The First Baptist Organization within the county was perfected in 1807, and known as the "Mud River Baptist Church." Its founder was the celebrated John Lee, one of the earliest Baptist ministers west of the Alleghenies. He was born and grew to manhood in the southern part of Virginia, and near the close of
the last century, like many others, he crossed the mountains to seek a home in the "Far West." Mr. Lee, before leaving the scenes of his childhood, had become a member of the Baptist Church, and felt it his duty to call others to repentance. He located in Teays Valley, and soon began to proclaim the Glad Tidings to those around him. When he began preaching he was very illiterate, but by persevering industry, he not only learned to read, but became well acquainted with the Scriptures. He was remarkably successful in the ministry, and in him was verified the Scriptural declaration, that "God hath chosen the weak to confound the mighty."
By the year 1807, he had organized the Teays Valley Baptist church, which in that year was admitted into the Greenbrier Association, with a membership of fifty-two. Mr. Lee extended his field of labor, and continued to gather in the sheaves. At the meeting of the Association in 1808, the Mud River church, organized entirely by his own efforts, was admitted into the body with thirty-two members. When we remember how sparsely settled was the country at that time, we are astonished at the success that crowned the efforts of this extraordinary man, and at once recognize in him the ordained of God to proclaim the Gospel of His Son to the inhabitants of the wilderness. After a number of years' residence in the valley, Mr. Lee left behind him the two monuments reared by his own hands - the Teays Valley and Mud River churches - and removed beyond the Ohio, where he continued his labors until he passed from among the living.
[From Virgil A. Lewis, History of West Virginia, 1887, pp. 629-630. Document from Google Books. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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