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Forked Deer Baptist Association (TN), 1825
Articles of Faith

      The Forked Deer Association was formed in Madison County, TN, in 1825, the second Baptist Association in the western territory. The Big Hatchie Association was formed from its southernmost churches of Forked Deer in 1828 (Tennessee Baptists, Albert Wardin, p. 33). The association still exists as a Primitive Baptist Association.

      The Forked Deer Articles were transcribed from a photocopy of typed articles. Thanks to Dr. Albert Wardin for furnishing to me copies of this statement of faith. -- Robert Vaughn

Art. I. We believe in only one living and true God existing in three persons, Father, Son or Word, and Holy Ghost, who created, preserves and governs all things, after the council of his own will.

Art. II The scriptures of the old and new Testament, to be the word of God, containing his revealed will, and the only rule of faith and practice.

Art III. Man was first created in a holy and happy condition, but by transgression he fell from that state, became depraved, and as he was the covenant head of his posterity, they are all born in a state of sin, and unless "born of the spirit," continue dead in trespasses and in sins, being destitute of real holiness, and possessing enmity of heart against God.

Art. IV. That the Lord Jesus Christ, the second person in the adorable Trinity, who was eternally with the Father, was in the fulness of time, manifest in the flesh, in which he fulfilled the law; died & suffered to make an atonement for sin, is the only Savior, the Prophet, Priest, & King of his church, appointed heir of all thing, & judge of the quick & dead.

Art. V. Although the Gospel is to be preached to all the world and sinners be called upon to repent and believe in Christ, yet such is their opposition to the Gospel plan, that they all freely choose a state of sin, rather than enjoy the blessings of eternal life. But "where sin abounded grace did much more abound," God of his mere good pleasure, "and that he might make known the riches of his glory," hath elected or chosen unto salvation in Christ, "a great multitude which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people and tongues." These by the regenerating influence of the holy spirit, are "effectually called," become dead to sin, and alive unto God, and being the subjects of repentance, faith, &c., and having the love of God shed abroad in their hearts, freely choose Christ for their Savior, and willingly devote themselves to his service by a life of holiness.

Art. VI. Those who are thus united to Christ by a living faith, have the full and free forgiveness of all their sins, & a complete justification of their persons, which favors are bestowed, not on account of any works they may have performed, or disposition they may possess, but solely on account of the merits of Christ, arising from his Suffering and death.

Art. VII. All those who are born of the spirit, and justified by the imputed righteousness of the Son of God, shall persevere unto the end, being kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.

Art. VIII. That visible churches are to be formed only of professed believers in Christ, who have given evidence of a change of heart, have been baptized by members of our faith and order, and whose life and conversation manifest real religion.

Art. IX. All professed believers before uniting with a visible Church are to be baptized, which can only be performed by immersing the person in water, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and and of the Holy Ghost.

Art. X. That the Lord's supper is an ordinance of the New Testament, shows forth the death of Christ, consisting in the reception of bread and wine, and is to be observed by those only who have been baptized, and become regular members of a Gospel church.

Art. XI. That God having appointed the Ministry of the Gospel for the edification of the church, and the advancement of his kingdom in the world, therefore, it is our duty to contribute to its support as Divine Providence may give us ability.

Art. XII. That the government of the church is not to be invested in the hands of any man or number of men distinct from the body, but is to be conducted solely by the church itself.

Art. XIII. That the first day of the week, called Sabbath, or Lord's day, is to be sanctified by attending to the worship of God in public, and in private, abstaining from unnecessary visiting, trifling conversation, labor, &c., except as much as may be devoted to works of necessity and mercy.

Art. XIV. That when time shall be no longer, the Son of God will return to judge the world in righteousness, the bodies of all men be raised from the dead, and they, with angels and devils brought before the judgment seat of Christ, when the righteous shall be rewarded with eternal life, and the wicked sentenced to eternal punishment.


[The document was transcribed and provided by Robert Vaughn, Enterprise, TX. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

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