The Baptist church was established in Tennessee by Rev. Tidance Lane, in 1779. It got a firm hold in Sullivan County in 1786. In that year Kendrick's creek church was organized by Jonathan Mulkey and in the same year an association was held at Double Springs — Rev. Lane was moderator. From 1792-94 Thomas Murrell was moderator. In 1795 a church was organized at Long Island by Abel Morgan and Richard Murrell. Reese Bayless was moderator in 1833. Rev. William Cate was in the same position at Muddy creek in 1853, and Rev. Elkanah Spurgeon at Muddy creek in 1865. The first association held at Blountville was in 1870, by Rev. W. A. Keen. Among the early pastors of Muddy creek church were Elders Peter Kuhn, William Cate and Noah Cate, also Elder W. A. Keen and Rev. Noah Baldwin — the last named had also preached at Kingsport.
Revs. P. J. Poindexter, Andrew McGary, N. N. Buckles and Asa Ruth* were also among the early pastors.
* Rev. Asa Ruth was one of the leading preachers of the Baptist church in Sullivan. He had the largest family in the county being the father of twenty-three children. An obituary notice shortly after his death announced this fact closely followed by the text of the minister, "Man born of woman is of few days and full of trouble."
One of the greatest revivals ever held in Blountville was conducted by Rev. Ruth in 1869-70, the other preachers in the town co-operating. Over one hundred conversions resulted from this meeting, which lasted many weeks.
A Baptist church existed for years on the Holston river, above Bluff City, in charge of Rev. Edwards. There was also one in lower Kingsport with Rev. Noah Baldwin as its minister.
[From Oliver Taylor, Historic Sullivan: A History of Sullivan County, Tennessee, with Brief ... , 1909, pp. 181-182. The document is from Google Books. — Formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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