forth among many similar witnesses, testifying that his labors were not in vain.

Green River
Green River Church was organized July 16, 1836. Elders George Render, Joseph Taylor and Alfred Taylor composed the constituting presbytery. Fourteen members from Beaver Dam were her constituent members. The organization was formed at Samuel Lee's. After the church was organized her doors were opened for the reception of members, and Alfred Taylor and wife joined by letter. They would have gone into the constitution with the fourteen but for Brother Jonathan Rodgers, who desired none to be constituent members except persons dismissed from Beaver Dam for that purpose. The same day he was chosen as their pastor, and continued in said relationship until December, 1851. The time between these two dates were years of great prosperity. This being his home church, he held more revivals with them than elsewhere during the same period. His first revival here was held at the residence of Joseph James, in February, 1838. This was a great in-gathering, both as to numbers and the quality of the material brought into the building. Many of the most prominent citizens of the community were among the additions to the church. Fifty-five united with the church by experience and baptism, while many of the converts went to Beaver Dam and Indian Camp Baptist Churches, and some to other denominations: For four years in succession the church held annually a protracted meeting. The reader may judge of their suceess when it is stated that they resulted in ninety-nine baptisms and additions. The church appears then to have had biennial revivals for a term of years. But even during those years in which the church attempts no revival her numbers are swelled by additions. This church enjoyed such a measure of prosperity that in 1850, just fourteen years after her small beginning, she was the second strongest church in Gasper River Association, numbering at that time one hundred and seventy-four. In December, 1851, he retires from this field of past usefulness. Elsewhere he goes preaching the word, until March, 1854, when he again receives and accepts a call to his old charge. Again the Divine favor manifests itself in the conversion of souls and additions to the church of God at Green River. For three years he ceases not to declare unto this people the whole counsel of God. January, 1857, witnesses his departure from this flock again. By request, in September, 1859, he aided in the dedication of their new house of worship. March, 1862, is the date of his last call to the care of this church. This call he obeyed in July following. His lost health compelled his resignation January, 1864. This last pastorate, being in the heat of that corrupting war, exhibits but little fruit. The fellowship and peace of the church were maintained.

In the kind providence of God his health was partially restored, so that in 1865 he was able to speak a little. In the summer of this year he was invited to preach one Sunday in each month in connection with the pastoral labors of his son, Elder J. S. Taylor. This request he complied with until his voice was still in death. He was pastor of this church twenty-one years, held as many as one dozen protracted meetings for her and received into her fellowship about three hundred members.

But all was not sunshine. Dark days came before desired. It is with reference to a most fearful church trial I now write. Faithfulness to my duty and justice to the spirit of the departed demands its insertion. It occurred between two of the most prominent members of the church. The very existence of the church was threatened by awful antagonism. The church, almost
[p. 12]
to a man, was arrayed upon one side or the other. Prejudices ran high, and enmity governed for the most part. Long and dark was the night they passed through before the glimmerings of hope shone forth. "The aged brethren," says Elder B. F. Jenkins, "can not, even to this day, tell the details of this trouble without an emotion that brings the tear of sadness to their eye. It was in this dark hour that the true worth of Alfred Taylor shone most brilliantly. To the prudence, the firmness, the impartiality, and oft.repeated tearful pleadings of their pastor, this church gladly acknowledges her salvation in this hour so ominous with evil. The trial was not without some loss. One of these brethren was excluded. The loss was much less than had been anticipated. This occasion brought into requisition graces and gifts which the church had never fully recognized in their pastor. As he arose, and with streaming eyes plead for the peace of Zion and the reconciliation of estranged brethren, they beheld in him a soul that had not only risen above the petty prejudices of earth, but whose love for, and faith in, the great Head of the church put to shame and confusion the mere partyist, and caused the desponding to hope for better things.

Troubles never come single-handed. Another foe follows in quick succession. The wounds of internal dissension are not healed until that system comes along which thrives best where there is the least vital religion. I refer to Campbellism. History abundantly testifies to this. Where a church is at peace and in the enjoyment of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, Campbellism is powerless to affect it for evil. But let a church become involved in petty strife and dissensions, and there you will find the devil's prelude for the introduction of Campbellism. Thus it was at Green River. Satanic power having opened the way in the previous alienations, a son of A. Campbell enters in and proposes to complete the work of disintegration and destruction so effectnally begun. Here they concentrated the Campbellite forces of the Green River country. Finding some material suited to their building they proceeded with its erection. After their utmost efforts to ruin the church of God at Green River, they could only boast of having "stolen eight fat wethers from the Baptists." As Paul contended with beasts at Ephesus, so did Alfred Taylor at Green River. There he met and exposed Campbellism in all its forms. Often in his expositions of this fatal error, and in his faithful and skillful presentations of truth, did he so expose the fallacies of Campbellism that its representatives would arise in the congregation with contradictions on their lips. They were there for battle. And it was no uncommon thing for the minister to be disturbed by one of the disputers in the midst of his discourse. In this they manifested the true spirit of their system.

This is the only contest he had in all his field of labor with this sugar-coated error. This was the only community in all his range where it met with any encouragement. God spared his life long enough for him to see it a defunct mass upon the field where he met it and so successfully combated it. With sadness he beheld some of its supporters in the very meshes of infidelity. He that denies the work of the Spirit in renewing the soul has only one short step to deny His work in the inspiration of the Holy Scriptures. This denied, and infidelity takes possession of the man.

Through the strong tides of evil and error he safely directed the ship to the port of truth and blessed harbor of rest. For twenty-three years a member of Green River; for the same number of years her representative in the Gasper River Association; for twenty-one years her pastor -- the history of her developments, her houses of worship, her trials and triumphs, compose the history of Alfred Taylor's labors in her boundary.

There he lived, in loving intimacy with her members; there he labored, with good success; there he sacrificed, until he felt its sting; and there his name stands upon the roll of her blessed dead. The resolutions upon her church book tell of their grief at the news of his death. and their appreciation of services rendered while living. May this monument of his devoted life live and flourish until time shall be no more!

Cool Spring
For years before the constitution of this church, Alfred Taylor preached frequently at Joseph Schultz's and Harry Swain's, prominent citizens in adjacent communities. At the latter place he troubled the baptismal waters several times preparatory to the organization of a church. In January, 1846, the material previously prepared assumed an organic form and assumed the name of Cool Spring Baptist Church. He who had been instrumental in its constitution was selected as the first pastor. My information is that this body was constituted a church in Joseph Shultz's residence, and continued to meet there and at other dwelling-houses for sometime. His first pastorate continued until 1853. During this
[p. 13]
term of service the church had three ingatherings, which resulted in fifty additions to the church by baptism. In 1858 he again becomes the spiritual overseer, and serves them in this relation for three years. These years of toil were not without their reward. Perhaps as many as fifty united with this fold during this brief connection. His pastorate here was noted for the number of ministers connected with the church at various times, among whom we may mention Elders J. G. Brown, A. Russ, H. B. Wiggin, S. P. Forgy, T. D. Rust and Joseph Taylor. Perhaps this array of ministerial gifts had something to do with the inefficiency so manifest in the membership of this church. This church appreciated their pastor so highly as to willingly trust him to do the work of both preacher and people. In the erection of church edifices, as well as in adding to her numbers, A. Taylor did a good work at Cool Spring.

Mt. Carmel Church
This church was composed in the beginning, in part, of members converted at Stum's Landing, now Paradise, in a meeting held by Elder Taylor. In the neighborhood of this church, at the residence of Brother Roads, he preached his first sermon in Muhlenburg county, and among the first of his life. This was years before Mt. Carmel was organized. In February, 1849, he received and accepted a call to the care of this church. For two subsequent years he was recalled to the pastorate of this church, but, for reasons unknown to the writer, failed to accept. In March, 1859, he was installed their under-shepherd. In faithfulness he went in and out before them until July, 1862. At this time his removal from Paradise to his coal mine, near Cromwell, led him to offer his resignation, which the church with regret accepted. The most of his labors with this people being during the excitements and alienations of the war, his success was materially hindered. My recollection is that he had no revival during the last term of service. The clerk reports but sixteen additions during his labors with them. The brethren report that he labored with great acceptance in several meetings while under the direction of other pastors. The results of these efforts are not given in detail, but in general terms. Suffice it to say, the seals of his ministry are not few among those who once composed the church at Mt. Carmel. In the hearts of those who once sat under his ministry at this place he ever lives. And when his name shall cease to be mentioned by the living, the monument of acceptable labor will still last until Carmel shall be no more.

Nelson's Creek
When a boy in the ministry he made a visit to this church, in company with Elder B. Talbott. During this visit he made a short talk of five minutes. This effort was marked with great timidity and embarrassment. The brethren have very graphically before their minds the difference between this timid, halting beginning, and the boldness and firmness exhibited by him when in after years, he met the lion of Cumberland Presbyterianism before the same congregation.. In March, 1838, he began a meeting at B. S. Young's, a member of this church. After a few days the meeting was removed to a vacant dwelling-house occupying the present site of Nelson Creek Station. The meeting continued two weeks, with the following results: Fifty were immersed into the fellowship of Nelson Creek, while, in the language of one who attended the meeting, "Scores wcnt to adjacent Baptist chllrches." From converts brought to Christ during this meeting, the Cumberland Presbyterian Church at Mt. Olivet was formed. In August of the same year he held another meeting of greater interest at Stum's ware-house, where Paradise now stands. This was at that time in the boundary of Nelson Creek Church. The brethren say the converts and baptisms of this meeting exceeded those of the one just reported. Ten of these united with the church at Nelson Creek, while the large majority went elsewhere. The converts of these two meetings are said have exceeded two hundred. Amorg those baptized at Stum's Landing was an Ethopian whose skin and heart had not been changed by his profession and baptism, as was too soon evinced by his stealing the administrator's clothes before they had dried. This representative of Simon Magus was apprehended almost instantly, and, with due respect to the ordinance of God's House, decently flogged.

From this date his care and abiding interest for this church manifested themselves in his preaching for them in their house of worship, as often, says the aged members, as their own pastor. These appointments must have been in the week, as his Sabbaths were all occupied with his own charges. The people gave strong evidences of their high appreciation of his efforts in the vast crowds that waited upon his ministry at this place.

He was invited to the pastorate of this church
[p. 14]
August, 1852. His time being fully occupied elsewhere, the call was declined. He accepted a call to the bishopric of this body, May, 1859, and continued in said relationship to August, 1862, at which time he resigned, having removed again to Ohio county. In March, 1861, this people enjoyed a revival of religion with the following result: Twenty-six were added to the church by experience and baptism. Nothing more of special interest seems to have occurred during this brief pastorate. With fond hopes and strong desires this people gave him a hearty call to their pastorate, September, 1865, but before their meeting in October, at which time he was to begin his labors, God had called him home, and he was no more among men. Though only partially recovered from those lung troubles, which had forbidden him to preach for some time, he returns to the work he loved so well. I most gladly pen this last item. Alfred Taylor died as he lived, both pastor and evat1gelist. In deep grief Nelson Creek mourns the loss of one dearly loved.

Ever mindful of the importance of occupying centers of influence, my father began a meeting of days at Morgantown, county-seat of Butler county, January 21, 1840. He \vas without ministerial aid, and preached, as he often did, night and day during this meeting. The meeting continued only five days. At its close he immersed thirteen upon a profession of their faith in Christ. These, with five others, he constituted into a church. He at once became pastor of this new interest. In this capacity he labored for two years. In March following the organization of the church ten others were immersed and united with the church. Frequently during his pastorate had he occasion to trouble the baptismal waters. Although he held no regular revivals with this church after its constitution, yet his journal shows that he frequently preached several discourses consecutively, which doubtless were the basis of those baptisms which occurred from time to time. In the meeting, which resulted in the organization of the church, I notice a peculiarity common to him at that period of life. It was brevity. Here he preached five days and reported a good meeting. He must have asked and expected immediate action upon the part of saints and sinners. This is the Gospel plan and we do well to follow it.

At the close of two years he left a church of thirty-three members. Considering the difficulties in awakening and sustaining a religious interest in small towns, his success here was very gratifying. The church seems never to have prospered again.

In this town, the county-seat of Ohio county, my father began his labors in 1840. For nine years he ceased not to break the bread of life to this people. In his support this church in 1841 received aid from the General Association of Kentucky. I find no mention in his journal of further aid. In September of the same year, Elder John L. Waller aided him in a few days meeting, which resulted in three additions to the church by experience and baptism. In 1846 six other baptisms are reported. Baptisms occurred occasionally during the years of his ministrations to this village; but the number was not large at any one time. How many revivals the church enjoyed during his term of service, I have been unable to learn. Of his ministry at this point, we may truthfully say, it was not attended with the success usually enjoyed by him and the churches he served.

Of Hartford we may say, the gospel has never won many signal victories over the masses of her citizens. Perhaps the success of Alfred Taylor will compare favorably with any man's who has occupied the same field. The want of success in small towns by men elsewhere extensively useful, presents a problem worthy of the prayerful consideration of our village churches.

The close of his connection with this fold dates the beginning of a decline, which ended in the extinction of the church. So it has been since the days of Christ; churches have been established, and time and sin have wrought their ruin.

The present church of Hartford is a new organization, built upon the ruins of the old.

Prior to 1842 Elder Taylor had preached in and about Owensboro on both sides of the Ohio river. The success of some meetings in Indiana laid the basis of his call by this people. July, 1842, dates the beginning of his pastoral work with Owensboro. Two years marks the time of this first pastorate with this church. June, 1847, the church recalls him to his former field of labor. The church has made some advances since his departure, and now demand half his time. The demand is promply met, and for eighteen months he gives half his time to the
[p. 15]
interest of this church. He preached two successive Sabbaths in each month, and during the intervening week remained in and about the city. This time was spent mainly in preaching. Private houses, school-houses and church edifices, both in Kentucky and Indiana, were the places of his ministrations. In all he labored in five revival efforts at this point. Brother George McKay, who was there and is still a member, says: "In his revival meetings he was always successful." In his first effort, which was in March, 1843, there were thirty professions, and about the same number of additions. During his revival of 1847 more than forty were added to the church by experience and baptism. Of the three other meetings in which he labored we can make no definite report. This we are assured of: They were attended with precious results. Between his first and last pastorates the church began what they called a praise meeting, conducted by the members. In this all denominations joined. These meetings resulted in near forty conversions, many of them the children of. the Baptist brotherhood. Much to the dissatisfaction of the Baptists, the Cumberland Presbyterians out-voted them and removed the meeting to the Cumberland Presbyterian house of worship; then conducted it as their own meeting. The Baptists, knowing the influences that would be brought to bear to induce their children to join other than the church of their fathers, sent a messenger for Alfred Taylor. Though the weather was very cold, Brother McKay made the trip of eighty miles and returned with the former pastor of Owensboro Baptist Church. The meeting was resumed at the place where first begun. The doors of the church were opened from time to time, and eventually most of the converts were welcomed to the Baptist fold. Only a few were left for those greedy of more. His revival services closed with this church in 1850, though he preached occasionally for them up to the close of life. Brother McKay, in speaking of his labors, says: "He preached Christ with a great deal of zeal and earnestness, and the Lord always blessed his labors. The church were all much attached to him. We always liked to have him with us, and were fond of hearing him preach." Forty miles intervened between the city of Owensboro and Elder Taylor's home in Ohio county. This made it very laborious to act as their pastor. Notwithstanding the great distance he was faithful and prompt in his attendance. His great remoteness from the scene of action doubtless shortened his labors where God had signally owned and blessed them upon various occasions. In the multitude of sheaves he shall offer to the Judge at the last day, not a few shall come from Owensboro and vicinity. That crown of rejoicing is certain and unfading.

Providence, Warren County
The first associations with this noble body of Christians was in revival work. In May, 1840, in connection with David Mansfield, he began a series of day meetings. The meetings continued for days with no special indications for good. The case was so hopeless that the brethren deemed it advisable to close. The amen was pronounced, the congregation had retired from the sanctuary, Elder Taylor was upon the block, with horse by his side, ready to start for his home, when, at the earnest solicitation of some of the brethren, he consented to preach again the next day. To the fast dispersing crowd the meeting for the following day was announced. The next day the people came forth with prayerful, anxious hearts, and with a soul in full accord with theirs Brother Taylor preached,. and, after a melting exhortation, invited those forward who desired prayer and instruction. About twenty were found at the altar seeking the precious salvation. The meeting continued for days with marked and unabated interest. Fourteen days dates the time occupied in this failure and wonderful success. During the meeting thirty-three were approved for baptism, twenty-eight of whom received the ordinance at the close of the meeting -- of these Elder Mansfield baptized sixteen, and Elder Taylor twelve, both officiating in the water at once. This meeting was noted for the many prominent and aged citizen brought to Christ and the fellowship of His church. This meeting illustrates that text which says, "We have need of patience, after we have done the will of God, that we may receive the promise." They fainted not and in due season they reaped. These ministers and most af their converts are now reaping their eternal reward.

At the instance of this people Alfred Taylor discussed the communion question with Elder Granville Mansfield, May, 1849.

The second Sunday in September, 1849, he, in company with J. M. Pendleton, preached the funeral sermon of Elder D. L. Mansfield, whom God had recently and suddenly called home by attack. of cholera. Brother Mansfield had been the pastor of this church for twenty-two years. This, with his great popularity as a minister
[p. 16]
of Jesus Christ, made his funeral an occasion of unusual interest.

The church, bereft of her devoted pastor, bestirs herself to secure some one to take his place. In January, 1850, they cast their lots, and with great unanimity they chose Alfred Taylor. In February following he accepted the call and proceeded upon his work. For two years and six months in promptness and faithful activity he served them as pastor. In the middle of his third year's service, from the consideration of distance, he offered his resignation, much to the dissatisfaction of the entire body. During his pastorate he held one protracted meeting, October, 1851. This meeting resulted in twenty-six additions before its close, with a number at succeeding meetings. The present commodious house of worship was begun and completed at his suggestion and during his labors with them. Most cheerfully did the brethren build the new edifice, seeing the old one was inadequate to meet the wants of the throngs who eagerly attended upon his ministry. The honor of dedicating the new house of worship was most cordially extended to the retiring pastor; but. from considerations of forty miles intervening, feeble health and other demands for his service, he declined the offer.

Elder J. M. Pendleton became his successor. While Brother Pendleton was pastor my father aided in two meetings. The first was held in August, 1853. This meeting continued near one month. Sixty-four were added during the meeting. Others came in the next church meeting. Again in October, 1856, that familiar voice was heard in Providence, persuading men to be reconciled to God. This meeting brought in about fifteen. In 1856, and also in 1859, Alfred Taylor was, by a unanimous vote, called to the charge of this flock; both of which he declined for the same reason that led him to resign when their pastor. In the fall of 1864 my fathcr, in connection with his son, J. S. Taylor, visited this church and held a meeting of days. The church had been without regular preaching for more than two years. This, with the unhallowed influences of the war, had brought about a general lukewarmness and inactivity. A general revival among the members and twelve accessions by baptism crowned their efforts. The church soon elected a pastor and began again to let her light shine. On Friday before the first Sunday in October, 1865, he arrived at Deacon Asher' s, expecting to preach a funeral at Providence the Sunday following, and then aid the pastor, J. S. Taylor, in a meeting of days. So feeble and exhausted was he on his arrival at Brother Asher's that gentle and loving hands aided him to the house and a place of rest. To the house of God he went no more. God was fast loosening the few vital chords that still bound him to earth. October 9 he joined " the General Assembly and Church of the First-born." He died at Charles Asher's, and in the midst of the church by whom he was dearly loved and highly appreciated.

Other Churches
As it regards his labors with the churches, in no instance have I the facts to enable me to give a full record of a single pastorate. In the fullest it is partial; in others, fearfully defective.

Those churches mentioned under this head are such as I have gathered nothing of special interest concerning:

Salem Church, Butler county, I think, the fruit of his own labors. He often preached at private houses in the neighborhood before the constitution of the church. He became pastor of the church in 1859. Whether he served the church before this or not I will not affirm. That his labors continued from the above date to 1862 is possible. With what success I have failed to learn.

West Providence, Ohio county, is also a vine of his own planting; he was her pastor during the year 1862. Politics and war engaged the minds of the people more this year than religion and its claims. With this church and her pastor he enjoyed quite a number of refreshings from the Lord. At one of these Elders E. H. Maddox, J. T. Casebier and the writer were converted and joined the church.

In 1857, with a view tp the education of his children, he removed to Lafayette, Christian county. Perhaps as much as one year of. his eventful life was spent in the pastorate of churches in reach of this town. Beyond the bare fact of serving some churches in Christian county, I can not affirm aught concerning said pastorates. The schools, whose advantages he sought, being greatly damaged by the voluntary removal of the teachers to other more inviting situations, he returned to his former home and field of labor.

[p. 17]
Chapter VIII
His Associational Record
His connection, with one year's exception, was with Gasper River Association.

He was first sent from Sandy Creek Church, . August, 1831, to the Association, then convened at Hazel Creek Church. His associational record extends from this date to 1865, the year of his death. He was present at all the meetings of this body during this time, save one, in 1858, and that year was living in Christian county. He was messenger every year of his attendance, except 1857, and had moved to the aforesaid county. When the subject of this biography began his labors in this Association there were but three churches in Ohio county -- Beaver Dam, Pond Run and Walton's creek; two in Butler county -- Sandy Creek and Midway; and, in connection with Gasper River Association, but two in Muhlenburg county -- Hazel Creek and Nelson Creek. The total membership of these churches did not exceed three hundred and fifty. In 1837, the beginning of Alfred Taylor's consecration and great usefulness, these three churches enrolled the following ministers: S. Vaught, of Hazel Creek; William Childers, of Sandy Creek; George Render, of Beaver Dam; Joseph Taylor, of Midway; and A. Taylor, of Green River. All these, except the last mentioned, were full of years and did but little in the ministry. Four fathers in the ministry and but one son! How different the ratio to what it should have been. See the one Timothy. Behold the large field of three counties now white to harvest. Well might he have said, "Who is sufficient for this great task?" The harvest truly was great, but the laborers were few. God was able to reap a glorious harvest of souls through the ministry of one son in the Gospel. So He did.

For three years prior to 1838 the Association, in her tabular exhibit, had reported but eighteen baptisms from all her churches. They were proportioned as follows: In 1835, three; in 1836, ten; and in 1837, five. The year following this last date the minutes show an increase by baptism of five hundred and ninety-one members. More than five hundred of these had been converted and baptized under the personal ministry of Elder Taylor. The success attending his ministry placed him at once among the leading members of his o\vn Association. His efficiency in the services rendered at the annual meetings of this body enabled him to advance to her highest positions and greatest honors. These he maintained even to the close of life. This, too, in an Association whose talent during the prime and latter years of his life has been unsurpassed by any similar body in the State.

With a mind ready to conceive, and with a heart and hand ready to act, he was prominent in the introduction and adoption of many measures looking to the spread of the Gospel and the salvation of the lost. When he became a member of tltis Association it was theoretically and practically an anti-mission body. Whatever of missionary spirit eventually manifested itself was in a great measure due to his efforts. The texts selected for introductories and Sunday discourses fully justify the assertion, that he sounded a clear note in favor of home and foreign missions.

He felt fully the force of those last words of our Savior, "Preach the Gospel to every creature," and greatly desired and earnestly labored to imbue others with the same truth and spirit wluch made him a missionary for Jesus.

It was under his influence the Green River Bible Society was formed and made efficient. He was one of the constituent members of this society, which was organized December 25, 1837. The minutes of said meeting inform us that he preached upon Sunday upon the distribution or the Bible: "In this discourse many things entirely new and interesting were brought to view." At the third meeting of this body, held with the Stony Point Church, 1839, by appointment he read a circular setting forth the origin and design of the American and Foreign Bible Society. This circular was thought worthy of publication. and was printed with the minutes of the next Association. In 1845 he was chosen by this society to represent her in the Kentucky Bible Society. In 1849 [he] acted as her agent in organizing sub-societies with individual churches. In 1859 he was upon the committee which recommended the reference of her interests and work to the Association. So, then, he was one of the founders, and when no longer necessary, recommended the dissolution of this body. He often preached the annual sermon before this society, as often presided as moderator at her meetings, and by contribution and effort did much in securing the achievements attained.

He stood prominent in the organization of Gasper River Ministers' and Deacons' Meeting, which was organized at Green River Church in 1847. To the close of life he loved these
[p. 18]
meetings, and, by written productions, discourses and criticisms, contributed to their support and efficiency. These meetings he regarded of great importance to ministers, young and old. They brought the ministry nearer together in fellowship and faith, and by investigation and free discussion did much good.

When Gasper River Association proposed to build a seminary in her boundary, Alfred Taylor was found at the front, and said by contributions and effort the enterprise must succeed. He was appointed by the Association as one of the building Committee. Then it became necessary to have an agent to secure the funds, so essential to the success of such enterprises. Alfred Taylor was chosen and fully authorized to act in this capacity. In this sphere he faithfully and efficiently served the Association. The building being completed, he was elected and enrolled as one of the trustees of the seminary. And, though this building was consumed by devouring flames and the enterprise came to naught, still his connection therewith shows the spirit of the man and his position in the Association. Every educational interest, at any time recommended or in any wise fostered by this Association, found in him a warm friend and an ardent supporter. Ofttimes painfully realizing his own lack of a more thorough education, he used all means in his power to place within the reach of others tllat which in early life was beyond his own grasp.

In 1841 the Association was divided into three districts, and Alfred Taylor was appointed to canvass one of these and preach to each church therein upon the subject of ministerial support. This he did according to the ability God had given him. He believed in a sustained and consecrated ministry, and so preached to the churches. But with his own churches he failed to demand that support which the Gospel authorizes and most churches are able to provide.

He labored as agent and missionary at various times under the appointment of the Association. In November, 1839, he was appointed general missionary for this body. In nine months, over and above his pastoral labors, he traveled twelve hundred and fifteen miles, preached one hundred and twenty-seven sermons, collected upon the field eighty dollars and baptized seventy-five persons. At the Association, in 1846, the ministers present were requested to give pledges for so many days' missionary labor. My fatIler promised to devote twenty days thus. The minutes of next Association contain the following report: "Alfred Taylor labored twenty-eight days, baptized forty converts and received six dollars." In 1841 Elder Taylor and others were appointed by the Association to hold a several-days' meeting at Concord Church, Butler county. This church had joined the Association four years before, reporting a membership of twelve. For three years she had failed to represent herself in the Association. This led to the appointment of the meeting. The report to the body next year exhibits efficient labor. The church assumes her appropriate place with sister churches and reports an increase of thirty-nine members -- thirty-six by baptism and three by letter. He was chosen by the Association as her collecting agent, August, 1865. He had just gotten ready to enter upon his labors when God said, "It is enough." At the bidding of his master he joyfully exchanges the armor for the unfading crown of glory. Thus often was be recognized as tbe agent or missionary of the Association, but he more frequently labored in destitute fields without appointment or compensation. Heaven now repays for all his toils and sacrifices.

In 1847 the funds of the Association increased to more tban necessary. The Association referred the question of their appropriation to the churches. Tbe next meeting of this body directs their appropriation to the American and Foreign Bible Society, in order to make Elder Alfred Taylor a life-member of the same. Thus they gave their approbation to, and an expression of their high appreciation of, his valuable services in favor of the translation and circulation of the word of life at home and abroad.

The first official relation he sustained to the Association was that of treasurer. From the year 1841 to 1849 he served the body in that official department. He was released from the duties of that office by his election to the moderatorship. His services as moderator began at Cool Spring Church, August, 1849. He was the successor of Elder Mansfield, whose death made vacant this office. For eight years in succession he presided at every meeting of this Association.. His removal to Christian county in 1857 required the selection of some one else. For two years after his return to his former field of labor, H. B. Wiggin continued to preside. In 1861 Alfred Taylor was again re-elected moderator. His popularity and efficiency as a presiding officer secured his re-election until the close of life. When, in October, 1865, he fell asleep the announcement occurs in the Western
[p. 19]
Recorder thus: "The venerable Moderator of Gasper River Association is no more." For thirteen years, with faithful impartiality, he stands at the head of a large and efficient body of ministers and members. No officer of this body has ever given more general satisfaction or awakened more interest in her meetings than he.

The following exhibit will show the time, place, and, in most instances, the text of the introductory sermons preached by Alfred Taylor before his own Association:
Time	 	Place 	 	Text.  
1835 . Mt. Pleasant, Logan county. . . . Rom. i :16.
1839 . Stony Point, Logan county. . . . Not g:ven.
1845 . Mt. Cannel, Muhlenburg county. John iv:35.
1847 . Clear Fork, Warren county. . . . I. Cor. iii:22, 23.
1850 . Stony Point, Logan county. . . . II. Cor. xii:13.
1852 . Pond Run, Ohio county . . . . Rev. ii:17.
1855 . West Providence, Ohio county. . . Not given.
1861 . Green River, Ohio county. .. Mat. xxviii:30
1862 . Sandy Creek, Butler county. . . . Jude i:13.
During the lifetime of my father the meetings of the Association included Sabbath. So far as I can learn it was the universal custom of the Association to select by private ballot the ministers to fill the stand upon Sunday. The following record of Sabbath preaching at the meetings of this Association will show with what eagerness ministers and members hung upon his ministrations.
Time. 		Place. 		Text. 
1839 . Stony Point, Logan county. . . . Omitted.
1840 . Beaver Daln, Ohio county. . . . . John v:39.
1842 . Center, Logan county. . . .II Cor. v:14, 15.
1843 . Walton's Creek, Ohio county. . . Isaiah lii:1.
1844 . Providence, Warren county. . . . Mat. xx:6.
1845 . Mt. Carmel, Muhlenburg county. . Gal. iii:8.
1847 . Clear Fork, Warren county. . . . Psalms xix;:7.
1848 . Mt. Pleasant, Logan eounty. . . . Rom. ii:l2.
1849 . Cool Spring, Ohio county. . . . . Mat.xxviii: 18,19.
1854 . Ebenezer, Muhlenburg county. . . Luke xvi:9.
1855 . West Providence, Ohio county; . . Omitted.
1859 . Rock Spring, Butler county. . . . Omitted.
1862 . Sandy Creek, Butler county. . . . I. Cor. ii:2.
The partiality in the Association to Alfred Taylor as a preacher was so great that they often showed a want of courtesy to visiting ministers by appointing him to preach at the most popular hours at the annual gathering . Dr. Coleman says: "It made no difference what visiting ministers were present, Alfred Taylor, for twenty years, was chosen to preach at the most popular hours. This was true at home or abroad."

When the Association met with his own churches repeatedly he was forced, by the voice of the body, to preach upon Lord'sday. Towards the close of his life the Association changed her custom, and usually gave the preference to visiting clergy.

With the records before us we may truthfully say, Elder Alfred Taylor had the honor of baptizing more into the fellowship of her churches in one year, preaching oftener upon Sunday of her annual convocations, preaching more introductory discourses before her vast throngs, and acting as her moderator at more of her meetings, than any minister that has ever enjoyed her fellowship.

Most of the churches added to the Association in Butler, Muhlenburg and Ohio counties were the fruit of his labors. A large majority of that army of ministers springing from these counties were converted under his ministry and baptized by his bands. They were his sons in the ministry.

General Associaiton of Kentucky
In his journal I find the following: "On Thursday, May 25, 1848, received a letter from D. R. Campbell informing me of my appointment to ride as missionary three months during the summer."

Under this appointment he began riding as missionary July 8, 1848. How long he continued in this work, at what points he labored, and the results of his labors, we can not gain any information.

In October, 1858, he accepted an appointment as fincancial agent for the General Association, and proceeded immediately upon the work. In this field of Gospel labor he exercised himself for four and one half months. His efforts were mainly confined to Ohio, McLean and Daviess counties. The temptation to protracted meeting labor was so strong that more than once in this brief season he ceased his work of collecting the perishing pelf and returned to his life-work, the seeking of the lost. In this agency he had reasonable success. While engaged in this department of the Lord's work he found a life, and proceeded no further. This is not the first agent who was suddenly checked in his arduous labors. Some say, "Bad enough." The Scripture says, "He that findeth a wife findeth a good thing:" So may it ever be.

Time and again he represented Gasper River in the General Association; the former body defraying his expenses to and from the latter. Of his work at these annual gatherings of the representative Baptists of the State, I have learned nothing worthy of a place in this brief history of his life.

[p. 20]
Chapter IX
Miscellaneous Work
In the first chapter of this little book the statement of his youthful dissipations is recorded. His reformation, dating from the hour of his conversion, was complete and life-long. He advocated temperance from the Gospel basis. He practiced it as one of the Christian graces. He had the honor of leading the first temperance reform inaugurated in Butler county. This new and novel enterprise awakened much and bitter opposition. Violence was theatened to the person of the youthful leader, and it is thought these unhallowed intents would have been executed had it not been that a number of the best citizens in the community came to his relief. The excitement eventually subsided, and, fanned by the gentle breeze of public favor, the flag of temperance waved in triumph. He became a standard-bearer in the order of "Sons of Temperance." In town and country, in church and school-house, his voice was heard advocating the principles of the fraternity. He saw first the monster as he roamed at will, none daring to dispute his right or oppose his onward march. Fully satisfied that evil, and only evil, followed in his wake, young Alfred Taylor dared to say it and felt himself able to prove it. "The little one became a thousand, and the weak one a mighty host." In his day and under his leadership a very marked change gradually stole over the habits of the people. The jug was soon left off at the public gatherings in communities, and then many ceased to "keep it" at their homes. In this, as in other efforts, his labor was not in vain.

As an independent evangelist he did much effective service. A few brief extracts from his journal will suffice to illustrate his labors in this special sphere of usenuness:

"February, 1840, held a meeting for nine days at A. Russ', preached nine sermons, witnessed eight professions, baptized fifteen, two restored, and received two dollars."

"Immediately after the Association, held a meeting of five days at. Harry Swain's and baptized five persons."

"January, 1841, preached seven days at A. Russ' and baptized eight persons."

"February, 1842, held a ten-days' meeting at Mr. Benson's, preaching once and twice each day. At the close of the meeting baptized thirteen."

"The same month preached twice at John Southerland's and baptized fifteen, the converts of a meeting held by Amos Russ."

"In the Spring following preached four days at Mr. Baws' and baptized nineteen."

"October, 1846, labored twelve days at John Maddox's and immersed eighteen."

"The same fall had a few days' meeting at Mark Taylor's school-house, preached four sermons and baptized twenty-seven."

At various times, with varied results, he preached at Elder J. G. Brown's, Joseph Shultz's and Leroy Borah's.

These are only specimens of an untold amount of labor and precious fruits connected with his ministry in private residences. From house to house, in public and in private, with heavenly love and holy zeal, he ceased not to teach the people.

Clear Fork, Warren county, was permitted to enjoy his evangelistic services on various occasions. In September, 1842, he aided pastor Mansfield in a meeting of days, during which he preached ten times and witnessed eleven baptisms. October, 1849, as he went to and returned from Providence, he called in at a meeting held by Elder Thomas. During this meeting he preached two funerals -- that of Brother Boswell and Brother Hammond's child. Preached seven sermons during this meeting, baptized five and saw Elder Thomas baptize eighteen. At a later date attended the meeting of the Association with this church. From this annual convocation, in connection with Elders .J. F. Austin and J. M. Bennett, he continued the meeting. The Lord was favorable unto Zion. The word preached did not return void, but was effective in the salvation of many souls. Definitely we can not report the result of these efforts. Suffice it to say, this was one of the most successful revivals in the history of this church.

Baker's Creek, Indiana
In 1841 he held a meeting of remarkable interest with this church. The church was resting in the profound slumbers of fatalism. From curiosity, or something else, the people in crowds pressed their way to the house of God. All were respectful and solemn, but saints and sinners seemed impervious to all the appeals of the Gospel. "Alfred Taylor," says his co-laborer, "as few other men could do, plead with them until it looked like the very rocks would melt, but not a move was made in all the ranks. Finally, one auspicious night, Brother Taylor
[p. 21]
came down out of the pulpit, and, having: slowly advanced half down the aisle, he knelt upon both knees and exhorted and wept until more than half of the large audience asked for prayer that night. This outburst of interest continued for days without abatement. Scores sought and found the precious Redeemer." Elder J. G. Brown says my father baptized seveeral times during the meetings; at one of these he immersed over sixty in the Ohio river. Among those baptized were eleven Methodists; also D. E. Burns, who afterwards became a minister of some renown. In speaking of the impressions of his soul upon the night of his agonizing pleading, he characterized them as the greatest of his life. He sowed in tears, he reaped in joy. He saw the travail of his soul and was satisfied.

Other Churches
He also held meetings, with good success, at various points in Breckinridge county, Booneville in Indiana, Buck Creek and Rumsey in McLean county, Green Briar and other points in Daviess county, Mt. Pleasant, Center, Stony Point, Russellville and other places in Logan county, and many other places near and remote from his home. For want of more definite information we are compelled to pass these meetings with this brief mention.

While he labored during life as a pastor, and often as an evangelist, under the appointment of the Association, still his widest field of labor was in the sphere of an independent missionary. The commission of his Lord and King commanded him to preach the Gospel to every creature, and to as many as possible he was determined to preach Christ and Him crucified. With what faithfulness he cultivated a field extending from Bowling Green to Owensboro, we can not know. What results shall aggregate from labors so extensive, eternity alone will fully exhibit.

Chapter X
His Debates
Alfred Taylor was not a professional debater. He seldom, if ever, dealt in denominational personalities in the pulpit. His popularity with other denominations abounded to that extent that he often was called to attend in the funeral services of members of other societies. Many of his greatest admirers were found in the ranks of other churches. To secure this he never for once yielded his own convictions of truth or duty. With him, however, to preach the whole truth was an imperative duty. Of him I may say, he "shunned not to declare all the counsel of God." Loyalty to Christ demanded both the proclamation and the defense of the whole truth. Hence he was led sometimes to contest the ground with ministers of contrary views. His first contest for truth was with Elder Young, of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Elder Young preached a discourse upon the action of baptism, followed by another labored, three-hours' effort upon the question of infant baptism. To these Elder Taylor made reply. My father's journal affords the only information in this discussion. He mentions the efforts of his opponent, gives full notes of the last discourse and then speaks of having replied "with much satisfaction" to himself. This cross-firing took place in the "little bend" of Green River, in the summer of 1841.

On the second Lord's day in December of the same year, Elder Taylor preached at a vacant house, called the Duncan House, occupying the present site of Nelson Creek Station. In this discourse he exposed the evils of infant baptism. Upon the next day he preached a sermon in favor of immersion as Gospel baptism. The discourses having been previously announced, Elder Caskey, of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, arrived in time to hear and take notes of both sermons. Upon Monday night and Tuesday of the same week, Elder Caskey attempted a reply to each of Elder Taylor's efforts. My father in turn heard and took notes of Mr. Caskey's discourses, and in due course of time made further reply. This debating at long range continued for months -- competent brethren, after the four first discourses, taking notes of each sermon and furnishing the same to the respective opponent. The notes of Elder Caskey's two first rejoinders show him to have been in early life what he is fully known to be in riper years -- a man more noted for the harshness of his speech than the power of his arguments. In his first reply, as often as one dozen times, he brands his opponent with "ignorance." He found it more easy to raise a cry of ignorance than to refute the arguments (urled against sprinkling, pouring and baby baptism.

This was the first time Baptist doctrines upon the subject and action of baptism had been fully preached in this community. The results were exceedingly gratifying. Baptistskwere enthusiastic during the entire controversy, and in the end were fully satisfied that truth lost
[p. 22]
nothing where properly presented. Here investigation was not without its benefits. So it may ever be.

In 1849 Elder Granville Mansfield, of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, upon a communion occasion at Pleasant Hill Church, Warren county, Kentucky, made a long, and by Baptists said to have been a very bitter talk against the practice of restricted communion. In the conclusion of his remarks he proposed "to comb the tow" out of any man's head that the Baptists would get to meet him upon that subject, provided said opponent was only his equal in educational advantages. Baptists thought a challenge so defiant merited some attention. Longer forbearance might have been justly construed into an acknowledged weakness, either of their doctrine or its defenders. Hence, Brethren George Minton and Charles Asher, members of an adjacent Baptist church, entered into correspondence with Elder Mansfield. In this correspondence the brethren endeavored to get a proposition upon baptism accepted as a part and parcel of the anticipated debate. Elder Mansfield declined to accept it upon the ground that his banter was confined to the communion question. Eventually the preliminaries for the discussion of the following proposition were all arranged: Proposition -- "Are Baptists justifiable in refusing to commune with Pedobaptists at the Lord's table?" Baptists affirm. Presbyterians deny. After consultation, Elder Alfred Taylor, of Ohio county, was chosen as the representative of the Baptists, and was also accepted by the opposing party. The debate began May I5, 1849, at Pleasant Hill Church, Warren county, Elder Taylor leading in the discussion. Dr. J. M. Pendleton was the chosen moderator of the Baptists.

The discussion continued with good interest for five days. Upon the second day of the debate a leading Pedobaptist, in regular attendance, remarked to Elder Mansfield: "You must change your tactIcs or you are gone by the board. " In later years this same man said to a Baptist: "Taylor laid down the gap, and Mansfield walked unsuspectingly in and was caught every time." Baptists regret to this day that Elder Mansfield's defense was so weak. Perhaps the regret was more keenly felt upon the other side of the house. The close of this debate was peculiar. Elder Mansfield, in his last speech, attempted a recapitulation, but had not proceeded far until he began shouting, and thus covered his retreat. Elder David Mansfield, the Baptist pastor, and brother to Elder Granville Mansfield, stood upon the steps of the church, and with his grand trumpet-like voice gave vent to his exultant feelings in the cry of "victory" Elder Mansfield found no "tow" in all his combings -- either none in the Baptist head, or his comb was too short. Some croakers say much evil resulted from this debate. If so, let the woe rest where it belongs. The Baptists think much good resulted from it. It certainly took a good deal of the warlike and the unkind out of Elder Mansfield's ministry in that community. That certainly was needed. Defeats make some persons life-long enemies to all discussions. For one I am entirely willing to risk the cause of truth in any fair contest it may have with error. Truth is mighty, and its final triumph is certain.

In 1854 Elder T. C. Frogge, of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, challenged my father to the discussion of the differences between the Methodists and Baptists. The challenge was accepted, the preliminaries agreed upon, and the debate began in the dry summer of 1854, at Beaver Dam Church, Ohio county, Kentucky. Elder Taylor entered the debate in feeble health, having only partially recovered

In the original document is a picture of the grave marker located below, with the inscription:

Slaty Creek Cemetery
Ohio County, Kentucky
Gift of Gasper River Ass'n

[p. 23]
from an attack of fever. Upon the second day of the debate his fever returned, from which he barely escaped death. Elder J. M. Bennett was chosen to take Elder Taylor's place, and after a little delay the debate proceeded to its close. A Baptist minister, whose name can be given if necessary, told me that Elder Frogge admitted in a conversation with him, that he found in Alfred Taylor a power of originality and logic that he had met in no other opponent. It was a matter of general regret upon the part of Baptists that sickness took their representative from tIle field. While they had no cause to be ashamed of Brother Bennett in his defense of their tenets, still they felt that Alfred Taylor could sustain truth and expose error as no other minister could in the Green River Country. With me it is a matter of no regret that my father did, at various times and places, rally to the defense of the truth as Heaven has revealed it. Moreover, I rejoice in the assurance that in no contest in which he appeared in its defense did the truth, as held by Baptists, suffer. His journal records the immersion at his hands of many Methodists and Presbyterians.

Chapter XI
His Tomothys
Perhaps Alfred Taylor could boast of more ministerial sons than the Apostle Paul. His ministry was noted for the number of ministers that sprang up in his special field of labor. The home demand was fully met, while many other vacant fields were well cultivated by the overplus. My brother, Elder J. S. Taylor, says he heard our father count by name more than thirty ministers whom he had immersed. Most of these were converted under his ministry, and many of them were inducted into the ministry under his immediate watch care. We can not report the full list, but will give the names and fields of labor so far as we have gathered them.

Amos Russ, the associate of his youth, the companion of riper years and better labors, and the first preacher baptized by him, labored many years in the boundary of Gasper River Association. James Childres, J. F. Hanse and James Vaughan, confined their labors mainly to Butler county. John Maddox, a licentiate only, but a tower of strength in revivals, rendered valuable aid in various parts of Ohio and adjacent counties. These have all gone to their eternal reward. A. C. Stevenson, a licentiate, who labored for a while in Ohio and Butler counties, has for many years done but little in the ministry. James Burgess after a brief sojourn in the Green River Country, I believe, located in the State of Missouri. Geo. W. More lived and labored in. Indiana. J. G. Brown was for many years pastor and evangelist in Gasper River Association. Jacob Igleheart departed from the faith and found a home with the Freewill Baptists. Thomas Tichenor emigrated south, and the special field of his labors I can not give. L. C. Tichenor for many years has been active as a successful minister in Daviess County Association. D. J. K. Maddox has obtained help of the Lord, and found favor sufficient with the people to continue his labors in the boundary of Gasper River Association. R. H. Miller labored with great zeal and good success, both in Gasper River and Goshen Associations. T. D. Rust has ministered at different times to churches in Gasper River, Little Bethel and Daviess County Associations. J. S. Taylor, the successor of his father in the pastorate, after eight or ten years of more than ordinary usefulness, removed to Kansas, where he has done a good work for seven years past. A. B. Miller with more or less efficiency has been pastor at Owensboro, Memphis, Paducah, Versailles and other points. Also his labors have been greatly blessed as an evangelist in various parts of the Union. D. E. Burns who labored at Canton and Jackson, Mississippi, Memphis, Tennessee; and New Orleans, Louisiana, was called home in the midst of his usefulness. J. M. Bennett first labored in the boundary of Gasper River Association, but has since been pastor of Bethel Church, Christian county, Taylorsville, Maysville and churches in the State of Ohio. Dr. J. S. Coleman; for sixteen years moderator of the General Association of Kentucky, also editor at different times of the Green River Baptist and Western Recorder, has labored with unusual efficiency as State Evangelist and pastor in Gasper River and Daviess County Associations. J. M. Peay, a pillar in Daviess County Association, has spent most of his ministerial life in earnest, successful work with the churches of the aforesaid body. J. F. Austin, of whom my father spoke in his last illness as the one with whom he had preached more than any other, his successor in the moderator's chair, has for long years stood as the spiritual leader of both ministers and churches in his own Association
[p. 24]
Alfred Tavlor stood almost alone once in a broad and important field. For years he earnestly prayed God for more laborers. God heard and fully answered that oft-repeated cry. Perhaps no minister in the State had more right to be proud of the number and efficiency of his ministerial sons than Alfred Taylor. He accomplished much in the constitution and building up of churches; but his greatest work under God perhaps was the number and usefulness of the preachers that came up under his ministry. Truly we may say of him, he being dead yet speaketh. In the churches of his own planting. as well as in those which he watered, we hear his voice. In his three sons now following in the wake of their departed father, something of the voice, the character and usefulness of the dead still is seen and felt. Through those he instrumentally lead into the bishopric of God's church, he speaks. May the tide of his influence continue to flow with unabated power, until suddenly stopped by the fiat of the descending judge.

Chapter XII
Contributions to His Memory
The following brief statement of his ministerial character, and labors are furnished by Elders J. M. Pendleton, D. D., J. F. Austin and J. S. Coleman, D. D.

"Your father was recognized by every body, so far as I ever knew, as a good man, devout, spiritual, consecrated to God. If I were called on to refer to one passage in the Bible more descriptive of his character and work than any other; it would be Acts XI:24: 'For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost, and of faith; and much people was added to the Lord.'

"Your father had an active, investigating mind and was always anxious to know the reasons of things. He and myself were accustomed to lament our lack of thorough education; but it was always our determination to do the best we could with the resources in our possession. I do not know that I could say in which your father excelled: his power to enlighten the mind or to move the heart. He always attempted to give the meaning of his text, and in doing so he made logical appeals to the intellect, and then his ordinary plan was to make the truth he had unfolded by argument the basis of an ap. peal to the feelings of the heart. In his most favored efforts after getting through with the argumentative part of his subject, his exhortations were very effective.

"When his feelings became excited and his eyes filled with tears, the tones of his voice became exceedingly tender and touching. At such times it was common for his congregations, whether small or large, to weep with him. He had a sweet, lovely countenance and when absorbed in his subject, his face seemed to glow with the benevolence of his heart.

"He loved to preach. It was his greatest joy to proclaim salvation to dying men. Few ministers of his day spent more time in preaching, made greater sacrifices for the cause of Christl and received a smaller compensation for faithful labor. He did not complain, but went to and fro with cheerful activity, declaring the unsearchable riches of Christ. He often talked about Heaven, and his idea seemed to be that its joys would infinitely more than compensate for all the sorrows and trials of earth. I remember that once in conversation after giving his view of heavenly glory I he said: 'It will either be as I think it is, or it will be a great deal better.'

"As to the large number baptized by your father, and how many of them became preachers; others can give you more accurate information than I.

"I think you may well thank God every day you live, that he gave you such a father, and I trust you may follow him as he followed Christ. Then when your work on earth is done, you will go up to the heavenly mansions, and join with your father in magnifying the riches of redeeming grace. Very truly yours,
"J. M. PENDLETON, Upland, Pa."


"Dear Brother: -- In compliance with your request, I will now pen you a few lines as a contribution to the history of your father, yet I am at a loss where to begin, or how to proceed. I was intimately acquainted with brother Taylor for about twenty-five years, and was associated with him in the ministry near twenty years; but I kept no diary, and although I preached with him perhaps more than any other minister, I can only give at this time a few reminiscences of his valuable life.

"Soon after his removal to Ohio county, Elder Taylor was called to the care of Walton's Cree, Pond Run and Beaver Dam churches, all of which are located in Ohio county, and in convenient reach of the pastor's home.
[p. 25]
"At this time Elder Taylor was a young man, perhaps about twenty-eight or thirty years of age. His family consisted of a wife and one son, W. K. Taylor, now living in Kansas.

"His deportment was amiable and his general appearance of humility has been perhaps fitly described by one of his ministering brethren, who remarked of him, that 'Alfred Taylor always looked like he was ready to ask the world's pardon for being permitted to live in it.' Soon after the pastoral connection referred to brother Taylor's churches were blessed with revivals of religion, in which many sinners were converted to God. Those revivals were the result of 'protracted meetingss,' the first meetings of the kind that the people had ever witnessed.

"It has been claimed for brother Taylor by some of his brethren that he was the originator of those meetings; I am not prepared to assert positively as to the correctness of this claim, about the origin of an enterprise near forty years ago; but I know they were new to the people; the first of this order ever held in the Green River Country, if not the first in the State of Kentucky. Several hundred were converted to God during those meetings. It was a time of which it might be said: 'The word of the Lord grew and multiplied.' About this time a meeting of several days was held at the residence of brother Joseph James, which resulted in the conversion of many, which subsequently led to the organization of Green River Church. Brother Taylor's ministry was confined chiefly to the churches of Gasper River Association; the writer remembers he had at different times the pastoral care of the following churches: Beaver Dam, Walton's Creek, Pond Run, Green River, Cool Spring, Mt. Carmel, West Providence, and also Providence Church in Warren county; he had the care, at one time, of the Baptist Church at Owensboro. Although his ministry was confined mostly to his own community, he visited several corresponding associations, preached in different parts of the country, where he frequently held revivals, and was extensively known in the Green River Country.

"As he believed firmly the doctrines he preached he did not hestitate to defend them when necessary, and encountered in debate several ministers of opposite views, among whom were Elders Granville Mansfield, Caskey, Frogge and others. His labors in revivals, or what was termed protracted meetings, were extensive. The writer has a distinct recollection of being with him in meetings at the following places: Beaver Dam, Green River, Walton's Creek, West Providence, Pond Run, Mt. Carmel, Cool Spring, Salem and Clear Fork, many of which were continued as long as three weeks, and in many of those churches the protracted efforts referred to were often repeated, which, in the aggregate, amounted to years of actual labor in the ministry.

"Brother Taylor was an ardent believer in the power of Divine truth to enlighten and turn sinners to God. The substance of a conversation between himself and Elder David Mansfield, and by the former related to the writer, illustrates this fact. Brother Taylor had been preaching a whole week to the congregation at Providence, Warren county, Kentucky, which was Brother Mansfield's home church. Brother Mansfield was absent during this week's labor, but returning home at the end of the week found Brother Taylor at his house, and, knowing he had been preaching for some days, hurriedly inquired: 'Well, Brother Taylor, what is the prospect of the meeting? ' 'Very good, I should say,' was the characteristic reply. 'Have there been any professions?' 'None that I know of.' 'Well, how many mourners have you?' 'None designated yet.' 'Well, if you have no conversions and no mourners yet, what are your evidences of a good prospect?' 'Sir,' said Elder Taylor, 'my reasons for considering the good are the following: First -- I have a large congregation. Secondly -- I have the attention of the people. Thirdly -- I have the Lord's truth to preach to them and the diivine promise to sustain me.'

"At the time and previous to the outbreak of the great protracted meetings referred to, the anti-mission spirit and doctrines prevailed extensively in many parts of the country. Of course the work of evangelists was looked upon not without some degree of distrust and opposition. If we might judge from the manifest indifference on the part of many good brethren to the use of mercy's means in the salvation of men, and their doubts of the genuineness of the missionary work, we can hardly suppose that many of them had made up their minds to believe that the trophies of redeeming grace could ever be great in this part of the Lord's vineyard. At least they looked on missionary efforts as being rather past, and, if we might use our own words in the interpretation of their theory, they seemed to fear that some one might be saved whom the Lord did not want to
[p. 26]

"An account of a meeting held by Reverend Alfred Taylor and others, in the State of Indiana, might not be out of place as illustrative of the religious status of the times. This was told us by Reverend Isham Allen, of Daviess county, Kentucky. Reverend Taylor had an appointment to hold a meeting of days at a place called Bacon Creek, in the State of Indiana, and in the neighborhood of a small anti-missionary Baptist church. The brethren of that community looked on the movement with distrust, and not without some fears that mischief might be done and souls led astray. When the appointment for the meeting became known strange and fabulous reports were put in circulation about the coming preachers. Allen, whose labors were generally devoted to the anxious inquirer, was represented as coming. with a mourner's bench tied on behind him on his horse, and Taylor with baptizing clothes and things in general necessary to do the consummating work. Various were the views and emotions that bestirred the people of Bacon Creek in regard to the coming meeting. Novelty; the hope, a revival; curiosity, a desire to hear the new preacher -- desires various as the diversified views of the community -- brought a large congregation together at the time appointed for the meeting. The meeting was continued; many became greatly enlisted under the influence of the preaching, and, when an invitation was made to sinners to come forward for prayer; it seemed as if it was a general break-down in the ranks of sin; scores pressed forward at once, as if the powers of darkness had given way. An aged anti-mission brother, who had been watching the prospect of the meeting for days, when he saw the general move in the ranks of sin, began parting his way through the crowd exclaiming: 'Brethren, we are gone; we are gone!' At this meeting David E. Bums, the son of a widow lady living in that community, professed religion, and was baptized. Brother Burns was then a youth, who afterwards devoted himself to the ministry and figured largely in the South as a successful pastor and evangelist, but now, like the subject of this narrative, rests from his labors and his works follow him.

"As a preacher Alfred Taylor was far above mediocrity; he was apt and forcible in illustration; his mind was well trained, which was doubtless "attributable to his untiring energy as a student in theology. A vein of profound thought ran through his sermons; his voice was clear and musical; he possessed a tender sympathy that was in harmony with the subject under discussion; all of which made him what he was as a preacher and placed him among the first class of pulpit workers. His life was one of sacrifice and ardent consecration to the ministry. The number he baptized is not definitely known, but must have been at least two thousand. He was a good man and died at his post. He rests from his labors and his works follow him. God has honored him by giving him three sons to follow his footsteps in the ministry. May a double portion of his spirit rest on them, is the prayer of his son and brother in the Gospel.
"Cool Spring, Ohio county, Kentucky."


"OWENSBORO, Ky., April 18, 1878.
"Rev. W. C. TAYLOR:
"My dear brother: -- I am compelled to confess to you, that 1 have been so constantly engaged in my pastoral duties that I have not been able to command a moment to comply with my promise to add an humble testimonial to the worth of your lamented father for your forth-coming sketch until since noon to-day. I feel that it is very imperfectly prepared, insomuch that upon looking over it I am almost inclined not to send it. But as it utters in some measure my appreciation of my father in the ministry, I will send it along, leaving it optional with you as to what disposition you will make of it.
Yours very truly,

"Rev. WIlliam C. Taylor: -- It is with unaffected pleasure, that I hear that you are about to bring out in book form a biographical sketch of your lamented, but venerated, beloved and distinguished father, whose eminently useful life did so much to lay the foundation of the numerous Baptist churches in the Green River Section of our beloved Commonwealth. If any name deserves to be preserved fresh and green in the hearts of a people, that name is Alfred Taylor, and that people should be the Baptists of this section of Kentucky. Here he entered the master's vineyard when but a boy, without education, without means or facilities for obtaining it, without illustrious family prestige, but with deep convictions of duty, and a firm reliance upon God and his truth, united with deep-toned piety and a high resolve, together with that firmness
[p. 27]
of purpose and decision of character, which never fail of success, he bent all his energies, and seizing upon every facility within his reach, he was soon enabled to exert such an influence among the people of his acquaintance, as few Baptist ministers ever possessed in the State or Kentucky.

"He entered upon the active duties of the ministry at that particular time which proved so favorable for the rapid development of the rising ministry of the times. It was at that peculiar juncture when so many of the eminent pioneer preachers passed away so rapidly, either by death, or the shcismatic influences of antinomianism on one hand and of Campbellism on the other. It was truly a time to test young men, and try the kind of materials that composed them.

"Alfred Taylor stood the fire, passed the ordeal and came out the purer from the trial, and soon occupied a prominent position in the front rank of the Baptist ministry of the State, and among the distinguished pulpit men of the times. While he was regarded as a strong man in theology, a power in what was denominated doctrinal preaching, for when occasion required it he would hurl the shafts of truth with herculean strength against the ramparts of religious error with fearful and deadly force, yet he possessed an amiability of character, a sweetness of expression, and a softness of pathos and sympathy, which readily disarmed prejudice of its bittemessand won its way to tender emotions of the soul. I have never heard his equal in the eloquence of persuasiveness, nor listened to a preacher that could surpass him in the mellowness of his pathos, or the warmness of his sympathy. In these respects he was truly a prodigy, while the soft melody of his voice in its sweet cadences would often move the multitudes to tears. His appeals to the unconverted were often overwhelming and irresistible. Few men that I have met possessed such power in the pulpit. I have seen scores of sinners prostrate themselves under his appeals, crying for mercy. He was truly a revivalist of the genuine kind, and thousands were led to embrace the Saviour through his instrumentality. It was about the beginning of his ministry that protracted meetings came into popular favor and in their conduct and management he was wonderfully successful. It was about Christmas of the year of 1837, that he began and conducted his first great revival in the county where he resided, which extended its influence from church to church, and from neighborhood to neighborhood, and from county to county, until many hundreds were made obedient to the faith; and for about eight successive months he baptized an average of one hundred per month. This revival was not only attended with large accessions to the churches; but was also peculiarly fruitful in the conversion of young men who subsequently entered the ministry, many of whom have become not only useful, but even distinguished ministers of the I New Testament. It was during this revival that the writer humbly trusts that he was converted to Christ, and baptized by this eminent servant of God, who also presided as moderator in his subsequent ordination, leading, the ex amination in doctrine. For several years after entering the ministry, we labored together with great pleasure to each other, and seemingly with much profit to the churches.

"In the social circle he was exceedingly reserved and quite reticent upon almost any subject that might arise, insomuch that he did not appear to advantage as a colloquist; hence he was often regarded by those not familiarly acquainted with him, as unbending and austere and even greatly wanting in the amenities which impart pleasure to the social circle; nevertheless in his private retirement he was quite familiar and communicative.

"As a controversialist he was scripturally cogent and profoundly logical, always accompanying his demonstrations of truth with such plain and simple illustrations as impressed the hearer with the correctness of his positions. While he was the peer of almost any man of his times as a preacher, he was not a success as a presiding officer or parliamentarian, nor would he have been popular as a pastor in one of our fashionable modem churches, owing to his want of affability in the social circle.

" But Alfred Taylor was truly a great and good man, and one who really accomplished more for the permanent propagation of Baptist prmciples in the region where he labored than could be claimed for almost any man of the age in which he lived. His life was mainly spent among country churches and people, where he was compelled to undergo almost incredible deprivations, hardships and exposures, living in almost constant exile from home, denymg himself almost entirely of home and home comforts and domestic pleasures, and never receivmg an adequate compensation for his self-sacrificing labors. I well remember to have heard him say that he once held a meeting for a certain church,
[p. 28]
the name of which I will not mention in this connection, which continued between two and three weeks, and resulted in fifty or sixty additions, and received as the only compensation for his arduous toil one pair of socks, which were knit and presented by a good old sister in the neighborhood.

"That church, strange to say, still exists and is both large and influential in the community where it is located, and ought at this late date either to build a monument over the grave of Alfred Taylor, or else settle a patrimony upon his three sons, who are now Baptist ministers. How our old preachers succeeded in raising large families with means so limited, and with support from the churches so meagre, is indeed almost marvellous; insomuch that we verily conclude, that if the Baptist cause had not have been truly the cause of God it would have become extinct long ago.

"Having served his generation in faithfulness and worn out the frail physical constitution with which he had performed the almost superhuman labors of his useful and eventful life, he fell at his post, stricken in years and exhausted in health, poor in the things of this world, but rich in the grace of God, to whom he now ascribes all the honor and glory through riches of grace in Christ Jesus, our Lord, to whom be endless praises forever and ever. Amen.

"'Servant of God, well done;
Rest from thy loved employ.
The battle fought, the victory won,
Enter thy Master's joy.
Tranquil amid alarms,
Death found him on the field,
A veteran slumbering on his arms,
Beneath his red-cross shield.
Soldier of Christ, well done;
Praise be thy new employ;
And while eternal ages run,
Rest in thy Savior's joy.'

"Owensboro, Kentucky."

Chapter XIII
The following obituaries appeared in the columns of the Western Recorder, immediately after his death, and are appended as written by Rev. J. F. Austin and President J. W. Rust:

"This devoted veteran of the Cross of Christ breathed his last at the residence of Brother Charles Asher, in Warren county, Kentucky, on Monday morning at half past three o'clock, October 9, 1865. He had gone to the above place to assist his son, Elder J. S. Taylor, in a protracted meeting. Brother Taylor had been afflicted with a disease of the lungs for several years, and became at one time so debilitated as to compel him to discontinue his labors. Having partially regained his strength, he resumed the work of the ministry, which he continued with a devotion evinced only by those who are constrained by the love of Christ, until confined to his dying bed. He embraced religion when a young man, joined the Baptist church, and shortly afterward entered the ministry, amidst embarrassments and discouragements that but few have overcome, and realized attainments that are seldom made by those who have entered this noble but self-denying work. He was an able preacher and a successful revivalist. I have stood by his side in proclaiming salvation to sinners for weeks and months together, and together we have witnessed the cloud of gloom and darkness that have hung like a pall over the spiritual interests of this country, and together we have beheld the Lamp of Life dispelling that darkness, and have witnessed together the grand display of sovereign grace in bringing hundreds to the Cross of Christ. He was my father in the .ministry. By him I was led into the baptismal waters, and I stood before him to preach my first sermon when, a boy in the ministry, I first ascended the walls of Zion. We are informed that his disease assumed the form of remittant fever, with occasional chills of congestive type. He was confined to his bed eleven days. For several hours before his death he talked but little, and even appeared indifferent to some questions propounded, but when asked by his son, 'Are you afraid to die?' answered, 'No;' and when asked, 'Are you willing to die,' replied, 'Oh yes.' The seals of his ministry are many; among whom are many of the most eminent preachers of Green River Country. Brother Taylor died in his 58th year and had been in the Gospel ministry more than thirty years. May divine grace enable his successors in the ministry to emulate his virtues and avoid whatever imperfections and frailties may have marked his character and actions while he lived and walked amongst men.
"Cool Spring, Ohio county, KY, October 16, 1865."
[p. 29]
"Dear Brother Waller: -- I pause in sadness to communicate the painful intelligence that Elder Alfred Taylor, the venerated and beloved moderator of the Gasper River Association, is no more.

"He departed this. life at 3 o'clock, A. M., October 9, at the residence of Chas. Asher, near Bowling Green. It seems that he was indisposed when he left home, in Ohio county, to attend a meeting in the neighborhood in which he died. He remained at Mr. Asher's more than a week, having chills nearly every day, suffering considerably from his lungs. No apprehensions were entertained of his death till last Sabbath. It soon became apparent that his end was drawing nigh and that the time of his departure was at hand. His son, Elder Judson S. Taylor, had the painful pleasure to be present and converse with his father in the dying hour. In answer to questions in regard to his preparation and willingness to die, he left the most satisfactory assurances that all was well. As he lived, so he died. The smile of the Christian's hope beamed from the countenance and played upon the trembling lips of this man of God as he bade adieu to earth and passed away to that rest that remains for the people of God. I have been personally acquainted with Brother Taylor since 1839. Fond of his style and manner of presenting truth, I never have omitted any opportunity to hear him preach.

"Considering his educational advantages, he had but few equals. His sermons were appropriate, clear, concise, and his manner solemn and impressive. His discussion of a subject was direct, exhaustive and authoritative, laying, as he did, great emphasis upon the word of God as the ground-work of his arguments. Although taciturn and apparently diffident and retiring in the common walks of life, he held his sentiments before the public with a firmness, boldness and determination only characteristic of strong, vigorous, well-founded faith.

"He seemed to comprehend thoroughly the idea that the strongest presentation of an argument is in the statement, and that the strongest defense of any cause is an appeal to the facts in the case. For many years he has been prominently connected with the Baptist interests of the Green River Country, and his influence and labors in the Gasper River Association will long be cherished as having been intimately connected , with the rise and progress of tbat body. It would be interesting to know the history of his labors, his early trials and triumphs, the churches he planted, the number of conversions and baptisms under his ministry, &c., &c.

"Now, will not some one of his ministering brethren in the Association, some companion and witness of his toils, collect and present them to the public? I have hope that such may be the case. Brother Taylor was a good man.

"I once heard a distinguished minister say that if he was appointed to look for a good man, he would stop when he came to Alfred Taylor.

"The brief letter, which I have just received, announcing his death, fills my heart with sorrow. I have to regret that the pressure of business and the want of proper information do not allow me, in the hurry of the moment, to pay a more befitting tribute to the memory of one whose friendship I have so long cherished, and with whose afflicted family and friends, I do deeply sympathize.
Russellville, KY, October 11, 1865

The end has come. In the mantle of death we last beheld him. To the tomb a large concourse of sincere mourners followed him. In the family grave-yard, near his former re!idence, we yielded up to the tomb the precious form that greedy death had claimed. At his head the dust of parents rests undisturbed by the ills of time. By his side sleep the companions who shared life's sorrows and joys with him. At his feet his own children lie awaiting the call of the last trump.

At Green River Church we had his funeral sermon preached. Elder J. F. Austin, his son and companion in the ministry, spoke words of comfort and exhortation to the living multitude there assembled.

As we close this brief biography of one honored by God and revered by his fellows, one who preached Christ a third of a century, and died at his post on the field of battle, saying, "All is well," who spoke in his last illness of President B. T. Blewett and President J. W. Rust as men who had encouraged him in life and esteemed his talent perhaps above its true merit, who also made mention in his last hours, of J. M. Pendleton, D. D., and John L. Waller, LL. D., as among the most intimate personal friends of life, may we not express the hope that all who may chance to read this imperfect sketch of his self-denying life may, through
[p. 30]
riches of grace divine, meet him in that "Sweet bye and bye?" Peace to his dust and sweet rest to his spirit, till united again in the glories of the last resurrection. Amen.

[William Carey Taylor, Biography of Elder Alfred Taylor, 1878; revised and republished by Wendell Rone in 1983, pp. 1-30. Document provided by Ben Stratton Hickman, KY.]


Letter to R. B. C. Howell on Baptisms.

Our Rev. Bro. Alfred Taylor, of Ohio county, Kentucky writes us, under date of March 4th: "After a long and dreary winter we are experiencing here a season of refreshing from the presence of the Lord. I have had the pleasure of baptizing since Christmas, that is, in a little more than two months, one hundred and fifty six persons; and forty six more have been received by the Churches, and are waiting an opportunity to follow Christ into the baptismal grave. The good work is still going on. In some places almost the whole population, all ages, sexes, and conditions, have bowed to Christ, and professed his holy religion. I have been at home but a few days sjnce the first of November."

[From R. B. C. Howell, editor, The Baptist, 1838, p. 115.


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