Editor's note: Spencer's second volume in not in chapters; there is only one chapter. He divides it by associations and gives many bios in each association. It is not as easy to follow as the first volume. I have divided it into several sections; the association names and pages are listed at the beginning of each section. The footnotes are at the botton of the page. — jrd
A History of Kentucky Baptists
By J. H. Spencer
Volume II, 1885
[Elkhorn Association — pp. 7-44; Salem Association — pp. 44-80]
This is the oldest fraternity of the kind west of the Alleghany Mountains. Some account of its origin, and that of its early churches, has been given in the early part of this work. In the sketch to be given here, which, for want of space, must necessarily be very brief, some things will be repeated, in order to make the narrative more connected. When five of the six churches, of which this ancient fraternity was originally composed, contemplated the formation of an association, they held a preliminary conference, for the double purpose of considering the propriety of forming such an organization, and of making an attempt to form a union with five Separate Baptist churches, of which South Kentucky Association was afterwards formed. Failing to accomplish the latter object, the conference appointed a time to meet for the purpose of forming an association of Regular Baptist churches. Of these transactions, John Taylor, who was a member of both the meetings, gives the following brief account:
"We soon began to contemplate an association. For that purpose, and partly to bring about a union with the South Kentucky Baptists, we held a conference at South Elkhorn, in June, 1785; but failing in the union with the South Kentucky Baptists, we agreed to meet as an association, at Clear Creek, October, 1, 1785. Six churches, it seems, met. One of them was from Tates Creek, south side of Kentucky; there and then, Elkhorn Association was formed."
The preliminary conference was held at South Elkhorn, June 25, 1785. Five churches were represented as follows:
South Elkhorn. LEWIS CRAIG, WILLIAM HICKMAN and Benj. Craig.
Clear Creek. John Taylor, John Dupuy, Jas. Rucker. Rich'd Cave.
Big Crossing. William Cave and Bartlett Collins
Tates Creek. JOHN TANNER and William Jones
Gilberts Creek. GEORGE S. SMITH and JOHN PRICE.
Lewis Craig was chosen Moderator, and Richard Young, Clerk. Elijah Craig; Augustine Eastin, James Garrard and Henry Roach, being present, were invited to seats. The conference agreed to be governed by a majority in any matter that might come before it. The first question discussed was "Whether the Philadelphia Confession of Faith, adopted by the Baptists, shall be strictly adhered to, as the rule of our communion, or whether a suspension thereof forthe sake of society be best." It was "agreed that the said recited Confession of Faith be strictly adhered to." This action decided the question as to union between the Regular and Separate Baptists, as the latter were stubbornly opposed to all creeds and confessions of faith. The conference, therefore, appointed a meeting for the last day of the following September, and adjourned.
According to this appointment, messengers from six churches met at Clear Creek, in Woodford County, on Friday at 3 o'clock, P.M. Sep. 30, 1785. A sermon was preached by William Hickman, from Exodus 23: 30. "By little and little will I drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased and inherit the land." The appropriateness of this text can be appreciated, only when it is remembered that the little churches, now about to form an association, were located in small, thinly populated settlements, in the midst of a vast wilderness, which teemed with millions of savages who lurked in the deep forests that surrounded the cabins of the "palefaced" intruders, and thirsted perpetually for their blood. How trustingly those men of God leaned upon Him, who alone could save them, their wives and their little ones, from the cruel fate that threatened them every hour, day and night; and how eagerly they looked forward to the time when He should have driven the relentless foes, "by little and little," from before them, till they should have increased, and inherited the land in peace.
The following is a list of the churches represented in the meeting, together with the names of their messengers:
Gilberts Creek. GEORGE S. SMITH and JOHN PRICE.
Tates Creek. JOHN TANNER, Wm. Jones and Wm. Willams.
South Elkhorn. LEWIS CRAIG, WM. HICKMAN and Benj. Craig.
Clear Creek. JOHN TAYLOR, JAMES RUCKER and JOHN DUPUY.
Big Crossing. Wm. Cave, Bartlett Collins and Robt. Johnson.
Limestone. WM. WOOD and Edward Dobbins.
The day following their coming together, the messengers adopted the following
"CONSTITUTION." "Being assembled together, and taking into our serious consideration what might be most advantageous for the glory of God, the advancement of the Kingdom of the dear Redeemer, and the mutual comfort and happiness of the churches of Christ; having unanimously agreed to unite in the strongest bonds of Christian love and fellowship, and in order to support and keep that union[we] do hereby adopt the Baptist Confession of Faith, first put forth in the name of the seven congregations met together in London in the year 1643, containing a system of the evangelical doctrines agreeable to the gospel of Christ, which we do heartily believe in and receive. But something in the third and fifth chapters in said book we do except, if construed in that light that makes God the cause or author of sin; but we do acknowledge and believe God to be an Almighty Sovereign, wisely to govern and direct all things so as to promote His own glory. Also in chapter 31st concerning laying on of hands on persons baptized, as essential in their reception into the church, it is agreed on by us that the using or not using of that practice shall not effect our fellowship to each other. And, as there are a number of christian professors in this country under the Baptist name, in order to distinguish ourselves from them, we are of opinion that no appellation is more suitable to our profession than that of 'Regular Baptist,' which name we profess."
Thus was Elkhorn Association constituted, on Saturday,
October 1, 1785. William Cave was chosen Moderator. The Association decided that all matters of business should be determined by a majority. At the request of Gilberts Creek, the oldest church in the Association, a committee was sent to inquire into its standing. In answer to a query from Tates Creek, the churches were advised to use all tenderness to reclaim persons holding the error of conditional salvation, but if they could not be reclaimed, to exclude them. In answer to another query, it was decided, "that it is lawful for any christian to bear office, either civil or military, except ministers of the gospel." Quarterly meetings were appointed to be held at Tates Creek, Big Crossing and Limestone. It was agreed that no query should hereafter be received into the Association, except it should have been debated in the church from which it originated, and inserted in the church letter.
The next meeting of the Association was held at South Elkhorn, beginning Aug. 15, 1786. John Taylor was chosen Moderator, and Richard Young, Clerk. Three new churches were received — Town Fork, Bryants Station, and Boones Creek (now Athens). A request for help was received from a number of Baptists near the Forks of Dix River. A committee, consisting of Ambrose Dudley, John Tanner, Benj. Craig, and Bartlett Collins, was appointed to visit them the fourth Saturday in August.
This is the first mention made of the Forks of Dix River, in connection with the Baptists, in any accessible record. It is not improbable that this committee, the first named two of which were ministers, constituted the famous old church at the Forks of Dix River, at the time set to visit these Baptists. Asplund, who is high authority, puts down the date of its constitution at 1786, and is followed by Benedict. The claim that this church was constituted by Lewis Craig and others, in 1782, does not appear to be supported by any reliable authority. *
The committee which had been appointed the year before to inquire into the standing of Gilberts Creek Church, reported it dissolved. This was the church that traveled through the wilderness with Lewis Craig, in 1781. A Separate Baptist church of the same name was set up by Elder Joseph Bledsoe, near the same locality, in 1783, which remained until a
* See the sketch of Forks of Dix River Church
very recent date. But it never had any connection with the original Gilberts Creek Church, neither was it originally, of the same denomination.
A query was presented to this Association, as to its right to deal with churches which refused to take its advice. It was decided that the Association has a right to reject such churches from a seat in the body, provided the advice was not contrary to the terms upon which the churches united in an association.
A query, as to whether a slave was properly a gospel member of the church, was decided in the affirmative. The question, as to whether a slave, who was forcibly separated from his wife, by the removal of his master a long distance, might marry again, without affecting his standing as a church member, was regarded too difficult of solution to admit of an answer at present; but the churches were advised to receive no more who had married under such circumstances.
In regard to the duty of supporting a minister, it was queried as to whether it was a debt or a liberal contribution. It was referred to the next association, when the following was substituted: “Whether it is agreeable to scripture for churches to suffer men to preach and have the care of them, that are trading and entangling themselves with the affairs of this life.” The answer was, "that it is not agreeable to scripture, but that it is the duty of the churches to give their ministers a reasonable support."
1787. The third annual session convened at Bryants Station, Aug. 1787. Three new churches were received, Hanging Fork of Dix River (now New Providence), Cowpers Run (since written Coopers Run) and Marble Creek (now East Hickman). The business of the session was of small importance. The manner of receiving members from churches not immediately connected with this fraternity, was laid down as follows: "All members coming from churches of our faith and order, bringing an orderly letter of dismission from said orderly church, we advise to be admitted; and all Baptists coming from churches of other order, by experience."
The subject of "feet washing" was discussed and referred to the next Association. It was agreed that the Association has no right to interfere with the internal affairs of an orderly church.
Agreed to correspond with Philadelphia and Ketocton Associations, by letter, and by delegates, when convenient. Agreed also to write a letter to Coxes Creek Association, by which was meant Salem Association.
1788. May 31. At South Elkhorn. The corresponding messengers from Salem Association, Wm. Taylor and Joshua Carman, made some objection to the Association’s tolerating the churches in using or not using the laying on of hands on persons newly baptized. The difficulty was presently reconciled by a conference on the subject, and the corresponding messengers took their seats.
QUERY — From the church at Limestone. — Whether the churches belonging to this Association, that do not comply with that solemn duty of supporting their ministry with a comfortable living, so as to keep them from wordly incumbrance, shall be held in the fellowship of this Association? No decision was had on this question. The first tabular statistics were entered on the Minutes this year. There were 11 churches with 559 members.
1788, October 25. At Clear Creek. Forks of Elkhorn and Buck Run churches were received. The only important transaction of this session was that. — It is disorderly for any of our churches to receive an excommunicated member from any of the churches of our denomination, without first having a written information of the charge, from the church from which he comes.
1789. May 30. At Big Crossing. A letter was received from the General Committee of Baptists in Virginia, announcing the union of the Regular and Separate Baptists. The Association replied, and agreed to drop the name Regular, in all letters going from this Association.
Received Minutes of the United Baptist Association in Kentucky, with their delegates who were invited to seats, viz: John Bailey, Joseph Bledsoe, Wm. Bledsoe and Andrew Tribble, desiring to treat with us respecting a union. James Garrard, John Taylor, Robt. Johnson and A. Eastin were appointed to confer with them. The fraternity here styled the United Baptist Association, was the old South Kentucky Association of Separate Baptist, which had assumed the term
"United" in their correspondence, merely to avoid giving offense. A meeting was called by the joint committee to convene the second Friday in August, at Harrods Meeting-house, for the purpose of attempting to effect a union between the two associations. The meeting was held, but nothing towards a union was effected.
At this Association, the Clerk was ordered to send a copy of the Minutes, including the circular letter, to each church (in manuscript, it is presumed) for which he was to receive three shillings (fifty cents). The first Thursday in August was appointed a day of fasting and prayer, in all the churches.
1789. October 30. Boones Creek. A revival had prevailed, and 80 baptisms were reported.
1790. August 27. At Lexington. Indian Creek Church was received. The Association opines that the office of Elder, distinct from that of a preacher is a gospel institution.
1791. August 26. Coopers Run. Mays Creek (now Mayslick), Cove Spring, Cumberland, in Tennessee, Strouds Fork and Taylors Fork churches were received.
A committee was appointed to draw up a memorial to the Convention; to be held the following April, for the purpose of forming a State Constitution for Kentucky; requesting said Convention to take up the subject of religious liberty and perpetual slavery, in the formation of the Constitution. The committee consisted of A. Easton, James Garrard and Ambrose Dudley. The Association convened at Great Crossing, September 8th, for the purpose of hearing the report. The memorial was read and approved.
The approval of the memorial seems to have caused considerable excitement among the slave holding members of the churches. The Association was called together at Bryants Station, on the 26th of December of the same year, when it was; Resolved, "That this Association disapproves of the memorial which the last Association agreed to send to the Convention, on the subject of Religious Liberty and Abolition of Slavery."
New churches received, Cedar Creek (now Crab Orchard) and Columbia, in N.W. Territory (Ohio). The question as
to the validity of baptism, administered by a Pedo-Baptist, on profession of faith was deferred till May, 1793, and then answered evasively. At the last named date, another effort was made to form a union with South Kentucky Association, which was unsuccessful, as heretofore. A result of the failure was the withdrawal of four churches from that fraternity, which formed themselves into what was afterwards known as Tates Creek Association.
The spirit of missions was manifest at this meeting. The sum of £13, 12s, 8d was appropriated to meet the expenses of brethren, sent on a mission to Tennessee.
1793. October 12. At South Elkhorn. Grassy Lick and Flat Lick Churches had been received, in May, and now Springfield Church was received. A union was formed with the four churches which had recently seceded from South Kentucky Association, on the following terms, proposed by the seceding churches:
"We agree to receive the regular Baptist Confession of Faith; but to prevent its exerting a tyrannical power over the consciences of any, we do not mean that every person is to be bound to the strict observance of everything therein contained, yet that it holds forth the essential truths of the gospel, and that the doctrines of salvation by Jesus Christ, and free, unmerited grace alone, ought to be believed by every christian, and maintained by every minister of the gospel. And that we do believe in the doctrines relative to the Trinity, the divinity of Christ, the sacred authority of the Scriptures, the universal depravity of human nature, the total inability of men to help themselves without the aid of divine grace, the necessity of repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the justification of our persons entirely by the righteousness of Christ imputed, believer’s baptism by immersion only; and self-denial; and that the supreme judge by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be none other than the holy Scriptures, delivered by the Spirit, into which Scriptures, so delivered, our faith is finally resolved."
On account of some dissatisfaction expressed by some of
the Elkhorn churches, this union was dissolved, in August, 1794. But in 1797, it was again restored, and has remained uninterrupted to the present time. In 1797, we have the first intimation of doubt, as to the morality of selling intoxicating drinks. It comes in the form of a query from Licking Church, as follows: Whether the church is justifiable in shutting the door against a member of a sister church, that offers his membership, for the cause of retailing liquors according to law? The Association answers in the negative; but the presenting of the query proves that some church was unwilling to receive a liquor dealer into her fellowship, or at least, doubted the propriety of it.
1797. At Clear Creek. New churches received: Green Creek, Tick Creek and Beaver Creek. The Association gives an opinion on the subject of funeral preaching, as follows: "That funeral processions, attended with singing, conform too much to the antichristian customs, and ought to be omitted in the churches of Christ. Butthere can be no impropriety in a servant of Christ’s preaching at that time and place, for he is to be instant in season and out of season. Christian prudence ought to decide on the subject. But to suppose a sermon necessary to the decent burial of the dead, we wish discountenanced."
Query from McConnels Run. Are churches bound by the Scriptures to contribute to the support of pastoral ministers? Answer. — God hath ordained that they who preach the gospel should live of the gospel.
1798. At Forks of Elkhorn. New churches received: Flower Creek and Lees Creek. And next year, Hurricane, Elk Lick, Russells Creek and Drennons Creek, (now New Castle). In 1800, Dry Creek was received, and Buck Run was reported dissolved.
1801. At South Elkhorn. The "Great Revival" is in progress. 27 old churches and 10 new ones are represented. Number of Baptisms reported, 3,011: Total membership, 4,853. The new churches were Mouth of Elkhorn, North Fork, Eagle Creek, Silas, Glens Creek, North Elkhorn, Twins, South Benson, Dry Run, and Port William.
The action of this Association, with reference to Indian
Missions and the consummation of a happy union with South Kentucky Association of Separate Baptists, has been noticed, at length, in the general history. Elkhorn, together with all other associations in the State, now took the name of "United Baptists."
Up to this period, the history of Elkhorn Association comprises most of what we know of the early Baptists of Kentucky. The superior intelligence of her ministers and churches, previous to the great revival, made her the representative body of the Western Baptists. For this reason, her transactions have been given in detail, and from her history, may be learned the doctrines, practice, opinions and habits of the fathers of our Zion. After this period, although still among the most influential bodies of the kind, in the State, she divides this honor with her numerous sister associations. A more condensed account of her proceedings, from this period, will be given.
In 1802, the question as to what constitutes valid Baptism, which had been evaded in 1793, was brought before the Association in a different form, and answered as follows:
"Query from South Elkhorn. — What constitutes valid Baptism?
Answer. — The administrator ought to have been baptized himself by immersion, legally called to preach the gospel, [and] ordained as the Scriptures dictate; and the candidate for baptism should make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ, and be baptized in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, by dipping the whole body in water."
The difficulty concerning what is now termed Unitarianism arose in Coopers Run, Flat Lick, Indian Creek and Union churches, in 1803. For the purpose of meeting it promptly, an association was held at Great Crossing, in April of that year. A committee was sent to visit the accused churches, and the old article of faith on the subject of the Trinity was reaffirmed. The committee failed to reclaim Coopers Run church, and it was dropped from the Union, at the annual meeting of the Association, in August. That part of Flat Lick, which held to the constitution and to the divinity of Christ, was recognized as the church. The heresy seems to have spread no farther, and peace was restored in the Association.
Scarcely had the Unitarian difficulty been settled, when a more serious trouble arose, concerning slavery. Some of the most highly esteemed ministers in the Association were opposed to that domestic institution. Among these, were David Barrow, William Hickman, George Smith and Carter Tarrant. Their preaching on the subject gave offense to the slaveholding members of the churches. At its meeting at Bryants, in 1805, the Association recorded the following opinion: "This Association judges it improper for ministers, churches or associations to meddle with emancipation from slavery, or any other political subject; and as such we advise ministers and churches to have nothing to do therewith, in their religious capacities."
This gave offense to the Emancipationists. Barrow, Tarrant and several other ministers, from this and other associations, drew off several churches and parts of churches and formed an Emancipation Association.
A great spiritual derth prevailed within the bounds of the Association, from 1806 till 1809: So that, in four years, only 52 baptisms were reported. During this period, the influences which resulted in a grievous split in the body, and the organization of Licking Association, were at work. This very sad affair, which has been detailed at length elsewhere, continued to embarrass the Association a long series of years. Licking Association was formed, in 1810, and in 1811, Elkhorn, being informed that East Hickman, Stony point, Raven Creek, Rock Bridge, Brush Creek, Mill Creek, Little Huston and Flat Lick, with others, had embodied and called themselves Licking Association, agreed that they no longer be called in the roll of churches.
It may be observed here that very earnest endeavors were made, from year to year, to reconcile Licking and Elkhorn Associations, and establish correspondence between them; but the efforts were unsuccessful. Theyreceived each other's messengers, in 1818. But it was manifest that the apparent reconciliation was not hearty, on the part of Licking; for, in 1820, the messengers from Elkhorn were rejected, on the grounds that the old difficulties remained untouched, and that new ones, respecting doctrines, had arisen. From that time to the present, the two fraternities, occupying the same territory,
have antagonized each other, much to the injury of the cause of Christ.
In 1812, a colored church, which had been gathered, at Lexington, by a colored man known as "Old Captain," made application for membership in the Association. The application was rejected, on the ground that the constitution of the church was irregular.
It appears that the pious old slave, under whose eat nest and diligent labors this church had been gathered, had been a member of a small Separate Baptist Church, located in the eastern part of Fayette county, or the western part of Clark, called the head of Boones Creek. After that church dissolved, about 1797, he hired the time of himself and his wife, procured a cabin to live in, near Lexington, and devoted himself to exhorting his fellow-servants, in and about the village, to repent and turn to the Saviour. When about fifty had professed conversion and demanded baptism, he applied to the white brethren for ordination. But he being a slave and wholly illiterate, the "fathers and brethren" deemed it improper to lay hands on him. However, they gave him the right hand of fellowship, and bade him go on in the good work. Thus encouraged, he baptized the converts that were approved, and constituted them into a church, under the style of the African Baptist Church in Lexington. This church prospered greatly, until it numbered about 300 members, when it applied for admission into Elkhorn Association, as stated above. The irregularity of its constitution consisted in the want of the formal ordination of the preacher who baptized its members and embodied them in a church. Such was the strictness of order, adhered to by the fathers of Elkhorn Association.
In 1813, Silas M. Noel commenced the publication, at Frankfort, of the Gospel Herald. In the first number of this Monthly, he advocated the organization of a general meeting of correspondence, somewhat similar in its objects to our present General Association. The subject was taken into consideration by Elkhorn Association. But after a year’s deliberation, the proposition was rejected.
In 1814, the subject of Foreign Missions was brought before the Association, for the first time. No action was taken on the subject that year. But the year following, Luther Rice,
the General Agent of the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions, being present, the sum of $150 or $200 was collected for the Burman Mission. From that period to the present, the churches of ElkhornAssociation have been among the most liberal in contributing to Foreign Missions.
In 1816, some disturbance was caused by the circulation of a pamphlet, titled an address to the advocates of a partial gospel, written by judge Henry Davage, a licensed preacher in Big Spring Church. The doctrine taught in the publication was regarded Arminian, and was especially annoying to Franklin Association, whose messengers refused to take seats in Elkhorn Association, till that body should take some action concerning it. Silas M. Noel offered the following, which, being adopted by the Association, gave general satisfaction.
"We advise the Church at Big Spring, if she is grieved by the pamphlet written by H. Davage, to treat with the author in a gospel way. And we recommend to the churches of our union to discountenance the doctrines and sentiments therein contained."
In 1827, in answer to a query from Glens Creek, the Association advised the members in their connection "in no case to join themselves to a Masonic Lodge." The following year, they advised their members not to join any "society, the principle of which is secrecy."
In 1821, in deference to "a respectable minority of the churches," and "for the sake of peace," the Association withdrew correspondence from the Board of Foreign Missions.
Queries came from the 1st Baptist Church in Lexington, as to the validity of baptism administered by an unordained preacher, and as to the propriety of ordaining men of color to the gospel ministry. Jeremiah Vardeman, James Fishback, John Edwards, Edmund Waller and Jacob Creath were appointed a committee to consider these questions and report their conclusions to the next Association. In accordance with their report, the Association, in 1822, reaffirmed its definition of valid baptism, given in 1802, and, in answer to the second inquiry, "they knew of no reason why free men of color may not be ordained ministers of the gospel, the gospel qualifications being possessed by them."
In 1828, an extensive revival prevailed within the bounds
of the Association. The number of baptisms, reported that year was 1676. The numerical strength of the fraternity was increased from 2,802, to 4,346. The permanent value of this increase, however, was greatly diminished by the activity of A. Campbell’s adherents, who led many of the young converts into the peculiar views of that leader. The leaven of Campbellism had already begun to work in the churches, and the revival was followed by the wildest confusion and disorder that the Association has ever experienced. This turbulence continued among the churches till 1830; when the Campbellites were formally excluded from the Association, and peace was restored to the churches. A sufficiently full account of these transactions has been given in the general history.
A constrained and irregular correspondence was kept up with Licking Association till 1836, when it appeared that some doctrines, contrary to those held by the Baptists generally, were being propagated in her churches. Elkhorn remonstrated with her, and, not being able to obtain satisfaction, finally withdrew correspondence, in 1837.
The establishment of toll gates on the roads over which the people went to their houses of worship, being a barrier in the way of the poor’s attending religious meetings, the Association, in 1838, made a very earnest appeal to the Legislature to open the gates for the free passage, on Sabbath, of all persons going to or returning from public worship, on all turnpike roads in the State.
During the period of a score of years, from the Campbellite schism, Elkhorn Association had a feeble ministry, compared with that of former years, although she still had a few able preachers. The resolution adopted in 1839, to the following effect, was especially appropriate: That this Association has long mourned a great deficiency of ministerial labor, and has felt rebuked, when praying for more laborers, under the conviction that those in the field were rendered inefficient by the neglect of the churches to sustain them. To remedy the evil, they recommended the plan adopted by the General Association. Nothing was done this year towards carrying out the plan. But, in 1840, Elder J. D. Black was appointed to visit the churches composing the body, and spread before them the wants of the people, The design was to induce the churches
to sustain their pastors, in order that they might give their whole time to the ministry. Elder Black was also directed to visit the destitute places, hold protracted meetings, and otherwise promote the cause of Christ. His labors were abundantly successful. He visited every church in the Association, held 20 protracted meetings, received for baptism 323, and collected some money for missions. The Association was so much encouraged, that it appointed two missionaries, the next year.
J. D. Black was the first missionary appointed to labor in the bounds of this association. But from that time to the present, domestic missions have been kept up within its bounds, through the various systems it has adopted.
In 1840, the following resolution was adopted by the Association: "That in view of the apostolic admonition to bring up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, we recommend to all our churches, as far as they possibly can, to sustain a Sabbath school in their respective congregations." This was probably the first resolution of the kind, adopted by any association in the state. It may not be unworthy of remark, that it was offered by Elder George C. Sedwick, the father of the distinguished Sunday school missionary, Wm. S. Sedwick.
Our space will allow of no further details of the history of this ancient fraternity. From 1840 to the present, it has generally been prosperous, except that it sustained a greater loss of members during the war, than any other association in the state. In 1861, its churches numbered an aggregate membership of 7,760, of whom 2,671 were white, and 5,089 were colored; in 1871, they reported only 2,505. From 1788 to 1880, there were, according to official reports, baptised into the churches of this Association 25,138. In 1880, it numbered 28 churches and 3,063 members.
Sketches of the lives of a number of the ministers of this Association have been given elsewhere. But several other preachers who have been active laborers within its bounds, may be briefly noticed in this connection. It is regretted that a number of others, equally worthy, must be omitted for want of information concerning them.
George Stokes Smith, a younger half brother of George Smith, one of the early emancipation preachers in Kentucky, was a native of Powhatan county, Virginia. He was raised up
to the ministry, in Powhatan church, during those times of persecution that tried men's souls. After preaching some years, in Virginia, he came to what is now Garrard county, Kentucky, at a very early period. When John Taylor arrived in that county, in 1783, he found Mr. Smith a preacher in Gilbert's Creek church, Lewis Craig having moved to the north side of Kentucky river, and raised up South Elkhorn church. When William Hickman moved to Kentucky, in 1784, Mr. Smith received him, with his wife and nine children, into his cabin, and entertained him till he could build a cabin to move into. Of this circumstance Mr. Hickman writes to the following purport “I had written G.S. Smith to meet us, but he failed to get the letter as soon as I expected. The night before we got in, we concluded to stop and rest. There were 500 in our company. My friend Smith rode up, inquiring for Hickman’s camp. He came loaded with bread and meat. The next morning we started, and got to his cabin about an hour by sun, November 8, 1784. Wet and dirty, poor spectacles we were, but, thank God, all in common health. The Lord was with us through the whole journey [which occupied eighty-five days]. The next day, being Sunday, there was meeting at Brother Smith's; and, unprepared as I was, I had to try to preach, though there were three other preachers present. I spoke from these words, found in the fourth Psalm: 'The Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himself.' I was followed by Mr Swope, a Methodist preacher. Old Brother William Marshall was there. There was a church at Gilbert's Creek, but I had no inclination to join so soon after I moved there. We lived in Brother Smith’s family. Brother John Taylor came from the north side of the river, and preached at Brother Robertson’s. His text was — 'Christ is all in all.' I fed on the food; it was like the good old Virginia doctrine. Wm. Bledsoe was there. We built a cabin near Brother Smith's, where our families lived very agreeably together."
Mr. Smith labored in the region around South Elkhorn, with Hickman, Taylor, Craig and others, till Mt. Pleasant church, in Jessamine county, was raised up, in 1801. Of this church he was chosen pastor, and continued to fill that position with eminent success till the master took him home, about the year 1810.
Mr. Smith was raised up in the Episcopal Church, by wealthy
parents, and was a citizen of considerable prominence, among the early settlers of Kentucky. He was a member, from Fayette county, of the convention that formed the first constitution of the state, in 1792. John Taylor, one of his co- laborers in the ministry, speaks of him as follows: "George S. Smith was a man of great respectability as a citizen, and was much of a doctrinal preacher. Simplicity and plainness attended his whole course. His preaching operated but sparingly on the passions of his hearers; for though his voice, was strong and sonorous, it lacked softness and melody. As a Gibbeonite in the house of God, he was better calculated to hew wood than to draw water."
Richard Cave was one of the pioneer preachers of central Kentucky, and was very useful among the early settlers. He was the son of Captain Benjamin Cave of Orange county, Virginia, where he was born not far from the year 1750. At an early age, he was led to Christ, under the preaching of the famous Samuel Harris and James Read, and united with Upper Spottsylvania church. He was set apart to the ministry, by this church, while he was quite young. After preaching a few years in his native county, he followed Lewis Craig, whose sister he had married, and his brother William Cave, who had moved the fall before, to the wilderness of Kentucky, in 1782. He settled in Garrard county, where he united with Gilbert's Creek church. This was the same church he had first joined, but now, in a new location, and bearing a new name. He remained at Gilbert’s Creek some two years after Lewis Craig, the old pastor, had moved away, and, with George Stokes Smith, supplied the church with the ministry of the word. In the spring of 1785, he moved to Woodford county, where he went into the constitution of Clear Creek church. Here he was associated in the ministry with John Taylor, John Dupuy, James Rucker and, soon afterwards, with John Tanner and the venerable John Sutton. He was regarded as a man of great piety, and was very zealous and useful, especially during a great revival that commenced under his ministry at Clear Creek, in 1800. The church received 326 by baptism, during one year, and was increased to 558 members. This was the most useful period of Mr. Cave's ministry; for not longafterwards, he fell into the pit that has ineffaceably spotted the garments of multitudes of good men. He contracted the habit of drinking too freely.
When reproved for this sin, he repented bitterly, and could never again be induced to taste spirituous liquors. His zeal for the cause of Christ was undiminished, but his usefulness was much impaired. Not long before his death, he arose to close the exercises of a meeting he attended, but was overpowered by a flood of tears and compelled to sit down. He died of a protracted diarrhoea, in July, 1816. A few days before his departure, he expressed great serenity of soul, and a patient acquiescence in the divine will. He had been a teacher of music, and was an excellent singer. A little before his last breath, he sang in a loud voice, the words: —
"O for an overcoming faith
To cheer my dying hours;
To triumph o'er the monster death,
And all its frightful powers."
Absalom Bainbridge, of whose early life we have no account, but who is supposed to have been a native of Maryland, was raised up to the ministry in Town Fork church, in Fayette County; Ky. He was a licensed preacher in that church as early as 1798, and three years later he was an ordained minister in the same church. Soon afterwards he became a member of Boone’s Creek church, in the same county. In 1806, he preached the introductory sermon before Elkhorn Association. When Elkhorn Association split, in 1809, he adhered to the party that formed Licking Association, and was for some years a prominent member of the latter fraternity, acting as its Clerk, from 1814 to 1817, and preaching the introductory sermon before it, in 1813, 1815 and 1817. About the last named date, he moved to Todd county. In becoming identified with Licking Association, he had left the general union of Baptists in Kentucky. However, he succeeded in getting into West Fork church, in Todd county, this church being a member of Red River Association, which was, at that time, in the general union. Mr. Bainbridge soon began to foment strife among the churches, about certain abstruse points of doctrine. The breach continued to widen, till the Association divided, in 1824. Bethel Association was formed of the minority, the next year. Mr. Bainbridge is doubtless referred to among others, in the following extract, from an account of the origin of that Association, published in its minutes of 1826:
"The nature and extent of the Atonement of our Lord Jesus Christ, then became a matter of controversy, though not serious, until certain Baptists from the upper counties of this State, settled among us. At first, they manifested an appearance of friendship and fellowship towards our churches and ministers, which led us to suppose they were desirous to return into the general union again. We therefore, upon their application, received them intoour churches. But, alas! some of them, so soon as they obtained a standing among us, manifested a party spirit, which soon found its way into the Association. Things now became serious; a want of brotherly love and Christian forbearance was soon manifested in the deportment of a number of preachers and lay members, especially at the Associations, held from year to year. Instead of meeting in love, for the mutual edification and comfort of each other, and to preach the glorious gospel to sinners, it became a scene of contention, which reflected on us, as a religious society, and greatly injured the cause of God among us."
Mr. Bainbridge, of course, adhered to Red River Association, which soon left the general union, and has since continued to wither. After this, we find no further mention of Mr. Bainbridge. He is believed to have been a man of fair abilities and a good moral character. But it is feared that, on account of his contentious disposition, he did the cause of Christ more harm than good.
Lewis Corban, son of William Corban, was born in Culpeper county, Va., April 4, 1754. He was raised up on his father’s farm, receiving a very meagre education. His father's family were all irreligious, and he gave no attention to the interest of his soul, till he was about thirty years of age. At this time, he became deeply impressed with the importance of eternal things. After a long struggle, he obtained hope in Jesus, and was baptized by John Pickett, in 1786. He began immediately to speak to the people about the blessed peace he enjoyed through the Savior, and gave such evidence of a call to the ministry, as induced his church to have him ordained the same year. Soon after his ordination, he was called to a church over the Blue Ridge, where he continued to preach till he moved to Kentucky. In 1797, he was called to the care of Grassy Lick church, located about seven miles north-east from Mt. Sterling, Ky. During
the great revival of 1801-2, he baptized 127 into the fellowship of that church. Among these, were his son Samuel, and a little girl named Polly Colver only eight years old. About 1804, he moved to Bourbon county, settled near the mouth of Pretty Run, and took charge of Stony Point church. He lived at this place about twelve years, when, having lost three sons, from disease which he supposed to have been caused by an adjacent mill-pond, he moved his residence to the lower end of the county, but still retained the care of Stony Point church. His charge enjoyed a very moderate degree of prosperity. In 1825, it attained a membership of 69, after which, like most of the other churches in Licking Association, it gradually declined. Mr. Corban continued the pastor of Stony Point church till old age necessitated his resignation. Towards the close of his life, he was much afflicted with "gravel." He died from the effects of a fall, April 1, 1840.
Mr. Corban was a man of strong mind, and was well versed in the sacred Scriptures. He was very successful in his early ministry. But, becoming identified with Licking Association of Particular Baptists, the system of doctrine and practice held by that fraternity, cramped his genius and chilled his zeal, so that the remainder of his ministry was comparatively fruitless.
Ambrose Bourne was brought into the ministry at Marble Creek — now East Hickman -- during the great revival at the beginning of the present century. Soon after he commenced preaching, he moved to Madison county, and gave his membership to Tate's Creek church. After remaining there a short time, he moved to Fayette county, where he united with Mt. Gilead church, about 1810. About 1817, he moved to Todd county and became a member of Mt. Gilead church, which he probably raised up. Under his ministry at this church, the distinguished John S. Wilson was brought into the ministry. The time of Mr. Bourne's death is not known. He appears to have been a good man of quite moderate talent.
Henry Toler was a native of King and Queen county, Va. The date of his birth has not been ascertained. In youth, he received only a common school education. He was early converted, under the ministry of John Courtney. Almost immediately after his baptism and union with Upper College church, he began to exhort sinners to repent. His church gave him a
license to exercise his gift, and he exhibited such talents as induced a very wealthy Baptist, known as Counsellor Carter, to tender him the means of procuring a better education. He accepted the generous offer, and spent three years under the tutorship of Dr. Samuel Jones, in Pennsylvania. Having returned to his native county, he was soon ordained. He now gave himself wholly to preaching. In 1783, he commenced preaching in Westmoreland county. Here he gathered Nomini church, which was constituted of 17 members, April 29, 1786. He was pastor of this church more than twenty years. When he resigned, it numbered 875 members, and gas the largest church in Virginia.
"The labors of Mr. Toler," says J.B. Taylor, "were not confined to Westmoreland county,. He traveled extensively in the upper counties and below the Northern Neck, as well as between the York and Rappahannock Rivers." "Few preachers," says Mr. Semple, "having families, have been more indefatigable in proclaiming the gospel than Mr. Toler." After preaching in Virginia, with preeminent success, about forty years, he moved to Kentucky, about the year 1816. He settled in Woodford county, and united with Clear Creek church, which he served about four years. His superior talents caused him to be much sought after, in the new country; but he appears to have been discontented and unsuccessful. About 1821, he took charge of Griers Creekchurch, to which also he gave his membership. He induced this church to so change its constitution as to take the name of Particular Baptists. This was made a condition of his serving them, as pastor. His object was to induce the church to withdraw from Franklin Association, and unite with Licking. Several members had been induced to leave Clear Creek, and join Griers Creek, without letters of dismission. When the vote was taken, as to whether the church would change its associational connection, it was decided not to change. The church also resumed its former name of United Baptists. This so offended Mr. Toler that he drew oft a faction, constituted them a Particular Baptist church, at Versailles, and induced them to join Licking Association. This occurred in 1822. To this little church at Versailles, Mr. Toler ministered, during the brief remainder of his life. He died, February 3, 1824.
Henry Toler was a preacher of superior abilities, and great power in the pulpit, and few men have used their gifts to better advantage than did he, while he remained in his native State. But after he came to Kentucky, he seems to have become soured in his temper. He was unsuccessful at Clear Creek, Griers Creek and Frankfort, having preached at the latter place one year. About 1820, he wrote a pamphlet titled "Union -- no Union," in which he condemned Elkhorn Association, and defended Licking against the charge of schism, in violently breaking off from the former fraternity. With all his fine abilities, his unspotted character and his former success, it is probable that he did more harm than good, in Kentucky.
John H. Ficklin was born in Spottsylvania county, Va., February 17, 1771. He came early, probably with his parents, to Kentucky, and settled in Scott county, near the present village of Stamping Ground. In 1791, William Hickman commenced preaching in Mr. Ficklin’s barn, and a church was soon raised up, then called McConnel’s Run, but now known as Stamping Ground. Among the early converts in this settlement, was John H. Ficklin. Soon after his union with this church, he moved his membership to North Fork. Here he was licensed to preach, about 1805. He was ordained to the full work of the ministry, in July, 1807, by William Hickman and William Buckley, both of whom, like himself, had declared themselves on the side of the Emancipationists. Mr. Ficklin was called to the care of North Fork church, where he ministered several years. Not far from 1815, he moved his membership to Hartwood, where he remained till 1825. About this time he became, it is believed, connected with Choctaw Academy, in some capacity. This Academy, located at Blue Spring, in Scott county, was a school for educating young Indians, brought from the West for that purpose.
Mr. Ficklin had a limited education, but he possessed a strong intellect and was regarded a good preacher. His emancipation principles rendered him somewhatunpopular, but his piety was undoubted. No account of his latter days has been obtained, but it is probable he spent them in Illinois, as it is known that one of his sons was a respectable lawyer at Charleston, in that state.
James Fishback was a native of Virginia, but the exact
time of his birth has not been ascertained. His mother being an Episcopalian, he was christened by a minister of her church, in his infancy. While yet a small child, he was brought by his parents to Fayette county, Kentucky. Here, after receiving the rudiments of an education, he was sent to Transylvania, in 1793, where he finished his literary course, under Henry Toulmin, a Unitarian minister of superior ability. He then went abroad to obtain a medical education. Returning home, in the fall of 1801, he commenced the practice of medicine at Lexington. Although he had been raised by pious parents, and had been the subject of strong religious impressions, from his youth, he now became skeptical. He entered into an extended investigation of the Bible, which ended in a firm conviction of its truth. In 1809, he published a pamphlet, in support of the views he had arrived at. Something more than a year after this, he professed conversion and united with the Presbyterian church, of which his parents had previously become members. After a few years, he fell into doubt about the validity of his baptism. An investigation of the subject resulted in his uniting with the Baptist church at Bryant's Station, where he was baptized, by the renowned Jeremiah Vardeman, the fourth Saturday in November, 1816. He was licensed to preach the following month, and was ordained to the pastorate of the newly constituted church at Lexington, by Jeremiah Vardeman, Jacob Creath and James E. Welsh, August 22, 1817. The church at Lexington prospered under his ministry, till 1825, when it numbered 153 members. About this time, he began to advocate some of the doctrines of Barton W. Stone -- especially the rejection of "Sectarian names" for the churches of Christ. Being unable to bring his charge to accept his new views, he drew off about 40 members, in 1827, and organized them, under the style of the church of Christ, on Mill Street. Alexander Campbell had numerous adherents in the Baptist churches around Lexington, at this period. By means of these, together with his own personal influence, Dr. Fishback hoped to have his church received into Elkhorn Association. He had miscalculated, however, and its application was rejected. He now ministered to the little "church of Christ on Mill Street," about nine years. Finding that it was not prospering, and becoming weary of isolation from the general brotherhood, the little band, with its discouraged
pastor, returned to the body from which it had seceded, and a happy union was effected, in 1836. This year, Dr. Fishback was a messenger to Elkhorn Association, for the last time. He was soon afterwards called to give an account of his stewardship.
Dr. Fishback was a fine scholar, an excellent speaker, and an easy, fluent writer. But he was unstable in all his ways, ever learning, and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. Otherwise, he bore a good character for piety and morality.
Mordecai Boulware was several years a preacher among the churches of Elkhorn Association. He was licensed to preach, in North Fork church, as early as 1813, and was ordained not long afterwards. He succeeded John Ficklin in the pastoral care of North Fork church, about 1816. He continued to minister here till 1825, after which we have no account of him.
Mareen Duval united with McConnel's Run church — now Stamping Ground — in 1807. He had a fair education, and was a devoted and useful church member. He was advanced in life when he was ordained to the ministry, about 1824, and appears never to have become very active in his holy calling. It is probable he was never pastor of any church. He died December 21, 1844.
John Lucas was a member of the same church, and was also advanced in life when he was set apart to the ministry, about 1830. His gifts were very meagre, but he was much loved by his brethren, for his deep toned piety and earnest devotion to the cause of Christ. He was ever ready to do what he could in the Lord’s vineyard. He died, at an advanced age, in March, 1848. Rhodes Smith, one of the "constituent members" of McConnel's Run church, although not a preacher, was, for many years, one of the most valuable members of Elkhorn Association. He was liberal, intelligent, and of great integrity and devout piety. He was a member of the State Senate eighteen consecutive years, and was always a leading member of that body. Near the close of his long and useful life, he selected the following words, from which he requested his pastor, James D. Black, to preach, at his funeral: "Unto you, therefore, which believe,
he is precious." He died at a ripe old age in October, 1845.
James Sims was a native of Virginia, and was born about the year 1768. He moved with a large family to Bourbon county, Kentucky in 1812. Here he united with the church at Paris. He afterwards joined Lower Bethel church, where he was an ordained minister as early as 1822. He was cut off from the Baptists with the Campbellite faction in 1830. After this he moved to Oldham county, where he died, April 26, 1856, in the 88th year of his age. Of his life and ministry little is now known.
Guerdon Gates was born in New London, Conn. in 1796. At the age of sixteen he started to go South, but being detained on his journey by a slight accident, he entered Washington College, where he graduated with honor. He afterwards studied theology, but at what institution is not known. He then filled a professorship in the college from which he had graduated, two or three years. Having been set apart to the ministry, he moved to Bourbon county, Kentucky, about 1823, and was soon afterwards called to the care of the Baptist church in Paris. Here he preached and conducted a female seminary about ten years. In 1833 he moved to Mayslick in Mason county, where he remained two years. In 1835 he moved to Louisville. After this, he only preached occasionally. He maintained an exalted Christian character, and was prominently connected with the benevolent institutions of the city more than twenty years. He was a man of great simplicity of manners, and was much loved by a large circle of acquaintances. He died about 1858.
George Blackburn was one of those men, whose strong plodding minds develope slowly. He was a member of Big Spring church from its constitution in 1813, and was one of its first messengers to Elkhorn Association. He was ordained to the ministry in 1825. Soon after his ordination, John Taylor wrote of him: 'He is a pretty good preacher; his delivery is not quite so ready as that of some men, but his ideas are very good." He continued to develope his powers till he came to be regarded a strong preacher, and was one of the leading ministers of his day, in Kentucky, in the benevolent enterprises of his denomination. He was chairman of the meeting that organized the Kentucky Baptist Convention in 1832, and was a member of its first executive board. He continued to act as a member of the board till the convention was dissolved, but his ministerial
career was brief. The General Association, at its first meeting in October, 1837, adopted the following preamble and resolutions:Whereas, We have learned with emotions of sorrow, that Elder George Blackburn has finished his course and has gone to receive his heavenly reward, Therefore
"Resolved, That we affectionately cherish the memory of our deceased brother, and retain a vivid recollection of his zealous and successful labors in the cause of God.
"Resolved, also, that we sympathisingly condole with the family of brother Blackburn, in their melancholy bereavement, and with the churches formerly enjoying his pastoral supervision, in their deprivation of his efficient ministerial services."
Edward Darnaby was the son of John Darnaby, an early emigrant from Virginia to the Western wilds, and was born in Fayette county, Kentucky, April 28, 1793. He received a very limited education, and was very thoughtless concerning the interests of his soul till about his 36th year, when he was awakened from his slumbers under the preaching of Ryland T. Dillard. He was approved for baptism in March, 1829, and was baptized by Jerimiah Vardeman into the fellowship of Bryant's Station church, the following month. He was licensed to exercise his gift in June, 1838, and was ordained at Bryant's Station, by Ryland T. Dillard, James M. Frost and Josiah Leake, July to, 1839. He was now in his 47th year, but he devoted himself to his holy calling with the ardent zeal of a young man. Being chosen pastor of Bryant's Station church, he continued to fill that position till he was called away from earthly cares. He also preached to the churches at Paris, Providence, Upper Howard's Creek, Mt. Pleasant, Indian Creek and Mt. Olivet for different periods. In addition to his pastoral work, he labored extensively among the destitute. His ministerial life was an extraordinarily busy one, and was full of good fruits. He accomplished more in the gospel ministry in the brief period of about thirteen years, than many a preacher of equal advantages has wrought in a ministry of two score years. He died of paralysis, May 14, 1852.
Jacob Creath, Jr., a nephew of the eloquent pioneer preacher of the same name, was a Baptist minister within the bounds of Elkhorn Association, several years. He had a fair
English education, with some knowledge of the Greek and Latin languages. He commenced preaching quite young, and gave promise of usefulness. After preaching a year or two, during which time he served South Elkhorn church, he left the State, in 1826. In the Fall of 1828, he returned to Kentucky, having fully imbibed the sentiments of Alexander Campbell. He gave his membership to the church at Versailles, and commences preaching one Sunday in the month at Clear Creek church, George Blackburn being the regular pastor. This arrangement resulted in a division of the church. In 1830, Mr. Creath, with the aid of his uncle, constituted a church of the faction he had led off, and then served it as pastor. About the same time, South Benson church divided on the subject of Campbellism. The Campbellite faction was formally constituted a church, and called Mr. Creath to its pastoral care. By this time, he had become the leading champion of "the Reformation," in that part of the State. He "was distinguished," says John A. Williams, in his Life of John Smith, "for the boldness and severity of his character." He was exceedingly active, and traveled extensively among the churches, proclaiming the doctrines of Mr. Campbell. Meanwhile, early in 1830, he became co-editor of the Christian Examiner, a Campbellite paper, conducted by a Mr. Norwood, at Lexington, and, in connection with the same gentleman, established a quarterly magazine, styled the Budget, also published at Lexington. The latter periodical was made the vehicle of the most bitter, personal invective, against such Baptist preachers as opposed Mr. Campbell’s innovations. It is probable that no other man in the State stirred up so much bitterness and strife among Christians, during that stormy period, as did Jacob Creath, Jr.
At the beginning of the eventful year 1830, memorable in the religious history of Kentucky, the three leading champions of Campbellism, in the central part of the State, Jacob Creath, Jr., Jacob Creath, Sr., and Josephus Hewett, were members of the Baptist church at Versailles. But as it was anticipated that Elkhorn Association would take some action in regard to the prevailing heresy, in the churches of which it was composed, these shrewd leaders of the budding "Reformation" deemed it prudent to represent a larger constituency in that body. Accordingly Jacob Creath, Jr., and Josephus Hewett obtained letters of dismission,
and the former united with Providence church, while the latter joined South Elkhorn. Jacob Creath, Sr. remained at Versailles. Each of these three churches sent ten messengers to the Association, at its meeting in the fall, contrary to an express ordinance of that body, enacted the year previous, allowing only three messengers from each church. The Association refused seats to the supernumerary messengers. On conviction of heresy and disorder, the churches at Versailles and Providence were dropped from the fraternity. That at South Elkhorn was laid under censure, for the present, and dropped the next year. This resulted in a general separation of the Campbellites from the Baptist churches, and the former became a distinct sect. Jacob Creath, Jr., became one of the leaders of the new denomination. After preaching several years among his brethren in Kentucky, he moved to Missouri, where he established a periodical, styled the Christian Pioneer, which he conducted for many years. Though at a good old age, he was still living, when last heard from.
Josephus Hewett was raised up to the ministry, in the church at Versailles. He was ordained about the year 1825. His education was neglected in his childhood; but having a sprightly mind and a commendable ambition, he acquired a fair English education after he attained his majority. He was a young preacher of good abilities; but being intimately associated with both the Creaths, who early adopted the religious system of Alexander Campbell, he also fell into that heresy. In company with the Creaths, he was active in dividing churches, and in constituting churches of factious minorities. In 1830, in accordance with the plan referred to in the sketch of Jacob Creath, Jr., he took a letter of dismission from Versailles church, and united with South Elkhorn. In the fall of that year, South Elkhorn church was laid under censure "for having departed from the faith and constitution of the Association, and for having disregarded her rule, relative to an equal apportionment of representation in this body." The following year that church was dropped from Elkhorn Association. From this time Mr. Hewett was identified with the Campbellites, among whom he was an active preacher.
Younger R. Pitts was born in 1812, and raised in Kentucky. He united with Great Crossing church, in Scott county,
then under the pastoral care of Silas M. Noel, in 1833. He was licensed to exercise his gift, in July, 1836, and was ordained at Great Crossing, by R. T. Dillard, B. F. Kenney, W. G. Craig, J. D. Black, Howard Malcom and J. M. Frost, November 17, 1841. He was immediately called to the care of the church in which he had been ordained, and served in that capacity four years, when he resigned. What churches he served afterwards does not appear. He acted as missionary within the bounds of Elkhorn Association for a short time. About 1860, he moved to Howard county, Missouri. Here he took a more active part in religious affairs than he had done in Kentucky, where he had unduly hampered himself with the affairs of this life. He took an especial interest in the educational institutions of the Baptists in his adopted State. As agent, he raised near $10,000 for Mt. Pleasant College. He was several years a member of the Board of Trustees of William Jewell College, and had accepted an agency to raise money for the completion of the endowment of that institution, when he was called away from his earthly labors, while attending the General Association of Missouri Baptists at Clinton, in 1871.
William G. Craig was a son of William Craig, and a grandson of Toliver Craig, a brother of the famous Lewis and Elijah Craig, and was born in Scott county, Kentucky, October 10, 1803. When about three years old, he was so disabled in one of his legs by a severe illness, that he walked on crutches the remainder of his days. He was educated at Rittenhouse Academy, in Georgetown, with a view to the practice of law. While pursuing his literary studies he read the writings of Tom Paine and Voltaire, and became for a time a confirmed infidel. But the power of God overturned what he deemed his impregnable fortress. During a most wonderful revival at Great Crossing, under the ministry of Silas M. Noel and Ryland T. Dillard, during which 359 were baptized into the fellowship of that church within one year; Mr. Craig yielded to the power of the Spirit and was baptized by Mr. Noel, April 20, 1828. He abandoned his former purpose to practice law and gratefully gave himself to the service of that God who had "snatched him as a brand from the burning." He was licensed to exercise his gift in July, 1836, and ordained by J. D. Black and John Lucas, in 1840. He was immediately invited to preach, one Sunday in the month, at
Great Crossing church, of which he was a member. This he did for about five years, giving the remainder of his time to neighboring churches. He afterwards moved his membership to Buck Run church in Franklin county. At that church, and others in the vicinity, he continued to labor in the gospel till the Lord took him home on the 8th day of September, 1853.
William G. Craig was not a great man, in the ordinary meaning of that term. His mind was sprightly and well cultivated, and his gifts, though scarcely above mediocrity, were used with a zeal and diligence that made themeffective in the accomplishing of much good. His death was peculiarly triumphant. On the third day of his last brief illness he spoke to his family and some friends that were near his death bed to the following effect: "I have come to the conclusion that the Mighty Architect of this machine (his body) intended it to run only fifty years; and as that time has nearly expired, it cannot be wound up again. It must stop. It has run after a fashion -- halting, defective, irregular -- many times during a half century; but now it must stop. But glory to God in the highest for the implantation of the blessed hope, that it is going to that brighter world, to partake of that higher nature. When in the presence of God and the Lamb it will run on forever and ever. My beloved wife, the companion of all my joys and sorrows, baptized together with me in the beautiful Elkhorn -- my dear boy -- my aged and afflicted mother -- all, all must be left. But, oh! delightful thought, left only for a few brief moments to be reunited forever around the throne of God." Referring to an absent friend, a few moments before he expired, he said: "Tell him all is right. I am going home. All is well; I am not afraid to die."
George C. Sedwick was a native of Virginia, from whence he moved to Zanesville, Ohio. Here he conducted a religious periodical, styled the Baptist Miscellany as early as 1829. Where, or at what time, he was set apart to the gospel ministry is not known. After preaching some years in Ohio he moved to Frankfort, Kentucky in 1837. He represented the Frankfort church in the convention that formed the General Association at Louisville in October of the same year, and was an active member of that body during his stay in the State. In 1840 he took charge of the Baptist church at Paris in Bourbon county. In 1843 he moved to Georgetown, where he remained a brief
period and then moved back to Zanesville, Ohio. Here he spent the remainder of his days. He was a good preacher, and was active in the benevolent enterprises of the denomination. His son, W. S. Sedwick, was a well known Sunday school missionary, in Kentucky about the close of the late civil war.
Napoleon B. Waller, son of Elder Edmund Waller, and brother of the distinguished John L. Waller, was born in Jessamine county, Kentucky, March 24, 1826. He was educated at Georgetown College, with a view to the ministry, having professed religion and united with the Mt. Pleasant church, in his native county, in early youth, of which church his father was pastor. He was licensed to preach about 1849, and soon gave evidence of extraordinary talents. But God chose not to use him long in his vineyard below. He had recently finished his education, when the church at Owensboro invited him to visit them, with a view of becoming their pastor. He was on his way to that point, when, on arriving at Nicholasville, he found his brother ill, and deemed it duty to remain with him. Within a few days he was attacked with cholera. He died within a few hours after he was taken, August 1, 1855.
Thomas Henderson was long a minister among the churches of Elkhorn Association, and appears to have been a man of good standing and fair preaching talent. It is regretted that materials for a more extended sketch of his life have not been obtained. He was a preacher in Great Crossing church, occupying the pulpit on the third Sunday in each month, while James Suggett preached on the first, not long after 1812. This position he continued to fill till 1827. In 1829 he went into the constitution of Pleasant Green church in Scott county. About this time, he had an epistolary correspondence with John Smith, commonly known as Raccoon John Smith, touching the tenets of Alexander Campbell. Pleasant Green church seems to have been dissolved after a few years. After this, Mr. Henderson was a minister in Center Ridge church, in Grant county, as late as 1842.
James Chambers moved from North Carolina to Jessamine county, Kentucky, about 1804. He was called to the care of Clover Bottom church, to which he ministered not more than two or three years. After this he returned to his native State, to take charge of a church which had invited him to its pastoral care. His children all being in Kentucky, he returned to this
State, after two or three years. About 1818, he moved to Indiana, where he died at a great age. He is said to have been a good preacher, and a man of high respectability.
Thomas Suiter was a good old brother, who was many years a member of Big Spring church in Woodford county. He was ordained to the ministry, about 1834, and was a preacher in that church as late as 1844.
John W. Kenney was a young man of fine talent, and was much beloved for his sincere piety. He united with the church in Paris, Bourbon county, in 1840, and was licensed to preach in April, of the following year. He was ordained in December, 1842. The following February, he was called to the care of the church in Paris, to which he ministered till the Lord bade him cease from his labors. He died June 6, 1852.
Cadwallader Lewis, L L.D. was the son of John Lewis, an eminent educator, and was born in Spottsylvania county, Va., November 5, 1811. He was raised by Presbyterian parents, and educated by his father, who conducted a classical school at Llangolen, Va., many years. In 1830, he entered the University of Virginia, where he finished his course in ancient and modern languages and mathematics. He came to Kentucky in 1831, and taught a select school at Covington. In the spring of the following year, he took charge of the preparatory department of Georgetown College, then under the presidency of Joel S. Bacon. In 1844, he commenced the study of medicine; but his health failing, he went on a farm near the Forks of Elkhorn, in Franklin county, which he occupied the remainder of his life. During the same year that he moved on the farm, he made a profession of religion, and was baptized by B.F. Kenney,into the fellowship of Buck Run Baptist church. Very soon afterwards he was licensed to preach, and was ordained by Abner Goodell, James E. Duval, B. F. Kenney, Y. R. Pitts, and F. H. Hodges, in September, 1846. The succeeding spring he was called to the care of the church at Frankfort. He refused to leave his farm, but agreed to serve them till they could procure a pastor. He preached to them till the following October, when the church secured the services of James W. Goodman. In 1848, he succeeded Wm. F. Broadus as pastor of Versailles church, and John L. Waller, as pastor of Glens Creek, both in Woodford county. He preached to each of these
churches, two Sundays a month, till 1858, when he gave up one Sunday at Glens Creek, in order to supply Providence, a church recently constituted near his home. The last named church, he served until his death. He served the other two till the 25th of December, 1865, when his right thigh was broken, near the hipjoint, by a fall of his horse, on ice, as he was going to Versailles to preach. This injury compelled him to give up pastoral labor. As soon as he was able to walk on crutches, he was elected Processor of Theology, in Georgetown College. He filled this position four years. Having sufficiently recovered from his injuries to be able to travel, he resigned his professorship, and accepted a call to the pastorate of Great Crossing church, in connection with that of Providence, which he had not relinquished. At the end of three years he was called from Great Crossing to succeed L.B. Woolfolk as pastor of Mt. Vernon church, in Woodford county, where he continued to minister till his labors on earth ceased. He died suddenly, of heart disease, at the house of a friend, near Mt. Vernon, where he expected to preach the next day, on the 22d of April, 1882. He had with him notes of the sermon he expected to preach, on the text:
, 1 Corinthians 15:26.
Dr. Lewis was a model preacher, of the highest order. He was a finished scholar, a close student, and a superior logician. As an elegant, forcible and instructive speaker, he had few superiors. The eloquent preacher and barrister, John Bryce, regarded him the first orator in the Kentucky pulpit. He was a model pastor, as well as preacher. His health was feeble during his entire ministry. He wrote comparatively little for the press, but enough to prove himself one of the ablest critics and logicians in the State.
Lyman W. Seely, D. D. was born in Scott county, Ky., November 21, 1814, but was raised in Lexington. He was educated at Transylvania University, and afterwards taught in the preparatory department of that institution. In 1834, he made a profession of religion, and was baptized by James Fishback, for the church of Christ on Mill Street, in Lexington. He was licensed to preach soon after his union with the church; but was not ordained for several years, on account of his being compelled to teach school to aid in supporting a widowed mother. He, however, preached as opportunity was afforded. In 1840,
he was elected professor of Latin in Georgetown college, but resigned the following year. In 1842, he was ordained to the pastorate of Mt. Vernon church, where he ministered ten years. In 1852, he moved to Maysville, where he taught a classical school, about three years. During this period, he was pastor of the churches at Washington, Lewisburg and Flemingsburg, in Kentucky, and Aberdeen, in Ohio. In 1855, he accepted a call to High Street church in Baltimore, Md. While serving this church, he was one of the four learned editors of the Christian Review. In 1857, he took charge of the second church in Richmond, Va., which he served seven years. After this he filled the chair of English in Hollin's Institute, about two years, preaching to a neighboring church, meanwhile. Afterwards he was pastor of a church, a short time, in Fincastle county, Va. In 1867, he returned to Kentucky, after which he was pastor at different times, at Cane Run, in Fayette county, and Frankfort and Buck Run, in Franklin county. He was Private Secretary to Governor Leslie in 1873. In 1878, he became so nearly blind as to be unable to read. This, together with other bodily afflictions, has rendered him unable to engage in active labor, since that time.* Dr. Seely is a man of profound learning and extensive reading. He is classed among the most critical Greek scholars in the country.
William M. Pratt, D. D., now one of the oldest active ministers in Elkhorn Association, was born in Madison county, N. Y., January 13, 1817. He finished his education at what is now Madison University, taking a course of four years in the collegiate, and two years in the theological department, graduating in 1839. He was married the day after he graduated, and within two weeks started to his field of labor at Crawfordsville, Ind. Here he conducted a female school about a year, preaching as he could make opportunity. After this he spent about four years in preaching and building up churches, in what was then a comparatively new country. In 1845, he moved from Indiana to Kentucky, and accepted a call to the First Baptist church in Lexington. He labored as pastor of this church, seventeen years, resigning in 1862. After this, he moved to Louisville, and, in addition to discharging the duties of Corresponding
* He has recently gone to his final reward.
Secretary of the General Association, supplied the pulpit of Bank Street church, in New Albany, and, afterwards, at different times, those of Broadway and Walnut street churches in Louisville. In 1871, he took charge of the church in Shelbyville, where he ministered several years. Subsequently, he moved to Lexington, where he now resides. He is still (1885) actively engaged in the ministry.
Dr. Pratt is not only an excellent preacher and pastor, but he is also a superior business man. He has been a prominent actor in the benevolent enterprises ofthe Kentucky Baptists, and has rendered invaluable service to the denomination, in the various capacities, in which he has served it.
Richard M. Dudley, D. D., a great grandson of the famous old pioneer preacher, Ambrose Dudley, was born in Madison county, Ky., September 1, 1838. He entered Georgetown college in 1856 with a view to educating himself for the bar. In the spring of 1857 he professed religion, and was baptized by A.W. LaRue, then pastor of the Georgetown church. During his college course he became impressed that it was his duty to preach the gospel. As soon as this impression deepened into a conviction, he abandoned his purpose to study law. He continued his studies at the college, but now, with a view to the gospel ministry. He graduated in 1860, and, in the spring of 1861 accepted a call to the East Baptist church in Louisville. He ministered to this church about four years, when he resigned on account of a diseased throat. In 1865, he became editor of the Western Recorder, and conducted that journal with satisfaction to the public about six years. In 1871, he accepted a call to Davids Fork church, in Fayette county. In 1872, he accepted a professorship in Georgetown college, still retaining the pastorate of Davids Fork church till 1873. At this date he accepted a call to Stamping Ground church, in Scott county. In 1877, he resigned his position in the college, that he might give himself wholly to the work of the ministry. In 1878, he succeeded Henry McDonald, as pastor of the church at Georgetown. The following year, he was elected chairman of the Faculty of Georgetown college, and, on the 9th of June, 1880, was elected president of that institution. The latter position he has filled with much satisfaction to the denomination and the general public to the present time (1885). "If I should make
any comment at all upon my life," said he to the author. "it would be this: I have been honored by my brethern far beyond my deserts, and with each additional honor, I have been more and more painfully conscious of my unworthiness." The author takes pleasure in adding that his life long friend, Dr. Dudley, has filled well every position with which he has been intrusted.
George Varden, D. D. Ph. D. L L.D., was born in Norfolk county, England, December 9, 1830. He was raised up in the church of England, but while attending an academy, he experienced a change of heart, and was baptized by John Williams, into the fellowship of a Baptist church. He had received a good primary education, and was licensed to preach at the age of eighteen years. Soon after this, he came to the United States. After traveling two years, he entered Georgetown college, where he graduated in 1858. He immediately took charge of the church at Paris, in Bourbon county, where he still resides He has been pastor at different periods of the churches at Colemansville, Mayslick, Falmouth, Florence and Indian Creek. Dr. Varden has devoted himself enthusiastically to study, and is one of the leading scholarsof the country. He has written extensively for the leading periodicals of the country, and is well known in Europe, as well as in the land of his adoption, as a scholarly author.
Thomas C. Stackhouse is of French extraction, and was born in Louisiana, July 2, 1840. Losing his parents, he came to Kentucky at the age of fifteen. He was educated at Georgetown college, where he graduated in 1858. He professed religion while attending college, and was baptized into the fellowship of Georgetown church, by A.W. LaRue, in March, 1857. He was licensed to preach at Stanford, while studying theology under A. W. LaRue, March 10, 1860. He entered the theological department of Georgetown college, the following fall, and was ordained to the ministry at Mt. Gilead church, in Green county, in August, 1863, by Henry McDonald and John James. He was pastor of the churches at Mt. Gilead and Greensburg, in Green county, and Columbia, in Adair, a number of years. He took charge of the First Baptist church in Owensboro, about 1876. After preaching here several years he moved to Fayette county. He declined a call to the First Baptist church in Lexington on account of that church's tolerating its members in selling
whisky. He afterwards took charge of the churches at David's Fork, in Fayette county, and Winchester, in Clark county, preaching two Sundays in the month to each, which position he is still occupying (1885). Mr. Stackhouse is a fine pulpit orator, and is held in high esteem by his people.
Lansing Burrows, D. D., a son of the distinguished John L. Burrows, D.D., was born in Philadelphia, Pa., April 10, 1843, He was taken by his parents to Richmond. Va., where he was brought up, and received his early education. He professed religion in the spring of 1858, and was baptized into the fellowship of the First Baptist church in Richmond. He entered the Sophomore class in Wake Forest college, N. C., and finished his collegiate course in 1862. After leaving college he engaged in journalism for a time. He then came to Kentucky, and taught in a seminary at Stanford. While thus engaged, he yielded to a long felt impression to preach the gospel. He was licensed to exercise his gift, by the church at Stanford, November 10, 1866, and was ordained to the work of the ministry, July 7, 1867. After serving the church at Stanford one year, he was called to the church at Lexington, Mo., where he ministered two years. He was called to the church at Bordentown, N. J., which he served from 1870 to 1876. From the latter date; till 1879, he served the North church at Newark, N. J. From thence he came to Kentucky, and took charge of the First Baptist church in Lexington, where he ministered much to the satisfaction of his charge till 1883, when he was called to Augusta, Ga., where he still remains.
John L. Smith has been a prominent preacher in South District and Elkhorn associations more than a quarter of a century. He was born in Garrard county, Ky., May 18, 1821. In his infancy he lost his father, and his mother was left a widow with six children and very limited possessions. Under these circumstances his early opportunities for acquiring education were very poor. But having a good native intellect, and being ambitious to learn he used his few opportunities to good advantage. He made a profession of religion and united with Forks of Dix River church, being baptized by John S. Higgins in 1839. Not long after he united with the church he was ordained to the deaconship. After serving in this capacity a short time, he was licensed to preach. Keenly feeling the need of an education,
he moved to Danville in 1845, where, notwithstanding he was a married man, he attended school and college six years. After finishing a theological course at the Danville Presbyterian Seminary, he was ordained to the ministry, in 1853. About this time he was brought into intimate relationship with that godly minister, A.W. LaRue, to whom, and to the example of a very pious mother, he acknowledges great indebtedness. Soon after his ordination, he was invited to the pastoral care of Shawnee Run church. This call he declined; but agreed to supply the church temporarily. In 1855, he was called to Nicholasville and Mt. Pleasant churches, in Jessamine county. The latter he served about six years. Besides these, he has been pastor, at different periods, of the churches at Mt. Vernon, Hillsboro and Clear Creek, in Woodford county; South Elkhorn and Athens, in Fayette; Winchester and Mt. Olive, in Clark, and New Providence, in Boyle. The last named he has served many years, and is still its highly esteemed pastor.* His labors have been blessed of the Lord; so that he has baptized over 1,090 persons. He was also instrumental in gathering the churches at West Point, in Boyle county, and South Elkhorn, in Fayette. His health has been declining for some years past, but he is still engaged with what strength remains to him, in the Master's service.
This was the second association organized in the Mississippi Valley, and embraced the first two churches planted on the soil of Kentucky. What is known of the early settlement of Baptists in this region, has been related in the early part of this work. As was remarked of Elkhorn, some things already narrated, will be repeated here, in order to make the narrative somewhat connected. The following is a literal copy of the record of the constitution of this ancient fraternity, made by the clerk, and transcribed by Spencer Clack, in his history of Salem Association:
"On Saturday, the twenty-ninth day of October, seventeen
.* He has recently resigned.
hundred and eighty-five, four Regular Baptist churches met at Cox's Creek, Nelsoncounty, Ky., by their delegates, in order to form an association, and after a suitable sermon on the occasion, preached by our brother Joseph Barnett, from the first chapter of John and 17th verse, proceeded to business. Brother Joseph Barnett being chosen moderator, and brother Andrew Paul, clerk.
"I. Letters from four churches were read, viz.: Severn's Valley, constituted June eighteenth, seventeen hundred and eighty-one. Number of members, thirty-seven. No pastor. Cedar Creek, constituted July fourth, seventeen hundred and eighty-one. Members, forty-one. Joseph Barnett, pastor. Bear Grass, constituted January, seventeen hundred and eighty-four. Members, nineteen. John Whitacre, pastor. Cox's Creek, constituted April, seventeen hundred and eighty-five. Members, twenty-six.
"II. The right of churches to associate, the nature, character and authority of an association opened by brother Barnett.
"III. The constitution, principles and character of the several churches, proposing to associate, minutely inquired into, both in regard of doctrine and discipline, and left under consideration till Monday morning. Adjourned till Monday morning.
"Met according to adjournment.
"IV. The report of the several delegates being read and attended to. Resolved, That the churches have adopted 'the Philadelphia Confession of Faith, and Treatise of Discipline,' hereto annexed, and hold ourselves in full fellowship with the Philadelphia, Ketocton and Monongalia associations, and proper measures endeavored to obtain assistance from, and correspondence with the same."
It is probable that they had not heard of the constitution of the Elkhorn Association, which had occurred on the first day of the same month; as a broad wilderness, traversed by bloodthirsty savages, intervened.
We cannot but observe the respect they manifested toward the churches, constantly exalting them above the association; nor do we fail to perceive their great care that the churches associating, should be sound in faith and discipline. Elkhorn had made some exceptions to the Philadelphia Confession of Faith but Salem adopted it entire.
After the constitution, the association considered several items, the 9th of which embraced the following: "Resolved, That no queries be received in this association, but such as have been debated in the churches, and come inserted at the bottom of their letter." They also "Resolved, That two days of fasting and prayer be held yearly, one on the fourth Saturday in March, the other on the fourth Saturday in November, to be a day of fasting and thanksgiving."
The Second Session was held at Cedar Creek, Nelson county, September 30, 1786. No reference is made to Elkhorn Association. It was "Resolved, That the yearly meeting be held at Nolin [an arm of Severns Valley], and that all the preachers in the association attend."
The Third Session was held at Cox's Creek, Nelson county, October 6, 1787. A letter of correspondence was received from Elkhorn Association, by the hands of John Tanner, Augustine Eastin and Marias Hansbrough. Rules for the government of the Association were adopted. These rules did not differ essentially from those now in general use, except the 10th and 22nd, which read as follows:
"10. In order to keep up union and communion among the churches that compose our body, we are to observe the same rules of discipline, as the members of an individual church do in cases of grievances amongst her members. If one church is grieved with another, she is to send one or two select members to inform her and gain her, and if they fail to gain her, she shall call on one or two sister churches, in our body, for helps, who are to send one or two select members with her, to gain the church, causing grief, and if they fail to gain her, they are to cite her to the next association, to answer the complaint which is to be laid before the association, and they are to attend to it, before they enter on the business of the arrangement; and if they cannot gain her, the association is to drop her from the union For the churches that compose our body stand, as touching fellowship, related to each other, in the same point of light as the members of an individual church to each other.
"21. Corresponding messengers from other associations have a right to deliver their sentiment on any subject, and to vote as members of our body." Some of the 29 rules from which the above are extracted,
were adopted in 1787; the remainder were added in 1807. It is not usual at the present time, to concede that the churches composing an association, sustain the same relation to each other, as do the individual members of a church. Yet, if an association is to make any attempt to maintain fellowship, and exercise discipline among the churches, of which it is composed, it is difficult to see wherein the fathers erred, in laying down this rule. The rule permitting corresponding members to vote, was not generally adopted, by the early associations.
The Fourth Session convened at Cox's Creek, October 4, 1788, Brashears Creek, afterwards called Clear Creek, and located near the present site of Shelbyville, and Rolling Fork church, were received into the union. The association now numbered 6 churches and 188 members.
The Fifth Session met at Cox's Creek, October 3, 1789. The venerable John Gano, from Elkhorn, preached the introductory sermon, from Acts 15:6. Query: from Rolling Fork. "Is it lawful for a member of Christ's church to keep his fellow creature in perpetual slavery?" Answer: "The association judge it improper to enter into so important and critical a matter, at present." The association was much agitated on this subject, for a number of years. Two of her preachers, Joshua Carman and Josiah Dodge, became irreconcilable Emancipationists, and finally broke off from the association, and set up an Emancipation church.
During the session under review, the question as to whether the laying on of hands upon newly baptized persons, was necessary to fellowship, was answered in the negative.
Sixth Session, at Cox's Creek, Oct. 2, 1790. The introductory sermon was preached by Augustine Eastin. Hardins Creek and White Oak Run churches were received. A revival had prevailed during the preceding year, and 112 baptisms were reported. It was decided that the proper time to give the right hand of fellowship was after baptism. The question as to whether giving the hand of fellowship before baptism, would be a breach of fellowship, was referred to the next association, and then withdrawn.
Seventh Session, at Cox's Creek, Sept. 30, 1791. Simpsons Creek church (now Bloomfield) was received. The churches of the association aggregated 432 members. It was Resolved, that
James Garrard (afterwards Governor of Kentucky, eight years), Wm. Wood, Wm. Taylor and Baldwin Clifton, comply with the request of Severns Valley church, with respect to the ministerial qualifications of Josiah Dodge. The examination being satisfactory, he was ordained. In answer to a request from Elkhorn Association, that this association aid them in revising the Confession of Faith, they desired time to consider, and to have the approbation of the churches.
Eighth Session, at Cedar Creek, 1792. The church at Chenowiths Run (now Cedar Creek, in Jefferson county) received. John Taylor and John Price were messengers from Elkhorn. The association decides that the 26th Article of the Confession of Faith, does not prohibit Christians from marrying unconverted persons, but only forbids their marrying persons of profane and debauched lives, or of heretical principles. The name of Lick Creek church appears on the minutes this year, for the first time.
Ninth Session. (place of meeting unknown) 1793. Drennins Lick Creek church (now Mt. Moriah), in Nelson County, and Mill Creek, in Jefferson county, received. The subject of slavery continues to agitate the churches.
Tenth Session, 1794. Buck Creek, afterwards called Buck & Elk, and now known as Elk Creek, and Mill Creek in Nelson county, received.
1795. Query: Has the association a right to appoint quarterly meetings? Answer. Yes. Mill Creek, Jefferson county, inquires if it is right for professing heads of families to raise up their servants without teaching them to read the word of God, and giving them sufficient food, raiment and lodging. The association thought it improper to interpose in domestic concerns. The same church inquires if a black slave has a right to a seat in the association. The answer was: Yes, provided he be sent as a messenger from a church. Each of the two parties in Lick Creek church sent a letter to the association, claiming to be the legitimate organization. Both parties were rejected, till they should reconcile their difficulties. This, it is believed, was the first case of the kind that occurred in Kentucky. The precedent here set, has generally been followed. A reconciliation was effected, before the next meeting of the association.
1796. Rolling Fork church, except three members, had withdrawn from the association, on account of its tolerating slavery.
The church at Mill Creek, Jefferson county, had also withdrawn for the same reason.
1797. At Cox’s Creek three new churches were received; Beech Creek, Shelby county; Harrods Creek, now in Oldham county, and Long Run, Jefferson county. The association advises the churches to discountenance, Reuben Smith, from either preaching or administering the ordinances among them, unless he unite himself with some church. This Elder Smith had been a member of a small church called Strodes Creek in Clark county. That church had been dissolved. He had moved to what is now Spencer county, and had failed to unite with any church. He afterwards joined Elk Creek church and became its pastor.
1798. The association met at Buck & Elk (now Elk Creek.) Two new churches were received: Salt River, in what is now Anderson county, and Ridge church, whose locality is now unknown.
1799. The association met at Brashears Creek. Three new churches were received: Plum Creek, afterwards called Plum and Buck, and now known as Buck Creek, in Shelby county; Tick Creek (now Bethel), in Shelby county, and Fourteen Mile Creek (now Charleston), in Knox county, Indiana. The churches are advised to be extremely cautious in the restoration of excommunicated ministers, to their former standing.
1800. The association met at Simpson's Creek. Two new churches were received: Six Mile (now Christiansburg), in Shelby county, and Eighteen Mile Creek, in what is now Oldham county. The church at Port William (now Carrollton), at the mouth of Kentucky River, applied for admission, but was rejected. This church resulted from a union meeting of Baptists and Methodists, and probably adopted a hybrid confession of faith. It, however, so changed its articles of belief as to be admitted into Elkhorn Association, the next year. It is now located at Ghent, in Carroll county.
At the meeting under review, the association advises the churches to dismiss, in the way they were received, members who hold the doctrine of Hell Redemption. The churches are also advised to introduce no persons into the ministry, except such as give evidence of true piety and promising gifts; that every rational and proper means be used for the improvement of such gifts, and that, in bringing them to ordination, the church
should, in every case, have the assistance of at least two, but rather three ministers, esteemed for piety and abilities.
1801. The association met at Long Run meeting house, in Jefferson county. This was the first associational year of the great revival. Seventeen old churches and seven new ones met by their messengers. The following were the churches received at this meeting: Corn Creek in what is now Trimble county, Little Mount, in what is now Spencer county; Sulphur Fork, Floyd's Fork (since dissolved) and Rock Lick, in Henry county; Burks Branch in Shelby county, and Cane and Back Run (then in Jefferson, but now King's church, in Bullitt county). Rock Lick church, afterwards united with North Six Mile, and formed Mt. Pleasant church, in Henry county. Previous to this date, the minutes and circulars were written, one copy for each church, but, at this meeting it was agreed for the future to have them printed. How greatly have printing establishments been multiplied in Kentucky in eighty-five years.
The churches are advised to be extremely cautious about receiving members who have divorced their wives, or husbands, and married again, while their former companions were still living; and not to receive such without the assistance of one or more churches. Query, from Corn Creek: "Is a Christian to take all manner of abuse from a ruffian, without making resistance?" Answer: "Yes, so far as the abuse amounts to language only." It was agreed to correspond with Green River Association. The duty of deacons is defined: "To take care of temporal concerns of the church." The question as to whether it is consistent with good order for a minister to hear experiences and baptize, within the bounds of a church, without its consent, was postponed, and subsequently answered in the negative.
1802. Met at Cox's Creek. The following churches were received: Salem, Hites Run, Rock Creek, Lick Branch (now Lagrange, in Oldham county), and Rolling Fork, which had seceded from the association, in 1796. Query from Hardin's Creek: Is it advisable to receive the evidence of credible persons in the world, against a member who might publicly transgress, and yet deny it? Answer: All things considered, we think it not advisable. "This bad advice was reconsidered, and reversed, the next year. At this meeting, a correspondence
with South District, Tates Creek and Cumberland associations, was agreed to. It was agreed that "an association is only an advisory council."
The association had now been in existence seventeen years. Its growth during the first fifteen years, was very slow indeed. It was constituted of four churches, aggregating 123 members. In 1800 it numbered seventeen small churches, the aggregate membership of which, though not definitely known, is supposed to have been about five hundred. During the next two years its increase was so great, that, in 1802 it numbered 34 churches and about 2,500 members. It embraced in its territory nearly all the region of country, lying between the Ohio and Green rivers, west of the mouth of the Kentucky river. At the last named date, it was agreed to divide its territory, and Salt river was fixed upon as the dividing line. All the churches north of that stream were to form a new association, to be called Long Run. This reduced the mother fraternity to 11 churches, aggregating, in 1803, 792 members. After this date, it enjoyed a good degree of prosperity. The country began to be settled more rapidly, and, what was still more important to the prosperity of the churches, the long continued agitation of the slavery question had measurably ceased. The principle growth of the association, heretofore, had been in the direction of its Northern border. But now the country, to the south and west, began to fill up, and the new churches planted, were principally in those directions. The churches represented in the association, in 1803, were Cedar Creek, Cox’s Creek, Simpson’s Creek, Mill Creek, Wilson’s Creek and Rolling Fork, all in Nelson county; Hardin’s Creek, in Washington; Hites Run in Breckenridge; Rock Creek, in Grayson, and Cedar Creek (since dissolved), in Bullitt.
The following churches were received into the association at the dates indicated, between the year 1803 and the second division of the body, in 1817: In 1803, Severns Valley, (which had left the association, on account of its tolerating slavery, and joined Green River Association), and Nolin in Hardin county; in 1804, Bacon Creek, in Hart county, and Beaver Dam Creek, in Edmonson; in 1806, Bethel and Mill Creek, in Hardin; in 1807, Short Creek, believed to be in Grayson; in 1808, Union, in Hardin; in 1809, Goshen, in Breckenridge; in 1811, Salem,
in Harrison, Ind., and Little Union, in Spencer; in 1821, Pleasant Run and Caney Creek, in Grayson, and Buck and Indian Creek, Ind.; in 1813, Rough Creek and Otter Creek, in Hardin; Rough Creek,in Ohio; Concord, in Grayson, and New Hope and Pisgah, in Breckenridge; in 1814, Mt. Pleasant, in Ohio, and Salem, at Bardstown, in Nelson; in 1816, Walnut Grove, in Breckenrigde, and Panther Creek, in Daviess, and, in 1817, Mt. Zion, in Hardin.
In 1803, several queries came before the association, one of which was on the subject of communing with other than Baptist societies, which was decided to be out of gospel order. It was also decided that the recent union with the Separate Baptists did not change any of the rules of order of either party. South District Association having been violently rent asunder during this year, it was agreed to continue correspondence with that party which adhered to the principles of the general union.
In 1804, correspondence was opened with Russells Creek Association. The churches were advised not to encourage strange preachers, unless they came well recommended, and maintained a good character. In answer to a query concerning feet washing, the association advises each church to act in accordance with its own conviction.
In 1805, the churches are cautioned not to allow William Downs to preach among them, he having been excluded from Rolling Fork church.
In 1808, it was averred not to be disorderly for a woman to marry the husband of her deceased sister.
In 1810, in consequence of the existence of a disorderly sect, calling themselves Baptists, the churches were advised "to give an expression of their faith and order, in letters of dismission, and require the same from persons desiring admission." The sect here referred to, was a faction which had broken off from South District Association in 1803, and assumed the name of Separate Baptists. They held in fellowship, at least one prominent preacher (John Baily), who taught the doctrine of Hell Redemption.
In 1811, the association advised that in ordaining a minister, the church should be unanimous, and have the concurrence of at least two ordained preachers.
In 1812, a correspondence was agreed to with Silver Creek
Association, in Indiana. The following query from Cedar Creek was discussed and answered: "Is it agreeable to the gospel mission, for the ministers thereof to publish and preach funeral sermons? If it is, we wish to know the scripture that authorizes it. Answer: We believe it is not, and we know of no scripture which authorizes it." Also the following query from Little Union: "Doubts have arisen in our Baptist society, whether persons baptized (immersed) by a Baptist preacher, not ordained, should be rebaptized before they are received into our churches? Answer: We believe each church is the most proper tribunal to determine the qualifications of her members, and that baptism is not rightly administered by any one except a regularly ordained minister." It was decided that to partake of the love feast with the Methodists, was a transgression of Baptist rules, and should require of the transgressor a public acknowledgement.
In 1814, it was advised that churches holding members who deny the personality and deity of the Holy Ghost, should be dealt with.
In 1815, a circular letter from the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions was received, at the hand of their agent, Luther Rice, who was invited to a seat in the association. It was decided that a person who relates his experience to a church, [and is approved for baptism] is not under its watch care, until he is baptized. The association recommend to the churches to take such measures as they may think proper, for the education of candidates for the ministry. Judge Davage's pamphlet referred to in the history of Elkhorn Association, was condemned as heretical.
In 1817, James E. Welsh, a missionary to the West, was invited to a seat in the association.
At this date, the association numbered 31 churches, aggregating 1,809 members. These churches were scattered over a territory, now embraced in at least fifteen counties. This rendered attendance on the meetings of the association, very inconvenient. It was thought advisable, therefore, to form a new association. Accordingly, the following churches were dismissed for that purpose: Rough Creek, Goshen, Pisgah, Bethel, New Hope, Caney Creek, Concord, Pleasant Run and Gilead, Ind. Mt. Pleasant and Panther Creek, which were not represented in the body, were accorded liberty to join the new association. Elders Walter Stallard, Warren Cash, Martin Utterback and
Shadrach Brown, with Joseph Lewis and George Helm, were appointed to aid in constituting the new fraternity, at Goshen church, in Breckenridge county. The time appointed for this transaction, is not specified, but most likely occurred the same fall.
This division left the association in 1818, 20 churches, aggregating 1,654 members. Between this period and 1840, the following churches were received, at the dates indicated: In 1819, Rudes Creek, in Hardin county and New Hope, in Washington; in 1821, Ohio (now Wolf Creek), in Mead and Chaplin’s Fork, in Nelson; in 1823, Rough Creek, in Hardin county; in 1824, Gilead, in Hardin, and Doe Run (soon afterwards dissolved); in 1822, Forks of Otter Creek, in Hardin; in 1829, Mt. Pleasant (now Brandenburg), in Mead; in 1830, Younger’s Creek, in Hardin, and Rolling Fork, in Nelson; in 1834, Sinking Creek, in Breckenridge; in 1836, Rock Bridge (an old church), in Washington; in 1838, Middle Creek and Hodgenville, in LaRue, Little Flock,(location unknown), and Mt. Zion, in Hardin; and, in 1839, Westpoint, in Hardin.
In 1818, the association "earnestly recommended the churches to contribute to missionary purposes," and expressed the "opinion that education societies greatly conduce to the promotion of the Redeemer's Kingdom." Correspondence was opened with Goshen Association. The strictness with which the Baptists adhered to order, in these early days, is illustrated by several items of business, transacted by this association, in 1823. A certain preacher from another sect, had been received into one of the churches, on his former baptism. The question was introduced into the association, as to whether it would be orderly to invite him to preach and administer ordinances, under his alien ordination. The answer was: "It is not disorderly to invite him to preach, if the church of which he is a member has licensed him to preach; but we think it not good order to invite him to administer the ordinances under that ordination." Mt. Zion church, of which Elder James Haycraft was a member, for some reason, now unknown, had withdrawn from the association; whereupon that body adopted the following resolution, in 1824 "That this association consider Mr. James Haycraft a disorderly preacher, who has withdrawn from us in a disorderly way, and
refuses to give up his credentials." Union church expressed a doubt, in 1827, "as to the lawfulness of taking profiles and likenesses, and hanging them up in our houses;" but the association thought this was not "forbidden in the Scriptures."
In 1832, two letters came up, each purporting to be from Green River Association, that body having divided, in consequence of disturbances, gendered by the introduction of Campbellism. Both letters were rejected, and the parties were advised to adjust their difficulties. The advice was acted upon, and the correspondence was resumed the following year. Salem Association was not disturbed by Campbellism, at so early a date as was Elkhorn. Nor did that heresy prevail to so great an extent in the former, as in the latter. It was, however, introduced in some of the churches, on its northern border by Jacob Creath, jr., and produced a schism at Bloomfield, by which that church lost 57 members, who were excluded, in 1834. Among these was Jarvis P. McKay, an ordained minister. Salem church at Bardstown, and Mill Creek church, five miles east of that village, both under the pastoral care of Samuel Carpenter, were carried away by the dissimulation, insomuch that they were both excluded from the association, in 1834. A small remnant of each, however, adhered to the old faith, and both were acknowledged by the association, as the original churches at those places.
In 1833, the association, in answer to queries from two churches, expressed the opinion that it was not according to good order to receive the baptism, either of "the Reformers" or of "the Christian body." It was also, on motion of that most staunch and valuable church member, Abner King, of Cox's Creek, "Resolved, That the churches composing this association, be advised not to open their meeting houses, for preaching, by any person holding the doctrines of A. Campbell, or who call themselves Reformers, or of the 'Christian order,' commonly called 'New Lights.'" This resolution led to an immediate separation of the Campbellites, from the churches composing the association. The loss to the body was comparatively small in numbers. But Samuel Carpenter, one of the two preachers cut off with the Campbellites, was a man of considerable influence and ability. In 1833, the year before the division, the association numbered 26 churches, aggregating 2,343 members;
in 1835, the year after the division, it numbered 27 churches, aggregating 2,184 members, Sinking Creek church, numbering 29 members, having been added to the association in 1834.
About the time of the Campbellite schism, the leaven of Antimissionism began to work in some of the churches. This was aroused and excited by the association’s advising the churches, in 1837, to send messengers to a contemplated meeting, which would convene in Louisville, the 20th of October, of that year, for the purpose of constituting a general association, to succeed the Kentucky Baptist Convention, which had recently been dissolved. The next year an extensive revival prevailed. When the association met in October, 652 baptisms were reported, and six new churches were received. The revival was still in progress. In 1839, the churches reported 438 baptisms, and one new church was received. This precious refreshing from the presence of the Lord, stirred up the hearts of the Christians, and soon called forth the query: What can be done to carry out more effectually the Savior’s command — Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature? This question was not agitated in vain, as we shall see anon. But the revival brought no relenting to the Antimissionaries. When the association met in 1839, Sinking Creek, Union and Rough Creek churches were not represented. A committee was sent to inquire the cause of their absence. The Antimissionary parties in these churches, having already determined to secede from a Missionary Association which they could no longer fellowship, met, by their messengers, with other similar factions at Otter Creek meeting house, on the 25th of October, of the same year, and organized what they termed "Otter Creek Association of Regular Baptists." This new fraternity met again the following May, when it numbered 13 churches, aggregating 502 members. This was a greater loss to SalemAssociation than it sustained by the Campbellite schism, at least, so far as numbers were concerned.
When Salem Association met, in 1840, Sinking Creek was dropped from the union, and it was ascertained that Union was reduced to 22 members, while Rough Creek reported only 16. Several others had been reduced by the rending off of small factions. But the revival had far more than compensated for the
loss. The association numbered, this year, 35 churches, aggregating 3,199 members.
At the meeting, in 1840, this association made for the first and only time in its entire history, a slight concession to the Antimissionaries. The question as to whether this body should represent itself in the General Association appears to have been referred to the churches, the preceding year. The association now took up the subject, and disposed of it as follows: "The reference respecting the General Association — the churches composing our body, think it not expedient for the association to represent herself at this time." It is manifest that this decision did not accord with the real sentiments of the body; for the very next item of business was the passage of the following resolutions
"1st. That this association appoint one minister, who will be acceptable to the churches, whose duty it shall be to preach to the destitute churches and neighborhoods, so far as shall be in his power, and report to the next association."
"2d. That he be remunerated for his services; and, on all suitable occasions, he shall take up collections for the same. And all the churches which feel disposed to aid in this cause, are requested to send up their contributions to the next association; and that a committee of five be appointed to settle with the minister for his services."
In accordance with these resolutions, Colmore Lovelace was appointed Missionary for the ensuing year, and a committee, consisting of Samuel Haycraft, W. Quinn, T. Miller, R. Richards and C. Pearpoint, was appointed to settle with him for his services. This committee was, in fact, the first Missionary board in Salem Association. This was the same year that Elkhorn Association appointed J. D. Black her first Home Missionary, and appointed a committee of five to settle with him. This arrangement was continued three years in Salem association, and then dropped. The Missionary Board was revived, in 1851, and has continued to do efficient work, to the present time.
In 1849, another division of the association occurred, by mutual agreement. The body had become inconveniently large, and it was thought expedient to form a new association, of its more northern churches. The following churches were dismissed for that purpose: Cox's Creek, Bloomfield, Rolling Fork, Bardstown,
Mill Creek, Little Union, New Salem, Mt. Washington andShepherdsville. Before this division, the association numbered 33 churches and 3,352 members. The churches were urged to be more punctual in observing the Lord’s day; and to make an effort to sustain a Baptist Sabbath School in each church. The body was much weakened by the loss of its largest and most influential churches, which had been dismissed, as stated above, to form Nelson association: So that, in 1850, it was reduced to 22 churches, numbering 1,784 members.
This Association took its first action on the subject of Temperance, in 1849, when it adopted a series of resolutions, offered by W.L. Morris, of which the following is the substance: That this Association take a stand on the subject of temperance; that the friends of that cause have our sympathies, our prayers and our aid, till the monster, intemperance, be driven from our land; that we discountenance and disfellowship all professed christians who keep distilleries or tippling houses; that we discountenance the practice of dram-drinking, by Baptists, whether at the public bar or in private, and recommend to the churches to do the same, and, that we invite the attention of our brethren throughout the State, to this momentous subject.
Two high schools were erected within the bounds, and under the auspices of this Association, about 1866. They were both quite prosperous, for several years. But finally the beautiful and valuable grounds and buildings of Lynland Institute passed into the hands of a private individual, and are now used for a family residence. The present condition of Salem College is not known to the author. The first principal of Lynland Institute was an imprudent, ambitious young man, with a stubborn conviction of self-sufficiency, of the name of G. A. Coulson. He soon began to preach some chimerical notions, which caused disturbance in several of the churches. A number of grave, judicious brethren labored to induce him to cease preaching these disturbing sentiments. But these attentions seemed only to inflame his self-conceit. The two most offensive propositions that Mr. Coulson promulgated and labored to sustain, were that "there is no promise, in the New Testament, to the unbaptized, as such," and that, "there is no disciple-ship without baptism." In 1868, Mr. Coulson, being a member of Gilead Church, and frequently
preaching to it, the Association adopted the following resolutions, by an almost unanimous vote "That we admonish said church [Gilead], and all the churches of Salem Association, and advise Baptists everywhere, to give neither countenance nor encouragement to the unscriptural doctrine of those who may attempt to sow the seeds of discord among us.
"That we agree with the editors of the Western Recorder and the Baptist, that these propositions are not debatable among Baptists, and that pardon,regeneration, justification and salvation are promised to believers whether baptized or not; and that there are christians who have never been baptized." Notwithstanding this plain admonition Mr. Coulson continued to preach, and several of the churches continued to encourage him. Wherefore, the Association, in 1869, adopted the following resolutions:
"That we reiterate the advice to the churches composing the Association, not to encourage the man, promulgating said doctrine; and that we will not receive messengers from any church, which calls or retains such a minister, as its pastor.
"That if any church should disregard this advice, a respectable minority of such church ought at their regular meeting, to declare their determination to present themselves to Salem Association, as the church, declaring non-fellowship for the doctrine above described; and such a minority, in our judgment, ought to be received as the church, instead of the others who have departed from the faith of the Baptists."
At least three churches in the Association were divided. Most of the Coulsen party at White Mills Church, finally joined the Campbellites. The parties at Hodgenville were re-united, after much confusion, as were also those at Gilead. This Association firmly maintained its ancient doctrine and usages, and Mr. Coulson moved out of its bounds, since which the body has enjoyed peace. Perhaps it should have been observed that this fraternity, in 1867, in common with most other similar bodies in the State, vigorously protested against the action of the Legislature by which the Campbellites were given exclusive control of the State Agricultural College.
Want of space will not allow of further details of the proceedings of this old fraternity. It is sufficient to say that it has
continued to enjoy a good degree of prosperity, and has kept pace with its sister associations, in the benevolent enterprises of the day. It has had fewer vicissitudes than most similar bodies of its age. In its early history, it suffered the inconvenience of a great scarcity of preachers. Indeed, it has never been well supplied with ministers, even to the present time. But since the revival of 1800-3, it has had an unusually even course of prosperity. There have been baptized into the fellowship of its churches, not far from 18,000 persons. In 1880, it numbered 42 churches, aggregating 4,230 members, and was the largest association of white Baptists in the State, except Little River.
Sketches of the lives of most of the early ministers of this old fraternity, have been given in other connections. But several others have been added here.
Daniel Walker, one of the early preachers in Salem Association, was of Welsh extraction, his father having emigrated from Wales, and was born inVirginia, about the year 1767. He came with his parents to Woodford county, Ky., about the year 1780. He was merely taught to read and write. His parents were pious Baptists, and he was led to the Savior in early life. He began to exercise his gift, in prayer and exhortation, when he was about 22 years of age. But his gifts were small, and he improved slowly. In 1804, he married Elizabeth Able, and settled in Nelson county, where he gave his membership to Wilsons Creek church. The following year, this church asked the advice of Salem Association, as to the propriety of ordaining him. The Association replied as follows: "Agreeably to a request from Wilsons Creek church, we advise them to call a presbytery for the ordination of Brother Daniel Walker." Accordingly, he was ordained, by William Taylor, Warren Cash and Joshua Morris, in January, 1806. He was immediately called to the care of Wilsons Creek church, to which he ministered 25 years. He also served Mill Creek church, in Hardin county, about ten years. He was called to his rest, June 3, 1831.
Mr. Walker's talents were below mediocrity; but they were well used, and thereby made valuable to the cause of Christ. He was cheerful and companionable, and was a welcome guest wherever he went. His piety was without reproach, and his zeal for the salvation of sinners, never flagged. In the social circle, as well as in public discourse, he consecrated himself to
the service of his Master. It is not strange, that he was much beloved by the people for whom he labored gratuitously, so long.
Martin Utterback was raised up to the ministry, in Salem Association. He was a native of Virginia, and was born about the year 1770. In early youth, he came, perhaps with his parents, to Woodford county, Kentucky, and settled on Clear Creek. He received a fair English education, for that time. During an extensive revival, which prevailed in his neighborhood, under the ministry of John Taylor, in 1789, he, with 163 others, professed conversion, and was baptized, by that famous old pioneer, into the fellowship of Clear Creek church. After some years, he moved to Hardin county, and united with Bethel church. Here he was ordained to the ministry, about 1807. For several years, he traveled and preached much with Warren Cash. He was by no means a brilliant preacher. But he possessed good, strong common sense, was sound in the faith, and was a good expositor of the Scriptures. His plain, pious discourses were enjoyed by believers, and he did much good, in strengthening the young churches, in the frontier settlements. In 1811, he preached the introductory sermon before Salem Association. He also wrote one of the earliest and best circular letters, published by that body.
In 1818, he moved to Grayson county, and took the pastoral care of Rock Creek church. He also succeeded Enos Keith in the pastoral office at Concord.After laboring a number of years in this region, he moved to Richland county, Illinois, where he died at a good old age, and doubtless received the reward of the righteous.
Charles H. Stuteville was a member of Rock Creek Church as early as 1817, and was ordained to the ministry, the following year. In 1818, Rock Creek church took a letter of dismission, and joined Goshen Association. In this body, Mr. Stuteville was pastor of Rock Creek, Bacon Creek and, perhaps, Concord churches, till 1839. At this date, Rock Creek broke off from Goshen Association, and united with a new fraternity, styling itself Otter Creek Association of Regular Baptists. By this means, Mr. Stuteville became identified with the new organization, and attended its meetings, till 1842. He lost his eye sight about this time, but continued to preach several years longer, when the Lord was pleased to call him from a land of
darkness to the Home of Light. He was reckoned a fair preacher, sound in the faith of the gospel, and of an unblemished reputation.
Alexander Buchanan was probably a native of Pennsylvania. He served as an officer in the American Army, during the Revolutionary War. At the close of the war, he emigrated to Woodford county, Kentucky. He labored with the pioneer preachers of that region, a few years, after which he moved to Ohio, and settled on Vermilion river. Here he died, much respected, about 1827.
He is said to have been a preacher of great usefulness. He loved the gospel, and often expressed an ardent desire to preach as long as he lived. The last evening that he remained on earth, he held worship with his family and, among other blessings, he asked the Lord, with great earnestness, that he might be able to speak, as long as he lived on earth. That night, he ate supper, and went to bed, in usual health. Before the morning light returned, while he slept sweetly and peacefully by the side of the wife of his youth, his spirit passed away so quietly that she knew nothing of his departure, till he had already crossed "the River."
Simeon Buchanan was a son of the above, was born in Woodford county, Ky., in 1790, and grew up with little education. He sought and obtained hope in Christ, in the days of his youth, and was baptized by John Taylor. He probably united with the church at Clear Creek. He commenced exercising in public prayer and exhortation, soon after he united with the church. During the war of 1812-'15, he served as a soldier in the United States Army.
At the return of peace, Mr. Buchanan moved to Hardin county, and became a member of Rudes Creek church, where, after laboring some years as a licentiate, he was ordained, in September 1822. Soon after his ordination, he moved to Mead county, and became a member and the pastor of Otter Creekchurch. He was pastor of Ohio (now Wolf Creek) church twenty-two years, and, for different lengths of time, supplied Mt. Pleasant, Dorrits Creek, Hill Grove and Walnut Grove churches.
From Mead, he moved to Grayson county, and became a member and the pastor of Goshen church, in Breckinridge county. The old pioneers had passed away, in Goshen Association;
no young ministers had been raised up, and laborers in the gospel were very few. Mr. Buchanan did not supply less than five churches, for a number of years. He traveled and preached over a large district of country, as long as he was able to ride, and until he saw young preachers coming up to take his place.
Some four years before his death, he became too feeble to preach, but such was his love for the house of the Lord, that he continued to attend meeting as often as he was able, and his soul feasted on the rich food of the gospel.
In the spring of 1863, he was on a visit to Hardin county, where he had two widowed daughters. The great Civil War was raging fiercely, he became too feeble to travel, and never returned to his earthly home. He spent much of his time in religious devotion, and sent for different ministers to come and preach at his daughter's house. One evening A.F. Baker preached in the neighborhood. Mr. Buchanan heard of it, and would not rest, till a messenger was sent after Mr. Baker, who came and preached, at 11 o'clock, that night. The aged father listened to the sermon with delight. He enjoyed much of the divine presence during his feebleness. On the 27th of June, 1863, he received the welcome message to come to the Father, and joyfully obeyed the summons.
Mr. Buchanan's abilities, both natural and acquired, were below medium, and some good brethren thought his gift so feeble that he ought not to be ordained. Yet such was the purity of his life, the earnestness of his devotion to the Redeemer's cause, and his industry and energy in preaching the simple truth of the gospel, that he became abundantly useful, and many souls were converted under his ministry.
John Rush was a member of Otter Creek church as early as 1822, but was not brought into the ministry till some years later. He was a citizen of some prominence, and gave promise of usefulness in the ministry. But after he had been preaching a few years, he engaged in trafficking in slaves. He refused to desist from "trading in negroes," and the churches refused to hear him preach. His son, James C. Rush, a lawyer and preacher, has been long and favorably known, in Hart and the adjoining counties.
Isaac Veach was one of the early preachers in Otter Creek church. He was probably raised up to the ministry in that
body. He was a preacher of fair ability, but his religious character was subject to some suspicions, whichgreatly impaired his usefulness. He moved to Indiana, about 1826. One of his sons became quite a useful preacher, in Spencer county, in that State.
James Nall was born in Scott county, Kentucky, in 1787. He was raised by an aunt, who gave him a fair English education. Being quite lame from the effects of a "white swelling," he adopted school teaching as his profession. While engaged in this occupation, in Hardin county, he professed religion under the ministry of Shadrach Brown, by whom he was baptized into the fellowship of Mill Creek church. In 1822, he was married to the daughter of Enoch Boone, of Mead county. He afterwards moved to LaRue county, where he was licensed to preach, by Nolin church, in August, 1825. His improvement in speaking was so slow that he was not ordained till 1832. At this time, he was a member of Forks of Otter Creek church, in Hardin county. In 1838, he moved to the neighborhood of Gilead church, in the same county. About that time, this church became much confused, on the subject of missions, and in 1840, Warren Cash, its venerable pastor, led off a large party, of which he constituted a "Regular Baptist" church, in the same house. Mr. Nall was chosen pastor of the original church, and ministered to it the remainder of his earthly life. He died from the effects of a fall from his horse, in 1842.
Mr. Nall was a "slow preacher;" but he was a man of respectable standing. He possessed a sound judgment, and was a good disciplinarian. Hence he was not without utility to the churches. He was Moderator of Salem Association, in 1840.
Shadrach Brown was born in North Carolina, about the year 1780. He grew up with but little education. Early in life he gave his heart to the Savior and was baptized by James Chambers, under whose ministry he had been led to the cross. In his 22d year, he was married to Rachel, daughter of Elder James Chambers, with whom he moved to Jessamine county, Kentucky, in 1804. Here, it is believed, he was for a short time, a member of Clover Bottom church, in Woodford county, and it is probable that he here began to exercise in public. In 1808, he moved to Hardin county, where he united with Mill Creek church, and gave himself actively to the work of the ministry.
He was ordained, about the year 1812, at Mill Creek church; about this time he moved his membership to Otter Creek church in Mead county. He served this church and the church on Mill Creek, as pastor, with great acceptance, from his ordination, till 1821, when he moved to White River, Indiana, where, after laboring faithfully two or three years, in his holy calling, the Master bade him "come up higher."
Mr. Brown was a good, strong, zealous preacher, was a man of active fervent piety and eminent respectability; he was much loved by the brethren, andhonored by all who knew him. Of a large and respectable family that he raised, his son William became an acceptable Baptist preacher in Indiana.
Enos Keith. Alexander Keith, the father of this brilliant young preacher, was born in Virginia, but was of Scotch extraction. He united with the Baptists, in the time of their fiery persecutions. Soon after the Revolutionary war, he emigrated to Nelson county, Kentucky. He was in the constitution of White Oak Run church, in 1790.
Enos Keith was born in Nelson county, Kentucky, in 1788. His father moved to a new settlement on Vertrees Creek, in Hardin county, while Enos was a small boy; so that he was raised up in the frontier settlements, and consequently received very little education. In early childhood he became much interested on the subject of religion, and as soon as he learned to read, became a constant reader of the Bible, and was known to be often engaged in secret prayer. He professed faith in Christ, in his sixteenth year. There being no church in the settlement, he was not baptized till four years afterwards; but he immediately obtained permission, and set up family worship in his father's house. He also led in prayer, and engaged in exhortation, at the prayer meetings, held around in the settlers' cabins. His young heart seemed so much taken up with communion with God, that he appeared literally to "pray always." "We never went into the woods together," said his younger brother, Benjamin, “but Enos would kneel down and pray before we returned to the house. Sometimes he would wait till we came back in sight of the house, and I hoped he would forget it; but he never did. He would invariably say, before we left the woods: 'Ben, we must pray, before we go to the house.'"
During this time, Warren Cash began to preach in the Vertrees
Creek settlement, and, in 1808, a church, called "Union," was constituted there. Soon after the constitution of this church, Enos Keith and his brother Benjamin were baptized by Mr. Cash, and became members of it. Enos was shortly afterward licensed to exercise his gift. This, however, he had been doing almost from the time of his conversion, four years before.
He was ordained at Union church, 1811, by Warren Cash and others, and soon afterwards succeeded to the pastoral care of that congregation. He commenced preaching on Otter Creek, in what is now Mead county, and Otter Creek church was soon raised up. Brush Creek church, in Breckinridge county, was raised up through his labors. He also visited the new settlements in Grayson and Hart counties, and laid the foundation for other churches. Concord, in Grayson, originated under his ministry, in 1813. Of this, and Lost Run, in Breckinridge, he was pastor.
Probably no man in Kentucky, in his day, was more wholly absorbed in the great work of preaching the gospel, than Enos Keith. From his youth, he was filled with that wisdom which is from above. He kept so close to God, and communed with him so constantly, that heavenly things became as familiar to his heart and mind as the sensible objects around him, and he spoke of going to Heaven, or going to see Jesus, as a man talks about visiting his neighbors. His motive in preaching the gospel seemed to be to persuade sinners to come to Christ. He never impressed his congregation with the feeling that he was trying to preach a sermon; he talked to dying men and women as if Jesus were present, filled with love and pity, and yearning for them to come to him and be saved from the fearful doom that threatened them.
His manner, like that of John S. Wilson, Thomas Smith and a few other young men, whom God has raised up in Kentucky, is difficult to describe. His voice was clear and strong, yet very tender and impressive. His love and confidence towards Jesus Christ was real and manifest, and his love for the souls of men was so apparent that his hearers saw and felt it. He often wept profusely while speaking, and his whole soul seemed to run out after his dying fellows.
He never married, but consecrated himself wholly to the gospel, preaching day and night, and from house to house. But
his work on earth was not of long duration. In the summer of 1824, he was violently attacked with flux, of which he died in a few days, in the fullest assurance of a blessed immortality. A few hours before his death, Elder Simeon Buchanan called to see him. When he entered the room, the dying christian said to him: "Brother Buchanan, when I saw you last, I thought you would see Jesus before I should; but now I shall see him first." Thus passed away this godly man in the noontide of life.
His brother Benjamin entered the ministry soon after he did, and labored in the gospel more than fifty years.
George H. Hicks, a son of John C. Hicks, was born December 22, 1814. At the age of 23 years, he professed the religion of Jesus, and united with Rudes Creek church, in Hardin county, of which he remained a member till his death. In September 1841, he was licensed to exercise his gift, within the bounds of the church, and, in the following January, he was liberated to preach, wherever God, in his providence, might direct. He was ordained to the full work of the ministry, by Jacob Rogers and Colmore Lovelace, in November, 1843. Soon after his ordination, he was called to the care of Hill Grove church, in Mead county. In December, 1849, he succeeded the venerable Colmore Lovelace, in the pastoral care of Rudes Creek church, and, about the same time, took charge of Mt. Pleasant church, at Brandenburg. He was at different periods of his ministry, pastor of twenty-one churches. So popular was he that at some periods he had the care of six churches, at the same time. He preached atRudes Creek twenty years, at Brandenburg the same length of time, and at Hill Grove, thirty years. He was Moderator of Salem Association three years, and preached the introductory sermon before that body, on six occasions. During a ministry of thirty-two years, he baptized 1,584 persons. His popularity among the young people was evidenced by the fact that he married 250 couples. He closed his eminently useful career, in the strength of mature manhood, July 30, 1873.
Mr. Hicks' preaching talent was scarcely above mediocrity, and his education was quite limited; but his voice was melodious, and his manner was very pleasing to the populace. He had a strong native intellect, a clear practical judgment, and a
dignified, manly bearing. He was an excellent judge of human nature, was prompt in decision, firm in execution, and was endowed with excellent business capacity. In his generation, he was the leading spirit in Salem Association.
Jacob Rogers was one of the most popular and useful preachers that ever labored within the bounds of Salem Association. His father, Matthew Rogers, was an Irishman, and was probably born in Ireland. From whence he emigrated to Kentucky, is unknown. He settled in Nelson county, and erected a fort, on Beech Fork, near the present site of Bardstown, in 1780. He was a Baptist, and occasionally “exercised a gift,” in preaching or exhorting. He was probably one of the original members of Cedar Creek church, the oldest organization of the kind, in Nelson county, and next to the oldest in the State. He raised a large and respectable family, and is still represented by a numerous posterity, some of whom still linger around the site of the old fort. Of his six sons, three were preachers. Two of them moved West, and the third, is the subject of this sketch.
Jacob Rogers was born in Nelson county, Kentucky, June 6, 1794. During his boyhood, he attended school about six months, in which time he learned to read and write. The remainder of his youth was spent in hard labor. In early life he was deeply impressed with the importance of his soul's salvation. After a long struggle with the power of sin, he was enabled to trust in Christ for salvation, and rejoice in the evidence of pardon. On the 24th of May, 1810, he was baptized by Daniel Walker, and became a member of Cedar Creek church, in his native county. On the same day, Precious Lovelace, was baptized, by Isaac Taylor, at Mt. Moriah, in the same county. On the 26th of November, 1812, Jacob Rogers and Precious Lovelace, daughter of Zadok Lovelace, were married. In the spring of 1815, Mr. Rogers, not yet twenty-one years of age, moved with his young family, to Hardin county, where he rented land one year, and then bought a piece of ground on a credit, without an acre of cleared land, or a dollar in money, with a helpless wife, who required much of hisattention, and the house-hold duties t6 perform with his own hands, Mr. Rogers began the labors of life, on his own land. These circumstances would have discouraged a man of less energy. But
he proved himself equal to the task before him. He possessed good health and a strong constitution. He did much of the clearing of his ground in the night. In a few years he had his land paid for, and a farm opened. In the midst of his pressing domestic duties, he was deeply impressed with a sense of duty to preach the gospel to dying sinners. Against these impressions he plead an almost entire want of education, and a growing young family to provide for; but conscience, at last, prevailed on him "to try" After exercising in public a year or two, he was ordained to the full work of the ministry, at Severns Valley, in September, 1831. His reading was very limited, and almost entirely confined to the Bible. But he brought into his new field of labor a strong mind, a strong body, inured to hardships, a strong voice and a tireless energy. Once convinced that the Master required him to preach the cross, he consecrated all his powers to that important work. His manner was rough and his language was uncouth; but his ideas were good, and his whole soul seemed to be in the work. His improvement in preaching was very rapid, and he grew as rapidly in popular favor. In a few years he became the leading minister of Salem Association, and so continued till his death. He was generally pastor of four churches. His longest pastoral relation was twenty-three years, at Mill Creek, Hardin county. Besides his labors as pastor, he did a great deal of preaching at destitute points. He was frequently appointed by the Missionary Board of Salem Association, to labor among the destitute, within her bounds. In every position he occupied, he seemed to be blessed of the Lord with a large measure of success.
In 1837, Mr. Rogers was first elected Moderator of Salem Association, and continued to occupy this position, with the exception of two years, until his death. The following incident is related of him, which shows his illiteracy: On one occasion while he was occupying the moderator's chair, the house became so crowded with spectators that it became difficult to proceed with the business of the body, when Mr. Rogers arose and said, in a firm, commanding tone: "The female sisters will sit on the left, and the male brethren will sit on the right." It was customary to have preaching at a stand in the woods, while the business of the association was being transacted at the house. When the hour of preaching came, Mr. Rogers arose
and made the following announcement: "The hour for preaching have ariv. Bro. Hix are gone to the stand, and Bro. Thomas are a-goin." The pedant may smile at the idea of putting a man of such homely language in the ministry; but if God calls men to this great work, however weak and illiterate they may be, he can cause them to accomplish all his will. It is highly probable that Jacob Rogers baptized more people during his ministry than anyclassical scholar ever has baptized in Kentucky, during the same length of time.
Mr. Rogers' last sermon was a funeral discourse, delivered at Westpoint; he preached with great earnestness and force. He was taken very ill in the pulpit. Next day he was carried home in a carriage. Medical attendance was secured, but “the number of his months” was accomplished. He died of pneumonia, on the 23d of March, 1855. "He rests from his labors and his works do follow him."
Mr. Rogers was a man of great power in the pulpit. He never said anything quaint or humorous in his sermons. He began a discourse in a calm and measured style, but as he grew warm with his subject his voice became louder, and his words flowed more rapidly, until it became like a resistless torrent, bearing down everything before it.
As a disciplinarian, he had few superiors. Whether he was in the pulpit, the social circle, or at his own fireside, he maintained a native dignity that gave him great influence.
He was twice married, and raised ten children all of whom were baptized before his death. One of his sons, Warren J., became a preacher in Hardin County, and another, Colmore G., is a minister in Missouri.
Thomas Jefferson Fisher was never long a resident of any one place; but he probably spent more time within the ancient bounds of Salem Association, than in any other locality. His father, John Bolyn Fisher, was of German extraction, and was a native of Pennsylvania. He came to Kentucky while a young man, and raised five daughters and eight sons on its soil. He died in Hardin County, about 1868, at the age of about 106 years.
Thomas J Fisher, the fourth of thirteen children of his parents, was born in Mt. Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky, April 9, 1812. He professed conversion at the age of sixteen
years, and united with the Presbyterian church at Paris, Kentucky. A year later he was baptized by Jeremiah Vardeman, and united with the Baptist church at Davids Fork, in Fayette county. His parents being very poor, he had enjoyed few educational advantages. But having a great desire for learning, and having acquired the trade of a tailor, he resolved to educate himself. Accordingly, in his eighteenth year, he went to Middletown, Pennsylvania, where he entered the academy of a Mr. Sloan, a Presbyterian minister, and remained till March, 1831, when he went to Pittsburg in the same State, and placed himself under the instruction of S. Williams, pastor of the Baptist church in that city. During his second year at Pittsburg, he was licensed to preach, by the church of which his instructor was pastor. Returning to Kentucky, he was ordained to the pastorate of the church at Lawrenceburg, in1834. The following February (1835) he took the pastoral care of Mill Creek church, near Bardstown. But it was soon apparent that he was unsuited to the pastoral office. He resigned his pastoral charges and gave himself to the work of an evangelist. He was pastor for brief periods, of several other churches, during his ministry, but never succeeded well in that office.
The gifts of Mr. Fisher were very extraordinary. His oratory was of a style peculiarly his own, and was inimitable. It is probable that no other man on this continent ever exercised such entire control over an audience. One illustration will suffice to show the power of his oratory.
Returning on horse-back from the South, where he had spent the winter in protracted meetings, he stopped on a Saturday night, at Bowling Green. The Methodists were holding a protracted meeting in the village, and invited him to preach on the next day. He declined on the plea that he was fatigued by his journey, and needed to rest over the Sabbath; but agreed to preach on Monday morning. "I went to meeting early," said Mr. Wilkins, "and took a seat by the side of the pulpit where I could observe the audience. The house was crowded. Mr. Fisher arose, read his text and started off happily. The audience was at once enchained, and, within forty minutes, the orator had lifted them all to their feet. Every individual in the house, as far as I could see, was standing up and leaning forward, with open mouth, towards the speaker, apparently oblivious
of all his surroundings, and so stood until the discourse was finished."
Mr. Fisher spent the thirty-four years of his ministry in holding protracted meetings in the southern States, giving a majority of his labors to Kentucky. His success was extraordinary. In a funeral discourse, delivered previous to the burial of the great orator, Dr. Lorrimer estimated that not less than 12,000 people had professed conversion under Mr. Fisher's ministry. He died from the effects of a wound on the back of his head, inflicted by an unknown assassin, on Eighth Street, in Louisville, January 11, 1866.*
Squire Larue Helm, D. D., has been a prominent actor in the public enterprises of Kentucky Baptists, since 1837. He has been pastor of several churches in the most important towns and cities of the State, and has held various positions of trust and responsibility in the denomination. But it appears more fit to give a sketch of his life in connection with Salem Association, than in any other relation. In the early history of this body, his ancestors were prominent actors, and among its churches, he began his labors in the ministry. His grand father, Thomas Helm, was of Prussian extraction, and emigrated from Virginia to Kentucky. He settled in Hardin county, while the Indians were still roving in the surrounding forests, making it necessary for the white settlers to dwell in forts. His father, George Helm, was about seven years oldwhen brought by his parents to Kentucky. He was a prominent citizen of Hardin county, which he represented in the Kentucky Legislature, in 1813, '14 and '16. In 1814, he resigned his seat in the Legislature to take a position on General Thomas' staff, and was in the battle of New Orleans, January 8, 1815. The maternal grand-father of S. L. Helm was John LaRue. He was of French extraction, and was an early settler in what is now LaRue county. He was an Elder in a Baptist church, and a citizen of great moral worth. LaRue county was named in honor of him. From his posterity have sprung the following Baptist preachers: S. L. Helm, A. W. LaRue, John H. Yeaman, W. Pope Yeaman, and Robert Enlows.
S. L. Helm, the eighth child and fourth son of George and Rebecca Helm, and a younger brother of the late Governor John L. Helm, was born in Hardin County, Kentucky, May 16, 1816. His father having died in Texas, whither he had gone on a business speculation, which involved the loss of most of his estate, while his son Squire was a small boy, the latter was raised on a farm by a widowed mother, and had few educational advantages. At the age of seventeen years, he was apprenticed to a tanner, and at the end of three and a half years, went into the business of tanning on his own account.
In the summer of 1814, he professed conversion and was baptized by Jacob Rogers, into the fellowship of Severns Valley church, the first organization of the kind that existed in Kentucky, and of which his parents and grand parents had all been members. By that church he was licensed to preach, December 31, 1836. The following year, he was a member of the convention that formed the General Association of Kentucky Baptists. About the time he was licensed to preach, he entered the school of Robert Hewett, at Elizabethtown, where he received most of his schooling. Having been invited to take charge of Mt. Pleasant church, at Brandenburg, he was ordained in that church by William Vaughan, John L. Burrows and F. F. Seig, April 7, 1838. In May, 1843, he took charge of the church at Mayslick, in Mason county. He preached there seven years and baptized over three hundred. In 1850 he accepted a call to Sharpsburg, preaching half his time to that church, and devoting the other half to the labors of a missionary. He took charge of the church at Owensboro, January 1, 1852. Here he labored till August, 1854, when he accepted a call to East church, in Louisville, which he served one year, acting as Secretary of the American Indian Mission Association, during the same period. He baptized something over 100 that year. In August, 1854, he accepted a call to the church at Covington, where he ministered five years, during which about 250 were added to the church. Between 1859 and 1866 he served for different periods, the churches at Waco and Tates creek, in Madison county, Davids Fork and Bryants, in Fayette county, and Silas, in Bourbon county. In 1867, he accepted the position of State Evangelist, under the General Association. He labored in that capacity till 1869, when he again
took charge of East church in Louisville. Here he ministered about six years, receiving into the church about 250 members.
After this, he acted as financial agent for the Masonic Widows and Orphans Home, at Louisville, about six months. In July, 1875, he took charge of the church at Nicholasville, from whence he was called to Maysville in May, 1877. After serving the church at this place two years, he moved to Breckenridge county, where he bought a farm and arranged a very beautiful cottage home, in which, as he avers, to spend the evening of his earthly life. Meanwhile he is pastor of the churches at Stephensport, Hawesville and Goshen, preaching to the first named, twice a month and supplying one mission station.
Dr. Helm is a clear, strong, direct speaker, and few preachers in the State exercise so great an influence over a popular audience. His life has been a very active one in the Master’s vineyard; and his strong, healthy, robust appearance, gives hope that he will yet render valuable service, for many years to come.
William Larue Morris, a son of judge John Morris, whose father was a native of Ireland, was born at Elizabethtown, Hardin county Kentucky, January 10, 1821. He received a good English education. In his youth, he was very fond of vain amusements, and especially of dancing. But about the time he arrived at manhood, the Holy Spirit found way to his heart, and suddenly cut short his career of giddy pleasure.
Thomas J. Fisher was holding a protracted meeting at Elizabethtown, during Christmas week. As this was usually a time of festivity, young Morris, with other lovers of frolic, averred that the meeting was an invasion of his social privileges, and resolved not to attend it. There was to be a great frolic some miles in the country, and, despite the entreaties of a pious young cousin, Mr. Morris mounted his horse, and started to attend it. He rode on gaily enough at first. But soon strange thoughts began to crowd into his mind, and singular feelings crept over him. He rode more slowly, and finally stopped. The question as to whether he should go on to the frolic, or turn back to the meeting, agitated him fearfully. After a few moments he came to a singular conclusion. "I will turn my horse directly across the road," soliloquized he, "and let him go whichever way he will." Naturally enough the horse turned
toward home. He now pushed on eagerly until he reached the meeting house in time to hear the sermon. After a few days, he professed hope in Christ and was baptized by T. J. Fisher, and united with Severns Valley church, of which his parents were members. About this time he commenced the study of law. There was, from the first, a perplexing contest in his mind. He was strongly impressed with the duty of preaching the gospel. But there appeared to himmany obstacles, and he continued his studies. In due time he entered upon the practice of law. He met with unexpected success, and fair prospects of a brilliant career opened up before him.
On the first of May, 1845, he was married to Grace N. daughter of Thomas Brown, a merchant of Hodgenville. In this town he established himself as a lawyer. His honesty, candor, strict integrity and fine qualifications soon won the confidence of all, and a large share of public patronage. But the struggle with his conscience grew constantly stronger, till his soul became darkened with harrowing doubts, and he resolved to quit the church, under the impression that he was destitute of divine grace. He communicated his intentions to Samuel Haycraft, who was a member of the same church, and who succeeded in persuading him to abandon his rash design. He now began to take a more active part in public worship. He engaged frequently in public prayer and exhortation, and finally, in 1850, he accepted a license to preach. In January, 185 1, he was ordained to the pastoral care of Hodgenville church, by John Duncan, Robert L. Thurman and others, and immediately gave himself wholly to the work of the ministry. Soon after his ordination, he accepted the pastoral care of Gilead and Severns Valley churches, in Hardin county.