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Andrew Tribble
VA & KY Frontier Baptist Preacher
By J. H. Spencer
      Andrew Tribble was a son of George Tribble, a respectable farmer of Caroline county, Virginia. The father was of
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Welsh extraction, and it is not known that he ever made any profession of religion.

      Andrew Tribble was born in March, 1741. He was among the first converts to the Baptist faith in his part of the State; and was often heard to remark that he was the fifty-third Baptist on the north side of James river. He commenced preaching soon after he was converted, and about the same time that the Craigs, Waller, Childs and others began their meetings in Elijah Craig's tobacco barn. He was probably baptized by James Read, and at the time that Elijah Craig and others went to North Carolina and induced him to come to Orange and some of the neighboring counties to baptize the first converts to the Baptist faith in that part of Virginia. He was, for a time, a member of Goldmine church in Louisa county, from which he was sent as a messenger to the first Meeting of the General Association of Virginia, in May, 1771. After this he accepted the pastoral care of a church in Albemarle county. It being near the residence of Thomas Jefferson, that statesman frequently came to Mr. Tribble's meetings. The Virginians, and especially the able and learned R.B.C. Howell, assert that Mr. Jefferson conceived the idea of a popular government for the American States, while observing the business transactions of the little Baptist church, of which Mr. Tribble was pastor.

      Mr. Tribble moved to Kentucky, and settled on Dix river, in 1783, but soon afterwards moved to what is now Clark county. Here, in January, 1786, he united with Howard Creek (now Providence) church, of which Robert Elkin was pastor. During this year Mr. Tribble gathered Tates Creek, and became its pastor. Some three years after this, a personal difficulty occurred between him and his pastor, at Howard Creek, which resulted in nearly an equal division of the church. Helps were called from the neighboring churches, and the difficulty adjusted. Mr. Tribble's party was constituted a new church, called Unity. The Elkin party, at Howard's Creek, according to the terms of adjustment, retained the old constitution and the church property, but changed its name to Providence.

      Mr. Tribble was constituted a member, and chosen pastor, of Unity church. He soon became entangled in a law suit with one of the members, of the name of Haggard, which difficulty was settled by Mr. Tribble's making satisfactory acknowlodgements.

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This seems to have resulted in severing his pastoral relation to that church. He, however, continued to serve Tates Creek till the infirmities of old age made it necessary for him to retire. He died in great peace, December 22, 1822.

      Mr. Tribble was a preacher of good ability, and of commendable zeal. His early labors were performed in Virginia, where he endured the persecutionsthat were the common lot of Baptist preachers, at that period. Like the Craigs, Shackleford and a host of others, he endured his term in a Virginia jail, for preaching the gospel contrary to law. He was a very active and successful laborer, in Kentucky, for about thirty-five years. His son, to whom the author is indebted for the principal facts of his life, supposes that he must have baptized 2,000 persons, in Kentucky.

      He married a Miss Sally Burrus in early life, by whom he raised a large and respectable family, of whom, his son Peter became a Baptist preacher.

      His last illness, caused by stricture of the bladder, was protracted and very painful. But his death was most triumphant. A few hours before his departure he said to his son Peter and another young preacher, standing at his bedside: "Boys, you see me here now. In a few days I shall be gone. I give you this charge. Play the man for your God."


[From [John Henderson Spencer, A History of Kentucky Baptists, 1885, Volume I; reprint, CHR&A, 1984. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

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