History of Coffee Creek Baptist Association, (Southern Indiana), An Account Of, Present Churches and
Biographical Sketches of its Ministers
by J.C. Tibbets
Believe it or not that is the entire title. It was published in 1883 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
COFFEE CREEK ASSOCIATION
PART I Chapter I
Description of Country When First Settled
Coffee Creek Association, at the present time (1883), is composed of seventeen churches, embracing the western part
of Jefferson County, the southern part of Jennings, and the eastern part of Scott, in Indiana, and covers an area of about 350 square miles.
The few persons now living who were here prior to the organization of the Association, in 1827, know what the condition of Southern Indiana
was at the time better than it can be told them; but for the younger portion of the present generation it may be well to briefly outline the
general appearance and situation of the country, the character of the pioneer immigrants, and the trials and hardships and dangers encountered
by them in those early days.
The State of Virginia, which claimed the whole territory north of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi, confirmed,
in 1783, the bargain made by Gov. Henry, of Virginia, with Gen. George Rogers Clark, granting to him, and to his followers, 149,000 acres
of land, in compensation for military services rendered in the successful campaign of 1778-79. This grant, located in what was then Illinois
Country (now Clark), was deeded by the Continental Congress to Gen. Clark in 1786--Virginia having previously ceded the whole territory to the
general government--and was the first point settled in Southern Indiana.
Prior to the ordinance of 1787, a few families had located at the head of the falls of the Ohio River, at a place they
named Clarksville (now Jeffersonville). Aside from this, not a trace of the white man could be seen in all this region, except, perhaps, at a few
trading points established by the French settlement at Kaskaskia, Illinois, and a similar one on the east bank of the Wabash River, at Vincennes.
The whole of this vast territory, embracing more than one hundred million acres of fertile lands, was in the undisputed possession of the Indians,
who made every possible exertion to prevent the encroachments of the whites.
The reports carried back to the States by the few exploring parties which had been out, of the remarkable productiveness
of the soil, the salubrity of the climate, and the wonderful beauty and grandure of the scenery, induced immigration. In a few years thousands of
hardy pioneers were locating homes in the new country. They were met and opposed by the natives at every point, but the indomitable will and
perseverance of the whites enabled them to drive the red man back, step by step, and finally force them west of the Mississippi. This result,
however, was attained only after years of deadly struggle, and a great sacrifice of life; and it was not until after the battle of the Thames,
October 5, 1813, when the British and Indians, under the command of Gen. Proctor and the renowned chieftain, Tecumseh, were totally defeated by
the American troups, under Gen. Harrison, that any degree of security could be felt by the settlers.
It is not the present intention, however, to write a history of the Northwest Territory, but to briefly sketch the
settlement and development of that small portion of it embraced in the bounds, and immediate vicinity, of Coffee Creek Association, with
particular reference to the progress of the Baptist denomination.
Between the years 1790 and 1795, a few settlements were made along the northwest bank of the Ohio River, above Clarksville.
These gradually increased from year to year, but it was not until about the time of the organization of a separate territorial government for Indiana,
in 1809, that any considerable number of these were extended into the interior. This act greatly stimulated immigration, and several of the States,
particularly Kentucky, North Carolina and Virginia, soon furnished recruits to come over and take possession of the land.
In that year (1809) a few families from North Carolina and Kentucky settled about ten miles north from the Ohio River, and
about the same distance west from where now is the city of Madison, on White River. In 1810 a single family from Virginia (Solomon Deputy) located
on Coffee Creek, in the southern part of Jennings County. About the same time a small settlement was made on Lewis' Creek, Jefferson County, some
four or five miles south from Coffee Creek; and a little later, a company from Kentucky, attracted by the fertile valley of the Muscatatack, where
Vernon now stands, made that point their future home. Other families came in from time to time, selecting lands, and thus settlements were made
through the wilderness, generally from three to five, often from ten to twelve miles distant from each other. The ratio of increase advanced each
year, and, after the battle of the Thames, before mentioned, so rapidly was the country developed, that, in 1816, Indiana was admitted a State into
At the time of the first settlements, this whole section of country was a dense, unbroken forest. Hill and valley, high land
and low, were alike covered with a heavy growth of timber. Not a tree had been cut down; not a road opened; not even a foot-path marked out, except
the Indian trails leading from the Ohio River back to their villages on the Wabash and other streams.
The sections of the book below are on the Churches and their Ministers.
CHURCHES INCLUDED IN THE COFFEE CREEK ASSOCIATION
Constituted in June, 1838
Avery Chambers, Rhoda Chamberd, Mw. Davis, Lydia Davis, John Swincher, Jane Swincher and Samuel Hopper were constituted as the
"Bethany Baptist Church" on the 16th of June, 1838. Application had been made to Scaffold Creek, Lick Branch, Coffee Creek and Hopewell for a council
of recognition. These churches responded, and their messengers convened at the house of John Swincher. Elder J. W. Robinson was Moderator of the council
and Wm. D Bacon Clerk. After praise and prayer and charge to the church, the hand of fellowship was extended and the council adjourned.
Immediately after adjournment of the council the church organized for business and arranged for regular meetings. Elder Robinson,
who had been instrumental in collecting the church, was the first pastor, serving two years. Elder J. M. Cox was then pastor three years, when J. B.
Swincher, a member at Bethany and recently ordained, commenced pastoral duties, continuing sixteen years. Elder Wm. Bussey next served six years, when
W. A. Chambers, a licentiate, was pastor about eighteen months. The following Elders have since served: Wm. McCoy, four years; John E. McCoy, one year;
John E. McCoy, two years; G. W. Thompson, four years; J. N. Spillman, two years, and Wm. McCoy from the fall of 1881 to present.
Deacons and Clerks
Avery Chambers, J. B. Swincher, Harvey Seburn, Barnet Gaddy, W.C. Mitchell, John Litson, James Seburn, James McCaslin, John Cain
and W. H. Davis have severally served as deacons. Clerks.--Wm. Davis, , J. Hankins, M. McLean, James Seburn, M.S. Hancock, Alex. Chambers, S.A. Shrewsbury,
W.H. Davis and Isaac Wheat; Post-office address, Deputy, Jefferson County, Ind.
Licensed and Ordained
Those licensed have been James B. Swincher, Matthew McLean and Joseph Hankins. J.B. Swincher was ordained in October, 1842
Buildings and Location
The summer the church was constituted a small log meeting-house was erected and occupied until 1853, when the present one was entered.
This is a substantial frame, pleasantly located about two miles southwest from Deputy, a station on the O. & M. Branch Road. Present membership, 107.
Constituted in May, 1822
The first Sunday in May, 1822, Thomas Hill, Sr., Mary Hill, Wm. Whitsitt, Nancy Whitsitt, James Fowler, Sr. Jane Fowler, Wm. Blankenship, Polly Blankenship,
John Hopkins, Zilpha Hopkins, Nathan Robertson, Ann Robertson, Patsey Peoples, Nancy Johnson, Betsey Bennet, Betsey Burnet, Sally Scott, Ann McCrora, Ann
Prichard, Ann Wilkerson, Polly Hudson, Polly Bridges, Abigale Roberts, Polly Roberts, Hannah Earl and Susan Hill, convened at the house of Thomas Hill, Jr.,
on Coffee Creek, Jennings County, and were recognized as the Coffee Creek Baptist Church.
The council of recognition was composed of messengers from Union, Vernon, Harbert's Creek, White River, Scaffold Lick and Graham's Fork
churches. Isaiah Blankenship was Moderator, and W. C. Bramwell, Clerk. Elder Peleg Baker delivered the charge to the church and the hand of fellowship was extended
by the council.
Immediately after the council adjourned, the church organized for business. Elder Thomas Hill, Sr., through whose labors the church had
been collected, was chosen Moderator, and Wm. C. Bramwell, Clerk. At this first meeting Thomas Hill, Jr., united with the church, was baptized and retained his
membership till his death, in 1876.
Elder Thomas Hill, Sr., was the first pastor, commencing in June, 1822, and continuing until December, 1838, when old age and infirmity
compelled him to resign; and, at the same meeting, Elder Thomas Hill, Jr., was called, and served with wonderful success nearly twenty-eight years, when the death
of his companion and failing health induced him also to resign. Since that time the church has had the pastoral labors of Elders Wm. B. Lewis, two years; T. D.
George, one year; W.E. Spear, one year, Wm. Gillaspy, two years; A. Connelly, two years; Wm. B. Lewis again one year; Allen Hill four years; and U. M. McGuire from
March 1, 1881, to the present. Between these short pastorates Thomas Hill officiated, so that the church has never been destitute of a pastor.
Deacons and Clerks
Deacons--John Hopkins, Wm. Whitsitt, Benoni Hollenshead, Aaron Scott, Henry Cobb, James Fowler, Samuel Malcomb, John Tobias, Wm. Graham and
O.F. Philips. Clerks--Thomas Hill, Jr., served eleven years; Allen Hill (brother of Thomas), fourteen years; Aaron Scott, fourteen years; Sidney Butler, twelve
years; J.M. Cox, three years, and the present Clerk, A.W. Philips, six years. Address: Paris Crossing, Jennings County, Ind.
Licentiates and Elders
Nine men have been licensed, viz: Thomas Hill, Jr., Zachariah Bush, Jesse W. Robinson, Charles Snowden, Wm. B. Lewis, Henry Cobb, T. B. Lewis,
Absalom Hudson and U. M. McGuire. Seven have been ordained, to-wit: Thomas Hill, Jr., in 1825, Zachariah Bush in 1832; J. W. Robinson and John Hill in 1837; Charles
Snowden in 1838; W. B. Lewis in 1848, and U.M. McGuire in 1881. T. B. Lewis and Henry Cobb were ordained by other churches--Absalom Hudson went with the "Disciples."
The first house was of hewn logs, built in 1822. In the fall of 1834 the present house--a brick 30 X 34--erected near the site of the old one,
Labors and Results
Coffee Creek was a member of Silver Creek Association from 1822-1826. For many years her membership was larger than that of any other in the
vicinity, reaching as high as 225; but removals, dismissals and deaths have greatly reduced the ranks, leaving the present number only 112.
Constituted in April 1882
Some four of five years ago, mainly through the efforts of Elder W.H. Lawrence, and largely by his means, a neat and comfortable meeting-house
was erected in the town of Commiskey, a station on the O. & M. Branch Railroad, and deeded to the Baptist denomination, but there was no church organization in the
place until Saturday, April 15, 1882, when the Commiskey Baptist Church was constituted.
Deacons and Clerks
Wm. H. Lawrence and Alexander Arbuckle are the deacons, and Ellison Arbuckle Clerk; address, Commiskey, Jennings County, Ind.
The day the church was constituted, Elder Hill became its pastor and still serves. Arrangements were also made to open Sabbath-school the next
day, and for regular church, meetings, Commiskey was received into the Association, at its last session, with twelve members.
The statistics of all the foregoing churches are given up to the session of 1882, which is the latest authentic report. Commiskey, I have been told now numbers thirty,
and several other churches have had additions, which will considerably swell the aggregate membership of the Association.
Constituted in January, 1824
This church is situated in Jefferson County, about two miles from the Ohio River, and sixteen miles below the city of Madison. It was constituted
the 24th day of January, 1824, but the minutes of the proceedings and names of the constituent members (furnished by Elder John Chambers, deceased) were: James Glover,
Elizabeth Glover, John West, Polly West, Robert Montgomery and wife, and Mordica Cole and wife. Of these, only Sister Glover is now living. She resides with her daughter,
Mrs. Achilles West, near Vernon.
The first was Elder Mordica Cole, who served two years. Elder Isaac Foster was then pastor one year, after which Elder James Glover held a pastorate
to the time of his death, in 1857, a period of thirty years. Since that time, Elder John Chambers has served nine years: Elder W. J. Buchanan, three years; W. H. Niles,
licentiate, one year; Elder Wm. McCoy again two years; Elder J.N. Spillman, two years; Elder Marion Noell, one year; after which Elder Spillman was again called and is
pastor at the present time.
Deacons and Clerks
William Montgomery was the first deacon, serving about fifty years. I have not been able to ascertain who succeeded him.
Clerks--Robert Montgomery, Thomas Scott, John Rankin, J.B. Coleman, J.T. Deyurenett, Achilles West, E.B. Glover, Jonas Giltner, Thomas Montgomery, J.D. Glover, J.A.
Coleman, J.T. West, J.M. Stacey and B.R. Montgomery, the present clerk. Address: Otto, Clark County, Ind.
The church was consitituted in Clark County, about three miles above the town of Bethlehem. In 1848 a house was built on the Ohio River bluff,
one mile east from the first location, which was occupied about twenty years, when a change was again made, Elizabeth uniting with the remnant of Zoar Church in purchasing
the house built by the latter, and moving and rebuilding it centrally between the two neighborhoods.
One man has been ordained, James Glover, in the fall of 1825. Elizabeth at first united with Silver Creek Association, and was one dismissed from
that body to form Coffee Creek . In 1872, under the labors of Elder McCoy, there was a net gain of sixty-four, raising her from one of the smallest in the Association, to
rank with the strong churches. Present membership, 53.
Constituted in April, 1849
A branch meeting, established first at Barnes' school house, afterward at Marion, was regularly attended by Elder Thomas Hill, Jr., and later by
W.B. and T.B. Lewis. This branch was on the 26th of April, 1849, by delegates from the various churches of the vicinity, Elder John Chambers being presiding officer of
the council, Elder J.B. Swincher Clerk.
The constituent members were S.B. Carpenter, Jane Carpenter, T.B. Lewis, Mahala Lewis, Jeremiah West, Jemima West, Joseph Mosley, Catharine Mosley,
Israel West, Lydia West, G.C. Mosley, T.J. Mosley, Elijah Ferrigo, Woodford Barnes, Elizabeth Barnes, D.S. Carpenter, G.W. Carpenter, R.H. Keith and Eliza Keith.
Timothy B. Lewis, licentiate--but ordained in August of the same year--was pastor four years, Elder J.B. Swincher was next pastor for two years;
T.B. Lewis again, five years, and W.B. Lewis again, five years, and W.B. Lewis something more than two year. This was during the first years of the war, and the church,
being in a low state and disheartened, had no pastor for about four years, when she rallied and had the services of George King, licentiate, one year, and Elder John
Chambers one year, after which there was again a destitution of three years. During the latter part of this period, Elder Wm. Gillaspy preached for them a few times,
and the church was so much revived that Elder Gillaspy was secured as pastor, continuing about five years, with grand success, the membership being raised from twenty-three
to ninety-eight during his first year. It was during his pastorate that the present house was erected. Since then the church has had as pastors Elders W.B. Lewis, one
year; Allen Hill, three years; G.W. Thompson, two years, and J.N. Spillman now about three years.
Deacons and Clerks
Woodford Barnes, R.H. Keith, David Smith, Enos Tobias and E.J. Hughes have been the deacons.
Buildings and Location
A log meeting-house was built in 1850, which in 1873 gave place to the present commodious brick (40X60 feet), neatly finished and furnished. It
is the best house in the Association, and is located five miles due west from Commiskey Station, O. & M. Branch Road. Present nenbership of 105.
Constituted in July, 1827
Freedom Baptist Church was constituted the fourth Saturday in July, 1827. Elders John Vawter and W.T. Scott had for some time been preaching in
the cabins of different settlers in the neighborhood, and their labors were blessed to the saving of sould. Some of the settlers were already Christians,and were ready
helpers in the work, and eventually a council from the churches of the vicinity was called to recognize these "belivers" as a regular church of Christ.
The council met in the woods some three or four miles southeast from Vernon, on the date above given, and elected Elder John Vawter Moderator and
Elder J. B. New Clerk. After an appropriate sermon, fifteen brethern and sisters, to-wit: Chesley Woodward, Elizabeth Woodward, Pleasant Carney, Elizabeth Carney, Elija
M. Edwards, Hannah Edwards, Jesse Branham, Polly Branham, John Chambers, Jesse Stockton, Margaret Carney, Polly McGannon, Francis Chandler, Bracket Owen and Jemima Owen
presented articles of faith and church covenant, and were recognized as a church, to be known by the name of "Freedom."
Elder J. Vawter, the first pastor, served until his removal to Morgan County in 1848 a period of twenty one years, and was followed by Elder W.T.
Stott in a pastorate of nine years, after which Elder J.B. Swincher was pastor thirteen years. During the forty-three years' labors of these three veterans, the church
was greatly built up and strenghtened. Since 1871 the pastors have been: Elder J.E. McCoy, six years; Allen Hill, one year; W.E. Spear, one year; _____ Randolph, one
year; and the present pastor, J.N. Spillman, two years.
Deacons and Clerks
The Deacons have beenn: Bracket Owen, Jas. Butler, E. M. Edwards, Francis Chandler, John McGannon, Henry Carney, John S. Torbet and Achilles West.
Clerks--Bracket Owen was Clerk six years; Pleasant Carbey, six years; W.R. Walker, seven years; Edward Walker, two years; Henry Carney, eleven years; W.D. Hill, five years;
Henry Carney again, six years, and Robert from 1871 to the present; Post-office address, Dupont, Jefferson County, Ind.
Regular meetings continued to be held in the grove until November, when they were moved to the school-house. The following April a hewed-log meeting-house,
built near the grove where the church was constituted, was completed, and was occupied until 1845, when the present house was purchsed. It is a substantial frame, located on
the Madison & Indianapolis State Road, about three miles southeast from Vernon.
Freedom was the last constituent member of Coffee Creek Association, being constituted about six weeks prior to the organization of that body, and
has ever manifested a deep interest in its annual sessions. The church has never been numerically strong, but is sound on all denominational questions, and ever ready to do
her full part in all benevolent Christian enterprises. Present number, 47.
Constituted in July, 1859
Hebron Church was constituted the 30th day of July, the council of recognition being composed of delegates from Coffee Creek, White River, Lick Branch,
Scaffold Lick, New Bethel, Elizabeth, Zoar, Kimberlin Creek and First Marion-over which Elder John Chambers presided as Moderator, and Elder W.Y. Monroe was Clerk.
Thirty-six brethern and sisters, all from Mew Bethel, presented Articles of Faith and Church Covenant, and were recognized as the Hebron Baptist
Church, with the following exercises; Sermon by Elder W.B. Lewis; charge by Elder W.Y. Monroe; hand of fellowship by council.
The names of the members were: Martin Pound, Tilford Johnson, Eliza Stark, Eliza Staples, Sena Gray, J.M. Staples, Julia Staples, Melvina Staples,
S.O. Staples, Amanda Staples, John Kelly, C. Whitlatch, Sarah Whitlatch, Eliza Stark, Mary Stark, Daniel Pound, Isabella Pound, Stephen Cole, Amy Cole, John Matthews,
George Noe, Sarah Noe, Sarah Ann Noe, Joseph Cole, Harriet Cole, Nancy Tilford, Rachel Sheperd, Sarah Stark, Mary J. Costner, Nancy Hamlin, Louisa Stark, Mary Hopper,
Miriam Robins and Keziah Berry.
Timothy B. Lewis was pastor up to January 1860; Wm. Bussey to February, 1866: Jesse Buchanan to March, 1867; W.A. Chambers, four months; William
Bussey, two months; Isaac Coker, one year; A.J. Robins, three years, after which they had no pastor for three years, when there was a destitution of one year; since
which Marion Noell has been present.
Moderators, Deacons and Clerks
The Moderators have been John Matthews, Thomas Padgett, Richard Seek and Jesse Sheperd.
Deacons-Daniel Pound, John Matthews and Martin Pound.
Clerks-Martin Pound served to May 1878, and Calvin O. Staples to the present. Post-Office address: Lexington, Scott County, Ind.
Locations and Building
The church is located in Scott County, about three miles southeast from Lexington. The building is a comfortable frame, central is position and
easy to access, and in a good farming community.
Church Work and Results
The labors of the various pastors have been very acceptable, and blessed with success. Several special efforts have been made, in which the
church was much revived, and at which many poor sinners found peace in believing, and put on Chris by public profession of faith and baptism. Harmony and concert of
action have at times existed between the church and the ministry, and the cause of Sunday-schools, missions and kindred Christain duties are encouraged and supported.
With these times of refreshings she has also been called to part with many loved ones by death, and has had seasons of sorrow and sadness; but is
still encouraged to persevere in the Masters service. Present membership, 51.
Constituted in May, 1829
The church of Hopewell was constutued the 16th day of May, 1829. Benj. Fewel, Sr., Ann Fewel, Rachel Fewel, James Griffey, Sallie Griffey, Achilles
Ford, Robert Pearch, Polly Pearcy, Archibald Cosby, James Ford and Malinda Marshall were the constituent members. The council called for the occasion met at the house of
Robert Ford at the stated time, and recognized the above-named members with the usual ceremonies as a regular gospel church, after which the little band elected a Moderator
and Clerk, and arranged for future meetings.
Up to the early spring of 1831, the church had no pastor, but regularly kept up meetings. In March of that year, Jacob M. Cox (recently ordained)
commenced pastoral duties, continuing fifteen years. He was succeeded by Elders Thomas Hill, Jr., nine years; W.Y. Monroe, seven years, and John Chambers, four years.
During the first three years of the last pastorate, Zion as well as the entire community, mourned, the great Rebellion affecting almost every household; but on the
return of peace, Elder Chambers was blessed in his labors, and many baptized the last year of his service. Since that time the church has had the pastoral labors of
Elders G.D. Griffith, two years; John Chambers, four years; John E. McCoy, four years; W.Y.Monroe, three years; G.W. Thompson, three years, and has recently again
called Brother McCoy.
Deacons and Clerks
Deacons.--Noah Merriman, John Lawler, Geo. Stribling, Osbourn Lawlwer, John Conway, Elias Abrams, James Wallace, Achilles Ford and David Watson.
Clerks.--J.H. Fewel, Warner Ford, Levi Buchanan, P.G. Magness, Sylvester Roberts, J. Hawkersmith, Osbourn Lawler, J. Goldsborough, John Conway, G.W.
Hensley, J.M. Wallace, W. Moncrief and T.J. Kinnear, whose Post-office address is Volga, Jefferson County, Ind.
Licensed and Ordained
Jefferson Goldsborough was licensed in 1844, and Jacob M. Cox who had been licensed at Mt, Pleasant, was ordained in 1830.
Buildings and Location
The first house was of hewed logs, built in the spring of 1830, and occupied until the fall of 1848, when the present one was dedicated. This is a
commodious stone building, located on the south side of Harbert's Creek, miles northwest from the city of Madison, on what is known as the "Deputy Gravel Road."
Hopewell is centrally and pleasantly situated in a good farming community. The location is healthful, yet death has often visited them. The last of
the constituent members, Deacon A. Ford died in 1879. Two other deacons, John Conway and James Wallace, had preceded him but a few years. In point of numbers, Hopewell is
second in the Association, with a membership of 131.
Constituted in June, 1849
Messengers from Coffee Creek, Bethany, Scaffold Lick and White River convened at Plymouth school-house, Scott County, on Friday, June 1, 1849, and
duly constituted, with usual ceremonies, the Kimberlin Creek Church--Elder Wm. B. Lewis being Moderator of the council, and Elder J.B. Swincher, Clerk.
A church covenant was adopted, and the following members came forward and enrolled their names, to-wit: Peter Laswell, Louisa Laswell, Richard Lamaster,
Jane Lamaster, Wm. Walling, T. O. Deal, Mary Deal, Sarah Deal, Morrow Shields, Nancy Shields, Amy Walling, Mary Sutton, Amos Sweet, Mary Sweet, Sarah Gladden, Ursula Somers,
Parmela Ferris, Wm. Smith, J.E. Roe, Ann D. Roe, James Ealling, Elizabeth Whitlatch, Elizabeth Salmon, Margaret Ringo, Daniel Kimberlin, Nathan Dismore, Paulina Laswell,
Sarah Worman, Vinie Pease, Lecta Pease, Ursula Kimberlin and J.T. Deal.
Elder John Chambers commenced as pastor at the first meeting and served until November, 1853, since which the pastors have been; Elders W.Y. Monroe,
one year; W.B. Lewis, one year; John Chambers again one year; J.B. Swincher, nearly five years; W.M. Bussey nearly eight years;A.J. Robins, three years; J.B. Swincher, seven
years; A.J. Robins, two years; Isaac Coker, one year; and the present pastor, N.L. Petty, nearly two years.
Deacons and Clerks
The deacons have been Peter Laswell, Morrow Shields, J.Y. McCulloch, A.L. Gladden and J.J. Ringo; and the Clerks: John E. Roe, who served two years;
S.C. Baker, three years; A.L. Gladden, twelve years, and J.J. Ringo from 1876 to the present. Post-office address: Vienna, Scott County, Ind.
Licensed and Ordained
George L. Mercer was licensed to preach in June, 1860, and ordained in October, 1861.
The meeting-house is located on the road leading from Lexington to Vienna, about midway between the two places, in a community of church-going people,
and the congregations are generally large and orderly. The present membership is 80.
Constituted in July, 1859
The 30th day of July, 1859, agreeably to previous arrangement, messengers from the following churches, vis: Middle Fork, Hopewell, Harbert's Creek,
Dupont, Lick Branch and Coffee Creek, met at Byfield's school-house, and duly constituted the Lancaster Baptist Church, Elder Thomas Hill presided and Elder M. B. Phares
acted as Clerk.
The constituent members were: Wm. Conway, Elizabeth Conway, Cornelia Conway, Phenuel Steelman, John Peterson, Sarah Peterson, Samuel Peterson, James
Peterson, Mary McElroy, Aaron Vancleve, Julie Vancleve, Levi Jennings, R.J. Jennings, Susan Wright, Wm. Brazelton, S.G. Graham, Lucy Graham, Daniel Rector and Jane Rector.
The pastors in succession have been: Elders Thomas Hill about four years; T.D. George, one year; Thomas Hill, one year; Wm. A. Chambers from November,
1866, to his death, July, 1867; John Chambers nearly three years; John E. McCoy, one year; John Chambers again one year; W.Y. Monroe about two years, when he resigned in favor
of G.W. Thompson, who served about three years and resigned. Elder J.N. Spillman was then pastor up to June, 1882 about three years, when he also resigned, since which U.M.
McGuire has been pastor.
Deacons and Clerks
The deacons as they were chosen, have been: Wm. Conway, A. Vancleve, Sidney McKay, F,M, Landon, Daniel Rector and James Spicer.
Clerks.---D. Rector, James Spicer, A.C. Guthrie, J.C. Vancleve, I.F. Hammil, Samuel Hammil and H. K. Rector, whose post-office address is Lancaster, Jefferson County, Ind.
Building and Location
The present meeting-house is a neat and commoudious frame, 30X40 feet, with fourteen feet story, and is very pleasantly located on the Madison and
Brownstown Turnpike road, ten miles northwest from the former place, and one-half mile from Lancaster post-office. Present number, 73
Constituted in June, 1824
In the spring of 1824, a few brethern and sisters residing in Graham Township, Jefferson County, decided to call for a council from the various
Baptist churches in the vicinity, with a view of being constituted into a church. Their invitations were responded to as follows: From White River--A. Chambers, J.
Wheatly, M. Monroe; Scaffold Lick--Elder W. Blankenship, R. Chasteen, Gary Davis; Coffee Creek--Elder Thhomas Hill, Sr., Thomas Hill, Jr., John Hopkins; which council
convened the 9th day of June, the year named, and organized by selecting Elder Thomas Hill, Sr., Moderator, and Thomas Hill, Jr., Clerk.
Wm. Whitsitt, Nancy Whitsitt, Abraham Walton, Polly Walton, Archibald Cosby, Malinda Cosby, R.M. Cosby, Wm. Admire and wife, Elizabeth Nay and
Fanny Sage were, with usual ceremonies, recognized as the "Lick Branch Church;" a "deer lick" in a branch near by, giving rise to the name.
On adjournment of council the little church proceeded to business, electing Moderator and Clerk, and extending a call to Elder Thomas Hill, Sr.,
to become their pastor, who accepted and immediately commenced pastoral work. Initiatory steps were also taken towards building a meeting-house.
Elder Thomas Hill, the first pastor, served a little more than a year, when Elder Thomas Hill, Jr.--just ordained--took charge of the church,
continuing nine years; Since that time, the pastors in succession have been: Elders J.M. Cox eight years; Thomas Hill, Jr., four years; J.B. Swincher, three years;
J.M. Cox again one year, W.Y. Monroe, three years; Thomas Hill, Jr., two years; W.Y. Monroe, five years; W.B. Lewis, seven years; John Chambers, one year; W.B. Lewis,
one year; G.W. Thompson, four years; Allan Hill, one year, when Elder Thompson again served one year. The present pastor is Elder A. Jackson, recently from Kentucky.
DEACONS AND CLERKS.
Wm. Whitsitt, Abraham Walton, W.M. Baxter, Harrison Nay, Simeon Piper, Wm. Landon, John Tobias and Dudley Walton have been the deacons.
Clerks--R.M. Cosby served five years; Bennet Nay, twenty-eight years; Samuel Nay, two years; E.F. Hamil, seven years; Wm. McClanahan, ten years; G.W. Dodd, three years;
and the present Clerk, T.N. Cosby, three years. Address: Graham, Jefferson County, Ind.
BUILDINGS AND LOCATION
Lick Branch is located on the Madison and Deputy gravel road, about four miles east from the latter place. The present building is a substantial
frame, 35X45 feet, with cupola and bell, and was erected in 1850. Previous to that time, a hewed log-house was occupied, built in the fall of 1824, and situated about
on-half mile north of the present location.
MEETINGS AND CHURCH WORK
The regular meetings, like all other churches of the Association, are but one Saturday and Sunday each month. Prior to 1827, she was a member of
Silver Creek Association; and since the organization of Coffee Creek Association, has always been represented in that body by letter and messenger.
Being pleasantly and healthfully located, in a communtiry of moral and intellectual citizens, with a commodious house and a good proportion of
working members, it is hoped much good may be accomplished in the years to come.Present membership, 95.
Constituted in October, 1852
A council of brethren from White River, Liberty, Lick Branch, Scaffold Lick, Kimberlin Creek, Saluda and Elizabeth churches, called for the purpose
of deciding on the propriety of constituting the New Bethel Church, convened on the 16th of October of the year named, Elder John Chambers presiding, and Elder W.Y. Monroe
After praise and prayer, and an appropriate sermon by Elder Glover, the following persons, with their Articles of Faith and Church Covenant, presented
themselves, and were duly recognized as a church of Jesus Christ, to-wit: Beecham Davis, Martha Davis, Ellen Davis, Ann Davis, Henry Baker, Susan Baker, John Horner, Parthena
Horner, Elizabeth Higgins, Wm. Arbuckle, Lucinda Arbuckle, Matthew Rea, Sarah Rea, John Rea, Thomas Davis, Margaret McNeeley, Elizabeth McNeeley, Sarah Crawford, Eliza Wasson,
Martha Caven, Susan Britton, Siloma Snyder and Ruth E. Snyder.
The church immediately organized for business, inviting Elder Monroe to become pastor for one year, which he accepted, and commenced duties at once.
The pastors since have been John Chambers, two years, and after an interval of a few months, again ten years; Wm. Bussey, one year; John Chambers again five years (making
seventeen years in all in which Brother Chambers faithfully served as pastor); Jesse Buchanan, one year; A.J. Robins, one year; Marion Noell, three years; W.T. Carpenter,
one year; and N.L. Petty to the present, about one year.
DEACONS, MODERATORS AND CLERKS
Beecham Davis and Henry Baker have been the deacons from the first. They were also Moderator and Clerk from the first meeting up to 1876, when they
were released at their own request; and Elder Marion Noell chosen Moderator and H.A. Hardy, Clerk. Post-office address: Lexington, Scott County, Ind.
LOCALITY AND HOUSE
New Bethel is situated in Jefferson County, on what is known as the London Road, and about five miles east from Lexington. The building is a comfortable
frame, and the surrounding community well-to-do farmers. Present number, 66.
In February, 1872, Elizabeth Church established a "branch" at meeting-house some four or five miles distant. In December, 8878, Elders W.T. Carpenter
and N.L. Petty, of Kentucky, commenced a meeting at this place, which was crowned with great success. Forty-one happy converts were baptized and united at Elizabeth, and on
the 29th of March, 1879, these, with others, were duly constituted into a regular church of Christ, called "New Prospect."
The council convened for the occasion was composed of messengers from Harbert's Creek, North Madison, Lancaster, New Bethel and Elizabeth churches,
and the ordained ministers present were W.T. Carpenter, N. L. Petty, A. Jackson, W.Y. Monroe, Wm. McCoy, G.W. Thompson and Marion Noell. Elder Wm. McCoy was Moderator and
B.R. Montgomery Clerk.
After services appropriate to the occasion, the hand of fellowship was extended to the constituent members, who were as follows: J.B. Scott, Mary Scott,
Allen Scott, Cora Scott, Lydia Bivens, James Bivens, Christina Bivins, Mary C. Blacker, Ann L. Scull, Nora Scull, Flora Scull, W.A. Baylor, Mary L. Baylor, Nancy E. Baylor,
C.H. Artis, A.C. Craig, Eli Stucker, W.C. Stucker, Sarah E. Stucker, Lizzie J. Stucker, Emma B. Stucker, Parmelia Crawford, Ida W. Harroll, John Blair, Alice Fleming, J.R. Lawson,
Anna E. Lawson, H.H. Likins, Augusta Likins, Willis Barnes, America Barnes, Lucien Frost, Samuel Smith, D.A. West, W.A. Rossin, Senia Rossin, Wm. Slater, Emma Suddeth, Sallie Law,
Leonard Suddeth, Wyatt Maxwell, Mary A. Richardson, W.H. Richardson, J.B. Monroe, Minerva Monroe, Mary McGary, Phebe Hoagland, Hettie Gaddis, B.F. Scull, S.F. Scull and Mary A.
BUILDING AND LOCATION.
The meeting-house where New Prospect Church was constituted, and now worships, was built by Mr. J. Harroll, in the 1851, and donated to the Baptist
denomination. It is of hewed logs, weather-boarded and ceiled, and will seat 250 persons. The location is about one and one-half miles from the Ohio River, and twelve miles
southwest from the city of Madison.
Elder W.T. Carpenter served until April, 1881, since which time Elder G.W. Thompson has been pastor.
DEACONS AND CLERKS
J.J. Marlin, B.F. Scull, J.B.Scott and W.A. Baylor have been the deacons.
Clerks.--D.A. West to September, 1879; J.R. Lawson to January, 1882, and C.H. Artis to the present. Post-office address: Saluda, Jefferson County, Ind. Present membership, 62.
Constituted October 1818
Scaffold Lick Church is located in Scott County, about one mile west from Holman Station, O & M. Branch Railroad, and derives its name from a "deer lick"
near which hunters had erected a scaffold high up in the branches of a tree, in order to be screened from the keen vision of deer and other wild animals when they came to the
watering. These "licks" as they were called, are springs of water slightly salt and on account were, in early times, daily visited by wild animals of their vicinity.
Scaffold Lick settlement, like most others of Southern Indiana, was composed of immigrants from Virginia, North Carolina and Kentucky, who came in very
early times and located in an unbroken forest. Some of the of this locality had united with White River Church, some eight miles distant, but being desirous of a church organization
in their own neighborhood, met at the house of Valentine Chasteen on 14th of October, 1818, and were duly constituted as a church. The constituent members were five men with their
wives, vis." Valentine Chasteen, Mary Chasteen, George James, Mary James, Benj. Boyd, Nancy Bayd, Robert Chasteen, Magdaline Chasteen, John Chasteen, Anna Chasteen; and the council
was composed of Elder Thomas Hill, of Graham's Fork Church, and Alex. Chambers and others from White River.
PASTORS AND SUPPLIES
The church minutes for the first five years are lost. Elder John Chambers (lately deceased) informed me that regular monthly meetings were kept up during that
period under the pastoral care of Elder Thomas Hill, Sr., and Alex. Chambers, a licentiate. Since 1823 the following Elders have officiated: Wm. Blankenship, four years; Thomas Hill
Sr., ten years; Zachariah Bush, four years; John Chambers, eighteen years; William B. Lewis, three years; John Chambers again, two years; Wm. A Chambers, from September, 1866, to his
death in July, 1867; A.J. Robins again, one year, since which time Elder F.W. Carney has been pastor to the present about one year. Meetings were often held, also by George James,
Valentine Chasteen and George Chasteen, licentiates, and members of Scaffold Lick.
LICENTIATES AND ELDERS
Valentine Chasteen was liscensed in 1823; S.Henderson in 1832, and George Chasteen in 1856. William Blankenship was ordained in 1823.
DEACONS AND CLERKS
Deacons--Wm. Davis, George Chasteen, John Rogers, W. M. Chasteen, Archibald Cain, and H.C. Dinsmore.
Clerks--Peter Chasteen, N. Robins, Wm. Davis, Alex. Chambers, Wm. B. Stout, H.C. Dinsmore, L.L. Clark and Peter Ringo, the present incumbent; Post-Office address, Holman Station,
Scott County, Ind.
The little log meeting-house built in 1819 served as a place of worship for several years, when a small frame building was erected. This, in turn, gave place
to the present commodious frame, which is amongst the best in the Association.
Regular meetings for business and conference have been held each month since its constitution, and it is worthy of remark that comparatively few cases of
discipline have occurred. Church trials have been the exception at Scaffold Lick. Prayer-meetings are generally maintained and a very flourishing Sabbath-school about seven months
in each year. Liberal contributions are regularly made for Home and Foreign Missions, Publication Society, State Convention and all other denominational work, and the church has
ever contained a good proportion of working members.
Scaffold Lick united with Silver Creek Association in 1819, remaining until Coffee Creek was organized. Many trials and discouragements have been passed
through, and the loss of loved ones has often caused mourning. Anna Chasteen, the last constituant member, died in 1878, and many other useful and prominent members have been
taken; but many times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord have also been granted them-times when sinners were led to cry, "What must I do to be saved?" and when saints
were made to rejoice with "joy unspeakable and full of glory." Such seasons were frequent in the early days of the church, and, indeed, have often occurred during her entire
history. The revivals of 1870 and 1878 are probably amongst the most noted of recent date. Scaffold Lick is now the strongest church in the Association. Present number, 158.
Constituted in December, 1872
During the winter of 1871-72 a protracted meeting was held at a school-house on Tea Creek, in what formerly was called the Bailiff neighborhood. The
meeting was conducted by Elder A.J. Robins, pastor at Zion; but Methodist and Lutheran brethren, as well as Baptist, took deep interest in the meeting, rendering very efficient
service. Every Christian heart seemed united in earnest prayer for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and this prayer was answered to a degree seldom witnessed. The whole
community was affected, and many stout-hearted and impenitent, who had long resisted the Spirit's influence, were turned from darkness to light, and enabled to rejoice in the
assurance of their acceptance with God. Christian hearts were filled to overflowing with love and gratitude for these wonderful tokens of Divine favor, and now, after a lapse
of more than ten years, this meeting is looked back to as a time peculiarly blessed of the Lord. Most of those converted united with Zion Church.
BUILDING AND LOCATION
There was no church organzation in the neighborhood, but the people determined to arise and build a house, and the following summer a good, substantial
frame was erected, the whole community uniting; many who were not professors taking a very active part. The location is a good one; and is about two miles west from Lovett, a
station on the O. & M. branch road.
In the fall of the same year, letters of dismission were granted by Zion Church to Wm. Robins, Lavinia Robins, John Short, Lucinda Short, Basil Johnson,
Ellen Johnson, Joseph Vance, Elizabeth Vance, Boyd Vance, Matilda Vance, G.W. Craig, Fergus Blakeley, Martha Blakely, Charles Walker, Jullis Walker, Noah Johnson, George Johnson,
James Stoddard, Mariel Hartwell, Sardis Robins, Wm. R. Craig, A.S. Graves, Susan Hartwell, Margaret Blakely, Eliza Hartwell, Nellie Short, Mary Vance, Serena Tribbet, Alpharetta
Kinder, Ester Stoddard, Betsey Earl, Lucinda Vance, Eliza Layman, Eliza Robins, Sarah McWorter, Zilpha Spencer, Margaret Spencer, Emily Spencer, Charlotte Craig and T.J. Bush,
who were recognized, with usual ceremonies, by a council of delegates from the various churches of the vicinity, as the Tea Creek Baptist Church. Elder A.J. Robins was Moderator
of the council and John Short Clerk.
A.J. Robins was pastor until March, 1875; D.M. Lett to August, 1875; W.B. Lewis to March, 1877; Allen Hill to April, 1879; W.W. Smith about four years,
since which A.J. Robins is again pastor.
DEACONS AND CLERKS
Deacons.--Wm. Robins, J.H. Conway, Peter Kinder and G.W. Craig.
Clerks.--John Short, J. M. Moring, Sardis Robins and Charles Ross. Post-office address: Lovett, Jennings County, Ind. Total membership, 76
Constituted in June, 1811
In 1890, Alex. Chambers and family, and a few other families from Kentucky and North Carolina, located on a creek called White River, in Jefferson County,
Ind., about 10 miles west from Madison. Some of these were Baptists, and they soon began to hold religious meetings in their cabins. Elder Jesse Vawter visited them and in June 1811,
thirteen persons were constituted into the White River Baptist Church. The names of these brethren and sisters were: Alex Chambers and wife, Perry G. Magness and wife, Isom Blankenship
and wife, Isaac Blankenship and wife, Isaac Hall, B.O. Hollenshead, Susan Wheat, Susan Monroe, Mary Hoagland, Sarah Monroe and Mary Chambers.
The church was constituted and continued to meet at the house of Alexander Chambers for about three years, it being a large log building, the upper part
especially designed for purposes of defense, with lookout and port-holes, to be used in case of attack by the Indians, of which early settlers were in constant dread. That their
fears were well founded was shown by the horrid tragedy on Pigeon Roost Creek, Scott County, in 1812--but a few miles distant--where some fifty men, women and children were most
In the first thirty-one years, there were twelve changes of pastors; yet most, if not all, of these short pastorates were very successful. Elder Jesse
Vawter was the first, serving two years, The church had no pastor for about three years, meetings being kept up regularly by Isom Blankinship, Wm. Whitsitt, Robert Monroe and Alex.
Chambers, the last two licentiates. After that the church had the pastoral services of Elders J. Alexander for two years, Thomas Hill, Sr., for three years, Wm. Blankenship (recently
ordained), for one year; Alex. Chambers (just ordained), three years; Thomas Hill Jr., three years; Alex. Chambers, three years; Thomas Hill, Jr., two years; Alex. Chambers, two years;
Thomas Hill, Sr., one year; Alex. Chambers, two years, Jacob M. Cox, two years. John Chambers, ordained in 1842, served from that time until 1871, except about 4 years, Wm. Bussey being
pastor in 1856, 1857 and part of 1862, and William B. Lewis in 1861. The church had no pastor in 1872, since which time Elders Wm. McCoy, W.Y. Monroe and A.J. Robins have each served
one year, and G.W. Thompson and J.N. Spillman each two years. The present pastor is Elder F.W. Carney, of Tennessee.
Since its organization, the church has liscensed thirteen men to preach the gospel. They were E. Monroe, Alex. Chambers, W. Blankenship, Abram Smock, Jabob S.
Ryker, S.D. Monroe, Benj. Davis, John Reese, Sylvester Roberts, John Chambers, James Monroe, A. Chambers and Wm. A. Chambers.
Four of the above were ordained at White River, viz: Alex. Chambers in 1823, John Chambers in 1842, John Reece in 1846, and Wm. A. Chambers in 1866. Wm.
Blankenship Abram Smock, Jacob S. Ryker and S. D. Monroe were ordained at other churches.
DEACONS AND CLERKS
The deacons have been Alex. Chambers, B.O. Hollenshead, Wm. Whitsitt, J. Anderson, L. Perkinson, Wm. Monroe and A. Chambers.
Clerks.--P.G. Magness, Michael Monroe, Abram Smock, Wm. Telford, S.D. Monroe, John Chambers, George Monroe, John Duggan, Andrew Wood, W.C. Ryker, A. J. Chambers, W.A. Chambers, A.
Chambers, S.A. Chambers and A.C. Monroe, present incumbent; Post-office address, Swanville, Jefferson County, Ind.
The first meeting-house was built in 1814, of hewed logs, and was occupied until 1832, when it burned down. The same year a frame building was erected on the
site of the old one, and used until 1855, when the present building situated about eighty rods northeast of the old house and one mile south of Kent, was erected.
White River has been a mother of churches. In the constitution of neighboring churches, she has furnished very many useful members. Scafold Lick, Lick Branch,
Hopwell, Liberty and others have each received liberally. The Sunday-school work was entered into in 1835, and has been continued nearly every summer season since with very good results.
Regular church meetings are held but once each month, but prayer meetings are maintained a good portion of the time, and special meetings quite often.
White River united with Silver Creek Association in 1813, and entertained that body at its annual session in 1823. In 1827, it was one that united in forming
Coffee Creek Association. The church record prior to 1820 is lost. At that time there were enrolled thirty members. Since then there have been received by baptism, letter and relation
403. Present number, 44.
Constituted in December, 1844
For some years prior to the constitution of this church, Elder W. T. Stott and other Baptist preachers had held meetings in the vicinity of Sullivan's Mills,
and their efforts were greatly blessed, many being baptized and uniting with the Vernon Church. These young converts, with several old brethren and sisters of the neighborhood,
decided to be constitued into a church, and accordingly letters of dismission were granted by the church at Vernon to W. B. McCammon, Fannie McCammon, W.W. McCammon, R.D. McCammon,
Nancy McCammon, Lavinia Biggs, Nathan Fitzgerald, Nancy Fitzgerald, Henry House, Mary House, Noah Sullivan, Mary Sullivan, Eliz. McCurry, Nathan Meek, Amanda Meek, Henry Sullivan,
Eliz. Sullivan, John Sullivan, Elizabeth Spencer, Langston Johnson, Elizabeth Johnson, Silas Johnson, James Tate, Minerva Tate, Sarah McWarter, Jackson Spencer, John Smith, Lucinda
Smith, Mary Thomas, Sarah Thomas, Amassa Spencer, Robert Spencer, Eldon Spencer, Elizabeth Spencer, Mary Spencer, James Green, Mary Green, John Green, Nancy Green, Julia A. Meek,
Francis Long, Jacob Green, Elizabeth Green, Allen Smith, Elizabeth Spencer, Mary Whiting, Elizabeth Green, John W. Cook, Sarah Cook, Lewis Long, Charles Gahn, Mahala Gahn, L.J. Hudson,
Ester Robins and Abigail Green.
A council of delegates from neighboring churches convened at the house of James Green on the 26th of December, 1844, and recognized the foregoing members as
the Zion Baptist Church, the exercises consisting of praise and prayer, an appropriate sermon, charge to the church and extending the hand of fellowship.
Elder W.T. Stott was chosen pastor and served fourteen years, since which the pastorates have been: Elders J.B. Swincher, two years; Orman Feagler, one year;
W.T. Stott, two years; O. Feagler, fourteen months; J.B. Swincher, two years; J.M. Cox, one year; W.H. Lawrence, fourteen months; W.B. Lewis, fifteen months; John Stott, one year; A.J.
Robins, eight years; G.W. Thompson, two years and J.N. Spillman about three years.
DEACONS AND CLERKS
Deacons---Langston Johnson, John Childs, J.W. Cook, James Green and Abraham Gannon.
Clerks.---J.W. Cook, R.D. Mccammon, Henry Sullivan, Nathaniel Robins, D. Marvin and J.M. James; Post-office address, Vernon, Jennings County, Ind.
Simeon G. Young was ordained in 1850 and died the same year. He was licensed at Mt. Moriah.
BUILDING AND LOCATION
The present house, a substantial frame, was erected in 1845, and is located on the south bank of Muscatatack, about five miles southwest from Vernon. Present number, 82.
BIOGRAPHIES OF MINISTERS
First group were deceased when the book was written in 1883
ELDER JAMES ALEXANDER
Of the early history of James Alexander but little has been ascertained. It is believed that he was a native of England, and that he came over and settled in
Kentucky early in the present century. He came to Southern Indiana probably about 1812 or ‘13, locating in an unbroken forest on Middle Fork Creek, some eight miles north from Madison,
where he opened up a farm and resided the remainder of his days.
He was a Baptist before coming to the State and soon after his arrival united by letter with Mount Pleasant Church, where his brethern soon recognized his ability
as a speaker and urged him forward in that course. In 1842 Mount Pleasant Church granted him license to preach, and he engaged in the work to a considerable extent, holding meetings in the
cabins of early settlers in various neighborhoods, and in school-houses where one was to be found; and his labors were well received by the pioneers of the new country.
In 1817 Middle Fork Church, near his residence, and where he had diligently labored for some years, was constituted, himself and wife being constituent members. At
this church, in 1819, he was ordained to the ministry, in which service he took an active interest as long as he lived. Although compelled to labor hard in clearing off a heavy growth of
timber; in fencing the land and cultivating it to maintain his family, yet he gave a large portion of his time in the ministry of the word, and was soon recognized as one of the leading men
of the denomination. He was a co-worker and fast friend of Elder Jesse Vawter, and they frequently made long tours together through the wilderness to hold meetings at distant points. Many
times they were permitted to collect and constitute new churches, and to strengthen and build up feeble ones already constituted.
Middle Fork Church, of which Elder Alexander was pastor, united with Silver Creek Association in 1818; was one that united in forming Coffee Creek Association in 1827,
and Madison in 1833, in each of which Elder Alexander was a prominent and influential member, and ever proved himself a wise and safe counselor and an energetic Christian worker. As a pastor
he was loved and respected, and his labors were greatly blessed. A large extent of country was embraced in his preaching tours, and he was well known in several counties, and held pastorates
with many different churches.
He lived to quite an advanced age, but the date of his decease has not been ascertained. All of the old settlers with whom I have conversed speak of him in the highest
terms as an able preacher and pure Christian, and it is much to be regretted that a more complete history of his life can not be given.
ELDER WILLIAM BLANKENSHIP
William Blankenship came from Kentucky and located on White River, in Jefferson County, while Indiana was yet a Territory; probably as early as 1810 or ‘11. Of his
early years but little is known. His own statement was that he had been “a wicked man,” but as a citizen and neighbor he was well repescted. During the ministerial labors of Elder Jesse Vawter
at White River, it pleased the Lord to awaken him to a consciousness of his being a sinner, and of his need of pardoning mercy. He was enabled to repent and believe; was baptized and untied
with the church about 1813.
The change in Brother Blankenship was sudden and permanent. Instead of the thoughtless, indifferent man-treating religious matters as of little importance-he became the
humble, devoted follower of Jesus; testifying by his daily walk and conversation, that Christ hath power on earth to forgive sins.
In 1818 White River Church gave him license to preach. The same year Scaffold Lick was constituted, and he moved his membership to that body-it being more convenient to
him-and was there ordained in 1823; commencing pastoral labors immediately, and serving successfully four years. He then moved to the northern part of Jefferson County, where he united with
Indian Kentucky Church and became its pastor. He also had pastoral care of several other churches; and, though uneducated, possessed good natural abilities and was a very pleasant and attractive
speaker. His pure Christian deportment, and his piety and zeal in the cause, enabled him to accomplish much in his pastoral work.
In 1827, as messenger from Indian Kentucky Church, he assisted in the organization of Coffee Creek Association, and was a useful member of that body until the formation
of Madison Association; in the bounds of which he labored faithfully for two or three more years, when he was called to his heavenly inheritance, about the year 1835.
ELDER JOHN BUSH
It is thought that Elder John Bush was a native of Kentucky, and was a member of the Baptist Church and probably an ordained minister, before leaving that State. As early
as 1825 he came to Indiana and untied with Harbert’s Creek Church. He was a messenger from that body to Silver Creek Association in 1826, which is the first time his name is found on the record.
As the organization of Coffee Creek Association from Harbert’s Creek and from 1828 to 1832 a messenger from Bear Creek, both churches going with Madison Association the
year last named. In that body his name appears on the minutes up to 1837, and he was pretty extensively engaged in pastoral work to that date, since which I find no mention of him except in the
Circular Letter of Coffee Creek Association of 1840, written by Elder John Vawter, where the name of John Bush is given as one of the Baptist ministers who had died within the past few years.
ELDER WILLIAM BUSSEY
William Bussey located in Scott County, Ind., probably as early as 1835. I have been told that he was a native of New York, but know nothing definite of his early history.
He had an older brother, Amos, who was a Methodist preacher in this vicinity for many years. William at first belonged to that denomination, and was, I think, a local preacher.
About 1848 or '50 he left that connection and united with the Liberty Baptist Church, where he was ordained in 1854. He heartily enlisted in ministerial duties, and for
many years did regular pastoral work, preaching at times for many of the churches in the southern part of the Association, and some in the bounds of Brownstown. His services were well received,
and in some cases were quite successful. His last pastorates were at Kimberlin Creek and Hebron in 1867, not long after which he left the ministry. He died in the early part of 1881, leaving a
wife, but I do not know whether there were any children.
ELDER ALEXANDER CHAMBERS
Alexander Chambers was born in Rockbridge County, Va., May 15, 1756, where he resided until twenty-three years of age, when he married and moved to North Carolina. In
1790 he removed to East Tennessee, remaining four years; thence to Kentucky, where he resided three years. In 1797 he moved to Illinois, and two years thereafter returned to Kentucky, where he
remained until the summer of 1809, when he came to Indiana, and located on White River, in Jefferson County, where he resided for about forty-eight years.
The exact date of his conversion is not known, but it was during his first residence in Kentucky, where he united with a Baptist Church, and retained his connection until
his removal to Indiana. Here he, and a few others who came at the same time, commenced holding prayer-meetings, and were soon visited by Elder Jesse Vawter, wo constituted them into a church in
Brother Chambers was a leading member, and in 1816 was licensed to preach, which he did at his own church, and in new settlements in Jefferson and Clark counties. In 1823
he was "set apart" to the work of the ministry, and engaged in pastoral labor to a considerable extent, though compelled to work at secular employment to support his family. His pastorates at
White River covered a period of about ten years, and his labors were well received there and at other points where he preached.
It is seldom a man enters the ministry so late in life as did Elder Chambers, he being sixty-seven years of age at the time of his ordination; but he was permitted to
labor many years in the Master's service, passing to rest the 20th day of June, 1857, in the 102d year of his age.
As illustrative of the wild state of the Northwest Territory when Brother Chambers first entered it, the following incident, which occured during his trip to Illinois,
in 1797, is inserted:
"On that trip he got lost from the company of movers, under the following cirumstances: He went out to shoot a buffalo from a herd that was in view, and after having
killed one and taken the carcass as much as he could carry--it being about sunset--he missed the trail, there being no roads. Darkness set in; he traveled all night and for sixteen days
wandered alone in a then entire wilderness. The company, after stopping one day searching for him, moved on, supposing he had been killed by the Indianas. On the seventeenth day the Indianas
found him, nearly starved, when they took him to their camp and placed him in the care of an old squaw, who fed and nursed him several day. They then sent two of their warriors with him to
his family, from whom he had been absent about twenty-seven days."
ELDER JOHN CHAMBERS
John Chambers was born in Shelbyville, Ky., June 5, 1800. At the age of nine years he came with his parents to Indiana, where they located on White River, Jefferson
County. He resided with his parents, and assisted in clearing up and cultivating the farm until about twenty-four years of age when he was married, and, purchasing land, opened up a farm
He professed faith in the Savior, was baptized by Elder Thomas Hill, Jr., and united with White River Church March 3, 1834. From the first he was an exemplary
Christian, and had the entire confidence of his brethren in the church, which he retained through life. He was licensed to preach at White River in 1841, and ordained in 1842. From that
time he devoted all his time to the ministry, except so much as was absolutely necessary to provide a living for his family, but little compensation ever being received for pastoral
services. His ministerial labors were principally in the bounds of Coffee Creek Association, tough many times they extended into those of Madison, Brownstown and Bethel.
Elder Chambers was not a brilliant preacher, but was a man of good intellect, and his sermons were practical and earnest, coming from the heart and reaching the
hearts of his hearers. He was sound in doctrine, was a safe counselor and ever a beloved pastor. A pastorate of more than twenty-five years at his home church, of seventeen years at New
Bethel, and many years at other points, proves with what love and esteem he was held by his brethren. His moral standing and integrity were also appreciated by the community, as evidenced
by his being chosen to serve many times as Justice of the Peace, Township Trustee, County Commissioner, County Treasurer and member of the State Legislature. While filling these civil
offices, however, he never lost sight of the fact that he was an Embassador for Christ, which he considered the highest calling conferred on man.
Soon after the adjournment of the forty-eighth session of the Association, in 1874--of which he was Moderator, and which position he before several times
filled--Elder Chambers was stricken with paralysis, and was a great sufferer from that time until called home, a period of nearly eight years. For a number of months before death he was
a helpless as an infant. His only anxiety expressed, when concious was the summons might come and he be at rest. He died the 5th of August, 1882, aged eighty-two years and two months.
He had resided in Jefferson County seventy-three years, was a member of White River Church forty-eight years, and a minister forty-one years.
Brother Chambers left no family. He had been twice married, but both wives preceded him to the grave. His only child, a daughter of his first wife, died in early girlhood.
ELDER WILLIAM A. CHAMBERS
Being personally acquainted with many relatives and friends of Elder William A. Chambers, I anticipated no difficulty in securing his full history. For some cause,
however, repeated letters have elicited no response, and I must rely on my own knowledge of the man for a brief sketch.
Wm. A. Chambers was born near Kent, in Jefferson County, Ind., and when a young man professed religion, was baptized and admitted to membership in White River Church,
retaining the connection to the close of his life. In 1861 he was licensed to preach; 1866, ordained, and July, 1867, while preaching at his home church, fell from the pulpit---DEAD.
Brother Chambers resided on a farm, but his main business for several years had been school-teaching, in which profession he was a success. With a good intellect
and a good education; with clear and quick perception; being "apt to teach," and having rare social qualities, he was deservedly popular. As a preacher he bid fair to take high rank. While
a licentiate, he had pastoral care of several churches, and at the time of his death was serving three or four. He was recognized as a rising man, and his sudden death was a great shock to
the denomination as well as the community.
Brother Chambers left a wife (daughter of Wm. Buxton, and now wife of Deacon John H. Conway, of Crawford County), and, I think two or three children.
ELDER JACOB COX
M. Cox was born in Fayette County, Pa., December 15, 1799. When a youth, he was brought by his parents to Kentucky, where he resided until the fall of 1818 (probably),
when he was married, and soon after moved to Jefferson County, Ind. The following winter he united with Mount Pleasant Church, where he received license to preach, either in 1827 or 1828.
In May, 1829, Hopewell Church was constituted, and Brother Cox moved his membership to that point, it being nearer his residence. He was ordained at Hopewell in 1830,
and in March following called to the pastorate, serving successfully until he moved from the county, a period of fifteen years. During that time he also held pastoral relations with Bethany,
Lick Branch, White River, Mt. Moriah, Zion and others, in all of which his services were efficient and productive of good.
In 1845, he moved to Jennings County, and united with Graham Church, Madison Association, serving as pastor several years; and also at Hopewell, Ripley County; Bethel,
New Marion, Otter Creek and Brush Creek, and at Taylorville, Sand Creek Association, continuing to preach until health and strength failed.
During the early years of his ministry, Elder Cox was compelled to labor hard in clearing up a farm in the green woods; and indeed, with a large family to support, and
with but small compensation for pastoral services, industry and frugality were indispensable; yet in his later years he was placed in very comfortable circumstances. Secular employment,
however, was never allowed to interfere with ministerial duties.
In visiting the sick and afflicted; in comforting the bereaved; in rendering the last sad duties to the departed, and in ministering to the needs of all classes, Elder
Cox was the peer of any other. As he lived, so he died--an humble, faithful follower of Jesus; loved and respected by all, and at peace with God and all mankind.
He died on Sunday morning, September 15, 1867, aged nearly sixty-eight. The following day he was buried in Graham Cemetery, funeral services beign conducted by Elder
F.D. Bland. Remarks were also made by Elders W.T. Stott, Thomas Hill, R. Wilson, _____ Griggs and J.S. Reed.
ELDER JAMES GLOVER
James Glover was born August 14, 1792, in Virginia. While a youth he came with his parents to Kentucky, and resided in that State until about nineteen years of age, when
he came to Indiana, locating near Madison.
The 1st day of June, 1813, he married Miss. Elizabeth Vawter, daughter of Elder Philemon Vawter. When about twenty-four years of age he was converted, was baptized by
Elder Jesse Vawter, and united with Mount Pleasant Church, where, a few years later, he was licensed to preach, in which he engaged to a considerable extent, particularly in the lower part of
Jefferson County bordering on Clark. In 1824, in that vicinity, and largely through his efforts, Elizabeth Baptist Church was constituted---Brother Glover and wife and six others being the
constituents--where, in the fall of 1825, he was ordained, and continued a faithful laborer in the vineyard of the Lord to the close of life.
In 1827, Elder Glover was called to the pastorate of Elizabeth Church, faithfully sustaining that relation to the time of death, a period of thirty years. He also
preached at many other points in the counties of Jefferson and Clark, as well as on the opposite side of the river, being instrumental in leading many persons to the Savior and in building
up weak churches.
The introduction of what was called "Campbellism" into Baptist Churches of Southern Indiana, and the consequent discord and division which ensued, particularly during
the decade from 1830 to 1840, was a source of great embarrassment to Elder Glover in his pastoral work; but the firm, consistent adherence to principle on his part, as also of other leading
ministers of the denomination, resulted in restoring harmony and concert of action, and in a few years the cause was much stronger than before the time of severe trials.
In the organization of Coffee Creek Association, Elder Glover took an active interest, and was ever present at the annoual meetings when not providentially detained.
He was also an energetic worker in all branches of Christian duty, but, as was common with ministers of that day, received but little compensation for services. He and his companion were
compelled to labor dilligently to provide for themselves and five children.
His last appointment to preach was at Kimberlin Creek, but before the time arrived he was stricken with cholera, and died July 3, 1856, having preached the gospel
nearly forty years.
Sister Glover is still living, and furnishes the material for the above sketch. Though now in the eighty-sixth year of her age, she is quite vigorous of mind and
body; yet she expects soon to join her companion, with whom she cheerfully struggled through som nay years of toil and privation, and with him enjoy that rest which remains to the people
ELDER JOHN HILL
John Hill was born in Henry County, Va., November 2, 1787. When a youth, he went with his partents to Tennessee; thence to Kentucky, where they located in Pulaski
County. In 1805 he married the daughter of Malachi Cooper, a Baptist preacher of the vicinity.
A few years after marriage they united with the Sinking Creek Baptist Church, retaining their membership several years, when they were dismissed by letter and moved
to Montgomery County, Ala., uniting with a church there.
Brother Hill was subsequently licensed to preach, but the name of the church and date of license are not known. He remained in Alabama several years, and engaged to
a considerable extent in preaching. During his sojourn there, his father's family had removed to Jennings County, Ind. In the course of a few years he made them a visit, and purchased a farm,
bringing his family to it soon after. He united with Coffee Creek Church (his father being pastor), where he took an active part in all church-work, and frequently preached there and at other
points. In August 1837, he was "set apart" to the ministry by ordination.
Not long after his ordination, he removed to Clinto County, Ind., and there located permanently. He actively engaged in the ministry of the word, and his pastorates
extended to many churches, and embraced a large scope of country. He was a man of good preaching talent; of unblemished Christian character; of fine social qualities. His services were in
great demand, and highly appreciated both by the church and community.
In 1847 his wife was removed by death, and was buried in the Sugar Creek Cemetery, near their home. She had been a faithful and beloved companion for forty-two years,
and the blow to him was severe; yet he still continued in his ministerial work as before. He was subsequently married toa very estimable lady, but lived with her but a very few years, as he
too was summoned home on the 6th day of April, 1852, in the sixty-fifth year of his age. His companion survivies him, and is now Mrs. Rowland, of North, relict of Thomas Rowland, deceased.
ELDER THOMAS HILL JR.
Thomas Hill, Jr., was born in East Tennessee, September 12m 1797. While in infancy his parents removed to Kentucky--purchasing a farm in Pulaski County---where he
resided until nineteen years of age, assisting his father, when old enough to do so, in cultivating the farm.
In 1816, accompanied by his father and some others, he came to Indiana on an exploring trip, going as far north as the Muscatatack, near where are located Sullivan's
Mills. Here they erected a "camp," and the following day killed a large bear in the immediate vicinity. They remained until all had selected lands---Sullivan, Meek, and others, on the
Muscatatack; and the two Hills on Coffee Creek. Returning to Kentucky, the subject of this sketch was married the following winter, and in March, 1817, came to his land in Indiana.
In May, 1822, Coffee Creek Church was constituted, and the same day Thomas Hill, Jr., offered himself to the church; was baptized by his father the day following,
and retained membership in the same body through life. In 1823 he was licensed, and in August, 1825, was ordained and "set apart to the responsible work of the gospel ministry;" and from
that time forward made the "ministry of the word" the main business of life.
At that early day anti-mission sentiments had become quite prevalent; but from the first Elder Hill had warmly espoused the cause of Missions and was the first
missionary in this part of the State, accepting an appointment from the Am. Bap. Home Mission Society as early as 1826 or '27, continuing several years, and traveling on horseback through
most of the countries of Southern Indiana, at a time when such traveling meant something. It was through his influence, probably, more than that of any other, that the missionary spirit
ultimately prevailed throughout this section; and he lived to see every church in Coffee Creek Association, as well as others where he had labored, not only adopt missionary principles,
but contribute to their support.
In the early days of the Ind. Baptist Gen. Association, he accepted an appointment as missionary under that body, and was afterwards appointed general agent for
the State. At the close of 1838, Elder Thomas Hill, Sr., resigned the pastoral care of Coffee Creek Church, and the same day a call was extended to Elder Thomas Hill, Jr., to fill the
vacancy, which he accepted, resigning his position as State agent. His pastoral relations continued at his home church nearly thirty years; and he also, at various times, labored with
nearly every church in the Association, as well as many in Madison, Sand Creek and Brownstown Associations, and some across the river in Kentucky, in all of which God abundantly blessed
his labors to the conversion of souls. In addition to pastoral duties, he had much arduous labor to perform. He was Moderator of Coffee Creek Associations; to attend at ordinations, at
church constitutions, at protracted meetings, and at conventions of the various societies of the denomination; his time being thus fully occupied throughout a long and eventful life.
In 1865 his companion was called away. This sad bereavement and the infirmities of age induced him to resign regular pastoral work, yet he continued to preach and
labor in the cause of Christ until stricken with the disease that terminated his mortal life. His first sermon was delivered at Coffee Creek Church in the commencement of 1823, and his
last, or last but one, at the same place in November, 1875, making nearly fifty-three consecutive years that he had labored in the same community, always drawing a large congregation of
attentive and interested listeners. He closed his earthly career and passed to rest the 27th day of March, 1876, in the seventy-ninth year of his age.
Thus was lost to the community the presence of a remarkable man, but his influence still lives. As a citizen and neighbor his character was irreproachable; as a
Christian, his daily walk and undoubted piety were recognized by all. Large, dignified and nobel in appearance; with a good command of language and an impressive manner in presenting
truth; being an easy, fluent speaker, and a splendid singer, he was classed as the most popular orator of his day in this vicinity. Never putting himself forward, but ever shunning
notoriety, he was nevertheless forced to the front, and regarded as one of the leading spirits of the age.
Elder Hill was a man of peace--never "threw clubs," never sought controversy; but when thrust upon him, no man could more ably defend the principles, or more
clearly and concisely and forcefully present the distinctive tenets of the denomination. His was the happy "gift" to say just enough to clearly elucidate the position taken, and to
leave unsaid everything that would tend to divert the mind from that position.
He was sound on all Baptist doctrines, and when deemed advisable to present them, used language that could not be misunderstood; yet the kind Christian spirit
manifested, and the pure, gentlemanly deportment maintained, disarmed undue criticism, and these discourses were kindly received by the numerous members of other denominations who
listened to them.
I will close by giving the testimony of an aged pedobaptist (Thomas Rowland)--a man of piety and intelligence, who, from youth to old age, was a worthy member,
and for many years a leader in the M.E. Church. This brother once said to the writer: "I have been intimately acquainted with Brother Hill for more than forty years, and can truly say
I never heard him make a remark, in the pulpit or out of it, that I could wish he had not said."
ELDER THOMAS HILL SR.
The following history of Father Hill was written by his son, Elder Thomas Hill, Jr., by request of Coffee Creek Association, and published in the minutes of 1848.
"Elder Thomas Hill, Sr., was born March 17, 1763, in the State of New Jersey. While he was yet small, his parents removed to Virginia, where, at the age of nineteen,
he entered the army and served a three months' term in the war of the American Revolution. The 26th of October, 1786, he married to Mary Stone, by whom he had five sons. About the year 1788
or 1789, it pleased the Lord to awaken him to a sense of his conditions a sinner, and, after some months of sorrow and distress on account of sin, he was enabled to trust in the Lord Jesus
Christ, and realize peace in believing. He immediately began to exhort his fellow-men to flee from the wrath to come. He united with the Baptist Church, was baptized by Elder Jos. Anthony,
and received a lisense from the Church to preach the gospel. His companion, a few months after, made profession of religion and united with the same church.
"After laboring a few years in Virginia, he removed to East Tennessee, where he resided about four years. In the fall of 1798, he removed to Kentucky, and settled
near Somerset, Pulaski County, uniting with the church at Sinking Creek. Thomas Hansford being pastor. He soon began to hold meetings in a destitute neighborhood about eight miles distant,
and in a short time, under his labors, a church was raised up called White Oak, of which he became pastor. He was there ordained the 2nd of February, 1800, by Thomas Hansford and James Fears.
He continued his labors at White Oak and retained the relation as pastor about seventeen years, during which time many were added to the church. He labored successfully in other churches
and neighborhoods, especially in the vicinity where he resided, and was the favored instrument under God, in the conversion of many souls.
"In March, 1817, he removed to Indiana, Jennings County, and united with a small church called Graham's Fork, was chosen pastor, and continued to serve the church
as such until May 1822, at which time Coffee Creek Church was organized in his immediate neighborhood and under his labors. He was a member in the constitution, was chosen pastor, and
continued his pastorship for sixteen and a half years, when at this own request, he was released in consequence of the infirmities of age.
"He was a faithful and persevering laborer in the gospel field in Indiana, supplying from three to four churches regularly for many years, until by reason of age,
he found himself unable to perform the arduous duties devolving upon him, and was compelled to retire. He labored faithfully, and had the satisfaction to know that his labors were not in
vain in the Lord. Many yet live who claim him as their father in the gospel, while many others, who were brought into the fold of Christ under his instrumentality, are gone to enjoy that
rest which remains to the people of God.
"On the 24th day of October, 1844, he was called to part with his bosom companion, with whom he had lived nearly fifty-eight years, She had been a faithful
burden-bearer with him in all his labors and toils. The bereavement to him was very painful, but he comforted himself with the thought that his loss was her gain.
"He continued to labor as far as health and strength would permit, and when he was no longer able to travel out an visit neighboring churches, he was still faithful
in attending the meetings of his own beloved church, even when unable to walk without being supported; and frequently, at the close of meeting, he would lean upon his staff and exhort his
brethren and sisters to faithfulness in duty, and point sinners to the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world.
"He departed this life on Monday, the 22nd of May, 1848, after a short, but painful, affliction, occasioned by a fall. The last month of his life was to him a season
of more that usual religious enjoyment. He died in hope of a blessed immortality. In his last illness he remarked to his friends that he felt willing to go, and , after a few moments,
repeated: 'Yes, I feel willing to go; my hope is in Jesus. I have no confidence in the flesh.'
"On the following day, at 3 o'clock, his funeral sermon was preached at Coffee Creek meeting-house by Elder J.B. Swincher, from I Chronicles XXiX. 15: 'We are
strangers before thee and sojourners, as were all our fathers; our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding.' After which his remains were followed by a very large
procession to the graveyard, where they were interred by the side of his dear companion, there to remain until the resurrection morn."
In addition to the forgoing, it is due to the memory of Father Hill to say that he was a preacher of much more than common ability. Although, at the time of his
conversion, he was entirely uneducated, he very soon learned to read his Bible, which was his daily companion, and in which he made great proficiency. During the entire time of his
ministerial labors in this State, he was regarded as one of our most able expounders of the Scriptures. Perhaps no minister in Southern Indiana had a better faculty of illustrating his
subject to make it interesting to all, or of securing and holding, while speaking, the undivided attention of his auditors. Certainly no one more fully possessed the confidence and
esteem of the entire community.
ELDER JOHN L. JONES
Nothing has been learned of the history of Elder John L. Jones prior to the year 1828. At that time Ebenezer Church (Jackson County) was received into the
Association, Elder Jones being one of the messengers, and it is probable that he had been ordained before coming to Indiana, though this is not known.
He was a man of good intellect and good preaching talent, was actively employed in ministerial duties, and a prominent man in the Association as long as he
remained in it. The last time his name appeared on the minutes was in 1832. It was about that time he embraced the doctrines of Campbell and so ceased to preach in the Baptist denomination.
He subsequently united with the "Disciples," and, it is believed preached for them as long as he lived.
LATER---The name of Elder Jones was placed with the deceased ministers under the impression that he died many years ago; but I have lately been told that he still
lives---his home being with a daughter at Indianapolis--that he is past ninety years of age, and nearly blind and helpless. Of the correctness of the statement I have no knowledge.
ELDER TIMOTHY B. LEWIS
Timothy B. Lewis was born in the year 1819, in Stuben County, N.Y. In 1820 he was brought by his parents to Indiana, where they located on Slate Creek, in the
southern part of Jennings County. Here Timothy was reared to manhood, assisting his father in farming. When about twenty-two years of age he married, and bought land about three miles from
the homestead, again engaging in clearing up land for a farm.
Being raised by pious parent, and being a remarkably moral and steady young man, he early gave his heart to the Savior. He united with Coffee Creek church, where a
few years later, he was liscensed to preach, which he did to a considerable extent in destitute localities, particularly in the southwestern part of Jennings County, and in Jackson and Scott.
In April, 1840, First Marion Church was constituted at a school-house near his residence--he and his wife being of the constituents. Brother Lewis had been preaching
at the school-house for some time, and immediately after the constitution, was called to the pastorate. In August of the same year, he was ordained as a "minister of the Baptist Church of
Christ." He was pastor at First altogether about nine years, and also had the care of several other churches, being actively engaged in the ministry as long as he remained in the State.
Brother Lewis was not a scholar, was not an oraor, was not counted as a very able preacher; yet he was ever regarded as one of our best and most efficient pastors.
His undoubted piety; his zeal in the cause of Christ; his love for the Master and for the souls of the perishing; his truly Christian character, and his untiring efforts to do good, were
universally acknowledged; and it may be safely said, no one in all this community held a warmer place in the hearts of his fellow-men than did Timothy B. Lewis.
ELDER JESSE MILES
For most of the following I am indebted to Brother Enos Miles, of Mud Lick, Jefferson County.
Jesse Miles was born in Virginia---time and place ot known. When quite yound, he came with his parents to Woodford County Kentucky, where he resided until nineteen
years of age, when he married Miss Sarah Christie and settled on a farm in Shelby County. Not long after this event he and his wife united with a Baptist church called Indian Fork.
Brother Miles was licensed to preach at this church, and subsequently ordained, but the dates are not known. Not long after his ordination, the subject of communing
with persons holding slaves so agitated the church that it caused division, Elder Miles, with others, withdrawing. He preached as Freethinker or Independent while he remained in Kentucky,
and after comming to Indiana, in 1814, he still preached as an Independent for several years.
About the year 1821 he united with the Baptist Church at Versailles, and was pastor there and at many other places, very good results attending his ministrations.
Versailles united with Coffee Creek Association in 1827 and with Madison in 1832, Elder Miles being a member of the former four years and the latter some twelve or fifteen, in each body
occupying a prominent position, and being considered a preacher of good attainments and usefulness.
Sometime between 1840 and 1850 he moved to Wisconsin, uniting with a Baptist Church there, and continuing to preach until the feebleness of old age compelled him
to desist. He and his wife raised a large family of children, and lived together happy in the enjoyment of each others's society and the affection of relatives and friends to an advanced
age, probably about eighty.
ELDER JOHN B. NEW
John B. New was born in North Carolina November 7, 1793. While yet in early childhood his parents moved to Gallatin County, Ky., where he was reared to manhood.
He was a soldier in the war of 1812, and shortly after its close made profession of religion, and united with the Baptist church at New Liberty, in what is now Owen County, retaining
membership until some time in 1817, when he came to Indiana. Obtaining work in Madison, he united by letter with Mount Pleasant Church, and was there liscensed to preach about the year
Soon after this event, he went to Kentucky and was married. Returning to this State, he located at Vernon, uniting with the Baptist chrch there, and in the fall
of 1825 was "set apart" by ordination. Entering heartily into ministerial duties, he held meetings at many places through Jennings and adjoining counties, and, being a fluent speaker and
good singer, his services were in much demand, and he was soon quite a popular preacher.
Vernon Church was a member of Silver Creek Association at that time, and Elder New was a messenger to that body until the organization of Coffee Creek, in the bounds
of which he labored quite successfully for a few years. Having imbibed the principles taught by Alexander Campbell, he ceased to preach Baptist doctrines, and finally united with the Christian
Church about the year 1833, holding membership and preaching in that connection up to the time of his death, which occurred January 21, 1872, in the eightieth year of his age.
The dates in the foregoing were furnished by Elder Hickman New, of Vernon, brother of the deceased.
ELDER WM. P. NEWMAN
Of the early history of Wm. P. Newman nothing is known. In 1844, Second Madison (colored) returned him as an Elder, and he was at the association that year, but his
name is not again on the record. Second Madison was represented at the sessions of 1845 and 1846, since which time no record of the church is found, and nothing can be learned either of the
church or Elder Newman.
ELDER JOHN REECE
John Reece came from Kentucky to Jefferson County, Ind., at an early day. About the year 1835 he was converted and became a member of White River Church, where he was
licensed in 1839, and "fully set apart to the ministry by ordination" in 1846. He engaged in the work to a considerable extent, holding meetings at various places in the bounds of the
Association for some five or six years, but it is not known that he ever had special charge of any church as pastor.
In the spring of 1852 he started with his family for Texas, but, before reaching the place of his destination, he was attacked with malarial fever and died on Red River
among strangers March 14, 1852.
But little has been learned of his personal history or ministerial labors, yet I am assured that he was a man of piety and true moral worth, beloved and respected by
his brethren and neighbors.
ELDER JESSE W. ROBINSON
The parents of Jesse W. Robinson immigrated from Kentucky about 1820, and located in the western part of Jennings County, Ind.----Jesse at that time being some twelve
or fifteen years of age. When about twenty-four years old he was united in marriage with Miss Nancy Scott, and not long after, was baptized and received into the fellowship of Coffee Creek
Church, his wife being already a member.
He was subsequently licensed to preach at Coffee Creek, and ordained to the ministry in 1837, the ordination of John Hill occurring at the same time. Elder Robinson
enllisted actively in ministerial duties, and, though uneducated, was quite a popular preacher. He remained in the Association but a few years--as he moved to Jackson County; but continued
in the ministry through life. It was largely through is efforts that Liberty Association was organized in 1847; and he was a leading man in that body, and prominent in all denominational
work in that vicinity. He died during the war, probably in 1863 or '64--his wife and several children surviving him.
ELDER JACOB S. RYKER
Jacob S. Ryker was one of the early settlers of Jefferson County, coming to this State from Kentucky. He was a member of White River Church, into which connection he
had been received about the year 1820, and where, in 1825, he was licensed to preach.
In the spring of 1826 he moved to the vicinity of Indian Kentucky Church, some eight miles north from Madison, where he became a member and also pastor. In the fall
of the same year he was a messenger to Silver Creek Association, and was a member of the Committee on Division at that session.
In 1820, he removed his membership to Hebron, a church recently constituted, and was there ordained to the ministry of the word in 1830 and became its pastor. He
retained mebership at Hebron, according to the best information I can obtain, to the close of his life.
Elder Ryker was a member of Coffee Creek Association four years, and was regarded as a man of piety and consistant Christian deportment, with good preaching talent
and good business qualifications. With his church he went into the organization of Madison Association, in the bounds of which he labored until called to join the blood-washing throng of the
ELDER CHARLES SNOWDEN
The place of nativity and early history of Charles Snowden have not been ascertained, but it is believed that he came to this State from Kentucky as early as 1825.
He located in Jennings County, and engaged in clearing up a farm. Not long after his arrival he united with Coffee Creek Church.
About the year 1834 he was licensed to preach, and in January, 1838 was ordained. He preached regularly at school-houses and private dwellings for some years, but
it is not known that he ever engaged in pastoral duties.
Elder Snowden was considered to be an exemplary Christian, and was much respected a citizen and neighbor. He was able in exhortation and highly gifted in prayer,
and his ministerial labors were well received and productive of good, but as a preacher he never attained eminence. He remained in this vicinity but a few years, removing to Scipio, in
Sand Creek Association, where he died.
ELDER ELIJAH SOMMERS
Elijah Sommers was born about the year 1764. It is not known at what time he united with the church or when he was ordained, but in the early years of the present
century he was a prominent revivalist of the Baptist denomination in Kentucky, and continued his labors as an evangelist many years, holding meetings in the bounds of several associations
with very great success.
When an old man he came to Jefferson County, Ind., and united with Bethel Baptist Church. This church (afterward called Mount Gilead) united with Coffee Creek
Association in 1839, Elder Sommers being one of her messengers. He was regular in his attendance at the anniversaries for five years, and, though quite old, was vigorous, being prominent
in all associational duties. He was an able, earnest speaker, exhibiting the zeal and energy of a young man, and was recognized as a minister of deep piety and more than ordinary ability.
He died in March, 1844, aged about eighty years.
ELDER WM. T. STOTT
William Taylor Stott was born in Woodford County, Ky., in the year 1788. When quite young he was led to feel his need of pardoning mercy, and at the age of thirteen
years gave his heart to the Savior; was baptized and united with a Baptist Church in the vicinity, continuing a faithful member as long as he remained in the State.
In the fall of 1815, with his family, he moved to Indiana Territory, locating near Vernon. A few other families located at Vernon the same season; and while preparing
homes for themselves, they did not forget their obligations to the Master, but immediately commenced holding prayer-meetings, and the following spring were constituted into a church--Brother
Stott and wife, and five others, being the constituent members. This church (Vernon) united with Silver Creek Association in 1816; was one that formed Coffee Creek Association in 1827, and
Madison in 1833, in each of which Brother Stott was an active member, and Moderator of the last-named many years.
In the welfare and prosperity of Vernon Church he took an active interest, and was always ready by word or deed to assist in all needed work. He retained membership
in the same connection to the close of life, a period of sixty-one years---fifty five of which he preached the gospel. He was early impressed with a desire to proclaim the good news of life
and salvation, thru Christ, to his fellow-men, and in this was encouraged by teh church, which granted him license to preach, probably in 1822; and in the fall of 1825, he was "publicly set
apart by ordination" to work of the gospel ministry.
From that time forward Elder Stott was fully identified with the ministry of the word, and was one of the early preachers whose labors were so greatly blessed in
leading sinners to the Savior, and in building up and strengthening the Baptist cause in Southern Indiana. Always faithful, always zealous for the truth, always ready to labor in any field
where there was a prospect of accomplishing good, his services were in great demand. In addition to regular pastoral work he traveled over a large section of country, and held in many places
destitute of church organizations. Although remarkably firm and decided in his relligious principles, he was free from narrow-mindedness and bigotry; was kind, and courteous, and friendly with
all denominations, and by all regarded as a pure, upright, consistent Christian.
He was a cheerful supporter of Missions and all advance work of the denomination. In the fall of 1836 he accepted an appointment by the Ind. Bap. General Association,
serving as missionary of that body in 1837 and '38, and probably longer, at a salary of $16.66 2/3 per month for services rendered. The other missionaries of the State Association at that time
were Elders Zachariah Bush, J. D. Crabbs, Madison Hume, and Reuben Coffey, each of whome recieved similar compensation.
Elder Stott's field for mission work was Jennings and adjacent counties. He assisted in collecting and constituting several churches, and his reports for each year were
very satisfactory. As long as physical strength permitted, he was regular in his attendance at the house of God; but during the last four or five years of his life he was greatly afflicted, and
seldom able to go from home. He bore all with true Christian fortutude, and when at last the summons came it found him fully prepared and anxious to depart and be with the Savior. He died on the
14th of April, 1877, in the eighty-ninth year of his age, and in the seventy-seventh of his Christian life.
What a wonderful advancement in the Baptist denomination of the State Father Stott was permitted to witness! When he was baptized, the first year of the present century,
but little was known of the Northwest Territory. A few settlements had been made along the Ohio River in what is now Indiana. There was but one Baptist Church, and it had less than one dozen
members, and no resident minister. He lived to see Indiana one of the great States of the Union, embracing in her population 41,191 Baptist communicants, organized into 566 churches and 30
Associations, and with 437 ordained ministers. Behold! what hath God wrought!
ELDER JESSE VAWTER
Elder Jesse Vawter is believed to be the first resident Baptist minister in this part of Southern Indiana. He was born the 1st day of December, 1755, in the State of
Virginia. His parents were Episcopalians, and he was sprinkled in infancy and his name enrolled in the church record, is is the custom of that body.
In the spring of 1774 his work led him about twenty miles from his father's where, for the first time, he attended a Baptist meeting. The preacher was Thomas Ammons,
and the text was Job X. 15. The truths presented so affected the heart of young Vawter, and his convictions on account of sin were so strong, that they never left him until, a few weeks later,
he was reconciled to God and had peace in believing. In October of the same year business led him to another locality where there was a Baptist church called Rapadan, in Culpepper County.
Here he offered himself for membership, was baptized and received into fellowship, and retained the relation while he remained in the state.
In March, 1781, he married Elizabeth Watts, and the next year moved to North Carolina, and from thence to Scott County, Ky., in 1790. In the great revival of 1800
several neighbors and four of his children were among the converts. Two of the latter (John and William) were subsequently ordained. As a result of this meeting, a church called North Fork,
of Elkhorn, was constituted, where in 1804, Bro. Vawter was licensed and, in 1805, ordained.
In 1806, having lost his land through a defective title, Elder Vawter moved to the Northwest Territory, locating about one mile from the Ohio River, directly north from
where now is the city of Madison, an engaged in opening up a farm in the green woods. Soon other settlers came in, and Elder Vawter commenced holding meetings in his own cabin and in some of
those of his neighbors, and in 1807 had the pleasure of seeing a church constituted called Mount Pleasant, of which he was chosen pastor, sustaining that relation, with very satisfactory results,
until 1831, when, on account of the constitution of a Baptist church in Madison, Mount Pleasant was disbanded, that aged pastor and most of his flock going into the new organizatoon.
Elder Vawters ministerial labors were extended over a large scope of territory. When he learned of a new settlement being formed he visited it and held religious meetings.
As the country developed, his preaching tours were enlarged, covering great portions of the counties of Jefferson, Switzerland, Ripley, Jennings and Clark, and in some cases were reached by
traveling from twenty to forty miles through the wilderness, much of the way being marked only by blazed trees or broken down underbrush.
Elder Vawter was greatly blessed in his work, and was instrumental in planting the gospel standard in many destitute fields. He was pastor of and administered the ordinance
of Baptism in eighteen churches, the highest number at one time being 18, and the greatest number in one church (Mount Pleasant) being 127. The whole number of baptisms is not known. He assisted
in ordaining eight ministers, in constituting twelve churches, and in organizing three associations. At the organization of Silver Creek Association in 1812, he and an older brother, Philemon Vawter,
were two of the four ordained ministers, the others being Wm. McCoy and John Reece. Jesse Vawter was Moderator of Silver Creek Association thirteen years; Coffee Creek, six years, and when Madison
formed was its Moderator four years, when old age and feeble health compelled him to resign. He continued to preach, however, and take an active interest in all Christian work as long as strength
permitted, and being a man of deep piety, of strong faith, and of unswerving consecration to the cause of Christ, was enabled to accomplish much good. He was called from his home below to an
inheritance on high the 20th of March, 1838, in the eighty-third year of his age, honored and beloved and lemented not only by his own church and denomination, but by the entire community where
he had so long and faithfully labored.
Elder Philemon Vawter was also a man of piety, and a faithful and successful pioneer preacher the few years he remained. He died in 1914, and consequently was not a member
of Coffee Creek Association. His death was a severe loss to the denomination, as laborers at that time were few. Of the two sons of Jesse Vawter, before mentioned, William located north of Vernon
in the Sand Creek Association. The date of his ordination is not known, but he was a preacher of ability and success, and lived to the advanced age of eighty-three years. John Vawter, being a
minister of Coffee Creek Association, will receive a more extended notice.
ELDER JOHN VAWTER
John Vawter was born in Orange (now Madison) County, Virginia, January 8, 1782. When an infant his parents moved to North Carolina, and a few years later to Scott County, Ky.,
locating near Frankfort. When about eighteen years of age he was converted, and with several of his father's family, and others, united in the constitution of the North Fork of Elkhorn Baptist Church.
In 1805 his name appears in the minutes of Elkhorn (KY.) Association as a messenger from Long Lick, a church recently constituted. A few months later he married Miss Margaret Smith, of Scott County.
In the summer of 1807 he removed to Indiana, locating about one mile from his father---Elder Jesse Vawter--and near where the Madison court house now stands. He was the first
magistrate in the town of Madison, and was subsequently elected sheriff of Jefferson and Clark counties. In 1812 or '14 he was appointed U.S. Marshal, by President Madison, which office he held until
1829. He was five times elected to the Legislature, and in 1836 represented the counties of Jennings, Brown and Bartholomew in the State Senate.
Being possessed of a good English education, and by profession a civil engineer, he was employed by the government to survey large portions of the State. In 1813 he surveyed
Jennings County, and being pleased with the country, selected a site on the bank of the Muscatatack for his future home. Here he platted the town of Vernon, and in the early summer of 1815, built a
cabin and moved his family into it. At that time, it is said, there was but one other family in Jennings County---that of Solomon Deputy on Coffee Creek, ten miles distant. The nearest settlement was
on Camp Creek, in Jefferson County, eight miles south.
Brother Vawter continued surveying for several years, and during his tours preached the gospel in the counties of Jennings, Brown, Bartholomew, Johnson, Marion, Shelby and Decatur.
In the fall of 1815, William T. Stott and family with a few others, located in the vicinity of Vernon, commenced holding meetings in their cabins, which resulted in the
constitution of the Vernon Baptist Church, in April, 1816--John Vawter, Wm. T. Stott, Mary Stott, Wm. Padgett, Ann Padgett, Nancy Lewis and Margaret Stribling being the constituent members. Brother
Vawter was an active member of the church, and in 1820 was licensed to preach and called to the pastorate; was ordained in 1821, and zealously continued in the ministry up to the time of his death.
Being a man of great energy and perseverance and indomitable will, he permitted nothing to interfere with his ministerial engagements; and during the forty-four years in which he preached the gospel,
much of the time through a sparsely settled country without roads, and with many dangers to encounter, rarely, if ever, failed to fill his appointments.
In 1818 he was chosen Clerk of Silver Creek Association, serving nine years, and was the first Clerk of Coffee Creek Association, serving twenty-two years, being promptly on
hand at each meeting for thirty-one years in succession. At Coffee Creek he four times preached the Introductory Sermon, and eight times wrote the Circular Letter, and was always a leading man in the
Prompt and reliable in all business transactions; of great executive ability; a good organizer and zealous worker, his influence in both church and community was great, and
when called away the loss was deeply felt. Though not what at the present day would be called wealthy, yet he had a competency, and in this respect was more favored than most of his fellow laborers
in the ministry. Kind-hearted and benevolent, he was always ready to assist those in distress, and was liberal in the support of all church-work.
He removed to Morgan County in 1848, and shortly after erected a good brick meeting-house in Morgantown, and donated it to the denomination. In August, 1862, he left the
church militant and entered the church triumphant, aged eighty-one years.
Three wives preceded Elder Vawter to the grave. The fourth was left to mourn his loss, but not as those who have no hope.
ELDER A WARD
The first account I have of Elder A. Ward he was a messenger to the Association in 1856, coming from White River Church. He retained his membership there, and was regular in
his attendance at the anniversaries until 1862; but I find no account of his being engaged in pastoral work at any time.
In the spring of 1863 he moved to Missouri - place not known Neither is it known whether he engaged in ministerial duties there, or whether he is yet living.
THE FOLLOWING MINISTERS WERE STILL LIVING WHEN THE BOOK WAS WRITTEN IN 1883
ELDER W.J. BUCHANAN
W.J. Buchanan was born in Hendricks County, Ind., May 21, 1839. He was converted and united with the Clayton Baptist Church, some county, December 10, 1858, and was there
licensed to preach in May, 1860.
Not long after this event he moved to Jefferson County, and, uniting with Zoar Church, became its pastor, where he was ordained to the ministry in 1862. He served as pastor
at Zoar in all six years, and was also pastor at Elizabeth in 1864, 1865 and 1866; at Hebron in 1866, and at New Bethel in 1867, in the fall of that year returning to Hendricks County and locating
at Belleville, where he still lives.
Since leaving our Association Elder Buchanan has been actively engaged n the ministry, and, although nearly blind for the past eighteen months-not being able to read-he
still esteems it his highest privilege and delight to preach Christ, the way, the truth and the life.
The first wife of Brother Buchanan died February 22, 1875, leaving three children. He is now living with a second wife and has one child.
ELDER ALLEN HILL
Allen Hill, son of Elder Thomas Hill, Jr., was born in Jennings County, Ind., January 10, 1831, where he resided until 1863. In the fall of that year he moved to Coles County,
Ill., and in February, 1865, was converted and united with the Little Flock Church.
Soon his brethren recognized his talent for public speaking, and urged him to go forward in the church with a view of ultimately entering the ministry; but while he felt it
his duty to do so, yet a natural diffidence and a realization of unworthiness, restrained him for some time. The influence of the Spirit and the persuasions of his brethren, however, prevailed, and
in April 1869, he was licensed to preach the gospel.
Having thus become identified with the ministerial calling, he no longer faltered, but pressed forward in the work, and on the 22 of January, 1870, was publicly set apart, by
ordination, as a minister of the Baptist Church of Jesus Christ.
Elder Hill entered heartily into pastoral duties, in Illinois, for a period of eight years, supplying numerous churches. In the spring of 1878, through the earnest solicitations
of numerous friends, he was induced to return to the old homestead in Indiana, where he resided about three years, when he moved to North Vernon, same county, where he now resides.
Since coming to Indiana he has devoted all his time to the ministry, holding pastorates at Coffee Creek, Freedom, Zion, Tea Creek, First Marion and Lick Branch, in Coffee Creek
Association; Vernon, Madison Association; North Vernon, in Sand Creek Association, and probably others. He has also held special meetings at other points, with good success; one, at least (Commiskey),
resulting in the constitution of a church, of which he is now pastor.
He was four years Moderator of Coffee Creek Association, only being released from that position by removing without its bounds. He is now engaged for one-half his time as
missionary of the Ind. Bap. State Convention; is an active Christian worker, and occupies a prominent position in the denomination.
Brother Hill held the position of Captain in the Twenty-seventh Reg. Ind. Vol. Inf. during the rebellion. His first wife died some years previous to that time. His present
wife is a daughter of Deacon Samuel Malcomb, of Coffee Creek.
ELDER GEORGE KING
George King is a native of Nelson County, Kentucky, from whence he immigrated to Indiana, locating in Jackson County. In the early spring of 1848, he was converted under the
preaching of Elder Thomas Hill, Sr., but a short time before his death; was baptized by Elder Daniel Ball, and received into membership in the New Hope Baptist Church, Brownstown Association. He was
Clerk of that Association in 1864, and a member of that body twenty years.
He was married near Uniontown, Jackson County, where he resided several years, engaged in mercantile buisness. In 1868, he removed to Scott County, and placed his membership
in Pleasant Ridge Church, where he was ordained in 1872 and became pastor. He continued his pastorate there, and also preached at several other places in the vicinity, until 1875, when he removed to
Bartholomew County, Sand Creek Association, where he now resides. His Post-office is Columbus Ind.
ELDER WM. H. LAWRENCE
Wm. H. Lawrence was born in Clark County, Ind., in 1821. When nine years old his parents moved to Jennings County, locating about six miles south from Vernon. Here, at the age
of nineteen, he united with Mount Moriah Church, of which he continued a member until the church disbanded, when he united with Coffee Creek, holding membership there until the spring of 1882.
Brother Lawrence was licensed to preach by Mount Moriah Church in 1857, and in August, 1860, was there ordained to the ministry, in which calling he labored to a considerable
extent for several years, mostly preaching in destitute localities, through sometimes employed in regular pastoral work.
For several years past he has not been in the ministry, devoting his time to farming when able to attend to business. At the organization of Commiskey Church in April 1882,
Brother Lawrence was a constituent member and one of the principle movers in the enterprise, and, though in feeble health, manifests a good degree of interest in the cause.
The first wife of Brother Lawrence died some four years ago. He has recently married Mrs. J.C. Coryea, of Jefferson County. His Post-office is Commiskey, Jennings County. Ind.
(William H. Lawrence was first married to Lavinia (various spellings) Lewis on September 26th of 1850. February 22, 1880 he married Mary Jane (Cave) Corya the widow of John Corya.
The inscription on his tombstone reads - "Born in Clark County, Indiana. He has preached the word of God to sinful men many years, near where his mortal remains now rest. Father,
it is the prayer of your children who mark your resting place that their lives be as pure and there deeds as good as yours"
ELDER WM. B. LEWIS
The oldest minister now in the Association is Wm. B. Lewis, of Cana, Jennings County. He was born in Stuben County (now Yates), New York, November 15, 1816. At the age of four
years he came with his parents to Indiana, and has resided in the same vicinity ever since.
His parents were Baptists and exemplary Christians. The early religious training of mother who was particularly noted for her piety and Christian zeal caused him, when quite
young, to think seriously of his need of pardoning mercy, yet he did not openly confess Christ until about twenty-one years of age. At that time he made a profession of religion, was baptized by Elder
Thomas Hill, Jr., and received into the fellowship of Coffee Creek Church, where he continues to hold membership.
Not long after he united with the church his mind was drawn to the importance of preaching the gospel, and he commenced to publicly exhort his fellow-men to repentance and faith
in the Lord Jesus Christ. In 1843, Coffee Creek Church granted him license to preach, and in 1848 he was ordained.
From that time forward Elder Lewis devoted a large portion of his time to ministerial work, though, in common with other preachers of his day in Southern Indiana, he was
compelled to engage to a considerable extent in secular employment to support his family. He probably never received as much as $100 in any one year for ministerial services, except when in the
employ of the General Association.
His pastorates have extended over a large section of the country, he having labored in the bounds of Bethel, Madison, Brownstown and Coffee Creek Associations. For some years
past he has not been in regular pastoral work on account of failing health, yet still preaches in neighboring churches and school-houses when able to do so. His disease being paralysis and nervous
debility, he can seldom go from home, and, of course, can not expect ever again to engage in active ministerial work.
Elder Lewis could not be styled eloquent nor a fluent speaker, yet his sermons were sound, were well prepared, and exhibited a depth of thought and thorough understanding of
the Scriptures rarely surpassed by any preacher of this vicinity.
He was not quick to arrive at conclusions, his mind requiring time to look at the subject in all its bearings, but when convinced of the correctness of any principle, it became
a fixed fact-a part of himself-never to be abandoned. His early espousal of anti-slavery and temperance principles rendered him unpopular in some localities, yet he never swerved from what he deemed
his duty, but boldly advocated his principles whenever the occasion demanded it. He was Moderator of the Association at the sessions of 1875 and 1876, since which he has not been present at the
Elder Lewis was married in 1835. His wife is still living, as are a son and three daughters.
ELDER U.M. McGUIRE
Ulysses M. McGuire, the youngest minister in the Association, was born April 7, 1856, in Jennings County., and in which he has always resided. When wuite a young man, the death
of his father made it incumbent on him, being the oldest child, to assist his mother in maintaining and education her young family, which duty he cheerfully performed.
Being desirous of obtaining an education, he improved every opportunity for study, and, as soon as capable of teaching a common school, engaged in that occupation; teaching
through the fall and winter, and working a farm and pursuing his studies each spring and summer, for a period of eight years, when he was enabled to take a partial course in Hanover College.
At the age of eleven years he was converted and united with the M.E. Church, in which he remained until the spring of 1881. For some years prior to that time, his mind had been
exercised in regard to preaching the gospel, and he had been licensed to exhort; but when he decided to devote his life to the work, he was forced to leave the church of his first love, as he had
ever firmly held that immersion is the only mode of baptism, and that none but believers should receive the ordinance; consequently, he could not be a minister in his own denomination.
The first Saturday in March, 1881, he united with the Baptist Church at Coffee Creek-near which he always resided; and at the same meeting was licensed to preach and called
to the pastorate. The fifth day of September, of the same year, he was set apart to the work of the ministry, by ordination, at Coffee Creek Church-Elders Allen Hill and J.N. Spillman being the
ministers present on the occasion, He is now pastor at Coffee Creek, Lancaster, Uniontown and Dupont, and Clerk of Coffee Creek Association.
Brother McGuire married Miss Elba Graham, a young lady every way worthy of him, in the spring of 1880.
ELDER GEORGE L. MERCER
George L. Mercer was born in September County, Ky., April 15, 1827, and come to Scott County, Ind., in 1845. In June, 1846, he volunteered in the United States Army, and
served one year in the Mexican War, participating in the battle of Buena Vista, February 22 and 23, 1847.
Returning from Mexico, he resumed the profession of school-teaching, which has been his principal employment for thirty-seven years. In August, 1849, he married Miss Catharine
A. Ringo, who died in 1835, and soon after he went back to Kentucky. While there, in December, 1857, he married Miss Nancy G. Wells, and returning, located near Vienna, Scott County, which is his Post-office.
He was converted in 1849, but did not make a public profession until September, 1851, when he united with Kinberlin Creek Church, where he still holds membership, and where, in
1860, he was licensed to preach. In October, 1861, he was ordained, and has held pastorates at Vienna, seven years, and assistant at Kimberlin, two years. Besides these he has done considerable mission
work in destitute localities, and has assisted in constituting two churches in his field of labor.
Elder Mercer has been in feeble health for four or five years past, but has recently been engaged in two or three protracted meetings with good results.
ELDER WM. Y. MONROE
Wm. Y. Monroe is a native of Oldham County, Ky., where he was born April 3, 1824. When a youth he came with his parents to Scott County, Ind., where he resided until some years
after his ordination.
In 1842, he made a public profession of faith in Christ and united with the Methodist Protestant Church,, in which connection he ramained a member until December, 1849. At that
time, his views on Baptism and church polity having been changed, he united with the Liberty Baptist Church, and was immediately licensed to preach, delivering his first sermon the evening of the same
In December, 1850, Brother Monroe was fully set apart at Liberty Church, by ordination, to the work of the gospel ministry, and from that time has devoted his life mainly to the
responsible duty of preaching the word. Several of the first years of his ministry were devoted to the domestic mission work of the Association, preaching in destitute localities. his labors being crowned
with good results. After four or five years of this service, he resigned in order to devote all his time to pastoral duties, in which also his labors have been greatly blessed.
While in connection with Coffee Creek Association, he was for several years Clerk of that body, and was ever an active, influential member; and when, in 1858, he removed to the
Madison Association, it was cause of deep regret to his brethren and friends where he had labored. He located at North Madison, and was immediately called to the patorate of the church there for half time,
which relation he has sustained for a period of twenty-five years.
During the Rebellion Elder Monroe raised a company for the 82nd Ind. Vol. Infantry, going out with them as Captain. After his return he was twice elected Treasurer of Jefferson
County, in which position he maintained the character of the pure public officer and true Christian gentleman. His pastoral relations at North Madisom were continued while attending to his official
duties as Treasurers, and he also preached at other points as opportunity presented, Since that time he has been sully engaged in ministerial work, often attending churches from forty to sixty miles
distant, and sometimes much farther.
Possessing fine social qualities, being a fluent and easy speaker, sound and reliable in Bible doctrine, and an indefatigable worker, ever manifesting a deep interest in all
Christian work, he is justly regarded as one of the most successful pastors in Southern Indiana. He has for years been the efficient Moderator of Madison Association, a Director of the Indiana Baptist
State Convention, and an active participator in all advance movements for the denomination. His failing health has for several years been cause of deep solicitude on the part of his numberous friends,
and especially so as they relalize that he is constantly overworked.
Elder Monroe buried his first wife shortly after the close of the war. He subsequently married Miss Julia Williams, of Lancaster. His Post-office address is North Madison, Ind.
ELDER MARION NOELL
Marion Noell was born August 1, 1849, in Gallatin County, Ke., but while yet an infant was taken by his parents to Boone County. Here, on a profession of faith, he was baptized
by Rev. Lafayette Johnson, September 25, 1865, and received into the New Bethel Baptist Church, located at Verona, where he retained membership about ten years.
Brother Noell was licensed by the New Bethel Church, in July, 1869, and occasionally preached at the church, and in school-houses in the vicinity. His brethren encouraged him to
persevere in the work, and advised him to pursue a course of studies with that purpose, but this he was unable to do; his father being a poor man, with a large family, was, consequently, unable to assist
At the age of twenty-one he left home to work for himself, and by close attention to business and rigid economy, accumulated enough money to enter Georgetown College, in Scott
County, then under the presidency of Rev. Basil Manly, D.D. Here he remained about two years; in addition to other studies, taking a partial course in Theology. After leaving college he engaged in
school-teaching in Boone County, and preaching on Sabbaths.
In April, 1875, he located at Westport, Oldham County, and engaged in evangelical work in several churches. He placed his membership in the Westport Church, and was there ordained
the 29th of August, 1875. The Elders in the council were A.E. Shirley-the pastor-Thomas Reynolds, Lafayette Jonhnson and Wm. T. Gordon.
He came to Indiana in January following his ordination, and united with New Bethel Church, where he now holds membership. His pastoral labors in this State have been confined to
New Bethel, Hebron, White River and Elizabeth churches, in Coffee Creek Association, and Utica Church, in Bethel Association-in all of which his services have been efficient and satisfactory.
Brother Noell married Miss Alice Belle Arbuckle, June 1, 1876, and resides in Jefferson County, not far from New Bethel Churcch. His post-office address is Lexington, Scott County, Ind.
ELDER N.L. PETTY
Norwin L. Petty was born in Marion County, Mo., in 1845. At the age of fifteen he professed faith in the Redeemer, and was baptized and admitted to fellowship in a Baptist Church
near his home, called Bethel, in which he retained membership until dismissed by letter to move to Kentucky. Arriving in that State, he placed his letter in the New Providence Church, Trimble County.
In 1876 the church gave him license to preach, which he frequently did in Kentucky, and also held some special meetings across the river, in Indiana; one of which, held in
connection with Elder W.T. Carpenter, resulted in the constitution of New Prospect Church.
In the early spring of 1880, New Providence Church called Brother Petty to its pastorate, and also called a "council of ordination,: and he was set apart to the work of the ministry
the 20th of May, of the same year. In the fall of 1880 he removed to Indiana, locating near New Bethel Church, with which he united, and of which he became pastor in the spring of 1881. He is also pastor
of one or two other churches, besides preaching regularly at some out-stations, so that his time is mainly devoted to the ministry of the word.
Brother Petty married Miss Lizzie Ferguson, of Jefferson County, Ind., in September, 1879. His post-office address is Lexington, Scott, County, Ind.
ELDER J. N. SPILLMAN
James N. Spillman is a native of Carroll County, Ky., where he was born in June 2, 1848, and in which he resided until the spring of 1881. In August, 1865, he made a public profession
of faith in Christ; was baptized and received into fellowship of the Locust Creek Baptist Church, retaining membership as long as he resided in the State.
At the regular church-meeting in August, 1871, Brother Spillman was granted license to preach, which he did to a considerable extent. The 15th of March, 1879, a council, called for
the purpose of assisting in the examination of Brother Spillman, convened with the Locust Creek Church and he was "ordained to preach the gospel wherever God, in his providence, may cast his lot, and
administer all the ordinances of the Baptist Church of Christ:" since which time he has made the preaching of the word his constant occupation.
Soon after his ordination he commenced holding meetings on this side of the river, which resulted in many conversions; and subsequently he was engaged as pastor by two or three
churches in Coffee Creek Association.
In March, 1881, he removed his family to Indiana, purchasing property at Lancaster, where he located. He placed his membership in Lancaster Church, where he had been pastor about
two years. His other pastorates in this State have been at Elizabeth, White River, Bethany, Freedom, Zion and First Marion; and, as far as known to the writer, have been quite successful and very
satisfactory to the churches.
Brother Spillman married in Kentucky, April 17, 1871. His post-office address is Lancaster, Jefferson County.
ELDER G.W. THOMPSON
George W. Thompson was born in Ripley, Brown County,on February 23, 1847. In 1861 he united with the Methodist Church at that place, and was licensed to preach by that order in
1866. He remained a local preacher of the denomination until 1869, when he united with the Baptist Church at Aberdeen, same county, then in charge of Elder G. Mason. The same year he was called to the
pastorate of Aberdeen Church, where, in 1870, he was ordained to the gospel ministry. His other ministerial labors in Ohio were chiefly at Winchester, Brushy Fork, Camp Creek, Lick Fork, Newtown and Duck
Creek though he held meetings at many other points.
In 1876, he purchased land at Lancaster, Jefferson County, Ind., to which he moved his family in the summer of the same year. Uniting with Lancaster Church, he became its pastor,
serving in that capacity about three years. He has also held pastorates in Coffee Creek Association at Lick Branch, Bethany, White River, Scaffold Lick, Zion, First Marion, Hopewell and New Prospect; and
with some churches in Madison Association, usually having the care of four churches at the same time, and one year of five. In several of these churches extensive revivals were enjoyed under his ministrations,
particularly at Lick Branch and Lancaster in 1877, at Scaffold Lick and Bethany in 1878, at Lick Branch again in 1879, and at Hopewell in 1881.
Brother Thompson was married in Missouri in 1870 to Miss Julia A. Scaggs, and has two or three children. He has recently removed to Kentucky, and is actively engaged in ministerial
work. His Post-office is Campbellsburg, Henry County.
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