The Baptist Church, Todd County, Kentucky

This church is also connected with the earliest settlements in the State. Its earlier history in Kentucky is marked by several important dissensions which caused divisions which greatly retarded the growth and influence of the church. Its largest strength came from the Old Dominion State, who were of the ” Iron Jacket ” or ” Hard-shell ” school, as they were popularly known. This church profited also by the great revival of 1800, but their meetings were generally free of those peculiar manifestations known as the “jerks or rolling and running exercises.” The early church grew rapidly until 1802, when a slight Unitarian schism occurred, which drew off a number of its members. In 1804 a schism which had its origin in the opposition of some to the institution of slavery occurred, which gave rise to the Baptist Licking-Locust Association, Friends of Humanity.” The ‘Regular Baptists declared that it was ” improper for ministers, churches or associations to meddle with the emancipation of slavery, or any other political subject,” and the schismatics withdrew. This new organization had but a short-lived existence. In 1809 another rupture occurred, which originated in a egro trade between a minister and layman, which resulted in the withdrawal of a respectable number under the name of Particular Baptists. Notwithstanding these adverse events the regular organization continued to thrive. Drake Pond Church of this denomination was organized in 1802, and still retains its primitive doctrine. The church edifice was erected just south of the Tennessee line, near Guthrie, but draws a large portion of its supporters from Todd County. This was the only church in this immediate region for years, until the emigration from Virginia in 1815-20 brought large accessions of strength to the denomination. Among the early ministers of this denomination in Todd County were Philip Boel, Ambrose Bowen, Archibald Bristow, Richard W. Nixon, John Christian and others. The Lebanon Baptist Church was organized about 1820, and marks the first permanent progress made by this denomination here. The church has since developed with persistent effort, and in point of numbers ranks first or second in the county. It has organizations and good church edifices in each of the villages of the county, and divides with the Methodist Church the colored church membership of Todd.

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