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Full text of "A complete history of Mississippi Baptists"

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MY 1 9 192: 



A COMPLETE HISTORY 



OF 



ISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS, 

FROM THE EARLIEST TIMES. 



BY 



Z. T. LEAVELL and T. J. BAILEY, 



WITH AN INTROUUCTION BY 

Prof. Franklin L. Riley, 

OF THK UNIVERSITY UF MISSISSH'PI. 



VOLUME 



Mississippi Baptist Publishing Co. 
JACKSON, MISS. 

1904 



CopvaiGHr 1903, 

BY T. ,1. BAILEY AND Z. T. LEAVELL 



All Rights Reserved. 



Miss« Baptist Publishing Co., 

Jackson, Miss. 






A COMPLETE 

: : OF :: 

Mississippi Baptists. 






PREFACE. 



On October 17, 1900, I received a letter from L. S, Foster, in 
which he said, " I find myself nnahle, from other duties, to work out 
the history of Mississippi Baptists, and make yon this proposi- 
tion," etc. I accepted his proposition and went to work. The labor 
of gathering the facts and writing the book has been long and labor- 
ious. No pains have been spared in accumulating facts. The re- 
search has been toilsome and exhausting. Effort has been put forth 
unceasing, for more than a year, to get the facts of the history of 
some of the associations. Facts that have been known to e.Kist, and 
difficult of access, have been pursued until nn ea_i»er grasp h;is been 
laid upon them. 

The effort to give our ])e(,)ple this work has l^eeu the more toil- 
some because of the fact that no history has been written of Missis- 
sippi Bajjtists. There was no connected written document of the his- 
torical facts, no way blazed through the virgin forest of our deeds- 
The history of four Associations, of the State Convention to 1880 
and of Mississippi College to the same date, had been written, but 
that was but a very small part of the work. 

Where weW written history has been found it has been placed io 



VI. rKEFACE 

the work to llio credit ol' the one who wrote it. Some of our 
schciols have l)een written np ])y yood writers closely- rehited to their 
edticationfd work. The^' are given credit for the work they have 
done. The remainder of the book ^vas written by my pen. 

According to agreement Ijetween the piil)lisher and myself the 
title is to be, ''A Complete Histor3- of Mississippi Baptists, bj' Z. T« 
Leavell and T. J. Bailey." The latter is to pul)lish the work. Great 
aid has been granted, in the writing, by brethren in different parts ot 
the State. Questions have been courteoush' answ^ered, and material 
"•athered and forwarded, for which unfeigned thanks are hereby ex- 
tended. Especially is it desired that an e.Kpression of gratitude be 
extended to the "Primitive" Baptists, ^vho have been exceeding 
kind in answering iiuestioiis, and forwarding nifiterial. 

By original contract Kev. L. S. Foster was to publish this 
Avork, but his resignation as Superintendent of the Mississippi 
B«ptist Orphanage necessitated a change of the original design as 
to its publication. The relation between him and the writer of 
the work has been most cordial and ^ileasant in all their labors on 
the book. The ex])resse(l willingness of Rev. T. J. Bailey, Editor 
oi'The Baptist, to assume Uie. responsibility of publishingthe history 
has been gratefully received. Xo happier arrangement could have 
been made in the emergency, as he and the writer are on the closest 
terms of intimacy, and because of his extended knowledge of printing 
and book-making. 

The book, of course, lacks much of l)eing perlect. Absolute accur- 
acy could not be claimed for it, but it is the best work one could do 
with care of churches on him, and little history accessible as a guide. 
But the hope is devoutly entertained that the book will do good, and 
he received l)v our ]XO])le with a[j])reciation and favor. 

Z. T. LEAVELL. 



TABLE OF CONTENTS-VOL. 



Page 
Pkefach 5 



Genekae Introduction 



FART I. 



CiTAPTEK 

I. . . 

II. . . 

III. . 

IV. . 

V. . 

VI. . 

VII. . 
VIII. 

IX. . 

X. . 
X. 

XI. . 

XII. . 
XIII. 

xn\ 

XV. . 
XVI. 



Pioneer Work and the Associations. 

H-V 

SECTION I.— THE ASSOCIATIONS. 

. Baptist Pi(meers 15 

. Alississippi Association . . ' 37 

Mississippi Association, continued 50 

Union Association 72 

Pearl River Association 126 

Cllocta^v Association 173 

. Liberty Association 195 

Zion Association 199 

Columbus Association 213 

Mount Pisgah Association ' 314 

Chickasaw Association 497 

Louisville Association 515 

Valobusha A?«ociation 566 

Colclwater Association 601 

Alierdeen Association 641 

Mississippi River Association 670 

Central Association 672 



INTRODUCTION. 



The most complicated and difficult chapter in the 
history of any people is the religious chapter. This is 
partly due to the fact that the events therein recorded 
are based largely upon the most profound and per- 
vasive principle in human nature. This religious prin- 
ciple runs like a great artery of influence throughout 
the entire length of history', stimulating the activities 
ot men of every age and of everv stage of intellectual 
development. Man is ])re-eminently a religious being, 
and so far as we know he has alwaA's recognized his 
relations to a Supreme Power, and has ])ut forth his 
inost strenuous exertions to fulfill in some measure the 
obligations which these relations impose. Were the 
church historian to follow all of these influences from 
their incipiency to their ultimate results, he would 
enter upon, if not well-nigh exhaust, the vast su1)ject of 
universal history. 

The shallowest of all our so cailed philoso]jhies of 
history are those which eliminate or minimize these far 
reaching influences and characterize religion as " onlv a 
transient phase"' iri human development. F^lutarch 
gives us the corner stone of the true philosophv of his- 
tory in the folk)wing memorable tttterance: " .Me- 
thinks,'' says he, "a man sliould sooner find acitvbuilt 



Vlll. INTRODrCTlON 

in the air, without any plot of j^round whereon it is 
seated, than that any commonwealth, altogether void 
ot religion and a knowledge of the gods, should either 
be first estal>lished or afterwards preserved and main- 
tained in that estate. Religion it isthatcontainethand 
holdeth together all human society ; this is the founda- 
tion, prop, and stay of all." The potency- of its in- 
fluence is shown not only hy its universality, but by the 
vast range of results which follow in its wake. When 
corrupt find jicrverted it has given us the darkest pages 
of history — wars, crusades, in((uisitions, anrl ])ersecu- 
tions almost beyond the- ])ower of human comprehen- 
sion ; but when pure and elevated it has given us the 
grandest characters, the loftiest thoughts, and the 
noblest deeds of which humanity is capable. Dr. W. T. 
Harris ob.serves that "this Hebrew idea adopted into 
our civilizatiori is the es.sence of history, because it is at 
once the cause of civilizfition and the measure of it. In 
proportion as a people organize institutionsthat realize 
righteousness and goodness, or what is the same thing, 
justice and mercy, they jichieve civilization." 

History is not merely a record of past events. It is 
essentially a study of the thoughts and sentiments of 
humanity. Deeds constitute only "the outer form" 
of thesid^ject, while its true content is found in the ideas 
Avhich underlie human action. It has been well said 
that "deeds or events are the signs or expressions of a 
people's thought and feelings. Man thinks anil feels, 
and acts because he thinks and feels. The act, there- 
fore, is adapted to give expression to his state of mind. 
Hence the student may read a nation's thought in its 
events.'" The true historian must not look "at the 
things which are seen, but at the things which are not 
seen ; for the things which are seen are temporal [tern- 



INTRODUCTION IX. 

porary] ; but the thin.^s which are not seen are eternal." 
Obedience to this jiij!)stolic injunction is doubly incum- 
bent upon the church historian, since the thoughts and 
sentiments which he must interpret are largely of divine 
origin. He, al)ovc all other historians, must recognize 
fully the fact that neither the divine nor the human 
side of the subject can be neglected. He must, there- 
fore, have a care lest in looking " on things iifter the 
.outward appearance" h. fail to give due consideration 
to the inward life. The weapons of Christian warfare 
are not carnal; and to omit all consideration of the 
strongholds of sin and error that have been pulled down 
therewith, would be to ignore the greatest triumphs of 
Christi^mity and thus pervert the facts of histor\'. 

The histor}' of every Christian denomination must 
give due consideraiion to the distinctive views and to 
the various departments of its fictivity. No denomina- 
tion can fulfill its mission without having distinctive 
doctrines, which arc believed by its communicants to 
rest upon Scriptural authority. All evangelical organ- 
izations contend that the Bible alone is the standard of 
faith and conduct and the basis of doctrine and belief. 
The conflicts, controversial and otherwise, which have 
been waged by a denominaticm against What is believed 
to be error are entitled to consideration in its history. 
As the success of Christian effort is largely dependent 
upon effectiveness of organization, both local and gen- 
eral, the subject of ecclesiastical polity constitutes an 
important part of the histor3' of any denomination. 
For this reason, no history of the Baptists of Missis- 
sippi would be complete without giving due considera- 
tion to the history of their various associations and 
conventions. No denomination has ever prospered and 
fulfilled its duties to God and to humanity without be- 



3C. INTRODICTION 

sto^ving" earnest attention upon the means and methods 
of meeting its trinity of obligations, whieh ma^' he. 
summed up in the following words : — evangelization, 
education and benevolence. The expansion of every 
Christian organization is largely dependent upon the 
success of its efforts to propagate its beliefs. The im- 
portance ot this phase of activity necessitates a treat- 
ment of the publications, the missionary enterprises, 
doinestic and foreign, and the revival work in the his- 
tory of an^' denomination. The educational work, 
both secular and theological, which is prosecuted by 
the different denorain^itions is also an essential branch 
of Christian activity. This subject -embraces an ac- 
count not onh- of the institutions of learning but of the 
Sunday schools and young peo])le"s organizations. 
Stricth' speaking, however, religious ])ublications and 
the work of the Sunday school and the young people's 
organizations are both evangelical and cduccitional. 
The third of this trinity of obligations, benevolence, is 
also entitled to careful consideration l)y the church his- 
torian. Among Alississippi Ba])tists this work is 
largely accomplished liy private eftbrts and by local or- 
ganizations. Public and systematic efforts are also 
made in behalf of aged Baptist ministers and their 
families and the orphans of the State. 

These different phases of ciuirch life and activity are 
organically related and fire, therefore, essential to the 
well-being of any Christian denomination. Although 
their relative imj^ortance may vary from time to time, 
none of them can be dispensed with. They constitute a 
living unit, with a common purpose and a common 
destiny, and it is the duty of the church historian to 
show this relationship. 

It is oratitvinu' to note that the authors of this 



INTKODUCTION XI. 

book, 1^3^ giving' careful attention to all of these import- 
ant subjects, have justified their right to call these vol- 
umes "A Complete History of Mississippi Baptists." 
They have shown their fitness for this work by the 
contributions the\' have made to Baptist histor\' in 
former years. The value of this book lies principally in 
the fact that it endeavors to bring within the compass 
in these volumes all of the most important available 
facts connected with the development of the Baptist 
denomination in Alississippi. The work heretofore done 
in this field has been more or less fragmentary. The 
most important 'jontril)utions that have preceded this 
one are the following: — Foster's (L. S.) History of the 
Columbus Baptist Association from 1S40 to 1880, 
History of the Louisville Baptist Association, from 
184-0 to 1882, and AIississi]3])i Baptist P'reachers ; Leav- 
ell's (Z. T.) Baptist Annals, or Twent\'-two years with 
Mississippi Baptists; Powell's (T. S.) Five Years in 
South Mississippi: Bond's (T. AI.) Sketches of Earlv 
Baptist History in Mississippi; Christian's (J. T.) 
Historical Sketch of Mississippi Baptists, ])ul)lished 
in Goodspeed's Biographical and Historical Memoirs of 
Mississippi, Vol. H. ; Leavell's (Z. T.) The Earlv His- 
tory- of Mississippi Baptists, and Otken's (C. H.) 
Richard Curcis in the Country of the Natchez, both 
of which appeared in the Pul)lications of the Mississip- 
pi Historical Society: Bowen's (O. D.) History of the 
Gulf Coast Association : and Buck's (John T.) A Short 
History of the Baptist State Convention jind His- 
torical Sketches of the Ba])tists of Mississippi," published 
in Ford's Christicin Repository. Several Historical 
sketches of Mississip])i College have also been published, 
the most important of which were written l)vRev. A.V. 
Kowe, Ca])t. W. T. Ratliff and Dr. Edward Mayes. 



Xll. INTRODUCTION 

God has given the Baptists of Mississippi a noble 
ancestry. The pioneers of this faith in the State came, 
for the most part, from the older sections of the Union, 
where many of their ancestors had learned to suffer for 
the principles the}" held dear. Man\' of them came by 
way of the Carolinas and Georgia from Virginia, where 
their families had suffei^ed frequent and l)itter persecu- 
tions at the hands of the established church. Speaking 
of the Virginia Baptists, Dr. George B. Ta^vlor says: 
"Time would fail to tell of the persecutions they suf- 
fered legally, andunderthecolor of law, and at the hands 
of ruffians, instigated in some cases by the gentry and 
parson. Dr. Hawks, the Episcopalicin historian, says: 
' Cruelt\' ' taxed its ingenuity to devise new modes of 
punishment and annoyance." Our ministers were fined, 
pelted, bcciten, imprisoned, poisoned and hunted with 
dogs : their congregations were assaulted and dispersed; 
the solemn ordinance of baptism was rudely inter- 
rupted, both administrators and candidates being 
plunged and held beneath the waters until nearly dead; 
they suffered mock trials, and even in courts of justice 
w^ere subject to indignities not unlike those inflicted 
by the infcimous Jeffreys ; nor were these cases few and 
confined to restricted localities, as some have seemed to 
think. * * * But these things could not prevent the pro- 
gress of the truth. Those men of God were full of courage, 
and zeal, and love for the truth and for Jesus, and pity 
for perishing souls; and they went everywhere preach- 
ing the word, rejoicing that they were counted worthy 
to suffer for the name of Jesus, and gladly encountering, 
in the glades and mountains of what is now West Vir- 
ginia, fatigue", cold and hunger."' The pioneer Baptists 
of Mississippi were doubtless familiar with these events 
.and many of them had a personal knowledge of the im- 



INTRODUCTION Xlll, 

prisonment of John Waller, Louis and Elijah Craig, 
Samuel Harriss, James Childs, William Webber, Robert 
Ware, James Greenwood, James Ireland, and of many 
other Baptists who suffered in the great struggle for 
religious freedom in the " Old Dominion." 

The story of the persecutions endured b}^ the little 
band that organized the first church on Cole's Creek 
shows that the opening chapter in the history of Mis- 
sissippi Baptists is not devoid of the heroic element. 
The account of the dangers and privations endured by 
the faithful missionaries — the men of one Book — who 
threaded the trails and bridle paths of the State in 
order to administer to the spiritual needs of the hardy 
frontiersmen, is no less thrilling. And the story of 
those great and good men who, having entered upon 
the labors of their pioneer fathers, have built wisely 
and n()l)ly for the Lord, is a fitting cHmax in the records 
of grand achievements. It is surprising that these im- 
portant and thrilling facts have waited so long for a 
chronicler. 

The study of Baptist history, both local and gen- 
eral, cannot fail to be highly beneficial to the denomi- 
nation at large, and especially to its leaders. 

In the first place, the subject has a practical value. 
It enables the members of this denomination to under- 
stand better the influences that touch them on every 
side and largely control their lives and conduct. More 
than this, it enables one to judge of the course of de- 
nominational life. Von Sybel has well said that "he 
who knows the whence will also know the whither." 
The best church leaders are those who know the exper- 
iences, capabilities and tendencies of their denomina- 
tion. This knowledge enables them to plan wisely and 
to execute ably, giving due consideration to den oniina- 



XIV. INTRODUCTION 

tional traditions and thereby Jivoiding the mistakes of 
former da^'S. 

All historical subjects have great cnltvire value. 
The greatest sources of culture are the best things that 
have been thought and said and done. Church history 
above all other branches abounds in such things. This 
truth applies with increased torce to the study of the 
history of one's own people, since it shows the possi- 
liilities of noble lives in the midst of environments with 
which the reader is familiar, thus conveying by impli- 
cation a rebuke of untaithfulness and commendation of 
devotion to duty. 

The study of church history has also a great spirit- 
ual value. No human record gives more abundjant evi- 
dence of divine presence and jjower than does ecclesias- 
tical history. Dr. Philip Schaff has forcd)ly said that 
'' from Jesus Christ, since his manifestation in the flesh, 
an unbroken stream of divine light and lite has been and 
is still flowing, and will continue to flow, in evei'-grow- 
ing vohime, through the waste of our fallen race ; and 
all that is truly great and good and holy in the annals 
of church history, is due ultimately, to the impulse of 
His spirit. With the cruciflxion of Christ His resurrec- 
tion also is repeated ever anew in the history of His 
-church on earth ; and there has never yet been a day 
without a witness to His presence and power ordering 
all things according to His holy will." 

Franklin L. Rii.ev. 

Uni \ -ersit v of Mississippi, 
December 15, 1902. 



History of Mississippi Baptists 



PART 1. 

PIONEER WORK AND THE ASSOCIATIONS. 
CHAPTER I. 

BAPTIST PKINEEKS — BY L. S. FOSTER. 

The story of the discovery of the great Mississippi 
river, the "Father of Waters," by Hernando DeSoto,in 
May, 154-1, is famihar to all readers of histor}^ and is 
the beginning of the written history of the great State 
bearing the same name. Its western border is washed 
by the waters of this great river for three hundred miles 
or more, until near its delta it cuts through the present 
State of Louisana, leaving a small section of that State 
on its eastern side. 

This bold discoverer, DeSoto, was born in Spain in 
1496, and with his adventurous and warlike soldiers, 
after explorations of the coasts of Gautemala and Yuca- 
tan, and later through Peru, where he became famous 
and rich through his prowess and heroism, he returned 
to Spain with a fortune. After his marriage to the ac- 
complished Donna Isabella Bobadilla he, after a second 
expedition, led by Pamfilo de Narvaez, which proved 



16 HISTORV OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

unfruitful and disastrous, sailed from Spain in 153S,. 
and finally anchored at Tampa Ba_v, Florida. After 
wandering and fighting his wa}- with the Indians 
through Florida, Georgia and Alabama, losing many 
of his men and enduring man^- hardships, "DeSotoand 
his steel-clad warriors entered the j^resent State of Mis- 
sissippi, in December, 1540, near where the beautiful 
cit\' of Columbus now stands, in Lowndes county." 
DeSoto and his veteran followers were the first white 
men to tread the soil of Mississippi. They entered the 
territory of Mississippi fort3^-five years before the Bnglish 
landed in North Carolina, in 1585; sixty-seven years 
before the first settlement was made in Jamestown, Va., 
in 1607; eighty years before the Pilgrims of the May- 
flower made their first landing at I 'ly mouth Rock, in 
1620: ninety years before the first settlement w^as made 
on the sjiore of the Chesapeake Bay, m Maryland, 1631; 
and only six years later than Cartier. a French naviga- 
tor, entered the St. Lawrence river and claimed the 
entire ' Dominion of Canada for his royal master, the 
king of France, in the year 153-4-," '" (Hist, of Miss., 
Lowry and McCardle, p]). 11, 12). 

Fortifying himself in the territory which is now 
Pontotoc county, he went into winter quarters; later 
sustaining a fierce and disastrous attack from the Chick- 
asaw Indians. In his disabled condition, he proceeded 
northwest and in May, 1541, at the Chickasaw Bluffs, 
the site of the city of Memphis, he and his men, for the 
first time, looked upon the waters ot the world's great- 
est river. He crossed the river, wandered aimlessly 
through the tangled swamps of Arkansas and Louis- 
iana, and died May 21, 1542. 

The first permanent settlement on Mississippi soil 
was made under the direction of a French naval officer. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. IT 

Pierre Lemoyne, who is known as D'Iberville. He thus 
describes it, in his report to the minister of marine : 
"After having visited several places well adapted for 
settlements, I fixed on the Bay of Biloxi, four leagues 
north of where the ships are anchored . We made choice 
of this point on account of the sheltered bay or road- 
stead, where small vessels can come and go safely at all 
times. A place for a permanent settlement can be selected 
at leisure." "Here too," say Lowrey and McCardle^ 
"was first established the seat of the colonial govern- 
ment of Louisiana. Here, also, was heard the voice of 
Louis the Great, uttered by royal governors and vice- 
gerents, to his subjects, in this far-away quarter of the 
world." "The seat of the colonial government was es- 
tabHshed at Biloxi." 

The next permanent settlement, also by the French, 
w^as made near the site of the present city of Natchez. 
Under the supervision and command of the Lieutenant- 
Governor Bienville, "Fort Rosalie was completed and 
ready for occupation on the third day of August, 1716; 
and on the 28th of the same month a French garrison 
occupied the fort, with Major Pailloux in command." 

All the territory embraced in the present States o£ 
Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Ken-- 
tucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, and a small por-. 
tion of the present State of Louisiana, was acquired by 
the English from Frknce in a treaty which was agreed 
on in Paris, June 1, 1763. Mississippi, which was then 
under English dominion, was included in the vast ter-~. 
ritory mentioned above, and remained under the British 
rule for seventeen years as a portion of the province ot 
West Florida, into which England divided the south- 
ern section of the territory acquired from France. A. 
policy was pursued by the English which led to the. 
rapid settling up of the country. 



18 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

"In the year 1772 two brothers, Richard and Samuel 
Swayze, natives of New Jersey, purchased nineteen 
thousand acres of land from Captain AmosOgden, are- 
tired naval officer who had previously been granted a 
tract of twenty-five thousand acres. They located their 
purchase on the waters of the Homochitto river in 
what is now Adams count3^ Samuel Swayze had been 
for years a Congregational minister in his native State, 
and was the first Protestant minister ever seen on the 
soil of Mississippi."* (Hist, of Miss., L. andMcC.,p. 49.) 

The revolt of the American colonies from British rule, 
together with England's complications with France, 
.gave Spain an opportunity to seize from England all 
the country along the Mississippi from New Orleans up 
to and including the Natchez country in 1779, and in 
1783, the king of England ceded the whole of West 
Florida (including Mississippi) to the king of Spain, and 
thus our common-wealth, then territory-, passed under 
'Spanish rule, and at the same time the king of England 
recognized the independence of the United States of 
America. 

As soon as Spanish rule was established in the 
J*iatchez countrj^ Roman Catholicism was declared to 
be the only allowable religion of the land. The hand of 
persecution was then raised against ever)- one who 
dared to dissent from Romanism. 

"About the year 1743, there lived in Dinwiddle 
county, near Petersburg, Virginia, a newly married 
couple, of Welch descent, by the name of William and 
Phoebe Jones. Mr. Jones soon after died, leaving a \^oung 
w^idow and an onh' son, by the name of John. Within a 
few years of the death of her husband, Mrs. Jones mar- 
ried the man who will hereafter be known in these 
sketches as Richard Curtis, senior, by which marriage 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 19 

they had fi^-e sons and three daughters. After the mar- 
riage of Mfs. Jdnes to Mr. Curtis we have no very sat- 
isfactory kii^^ledge of the family for about thirty years. 
In the me^'Atime, John Jones, the son of Mrs. Curtis by 
her first 'M'Arriage, had grow^n up to manhood, and on 
the S8th \Df June, 1768, had married Miss Anna Brown, 
(^^^g-h^r of Abraham Brown. At the breaking out of 
the ^'evolutionary war, the family was found in South 
'C'^Vt)lina, on the Great Pedee river, near the mouth of 
^Jkck river, and about sixt\' miles from Charleston. At 
the Declaration of Independence Johu Jones ardently 
espoused the cause of the Revolutionists — served three 
campaigns against the British and tories, under that 
indomitable warrior, Captain, afterwards Genefal, 
Francis Marion, and was in several battles, including 
the seige of Charleston. His step-father and half- 
j^rothers, doubtless took part in the war, but precisely 
-wjlu^t their services were cannot now be ascertained. 
By inim dose of 1779, Mr. Jones and the Messrs Cur- 
tis—the ^tep-father and half-brothers— had rendered 
themselves so obnoxious to their tory neighbors, by 
their devotion to the Colonial cause that they found 
their situation not only vexatious but perilous. In the 
meantime, several of the leading members of the family 
had. embraced religion and joined a Baptist church, 
.among whom were John Jones, William, Benjamin and 
iRichard Curtis, and their wives, John Courtney, who 
had married Hannah Curtis, and John vStampley, who 
had married Phoebe Curtis, daughters of Richard Cur- 
tis, senior. We may safely presume that the elder Rich- 
;a,rd Curtis and his wife were also members of the same 
, church, but of this we have no certain knowledge. 
^Richard Curtis, junior, was at the time of which we 
^jyrite a licensed preacher. While the family were con- 



20 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

stantlj^ annoyed and era perilled by the ^horrors of the 
MK^ar at their very doors ; their property nearly exhaust- 
ed, and but little prospects of better days near at hand ; 
and having heard much said about the salubrious cli- 
mate, rich lands, exhaustless range and abundance of 
game in the far-off 'Natchez country,' and being op- 
pressed in mind, as well as in their outward circum- 
stances, they determined to seek a peaceful home far to 
the westward, quite be\^ond the vexations and dangers 
of the bloody w^ar still in progress throughout the 
United Colonies. Accordingly', earh' in the spring of 
1780, they mounted their wives and small children, with 
their scant supply of clothing, tools and furniture on 
pack-horses — the men traveling on foot, with their 
hunting apparatus to kill game by the way — and pro- 
ceeded across the countr^^ to the Holston river, in the 
north-eastern comer of Tennessee, where they paused 
during the summer to build their boats and to raise a 
crop of corn, preparatory^ to their descent by water to 
the 'Natchez country-.' When the water had attained a 
sufficient depth for navigation, toward the close of the 
year, thej-, with other immigrant families, embarked 
their all of earthly substance on three large and well- 
built flat boats, and committing themselves to the pro- 
tection of God, started on their perilous journe\'." 
They turned their backs upon their early homes, and 
their faces to the setting sun, and the smiling south. 

"It was, at best, a hazardous undertaking to de- 
scend the Holston, Tennessee, Ohio, and Mississippi riv- 
ers in such water craft as the}- were able to construct ; 
but what made it doubly hazardous was the belligerent 
stand which the Cherokee Indians had taken against 
all immigration through their country. The}- often 
availed themselves of the narrows, shoals and sudden 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 21 

turns in the Holston and Tennessee rivers to attack im- 
migrant boats. Our voyagers, being fully aware of 
that fact, went as ^vell prepared for it as their limited 
resources would allow, and kept a constant watch for 
the approach of their stealthy foes. * * * For the sake of 
mutual protection these immigrants had agreed to 
float their three boats as near each other as they con- 
veniently could. The foremost boat contained Richard 
Curtis, Sr., and his immediate famih', including John 
Jones and famih-, and his own sons and daughters with 
their families. The second boat contained two broth- 
ers by the name of Daniel and William Ogden, and a man 
by the name of Perkins, wnth their families, most of 
whom were Baptists. There is no record of the names 
of those in the third boat. Thej- seem to have fallen in 
with the other boats for the sake of protection in de- 
scending to Natchez. The voyagers in the last named 
boat had in some wa3' contracted the small-pox, and, to 
prevent the contagion from spreading to the other boats, 
the\^ were required to float a few hundred yards in the 
rear and to occupy a different landing at night. After 
floating unmolested for several days, the hostile savages 
espied the boats somewhere near the mouth of Clinch 
river, and fixed on a short bend in the Tennessee river, 
near the north-western corner of Georgia, as the place 
of attack. Having to float near the shore to keep in the 
channel, the foremost boat w^as violently assailed by the 
lurking Cherokees. All hands on board commenced a 
vigorous and well-directed defense. That her husband 
might be released to use his rifle on the assailants, Mrs. 
Jones put her eldest son, William, then in his twelfth 
year, at the oar while she held a thick, poplar stool be- 
tween him and the bullets, and it was well she did, for 
it was pierced by one of the leaden missiles. After the 



22 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

danger was all over, Mrs. Jones laughingly remarked 
that 'their guns were very weak, as they did not make 
a deep impression ' on her stool. Another lady heroically 
took the steering oar from her husband that he might 
use his rifle on the foe, and with unfaltering courage^, 
guided the boat until disabled b^^ a wound. Hannah 
Courtney was grazed on the head by a rifle-ball, and 
Jonathan Curtis was slightly wounded on the wrist, 
but, so far as known no life was lost. While the atten- 
tion of the assailants was mainh- directed to the first 
boat the second floated by unharmed." 

The third boat was captured and every one on it mur- 
dered except one lad}', who was held as a captive, until 
finally, b}' treaty, restored to her friends. But the In- 
dians contracted small-pox from the infection on the 
boat and a number of them died from the plague,"which 
passed through their villages like the destroying angel;" 
and it is said that " their descendants have, to this day, 
a traditional horror of that terrible pestilence."* 

Those who escaped in the first two boats " pursued 
their dangerous wa^' until the^- landed in safety at the 
mouth of Cole's Creek, about twenty miles above 
Natchez by land. To the eastward and southward of 
their place of debarkation they mainly made their first 
settlements in the countrj', within ten or twenty- miles 
of the Mississippi river. For several years they had to 
endure manj' privations and hardships incident to a 
ne^v countr}^, but poorly supplied with even the neces- 
saries of life." 

Rev. John G. Jones, late of Jefferson county, a Meth- 
odist minister, says, in "Protestantism is Mississippi 
and the Southwest," before quoted: "It has already 
been stated, that most of the prominent members of this 

* " Protestantism in Mississippi," pp. 22-26. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 23 

immigrant connection were members of a Baptist 
church before leaving South Carolina, and judging from 
the unwavering fidelity and zeal which they manifested 
in all their wanderings and privations, their religion 
was that of the heart. They were regular in their fam- 
ily devotions from their first settlement in the country, 
but the Spanish government — which only recognized the 
Roman Catholic form of religion and forbade all others 
— having lately taken under its jurisdiction the Natchez 
District, they scarcely knew what to do in regard to 
public worship. After mutual consultation the^^ agreed 
to meet together in their private dwellings, at set times, 
for the purpose of reading and expounding the Scrip- 
tures, exhortation and prayer, hoping in this w^ay to keep 
the members united and alive to their spiritual interests. 
These meetings, which were found to be so profitable to 
the members of the church, soon attracted the attention 
of the American portion of the population, many of 
whom desired to be present, and enjoy again the quick- 
ening and hallowing influences of Protestant worship.^ 
Thus things went on through a series of years witho'^t 
exciting much open opposition from the Catholic au tlr-- 
orities. Richard Curtis, senior, died November 1.0th, 
1784, and by this time his son Richard had b econie 
quite a preacher. John Stampley, the brother-ir ^.law of 
Richard Curtis, junior, was quite gifted in exhr ji-tation, 
as was also his brother, Jacob Stampley, bot\-i of whom 
afterwards became Baptist preachers. Will'iam Curtis 
an elder brother of Richard, was gifted ir^ extempora- 
neous prayer, as was also John Jones and several oth- 
ers. By 1790 other American settlements desired to be 
visited by Mr. Curtis and his lay assistants, and their 
labors were soon blessed in the manifest awaltening 
and conversion of souls." 



24 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

''Among the first converts was a prominent citizen 
by the name of Willian HamberHn, and a Spaniard, 
who had married an American lady, by the name of 
Stephen De Alvo, both of whom desired admission into 
tlie church. This brought up in the minds of these pio- 
neer workmen in the Lord's vineyard a very difficult 
question for solution: 'Who could administer the or- 
dinance of baptism according to the faith and order of 
Vne cliurch?' Mr. Curtis (Richard, junior,) was only a 
licentiate, and was not authorized, according to the rules 
of the church, to administer baptism, and 3'et here were 
persons desiring the ordinance, who exhibited all the 
usual evidences of true conversion. They prudently 
postponed the matter until they could correspond with 
the parent chiirch in South Carolina, from whose au- 
thority thev held their letters of church membership. 
In the meantime the 3'oung convearts were recognized 
as candidates for membership in the church, and were 
properly cared for and encouraged in the discharge of 
^11 their Christian duties." 

"The church in South CaroHna, upon receiving the 
interesting communication from the 'Natchez country' 
immediately took the subject under advisement, and re- 
turned as their answer 'that there is no law against ne- 
cessity, and under the present stress of circumstances 
the members ought to assemble and formally appoint 
one of their number, b^- election, to baptize the young 
converts.' This advice was promptly acted upon, and 
Richard Curtis was duly appointed to administer the 
ordinance, which he accordingly did, not only in the 
cases of HamberHn and DeAlvo, but in sundry other 
cases, both of men and women. To avoid being detect- 
ed by the Spanish CathoHc hierarchy, the ordinance 
was, at least, on one occasion, administered at night 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 25 

by torchlight. But ' a city that is set on a hill cannot 
be hid. ' The movements and successes of these early 
Mississippi Baptists, became more and more public. 
Meanwhile the opposition from the Catholic authori- 
ties, which had been on the increase for some time, now 
broke out into a blaze of persecution and the little pio- 
neer band of Baptists were peremptorily ordered to 
' desist from their heretical psalm-singing, pra^'ing, and 
preaching in public or the\' would be subjected to sun- 
dry pains and penalties. ' For a time Mr. Curtis and 
his adherents, in and out of church, thought the Amer- 
ican feeling was strong enough to sustain them, and 
moreover, believing their cause was the cause of God 
and that truth must ultimateh' triumph over error, bid 
their opponents defiance, and even went so far as to 
have their places of worship guarded by armed men, 
while they denounced in no ver}- moderate terms the 
'image worship, " and other unscriptural dogmas, and 
ceremonies of the Catholic church. The author does 
not pretend to say that their zeal was alwa^-s well- 
tempered with knowledge. In common parlance, they 
were uneducated men, plain, both in language, and 
manners, and perhaps, they sometimes imprudently 
provoked the wrath of their enemies," 

"By the commencement of the ^-ear 1795, several 
circumstances had transpired to stir up the wrath of 
the Catholics against this little band of primitive Bap- 
tists. Not onh' had William Hamberlin, and other 
prominent citizens joined their church, but Stephen De- 
Alvo, a Spaniard and a Catholic by birth and educa- 
tion, had renounced the faith of his ancestors and gone 
over to these heretics, as they called the Baptists. This 
could not be endured in silence. They had the legal 
authority, as well as the power to crush out this grow- 



26 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

ing brotherhood of anti-Catholics, and it must be done! 
Accordingly the Spanish Commandant at Natchez, 
Don Manuel Gayoso de Lemos, wrote an expostulatory 
letter to Mr. Curtis, urging him to desist from what 
w^as considered violative of the laws of the province and 
against the peace and safety of the country. To this 
letter Mr. Curtis replied with his characteristic blunt- 
ness and severity, giving him to understand that, in the 
name and strength of God, he was determined to perse- 
vere in what he had deliberately conceived to be 
his duty." 

"His immediate arrest was now ordered, and, on the 
6th of April, 1795, he stood a prisoner before Governor 
Gayoso. At the close of the investigation he was as- 
sured if he did not unequivocally promise to desist from 
all public preaching, he would be sent, with several of 
his adherents, especially Hamberlin and DeAlvo, to 
Avork in the silver mines of Mexico. Whether the hith- 
erto indomitable spirit of Curtis quailed under the 
menaces of Gayoso, or \vhether, upon a review of the 
whole matter he thought it would l3e more Christian- 
like to submit to the ' powers that be, ' cannot be de- 
termined. Be this as it may, he did promise to refrain 
thereafter from what was in open violation of the law^s 
of the province. An edict was also issued by Gayoso, 
' that if nine persons were found worshipping together, 
except according to the forms of the Catholic church, 
they should suffer imprisonment. ' After being dis- 
charged Mr. Curtis felt oppressed in mind, as he 
thoughtfulW and praj-erfulh' returned to his home on 
the south fork of Cole's Creek. 'Had he done right in 
promising not to preach the gospel of peace and salva- 
tion publicly in the province ? What would become of 
the membership if their public religious meetings were 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 27 

discontinued ? Would they not be scattered as sheep 
without a shepherd ? Had he set them a good example 
of fortitude in the face of danger ? These and kindred 
questions which arose, one after another, in his mind 
w^ere difficult of solution. He felt an assurance that he 
had aimed to do right, and the predominant conviction 
of his mind was that he had done the best he could in 
his circumstances. His liberty and life ^vere worth 
something to his family, to the little Christian brother- 
hood he had gathered around him, and to the future 
prospects of the church. Had he proved stubborn and 
refractory before Gayoso — being already a prisoner — he 
might have been ordered forthwith to the calaboose 
preparatory to his being sent to work in the Mexican 
silver mines. His brethren generally approved his course,, 
but thought some arrangement ought to be made to 
keep up their religious meetings. Things now went on 
quietly for a while, but the American population had 
increased by the arrival of other immigrants, and they 
were becoming more and more clamorous for religious, 
as well as civil, liberty. The members of the church 
had a meeting for consultation, and after patient delib- 
eration they came to the conclusion that it was not right 
to give up their religious meetings entirely. It was true 
Mr. Curtis had promised to abstain from public preach- 
ing, but still the3^ might hold meetings, with such as 
would not betray them, for Christian conference, prayer 
and exhortation. Accordingly they agreed to hold their 
meetings as secretly as possible, and conduct all their 
religious exercises in a low tone of voice ; and in order 
to make things doubly secure, they appointed reliable 
men as sentinels on all the roads leading to their places 
of worship, whose duty it was to come in at an^^ stage 
of the meeting and report the appearance of any sus- 



28 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

picious persons in the distance, which should be con- 
sidered the signal for an informal and immediate 
dismissal and dispersion.'' 

"Thus matters were successfulh' managed for tw^o 
or three months, when an additional circumstance, 
characteristic of the times, came to light, Avhich greatly 
enraged the priesthood and Spanish officers. David 
Greenleaf, an accomplished 3'oung gentlemen from the 
North, had won the heart and hand of Miss Phoebe 
Jones, daughter of John Jones, but such was their sense 
of the wrongs inflicted on the connection by the Cath- 
olic hierarchy- that the\' resolved not to be united in 
marriage by either priest or Spanish officer. They, 
moreover, believed that Richard Curtis, the uncle of 
Miss Jones, being a preacher of the gospel, was as duly 
authorized in the sight of God to solemnize the rites of 
matrimony as any one else, and made application to 
him accordingh'. He consented, with the understanding 
that all the preliminaries, including the marriage cere- 
mony-, were to be conducted as quietly as possible, and 
kept a secret as long as was consistent with truth and 
honor. But no one, not even the parents of Miss Jones, 
were willing to risk the consequences of having the 
marriage performed at their house. So arrangements 
were made for Mr. Greenleaf to go, Ma3' 24, 1795, with 
a few select young gentlemen, to the village of Gaj'-oso, 
which was situated on a bluff of the Mississippi river, 
about eighteen miles above Natchez, and procure the 
license from the proper officer, who was probably an 
American, and symjDathizer with that class of the com- 
munity-. Then, considerably after nightfall, he was to 
be found on the* road, two or three miles south of 
Greenville, * going in the direction of Natchez. In the 

*This town, now defunct, was in Adams county, and was, of course, 
different from the present flourishing city of Greenville, in Washington 
county. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 29 

meantime the bridal party, including Mr. Curtis, were 
to be taking an evening ride in the opposite direction, 
and lest some traitorous person might accidentally fall 
in with either party, they agreed upon a sign and 
countersign ; the bridal party giving the sign when they 
met amidst the darkness of night, and the other party 
returning the countersign in case all was well; but if 
any suspicious person had fallen in with either party, 
they were to pass in silence. At the appointed time 
and place the parties met, and one of the bridal party 
announced the mysterious word, but there was no re- 
sponse, and they passed without recognition. The 
young men could not forego the pleasure of a little in- 
nocent amusement in connection with a wedding, so 
they had determined to have it at the expense of the 
bridal part3^ 'Who on earth can they be?' inquired 
one in a suppressed tone. 'It's them,' said another, 'and 
something has happened.' A settled gloom was coming, 
down on that lovely young bride and her part}^ w^hen 
the mischievous young gentlemen wheeled suddenly 
about and gave the countersign. The parties alighted 
near the residence of William Stample}'-, on what is still 
known as 'Stampley's Hill,' and by torch light, under 
the widespread boughs of an ancient oak, the marriage 
ceremon}^ ^vas duly performed, which was concluded by 
an impressive prayer, offered up by Mr. Curtis, long 
talked of by those who were present. The parties re- 
mounted, the light was extinguished, and each sought 
concealment in the privacy of home. Of course, the 
marriage w^as not long kept a secret. Mr. Greenleat 
w^as a machinist, and thej^oungmen in his employ soon 
came to a knowledge of the fact that he was a married 
man, and through them it soon became known that 
Mr. Curtis had officiated at the hymeneal altar.'' 



-ISO HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

"Mr. Curtis' participation in this affair, and the 
■current rumors that he had violated his pledge to de- 
sist from preaching, and was actually holding secret 
meetings with his people, re-aroused the fury of the 
Catholics, and they determined to strike a decisive and 
final blow at the ring-leaders of this little Baptist com- 
munity. That Mr. Curtis ever violated his pledge, by 
preaching, in the ordinary acceptation of the term, 
there is no evidence ; that he did take part in the social 
meetings of the church is not denied." 

"The officers of the Provincial Government, insti- 
gated by the priesthood, made diligent inquir}- as to 
the time and place of holding their meetings for exhor- 
tation, prayer and Christian intercourse, and devised 
plans for the capture of Richard Curtis, William Ham* 
berlin and Stephen DeAlvo. Orders for their arrest 
were secretly issued on or about August 23, 1795. The 
23rd of August was a quiet Sabbath, with all of its ho- 
ly associations inviting the devout worshippers to as- 
semble at the house of prayer. It was the private resi- 
dence of one of their number, in what was then and is 
still known as 'Stample^^'s Settlement,' on the south 
fork of Coles" Creek." 

"The pickets had been properly posted on all the 
roads, and the little persecuted fraternity of Baptists 
were, in subdued tones, conducting their worship, when 
Ihe sentinel on the Natchez road came in hurriedly and 
announced the appearance of five men, whom he took 
to be a Spanish officer and his posse. The religious ex- 
ercises closed immediately, and Messrs. Curtis, Ham- 
berlin and DeAlvo hastened to a neighboring thicket to 
conceal themselves, knowing that they were peculiarly 
obnoxious to the hierarchy at Natchez. The others 
adjusted themselves with apparent carelessness about 



SilSTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 31 

the house and yard, when the unwelcome visitors rode 
up, and with characteristic self-importance, inquired, 
* What are you doing here ?' They replied, * We are not 
harming anybody ; we always suspend our secular 
avocations on the Sabbath, and either rest at home or 
spend our time in such intercourse with each other as 
suits us.' 'We wish to see Dick Curtis, Bill Hamberlin 
or Steve DeAlvo — either one or all of them. Where are 
they to be found this morning?" authoritatively in- 
quired this embodiment of Papal intolerance, to which 
an evasive answer was given, such as, 'We don't exactly 
know; somewhere in the neighborhood we suppose.' 
The officer then announced the fact that he had come 
with orders from Governor Gayoso to arrest those 
three rebels, preparatory to their being sent to work in 
the silver mines in Mexico for the remainder of their 
lives, and if any man should be found aiding and abet- 
ting either their concealment or escape, he should suffer 
the like penalty. After further expressing his determi- 
nation to capture them at any expense of time and 
labor, he set out immediately wath his posse on a dilli- 
gent search for the fugitives, and, in the language of the 
venerable Mrs. Elizabeth Armstrong, who still survives, 
considerably in advance of eighty years of age [this 
was published in 1866], and who well remembers the 
search for Curtis and his two companions, ' For a num- 
ber of days they reminded me of children plaj'ing hide 
and seek, such was the activity and minuteness of the 
search.'" 

This long quotation, so full of interest, and bearing 
upon our subject, has been taken from " Protestantism 
in Mississippi and the Southwest," by Rev. John G. 
Jones, before quoted, who belonged to the family of the 
Joneses and Curtises. He further says : 



32 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

" It now became the settled conviction of the most 
reliable men in the community that it was w^orse than 
useless for Mr. Curtis and his two faithful adherents, 
Hamberlin and DeAlvo, to think of breasting that 
storm any further ; that their onlj^ safety was in a pre- 
cipitate flight from the countr3% and consequently from 
all that was dear to them on earth. 'But whither 
shall they fly ?' was the next question, and the ready 
answer was 'to South Carolina, the former home of 
Mr. Curtis."' 

"Here, on the Great Pedee, they could support 
themselves by the labor of their own hands, while 
among congenial associates thej' could enjoy their 
Christian privileges with none to molest or make them 
afraid. Accordingly, as soon as suitable horses could 
be procured, and amidst the tears of wives and chil- 
dren, and weeping relatives, they clandestinely left the 
settlement with the understanding that they were to 
conceal themselves at the house of a friend, on Little 
Bayou Pierre, near where Port Gibson now stands, 
until the^^ could be siippHed with suitable provision, in 
clothes, food and mone^-, for their journe}- through the 
wilderness to South Carolma." 

Continuing the narrative of the departure of Mr. 
Curtis and his friends, Mr. Jones sa3'S : 

"Why they had fallen into such sore trials was not 
for them to decide. They had an abiding consciousness 
of having aimed to do right. They had not desired to 
wrong either the Provincial Government or the Papal 
hierarcln-. Their sole object had been to worship God 
and to do good to their fellow men, according to their 
understanding of the Holy Scriptures. God knew their 
hearts, and would judge of them accordingh'. The 
path of duty, though crowded with difliculties, was the 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 33^ 

-only path of safety, and by the help of God, the^^ would 
constantly endeavor to walk therein at all hazards. If 
they were faithful. Infinite Wisdom would over-rule all 
for their good and for the furtherance of the gospel."' 
When all the necessary preparations had been made for 
their journey, such as a supply of food and clothing, 
"anew and unexpected difficulty arose," saysMr.Jones. 
"Not a man could be found willing to risk the penalty 
of ' aiding and abetting ' in the escape of the refugees. 
Their absence from home a single day or night might, 
throw suspicion on them and lead to disastrous con- 
sequences ; and the question was asked with increasing; 
anxietj^, ' Who will take their supplies to their place of 
concealment on Bayou Pierre?' The question was. 
soon answered. There lived in the vicinity a noble- 
hearted and daring woman by the name of Chloe Holt,, 
who acted in the capacity of accoucheress for the settle- 
ment, and w^as in every way suitable for such an ad- 
venture as was now on hand. Aunt Chloe had a kind 
and sympathetic heart, but an iron will, was deter- 
mined and bold, and withal was a little eccentric. While 
she was all aglow to have the pleasure and honor of 
convejdng the needed supplies to the exiles, she wished 
to hit a back-handed lick at what she considered the 
cowardice of the men in the neighborhood. ' If the men 
in the neighborhood,' said she, 'are so faint-hearted 
that not one of them can be prevailed upon to take 
Dick Curtis and his companions in exile their promised 
supplies, in order to secure their escape from the clutches, 
of these gospel-hating Catholics, if they will furnish me 
with a good horse, surmounted with a mans saddle, I 
will go in spite of the Spaniards, and they may catch me 
if they can.' The families and refugees were glad ta 
avail themselves of her generous offer, and a suitable 



34 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

horse was accordingly brought and saddled as she de- 
sired. All things being ready she made her appearance, 
dressed cap-a-pie, in gentleman's clothes, and mounting 
the horse in cavalier style, boldly dashed off. The jour- 
ney was hastily and successfully made. She took the 
last farewell of the loved ones at home to the sorrow- 
stricken exiles, delivered them their. supplies, gave them 
her blessing, and returned as she went. No one mo- 
lested Aunt Chloe, and that adventure was her boast 
to the close of her life. It is supposed she died and was 
buried in Warren count}^ somewhere about the head- 
Avaters of Big Bayou Pierre. Could we find her grave 
we would make the effort to have a suitable monument 
placed upon it to perpetuate her name and noble deed 
to generations yet unborn. Whoever may, in future, 
\vrite the History of the Baptist churches in Mississippi 
let them not forget to make honorable mention of 
Chloe Holt. * Peace to your ashes,' old friend , where ver 
they ma\' rest.'" 

" Soon after receiving their supplies by the hands of 
Mrs. Holt, the exiles began to move northward, thread- 
ing their wa^' along the old Natchez and Cumberland 
trace, fording or swimming the smaller streams, making 
rafts of logs to ferry themselves over the larger rivers, 
sleeping on the ground at night, with the sk3' for a 
covering, until the3' arrived in the white settlements 
north-east of the Indian country-. In process of time 
they reached the former home of Air. Curtis, on Great 
Pedee, in South Carolina, where they remained over 
two 3'ears and a half.'' Mr. Curtis was active and 
acceptable as a preacher, and during his sojourn in 
South Carolina was regularh' ordained bj' Benjamin 
Mosely and Matthew McCullens, and was duly em- 
powered, \vhenever he should return to the Natchez 
country-, to constitute a Baptist church. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 35 

While he and his friends were in exile political 
^changes w'ere in progress. The Natchez District was 
' claimed as being within the chartered limits of Georgia, 
and, consequently, as belonging to the United States, 
and Colonel Andrew Ellicott, with a suitable force, had 
been sent on by the General Government to enforce the 
claim, by negotiation if possible, if not, by force of arms. 
After many vexatious delays, under a variety of pre- 
texts, Col. Ellicott had to assume a belligerant attitude, 
and promptly informed the Spanish commander that if 
he did not evacuate Fort Rosalie by March 30, 1798, 
he would reduce it by bombardment, and placed his 
ordnance about where the lower end of Main street in 
Natchez now is for that purpose. The fort was evacu- 
ated before day that morning, and during the day the 
Americans took possession of the works. The "Stars 
and Stripes" were raised on the heights of Natchez; a 
large brush harbor made, temporary seats put under it 
and Bailey Chaney sent for to come and preach under 
the American colors. He had an immense congregation, 
who, no doubt, enjoyed the first religious service in 
Mississippi under the American flag. 

Thus, in Mississippi "the dark and menacing clouds 
of persecution passed away, and all w^as light, love 
^HCi joy in that little " band of Baptists. 

••On the return of Richard Curtis to his home in the 
Natchez country the voice of the oppressor had ceased 
in the land. The stars and stripes had been thrown to 
the balmy breezes that fanned old Fort Rosalie, and lib- 
erty of conscience was proclaimed to all. The hitherto 
oppressed and down-trodden Baptist community met 
An Go^nference, and, under the superintendence of their 
bejoved Richard Curtis, who presided as moderator, 
they completed their organization ' in due and ancient 



'36 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

form, ' as a regular Baptist church. This was probably 
in the summer of 1798. Their first church was called 
Salem, that is, peace, and stood among the upper 
branches of the South Fork of Cole's Creek, in Jefferson 
county, on what is still known as 'the Salem road.' 
Their usual place for immersion was in Harper's Fork, 
a little to the south of the church." 

Richard Curtis, the first Baptist preacher in the 
State, is described as **a plain, honest, unsophisticated 
man, a sincere and spiritual Christian, and an uncom- 
promising and zealous preacher of the gospel. If he 
was very pointed and plain spoken at times in the pul- 
pit, his manner suited the rough work he had to do." 
"His wife, 'aunt Pattie, ' as she was familiarly called 
by the connection, survived as a hale old lady until 
about 1819. She died in Jefferson count}^ and is buried 
on the plantation of Mrs. Samuel Bolls, two or three 
miles east of Fayette." 

For other incidents in the life of Richard Curtis, and 
for sketches of William and Bailey Chaney, Mr. Hari- 
gail, Barton Hannan, John Hannah, and other preach- 
ers of this time, see " Alississippi Baptist Preachers," 
by the author of this Chapter. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 37 



CHAPTER II. 

BY L. S. FOSTER. 

ORGANIZATION AND EARLY DAYS OF 
MISSISSIPPI ASSOCIATION. 

"Soon after the establishment of the territorial 
government in Mississippi, the Baptists received many 
valuable accessions to their ranks b\' immigration from 
South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee. About the 
year 1800, a second Baptist church, called New Hope, 
was organized on Second Creek, in Adams county, and 
about the same time another near Woodville, Wilkinson 
count3% called Bethel. In 1805 New Providence and 
Ebenezer churches were organized in Amite county. In 
September, 1806, these five churches appointed dele- 
gates to meet at Salem for the purpose of organizing an 
Association.'" For some cause the organization of the 
Association was not perfected until the next annual 
meeting of the delegates which took place at Bethel, 
near Woodville, September 26 to 29, 1807. Bond says: 
**We date the existence of the Mississippi Baptist Asso- 
ciation from 1806.*' 

Mississippi Association was the first oganization 
of Baptist churches on Mississipj)i soil. The Minutes 
of 1807 say: "The Mississippi Baptist Association 
convened at Bethel church, Bayou Sara, Mississippi 
Territory," "from which" says Mr. Jones, "we infer 
that Bethel church was southwest of Woodville, on a 



38 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

small stream of that name, which afterward gave name 
to the town of Bayou Sara, at its mouth on the Missis- 
sippi river." 

The Articles of Faith of this Association are thor- 
oughly Pauline, speaking in no uncertain sound on the 
great doctrines of grace, the full inspiration of the Bible, 
total depravity, eternal and unconditional election, im- 
puted righteousness, effectual calling, repentance, faith, 
regeneration, justification, final preservation, expiation 
of sin by Jesus Christ, good works an evidence of faith, 
a future general judgment, the eternal happiness of the 
saved, and the eternal punishment of the wicked. 

The article on election was overhauled in 1844, but 
w^as retained unchanged as the teaching of the Scrip- 
tures, and the proof texts, Jer. 31:3; Eph. 1 : 4 ; 1 Thess. 
1:4; 1 Pet. 1 :2; 2 Tim. 2:19; John 10:3; John 6:37;. 
John 17:1, were added. 

In their Church Order the members of this Associa- 
tion, define a gospel church, and speak plainly upon the 
ordinances and officers of a church, and the necessity of 
the discipline of disorderly members. 

After giving Rules of Decorum, they then clearly de- 
fine the Powers of an Association, emphasizing the fact 
that such an organization has "no power to lord it 
over God's heritage, nor infringe upon any of the inter- 
nal rights of the churches." 

Thomas Mercer, who was a prominent figure a- 
mong these early Baptists, and whose name is often 
found in the Minutes of the Mississippi Association, 
from 1808 until the time of his death, was a very effect- 
ive preacher. He was a great revivalist and preached 
"in demonstration of the Spirit and of power." 
Through his preaching many were converted, and 
brought to a saving knowledge of Jesus. He supplied 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 39 

the deficiency in hymn books by compiling and publish- 
ing a hymn book, which was extensively used among 
the Baptists for several generations, but is long since 
out of print. 

David Cooper was another prominent and effective 
preacher of these early times. He is reported as a well 
educated and polished man, and an attractive, able and 
useful minister of the New Testament. For more than 
thirty years he was active in building up Baptist 
churches in Southwestern Mississippi. Being an ear- 
nest advocate of higher education, he was, as early as 
1817, chairman of a committee on this subject, and 
presented a paper on the importance of ministerial im- 
provement, which remains to-day, as a most able pres- 
entation of the matter. 

Each year this first Association had prepared and 
published in its Minutes a Circular Letter upon some 
doctrinal or experimental subject, which papers were 
very helpful to the churches. They contained a great 
deal of solid truth on doctrinal, experimental and prac- 
tical subjects, well 1)uttressed by appropriate citations 
from the Scriptures. But, after all, the main agency in 
the development and building up of the Baptists in 
these early times, as well as in the days following, was 
the zealous activity of the earnest preachers in every 
where and on all occasions "holding forth the word of 
life." It was true then, as in Apostolic times, that, as 
the word of God increased in extent of influence the 
number of disciples multiplied greatly. 

Turning now to facts concerning the Association's 
growth, we find that at the meeting of September 26 
to 29, 1807, (the first of which there were published 
Minutes) "the first two days were spent in public wor- 
ship, concluding with the administration of the Lord's 
Supper.*' 



40 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

Moses Hadley was moderator and Robert Tanner 
Tvras clerk. The delegates were as follows : Salem, 
John Stample\- and Wilson Bolls; New Hope, Moses 
Hadle^', John Erwm; Bethel, John Coulter, Reuben 
Jackson; New Providence, Cornelius Whittington, 
William Causey; Ehenezer, Ezra Courtney, Hardy 
Brian. 

The session of 1808 was held at Providence "meet- 
ing house," embracing the first Lord's 6.ay in October. 
The five original churches were represented and Bayou 
Pierre, represented Idv Willis McDonald and Ezekiel 
Flowers, and Alorgan's Fork, represented by Joseph 
Slocumb, were received. These churches were doubt- 
less organized since the last session. We quote : ^^ Query: 
— What shall be done wath members of our society who 
live in constant neglect of famih' worship ? Answer: 
— We recommend to the heads of families in our connec- 
tion, to keep up famih' worship, as a Christian duty ; 
and where the^' do not, that gospel steps be taken in 
order that they ma\' be reclaimed." 

Also: ^' Query: — What steps would be most ad- 
visable to take \vith members of our society whose 
treatment to their slaves is unscriptural ?" 

To this was given the following : 

^^ Answer. — We recommend to the several churches 
belonging to our connection to take notice of any im- 
proper treatment of their members toward their slaves, 
and deal wdth them in brotherh' love according to the 
rules of the gospel." 

In 1809, the Association met with Salem church, on 
Cole's Creek. The introductory sermon was preached 
by Moses Hadley, No new churches were received 
at this meeting. The letter from New Hope church 
stated that there was trouble in' that church, and the 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 41 

Association appointed a committee of three, Moses 
Hadley, L. Scarborough and David Cooper, to visit the 
church and if possible remove the difficulties. 

In 1810, the Associationmet with Ebenezer church, 
in Amite county, on Frida^^ October 19. David Cooper 
was moderator and Moses Hadley was clerk. Seven 
churches were represented, besides two which applied 
for membership and were received, "satisfaction being 
obtained of their faith and good order." These were 
Eastfork and Westfork. The committee appointed to 
visit New Hope reported the difficulties adjusted. 

A query from Bayou Pierre church, asking whether 
"the washing of the saints" feet is a Christian duty or 
not " was answered in the affirmative. African church, 
which is not mentioned before in the Minutes, is re- 
ported this session as having no delegation. 

In 1811, the Association met at New Hope in Adams 
county. Thomas Mercer was moderator and David 
Cooper clerk. Three churches were received into the 
Association, which were Tangipahoa, Shiloh and Zion 
Hill. Jesse Brown was received as a corresponding 
messenger from the Cumberland Association. It was 
Resolved, "That we think it expedient and necessary to 
appoint supplies to the destitute churches,'' and six 
brethren were thus appointed and assigned to these 
different churches. Corresponding messengers were 
appointed to the Hepzibah, Georgia, Cumberland and 
Savannah Associations. 

In 1812, October 17, the Association met with the 
Zion Hill church, in Amite count3'. Moses Hadley was 
moderator and Joseph J. Lawton, clerk. The church 
at Bogue Chitto, known as " Half Moon Bluff," and 
Jerusalem church, were received into the fellowship of 
the Association. "Brethren Hadley and Scarborough 



42 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

were appointed to ordain Brother Willis in the Opelou- 
sas, and constitute a church in the vicinity where he 
lives."' Messrs. Courtney and Wall were appointed to 
visit members on Tangipahoa and if advisable consti- 
tute them into a church. The Association published 
this year a Circular Letter by Moses Hadley on "Union 
of the Churches,"' which is lengthy and able. 

In 1813, October 16, the Association met with the 
Bayou Pierre church. Moses Hadley was moderator 
and George King, clerk. Five churches were received 
at this meeting, namelj^ : Clear Creek, Adams county ; 
Pierce's Creek, Wilkinson county; Bogue Chitto, Ma- 
rion count3^ ; Mount Xebo, on Tangipahao, and Peniel, 
in West Florida. . On account of the disturbed con- 
dition of the country growing out of the war with 
Great Britain, correspondence with the Georgia and 
Hepzibah associations were discontinued. It was de- 
termined to organize a S3'stem of itinerant preaching or 
evangelistic work ; accordingh' the bod3'' agreed to form 
divisions or squads for the work. The death of John 
Atkins and Wilson Bolls is noted." (J. T. Buck). A 
Circular Letter on the War is published this \'ear in the 
Minutes of the Association. 

In 1814, October 15, the body met with Shiloh 
church, in Wilkinson count\\ Ezra Courtney was 
moderator, and William Snodgrass clerk. Three 
churches, Hepzibah, Hopewell and Antioch, were re- 
ceived. An application was received from Pearl River 
church, but action thereon was deferred, on account ot 
some trouble existing between this church and the 
churches on Bogue Chitto. 

This year "the Association formally Resolved, that 
it be recommended to, and enjoined on, the preachers 
of our order, that thev use their utmost diligence in the 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 43 

practice of itinerant preaching.' Many of these primi- 
tive Baptist preachers were a stirring class of men. 
They often made extra exertions, and turned out of the 
beaten track in order to preach the gospel to the desti- 
tute, and verily they had their reward in the rich har- 
vest of souls they were instrumental in gathering into 
the churches." 

The Association ''Resolved, that it be enjoined on 
the churches on Bogue Chitto, and the Pearl River 
church, to use their best endeavors, according to Gospel 
order, to remove any difficulties that exist among them . ' '' 
A request from members on Cedar Creek that ministers 
be sent to them for the purpose of constituting a church 
resulted in the appointment of William Allen and 
Nathan Morris to visit them for the purpose. 

In 1815, October 14, the Association met with 
Sarepta church, Jeiferson county. Moses Hadley was 
moderator and William Snodgrass clerk. Pearl River, 
after some deliberation, and Union churches were re- 
ceived at this meeting. Two letters were sent up from 
Salem church, and a committee of five was appointedto 
*sit forthwith and hearthe evidence respecting the diffi- 
culties in said church.' William Allen, WiUiam Cooper, 
Jacob Cobb, Thomas Casen and Harmon Runnels con- 
stituted this committee. 

"A letter from the Baptist Board of Foreign mis- 
sions was received and read in which they solicit this 
Association, and the churches connected herewith, to 
contribute to aid them in raising funds for the purpose 
of sending missionaries to preach the gospel to heathen 
nations ; and that a standing secretary of this Associa- 
tion be appointed, with whom they will correspond, 
and to whom they will forward their reports." Will- 
iam Snodgrass was appointed in this capacity, and the 



44 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. . 

"wish of the Association" was expressed "that the 
churches may contribute as HberalW as the}' may find it 
conA'enient, and forward the same to our next annual 
meeting. Also, that our ministering brethren endeavor 
to explain and further the views of the said Board of 
Missions in the best manner they possibh' can, and re- 
ceive contributions from such persons as may be dis- 
posed to favor that great and blessed work, and that 
they preserve an account of the names and sums an- 
nexed."' The body sent twentv dollars from the Asso- 
ciation fund and appropriated all other surplus funds 
of this session for this object. Correspondence was ap- 
pointed to the Savannah River, Ocmulgee and Cumber- 
land (Tenn.) Associations. A Circular Letter on "God- 
ly Zeal" was published this year, prepared by David 
Cooper. 

In 1816, October 16, the Association met with 
Clear Creek church, Adams county. Nathan Morris 
was moderator, and William Snodgrass clerk. Six 
churches were received, namely : Alars Hill, Fair River, 
Elim, Beulah, Fellowship and Bayou Chico, Corre- 
sponding letters were sent to the Savannah River, Oc- 
mulgee and Cumberland Associations. William Snod- 
grass reported $80.93 as the contribution to Foreign 
missions. 

In 1817, October 18 to 21, the Association met with 
Bogue Chitto church. Pike county. David Cooper was 
moderator, and Benjamin Davis clerk. Five churches 
were received into the Association, namely: Vermion, 
New Chapel, Canaan, Green's Creek, and Natchez. Ad- 
vice is asked with reference to troubles in Salem church. 
At this session D. Cooper, James A. Ranaldson, and 
Benjamin Davis were appointed a committee, in pursu- 
ance of a resolution, "that this Association recommend 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 45 

and support a plan for raising a fund, for the special 
purpose of promoting the proper education of pious 
young men called to the great and important work of 
the gospel ministry." An "address" on Ministerial 
Education was submitted by this committee and pub- 
lished as a Circular Letter, which is excellent reading. 
The following recommendations were adopted: "(1) 
That a special committee of seven be appointed for one 
year, who shall be invested with right and authority 
to solicit subscriptions and donations for the education 
fund ; to judge and determine of the moral character, 
piety, gifts, and graces of those who may apply for the 
benefit of this fund ; to accept such as may be deemed 
worthy and are called of God to preach the gospel ; also 
to conduct and superintend their education ; and to de- 
fray all necessary expenses out of the funds collected for 
that purpose. (2) That this special committee draft a 
constitution and b^^-laws, to present for inspection at 
the next Association. (3) That the respective churches 
of our order be recommended to contribute, 3'earh', to 
the education fund, by the hands of their delegates. 
(4) That the address to the churches, prepared and pre- 
sented by the committee, be substituted for our Circular 
Letter, and printed with the Minutes." This committee 
consisted of David Cooper, J. A. Ranaldson, G.W.King,, 
E. Courtney, L. Scarborough, B. Davis and Willianii 
Snodgrass. Thomas Mercer and Benjamin Davis were 
"requested to visit the Creek Indians, to inquire what 
can be done towards the establishment of schools, and 
the introduction of the gospel among them." 

In 1818, October, 17 the Association met with New 
Providence church, Amite couny. D. Cooper was 
Moderator and W. Snodgrass Clerk. Seven new 
churches were received, namely : Pinkneyville, Sharon,, 



46 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

Dilling's Creek, Beulah, Bala Chitto, Silver Creek, 
Friendship and Orleans. A letter was received from 
the corresponding secretary' of the Baptist Board of 
Foreign Missions, accompanied by a copy of their 
fourth annual report. A communication was also re- 
ceived from the Secretary of the Board of Directors of 
the Baptist Mission Societj- of Kentucky; "which con- 
tained information of great importance relative to the 
most efficient plans" for reforming the Indians, and it 
was Resolved, "that the Association heartily concur in 
the views of the Board, and that a suitable memorial, 
representing the deplorable condition of the Indian 
tribes within the limits of the United States, be prepar- 
ed and sent to Congress at the ensuing session, signed 
by the Moderator and Clerk, in behalf of the Associa- 
tion.'' Correspondence was received from the Ocmulgee 
. and Bigbee Associations and corresponding messengers 
.appointed to these bodies. The Educational Commit- 
tee presented an admirable Constitution, setting forth 
.the object and plans of the "Mississippi Baptist Edu- 
cation Societ\'.'' It was to be composed of delegates 
from churches and Associations which contributed to 
the fund, and of individuals, who should subscribe to 
the constitution and pay not less than two dollars an- 
nually. Fifty dollars in one pa^-ment constituted a 
person a life member. The societj^ had entire control 
of the work which was done through an executive 
committee, consisting of the President, Secretary and 
Treasurer, and ten trustees, all of whom were elected 
triennially. The officers and trustees for the first three 
years were: David Cooper, president; James A. Ran- 
aldson, secretary: Bartlett Collins, treasurer: David 
Collins, Geo. W. King, Ezra Courtney, William Erwin, 
John Smith, Shadrack King, Jacob Buckholts, Joel 
Glass, William Grummond and William Snodgra§§. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 47 

A resolution was passed recommending "that the 
churches have a sermon preached in each year with a 
special relation to missionary concerns, and at the 
same time make a collection for the support of mission- 
aries, and on forwarding the money to this Association 
state whether the contribution was for Foreign or Do- 
mestic Missions/' The Association thus speaks out 
with no uncertain sound on the matters of ministerial 
education and missions. At this session the Associa- 
tion expresses its high regard for Moses Hadley, who 
has died since the last session. (See Miss. Bap. Preach- 
ers, p. 328). 

In 1819, October 16, the Association met with 
Hepzibah church, Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. David 
Cooper was moderator and William Snodgrass clerk. 
One church, St, Francisville, was received. 

Eight churches north of the Homochitto, upon 
their petition, were dismissed in order to form a new 
Association, and Ba^-ou Pierre church recommended as 
the place of their first meeting. 

Several churches, east of Pearl river, upon their 
petition, were also dismissed for the purpose of organ- 
izing still another new Association, and Dilling's Creek 
church suggested as the place for the first meeting. 

Since the last meeting Thomas Mercer has died, and 
the Association pays a fitting tribute to his memory. 
(Miss. Bap. Preachers, pp. 492, 493). 

A letter of correspondence was .sent to a new Asso- 
ciation, west of the Mississippi river, in Louisiana, and 
as messengers, D. Cooper and E. Courtney. It is wor- 
thy of a passing note that this old mother Association, 
the Mississippi, made an" appropriation to pay the ex- 
penses of its corresponding messengers. At this meet- 
ing we find in the Minutes: "Salem, iio delegation," 



48 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

Serious troubles arose in this church and later it was 
torn to pieces and ceased to exist. "Old Salem, the 
first church, presents a sad and melancholy picture to 
a pious heart. After it had enjoyed about fifteen years 
of prosperity, and about 1812 and 1813, had been 
favored with the most extensive revival known in the 
conntry up to that date, differences of opinion grew up 
between some of the leading members, which led to ill 
temper and angrv words, and finally were brought up 
in the monthl3' conferences of the church, Avhere they 
were long debated, until parties were formed, and the 
membership was agitated from centre to circumference. 
From that unnatural and un-Christian feud we date 
the decline and ultimate downfall of the first Baptist 
church in Mississippi. The faithful few struggled hard 
and long to maintain their organization, but having 
no more revivals to recruit their numbers, and suffering 
diminution constantly from deaths and removals, they 
at last 3'ielded to their hapless fate, and ceased the 
bootless strife. About twenty-five cr tliirt\^ ^-ears ago 
[about 1835 or 1840] the woodwork of the church 
edifice was accidentally destro3'ed by fire, since which 
time the brick walls have been gradualh' taken away 
for neighborhood purposes, until now nothing remains 
to designate the spot to the passer-b\^ but the grave- 
yard, ^vhere reposes the dust of some of the best of our 
race. * * * But the fruits of old Salem are not all lost. 
In her chivalrous da^'s she sent out a number of vigor- 
ous colonies, which 3'et live and prosper.''* 

In 1820, October 14 to 17, the Association met 
with Zion Hill church, Amite count3\ S. Marsh was 
moderator, and E. Andrews was clerk. Visiting min- 
isters Balfour, Smith, Courtnev, Morris, Flower, 

* Protestantism in Mississippi, pp.57, 58. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 49 

O'Ouin and Scarborough, \vere present and received the 
courtesies of the Association. Messengers were receiv- 
ed from the Union, Bigbee and Louisiana Associations 
and correspondence was returned. Mention is made 
of the organization of Pearl River Association by the 
churches. Pearl River, Mount Nebo, Half- Moon Bluff,, 
Fair River, Dilling's Creek, Poplar Springs, Silver Creek, 
Silver Creek, E. P., New Chapel, BogueChitto,Antioch, 
Beulah, Balo Chitto and Friendship. The same officers 
Avere continued in the Education Society, and it "w^as 
"earnestly recommended to our sister Association, that 
we meet annually, 133^ delegates appointed, in one gen- 
eral meeting, for the purpose of corresponding, and of 
eliciting the energies of the w^hole, in aid of the mission- 
ary cause, and other benevolent and evangelical objects : 
Also, that any collections made from individuals or 
churches, especially for the Mission or Education Soci- 
ety, be transmitted by the hands of their delegates re- 
spectively, to the funds of these Societies : It is further 
recommended that this general meeting of the Associa- 
tion be held at the time and place of the meeting of the 
Mississippi Missionary^ Societ^^ so as to unite and con- 
centrate the ^vhole in the best and most efficient endeav- 
ors to propagate the gospel at home and abroad." D. 
Cooper, S. Marsh, Howell Wall and J. A. Ranaldson 
were appointed as the delegates of this Association to 
the meeting of the Missionary Society, in the following 
May at Zion Hill church. 



50 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 



CHAPTER III. 

MISSISSIPPI ASSOCIATION CONTINUED. 

The Association of 1S21 was composed of delegates 
from only 16 churches, of the 41 represented the previ- 
ous 3^ear. The going out of churches to form two new 
Associations in one A^ear left the old Mississippi Associ- 
ation not onh^ depleted, but also discouraged. In the 
Circular Letter of that A-ear, written b3' J. A. 
Ranaldson, the lack of spiritual power was lamented, 
and was the subject of much solicitude. With the pros- 
perity' of the times, covetousness had laid a pall over 
the languishing churches. The increase of members had 
been small, and the spiritual pulse was sluggish. It is 
no doubt true that the absence of many that were ac- 
customed to meet in their annual gatherings and the 
usual cheerful reports of some of the churches then of 
the Union and Pearl River Associations, had luuch to 
do in giving coloring to their feelings. This solicitude 
for the state of the churches was accompanied b^^ an 
unusual caution. It was Resolved in the meeting of the 
Association, that the three ministers w^ho Avere to 
preach on the Lord's day be elected by ballot, and "a 
cautious reserve" AA'as recommended to the churches as 
to licensing and ordaining ministers. It was agreed to 
have the Circular Letter of the A-ear appear in their 
minutes on the subject of "Close Communion.'" The 
Association seems to have been making an honest effort 
at finding its available resources, and keeping a minis - 
try and membership pure in spirit and doctrines. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS, 51 

In 1822, the Association met with the Ebenezer 
church, in Amite county, near which church the remains 
of Richard Curtis now rest in an unknown grave. 
The humanity of these earh- Baptists, and the kindly 
spirit they had for their slaves, is seen in an effort made 
by them to have a law of the Legislature of the State 
repealed which abridged the religious liberty of the Af- 
rican churches under their care. D. Cooper, S. Marsh, 
and G. A. Irion ^vere appointed to place a memorial be- 
fore the next Legislature of the State in the interest of 
untrammeled religious privileges of the colored man of 
our commouAvealth. This fact is \vorthy of com- 
memoration. The Baptists before the Civil War were 
the Negro's best friends. Baptist ministers preached 
to them regularly, and Baptist churches \vere so built 
as to offer to them equal privileges with the \vhites in 
hearing the gospel. 

The first da^^ of January 1823, was, by the Associ- 
ation, designated as a day of fasting and pra^^er for 
more spiritual power in the churches and for "the uni- 
versal spread of the gospel."" What loft^' sentiments! 
Religious liberty for all men irrespective of relation or 
color and a free gospel for the ^vide wide \vorld! All 
praise to these early Baptists of the old Mississippi As- 
sociation. 

The Association of 1823 was convened Oct. 20th, at 
Mars Hill Church, a church of vigorous membership, ex- 
isting at the present time. The old mother of Associa- 
tions ^vas filled with joy. The daughter, the Pearl 
River Association, in the hand of messengers, sent a 
letter to her, and that other daughter, the Union Asso - 
ciation, gave the mother similar "complacency." Some- 
thing like a mother's smile is apparent on the face of 
the minutes of the Association. It was agreed "bv 



52 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

general vote" that the Moderator, D. Cooper, and 
the tvv'O messengers from the Pearl River Associa- 
tion, D. Collins and S. King should preach on the 
Lord's Day. It was a bright sunny da^^ the con- 
gregation \vas large and attentive, and mam^ became 
"the happy recipients of the word of life. " " A blithe and 
bonnie day had come to the struggling Association and 
God's unseen hand let fall the desired favors. 

In the 3^ears 1824- — 25, there ^vere two highh^ nota- 
ble occurrences in the Association. The Galilee church, 
"newly constituted," was received into the Association 
inl825. It was constituted near where the town of Glos- 
terisnow located, and no\v exists as one of the church- 
es of Gloster, which is ministered unto by J. P. Cul - 
pepper. The other incident was a visit made to the 
Association, in 1825, by Xorvell Robertson, the fath- 
er of the great preacher of that name. His coming 
was as the gray dawn over the eastern hills \vhich her- 
alds the bright sunlight of a beautiful daj'. At the last 
named meeting of the Association a collection was 
taken of $90.00 for "missionary purposes," which w^as 
called "that pious object."' The Association was to the 
heart missionary- and could not but speak of missions 
in the tenderest terms. 

Between 1825 and 1835 manj^ perplexing questions 
were discussed at the meeting of the Association. In 
1826, this venerable bodj' took a positive stand on the 
question of tippling. It was recommended that the 
"churches composing this body discontinue the too 
common use of ardent spirits as a luxur\% which we be- 
lieve to be productive of much evil. " We sometimes 
hear people speak of the innocent use of intoxicants 
seventy -five years ago, professing that the decanter, 
then patronized bj^ the ministers, gave only good cheer. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 53 

But this resolution surely gives the negative to such a 
declaration. Wine has been deceptive from the days of 
Solomon, and was as truly seductive in the days of our 
fathers as now. In 1827, the Association spoke of the 
abuse of the day of American Independence, the hilarity 
and sottish clamor, and recommended that the churches 
assemble on that day "at their respective meeting 
houses for the purpose of prayer, praise and preaching.'' 

In 1830, the belief championed b^' Alexander Camp- 
bell reached its long fingers from its spacious hand far 
down into our sunny State. In that year, the Missis- 
sippi Association passed resolutions that spoke of "the 
mischievous influence" of the "writings of Alexander 
Campbell"' and spoke of the troubles in Kentucky where 
in that year the Mahoning Association had been "cut 
off froin the fello\vship of the Beaver and neighboring 
Associations.*" In 1833, it was resolved that the Asso- 
ciation would not fellowship an^- church that "held the 
doctrines or dogmas held b\' the Christian Baptists, 
alms, Campbellites." 

The Association had to bewail the presence of a 
worldly spirit that had been engendered b^- political 
strife and commotion, and hj that strange reversion of 
feeling that goes with a ^^asting pestilence, and inclines 
people to a forgetfulness of God and his claim upon 
them. A resolution says that cholera and other wast- 
ing pestilences were making a fearful march through 
the country', and that vice and dissipation were prev- 
alent. The evils that ever go apace wdth the steady 
onward tread of American progress, h^-dra- headed, be- 
gan to show their horrid forms, and sturdy Christian 
manhood took on the armor for the warfare. 

In this period, the Association held a growing ap- 
preciation of missions. In 1828, it was on motion: 



54 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

"Resolved unanimously,^' To take a collection on 
the Lord's da3^, during the sitting of the Association, 
for Home Missions, which was done under the direc - 
tion of Ezra Courtney, and amounted to $93,371/^. 
In 1835 it was agreed to turn over all monej'- for mis- 
sions in the treasurer's hands to the treasurer of the 
Alissionarj^ Society, which amounted to $201.42%. 

The leading preachers in the Association at that 
time were Ezra Courtney and Charles Felder. Charles 
Felder was first made Aloderator of the Mississippi As- 
sociation in 1827. He Avas re-elected in 1828 and "29 
and was again moderator in 1832: and in 1835, the 
end of this period, he is once more elected moderator 
and filled that position till 1840, each yearconsecutive- 
h'. He gave 24 ^-ears of his life to work in the Associa- 
tion. He died in the 60th year of his age. He first ap- 
peared as a delegate from the East Fork church in 
1819. He was a man of moving eloquence, and easy 
access to the people. 

Ezra CourtncA' was born in Pennsylvania. He was 
moderator of the Association from 1829 — '35. After 
1836 an unpleasantness arose between him and the 
Hepzfbah and Ebenezer churches, and he was after- 
guards excluded from the Hepzibah church, but taken 
into the membership of the church at Jackson, La. 
This action of the Jackson church created much dis - 
turbance in the Association, but in 1843 we find him a- 
gain enjo3nng the confidence of the Association, and 
Avas chosen to preach the introductory' sermon before 
the next meeting of the body. But far advanced in 
years, he was not again active in the Association, and 
died in 1855 in the 84th year of his age. 

In the period between 1835 — '45, the Association 
took position with the rapidty organizing forces of the 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 55 

Baptists of the State. The Association of 1836 was 
made memorable by the meeting of Ashley Vaughan and 
S.S. Lattimore. The former was preachingin Washing- 
ton, Adams county, the latter then teaching at Society 
Ridge in Hinds count3\ The one was at the Associa- 
tion with a purpose in view, which should enlist the 
heart and energies of the other. Ashley Vaughan, "the 
father of the Baptist State Convention" was pressing 
the thought of the need of the Convention in uniting 
the rapidly increasing number of Mississippi Baptists in 
one great and useful body; and S.S. Lattimore was soon 
to become its general agent. The Association readily 
passed resolutions recommending the adoption of some 
systematic plan for uniting the efforts of the Baptists 
of the State; recommended a meeting of "delegates 
from Associations, Missionary societies, and churches, 
also individuals, to be held in Washington on Friday 
before the 4th Sunday in December next." It also ex- 
pressed its delight that Adoniram Judson had "accom- 
plished the entire translation of the Bible in the Burman 
language," and gave the American and Foreign Bible 
Society at Philadelphia the approbation of the body. 
S. S. Lattimore \vas second on the list of four v\rho 
preached on Sunday. So effectually was the preaching 
done that at the conclusion of the service, many kneel- 
ed before the stand for the prayers of God's people. 
Revivals and missionary work have ever gone together 
since the days of the Apostles. 

It was in this period that the Association intro - 
duced the custom of putting queries before the body; a 
custom that was practiced many years. It was often 
ver)"^ hurtful to the cause, as a querv^ w^ould sometimes 
be put before the Association as an indirect insinuation 
against some member of the body. The custom could 



-S6 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

not relieve a church that had an internal dissension, 
nor a minister who might feel himself ignored by 
•churches. In 1838, Ezra Courtney Avent before the As- 
-sociation with a complaint against certain churches, 
'^nd the Association lost no time in expressing the 
opinion that an Association had no po^Yer to interfere 
in the government of the churches, and declared that 
the only help a minister and a sovereign church could 
get was from an advisory council, or a committee got- 
ten from other churches, which could do no more than 
to recommend a course of action. 

The church at Liberty, Amite count^^ and the 
church at Baton Rouge, La., were received into the As- 
sociation in 1838, and the church in New Orleans, in 
1841. In 184-2, there were 38 churches in the Associa- 
tion but that year several churches withdre\v from the 
Association to form a new Association. In the year 
1843, Hepzibah, Clinton, Bethel, Jerusalem, Percy's 
Creek, Fort Adams, and Jordan churches were dismissed 
to organize an Association on the Avestem border of 
the old ^Mississippi Association. Thus, int^voA-earsthe 
Association suffered a decrease of about t\vent3"- three 
churches by the formation of these t^vo Associations, 
the Eastern Louisiana and the Mississippi River. The 
old Mississippi Association \vas then the mother of four 
promising children, and had besides a number of church- 
es that had been, in the passing years, dismissed to 
make other Associations strong. Yet, the Association 
was still renewing its youth. In 1844, it received 
Bethany, Alt. Zion, and Bogue Chitto churches, and 
three other churches in 1846. The Association v^-as 
constituted of live churches in September 1806, at the 
old Cole's Creek meeting house, but did not print its 
minutes. In 1807, the churches had one hundred and nine- 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 57 

tv-six members, in 1847, they had 1,103; and had sent 
out four colonies of churches, and had in forty years re- 
ported 3,296 baptisms. 

Adoniram Judson died April 12, 1850, and \vas 
buried in the open sea, so that his grave, as did his 
great heart, touches all lands. The ne\vs of the -world's 
loss was brought across the w^ater. On October 5, 
1850, the Mississippi Association met ^vith the Zion 
Hill church, Amite county. The ne^ws of the death of 
Judson had reached our State, and the old Association 
expressed the feeling occasioned by the melancholy 
event by passing resolutions covering nearly a half 
page of the minutes. The old Associations used paper 
very sparingh^ in publishing minutes. They had no re- 
ports on missions and education, and only now^ and 
then short resolutions were spread on their minutes on 
these approved benevolences. We find no reports on 
the minutes of the Mississippi Association until 1853. 
But the death of Judson called forth a demonstration 
of their interest in the conversion of all people to 
Christianitj'. 

The record of 1850 gives a brief histor3^ of the 
churches then in the Association. In this abstract it 
appears that the New Providence was constituted 
July 27, 1805, with twelve members; Ebenezer, May 9, 
1806, with eleven members; East Fork, the third Sun- 
day in September, 1810, with twelve members; Zion 
Hill, June 11, 1811, with sixteen members; Hopewell, 
Oct. 20, 1813, with fourteen members; Mars Hill, first 
Sunday in June, 1815, vsrith nine members; Pierce's 
Creek, October 13, 18i3; and Bogue Chitto in 1812. 
The other churches of the Association were constituted 
between 1820 and 1847. 

In ;the fall of 1850, Mississippi College began its 



58 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

first session as a Baptist institution of learning. In 
October 1851, the Mississippi Association made men- 
tion of the fact that the citizens of CHnton had tender- 
ed the property of Mississippi College to Baptists, free 
of cost; and recommended the College to the patron- 
age and support of the denomination. The Associa- 
tion Avas earh' in tendering its support to the newdy 
organized school of learning, and has ever been one of 
its \varmest friends. 

In 1853, the name of M. S. Shirk first appears on 
the minutes of the Association. He mvrs that year 
one of the tellers of the election, and on the committee 
of Arrangement and Revision. He had just established 
the Amite Female Seminary at Liberty. The President 
of the Board of Trustees that year memorialized the 
Association, asking the body to take charge of the 
Institution. The memorial was responded to by a 
committee Avhich reported through Zachariah Reaves. 
The committee regarded the Seminarx' "a xvorthj^ and 
desirable object," and as necessary for the education of 
the girls in that j^art of the State; and it was Resolved 
that the bodx' approve the object, and every three 3'ears 
appoint trustees for the management of its affairs. 

At this time (1854) the Association had an oppor- 
tunity to show its aversion to the anti- missionary' 
spirit. Rowland Wilkinson xvas of the persuasion 
that Baptists had departed from the faith, practices, 
and usages of the churches, and, for the sake of filthy 
lucre, had entangled themselves with Conventions, As- 
sociations and Boards, thus infringing on the inde- 
pendence of the^ churches. He had a small following. 
He was excluded from the Zion Hill church. The Mt. 
Olive church held him as pastor, and wrote an abusive 
letter to the Association, and union was withdrawn 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 59 

from the Alt. Olive church by the Association. The As- 
sociation had the courage of its conviction, and an 
abiding missionary spirit. 

In 1855-56, the names of men now living in ripe 
old age, were found on the pages of the Association's 
records. George F. Webb was on the finance commit- 
tee in 1855. W. Z. Lea was one of a committee on a 
trust fund in 1856. They are both at this time living 
near Liberty, Amite County, with a long and useful 
life behind them. 

The Association gave its hearty support to 
all the denominational State newspapers. Ashley 
Vaughan began the publication of the Southwestern 
Religious Luminary at Washington, Adams Count3',in 
September, 1836. The Mississippi Association conven- 
ed with the Galilee church, October 15, 1836. A reso- 
lution was adopted at that meeting of the Association, 
as follows : 

''Resolved, That we recommend the Southwestern 
Religious Luminary, edited by thcRev.Ashlej^ Vaughan 
of Washington, Miss., to the confidence and patronage 
of the churches and friends of religion and morality in 
general, it being a paper disseminating the doctrines of 
the gospel, and one altogether suited to the pressing 
wants of our denomination in the South." 

The Alississippi Baptist made its first appearance 
in 1846. In the minutes of the Association of 1848, 
this resolution appears : 

''Resolved, That the superintendent of the print- 
ing of these minutes be instructed to send them to the 
Mississippi Baptist at Jackson, provided that one 
thousand copies can be had for four dollars per page*' 

The publication of the Alississippi Baptist w^as dis- 
continued in April 1849, but resumed in 1857. On page 



60 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

nine of the minutes of the Association of 1858, after 
recommending the Tennessee Baptist, it was agreed 
that "the same resolution extend to the Mississippi 
J5aptist published at Jackson, Miss." The prominent 
members of the Association were devotedly attached 
to J. R. Graves, and gave his paper, the Tennessee 
Baptist, their unwavering support from 1858, through 
the years it had a Mississippi department, 1859 — 1877, 
to the publication of the Baptist Record, Feb. 1, 1877. 
In 1860, the Association met with the Friendship 
church in Pike count\\ This meetingof the Association 
^vas memorable for manj^ reasons. It met October 13, 
1860, the fall of the year Abraham Lincoln was elected 
President of the United States. It was a most exciting 
election, and the political issue was all absorbing when 
the Association was in session. But marvelous w^ere 
the reports from the churches. There had been an un- 
usual a\vakening among the churches of the Association 
that year. Five hundred and fift\^ additions to the church- 
es were reported to the Association that session of the 
body. Fort Adams leading with fifty -tw^o additions. 
L. A. Duncan then representing The Chronicle at New 
Orleans, w^as one of the reading clerks. Z. Reaves 
then moderator of the Association, had been pastor of 
the Bogue Chitto church t\venty- eight years; the church 
reporting twenty -four additions b^- baptism that year. 
M. S. Shirk was pastor of the New Providence, 
Ebenezer and Galilee churches. Mars Hill church Avant - 
ed to know of the Association if it is according to the 
gospel " to read sermons instead of preaching them." 
Woodville church then had as pastor C. S. Mc - 
Cloud. H. McKnight, of Libert^', was requested to 
procure free passage on the railroads for eight dele- 
gates to a Sunday- School Convention in Louisville, Ky. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 61 

Such a request, placed before a railway' official of today 
would provoke a smile on his face. 

During the four years following 1860, the years of 
the Civil War, the Association held its annual meetings, 
but wath small interest by reason of the disturbed 
condition of our land. The Summit church v^as re- 
ceived into the Association in 1862. In 1863, Z. 
Reaves w-as elected moderator for the seventeenth time. 
A collection \vas taken that year b}-- J. B. Ham- 
berlin for "Army Alissions'' which amounted to 
$216.50. In 1864, Peter Turner appeared for the 
first time in the Association as a messenger from 
the Mississippi River Association. J. R. Graves, 
then pastor at Summit, was elected moderator, and w^as 
re-elected in 1865. The church at Summit had that 
year seventy -eight additions hy baptism and thirteen 
by letter. 

Between 1865 and 1870, few things of interest 
transpired in the Association. In 1867, C. M. 
Gordon appeared in the Association as a representative 
from the Union Association. Strong churches seemed 
then to be on the decline. The period of reconstruction 
was disastrous to spirituality all over our State, and 
the old mother of Associations was not exempted from 
its blighting effects. The strong men in the Associa- 
tion in those daj^s -were Shirk, Otken, Reaves, Buftkin, 
A. J, Everett, Van Norman, Longmire, Lea, S. Jackson, 
Webb, and McDonald. 

In the decade from 1870 to 1880, the work of the 
Asisociation was clothed with much interest. In 1870, 
S. Bufflvin was at the height of his usefulness. 
His churches showed marvelous growth in numbers 
and he was much honored in the meetings of the Asso - 
ciation. Zachariah Reaves was far advanced in 



62 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

life, with onh' a short period before him, but freighted 
with zeal forthepromotionof the interests of his people. 
Chas. H. Otken, scholarly and courteous, \vas highh' 
respected for his views on all questions that called for 
thought and investigation. 

In 1870, the Association had a '*Missionar\^ and 
Benevolent Fund '" of which W. Z. Lea \vas 
treasurer pro tern in the place of E. B. McLain, 
W. W. Bolls Avas the Associational Alissionary. 
His report to the Executive Committee, of which 
Moses Jackson Avas chairman, showed that he had done 
most acceptable Avork. From January" to October he 
preached one hundred and thirteen sermons, baptized 
twenty - one, and organized four Sunday schools: besides 
enspiriting the churches to which he ministered. The sum 
of $877. 00 Avas contributed in that yearto the Alission- 
ary and Benevolent fund. 

The Association of 1871 Avas held with the Galilee 
church, Amite county-, in consequence of a report that 
yelloAv fever Avas in Fort Adams, the place chosen by the 
Association ^ A^ear before for the meeting of the bod3^ 
W. W. Bolls Avas chosen moderator. We find that 
James Nelson and D. I. Purser were that 3'ear in at- 
tendance upon the meeting of the Association. The 
Wall Street church of Natchez was received into the As- 
sociation after an examination of the Articles of Faith 
of the church. 

This meeting of the Association was saddened by 
the bodily absence of Zachariah Reaves, Avho, for' 
twenty -threes-ears Avith the exception of onh' one A'car, 
had been moderator. He Avas on motion excused from 
further attendance on the Association as a delegate, 
but AA-as appointed as a messenger to Strong RiA-er 
Association. Zachariah ReaA-es AA-as unquestionably 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 63 

a man of great power. The levity of his youth gave 
place to serious manhood. He was about six feet high, 
well built, weighing about one hundred and eighth- 
pounds. His eyes were blue and large and his hair 
light. He went clean shaven, and was quite bald. He 
was doctrinal in his preaching, and very earnest and 
emphatic in his delivery. He preached all the time, i.e. 
his talk w^as on gospel themes. He came to Mississippi 
in 1811, which shows that he lived in our State 
sixty years. He died in the home of a friend on the 
23rd of Juh% 1871, full of \-ears, and great in deeds. 

Two men became prominent in the Association in 
1873, who w^ere to be memorable among Missis- 
sippi Baptists, J. R. Saraiple, of Summit, and B. 
Pendleton of Natchez. The report on Obituaries shows 
that during that associational year James W. Felder of 
East Fork church passed away. He had spent years 
of usefidness, and \\'as tnie and tried. S. Buftkin 
was moderator of the Association, H. H. Ratcliff clerk, 
and J. R. Sample treavSurer. 

From 1873 to 1878 the Association Avas active and 
progressive. We find it falling in line with other Asso- 
ciations in State Missions and Ministerial Education, 
and property adjusting itself to the new vState of affairs 
among Mississippi Baptists. 

The minutes of 1878 give a notice of the death 
of S. Buftkin, who died in the prime of his manhood, 
in the fort}' -sixth year of his age. He ^vas for many 
3-ears moderator of the Association. We are told that 
he had black hair and ej^es, and an impressive face. He 
Vi^as six feet and three inches tall, and had a command- 
ing appearance. He was positive and earnest in his 
preaching, producing conviction in the minds of his 
hearers. He died Dec. 20, 1877, and was buried at Un- 



64 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

ion church in FrankHn county. It is said that he was 
"a working missionary Baptist.-' Few men have ac- 
compHshed more than did he in a ministry- of sixteen 
years. 

In 1880 the Association ^vas composed of tAventj'-- 
six churches, having a total of 2,255 members. These 
churches were in Adams, Wilkinson, Franklin, Pike and 
Amite counties. One hundred and thirty' - nine baptisms 
were reported in the church letters. The prominent 
pastors in the Association were S. H. Thompson, W. 
W. Bolls, Jas. Buckles, Jas. Newman, E. W. Spencer, L. 
S. Piker, and Thos. Lansdale. An effort was made that 
3"ear to have the minutes of the Association to that 
date published in book form, as they had been by 
T. M. Bond to 1847, which preserved copies of the min- 
utes that would have been otherwise lost. Lea Fe- 
male College, under the presidency' of Charles 
H. Otken, was at the time prosperous and of untold 
advantage to the young womanhood of the southern 
part of the State. 

The minutes of the Association of 1881 make fre- 
quent mention of J. B. Gambrell, D. I. Purser, W, H. 
Tucker, J. R. Sample, L.S. PikerandC. H. Otken. Ares- 
olutionwas passed b^-^ the body that the churches be re- 
quested after that time to send no delegates to the As - 
sociation that would not remain, until the Association 
adjourned. 

The Association of 1882 was organized by electing 
W. W. Bolls, moderator, E. W. Spencer, clerk, and W. Z. 
Lea, treasurer. The Executive Board was composed of 
Geo. F. Webb, W. Z. Lea, W. F. Love, T. J. Cole and R. 
J. Causey. 

S. M. Provence was then pastor at Natchez 
Secretarj^ T. J. Walne was a welcome visitor at the As- 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 65 

sociation. In 1883, the Association gave $881.00 to 
State Missions, and showed that it was struggHng 
with the whisky question in a most commendable 
way. 

In 1884, the Association met with the New Provi - 
dence church, one of the oldest churches of the Associa- 
tion. M. C. Cole, then pastor of the First Church 
of New Orleans, was present; and H. Woodsmall of At- 
lanta, Ga., representing the Home Mission work of the 
Northern Anniversaries. O. L. Parker, lithe and tall, 
was a prominent figure in the Association. Pledges 
were taken for the temporary support of Mississip- 
pi College by Z. T. Leavell, pastor at Natchez, a- 
mounting to $330.00 G. B. Rogers, now of Texas, 
w^as clerk of the Association. 

In 1885 and 1886, the Association was quite active. 
Letters of dismission were granted to the Woodville, 
Union, Providence, Fort Adams, Pierce's Creek, Pioneer, 
Natchez and Dry Fork Union churches to form the 
Carey Association. Once more the bee hive swarmed. 
The perplexing question of divorce was agitating the 
Association at this time. W. W. Bolls had per- 
formed the rite of matrimony for a desiring couple, one 
of v^hom w^as in a state of divorce. This v^as the cause 
of the trouble. The old Association stood firm for a 
sufficient cause for divorce before a second marriage, 
and W. W. Bolls placed himself in harmony w^ith the 
body. 

A general Sundaj^ School Convention of the Missis- 
sippi Association was held at Mt. Zion church, Septem- 
ber 28, 1889, composed of representatives of nine 
churches of the Association. The design of the Conven- 
tion was to stir up a greater interest in the churches as 
to Sunday School w^ork, and seemed to have a salutary 



66 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

effect on the churches that were represented. A like 
convention met at East Fork church June 27, 1890; S. 
T. Van Norman was elected president and P. L. Mar- 
salis, Secretary. 

In 1890, the Mississippi Baptist Association w^as 
composed of twenty -five churches w^ith a membership 
of 2,616. Since the organization of the "mother Asso- 
ciation," churches had gone out to form five other As- 
sociations. The old Association w^as still strong in 
numbers and happA^ in benevolences. The total contri- 
butions of the churches in 1890 were $5,382.85. 

From 1890 to 1895, inclusive, the Moderators of 
the Association were R. J. Stewart from 1891 to 1894 
inclusive, and J. P. Hemby in 1895. The clerks were 
J. P. Hemby in 1891 and 1892; P. L. Marsalis from 
1893 to 1895. The treasurers were W. P. Gardner 
in 1891; S. R. Quinn from 1892 to 1894; and T. J. 
Hewett in 1895. 

The Association met in 1 891 with the old Galilee 
church. Two churches w^ere received into the union 
that 3'ear, Mt. Olive and Mt. Pleasant. The Executive 
Board lamented the apathy of the churches "in the 
great work of missions."' 

The plan of having ministerial institutes through 
the State, then so warmly advocated Ida" J. B. 
Gambrell, was heartily endorsed by the body. These 
institutes were held for the benefit of ministers \vho 
could not avail themselves of a thorough theological 
training. 

The Association \vas not without interest in the ques- 
tion of "College Removal,'' then so completed engaging 
the attention of Mississippi Baptists. On the subject, 
the following resolution was adopted : 

** Resolved, That in our opinion the removal of the 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 67 

Mississippi College would be unwise, and we request 
that it remain at Clinton, Miss.'" 

The Association, in 1891, was trj-ing the effect of 
w^ar paint on its countenance. It seems that it rather 
liked it; or, the wearing of the roseate hue was a ne- 
cessity for a number of years. The South Mississippi 
Fair Association claimed the displeasure of the old organ- 
ization because of certain evils connected wnth the Fair. 
It was thought that "ministers of the gospel are en- 
couraging such gambling fairs by owning stock or 
shares in them." The members of their churches were 
being led astray by the seductive influences of the Fair, 
and the old mother showed a sense of pain because of 
the reprobac^' of her children. It was adjudged that 
gambling at fairs, or elsewhere, was an evil, and if 
churches were tolerating gambling members, it was the 
duty of the Association to withdraw from them. 

The Association also passed preamble and resolu- 
tion condemning the Louisiana State Lottery as a 
swindle, and "an evil that seeks to invade and corrupt 
all society, religion and good order. " The monster evil 
vc'as located near them, and its baleful effect upon the 
3'oung and grasping, too apparent to be overlooked. 

The session of 1892 was held with the McComb 
City church, beginning October 7, 1892. Upon petition, 
the Arlington church was received into the body. 

The plan of work adopted in 1890 was not proving 
satisfactor3^ It was declared "unwieldy' and too com- 
plicated for the amouiit of good resulting therefrom." 
It was recommended that the old plan be adopted of 
appointing an Executive Committee of seven members 
instead of the new, which was the dividing of their ter- 
ritory into three districts, in each of which was a sub- 
ordinate Executive Board. Baptists are slowtorecog. 



68 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

nize and adopt a plan that has manj- wheels in it. 
ThcA' do not take to any system of wheels that does 
not make the local church the hub. 

In 1893, the presence of M. T. Martin in the 
Association was a prominent feature of the bod3'. He 
Avas requested to preach the "mission sermon" on Sun- 
day. The following comment w^as made by the clerk of 
the Association upon the effect of his sennon: *'Im- 
mediateh" after the sermon forty persons came forward, 
and said that they then had peace with God, and full 
assurance for the first time. A collection was taken in 
cash to the amount of $4-8.20. " 

M. T. Martin was requested to give all the time 
possible to evangelistic Avork within the bounds of the 
Association, and look to the churches for pa\'. In 1894, 
he reported that at the expense of Galilee church he had 
given one month to organizing the mission work in 
Wilkinson county. In co-operation with E. T. Smith, 
missionary of the Convention Board, he had seen four 
churches revived, and nineteen persons baptized. He 
gave one month to the regTilar \vork Avished of him, in 
which time he baptized sixteen persons. He also bap- 
tized sixt3' in his regular pastoral work. 

It was in 1895, at the meeting of the bod^^ at Sar- 
epta church, that war paint \vas most clearh^ observ^a - 
ble. On the second daA' of the meeting, the clash of 
arms was heard. Preambles and resolution were offer- 
ed as to "Rebaptism. " As historical matter, the pre- 
ambles and resolution Avill be given : 

"Whereas, It has come to the knowledge of this 
Association, that Rebaptism is practiced by the Galilee 
Baptist church to an unlimited extent, unwarranted by 
the Scriptures, and 

Whereas, There is no diminishing in this heres^^ 
within our bounds, therefore be it 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 69 

Resolved, That this Association enter her solemn 
protest against any further practice of this heresy 
within our bounds, and we solemnly declare our non- 
fellowship for it.'' 

The prominent pastors of churches of the Associa- 
tion in 1895 were, Thos. Lansdale, T. C. Schilling, J. 
H. Lane, M. T. Martin, R. J. Stewart, S. W. Sibley, W. 
P. Price, E. Gardner, J. A. Scarborough and J. R. Bay- 
ham. There w^ere then thirty -one churches in the or- 
ganization with a total membership of 3,042. 

The moderators of the Association from 1895 to 
1900 Iwere E. A. Bates from 1896 to 1899, and J. H. 
Lane in 1900. The clerks were T. C. Schilling in 
1896; E. Gardner from 1897 to 1900. The treasurers 
were T.J. Hewett from 1896 to 1898 inclusive; S. B. 
Robinson in 1899; and W. H. Causey in 1900. 

In 1896, the Association had a number of promi- 
nent visitors. Among whom were, A. V. Rowe of the 
Convention Board, J. A. Hackett, editor of the Baptist 
Record, H. P. Hurt of the Baptist Layman, and W.R. 
Walker. 

In the organization of the body there was some 
sharp shooting as to whether a member of one of the 
churches of the body, w^ho was not a delegate to the As- 
sociation, w^as eligible to election as moderator. But 
the battle did not begin until late Saturday afternoon. 
J. H. Lane presented resolutions on the doctrinal view^s 
and teachings of M. T. Martin, v^^hich w^ere discussed 
by M. T. Martin and T. C. Schilling to the hour of ad- 
journment. 

On Monday morning the resolutions ^vere laid on 
the table as out of the purview of the authority of the 
Association. Then J. R. Sample offered preamble and 
resolution on "Martinism," in which he recognized the 



70 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS, 

"discord and division, "' caused by the controversy as 
to the doctrinal views of M. T. Martin, and suggested 
that M. T. Martin be allowed by the editor of the 
Baptist Record to give his position on mooted ques- 
tions in that paper, "that our denomination may be 
enabled to more correctly understand his doctrinal 
teachings. " 

A committee was appointed to select "a man of 
our faith" to hold a discussion with M. T. Martin on 
his doctrinal views, which chose R. A. Venable, of Me- 
ridian, but nothing came of it. 

In 1896, the issue between the members of the body 
was still pending. The following preamble and reso- 
lution were adopted : 

"Whereas, Zion Hill church has published resolu- 
tions endorsing AI. T. Martin in full as a Baptist 
preacher; and, as his teachings bring destruction to 
the peace of Zion, and are out of line with regular Bap- 
tist teachings. 

Resolved, That this Association withdraw the 
hand of fellow^ship from said church and its pastor. " 
Upon resolution, the churches were "earnestly and af- 
fectionateW "' urged "not to recognize him as a Baptist 
preacher. '*' 

After the passing of the cyclone there is stillness, 
but calm over fallen trunks of trees and devastated 
homes. Time must be given to clearing awa^^ the fall- 
en timber, and the rebuilding of houses. In the old 
Mississippi Association, little of interest was manifest 
from 1897 to the close of the century. In 1900 there 
were twenty- -two churches in the body against thirty - 
one in 1895. These twenty- -two churches had, in 1900, 
2,208 members against a total membership of the 
churches of 1895 of 3,042. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 71- 

The grand old "mother of Associations " has main- 
tained a worth^^ record for nearly one hundred years; 
and is today full of hope and promise. The Associa- 
tion has weathered every storm, and yet plows 
the w^aters vv^ithout leak or injury from rolling 
\^aYes. May the good Lord preserve the grand old 
body of noble men and v^omen for many years to come 



72 f HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 



CHAPTER IV. 

UNION ASSOCIATION. 

in the minutes of the old Mississippi Baptist Asso- 
ciation of 1819, we find this paragraph : 

"The petition of eight churches, north of the Ho- 
mochitto river, praying for a division of the Associa - 
tion, and dismission to form an Association of all the 
churches that may choose to join with them, north of 
said river, was read and considered, and, on the vote 
being taken, it was carried unanimously in favor of the 
praj^er of the petitioners; and recommended that the 
first Association of said churches be held at Ba^'ou 
Pierre church, to commence on Saturday before the first 
Lord's day in September next. '" 

The eight churches spoken of in the above excerpt 
were Salem, Morgan's Fork, Baj^ou Pierre, Sarepta, 
Clear Creek (Washington), Hopewell, Friendship, and 
Natchez. The Salem church was the oldest of these, 
being constituted in October 1791. The next in age 
was the Ba^-ou Pierre church, \vhich was organized in 
1798. The Salem church heard the petition of some of 
its members to establish a church " on the Fork of Ba^-- 
ou Pierre, " and because of the distance these members 
had to go to reach old Salem, the church thought the 
organization expedient. Consequent^ Richard Curtis, 
William Thomson, John Stamplej^ Benjamin Curtis, 
Jacob Stampley, Joseph Perkins, and William Thomas, 
were appointed to assist in the constitution of the 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 73 

church. The church was organized in the house of 
Thomas Hubbards. 

The new Association, which was called the Union 
Association, was organized at the old Bayou Pierre 
church, on Saturday before the third Lord's day in Sep- 
tember, 1820. The Salem, Sarepta, and Fellowship 
churches were in Jefferson county; the Bayou Pierre 
church in Claiborne county; the Clear Creek, and Natch- 
ez churches in Adams county, and Morgan's Fork, and 
Hopewell in Franklin county. It is apparent that the 
territory of the new Association was to be Adams, Jef- 
ferson, and Claiborne counties, and the part of Franklin 
county, north of the Homochitto river. 

The Union Association was formed in a desirable 
part of the new State. The lands were productive, the 
climate temperate, andthe air salubrious. The w^estern 
part of its territory was of the bluff formation. The 
land is ver\^ undulating, rising at places to 250 feet a- 
bove the low water mark of the Mississippi river, to 
^'hich it is contiguous. The soil, a gray loam, is not 
easih' fretted by gullies, and is quite fertile. The trees 
in the virgin forests are tall and erect, and straight 
grained. The eastern part of its territory is the ex- 
treme western part of the long leaf pine region, and is 
threaded with rivers and creeks. 

It is a matter of much regret to the writer, and 
doubtless to others, that so much of the earh' history 
of the Union Association has been lost. There is no 
complete file of the minutes of this Association extant. 
The historian has used his utmost research, and has 
spared no thought, time or pains in gathering material 
to bridge over the gaps made by the loss of direct infor- 
mation as to the early ^^orkings of this body. 

From 1820 to 1825, the strong men in the Union 



74 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

Association were D. McCall, L. Scarborough, John 
Burch, EHsha Flowers, and Nathaniel Perkins. In 1822, 
D. McCall, and L. Scarborough represented the Union 
Association in the meetings of the Mississippi, and Pearl 
River Associations. In 1823 John Burch, Nathaniel 
Perkins, and Elisha Flowers were messengers to those 
two bodies. 

Daniel AlcCall was a well educated man and deeply 
pious. He came to Mississippi as a missionary about 
1 820, accompanied by his highly accomplished wife. 
He established a school of high grade about three miles 
south of where Port Gibson now stands. His health 
began to decline soon after the death of his wife (May 
1823), and he started back north with his two mother- 
less boys, and then his career in Mississippi ended. He 
was a ver\^ correct, and useful man. 

Lawrence Scarborough, sa\^s one historian, "was 
plain in person, manners, and style of preaching. He 
was given to 'the heavenly tune, ' in his delivery of ser- 
mons, but ^vas an exceedingh' useful man for many 
years." 

Nathaniel Perkins was at Natchez, and was a co-la- 
borer with John Richards, in whose house, on Jefferson 
street, in Natchez, the first Baptist church of that city 
was constituted. Nathaniel Perkins v^-as clerk of the 
Union Association in 1825, for v^^hich he received ten 
dollars. He appears to have been ver\' well educated 
and a courteous gentleman. 

John Burch was of Franklin county. He is said to 
have been a preacher of great power, especially' on great 
occasions. He was eminently successful in revival ef- 
forts, and specially gifted in closing the Sunday services 
at an Association. 

In 1823, the Union Association was memorable for 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 75 

the passing of two important resolutions. The first 
resolution referred to the formation of a Baptist State 
Convention. The Mississippi Association, in that year, 
expressed its unanimous concurrence in the resolutions 
passed by the Pearl River, and Union Associations in 
their last meetings on the subject. The first Baptist 
State Convention was to meet with the Bogue Chitto 
church. The second resolution ^vas on fasting and 
prayer for greater prosperity of the w^ork of the church- 
es. The da}' of fasting was to be January 1, 1824. 

In 1825, the Union Association was "held at Salem 
meeting house, Jefferson county. " There were then 
twenty - two churches in the Union, one of which was an 
African church. The churches had a total membership 
of 635 members. Forty-seven were baptized in the As- 
sociational year, and forty-four received by letter; four- 
teen had been excommunicated; seven restored and ten 
had died. We find that the African church excelled the 
other churches in membership, having 115 in fello\vship. 
The old Salem church had a membership of fortj- - one, 
the Clear Creek church numbering forty -seven. At 
that meeting of the body they received into membership 
the Hepzibah church, Copiah county, Bahala church, 
Law^rence county, the Mt. Zion church, Copiah county, 
and the Union church, Hinds count}'. The Mt. Zion 
church was represented by Lott Smith, and the Union 
by J. W. N. A. Smith. At that time the Union Associa- 
tion corresponded with the Mississippi, the Pearl River, 
and the Louisiana Associations. 

The Union Association was in hearty sjanpathy 
with the work of the Baptist State Convention. The 
meeting of the Convention, in 1825, was to be with the 
Pearl River church, at Monticello, beginning Friday be- 
fore the second Sunday in November. The delegates 



76 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

from the Association to the Convention were E. Estes, 
H. Baldwin, D. Griffin, Ehsha Flowers, J. Bailey, Joel 
Selman, and J, Burch. The surplus funds ofthe Associa- 
tion were turned over to the treasurer ofthe Convention 
for Domestic Missions. 

There were two actions of the Association in 1825 
that deserve special attention. One was embraced in a 
resolution, agreeing that the Association would dispense 
-with the usual pradlice of administering the Lord's 
Supper at the meetings of the body. This was a cus- 
tom long practiced at the meetings of our general bodies. 
In 1872, the writer remembers, the church at Meridian 
observed this ordinance, during the sitting ofthe Bap- 
tist State Convention. The ordinance ^vas observed by 
the church, and the courtesies of the church shown to 
visiting Baptists. The other action referred to was a 
response to a letter from some BajDtists in Yazoo coun- 
ty, cashing advice as to church relations. The Associa- 
tion recommended that they attach themselves to some 
church near their residence, instead of forming a new 
church Avithafew members. Yazoo county was formed 
two years before this date. But what condition of af- 
fairs caused an embassy- to be sent so far a\vay to the 
Union Association, and to Avhat church near them could 
the}' attach themselves? 

The Association of 1826 met with Enon church, 
Franklin count}', on Saturday before the first Lord's 
day in October. David Cooper was appointed to preach 
the introductoiw sermon, and, "incase of failure," Levi 
Thompson. Elliot Estes was appointed to write the 
pastoral letter for that meeting of the body. Li 1827, 
and 1828, David Cooper and Silas Marsh were sent by 
the^Union Association as messengers to the Mississippi 
Association. The meetina: of the Association in 1827 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 77 

w^as held with the Fellowship church, on Saturday be- 
fore the first Sundaj^ in October. The old Salem church 
sent as delegates to that meeting of the body, B. Dard- 
en, and Elias Hibbard. 

In 1829, the old Salem church was enlarged for the 
accommodation of the "black people. "' It is said that 
a "shed" was built to "the meeting house. " In anoth- 
er place it is called "a room. " This was the early way 
of preparing a place for the blacks to worship ^dth the 
whites. At one side of the church building -was an ad- 
dition covered as a shed to a house, in w^hich seats were 
arranged for the blacks to face the pulpit. The addi- 
tion for the blacks was separated from the seats of the 
wdiites, not in whole, but by a high partition. The 
pulpit was built several feet above the floor on one end 
of the church, so that all, both white and black, could 
easily see the minister while preaching. This addition 
to Salem church -was built by B. Darden, and finished 
in April, 1830. 

In 1830, Mr. Tillman "v\^as the efficient missionary of 
the Union Association. He was called "a domestic 
missionary of the Union Baptist Association. " Hev^as 
gifted in exhortation. About that time, much of the 
preaching \vas hortatoiy. The preacher, after getting 
w^armed up, would get into "a weaving wa3^ " The 
preaching services at church, and at the meetings of the 
Association, were usually closed by one gifted in exhor- 
tation, a mode of delivery that w^as desultory; seldom 
failing to produce tears; heaving of the chest, and ejac- 
ulations in the congregation. 

It was in 1830 that David Cooper w^as "called a- 
way. '' This providence gave great grief to the Associ - 
ation, and also to the Mississippi Association, with 
which he had been long and honorablv connected before 



78 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

the constitution of the Union Association. David Coop- 
er departed this life March 22, 1830. The Salem church, 
of which he was pastor at the time of his death, express- 
ed great grief and sorro^w at the loss which the church 
had sustained, but expressed resignation to "the right- 
eous dispensation of an all wise God, who ordereth all 
things according to the counsel of his owm will." The 
Mississippi Association unanimousl3": 

^'Resolved, That we do very sensibly feel our ver\' 
great loss in the death of our dearly beloved and vener- 
able D. Cooper. * * * The mourners are seen in his be- 
loved familj^, and in all the churches in the Association." 
This great man came to our State as a missionary in 
1802. His name is found in the minutes of 1807 of the 
Mississippi Association. Jones, the historian, often 
quoted in this w^ork, says of D. Cooper, "He was a 
man liberally educated, polished in manners, attractive 
and useful as a minister of the New Testament. "' 

In Maj", 1830, Mr. Tillman was called to bepastor 
of Salem church to succeed D. Cooper, but it is not 
said nor implied that he accepted the call. Burch and 
Bailey preached to the church with a degree of irregu- 
larity. The pulse beat of the church was weak ever af- 
ter the death of its venerable pastor. We are told by 
tradition that there w^ere dissentions in the old mother 
church. The last minutes of the proceedings of the 
church are brief and interrupted, and like the quicken- 
ing and uncertain respirations of the dying. On Aug- 
ust 29, 1834, the old mother church was numbered with 
the things of the past. The second item of that daj^'s 
prpceedings of the church, reads : 

" Resolved by the church. That the church be dis- 
solved after this meeting, and do not exist as a church, 
and that letters of dismission be granted to all the 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 79 

members that are considered in good order with the 
church, and the balance be excluded." Abe Stringer 
was the last clerk of the church. 

Thus the life went out of the first Baptist church organ- 
ized on the soil of Mississippi. The minutes close abruptly. 
The last record has no superscription, no name of mod- 
erator, or clerk, at the conclusion of the writing. No 
visiting Baptists were present. The venerable body 
shook with an internal agitation, gasped, and died. It 
was as the going out of the light of the life of a tramp 
in the world. A quasi pastor reluctantly stood hj, and 
looked on as the dew of death gathered on the brow of 
the old mother. 

The Salem church, of Union Association, was consti- 
tuted in October, 1791, with seven members, viz: 

Richard Curtis, William Thomas, William Curtis, 
John Jones, Benjamin Curtis, Morgan Stampley, and 
Ealif Lanier. It was dissolved August 29, 1834, giving 
letters of dismission to Littleton Monday-, Elizabeth 
Jones, Sarah Guice, Abe Stringer, Louisiana Burch, Mrs. 
McKa^', Mary Darden, Elleander Thomas; William 
Whinej^, Phoebe Coleman, Eliza Ann Stringer, Mar- 
tha Burch, and Pierson Lewis. 

In 1835, and 1836, the strong men in the Association 
were James Bailey, J. Fairchilds, J. Webb, James Thig- 
pen, R. Granberry and Ashley Vaughan. In 1836, 
the Union Association met at Ebenezer church, in Jeffer- 
son county', on Saturday before the first Sunday in Oct- 
ober, or at eleven a. m. October 1, 1836. Elisha Flow- 
ers was the appointee to preach the introductory ser- 
mon, but was prevented from being at the meeting by 
sickness. The sermon \vas preached by James Bailey. 
The body elected James Baile\' moderator, and James 
Thigpen clerk. The churches complained of barrenness 



80 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTIST-^5. 

in church life. Few baptisms were reported, and a num- 
ber of churches were not represented. The Domestic 
Missionary Board was doing Httle, but the churches 
seemed to desire a better state of religious feeling. It 
w^as deplored that the3' had no money in the treasury, 
and for this reason had to refuse to employ a good 
preacher who was ready to begin work. But the Clear 
Creek church (at Washington) was cheerful and happy. 
Ashley Vaughan was pastor of that church. In their 
letter to the Union Association, thc}^ said : 

"We consider ourselves highly favored of God in the 
uninterrupted harmony, and peace which, during the 
3^ear, have characterized our proceedings. The gospel 
among us is faithfully and affectionately preached. " 

In 1836, there were in Alississippi, nine Baptist As- 
sociations; 122 churches; fort^'- eight ordained minis- 
ters, and 4,287 members. The nine Associations were, 
Bethel, Choctaw, Leaf River, Mississippi, Pearl River, 
Union, Yalobusha, Yazoo, and Buttehatchie. Of these, 
Buttehatchie and Choctaw were partly in Alabama, 
the Yazoo partly anti - missionary, the Leaf River and 
Bethel with little life, and soon to die. The Yalobusha 
A^vasjust organized, having been constituted on Janu - 
ar^^ 15, 1836, with Francis Baker moderator, and Sam- 
uel Bean clerk. 

The Union Association was favored in having the 
permanent Baptist State Convention projected in its 
bounds. In pursuance of the wishes of mauA- of the 
strongest preachers in the State, and by appointment, 
delegates met at old Washington with the Clear Creek 
church, on the twenty- third of December, 1836, to con- 
sider the propriety of forming a Baptist State Conven- 
tion. The Bethel, the Pearl River, the Union, and the 
Mississippi Associations were all in favor of its consti- 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 81 

tution. Of the delegates from the Union Association 
w^ere N. R. Granberry, of Palestine church, and Ashley 
Vaughan, of Clear Creek. Ashley Vaughan submitted 
the resolution to form the Baptist State Convention. 
Abraham Buckles, of Clear Creek church, Levi Elmore, 
and Franklin McGill, of Fello-wship church, were receiv- 
ed into the bod^- on the second da^^ of the session. Let- 
ters highly indorsing the movement were received from 
these two churches, and Ashlej^ Vaughan, of the Union 
Association, was the first president of the Convention. 

On the sixth of January 1837, the Home Missionary 
societ}^ of the Union Association, was formed at Pales- 
tine church. Hinds county. A committee had been ap- 
pointed at the last meeting of the Association to super- 
intend preaching in the territory of the body. That com- 
mittee was appalled at the low state of grace, and, with 
other Baptists, planned the forination of the mission- 
ary society. N. R. Granberry, James Thigpen, and 
Moses Granberry drafted its Constitution. Any per- 
son -paying one dollar a 3'ear could be a member of the 
society, and ten dollars made one a life member. The 
Board w^as to meet t\vice a A'-ear, on Friday before the 
first Sunda^^ in April, and on Friday before the first Sun- 
day in October. James Bailey was elected president ot 
the society, Samuel Thigpen, recording secretary, and 
Ashley Vaughan, corresponding secretary. The sum of 
eightj' - six dollars was received at the first meeting of 
the missionar\" society. 

According to constitutional requirement, the socie- 
ty met on March 31, 1837. The meeting w^as at Brushy 
Fork church, Copiah county. The meeting was, in the 
main, encouraging. The body adjourned to meet at 
New Providence church, Copiah county, on Friday be- 
fore the first Sundav in October. The Union Associa- 



82 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

tion was at that time composed of twenty - one church- 
es, which had a total membership of 747, fort\-two 
baptisms were reported to the Association, and 
an agreement reached to observe the monthly concert 
of prayer for missions. The custom of observing an 
hour of prayer on the first Monday evening of every 
month by Baptists for the success of missions, had its 
origin as early as 1784, in Nottingham, England. It 
w^asagood custom, and was observed within the mem- 
ory of many Baptists now living. 

The first annual meeting of the Baptist State Con- 
vention, after its organization, was held within the 
bounds of the Union Association, at Palestine church, 
Hinds county. The meeting was on the first Friday in 
May, 1837. Letters were read from Hepzibah, Pales - 
tine. Fellowship, and the first church of Natchez, in the 
Union Association. The chief promotors of the organ- 
ization, were in the Union and Bethel Associations. 
The eastern part of the Union Association was the cen- 
tral for the three Associations that were most heartily 
indorsing the movement. 

On Saturda^^ before the first Lord's day in August, 
representatives of the Bethel Association met at Union 
church, Hinds county, and dissolved the body. A reso- 
lution to dissolve said that the action was precipitated 
by the decreasing number of churches, as there were 
then only two churches left in the bod^-. Union and 
Mount Bluff. Their relations with other Associations 
were then peacable, and would admit of a cordial re- 
ception of these two churches. In 1836, there were six 
churches in the Bethel Association, with a total mem- 
bership of 300. But some of the churcheshad dissolv- 
ed, and others, by death, and other causes, had become 
extinct. The Union Association convened two months 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 83 

after this dissolution of the Bethel Association, and we 
are informed that the Union, at that meeting of the 
body, received three churches, iMount Bluff, Union, and 
Natchez. This added much strength to the Union As- 
sociation. These churches were strong in spiritual, and 
intellectual force. In November, 1837, James Andrews, 
a deacon in Brushy Fork church, Copiah county, was 
called to his reward. He was extensiveh^ known, and 
highly esteemed; true in the faith, and faithful to his 
church. The Association lost much by his death. 

In 1838, A. W. Poole was pastor at Washington, 
Ashley Vaughan having gone to Natchez as pastor, 
several months before. In that 3'ear, Ashle^^ Vaughan 
was in failing health. The last editorial from his pen in 
the Luminary was written February, 1838. At the 
Baptist State Convention, \vhich met that year in the 
Union Association, at Fellowship church, the bodj' 
turned over the Luminary to George Felix Heard, edit- 
or of the Mobile Monitor, and the combined paper was 
called the South-western Monitor and Religious Lumi- 
nary. 

The prominent men in the the Union Association in 
1839 and ISiO, were Samuel Thigpen, William Mullens, 
N. W. Brock, William Bailej^, N. R. Granberr^^, Joseph 
Thigpen, Jr., and \Y. H. Anderson. W. H. Anderson 
w^as pastor at Natchez. He was a learned man and a 
noble Christian. He possessed a well chosen library of 
many volumes. William Bailey, advanced in 3'ears, had 
been prominent in the body from its constitution, in 
1820. Norvxll R. Granberr^- was unremitting in labor 
for all forms of advanced religious work. William Mul- 
lens was a man of rare common sense, and deep piety, 
and Samuel Thigpen, a man of vivacitj' and readiness. 

The Union Association, of 1841, convened with the 



84 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

Hepzibah church, Copiah county. That year, tAventy- 
four churches were represented in the Union Associa- 
tion, with a total membership of 1,372. The churches 
reported 205 baptisms. Norv^ell R. Granberr\^ was cho- 
sen moderator, and W.Jordan Denson clerk. The Sunday 
worship, of 1841 and 1842, was interfered with by in- 
clement weather. That was a great misfortune. The 
impetus gotten from the strong, and pointed sermons, 
preached by the able ministers of the bod^-, usualh' left 
a lasting impression for good. 

The Sharon church was found, in 1840, to be in a 
low spiritual state, and a committee was appointed to 
report at the next meeting of the Union Association as 
to the condition of the church. That committee report- 
ed, in 1841, that they as an advisory council had com- 
plied with the request ofthe body, had visited the church, 
and advised that it be dissolved. A similar committee 
reported as to the condition of the Ebenezer church. 
There had been a variance between this church, and the 
church at Elliots. The committee reported that the diffi- 
cultA' had been amicably adjusted, and all unkind speech 
retracted. The difficulty encountered in those days of 
securing proper ministerial support was perplexing. 
The population was mobile, and uncertain, A church 
might be built up, and the missionar^^ work encourag- 
ing, but in a few years, the strong men would move a- 
Avay, and the church become in - operative. 

In 1841, much interest was shown b^- the bod^^, in 
the cities embraced in the territory' ofthe bod^^ Natch- 
ez, Yicksburg, and Jackson. It was recommended that 
the Baptists throughout the State, aid in building 
houses of worship in those cities. The result of this 
movement may appear in a written history' of the 
churches of those cities. The clerk ofthe Association 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 85 

(a good writer,) sa3'S in concluding his minutes of the 
meeting of the bodj' for that 3'ear, " On all important 
subjects presented, a unit of opinion seemed to exist, 
and, when a difference prevailed, the minority- cheerful- 
ly^ submitted. " 

In 1842 the body was strong in efficient men. In 
the union were Norvell R. Granberrv^ Wm. H. Ander- 
son, Samuel Thigpen, Joseph Norris, William Mullens, 
James Bailey, D. B. Crawford, William H. Taylor, and 
Moses Granberrv^ The visitors to the body were James 
Murra3% T. S. N. King, and others. It was agreed at 
that meeting to use the surplus funds in supplying the 
destitute places in their bounds, the appropriations to 
be made under the direction of the Executive Board 01 
the bod^'. At that time money was sent to the Associ- 
ation to be appropriated to associational purposes, to 
the printing of minutes, and like expenditures. The sum 
was sometimes in excess of the demand, and created a 
surplus, which was usually appropriated to missions. 
Another resolution w^as adopted, encouraging "female 
associations in the bounds of our churches," to aid in 
associational missions. So early as 1837, there was a 
society of the kind in the Brandon church. 

The meeting of the Association of 184-2 seemed to 
grow in spiritual force as the proceedings advanced. 
The weather was inclement on Sunday. The rain con- 
tinued unceasingly to fall all the forenoon and far into 
the afternoon; but the ardor of the body w^as maintain- 
ed, and waxed warmer, and warmer. On Wednesday a 
collection was taken for home missions of $4-8.75, and 
*'paid over to the treasurer. " When the proceedings ol 
the body were concluded the meeting would not break 
up. Several ministers and laymen agreed to sta^^, and 
protract the services. It is said, in a foot note to the 



86 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

minutes, "many sinners were deepty convicted, and some 
converted to God, and followed their Savior into the 
liquid grave. Eight were added by baptism, and one 
b^^ letter; several were left on the anxious seat, some of 
whom we believe were almost read^- to enter into the 
fold of Christ. " Ah! when the divine Spirit rules an as- 
sociational body, there is no great haste manifested by 
the delegates to return home. This revival spirit re- 
mained in the Union Association for about two ^^ears, 
and produced the spiritual, and numerical strength that 
induced a division of the body into two bodies a few 
3-ears later. 

While the young churches were in spiritual vigor, 
the old Bayou Pierre church was in an enfeebled state 
in the decrepitude of age. William Whieldon was ap- 
pointed a committee of one, in 1843, to visit the church, 
find its trouble, and report at the next meeting of the 
union. He reported progress in 1844; and asked help 
in his work. The committee reported, in 1845, that the 
best members of the church were scattered abroad, and 
that the Baptists were about to erect a new meeting 
house on the site of the old one. The Bayou Pierre 
church had ten acres of land deeded to it. It was con- 
templated to make the new body only an arm of the 
Fello\vship church. The Salem church, the oldest 
church in the State, died in 1834, the next in age was 
extinct in 1843. Sentiments commendable, called for 
the perpetuation of the existence of those old bodies, 
but God decreed it otherwise. 

The Baptist cause in Mississippi sustained a serious 
loss, in 1844, b}' the death of the young, and talented 
John Whitfield Buie. This young minister died at New - 
ell's Springs, Holmes county, on the fourth Sunday in 
July, 1844. He was ordained at the meeting of the 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 87 

Mississippi Baptist State Convention, in 1843. At the 
time ot his death he Avas pastor of the church in Jack- 
son, Mississippi. 

The birth of three churches is recorded in 1844, 
Peniel, and RaA^mond, in Hinds, and Canton, in Madi- 
son county, Raymond, and Canton being the county 
seats of these two counties, respectively. The Execu- 
tive Board reported as follows: "The spirit of mis- 
sions, home, and foreign, is gaining in its ranks. Many 
of our beloved brethren, who hesitated to enter into 
this work, are now daily coming forward, and boldly 
laying hold of the gospel car." 

The Union Association of 1844, seemed bristling 
with life. The body was strangely fascinated with a 
new mode of quarterly subscriptions, gotten up by the 
Mount Bluff church. It was simph^ to engage each 
member of a church to say that he w^ould give a certain 
definite amount to pastoral support, and to missions 
quarterh', or each quarter of the j^ear. It worked like 
a charm, and \Yas a charming way of w^orking. The As- 
sociation was alienated from the Convention, refused 
to be auxiliar^^ to it, but felt sufficienth' friendly to cor- 
respond with it. The body was prosperous w^hile do - 
ing its associational work, and did not wish any 
change. 

" The paper called ' The Baptist Banner and West- 
ern Pioneer,^ but now revived under different auspices," 
was recommeded. Not since the passing av^ay of the 
Luminary had any religious newspaper been recom - 
mended to the body until this recommendation was 
made. The Baptists of those days were largely a 
people of one book. 

In 1845, thirty -two churches reported to the body. 
They were scattered over a vast area of country. They 



88 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

were in the counties of Copiah, Warren, Hinds, Frank- 
lin, Adams, Jefferson, Claiborne, and Yazoo. Thev ex- 
tended from Natchez, on the south, to Yazoo City, on the 
north, and from Jackson, on the east, to Yicksburg, on 
i:he west. The churches at Natchez, Washington, Ray- 
mond, Jackson, Yazoo Cit3', Yicksburg, and Canton 
were in the bod^^ Old Antioch, of Warren, Bethlehem, 
of Franklin, Clear Creek, of Adams, Damascus, of Co- 
piah, Fellowship, of Jefferson, and Mount Bluff, of 
Madison, w^ere some of the country churches of the 
Union. The "Black Jack" Baptist church, of Yazoo 
county, was received into the body in 1845. The 
churches of the bodN' had a total membership of 3,186, 
having in the last year received 559 additions by bap- 
tism, and 141 bv letter. Ten churches reported flour- 
ishing SundaA' schools. W. H. Taylor was then pastor 
of old Antioch, in Warren, E. C. Eager was pastor at 
Bethlehem, Z. Reaves at Clear Creek, Wm. Mullens at 
Damascus, D. B. Crawford at Mount Bluff, S. Thigpen 
at Palestine, Ransom Warren at Raymond, N. N.Wood 
at Yicksburg, and S. I. Caldwell at Yazoo Cit^". 

Early in the meeting of the Association of 1845, the 
following resolution was adopted : 

'^Resolved, That so much of the letters as relates to 
a division of this Association be referred to a commit- 
tee of five." 

The origin of this resolution is easily conjectured. 
The body was ver\' large, and the territorj^ far ex- 
tended. The utmost good will prevailed in the bod3^ 

It Avas agreed that either the northern or southern 
part of the Association should call a convention and or- 
ganize into a new body, and that the funds on hand be 
equally divided between the Union, and the new Associ- 
ation. It was at once Resolved, That it was advisa- 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 89 

ble to form a new Association in the northern part of 
the territory. The moderator, and clerk, each of the 
northern part of the Association, then resigned, and the 
convention to form the new body was called to meet at 
the Union church, in Hinds county, to organize on Sat- 
urday before the fourth Sunday in November following 
It is a strange co- incidence that the convention design- 
ed to form a new^ Association, should meet with the 
church at which the Bethel Association dissolved, in 
August, 1837, only eight ^^ears before. What a won- 
derful change had come over the face of Baptist affairs 
in central Mississippi in those eight years ! 

A committee was appointed that year on the "spir- 
itual w^elfare of the blacks." The committee expressed 
thanks to God for the blessings that had attended the 
efforts put forth for the spiritual weal of the colored 
people, and considered it a dut}^ to look after their spir- 
itual interests. Special attention v^as given b}^ the 
union to the Mississippi Baptist, and the Mississippi 
Publishing Company, organized in September, 1845, 
and also to the formation of the Southern Baptist Con- 
vention, at Augusta, Georgia, that year. 

A resolution was passed on Sunday schools, highly 
commending that work of the individual churches. 

The Association of 1846 met at Clear Creek church, 
Washington. William Mullens was elected mod- 
erator, and Warren Miller clerk. The New Provi- 
dence church, Copiah county, and the Bethesda church, 
w^ere received. Correspondence was arranged with the 
Central, the Mississippi, and the Pearl River Associa- 
tions, and the Baptist State Convention. The total a- 
mount in the treasury was $383.01. An effort was set 
on foot to raise a sufficiency to keep a missionary in 
the field for all his time. 



90 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

In 1847, the New Zion church, in Copiah county, and 
the Bethany church, in Claiborne county, were received 
into the body, making four new churches received into 
the body since the churches went out to form the Cen - 
tral Association. The following year, letters were read 
before the Union Association from sixteen churches com - 
posing the bod^'. These churches w^ere composed of a 
total membership of 1,673, and reported forty-two bap- 
tisms. In 1848, acommittee, with M. T. Conn aschair- 
man, reported to thebod}' as to the question, then agi- 
tated by the Pearl River Association, as to securing a 
uniform confession of faith by all the Baptist bodies 
then existing in the State. It w^as thought best by 
strong men in the Pearl River, as Baptists were so con- 
stantly moving about in the territor^^ of these bodies. 
The plan inaugurated bA' that body was, that all the As- 
sociations send delegates to a convention to be held at 
Hopewell church, Copiah county, beginning Saturday 
before the first Sunday in August, 1849, for the sole 
purpose of conserving this design. The committee raised 
b}^ the Union Association, reported that they approved 
of the move of the Pearl River Association, but thought 
the scheme impracticable, and inexpedient, as the 
churches had alreadA- their articles of faith, and rules of 
practice, which doubtless the3' were unwilling to resign, 
and because such a course of proceeding might engen- 
der discord. 

The session of the bod^^ in 1849 w^as largely engag- 
ed with a current controversy' as to the question of mo- 
ral turpitude, which D. L. Russell, of Central Associa- 
tion, was supposed to have shown in handling some 
money placed in his hands as a trust. Long decisions, 
and newspaper articles are spread on the minutes of 
the Union Association, showing the innocence and in - 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 91 

tegritj^ of D. L. Russell. One of the newspaper articles 
is from a Lexington paper, called '' Equal Rig-hts,'' which 
■vv^as signed by t-wenty-nine of the most reputable citi- 
zens of Lexington, including such men as J. Tackett,L. 
G. Lipsey, Ivy F. Harrington, Lem Dot3^ Matthew- 
Gage, and A. V. Rowe, father of A. V. Rowe, Corres- 
ponding Secretarj^ of the Convention Board at present. 
Just why the Union Association should give so much 
space on the pages of its minutes in defense of a mem - 
ber of the Central Association is not made manifest. 

The following j^ear the body had a problem within 
its bounds for solution. The old First church at Nat- 
chez was threatened with dissolution. A corrupt min- 
ister had come to our State from Philadelphia, and had 
insinuated himself into the graces of many members of 
the church at Natchez. Others had reason to believe 
him a corrupt man, whose judgment was substantiated 
b^" his actions in after years. A committee was raised 
of some of the best men of the Union Association to 
gather facts, and use their utmost endeavor to adjust 
matters. The committee reported that the matter had 
received prayerful consideration, and that thev found 
nothing in the history- of the difficulty in which the 
church had acted contrary to gospel order, with the ex- 
ception of the dismissal of members by letter who were 
manifesting a lack of fellowship for the church. It was 
recommended that the church recall the letters grant- 
ed, and that the church, in all things, show a spirit of 
kindness. This difficulty caused a division of the First 
church at Natchez. The Wall Street church still exists. 
The old First church was soon disorganized. 

In 1852, the Wall Street church, of Natchez, sent a 
letter, and delegates to the Association, praying for ad- 
mission into the bodv. The union refused to admit the 



92 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

church by a majority of one vote, which showed that 
the Association was aloout evenly divided as to the 
controversy bet\veen the two churches in Natchez. A 
special committee of hve was raised to investigate the 
variance between the t\vo churches, and reported at 
that sitting of the body. The committee consisted of 
S. B. Mullens, S. Teri"y, W. Whitney, J. Selman, and C. 
Douglass. The committee reported, through its chair- 
man, expressing regret as to the deplorable animosity, 
and declared that it was impossible to bring about a 
reconciliation between them. It Avas Resolved, That 
the First church of Natchez be dismissed from the union 
for the protection of the body from the disintegrating 
influence of the wrangling over the matter. The reso- 
lutions were passed by a vote of twenty -one to two. 
A letter from the First church, returning their letter of 
dismission from the Association, was read before the 
body in 1853, and the church was restored to its place 
in the statistical table. The following year the church 
was represented in the bod^- by I. Fallis, Robert Rawles, 
and I. Carpenter. The name of B. Pendleton appeared 
on the minutes of that year as a messenger from the 
Central Association, which shows the associa- 
tional relations sought were obtained by the Wall 
Street church, of Natchez. 

In 1851, the Union Association passed preamble 
and resolution as to Mississippi College, as follows : 

"Whereas, The citizens of Clinton and vicinity 
have tendered to the Baptist denomination the proper- 
ty of Mississippi College, free of all cost, onl}' requiring 
them to keep up the institution of learning in the town 
of Clinton; and 

Whereas, The property has been received, and 
the new trustees elected, it is now the property of the 
Baptist denomination, * * * 



HISTORy OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 93 

Resolved, That we are highly deHghted with such 
transfer of the College to the patronage, and support of 
the denomination in our bounds." 

In 1853, the following significant resolutions were 
adopted as to Central Female Institute : 

"Whereas, The Central Baptist Association did^ 
at her last annual meeting, appoint a board of trustees 
for the Central Baptist Female Institute, to be located 
in the town of Clinton, Mississippi; and 

Whereas, Several individuals in said board pro - 
ceeded immediately to purchase that property, known 
as the Carson property, within the town of Clinton; 
therefore 

Resolved, That we commend the Baptist Female 
Institute to the s^nnpathies, praj^ers, and support of 
the churches of this Association". 

The following year the report of the board of trus- 
tees of this school was spread on the minutes. The re- 
port stated that Wm. Duncan was principal of the In- 
stitute, and was assisted by Miss L. Duncan, and Miss 
E. Stoddard. In 1855, the prospects of the School were 
represented as "trul^^ flattering. " The following year, 
the Yalobusha Female Institute, at Grenada, sought the 
support of the Union Association, but the body had al- 
ready "united with the Central" in fostering under its 
care the Central Female Institute. In 1856, B. Whit- 
field was president of the board of trustees of the In - 
stitute, and C. S. AlcCloud general agent. 

In 1857, the war clouds had begun to gather. The 
Association passed this resolution : 

^'Resolved, That this Association approve the 
course pursued by the trustees of Alississippi College 
in discontinuing Wajdand's 'Moral Science' as a text 
book." This w^as done because of \vhat was in the book 



94 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

as to the question of slaYer^^ A history of Mississippi 
College, and the Institute will be written in another 
place. 

The Missionary- Board of the Union Association 
suffered the embarrassment of all the old Associations, 
caused by a lack of ministers to do the work needed. 
The pastors were called on to give a part of their time 
to the work, which lacked much of the best results. 
Sometimes a promising A^oung minister would do effect- 
ive work until called b^' the strong churches for all his 
time. In 1851, S. B. Mullens was chosen to do v^'ork 
as a missionarj', but could not accept the appointment. 
Wm. Mullens, pastor of four churches, gave the Board 
some of his time. He baptized four at Antioch, and 
seven at Bethany, two weak churches. Besides this 
work, he preached at two destitute places. 

The following year, AV. F. Green was elected mis- 
sionary for all his time, and accepted the appointment. 
He had regular preaching at three little churches, Anti- 
och, Bethany, and Pleasant Grove. He was hindered 
in his work b^^ bad weather and high water. He did 
irregular work at Grand Gulf, Port Gibson, General 
Chambliss, ten miles from Port Gibson, and at Mag- 
nolia, three miles from Port Gibson, on the Rodney 
road. He also preached at Willow Springs, and Beth- 
esda church. In the space of a year he traveled 
1,401 miles, constituted three churches, aided in the or- 
dination of six ministers, and four deacons, baptized 
forty -two, and received b^- letter one. This was a fine 
showing of faithful work. Bad weather seriously in- 
terfered with the work the following year, but D. Grif- 
fing did some good missionar\- ^vork. 

Year by year, the work was kept in good shape. In 
1857, W. W.' Bolls, and S. Buft'kin were employed to do 
some missionary- work. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 95 

In 1860, a resolution was offered by the committee 
on Home Missions to the effect that the Board solicit 
the co-operation of the State Convention in securing 
the services of efficient ministers to labor in the bounds 
of the body. The State Convention had recommended 
itself to the Union Association bv the successful work 
it had done. 

There was one serious interference in the work of 
the Association between 1850 and 1860. It was in 
1853. Yellow fever, in its most malignant form, devas- 
tated the country, in the bounds of the Association es - 
pecially. We are told by statistics that four out of five 
attacked by the yellow fever of that year lost their 
lives. It was the distressing mortuary records of the 
yellow fever of that year that gave our country such 
fright of its ravages. The Union Association was to 
meet that year, September 23rd, at Fellowship church, 
but the yellow fever was especially fatal near that 
church. The delegates of eight churches, on their way 
to the Association, decided that it w^ould be inexpedient 
to meet at that time, and place, and the body assembled 
November 19th, at New Providence church, Copiah 
county. In this decade, nine churches Avere received 
into the Association, the Pleasant Grove in 1851, Mag- 
nolia, Pine Bluff, and Piedmont in 1852, Pleasant Hill, 
Copiah county, and Union, Claiborne county, in 1854, 
Willow Springs in 1855, and Spring Hill, and Rodnej^in 
1860. 

In 1854, the Association took stand on the use of 
intoxicating drinks as a beverage, declaring that it im- 
peded the progress of religion and recommended to the 
churches, the passing of the following resolutions: 

^'Resolved, 1. That when it is proven to the satisfac- 
tion of the church that anv member of the same has 



96 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

been gtiilt3' of using intoxicating drinks to excess, that 
proof amounts to exclusion. 

^'Resolved, 2. That we will not tolerate dram 
drinking at public groceries, or dram shops by any 
member of this church." 

The Associations, one by one, so far as they have 
been studied, "have been found to pass stringent resolu- 
tions against the excessive use of intoxicants. The his- 
tory of Mississippi Baptists is clean of the accursed 
traffic of vinous and malt liquors. 

In 1861, the body met with the Damascus church. 
D. J. Brown w^as elected moderator, and O. L.Johnson, 
clerk. Two new churches were received. Crystal 
Springs, and New Bahala (or Wesson). Z. Reaves, and 
J. L. Pettigrew wherein the Association. For the first time 
since the constitution of the Association, a debt was re- 
ported. Usually there were hundreds of dollars in the 
treasury, and a complaint expressed that ministers 
could not be had to do missionar^^ work; but at this 
meeting of the bodj' the churches were requested to 
take up a collection in the month of December to liqui - 
date indebtedness to missionaries, and that the matter 
be urged upon the churches. 

The Civil War was then agitating the minds of the 
people. Many of the best men in our State were on the 
tented field when the body was in session. Their con- 
tributions were missed, but the3^ were not overlooked. 
A resolution \vas adopted, requesting the delegates, the 
ministers especially, to bring before their respective 
churches the subject of supplying the soldiers with the 
Holy Scriptures, and that a collection be taken at each 
church, and the amount collected sent to W. M. Haley 
for distribution. 

In 1862, a committee of three was raised to collect 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 97 

the minutes of the Association from the time of its or- 
ganization, which was to report at the next meeting. 
Solomon Buifkin, S. G. Mullens, and O. L. Johnson 
constituted the committee. This was a wise movement 
just at that time. One of the most serious and lasting 
injuries sustained by the South, as a result of the Civil 
War, was the wholesale destruction of many impor- 
tant documents. Confusion was in the land, and full 
often valuable papers were either hid away from the 
thorough search of the foe until blighted by mildew, or 
burned in houses of the suffering citizens. 

At that meeting of the Association, a collection of 
$63.25 was taken for tracts for the soldiers, and was 
placed in the hands of W. M. Haley. The money was 
duly forwarded to Atlanta for tracts. It was sent from 
there to Richmod, Ya., and somehow, in the confusion 
of the times, was lost. The churches were requested to 
report in their next annual letter to the body, the 
names of their members who were v^'ounded or killed in 
the arniA' . 

It is strangely true that in 1864, the Association 
■v\^as blessed with a revival of religion in all the church- 
es. All was consternation in the Southland. There 
was scarcely a home exempted from the dire results of 
Civil War. Meat and bread were scarce. Women and 
men wore clothes made at home. Fathers and moth- 
ers wept the loss of their brave boj's. The new^s from 
the great battles \vas heard wath sorrowful apprehen- 
sion; and yet, the churches in union were happy in the 
grace of God. Genuine revivals of religion are always 
followed by an enlargement of the desires of those who 
have been blessed in their gifts. What was the result 
of this general a^vakening in the union? They sought 
co-operation with the Baptist State Convention in the 



98 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

support and education of the children of deceased sol- 
diers, and delegates were sent to the meeting of the 
Convention at Crawford. A collection of $47.00 was 
taken to bear the expenses of the delegates to the State 
Convention. What the result would be if Christians 
"were alw^aj'S in a state of revival, can onh' be imagined. 

In the fall of 1865, the Civil War was over, but our 
country was in a state of indifference as to economic 
measures, and things religious. Fortunes earned by 
close economy, and ^^ears of labor, had been lost at the 
close of the Civil War. Old men said they had not time 
to make another fortune. It was a community- of dis- 
aster, and, was therefore, borne with fortitude. Soldiers 
had returned home with the recklessness incident to life 
in the army. In four years the beardless youths that 
enlisted in the army, had grown to manhood, and had 
thoughts of marriage. Social gatherings were frequent. 
The past was out of mind, and the 3'oung was blithe, 
gay, and festive. What was the consequence? Bethle- 
hem church, requested an expression of the Association 
on dancing-, and a strong committee appointed on the 
evil. Solomon Buffkin was chairman ofthe committee. 
He said, "We have witnessed with the deepest regret 
the increasing popularity- of this dangerous practice, 
among the professors of religion, and more espec- 
ially among Baptists. It has, of late, been the cause of 
trouble, and discord in almost all our churches. " He 
said tl at members who dance are in disorder, and those 
who encourage the dance are also in disorder, and that 
the hand of fellowship should be withdrawn from those 
who persist in dancing. Ah, those piping times of 
peiace, and relaxation ! Ah, that thoughtless abandon 
after the soldiers had gotten hom.e ! 

J. R. Graves, then of Summit, was at the meeting of 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 99 

the Association of 1865, C. M. Gordon, Avas also in the 
union. On Sunday morning, W. W. Bolls preached the 
missionary sermon, after which a collection was taken 
of $50.00. J. R. Graves preached in the afternoon, and 
"was listened to with deep interest." What should be 
done with the colored people, members of the churches, 
who had voluntarih'-left home, and their place of abode 
unknown? The negroes who went a\vaA' from their 
owners before the surrender were deemed in disorder. 
It was recommended to immediately organize the col - 
ored people into churches to themselves, and supply 
them w^ith preaching. 

The meeting ofthe the body in 1866, was held with 
the Crystal Springs church. New Hope, and Philadel- 
phia churches were received into the Association. W. 
F. Green was chosen moderator, and W. B. Gallman, 
clerk. There were twenty - two churches in the body. 
Ofthe old churches which entered the Association in 1820, 
only the Clear Creek church, of old Washington, remain- 
ed. The churches had a total membership of 1,374, and 
reported ninety -five baptisms. The sum of $73.25 
was reported by the treasurer as on hand after all the 
debts were paid. 

In the following year, signs of former vigor, and the 
promise for future usefulness, faintly appeared. The 
years of readjustment to the conditions then existing 
were beginning. Signs of better times were just appar- 
ent. It was Resolved That the best endeavors would 
be manifested to raise a dollar to each member in the 
body to support a missionary- in their bounds, and the 
sum of $399 00 was subscribed for that purpose, to be 
paid quarterly. It Avas also Resolved, That the church- 
es should carefully \vatch for "the gifts " that were in 
their midst, in view of the destitution of ministers in 



100 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

the bounds of the union. PubHcations and the Sunday- 
school work received due attention. 

An effort was made in 1868, to secure a complete 
file of the minutes of the Association. A committee re- 
ported that thej^ had a complete file of the minutes, as 
for back as the nineteenth anniversary (except 1863), 
also the sixteenth, and eighth anniversary'. The Mission- 
ary Board was displaced by an Executive Committee 
of the Association, which committee was to enter vig- 
orously on missionary- work in their bounds. 

The year 1868 was disastrous in central Mississip- 
pi. It was characterized by an unusual amount of rain. 
Vegetation was tall, and luxurious, which decaj^ed in the 
fall, and produced much sickness of a serious, and fatal 
character. The Association was small, but revivals 
were cheering in mam- of the churches, and 157 bap- 
tisms were reported. 

In 1870, the bod^- met at Fellowship church, ^thin 
a few miles of v^-here it was constituted, in 1820. Fel- 
lowship was an old church, in a good part of the coun- 
try, and with a worthy history. C. M. Gordon, J. R. 
Farish, I. H. Anding, H. M. Long, D. I. Purser and J.J. 
Green, were at the Association. These men at that time 
belonged not to the past, but to the future. They were 
men chosen by the Lord to assist in the construction of 
a new order of things among Mississispi Baptists. The 
writer feels as one who has been wandering far from 
home, and upon his return has gotten so near the scenes 
of his childhood as to begin to see familiar objects. God 
be praised for these men, honorable, and abundant in 
labors for the amelioration of our fallen race. Some of 
them long have been in the w^orld of light and song, but 
their memorA' is fragrant and refreshing. On the Lord's 
day J. R. Farish preached a sermon on "the Bible," 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 101 

Avhich is said to have been an interesting sermon. 
"Christians were made to rejoice, and we beHeve many 
■unconverted were deeply impressed." 

J. R. Parish was representing the Hazlehurst 
church, which, as a new church, entered the Union at that 
meeting of the bod^'. A commodious house of Avorship 
w^as about completed at Hazlehurst. 

The year 1870 was the semi-centennial of the his- 
tory of the Association. No notice seems to have been 
taken ofthe fact by the body. The history of the Associa- 
tion had been ^vorthy of the pen of some read^- writer, 
and Solomon Buff kin could have written a good history 
ofthe bod^'. The Union Association has had no superi- 
or in our State as a nourishing iDody. The Bethel died 
in a territor^^, where afterward Baptists became strong 
under the management of the leaders in the Union. 
Central Association, strong and vigorous, was formed 
of churches ofthe Union, built up after the dissolution of 
the Bethel. The Union Association fosterd the church- 
es in Natchez, Ra3'mond, Vicksburg, Jackson, Canton, 
Yazoo City, Crj^stal Springs, Wesson, and Hazlehurst. 
Worthy old promoter ofthe good ! Why did not your 
children recount the A^ears of 3'our usefulness when a 
half century- had marked your honorable career ? 

The period of construction on modern lines of work 
began in the Association in 1871. The ineeting was at 
Philadelphia church, in Lincoln county, beginning Sep- 
tember, 23rd. W. P. Green w-as elected moderator, W. 
M. Ellis clerk, and Elisha N. Sumrall treasurer. Tw^en- 
ty-four churches were in the Union, with a total mem- 
bership of 1,594. Upon a summary vicw^ of the names 
of the delegates of the body,, one is much impressed as 
to its grace, and wisdom. D. I. Purser was there, young, 
noble, and sweet in spirit. The Lord was going to use 



102 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

him in the period of construction. No one did a nobler 
AYork for Alississippi Baptists in the 3'ears they were 
gathering their forces for an onward movement. The 
pen of the writer is inchned to leave the sober prose of 
history' for the more cheerful English of biography', but 
must forego the pleasure. James Nelson \vas at the 
meeting of the Association. James Nelson was intrust- 
ed Ida' the Lord with the sacred molds of character. 
Quite well did he use them. Should a question be put 
as to what two men have done the most for the Baptist 
ministry- of ^Mississippi, the answer \vould be eas^'; W, 
S. Webb and James Nelson. Wherever James Nelson 
went sentiment \vas molded for ministerial education, 
and the imprint of his mold is clear in its outlines toda^^ 
James Nelson preached in the Baptist church Sunday 
morning. It is said he "delivered an interesting sermon 
to a large and attentive audience * * * upon the sub- 
ject of ministerial education." His text was Mat. 9:27, 
28. At the same hour D. I. Purser preached in the 
Methodist church. 

A missionary board was located at Hazlehurst, 
composed of the officers of the body, in connection with 
L. F. Birdsong, L. L. Britton, F. E. Highway, W. M. 
Hale^', and J. C. Pitts. A Sunda}^ school Board was 
located at Pine Bluff church, composed of Joseph J. 
Green, J. Jasper Green, T. R. Whitehead, S. G. Jenkins, 
and Elisha N. Sumrall. 

The following year three churches \vere received into 
the body. Port Gibson, Antioch, in Franklin countj', and 
Damascus, in Jefferson county. D. I. Purser, then mis- 
sionary of the Association, represented Wall Street 
Baptist church, of Natchez, as a place for missionary 
work, stating that the church w^as unable to sustain a 
minister, and that the General Association of southern 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 103 

Mississippi, and eastern Louisiana pledged assistance to 
the church. It was Resolved, b^- the body to contribute 
$200 00 out of the missionary fund for this cause. Re- 
ports ^vere read before them on all the prominent lines 
of work; on ministerial education, on Sunday schools, 
on home missions, on foreign missions, on ptdDlications. 

Resolutions w^ere passed on S3^stems of benevolence, 
on the Orphans' Home at Lauderdale, and on unlawful 
amusements, and dissipations. D. I. Purser, as mission- 
ary'', had strengthened ^^eak churches, and organized 
three new churches (214 baptisms were reported). He 
preached 197 sermons, traveled 3,397 miles, received by^ 
restoration twenty -five, and by baptism seventy -three. 
He reported that Clear Creek had only five members, 
all females, three of w^hom were not able to attend 
church. 

In 1873, Salem church was received into the Asso- 
ciation. J. A. Hackett was elected modertitor, E. W. 
BroAvn clerk, and E. N. Sumrall treasurer. The Exec- 
utive Board showed a large amount of w^ork done, sur- 
passing anything in the history of the body. D. I. Pur- 
ser was stationed at Port Gibson at a salary of $1000. 00 
a 3"ear, and R. H. Purser was missionary at a salary of 
$800.00. R. H. Purser preached seventy -nine sermons, 
traveled 2,362 miles, and baptized twenty - three. A pre- 
amble and resolution was adopted on CO -operation with 
the State Mission Board, reciting the facts that the Con- 
vention determined to do mission work in the State, and 
had located the Board at Hazlehurst. It was declared 
that the action met the hearty approval of the body, 
and the corresponding secretary of the Board was in - 
vited to visit the churches of the Association. 

The children of soldiers who were killed, or died of 
disease, during the Civil War were carefully considered 



104 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS, 

by our people. An orphans' home for such children ^-as 
estabHshed at Lauderdale Springs, and kept up for 
years. 

In 1869, it was ordered bj^ this body that the treas- 
urer be instructed to pay the Oiphans' Home the money 
on hand after defra^'ing the expenses of the Association. 
E. C. Eager was at that meeting of the Union, repre- 
senting the Baptist State Convention, and was, in all 
probability^ the promoter of the resolution. After the 
lapse of three 3'ears, Ave find again resolutions on their 
minutes, under preambles, as to the "Home." They 
expressed it as a duty to look after the needy, and indi- 
gent, and, as the orphans at the Home \vere frequently 
in need of the necessities of life, it was asked that each 
member of ever^' church in the body, be asked to give 
twenty -five cents a year for the Oiphanage, and that 
every' pastor be requested to place the benevolence be- 
fore his churches. 

In 1873, a committee, v^ath Joseph J. Green chair- 
man, reported on the Orphans' Home. The committee 
commended the Orphans' Home, and urged its claims 
on the churches, and R. N. Hall, agent of the Home, 
was welcomed in their midst. He delivered an accepta- 
ble speech, and made a good impression, as he was ac- 
customed to do, and carried away Avith him some mon- 
ey, and the good will of the bod^-. In the following 
year, the report stated that the Home was almost self- 
supporting, and a number of subscriptions were taken 
for the Orphans' Home Banner, by W. H. Tucker. No 
farther mention is made of the Home in the records of 
the union. 

In 1871, the body began vigorously to increase in- 
terest in the Sunday school work. J. M. Griffing, of 
Hamburg, chairman of the committee, presented a good 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 105 

report. It recoinmended the appointment of a Sunday 
school Board, auxiliary to the Sunday school Board of 
the Conyention. The Board was located, as has al- 
ready been stated, at Pine Bluff church. The following 
year, the fact was mentioned that man^^ Sunday school 
pupils had been conyerted in the reyiyal, preyalent in 
the churches. More interest in this \york was urged, 
and a Sunday school Institute \vas recommended, the 
meetings of which were to be held annually at the place 
on the day preceeding the meeting of the Association, 
and that the Institute be comjDosed of the Sunday 
school Board of the Association. The following year, 
eleyen Sunday schools were reported to the bod}'. 
Eight churches had no Sunday schools. The Sunday 
school Institute seems to haye been a feeble organization, 
despite the efforts of some of the best men of the body. 
Nearly all of the churches were in the country. In 
1876, it -was urged upon the Sunday school workers, 
that they assist in making the Institute a success. Af- 
ter this, for two consecutive years, no report is found in 
the minutes on this subject. The year after, the report 
was made by R. A. Cooper, which was pointed, but no 
reference was made to the Institute; which would lead 
one to belieye that it had lost its existence. For a num- 
ber of 3'ears no special interest is shown b}' the body in 
this line of work. In 1883, "the international lessons " 
are recommended forthe first time. The following year, 
J. D. Granberry made a stirring report, which urged 
that the teachers in the Sunday schools should be con- 
yerted people, and that parents should take their chil- 
dren to the Sunday school. In 1885, the state of this 
work was encouraging, as was true in the two succeed- 
ing years. In 1889, the Sunday school Conyention of 
the State, to be held in July, 1890, was commended to 
the body. 



106 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

The Union Association was not so forward in the 
^vork of sustentation as some similar bodies. Perhaps 
a reason for this was to be found in the fact that there 
were no old preachers in the body needing help, as was 
true in other Associations. We find no report on the 
subject until 1888. That year a committee was ap- 
pointed on sustentation, and J. E. Thigpen made chair- 
man. His report was well discussed, and, i)ending its 
adoption, a collection was taken of $20.55 for A. R. 
Lum, long a useful minister in that part of the State, 
and, at that time, in the decrepitude of age. The fol- 
lowing year, this aged servant of God was again re- 
membered with a collection of $31.00, which was tak- 
en while the report on sustentation was pending. In 
1890, little was accomplished by the State Convention 
for sustentation. 

In 1878, a committee was, for the first time, ap- 
pointed on "pastoral support, " but no report on that 
subject appears in the minutes. The next year, a strong 
report was adopted, in which it was urged that when 
a pastor was called to a church, that the amount he 
was to receive be named, which amount should, if pos- 
sible, be paid in monthly installments, and be reported 
to the Association, among the receipts of the church for 
the year. For several ^-ears, the same recommenda- 
tions were made to the churches, yet the amounts paid 
by the churches to their pastors did not appear in the 
financial tabular report, until 1883; which report was 
only partial. The Hazlehurst church, that year, paid 
$600.00 to the pastor, $30.19 to foreign missions, 
$100.00 to state missions, and to other causes accord- 
ingly. Damascus church paid the pastor $250.00. The 
year after, Hazlehurst paid the pastor $800.00, and the 
Fellowship church took the second place, paj'ing to 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 107 

pastoral support $350.00. In 1885, the increase in the 
amounts paid the pastors over the first financial re- 
port on pastoral support, is indeed marvelous. As corn- 
comparisons are not always invidious, it will be of in- 
terest to note the difference between what w^as paid by 
a few churches to their pastors in 1883, and 1885. The 
Beech Grove gave $55.00 in 1883, and $75.00 in 1885 ; 
Gallmangave $60.00 in 1883, and $150.00 in 1885; 
New Zion gave $150.00 in 1883, and $250.00 in 1885. 

In 1886, the churches ^vere urged to give to pastor- 
al support to the extent of their ability-; that the pas- 
tors have fixed salaries, and the churches adopt some 
s^'stematic plan of supporting their ministers. At the 
meeting of the union the following year, a divine call to 
the ministry was emphasized, and the call by a church 
of a pastor was declared a contract, common to finan - 
cial engagements in other pursuits in life. More lengthy 
became the reports on ministerial support yearby3^ear, 
and the facts made prominent, that the preacher's du- 
ties were complex, and arduous; that he should be an 
educated man, as faras possible; thatunderthe Alosaic 
economy, the priests lived of the altar, and in like man- 
ner, our Savior expects the churches to support men 
called to preach the gospel, and that the minister should 
devote himself exclusiveh^ to the duties of his office. 

In 1876, the name of the Clear Creek church appear- 
ed for the last time on the minutes of the body. Thus 
the connecting link dropped out between that date, and 
the constitution of the Association. The old church 
house, erected in 182-1, still stands in the town of Wash- 
ington, but the church lost its power to stand in the 
column in the centennial year. For ^-ears it had not 
been represented in the Association. Thus it appears, 
the Association was virtually, a new bodj- in 1873, 



108 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

with a new life, and new designs. It was no longer 
circumscribed b^' its boundaries, but took in the geo- 
graphical limits of the round world, in its scope of 
vision. 

The Association was profoundly interested in minis- 
terial education, and Mississippi College — the shops 
where the promoters of the world's evangelization \vere 
examined as to their power of carriage, and where they 
were adjusted in their parts, and polished so as to pre - 
vent friction in their rapid movements. In 1874, there- 
port on the College was indeed cheerful. The school 
was enjox'ing continued, and increasing, prosperity. A 
theological department had been proposed, and AI. T. 
Martin was successfully prosecuting the work of rais - 
ing an endowment fund. The Association pledged it- 
self to do its part in the wOrk. The condition of the 
College gave good educational facilities to the young 
ministers. The attendance of j^oung ministers at the 
College was equal, if it did not exceed, that of the pre- 
vious year. The churches were urged to help in this 
work. The following year, the College was reported 
as prosperous, and the endowment Avas steadih' grow- 
ing. The Association was urged to assist in the work. 
In 1876, the bod^^ pledged heart}^ co-operation with 
the Board of Ministerial Education, and cordially in- 
vited R. N. Hall, the agent of the Board, to visit the 
churches, and raise funds for this work. 

The report on the College, in 1878, was made by A. 
A. Lomax. He said, "Colleges, like century plants, are 
of slow growth," that Mississippi College "grows slow- 
ly, but it grows, gro^vs in efficiency, grows in power, 
grows in the affecl:ions of the great Baptist heart of 
Mississippi,'" and "Mississippi College wants j-our pat- 
ronage, asks your patronage, nobly deserves your pat - 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 109 

roiiage. " The report wrs pithy, pungent, pointed. 
The reports on Mississippi College, and ministerial edu- 
cation were, year by year, good, but we find no written 
report of collections for these objects before 1881, when 
a "try pledge"' was made for ministerial education of 
$135.00, A. A Lomax heading the list -with $50.00. 
How the ministers did sacrifice in educating our people 
in the practice of benevolence ! 

In 1882, T. N. Rhymes used the following language 
in his report on the College: "We owe to Mississippi 
College, and hence we again pledge her, our sympathy, 
and our sons, our prayers, and our support. We ex- 
tend toZ. T. Leavell, her financial agent, a cordial invi- 
tation to canvass in her interests the territorj'^ v^ithin 
our bounds. ' ' The report of 1883 recited the fact that in 
the session of the College in 1882, and 1883, thirty-sev- 
en young ministers were in attendance. On motion, 
the Association Resolved, That the churches be request- 
ed to raise ten cents a member for ministerial education. 
That year Hazlehurst church paid to ministerial educa- 
tion $35.50, and $58.50 to the College; and of the 
country churches, Philadelphia paid to ministerial edu- 
cation $10.00, and to the College one dollar. The fol- 
lowing year, the churches of the Association paid to 
ministerial education $122.90, and to the College 
$28.30. 

The report made in 1885 on the College was read 
by L. S. Foster. He quoted from M. P. Lowrey, who 
said the College is the heart of our State Convention, 
The report said the College "richl^^ deserves endov^ment, 
and the hearty patronage of the Ba^Dtists of the State. 
It could be endowed so easih^ It is not a question of 
ability, but of determination." In the year 1886, the 
Association reported nothing for ministerial education, 



110 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

and only $7.75 for the College. In 1890, the financial 
tabular statement shows as paid to the College for en- 
dowment $866.85, and for ministerial education $7 5. 90. 
In the associational year of 1873 — 1874, the Execu- 
tive Board of the Union Association became much em - 
barrassed. The report made by J. A. Hackett, chair- 
man of the Board in 1874, says that the Board had 
done nothing during the last ^xar, but hold a few form- 
al meetings. An indebtedness was reported of $309.00, 
$75.00 to the State Board, and $234.00 to the mission- 
aries. These amounts were augmented by $269.00 due 
to the Natchez mission, making a total of $578.00 in- 
debtedness. The condition was beginning to be appall- 
ing. It was suggested that the Association enter into 
a close co-operation with the State Alission Board, 
This sentiment was echoed from the report on home 
(state) missions. The State Mission Board was then 
located at Crv^stal Springs. T. J. Walne was its corre- 
sponding secretar\\ Six resolutions were adopted by 
the Association: (1.) That the Association pa^- its 
debts. That was ver\' sensible, and would apply to in- 
dividuals generally. (2.) That a mission board be con- 
tinued. (3.) The Executive Board be requested to seek 
close relations with the State Mission Board. (4.) The 
corresponding secretar\^ of that Board was invited to 
visit the churches. (5.) That it be kept in mind that it 
was by missionar3^ labors that the^- were Christians. 
(6.) That they pledge themselves to pray God's bless- 
ings on the Board, and its agencies. 

The following year was one of anxiety to them. A 
subscription was taken to meet the indebtedness of the 
Executive Board, but alas, it was paid only in part. 
T. J. Walne visited the churches, and the State Board 
assumed the outstanding indebtedness to unfetter the 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. Ill 

hands of the w^orkers. What funds were on hand were 
ordered turned over to the State Board, and the State 
Board asked to do missionary work in their bounds. 
The kindness of the State Board cleared the air, and 
made the Union Association more cheerful. There was 
a murmur of discontent after all these things, that the 
State Board had not put a missionarj^ in the bounds of 
the Association, but it was finally discovered that the 
Executive Board had not applied for one. 

After co-operation was secured with the State 
Board, matters seemed all at once to get worse. In the 
bounds of the Association the spiritual destitution was 
appalling. Some of the churches were lapsing into 
stolid indiiference, and becoming themselves missionary 
ground. "The mission spirit is our great need." There 
was a prejudice engendered against the State Board, 
and it ^was recommended that they use the money rais - 
ed for home missions ifi the bounds of the union. A- 
gainst this recommendation, A. A. Lomax had his vote 
recorded. The bod3' remained at cross purposes. In 
1878, the report on home missions \vas written by E. 
C. Gates, a noble man, and a friend of the State Board. 
The report was as conciliatory- as it could have been 
made. It recommended putting a missionary into the 
Association for a part, or all his time, and that the cor- 
responding secretary of the State Board be invited to 
visit the body, and colledl funds for state missions. 
The Fair River Association was helping them in their 
mission work, forw^hich the Union Association express- 
ed gratitude. 

But the longest lanes have their turning. If we 
hang on to the revolving wheel we get on top after a 
while. In 1879, the ominous clouds were all rifted. 
The report on home missions said: "Man3^ who one 



112 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

3^ear ago called on us for the bread of life have received 
it with joy, and some that were dead have been made 
alive. If the work goes on as it has begun, we are en- 
couraged to believe that in a little while the field now 
occupied bj^ our missionary will be self-supporting." 
The corresponding secretary of the State Board receiv- 
ed a renew^ed invitation to visit the churches of the As - 
sociation. A long report, covering two pages of their 
rninutes, w^as read, and adopted with a zest. More 
hearty co - operation wnth the State Board was urged. 
Interest v^as also show^n for the colored people of the 
State. Prejudice against the whites was being dimin- 
ished. The pastors w^ere urged to go among them, and 
give them sound doctrine, and wholesome advice. 
What a wondei-ful transition in such a brief space of 
time ! In man's weakness is where God's strength shows 
itself. 

The year 1880 brought another surprise. The mis- 
sionary^ of the Association, Joel Baskin, had done a fine 
3^ear"s work, which was trulj' gratify ing, but thought it 
best to resign the work. It was recommended by the 
Executive Board that the existing method be discon- 
tinued, and hearty co-operation sought with the State 
Board, then located in Oxford. 

The report on the colored people revealed the fact 
that the colored ministers were at variance with each 
other. It \vas a joy to know that the State Board was 
doing work among the negroes. J. T. Zealj was ap- 
pointed to hold institutes among their preachers. 

Tw^o reports on State missions w^ere spread on the 
records of the meeting of the following year, one of the 
annual committee, in place of the executive committee, 
and the other, the usual report. The annual commit- 
tee reported that a meeting was held in Ma^-, and work 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 



113^' 



in the Association mapped out for two men, and appli- 
cation made to the State Board, through T.J. Walnfe/ 
for the needed missionaries. It was regretted that tli^' 
men could not be found to do the work. T. J. Walrie 
himself was chairman of the usual committee, the re- 
port of which did little more than to cover the scope of 
the work of the State Mission Board. "Try pledges'* 
were made amounting to $495.00. 

An annual committee "w-as appointed in 1881, for 
the ensuing 3^ear on State missions. 

The report was under two heads : 1 — The w^ork 
done by the committee. 2^The work performed 133^ the 
missionaries. Not one word was put into the report 
about State missions. The committee planned work 
for the Association, and employed two missionaries, J. 
A. Scarborough, and Joseph Buckles. An itemized 
statement of this \vork was rendered to the body. An 
indebtedness was reported of $214.52. The committee 
recommended "a continuance of the mission Avork in 
our bounds wnth those churches that are desirous of 
help." The indebtedness was sustained with the ut- 
most serenity and composure. The report on State 
missions was nothing more than the itemized report of 
the State Mission Board to the Convention of that 
year, but "trj^ pledges" were made to State missions of 
$500.00. 

The State Mission Board was, in 1883, nine 3^ear 
old. The three aims of the State Board were, inthat 
year, placed before the bodi' : 1 — To develop amission 
spirit. 2 — To promote unification among Mississippi 
Baptists. 3 — To secure co-operation with all the Asso- 
ciations in the State. The Association pledged itself to 
make an honest effort to raise $500.00 for the work of 
the Board. $362.10 had been collected for the State 



114 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

Board that year. For several years good reports on 
State missions were; put before the body, but no rec- 
ommendations made, and no statement of the work 
done by the Board in the associational hmits. In 1888 an- 
other executive boa,rd was appointed. The board report- 
ed the following year, that there w^ere three centers of in- 
fluence in the Association w^here there was no preaching 
by Baptists, viz : Rodney, Port Gibson, and Martin. 
Many churches were enfeebled and discouraged. The 
Convention Board was appealed to, and responded by 
putting a colporteur in the field. A continuance of co- 
operation w^ith the Convention Board w^as recom- 
mended. 

In 1890, the sum of $183.55 was reported as paid 
to State missions during the year. A. C. Ball labored 
in the Association for six months, doing missionary 
and colportage work, at asalar^^of $260.00. The field 
was "w^hite unto harvest," and the demand was still 
made for strong men to be put in the field. 

During the highly operative period of the history of 
the Union Association, betw^een 1874 and 1890, ev- 
ery year, a report was read on Foreign missions. 
The reports w^ere very nearly' all in one vein. There 
was scarcely enough varying, year by year, to justify 
the writer in taking up these reports in their annual 
order. 

In 1874, it was recommended that the pastors be 
requested to urge the people to cultivate the spirit of 
foreign missions, and that there be sj^stem adopted in 
taking collections. 

The following year, a "centennial committee" w^as 
raised and repoi'ted, v^^hich recommended that a com- 
mittee of four be appointed by the Association, w^hose 
dutj^ it shall be to see that centennial meetings be held 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 115 

in all the churches, and that the churches be requested 
to release their pastors when necessary for them to en - 
gage in the w^ork. 

There was something striking in the report on for- 
eign missions made in 1877. It was " Resolved, That 
the individual members of the churches in our bounds, 
be requested to prayerfully consider vv^hether they have 
any claim to the character of missionary Baptists, who 
yearly do nothing for their support.^ ^ 

In 1879, we find this language: 

" Resolved, That the Baptist field is the w^orld, and 
every Baptist is bound to help." 

In 1881, the churches pledged themselves to raise 
during the ensuing associational year $165.00 for this 
vv^ork. In the following year, $36.30 was reported in 
the church letters as collected for foreign missions, but 
true statistics cannot be gotten from such financial ta - 
bles, as some churches fail to report v^rhat they give. 
The "try pledges" of 1883 amounted to $182.50. The 
pastors were asked to preach more on foreign missions. 
What the people want is information as to the Foreign 
Board. 

The contributions reported to the Association of 
1884, to foreign missions, were small, but very well dis- 
tributed. Twelve churches out of twenty -one reported 
amounts paid to foreign missions. Hazlehurst led, 
giving $52.25; Fellowship followed, giving $16.50. 
The total amount given by the churches to foreign mis- 
sions that year was $159.70, which was in advance of 
any amounts paid to this object in after years to 1890. 

The first report made before the Association on 
Woman's w^ork was inl881 . It was exceedingly short, 
but was strictly to the point. It reads : 

"We, the committee on Woman's work, most hear- 



116 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

tily approve of the work of the women of our churches, 
and recommend that Ladies Aid Societies be organized 
in every church composing this Association." 

The following year, a letter was sent from the La - 
dies Mission Society, of White Oak church, to the Asso- 
ciation, w^hich seemed to have a happj^ effect on the 
body. A length}^ report was written on "Woman's 
work," and the letter ordered printed in the minutes. 
The end of the first quarter of the existence of the Soci - 
ety, five dollars was sent to foreign missions. The sec- 
ond quarter ended at the time of the meeting of the As- 
sociation, at w^hich time ten dollars was sent for the 
missionaries of the Union Association. Mrs. Eliza 
Coleman w^as president of the societ3% Mrs. Emily Pitt- 
man, vice-president, and Miss Josephine Anderson, sec- 
retary and treasurer. The Society had twenty acting 
members, and eleven honorary members. If the ladies 
of the remaining twenty' - one churches in the body, had 
made similar reports, what startling results would 
have been showm ! 

In 1884, a fine report was made to the Association 
on Woman's work. H. D. White was chairman 
of the committee. It informs us that there w^ere quite 
a number of Ladies Missionary Societies in the Associ- 
ation, that they had contributed liberally to all the ob- 
jects of benevolence, and that they had quickened the 
zeal and inspired greater interest in the work on the 
part of the men. The reports, 3'ear by year, w^ere grat- 
ifying, and no opposition was met by the women in 
their work. Such organizations in the churches are 
capable of doing a vast amount of good, but our wom- 
en need more encouragment in their work. 

In 1889, the minutes of the Woman's Missionary 
Society, of the Union Association, were published in 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 117 

the minutes of the proceedings of the Association. The 
Society was addressed by J. T. Christian, Fred Jones, 
and J. Jasper Green. All the churches reported societies 
but four. The societies pledged $75.00 for the endow- 
ment of Mississippi College. In 1890, Mrs. M. J. Nel- 
son w^as at the meeting of the societies at the Associa - 
tion, and explained the work of the central committee. 
A collection of $2.15 was taken up for the Convention 
Board. 

It has been more difficult to enlist Mississippi Bap- 
tists in Home missions than any other line of our be- 
nevolence. Why this is true, each one may conjecture, 
but no one can explain to the entire satisfaction of the 
inquiring mind. It was so late as 1883 before there 
was a report read before the Union Association on the 
subject. This is true, while it is equally true that no 
Association in the State has surpassed the Union in 
manifesting a missionary spirit. In the 3'ear named, 
the information was given that H. F. Sproles was the 
representative of the Home Mission Board in our State. 
It v^as suggested that a competent man be appointed 
to represent this interest in the body. It does not ap - 
pear on the records that the Association did so. A 
motion was adopted, requesting the churches to con- 
tribute ten cents a member for home missions. The 
same motion was passed the next year. Four of the 
churches in 1884 reported amounts paid to home mis- 
sions, but it ma3^ have been expended on associational 
missions. No suggestion was made to the Association 
of 1885 in the report on home missions, and we find 
that one church contributed $1.00 that year to this 
object. 

In 1886, the report on home missions was handed 
in by R. H. Purser. It was rather cautious. It said 



118 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

that Mississippi Baptists were doing home mission 
■work, which was eminently true at that time. It de- 
clared that there were too many objects before the 
people; their minds became confused, and "wjth confus- 
ion interest dies out." It was recommended that the 
pastors keep this cause before their churches. In 1888, 
$2,000.00 was asked of Mississippi for this cause, and 
the Union Association proposed to raise its share of the 
amount. It was stated the year following, that the 
Home Board had two missionaries in our State, at an 
expense of $1,125.00, and had received but little more 
than that amount from Mississippi. The belief was ex- 
pressed in the report on the subject, in 1890, that our 
people would do more for home missions if they were 
better informed as to the needs of the Southern field of 
labor. In the year of 1889—1890, the sum of $39.75 
was given by the body to home missions. 

The constituency of the Union Association w^as con- 
versant with our denominational literature. The first 
Baptist newspaper of the State was published in the 
bounds of the Union Association. The Mississippi 
Baptist, before the Civil War, was warmly supported 
bj^ them. In 1874, ''The Baptist," published in Mem- 
phis, was commended with a number of other Baptist 
periodicals. The next year, the commendation of that 
paper was more pronounced. The Baptist was then 
"our State organ,'' it was said. It had a Mississippi 
department, over which M. P. Lowrey presided, in a 
manner that reaped the most hearty approval of the 
Association. In 1877, Mississippi Baptists had a de- 
nominational paper, ''The Mississippi Baptist Record, 
published at Clinton, which was commended without 
reserve. The Record was for a number of years, first in 
the list of periodicals recommended to the churches by 
the committee on publications. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 119 

In 1882, the committee on publications gave the 
first place in its recommendations to the ^^ Tennessee 
Baptist, pubhshed by J. R. Graves, Memphis, Tenn.," 
the Baptist Record, claiming the second place. This 
recommendation yvRS an exception, and for several 
years afterward The Record v^as the accepted organ of 
the Association. 

In 1887, the Southern Baptist Record, published at 
Meridian, Miss., v^as commended. This paper was the 
Baptist Record, and the Southern Baptist consolidated, 
and was virtually the same paper that the members of 
the body had read for years. In 1889, the Southern 
Baptist Record was commended, (1) Because of its 
soundness; (2) Because it is our State organ; (3) Be- 
cause of the vast amount of information to be obtain- 
ed by a careful reading of it. In the report of the year 
following, we find this language : 

"Every Baptist family in the State should take and 
read the Baptist Record, and Congregational Quarter- 
ly. We also recommend the Foreign Mission Journal, 
and Home Field. " 

The support the Union Association gave to the 
Temperance movement w^as highly commendable. The 
interest taken in it was a preceptible growth. In 1878, 
A. A. Lomax presented the first report on the subject, 
vehich was virtually two resolutions, (1) That it w^as 
the sense of the Association that the use of intoxicants 
as a beverage, was contrary to the spirit and genius of 
Christianity; (2) That all pastors in the bounds of the 
Association, speak and preach often against the great 
evil, and the churches use strict discipline with the mem- 
bers who are guilty of the obnoxious habit. The two 
resolutions were in the language of a man of pronoun - 
ced convictions and sturdy determination; • 



120 HISTORY OF anSSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

The report the following year, expressed the belief 
that safety is alone in total abstinence from all intoxi- 
cating drinks. The pastors of the churches were urged 
to speak against the drink habit in the pulpit and in so- 
cial circles. The next year, an advance step was made. 
It was recommended that all the churches stand on the 
ground of total abstinence, and discipline members 
who have anything to do with social dram - drinking. 

In 1881, the Association reached the high plane of 
Prohibition. The prohibition movement was heartily 
•endorsed, and earnest support pledged to it. Dram- 
drinking had ceased to be a question of temperance, it 
merited prohibition. The succeeding j-ear, the same 
emphasis was placed on positive dealings ^vith intoxi - 
cants. This sentiment was reiterated for the following- 
two years. 

In 1885, A. A. Lomax thundered against the per- 
nicious evil again. He says: "the overthrow of the 
rum traffic in Mississippi is only a question of time, en- 
ergy.', and endurance." "If we are true to our high trust, 
and the responsibilities of the hour, the saloon must 
go, and when it does let all the people say, Amen.'' 

In 1887, the determination was entered into to 
■withdraw fellowship from every church member who 
should sign a whisky petition or give countenance in 
any vt-ay to the liquor traffic. 

The two following years, the attitude against the 
monster evil was maintained, and, in 1890, the posi- 
tion of 1887 was reaffirmed. The positiveness of the 
Association was not in anything, during its long exist- 
ence, more thoroughly attested than in its position on 
this dreaded, and persistent curse of our Christian 
country. 

D. I. Purser was moderator of the Union Associa- 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 121 

tion in 1874, 1875, and 1876; J. Jasper Green from 
1877 to 1880, inclusive; I. H. Anding in 1881; J. A. 
Snider in 1882, and 1883; H. C. Conn in 1884, and 
1885; vS. W. Sibley in 1886, and 1887; J. JasperGreenin 
1888, and 1889, and S. R. Young in 1890. A. J. Miller 
was clerk of the body from 1874 to 1880, inclusive; 
John P. Hemby in 1881; J. D. Granberr>^ from 1882 to 
1887, inclusive; J. P. Hemby in 1888, and 1889, and W. 
K. Bryant in 1890. 

In the sixteen years of the history of the Union As - 
sociation, just previous to 1890, the death of only one 
old veteran of the cross is recorded. A. R. Lum died 
January 2nd, 1890, in the seventy - third 3'ear of his 
age. His name first appeared on the minutes of 1852, 
when he was a delegate to the Association, from Anti- 
och church, Copiah county. He seldom missed a meet- 
ing of his Association until he \vas enfeebled by age. 
He was a plain honest man, of undisputed purity, and 
unquestionable zeal for the promotion of Christianity. 
He had been favored with few educational advantages, 
but w^as a man of fine native abilit}'. He was one of the 
class of country preachers who live uncomplainingly in 
limited circumstances, esteeming the pleasures of the 
Christian religion as more valuable than any of the 
glittering tinsel, and gaudy show of the social world, 
and speaking after death, as Abel, by the undying influ- 
ence of a godlj^ life. 

The body met in 1891 with New Providence church. 
S. R. Young was chosen moderator, D. S. Burch clerk, 
and G. W. Foster treasurer. The Martin church was 
received into the fraternity. A letter was read from J. 
E. Chiles, who, on account of the infirmities of age, w^as 
not able to be with them. H. M. Long represented the 
Record, and I.H. Anding, and A. A. Lomax the Sunday 
School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. 



122 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

The Association kindly remembered the wadow^ of 
the late A. R. Lum. A collection was taken for susten- 
tation to be used for her benefit, amounting to $26.70 
in cash, and $82.00 in pledges. 

S. R. Young had been giving them one half time as 
missionarv'- during the associational year. He labored 
at Harriston, and Martin. No more proficient man 
could have been gotten in the Association for this work. 
He was, for many years of his early life, a Methodist; and 
brought his ardor with him. He had organized a church 
at Martin, and was doing a good work at Harriston. 
The sum of $284.20 was received that year for work in 
their bounds, and $415.00 pledged for the interest for 
the coming j^ear. 

The following year, S. R. Young was again their 
missionary. He was emplo^^ed for all his time at a sal- 
ary of $720.00. The churches were urged to take 
monthly collections for their evangelistic work. 

Their churches were at that time taking a lively in- 
terest in woman's work. Mrs. J. J. Green was presi- 
dent of their union, and was very efficient among the 
women. A tabulated report of the Woman's Mission 
Society was read before the Association in 1892. Nine 
churches had societies, which, with the Young People's 
Missionary' Society, reported as colledted the sum of 
$574.25 

The session of 1892 met with the Rodney church, 
the twenty-third of September. In 1893, the3'' met with 
the Brushy Fork church, on Friday before the fourth 
Sunday in September. 

The committee on obituaries in 1894, made a re- 
port, which showed that fourteen of their number had 
passed away in the last year. Among these was Joseph 
Buckles. He was bom in 1840, began his ministry in 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 123 

1873, and died November 12, 1893. It is said of him 
that he was "as a preacher, able, and earnest, as a citi- 
zen, upright, and honorable, as a husband, true, and 
faithful, a devoted father, and a friend to the needy." 

In that year, W. W. Bolls w^as called on to preside 
over the body. He was also honored in being elected 
by acclamation, to represent thertiinthe Southern Bap- 
tist Convention. The following resolution was passed, 
referring to their mission work : 

''Resolved, That the churches composing this As- 
sociation set apart sixty per cent of all money collected 
for missions, and that the same be appropriated to the 
work of missions, in the bounds of the Association." 

The next year, the Executive Board aided the Mar- 
tin, Ingleside, Unity, Center Chapel, and Port Gibson 
churches. S. R. Young was missionary pastor at 
Martin, W, S. Rogers, at Unity, J. H. Purser, at Center 
Chapel, and J. E. Phillips, at Port Gibson. 

The report on Sunday schools showed that eigh- 
teen churches had Sunday schools, wdth a total attend- 
ance of 750 pupils. Only five of the churches were 
without Sunday schools. The aggregate membership 
was 1,289. 

In 1895, W. W. Bolls was again called on to preside 
over the body, and enjoyed the distinction in 1896. 
The following year, S. R. Young v^as elected moderator, 
and was re-elected in 1897, 

That year, the report on Woman's work was pre - 
sented to the body by their secretary. Miss Annie Ja- 
cobs. Nine societies were reported. The total of their 
contributions was $338.07. The societies were in the 
following churches: Brushy Fork, Fellowship, Her- 
manville. New Zion, Port Gibson, Rodney, and Rodney 
Young People, Smyrna, and White Oak. 



124 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

In 1897, a full report of their work was not receiv- 
ed, on account of the confusion caused M' the preva- 
lence of yellow^ fever. But a newly organized society' 
was reported at Reganton church, and Sunbeam socie- 
ties in the Port Gibson, and Hermanville churches. 
Mrs. N. O. Thompson was then the vice-president for 
the Association. 

The session of 1897 was held \vith Philadelphia 
church, Lincoln county, and the session of the following 
year at Center Chapel, Jefferson county. In 1899, the 
assembly was with Fellowship church, Jefferson county, 
and in 1900, with the Hermanville church. In 1899, 
there \vere twenty churches in the union, with a total 
membership of 1,401. They received that year seventy- 
two persons by baptism. They gave to foreign missions 
$85.25, to home missions $56.00, and to State missions 
$106.06. They received reports, as was usual, each 
year, on Orphanage, State missions, Foreign missions, 
Home missions. Ministerial education, Sunday schools. 
Pastoral support. Publications, Prohibition, Sustenta- 
tion,andFamih' worship. These reports were highlj- 
instructive as to the work fostered b^-the Baptist State 
Convention. 

The old Union Association elicits the admiration of 
the student of history, for its long and courageous 
struggle to ameliorate the spiritual infirmities of hu - 
manity. Its life has been one of struggle. Only once 
has it been strong beyond the sisterhood of Associa- 
tions, then only for a short time. The going out of the 
churches to form the Central Association, left it weak. 
The Association has been lacking in two of the leading 
characteristics of some of the other Associations. It 
has not enjoyed leading ministers of long residence. 
Norvell Robertson was the staff of the Pearl River Asso- 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 125 

ciation, and Zachariah Reaves was the stay of the old 
Mississippi Association. Long residence in one place, 
not only consolidates a minister's influence, and per- 
petuates his name, but also gives prominence and dura- 
bility to associational life. N. L. Clarke and Mount 
Pisgah Association are as unseparable as light and 
heat. The Union Association has also lacked associa- 
tional aspirations. This is not to be considered a de- 
fect. The Association has struggled to do good, and 
has succeeded; but a due amount of consecrated pride is 
Avorthy of commendation. Without it, no young man 
can reach the limits of his abilit}^, and without it an 
Association cannot confer the greatest good possible of 
such an organization. But the grand old Union Asso- 
ciation has lived a noble life. The Association warmed 
Avorthy churches into vigor, and let them go away to 
bless other Associations. 



126 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 



CHAPTER V. 

PEARL RIVER ASSOCIATION. 

The Pearl River Association may v^^ell be denomi- 
nated the Orphanage Association, of Mississippi. It 
kindh' reached out, in its earW history, to the churches 
scattered abroad, isolated, and j^oung, and aided, and 
nourished them, until they became strong, and could 
find, in the process of time, other associational affilia- 
tions. Churches in this union have been, at one time, 
and another, in the counties of Marion, Jones, Pike, 
Copiah, Covington, Lawrence, Green, Perry, Jackson, 
Simpson, \Va3me, Newton, Rankin, Hancock, and Lin- 
coln, and in the parishes of Washington, and Green, in 
Louisiana. Eleven Associations have been aided in 
their constitutions, and growth, 133^ contributions of 
churches, made by this orphanage Association, viz : 

Mount Pisgah, Ebenezer, Leaf River, Strong River, 
Bogue Chitto, West Pearl River, Fair River, Magee's 
Creek, Pearl Leaf, Oak Grove, and Copiah Associations. 

The countr^^ over which this Association extends, 
and has extended, is what is known as the long leaf 
pine region. It is thickly studded with the best yellow 
pine timber in the United States. Tall pine trees, which 
for sixty feet from the ground, are without limbs, or 
crooks, are so numerous as not to provoke comment. 
The soil is sandy, but can be made very produdlive by 
proper care, and fertilization. It yields fine grass, and 
is regarded as most excellent for pasturage of stock. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 127 

The surface is of rounded undulations, but only here 
and there, precipitous. The streams are unequaled in 
our State, for their clearness, permitting the eye to pen- 
etrate the water to an almost incredible depth. The 
country abounds with springs of clear free-stone water, 
which are perennial, and so copious, that water for 
stock is not a matter for discussion. The atmosphere 
is pure, and salubrious, and the health of the region ex- 
cellent. The writer was told last year, that in Amite 
county, in the western portion of the region, two or 
three men were then living, who were over one hundred 
years of age. 

In 1819, a petition of several churches along the 
Pearl river, was presented to the old Mississippi Asso- 
ciation, praying for dismission from that body, to form 
a new^ Association. A petition from eight churches of 
the Mississippi Association, north of the Homochitto 
river, to form a new Association, had just preceeded 
this prayer of the churches along the Pearl. The old 
mother of Associations then had a union of forty -one 
churches, extending over a large area of country, but 
some caution v^as manifested as to permitting twenty 
churches to leave the Association in one year. It was 
deemed best by the Mississippi Association that these 
churches petitioning for dismission, hold a convention 
at Dilling's Creek church for consorted agreement as to 
the petition for letters, which convention was to ineet 
on Friday, before the first Lord's day, in April, 1820. 

The convention met on Friday, March 31, 1820. 
The delegates from twelve churches were present. The 
twelve churches represented in the convention were, 
Mount Nebo, Pentecost, Pearl River, Half- moon Bluff, 
Bethany, Silver Creek, Providence, Fair River, Dilling's 
Creek, Poplar Springs, Chapel, and Antioeh. There 



128 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

were in the bodj^, such strong preachers as George W. 
King, Nathan Morris, Norvell Robertson, Sr., John P. 
Martin, and James Thigpen ; and such laymen, as Her- 
man Runnels, W. Stamps, Nathan Parker, Shadrach 
King, Dongle Graham, W. Ward, Noah Stringer, Hay- 
den Tillman, and David B.Jenkins. Norvell Robertson, 
Sr., was elected moderator, and George W. King clerk. 

It was Resolved, That, for the convenience of the 
churches on Pearl River, a petition be made to the 
Mississippi Association, for their dismission, to form a 
new Association, and, that churches not represented in 
the convention, wishing to go into the organization of 
a new Association, make petition individually to the 
Mississippi Association for their dismission. 

A committee, consisting of Geo. W. King, Norvell 
Robertson, Sr., and Harmon Runnels, was appointed to 
W'rite a petitionary- letter to the Mississippi Baptist As- 
sociation, praA'ing for dismission for the constitution 
of the contemplated Association. 

A union meeting was appointed to convene v^ith 
the Chapel church, in Pike county, in September of that 
year, to be a "communion season."" Every effort pos- 
sible was made in those early times, when churches 
were at great remove from each other, and their mem- 
bership scattered over miles of territor3^ to strengthen 
Christian fellowship, and produce affinity of spirit. 
James Thigpen was appointed to preach the introduct- 
ory sermon before the first Association. 

Norvell Robertson, Sr., was a native of Virginia, 
but a contribution to the Baptist ministry of Missis- 
sippi, from the State of Georgia. From the frequent 
reference that is made to him in the minutes of the 
Pearl River Association, and from his recorded actions, 
he appears to have been a man of Stirling worth, and 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 129 

of impressing personality. He is mentioned as a dele- 
gate to the Pearl River Association last, in 1829, when 
he represented Providence church. In 1830, his name 
appears as correspondent from Leaf River Association. 
He continued to represent the Leaf River Association, 
at the meeting of the Pearl, until 1841. Inthe minutes 
of the meeting of that year, it is said : "from Leaf Riv- 
er, a letter and a parcel of minutes, by their messenger, 
T. C. Hunt — their other messengers, N. Robertson, Sr., 
and Geo. Davis, having, to our deep regret, failed to 
meet with us."' Here, so far as this Association is. con- 
cerned, the vail is dra^vn over the declining years of 
this worthy- pioneer preacher, after twenty -one jesirs 
of service and vigilance for the body. 

In 1820, the old Mississippi Association deemed it 
best that the churches contiguous to Pearl river should 
form the ne^v Association, and gave letters of dismis- 
sion to fifteen churches, to go into organization. Eight 
other churches, not of the Mississippi Association, 
Avent with them into the new organization, making 
twent}' - three in all, which v^^as a good number with 
which to begin. One of these twenty -three churches 
was an African church, which was represented in the 
Association by two slaves, "Ben, belonging to Sellers," 
and "Bob, belonging to McGraw." As stated in the 
history of the Mississippi Association, the negroes 
were in those days, in separate churches from the white 
people. It \vas deemed best, as there were quite a 
number of free negroes in the State in those days. As 
a rule, they were under the vigilance of the whites, 
though in independent bodies. 

Before the organization was consummated, the 
representatives of the churches were confronted by a 
serious difficulty. The "Bahala" church was objected 



130 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

to, on the ground that it had in its fellowship a mem- 
ber (James Bailey) who, it was said, had tw^o living 
wives. This church had to av^^ait the organization of 
the Association, "before it could get a legal hearing. 
The constitution was adopted. Norvell Robertson, as 
moderator pro tem., gave the delegates the right hand 
of fellowship, and denominated them, "The Pearl River 
Baptist Association, united in love to God, and to one 
another." William Cooper was chosen moderator, and 
Shadrach King clerk. After this the "Bahala" church 
had a hearing, and it \vas decided that the first mar- 
riage of James Bailey was "not consummated,'^ and 
therefore illegal, and the second marriage, valid, and 
the Bahala church ^vas received into the union. 

On the Lord's daj'-, included in the meeting of the 
Association, three sermons \vere delivered, by Ezra 
Courtney-, Samuel Marsh, and David Collins, in the or- 
der that they are named. We have this language in the 
minutes. "Many of the hearts of God's people rejoiced 
to hear the wonderful displays of divine grace opened, 
and enforced." A resolution was adopted to thiseffedt, 
"That the Association, feeling a \vish to disseminate 
the true doctrines of the Gospel in their purity, request 
our reverend, and beloved brother, David Cooper, to 
favor us with a cop}' of the sermon, which he delivered 
to us on Lord's day last, and that brother William 
Whitehead superintend the printing of five -hundred 
copies of it." The}^ wanted a rock basis on the doc- 
trines of grace, on which to build their associational 
activities. 

At this first meeting of the Association, a resolution 
was adopted, agreeing to confer with the Mississippi, 
and the Union Associations on the subject of missions. 
George W. King, Nathan Morris, William Whitehead, 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS, 131 

David Cleveland, and Shadrach King, were appointed 
as a committee to meet like committees from the Miss - 
issippi, and the Union Associations, at ZionHill church, 
Amite county, on Friday before the fourth Sunday in 
May, 1821. Norvell Robertson v^as appointed to v^rite 
the circular letter, and to preach the introductory ser- 
mon, before the next meeting of the body. It is said 
that the Association adjourned "with an apostolic ben- 
ediction." The doctrines of grace were asserted, the 
cause of missions attended to, and the Association dis- 
missed with an apostolic benediction. This shows that 
this first meeting of the Pearl River Association was 
composed of wnse, sensible, and progressive Bible read- 
ers. The circular letter, presented to the Association 
that year, and signed In^ William Cooper, the modera- 
tor, and Shadrach King, the clerk, is clear in its ring. 
It says, "With most heart -felt gratification, with the 
most pleasing sensations of soul, and the most grate- 
ful feelings, v;^e hear of the prosperity of Zion in some of 
our infant churches. * * * We likewise hear of the most 
gracious visitations of the churches in New^ York, Vir- 
ginia, Georgia, and Tennessee, which, together with the 
operations now going forward for the evangelization 
of the whole word, causes our drooping heads to be 
raised, and our languishing spirits to revive." 

In 1821, the Association met with the Ebenezer 
church, Lawrence county, and two new churches w^ere 
received into the union. Mount Moriah, and Hebron. 
Of the Hebron church, who has not heard? It is a fine 
study to discover the origin, and to watch the progress 
of some of those old churches that have proven great in 
the passing years. 

It appears from the records of the Mississippi Asso- 
ciation, that the "Mississippi Society for Baptist Mis- 



132 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

sions" was a thing of some life. The meeting at Zion 
Hill of the w^orkers of the three Associations, in May^ 
1821, was so satisfactory that a second meeting was 
held at the same place in May,' 1822. 

The sixteenth article of the minutes of the Pearl 
River Association, says that David Collins, G. W. King, 
S. King, Harmon Runnels, and David Cleveland, were 
appointed to attend the "Alississippi Missionary Soci- 
ety," at Zion Hill church, in July, 1823. Thus we see 
that the work of missions was looked after systemati- 
calty, for three years, b^^ the three Associations then ex- 
isting in the State. Besides this, in 1821, the Pearl 
River Association "received an address, together w^ith 
the seventh annual report of the Board of managers of 
the General Convention of the Baptist denomination, 
in the United States, for Foreign missions, and other 
important objects relating to the Redeemer's King- 
dom." The address was read before the bodj^, and its 
design, so far approved that George W. King was ap- 
pointed Corresponding Secretary of that Board, that 
the Association might keep in touch with the operations 
of the Board, and was for a number of years continued 
in the position. 

Great j 03' was expressed that 3'ear, b}" the Associa- 
tion, upon information as to the progress of foreign 
missions in India, Africa, and among the aborigines of 
America. The Association had the spirit of missions, 
w^hatever might have been their practice in those days. 
The seeds were at least planted that are now yielding 
an abundant harvest. 

. The death of William Cooper is touchingh' referred 
to in the minutes of the Association, of 1821. His 
death is announced as mournful tidings, and he is de- 
clared to have been a faithful laborer. He was the first 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 133 

moderator of the Association, then representing Halt 
Moon Bluff church, The first we learn of him is, that 
he was a delegate to the old Mississippi Association, 
in 1814, from Bogue Chitto church. He was one ot 
four preachers who preached on the Lord's da^' at the 
Association. He surely- made an impression, as he was 
the appointee to preach the introductory sermon before 
the Association, the following year, w^hich he did on 
the text, "Lord, to w^hom shall we go? Thou hast the 
words of eternal life," etc. He was one of a committee 
of five who heard evidence as to the troubles in the old 
Salem church, the oldest of them all. He represented 
the Bogue Chitto church, for the three following years, 
to 1819. 

In 1822, the Association met on the seventh of Sep- 
tember at New Chapel church, the Mississippi Associa - 
tion meeting on the ninth of Odtober following. The 
action taken that 3^ear b^- the Mississippi Association 
as to the act limiting the religious privileges of the ne - 
groes, was therefore preceded by the action of the 
Pearl River Association. On the ninth of September, 
1822, it was ''Resolved, that brethren S. King, David 
Cleveland, and A. Harper, be appointed a committee to 
visit said church (the African), inquire into all the bear- 
ings which a late law of this State has on them, in de- 
priving them of their religious privileges, and to give 
them such advice as the circumstances require." 

David Collins, Shadrach King, Geo. W. King, and 
Herman Runnels were appointed a committee to mem - 
orialize the Legislature of the State for the repeal of so 
much of the law as abridged the religious liberty of the 
negro. The Mississippi and the Union Associations 
were asked to co-operate with them in securing the un- 
trammeled exercise of the negro in religious matters. 



134 • HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

No. more needs be said here on this item of Baptist his- 
tory, as it was thoroughly discussed in what has been 
written about the old Mississippi Association. 

In 1823, seven churches were received into the As- 
sociation, already composed of thirty" -two churches. 
The seven churches that went into the body that j^ear 
were Chickesawha, Antioch (Covington county), Sa- 
lem, Zion (Copiah), Ne\v Zion, and Mount Zion. 122 
baptisms were reported that ^^ear. Three ministers had 
died, viz: William Whitehead, John B. Hart, and An- 
thony Pitts. At that date, John P. Martin, father of 
M. T. Martin, was representing Ebenezer church, of 
Lawrence county, and was fast forging to the front 
in the Association. A sketch of his life will be given in 
a histor)' of Mount Pisgah Association. Suffice it to 
say here, that he was full of energy, and a worthy and 
consecrated pioneer preacher of the long leaf pine 
region. 

On Saturday, at eleven o'clock, a.m., September 13, 
1823, the Pearl River Association convened at Provi- 
dence church, Alarion count3\ This meeting of the As- 
sociation was fraught with importance. It was the 
beginning of organized work of the Associations in 
Mississippi. The plan suggested bj- the Mississippi 
Association, in 1820, of holding an annual meeting of 
the then existing Associations in the State, on the sub - 
ject of missions, was adopted bj- those Associations, 
and worked with good effect. Some strong clear mind 
in the Pearl River Association in the session of 1823, 
conceived the idea of better organization of the mission- 
aiy meeting. In the minutes of that year, we find this 
language: "This Association, conceiving that there 
are important objects to be accomplished b3' the prop- 
agation of the pure doctrines of the gospel, by the gen- 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 135 

eral circulation and sending abroad of the Word of 
God, by promoting intelligence in the ministry, and 
likewise, by drawing more closely, preserving and con - 
tinning the ties of brotherly love, and union between 
sister Associations, by preventing innovations in prac- 
tice and heresies in doctrine; and believing it very de- 
sirable to concentrate the means and the wisdom of all 
the Associations of this State," it was Resolved, To 
frame a constitution for the organization of a body, 
whose service shall be to promote the general good of 
all the Associations. 

The Union Association met about the first of Oct- 
ober, and agreed with the Pearl River Association on 
the subject. The Mississippi Association convened at 
Mars Hill church, on the 18th of October, and, "i?eso7- 
ved unanimously, To concur with the Pearl River and 
Union Associations, in appointing faithful brethren to 
assist in forming a constitution for more systematic 
and efficient appropriation of their talents in the great 
concerns of religion, and that D. Cooper, E. Estes, G. A. 
Irion, J. Smith, E. Courtney, S. Marsh, and C. Felder, 
be our delegates to meet those of the other Associations- 
at Bogue Chitto church. Pike countj^ on Saturday be- 
fore the third Lord's day in February 1824.' ' Here 
was the inception of the Mississippi Baptist State 
Convention. 

In 1824, the Pearl River Association exultingly 
says: "On motion made, the constitution of the State 
Convention was read; and on the question taken for 
this Association to become a member of said Conven- 
tion, it was decided in the affirmative by a large major- 
ity." In the same year, the Mississippi Association a- 
greed "that our delegates to the next meeting of the 
State Convention be D. CoojDcr, E. Courtney, E. Estes, 



136 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

S. Marsh, G. A. Irion, C. Felder, and W. Balfour; and 
that this Association loan the Convention all their un- 
appropriated funds for the promotion of Domestic 
Missions." We find that the writer has deemed it wise 
to bring those facts out as clearly and forcibly as pos - 
sible, as they do not agree with the existing statements 
as to the date of the organization of the first Baptist 
State Convention in Mississippi. 

In 1825, the churches were informed by the Associ- 
ation, that all suiplus funds would be transferred from 
that date to the Convention fund, for "the support of 
the gospel." 

In that year, George W. King died. He was a man 
of decision and energy. His life was altogether exem- 
plary, above reproach. While not a stirring orator, he 
w^as an acceptable preacher of the gospel, dealing with 
strong truths without special regard for emphasis or 
ornamentation. He w^as clerk of the Convention in 
which the Pearl River Association was constituted, and 
had been prominent in all its work, not missing a meet- 
ing of the Association, until 1824. He vv^as honored in 
the meetings of the Mississippi Association before the 
organization of the Pearl River, as far back as 1813, 
being clerk of the Mississippi Association that year. 

In 1828, the Association had in its union thirtj^- 
eight churches, which had an increase that year of 133 
members, having 1303 as the total membership. These 
churches were in the counties of Marion, Jones, Pike, 
Copiah, Covington, Lawrence, Green, Perry, Jackson, 
Simpson, and Wayne, and in Washington Parish, 
Louisana. Two churches in their letters to the Associ- 
ation suggested the idea of dividing the Association. 
The suggestion was wise, owing to the great distance 
some of the delegates had to ride on horseback to reach 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 137 

the place of the meeting of the Association. That meet- 
ing of the tmion was at BethanA^ church, Lawrence 
county, with postoffice at White Sand. The delegates 
from the churches in Wayne and Green counties had, 
therefore, not less than seventy -five miles to travel on 
horseback over hills, and across creeks and rivers to reach 
the meeting of the Association. The Association sug- 
gested that churches wishing to go into the new organ - 
ization hold a Convention at Tallahala Creek church, 
in Perry county, on Friday before the fifth Sunday in 
November, 1828, That church was east of Hattiesburg. 
Eleven churches w^ent into the Convention. These 
churches were in Jones, Green, Marion, Covington, 
Perry, Jackson, and WaA-ne. This new Association w^as 
called the Leaf River Association. 

At the meeting of the Pearl River Association, in 
1829, County Line church, of Copiah, Fork, and Salem 
churches, of Simpson, and Ramah church, of Lawrence 
were received. David Collins from the Mississippi Bap- 
tist State Convention reported that at the last meeting 
of the Convention it was Resolved, That it ^vould be 
best for the Convention to dissolve, and asked that the 
three Associations send delegates to the next meeting 
of the Mississippi Association for that purpose While 
organization is desirable as promotive of the highest 
interests of a number of Associations, yet in the con- 
dition of the Baptists in the State at that day, it seems 
it was best for each Association to look after the desti - 
tution in its own bounds. It was so thought at least 
by the Convention at that time. The idea of a general 
Association was a good one, as we find in this day, but 
it appears that the Associations were not then ready 
for such an advanced movement, and the Convention of 
the three Associations was dissolved at the place of the 



138 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

meeting of the Mississippi Association that year, at Je- 
rusalem church, not far from Gillsburg, Amite count)'-. 
In 1830, Jesse Crawford reported that the Mississippi 
Baptist State Convention had dissolved, and divided 
its funds equally between the Pearl River and Mississip- 
pi Associations. 

Norvell Robertson, Sr., was, in 1830, in the Leaf Riv- 
er Association, as his church had gone into that new 
organization. The year before, he was requested by the 
Pearl River to secure for the Association a sound Bap- 
tist confession of faith, sparing no pains in his effort, 
and barring no cost, to the amount of$150.00. David 
Cooper had failed to find such a confession of faith, but 
Norv-ell Robertson, Sr., had succeeded. This was great 
satisfaction to the Association, and Robertson was giv- 
en ten dollars as a tribute to his success. Norvell Rob- 
ertson, Sr., was in a joyful state of mind at that time; 
his son Norvell Robertson, Jr., now known as "Father 
Robertson," was that year converted, truly, and sound- 
ly, and was awaiting baptism. The confessions of faith 
were, in a motherly waj-, divided between the Pearl 
River, andtheLeaf River Associations, according to the 
number of churches in each. 

The most remarkable resolution that was ever put 
into the minutes of an Association was adopted by the 
Association in 1830. It is this, "Resolved, That the 
churches, and friends, in general, provide no ardent 
spirits for the Association, where she may hereafter 
meet, as we do not want it.''' There Avasmuch written 
bet\veen the lines. They recognized this provision as a 
curse to the Association. The resolution was timely. 
The noble men of that body drew the line, because they 
saw an intruder present. Some speak of those days of 
laxness in the custom of using intoxicants, as if no one 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 139 

cared, and no one w^as injured. How do they interpret 
this terse resohition? The name of Josiah Flowers oc- 
curs on the pages of the minutes of the Mississippi As - 
sociation as early as 1810. He w^as a co- laborer with 
Richard Curtis, David Cooper, and William Bolls. He 
was a man of fine personal appearance, bold, and of 
solid personality. Hearts melted like Avax under his 
warm, and glowing sermons. His star went down be- 
hind a cloudy horizon. It was the sedulous, stealthy 
process of the drink habit, that in 1822, brought him to 
where he had to step down from the pulpit with an un- 
delivered sermon in his mind. The historian says, 
"His approach to the fatal precipice was so gradual, 
and unnoticed, that neither himself or his friends appre- 
hended his danger, until he was a ruined man." The 
drink habit has not granted any period of our country 
exemption from its sedudlions, and the gradual decline 
to ruin experienced by its votaries. In 1832, the Asso- 
ciation again spoke, "We humbly pray the public, that 
they ^11 not come to our Association with their beer, 
cider, cakes, and melons, as they greatly disturb the 
congregation." 

In 1832, Nbrvell Robertson, Jr., became a member 
of the Association to grace its meetings for more than 
forty years to come. He was at once put to work. He 
was appointed to write the correspondence to the Un- 
ion Association, and to write the pastoral address for 
the next Association. He was a school teacher at that 
time, and was supposed to wield an easy pen. He was 
the most remarkable minister that has to date ridden 
over the hills of South Mississippi. He was baptized 
by his father the year before, into the membership of 
the Leaf River church, but represented Bethany church 
in this Association. Bethany was near where he was 



140 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

teaching, and lie joined it for that reason. He was 
elected clerk of the Association the following year, in 
which capacity' he served for many years. 

In 1833, the Mount Pisgah church, in Rankin coun- 
ty, was involved in some sort of trouble, and appealed 
to the Pearl River Association for advice. It was 
the church with which the Mount Pisgah Association 
met, in 1837, for organization. The face of the 
trouble is not shown in the minutes of the Pearl River, 
but the situation, it ma3^ be assumed, ^vas grave. Wil- 
liam Denson, and Jesse Denson, were the delegates from 
the Mount Pisgah church, authorized to receive the ad- 
vice of the Association. What did the Association ad- 
vise? Its deliverance was, "That the Association did 
not feel at liberty to advise the church in reference to 
their difficulty, further than to use their privileges as an 
independent church, according to their own discretion." 
No power was assumed over the body, but its independ- 
ence recognized beyond an^- sacerdotal grasp, and indi- 
vidual discretion recommended to the members of the 
church. 

Strange to say that in 1835, there was not a church 
in the Association which had one hundred members. 
Silver Creek, in Lawrence county, had onh'- fifteen mem- 
bers, and old Bethany- only fort^^ - seven. County Line 
(Copiah) had thirty -one members, and old Galilee on- 
ly twelve. Hebron, with Norvell Robertson as pastor, 
was the largest church, having eight3'-six members. 
Steen's Creek followed with sixty -eight, with Cader 
Price as pastor. Sixty -nine baptisms were reported 
that year, Hepzibah reporting twenty -four of the num- 
ber. Ebenezer church, of Neshoba county, had its post- 
office at Brandon, which must have been sixty miles a- 
w^ay. That year, an overture was sent to the Associa . 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 14-1 

tion by the Hepzibah church, suggesting the propriety 
of estabHshing a Baptist State Convention, composed 
of delegates from all the Associations in the State, 
which was so favorably received that the churches w^ere 
requested to apprise the Association, at the next meet- 
ing of the bod3^, as to their wishes in reference to it. 
Norvell Robertson was pastor of that church, which 
shows that the church v^^as not prompted to make the 
suggestion by an^^ pique, engendered by prejudice a- 
gainst associational missions, or because of any seem- 
ing negledl. The Union, and the Mississippi Associa- 
tions took like actions that year, and the historic reso - 
lutions of the Mississippi Association were adopted in 
the following year. 

The affairs of the Association pursued an even course 
until 1838, when a glow appeared on the face of the 
body. Four good churches had gone out of the union 
into the Mount Pisgah Association in 1837, but the 
Lord had blessed the remaining churches, and they v^ere 
happJ^ There had been 312 baptisms. A resolution 
was passed expressive of devout thankfulness to the 
great Head of the church, for the copious showers of 
blessings. 

The pastoral letter of 1838, gives the substance of 
tw^o sermons preached in Louisville, Kentucky, b3^ Ar- 
chibald McClay, on the work of the American and For- 
eign Bible Society, in which it is declared that from 
1798, to that date, the Scriptures had been translated 
into between fort}-, and fifty languages. Dr. Cary had 
translated the Bible into twenty -seven different lan- 
guages of Asia, languages spoken by more than half of 
the people of the globe. The obje(?t of the American 
and Foreign Bible Society, he stated, \vas "to give the 
sacred Scriptures to the natives in the most faithful ver- 



142 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

sion, which can be procured." In 1818, the secretary' 
of the British and Foreign Bible Societj^ asked that 
they transfer the Greek word "baptizo, '' instead of 
translating it, as Carey, and others had done. The 
Board replied unanimously that they could not conceal 
any part of God's word. Andrew Fuller said if he had 
20,000 pounds sterling, he would give it all rather 
than see any part of the Bible concealed. In the East 
Indies, the trouble began as to the transferring or 
translating the word "baptizo." In 1835, Baptists 
left the work of the Society, because, after long discuss- 
ion, this resolution was adopted, "It is inexpedient to 
grant aid to an3^ version of the Scriptures, unless con - 
formed in its principles to the English version in com - 
mon use, at least so far as we may use them consistent- 
ly in our communities, and societies." This outlawed 
the translations made hj Qsivej, Judson, and others, 
which gave great offense to the Baptists on the Board, 
and caused their withdrawal. 

In 1839, the Association became aroused on the 
subject of Education. Resolutions were passed lament- 
ing the low state of education in the country-, and ex- 
pressive of the wish that they establish in their terri- 
tory "a respectful and useful seminary- of learning, "and 
that a board of education be appointed to project the 
work. All of the teachers of the school \vere to be Bap- 
tists in good standing in their respective churches. The 
committee to elect a site for the school, consisting of 
James Bos\\^ell, William Barnes, William Fortenberr\', 
William Cone3', and Christian Farr, was to meet at Eb- 
enezer church on Friday before the first Sunday in Nov- 
ember, for that purpose. The committee failed to meet, 
and the enterprise proved to be a failure. We are not 
told whv the committee failed to have a meeting, and a 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 143 

historian cannot resort to conjecture. But it may be 
said, that here a mistake \vas made by the Association, 
and an occasion permitted to pass, and carry off, unap- 
propriated, what would have proven a lasting boon to 
that part of the county. Such occasions do not show 
their faces often, and open eyed observation should not 
let them silently go by wathout due respect. 

The Pearl River Association did not take readily to 
the idea of the necessity of the Baptist State Conven- 
tion, which was reorganized in 1836. In 1838, N. R. 
Cranberry, the second vice-president in the organiza- 
tion of the Convention, bore a message from the Union 
Association to the Pearl River, but no mention is made 
in the minutes of that year of the existance of the State 
Convention. In 1840, Granberry brought the circular 
address of the executive committee of the State Con- 
vention to the Association. After a reading of which, 
it w^as referred to a committee, withNorvell Robertson 
as chairman. The committee made a polite report, and 
recommended that the address be published in the min- 
utes, which was done. 

In 1841, N. R. Granberry was in the Association as 
a messenger from the Union Association, but the State 
Convention ^^as not spoken of in the minutes of that 
year. It was Resolved, in 1842, that the Association 
become a missionary body, missionary matters to 
claim their time immediately after the adjournment of 
the Association. In the following year, a resolution 
was adopted to the effect, that, as their co-operation 
with the State Convention had been directl^^ sought, the 
churches be requested to signify their wishes the following 
3'ear. Their preparations for doing their own mission- 
ary work -v\'as the while being rapidh- effected. In 1843, 
rules and by-laws for governing their missionary board 



144- HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

were put into effect, and a large board appointed, con- 
sisting of the best men of the Association. The next 
3^ear a long report was made by a committee on desti - 
tution, which bewailed the fact that Columbia, Wil- 
liamsburg, Westville, and Holmesville were unoccupied 
fields of labor, and many country neighborhoods entire- 
ly destitute of preaching. Jesse Crawford, their mod- 
erator, was the missionary of the Association. Here is 
the terse resolution passed by that body in reply to the 
overtures of the State Convention : "Resolved, That 
w^e are not opposed to the objects of the Convention, but 
possessing all the facilities necessary for the application 
of our funds within ourselves, therefore, it is unneces- 
sary to connect ourslves with that bodj^ at the pres - 
ent." Another occasion passed this door with shutters 
closed. The life of an Association is ver3' much like the 
life of an individual. An emergency has come to us of- 
ten when we were not anticipating it, and were least pre- 
pared to avail ourselves of its gifts, and we politelj^ 
bow, and permit it to press b3^ unembraced, yet heavily 
laden with what might have enriched us, had we but 
known. 

The Executive Board of the Association made a 
lengthy report in 1845, closing with this paragraph, 
"No place is, perhaps, more destitute than the field we 
occup3', and no place demands our sympathies and aid 
more; and perhaps, no place would j'ield a richer har- 
vest to repay our toils : and, so far as we are capable of 
judging, this is the field where all our means should be 
bestowed.'' The italics are mine. Not a w^ordisonthe, 
pages of the minutes of that A^ear as to foreign mis- 
sion work. No resolution had been passed to that date 
as to the foreign fields, yet the Association was mission- 
ary in spirit. The needs of the home field were appar- 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 145 

ent, and to them they addressed themselves. Their 
scope of vision might have been enlarged had they been 
in touch with the work of the State Convention, or, it 
may be charitably supposed, their gifts to the foreign 
w^ork w^ere sent by individuals or churches, as not ap - 
pertaining to associational work. In 1845, the Asso- 
ciation had under its employ six missionaries, w^ho 
preached 129 sermons, gave 178 days, and traveled 
5,643 miles. It was Resolved, That a missionary be em- 
ployed for the ensuing year to ride twelve days in each 
month, and that the Bay of Biloxi be the central point 
of his labors — the first steps to coast missions. 

Wm. H. Taylor began the publication of the Missis- 
sippi Baptist in 1846. In September of that year, the 
Association made favorable mention of the commenda- 
ble enterprise, "the only religious newspaper in the 
State.'' It had been eight j^ears vsince the suspension of 
the publication of the Religions Luminary, and the 
pages of a Baptist State paper were pleasant to the 
eye. In that year, the Mountain Creek, Steen's Creek, 
Pleasant Hill, and Shiloh churches were received into 
the body. There were then thirty -three churches in the 
body, and another petition was presented to the Asso- 
ciation, by a number of churches, for letters of dismis- 
sion to organize a new Association, the Ebenezer. 

In 1847, the printing of the minutes was given to the 
Mississippi Baptist, W.H.Taylor, editor, and gratifi- 
cation expressed at the success of the enterprise, and 
the paper recommended to the patronage of the mem- 
bers of the churches of the Association. This resolu- 
tion was virtually repeated in 1848, be it said to the 
praise of the body. 

In the minutes of 1848, we are favored by the clerk, 
with an analysis of a sermon preached by that famous 



146 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

preacher, Zachariah Reaves. His text: Rev. 22:17; 
the duty of baptized beHevers, invitation of the Spirit 
to unbaptized beHevers, invitation to mourners, and, 
last, invitation to sinners. These divisions indicate a 
straining of the text, but if one of his critics could have 
heard the sermon, perhaps, if a minister, he would 
have felt as if he could not preach, and would have 
doubted his capacity as a sermonizer. 

Did these earl^'- Baptists believe in Sunday schools ? 
It must be remembered that this Association was en- 
tirely composed of country churches, and those church- 
es at great remove from any great mart of business. 
The^' talked in those da^^s of the Natchez road, Natchez 
being 100 miles away. Natchez was the market for 
the part of the State west of Pearl River. The "three 
chopped road,'' which became a wagon road in 1807, 
ran through Monticello, which was near the center of 
the Pearl River Association, in 1848. This road was 
the mail route, and the only highway for the public. 
We need not wonder, therefore, that the Christian 
13eople of this part of the State seemed backward in 
many things. That no mention was made of Sunday 
schools until that date does not indicate any opposi- 
tion to that work of our churches. 

It is noticeable that the churches of the Association 
in those early times \vere not distressed by the anti- 
missionary spirit. At almost ever\' meeting of the 
bod^^ ringing resolutions were passed on Domestic 
Missions, and, if thej'- were contested, no ink was 
thrown away in recording the fact. In 1843, the Mount 
Pisgah Association had been rent in twain by the go - 
ing out of the antinomian wing of the bod\', but the 
minutes of this Association are as silent as the grave 
as to the existence of a spirit unfriendly to missions. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 147 

In IS^S, the idea was conceived by some one of se- 
curing a uniformity of articles of faith among all the 
churches of South Mississippi, and it was suggested 
that a meeting be held during the coming year, by the 
delegates of the Associations corresponding with the 
Pearl River, at Hopewell church, in Copiah county. 
To this suggestion the Mount Pisgah responded, and a 
cominittee of eleven appointed, headed by Wm.Denson. 
The Union Association appointed a committee to 
report at the meeting of the body as to the expediency of 
sending delegates to that Convention. The committee 
had as its chairman, M. T. Conn. This committee 
thought the suggestion of the Pearl River Association 
"impracticable, and inexpedient." The meeting w^as 
held, beginning on Saturday before the first Sunday in 
August, 1849, but nothing of consequence came of it, 
as the Convention failed to agree upon a general form 
of abstracts. Every Baptist church is an independent 
body. It is marvelous what affinitj^ exists betv^^een 
them, while each church acts for itself, independent of 
all the world beside. 

Some things done in the Association in 1851, arewor-- 
thy of more than a passing notice. At that meeting three 
great men met, Jesse Crawford, Zachariah Reeves, and 
Norvell Robertson, Jr. They were giants in their days. 
When thcA^ spoke, they had an audience. They knew 
the doctrine of the Book, and they spoke its truths in 
clear, and unmistakable language. On the morning of 
the Sunday' included in the meeting of the Association, 
William Fortenberry preached a missionary sermon, at 
the close of which, a collection was taken of $37.20; for 
Indian missions $19.75, and for Domestic missions, 
$17.45. This showed the missionary spirit of the body 
to be beyond question. The remaining fact made prom- 



148 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

inent w^as embraced in a resolution adopted, recogniz- 
ing Norvell Robertson as a messenger from the Baptist 
State Convention. The trend of affairs in the Associa- 
tion was in the right diredtion, but the body was far 
from being settled on anything outside of the borders of 
the union. Their heart was large, but their vision w^as 
limited. To show that this is true, one has but to not- 
ice a motion passed near the close of this meeting of the 
bodA', which required their missionaries to confine their 
labors to the destitute country, between the Leaf, and 
the Pearl rivers. The growth of the Association was 
slow, but steads", and proper. 

In 1853, letters of dismission were granted to six- 
teen churches to form the Strong River Association. 
The churches were in the northern portion of the terri- 
tory of the Pearl River Association, Strong River, Sar- 
dis, Steen's Creek, Hebron, Dry Creek, Hopewell, Beth- 
lehem, Pleasant Hill, New^ Zion, Macedonia, Mountain 
Creek, Alount Zion, Galilee, Zion Hill, Copiah, and Pal- 
estine. This at once constituted a body full of life. 
But the old Pearl River had such a fund of energy, that 
it moved on w^ith its usual sprightliness, and efficiency. 
The strong men in the body at that time were, Jesse 
Crawford, William Williams, Calvin Magee, William 
FortenberrA', Norvell Robertson, and Joseph E. Pouns. 
In 1854, the Mount Pisgah Association sent preamble, 
resolution, and address, bj- their messenger, S. F. Wall, 
inviting them to meet with them in an effort to form a 
"General Association" in East Mississippi. The s\'m- 
pathies of the Pearl River were w4th the western Asso - 
ciations. The correspondence v^ith the old mother As- 
sociation had been uninterrupted from the organization 
of the Pearl River to this date. Strong men had come 
3'earl3" to their deliberations from the Mississippi Asso- 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 14-9 

ciation, and aided them in their council. Already had 
the3^ agreed, more than once, to correspond with the 
Baptist State Convention, which was maintained by 
the western Associations. To the prayer of the Mount 
Pisgah, they replied that they deemed it inexpedient to 
acceed to their entreaties. 

The following year, James Alurray attended the 
meeting of the Pearl River in the interest of the organ - 
ization of a General Association. He was received 
most cordially, and a good committee was raised to 
consider his request. The request did not meet with 
avowed disapproval, but was referred to the churches, 
-which were requested to send up their views on the 
question to the next gathering of the Association. So 
far as it is known, the churches did not respond. In 
1856, B.C. Eager, then the agent of MississipJDi College, 
came into the Association, and was kindl}^ and agreea- 
bly received. Norvell Robertson offered preamble, and 
resolution, at some length, commendatory of Missis- 
sippi College. The College was under the fostering care 
of the Convention, and had been since the fall of 1850. 
It v^as recounted in the Robertson resolution thatE. C, 
Eager, who had been canvassing in the State for the 
College, for about four years, was present, and was en- 
joying the privileges of the Association without duress 
or hindrance. The manner in which this resolution, 
and the prayer above mentioned, were received, shows 
the inclination of the Pearl River at the time. 

In 1858, the Mississippi Baptist, published at Jack- 
son, with J. T. Freeman in full control of the paper, 
M/vRS w^armly approved, commending "the independent, 
firm, and moderate course, pursued by the editor," and 
recommending it to the confidence, and patronage of 
the public. In that year, the Association was much 



150 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

agitated by a broad scheme to locate "a resident minis- 
ter" in the field of their operations, and the missionary 
board recommended that he be located at the Salem 
High School on Leaf River. The missionary" board 
staggered under the weight of responsibility of this sug- 
gested onward movement, and seemed feeling out in ev- 
ery dire6tion*for help, except the Baptist State Conven- 
tion. The board suggested, in its annual report, that 
the Southern Baptist Convention might help them by 
an appropriation of $200 to $300, the Ebenezer Asso- 
ciation, $100, and perhaps the General Association, of 
South-eastern Mississippi, would afford them some aid. 
Just exactly ^vhat that resident minister was to under- 
take is not told, but in all probability, he was to be an 
evangelist to hold some eligible point, and to preach 
at places that bade fair to be, at no distant da^^, centres 
of influence. Whatever might have been the import of 
the desired movement, it lacked the support necessary 
to make it a thing of much life. 

But onward went the march of progress. In 1859, 
Norvell Robertson presented to the body, a number of 
copies of the ChikTs Friend, published by the Southern 
Baptist Sunday School Union, in Nashville, Tennessee, 
which papers were distributed to the churches of the As- 
sociation. The effort made to keep Sundaj^ schools in 
the churches v^'^as constant, and in a measure successful. 
The progressive spirit of the Association was all that 
could be \vished, but the churches were limited in their 
operations by contracted vision. That year, what we 
now call Sustentation, w^as advocated by the body. 
The plan projected, w^as to raise a permanent fund, and 
use the interest in aiding the widows, and orphans, of 
deceased ministers. Six agents were appointed, four 
west of the Pearl River, and two east of it, to raise the 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 151 

fund. This movement was not born for an early death. 
It was successful in securing the favor of the people, and 
did good. The following year, a strong committee, 
with William Barnes as chairman, was raised on the 
Widow's Fund, which recommended that the Associa- 
tion become a corporate body, that the officers of the 
Association be constituted a body to loan and collect 
funds, and as trustees to make annual reports to the 
Association. A committee was annually appointed on 
this benevolence, until 1863, when the civil strife be- 
tween the States was paralyzing all endeavors. 

It is a little remarkable how many good enter- 
prises were recommended by this Association in ear- 
ly times, which were premature, but according to wis- 
dom, and are now considered indispensable to a success- 
ful prosecution of our work. 

In 1860, the death of William Williams was report- 
ed. The Association met that year at Silver Creek, 
Lawrence count}-, and William Williams was the ap- 
pointee to preach the introductory seraion. William 
Williams was declared to have been a useful, and faith- 
ful preacher, and a man of wisdom in council. It is to 
be lamented that the Association did not give a full 
obituar\' notice of this worthy man. His post-office 
v^as at Mount Carmel. He represented Harmony 
church, in Covington county, from the organization ot 
that church, in 1840, missing the meetings of the Asso- 
ciation only one year, before the year of his fatal ill- 
ness. He held many positions of tinist in the Associa- 
tion, to the full satisfaction of his co- laborers. One 
cannot but be impressed with the high form of manli- 
ness exhibited Ida' him, and the power of grace he pos- 
sessed. 

It appears that their records had, at this time, been 



152 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

« 
lost, Norvell Robertson offered a resolution, earnestly 
soliciting any one who had copies of the former meet-- 
ings of the body, to send them up to the next Associa- 
tion, and that some competent, and suitable person be 
requested to keep a manuscript record of the proceed - 
ings of the Association, for which a reasonable compen- 
sation should be allowed. The next year, Robertson 
stated to the body that he had gotten the work of 
transcribing three fourths done. A committee was ap- 
pointed to examine the work, consisting of William 
Barnes, Calvin Magee, and S. W. Dale. This committee 
said in the report, that the work done was highly sat- 
isfactory, and recomemnded that Robertson be allowed 
$100.00 for compiling the history of the forty years, 
the Association had existed. The writer is creditably 
informed that the manuscript is still in existence, but 
has not 3'et been able to procure it. The work was 
completed in 1862. 

In 1861, the Association met September 7th, with 
the Salem church. Pike county; the church of wdiich 
Calvin Magee was a member. The Association was then 
composed of twent\^-nine churches, with a membership of 
1,996. The Civil War was then in progress. The drum- 
beat was heard all over our Southland, and our best 
men were leaving their avocations, and enlisting as 
soldiers to fight for the liberty of our land. Mississippi 
^vith a population of whites and blacks, numbering 
much less than a million, furnished more than 70,000 
troops. It is only reasonable to say that the opera- 
tions of these troops were all absorbing with our peo- 
ple. In this year, the Pearl River passed lengtln^ pre - 
ambles and resolutions, relative to the Southern sol- 
diers. It was recommended that the first Saturday in 
November be set apart as a day of special prayer and 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS, 153 

thanksgiving; and for the success of Confederate arms. 
It was agreed to raise a fund for purchasing 1,000 New 
Testaments to present to Mississippi volunteers, and 
$49.10 was raised on the spot. The committee of three 
to take the responsibihty for the success of the move- 
ment, consisted of T. E. Tate, Daniel Pouns, and D. H. 
Quinn. The following year, the committee through the 
chairman, T. E. Tate, made a highly satisfactorj^ re- 
port. 320 copies of the Testament had been sent out. 
It may be a matter of some interest as to how these 
copies of the Testament were distributed. The Summit 
Rifles got forty copies; the Quitman Guards, forty; 
Dalgreen Rifles, forty; Jeff Davis Sharp Shooters, forty; 
Marion Men, forty; Goode Rifles, forty; Covington 
Fencibles, fort^'; Covington Rangers, forty. The work 
was abundant in 1862, as it was at that time totally 
impracticable to carry on the work, owing to the dis- 
tance the State troops were away from home, and the 
fact that they were not in one command, btit assigned 
to the various divisions of the army. 

In 1864, it was agreed that the next meeting of the 
Association, be held at Fair River church, Lawrence 
county, eleven miles from Monticello, on the Natchez 
road. A quer^- came up from the Providence church, as 
to what should be done w^ith a member of a church w^ho 
deserted from the Confederate army. The committee 
on the query reported that it was the sense of the com- 
mittee, that a Christian should obey the laws under 
which he was placed hy the God of providence, and 
thought, therefore, that a church should deal with a 
member who had deserted the Confederate service. 

In 1865, J. R. Graves was present at the meeting of 
the Association. He was then located at Summit, and 
was giving his influence to the Baptist cause far and 



154 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

wade. The Association gave the forenoon service on 
Sunday to Norvell Robertson, and the afternoon ser- 
vice to the conduct of J. R. Graves. Nothing is said in 
the minutes of the sermon b\' J. R, Graves, Avhich is ex- 
ceptional. From Friendship church, Lawrence county, 
J. B. Chrisman was a delegate. The prominent minis- 
ters in the body at that time, were N. Robertson, J. B. 
Lewis, E. Douglas, W. Fortenberry, S. W. Dale, Wilson 
Clark, J. E. Pouns, W.J. Fortenberry, B. A. Crawford, 
C. F. Crawford, and Z. Doughdrill. 

In 1867, William Fortenberry died. He was bom 
in Lancaster District, South Carolina, sometime in 
1799. He became a Christian when he was twent^^- 
four years old., and was made a deacon by his church, 
(New^ Zion, Marion county), on the fifth of August, 
1825; in which capacit3' he served his church for three 
years. He was licensed to preach Januarj^ 23, 1827, 
and was ordained the following November, the presby - 
tery consisting of John P. Martin, (father of M. T. 
Martin), Isaac Brakefield, and Jesse Crawford. He 
died October 27, 1867. He first appeared in the Asso- 
ciation in 1825, as a delegate from New Zion church. 
Until 1844, he continued to attend the meetings of the 
bodj' as a delegate from New Zion, having to that time 
missed attending the annual gatherings of the body 
only three times. After 1844, he represented Hepzibah 
church, Lawrence county, for seven (?) years, missing 
only one meeting of the Association. After that, he 
represented Society Hill church until the time of his 
death, missing two meetings of the Association. Thus 
\Ye see that in forty -two years, he failed to attend only 
six meetings of the Pearl River Association. He preach- 
ed the introductory sermon three times, Avas the mod- 
erator of the body six times, and was all the while 
prominent in the meetings of the body. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 155 

In 1867, a query was sent to the Association, from 
the Mount MOriah church, as follows: "Would a 
church do right, and act according to gospel order, to 
receive a person by experience and baptism, who had 
previously been received and baptized in a state of un - 
belief? A committee with A. Goss as chairman, an- 
swered: " We believe that faith in the subject is essen- 
tial to constitute a valid baptism in th^ sight of God, 
and that the baptism of an unbeliever is not Christian 
baptism." This answer was unanimously adopted. 
As the Civil War was over, the decision of the body, as 
to the exclusion of a deserter from the armv, from the 
privileges of a church, was declared no longer 
applicable. 

The question arose about this time, as to the policy to 
be adopted as to the religious welfare of the negroes. 
Soon after the Civil War, they showed a dispOvSition to 
withdraw from the whites, and to establish churches of 
their own; but they were totalh' incompetent to ad- 
minister their owm religious affairs. This incompeten- 
cy was known, and recognized by the whites; but the 
question was, what could be done? In some parts, 
bad white men made their religious gatherings, places 
of intrigue against their former owners, and their pres- 
ent friends. The Association saw the duty of encoura- 
ging their educational endeavors, and their religious 
instruction, and a committee was formed for this pur- 
pose, consisting of A. Goss, H.Hooker, W. Fortenberry, 
and J. B. Chrisman, which committee was to report at 
the next meeting of the body. That committee advised 
that religious instruction be given the negro, and that 
the blacks be permitted to remain where they v^ere. 

The "widows fund" was still in existence in 1868, 
and it was decided by the Association that the body 



156 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

had no moral right to consume the principal, but 
might use it, and replace it, being morally and primar- 
ily bound to do so. A committee of six was appointed 
to "visit the widows in their afflictions," and ascertain 
their needs as far as possible, and distribute the money 
according to their necessities. This worthy object was 
deservedly fostered by them, with the utmost vigilance. 
For nine years, the benevolence had in 1868, been fos- 
tered, and the period embraced the four years of the 
Civil War. 

The most note -worthy event that transpired a- 
mong them, in 1869, was the death of Jesse Crawford. 
For seven ^-ears he had been absent from the meetings 
of the Association, not willingly but by constraint. 
In 1859, N. Robertson presented a preamble and reso- 
lution, which was adopted in sadness, which told of a 
severe bodily afflidtion which had come upon Jesse 
Crawford, and expressive of sincere sympathy for him 
in his distress and suffering. Calvin Magee was re- 
quested to visit the sick man, and to present to him a 
copy of the resolution. He had been smitten with par- 
alysis of such a pronounced character, that he was pre- 
vented from any outdoor exercise or ministerial labor ; 
but his mind was bright, his heart as warm as in days 
of yore, and his spirits elastic and cheerful. Jesse 
Crawford was born in the State of Georgia, February 
4,' 1795. He was reared of poor parentage, and his ed- 
ucational advantages were few and scanty. He at- 
tached himself to the Antioch church, Marion county, 
in November, 1824-, and was constituted a deacon by 
that church, Juh^ 16, 1826. He was licensed to preach, 
March 28, 1828, and ordained on the 17th of October 
of that year, the presb^-tery consisting of Martin, 
Brakefield, and Thigpen. Jesse Crawford entered the 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 157 

Association in 1831, as a delegate from Antioch church, 
which church he represented until 1835. After that, he 
represented Silver Creek church, Pike county, the re- 
mainder of his active life. He v^as first eledled moder- 
ator of the Association in 1834, and was eighteen times 
elected to this office. He was absent from the meet- 
ings of the body after he entered it only twdce before 
his affliction came on him. He w^as forty years a min- 
ister. "Servant of God well done." 

In 1870, A. Goss presented the following preamble 
and resolution : 

"Wheras, There has been much said in regard to 
receiving the baptism of Campbellites in our churches,, 
therefore be it 

Resolved, That the Association will not receive 
such baptism from the hands of Campbellites or Pedo- 
Baptists, as valid gospel baptism." 

There is nothing as to the life's w-ork of A. Goss in 
Foster's Mississippi Baptist Preachers, but a suitable 
notice of his active career wall be given in what shall be 
said of the Mount Pisgah Association. Suffice it to 
say here, that he was a bright educated man, and en- 
tirely reliable in his doctrinal deliverances. 

in the decade from 1870 to 1880, the Pearl River 
passed a formative period. The time had come when 
it must take stand with some general body of Baptists 
in our State. N. Robertson w^as still living at the be- 
ginning of this decade, which assumed wise action on 
the part of the Association. 

In 1871, S. S. Reh^ea was with them, and also M. 
T. Martin. They were strong men, and each with an 
axe to grind, and wishing some one to turn the grind- 
stone. Relyea was scholarly and magnetic, Martin 
w^as gifted with wonderful energy, and had a force of 



158 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

will that w^as not to be resisted. Relyea had an in- 
terest to represent that concerned southern Mississippi 
and eastern Louisiana ; Martin was driving an interest 
fostered by the Mississippi Baptist State Convention, 
Pearl River Association w^as an arena for contest. 
Relyea had a worthy object to represent, Martin, a 
God -favored institution to save. Martin was flanked 
by James Nelson, who represented Ministerial Educa- 
tion of the State Convention. James Nelson was the 
inost remarkable man Baptists have had in Mississippi 
to the present time. The contest came. Relyea rep- 
resenting the missionary board, of the Mississippi Riv- 
er, and the Eastern Louisiana Associations, asked the 
co-operation of the Association in his missionary en- 
terjDnse — a worthy object represented by a noble man. 
Politely the Association appointed a committee to con- 
sult with him, and to report at the next ineeting of 
the bod}'. The Convention was to meet at Summit, on 
Friday before the fifth Sunday- in October, 1871. So 
Relyea's success at the Association was not to be de - 
cried. Just after that adtion of the Association, was a 
lenghty report of a committee on ministerial education, 
covering a page of the minutes. It recited that our 
preachers must now be educated ; we must pray for 
more preachers, and, if God should call any in the 
bounds of the Association, the^^ ought to be sent to 
Mississippi College; and young preachers ^vishing an 
education, were advised to correspond with James Nel- 
son, corresponding secretary of the Ministerial Board 
of the Mississippi Bapsist State Convention. Close on 
the heels of these resolutions, was a preamble with a 
resolution as to Mississippi College. The preamble 
spoke of the financial embarrassment of the College at 
that time, and the resolution approved of the effort 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 159 

Martin was making to liquidate the debt against the 
College, and the cause was asked a favorable consider- 
ation by the churches. 

Zachariah Daughdrill died Februarj^ 1870. He 
was born in Greene county, in 1820, the year the Pearl 
River Association was constituted. He was received 
into Red Creek church in 1852, and like FortenberrA^ 
and Crawford was made a deacon before he became a 
preacher. He was licensed to preach Iw Sand Hill 
church, May 10, 1860, and preached about ten years. 
He was a useful man, and was only fifty years of age 
when he w^as called home. 

The address of N. Robertson before the Association 
of 1872 was a remarkable deliverance. Its caution, 
spirit, and force are unexcelled. It reads like standard 
literature. His eloquence is of Indian vividness, and 
naturalness. It was on pastoral support. It ought to 
be kept before our people, as a gem of pure forceful En- 
glish, and as a piece of masterful eloquence. It will he 
pardonable to quote a paragraph of that address : 

"It is now just fortv j^ears since my name was first 
enrolled in the list of the delegates in this Association. 
The Lord has kept me alive through all these days, and 
this day, I am called upon to perform the most unpleas- 
ant service I have ever rendered to 3^our hody. It may 
appear strange to 3^ou, but the temptation to unfaith- 
fulness has been almost irresistible. On the one hand, 
I have been pressed out of measure, by the fear of offend - 
ing my brethren ; while on the other hand, the sceptre 
of God has been stretched over my heart. You expect 
me to be faithful, 1 entreat you to be charitable. I 
must risk the consequences, and be faithful, but to cut 
myself off from the love, and cordial fellow^ship of my 
brethren, would be more bitter than death. To be an 



160 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

offcast from the affections, and confidence of the Lord's 
children, would make this world a dark wilderness to 
me, and yet it would not be so bad as to dole out my 
days under the inflictions of a guilty conscience/' 

The Association of 1873 met with Little Bahala 
church, Lincoln county. The General Association, of 
Baptists, of South Mississippi, and East Louisiana, 
Nvas represented b^^ E. C. Eager, and S. S. Relyea. 
Mississippi College was represented by A. A. Lomax. 
On Monday, A. A. Lomax preached in the forenoon, 
and S. S. Relyea in the afternoon. It was Resolved, 
That correspondence be opened up wdththe General As- 
sociation of Baptists, of South Mississippi, and East 
Louisiana, and the object of the Educational Society, 
of that body, in establishing a first class Baptist Fe - 
male College, in Summit, Mississippi, was cordially 
approved. Could they have wished more? But the 
Convention was not less favored bj^ the Association. 
It received preamble, and resolution. As the Conven- 
tion had decided to enter on the work of State missions, 
and a State Mission Board located at Hazlehurst, and 
the Board to have a corresponding secretary with vari- 
ous duties, it was Resolved, that this action of the Con- 
vention be heartih^ approved. Could they have wish- 
ed more ? To which of the two causes did the advant- 
age accrue ? 

In 1874, S. S. Relyea, and M. T. Martin were at 
the Association, and this action was taken by the 
bod3'' : 

'^Resolved, That we rejoice in the intelligence that 
the Lord is blessing the Board of Domestic Missions 
(State Mission Board), of the Mississippi Baptist Con- 
vention, and of the General Association, of South Mis- 
sissippi, and East Louisiana, in extending the cause of 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 161 

Christ in the southern portion of Mississippi and east 
Louisiana." 

It seems that the Pearl River Assoeiation had got - 
ten both men under the same yoke, and that Relyea 
had the padded bow. But Martin would walk ahead 
by getting a resolution adopted, commending ministe- 
rial education and the College, and encouraging the 
project of a permanent endowment. This leaves noth- 
ing settled. But in 1875, the Association appointed del- 
egates to the State Convention, and nothing was said 
of the General Association of South Mississippi, and 
East Louisiana. M. T. Martin was in 1876, received 
as a messenger from the Mississippi Baptist State Con- 
vention, and as agent of the College, and there was no 
opposing Richmond on the field. S. S. Relyea did a 
good w^ork, as we may see ftirther on in this written 
history. In that year, Norvell Robertson sat as mod- 
erator of Pearl River for the last time. He had been in 
the Association forty -four years. He died June 1, 
1878. A sketch of his life is given in Foster's Mississip- 
pi Baptist Preachers. 

In 1878, a good list of committees were appointed, 
and among them a committee on Foreign Missions, the 
first ever appointed by the Association on that object. 
It has doubtless been noticed that in all the history of 
this Association, from its inception to a very few years 
before this, no committees were appointed but the com- 
mittee on preaching; and that the general w^ork of the 
Association was done on preambles and resolutions. 
But in this year, the Foreign Mission Journal was. rec- 
ommended, and the churches re(|uested to have a mis- 
sionary sermon preached yearly, a collection taken for 
foreign missions, and contributions forwarded to H. A. 
Tepper, corresponding secretary of Foreign Mission 
Board. 



162 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

Home at last. The road has been rough and rocky, 
and beset by allurnicnts on both sides for a long dis- 
tance, but the Association having a good spirit, kept 
steadily forward, avoiding antinoniian pit falls until it 
reached home. God's hand led its noble messengers all 
the way. They had an extensive field of labor, over 
which at first their churches were sparceh' scattered. 
The3' fought for their own like noble, brave Christian 
heroes. They sent out colonies, and contributed good 
churches to Aveak Associations. Their territory was 
narrowed down, and their hearts expanded. When the 
Association became confined to the counties of Marion, 
Lawrence, Covington, Pike, and a few townships of 
Lincoln, their vision became enlarged, and the^- saw 
the field the Man of Galilee gave the fisherman, and be- 
gan to strive for its occupancy, with the dashing valor 
of the fore -fathers, who followed the paths beaten out 
by the foot falls of wild beasts, and of scarcely less fe - 
rocious savages, the redmen of the forest. Noble Pearl 
River Association ! The writer feels that he is a better 
man after writing this much of the history of A^our no- 
ble deeds, and would fain let his pen glide on with tire- 
less effort in recounting facts so elevating, and writing 
of men whose wisdom was safe, w^hose brains were 
clear, and whose hearts were -warm. 

In 1878, H. M. Long, J. A. Scarborough, T. D. 
Bush, and T. J. Walne were in the Association, and 
their presence felt. T. J. Walne preached at eleven a. m. 
SundaA", on John 3 : 14-, and, after an intermission, J. A. 
Scarborough preached on A6ls 16 : 30. G. W. Farmer 
closed with an exhortation, and a collection was taken 
for Home missions (or State missions) of $20.50. T. 
J. Walne was received, as a rejjresentative of the Bap- 
tist State Convention, and the State Mission Board, 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 



163 



and the heartA^ co-operation with the State Mission 
Board was recommended in the report on, Home mis- 
sions. 

The Baptist Record was projected the first of Feb- 
ruary, 1877. In the minutes of the Pearl River of that 
year, it was commended as a sound Baptist paper, and 
calculated to build up the Baptist cause in our State. 
The following year, and the year succeeding it, the 
Record was indorsed by the Association. The South- 
ern Baptist was also recommended to the favor of 
the body. 

In 1879, Lea Female College, at Summit, was rec- 
ommended to the patronage of the churches, and its pres- 
ident, C.H. Otken, was giventheliberty of the territory 
for the organization. That was wise, and correct. 
The school was well located, calculated to do inestima- 
ble good for that section of the State, and its affairs 
■under the administration of a highly intellectual man, 
who was a fine educator. C. H. Otken, that year, address 
ed a letter to the Association, as to the interest of his 
institution of learning. That letter recited that the Col- 
lege was commenced in the fall of 1877. A charter was 
soon obtained, granting the right to confer degrees, 
and diplomas. The Board of trustees of the school con- 
sisted of B. A. Crawford, W. Z. Lea, W. T. White, J. R. 
Farish, W. W. Bolls, Z. T. Everett, Thomas T. Cotton, 
D. C. Walker, DeWitt C. Lea, W.T. Johns, JohnG. Leg- 
gett, W. E. Tynes, J. R. Sample, John E. Holmes, and 
Hampton M. Lea. The campus of the College covered 
two squares, or about eight acres of land, on which 
was a two-story building, planned for a female school. 
It was the onh' female college in that part of the coun- 
try, where Baptists had 10,000 communicants. 

The decade between 1880, and 1890 was charact - 



164 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

erized for work on all lines of benevolence pursued by 
the Baptists of the State. The Association was in full 
sympathy, and close co - operation, with the Baptist 
State Convention. Names of men now familiar to ev- 
ery one well versed in the work of Mississippi Baptists, 
appear on the minutes of the body. R. R. Tumage was 
moderator each of the ten years. I. M. Fortenberry 
was treasurer until 1884, when he was succeeded by J. 
D.Burkett, who kept the financial accounts of the body 
to the end of this period. Both famih^ names had long 
appeared on the minutes of the bod3^ J.W. Armstrong, 
of Monticello, was clerk through the decade. At the 
beginning of this period there were seventeen churches 
in the organization, having 1,544 members. In 1880, 
the churches gave $249.95 to Home missions, and 
$144.60 to Foreign missions. At the close of the dec- 
ade, the Association was composed of fifteen churches,^ 
(some had gone to other Associations) which had 
1,685 members, and gave to State missions, $216.50, 
to Foreign missions as reported $78.25, and to church 
building, $613.00. 

The temperance movement found its earliest and 
most ardent supporters in southern Mississippi. With- 
in the limits of this Association then, was a decided 
and profound sentiment against the legalized sale of in- 
toxicants. The Association itself was not silent in the 
presence of the blighting evil. In 1880, the bod}- ex- 
pressed it as a conviction that it was a duty to exert 
a wholesome influence against the liquor traffic, and to 
give no countenance to the sale of intoxicating spirits, 
and Resolved, That it was a misdemeanor calling for 
the discipline of a church, for a member to sell ardent 
spirits, or to give awaj' intoxicants at a pubhc gather- 
ing, or patronize a saloon. It was also recommended 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 165 

that the pastors of the churches each deliver a lecture 
on temperance once a year. In 1881, T. D. Bush sub- 
mitted a terse report on the subject, declaring that the 
use of intoxicants weakens financial ability, hinders de- 
nominational enterprises, causes murder, theft, and ev- 
ery other crime. He placed the word prohibition into 
his report with telling effect. In 1882, J. B. Gambrell 
was made chairman of the committee on temperance in 
which report it was said that the crisis was actually 
upon the people, and that boldness, and energy were 
necessary to impede the progress of the evil, and that 
the time had come to act. 

That year, Lawrence count\', which was covered by 
this Association, stepped to the front of the sisterhood 
of the counties of the State, and was first to enact pro- 
hibition laws in a countj', against legalizing the sale of 
ardent spirits. 

Each 3^ear there was a strong report made on Tem- 
perance. In 1884, R. J. Boone presented the report, 
w^hich declared that a candidate for office only merited 
support when in favor of temperance, and that every 
Christian, who loves God, should rise in his majesty, 
and strength to complete legal prohibition of the nefa - 
rious traffic. The next year, it was said that prohibi- 
tion was the only safe means for the future, and the 
year following, J. A. Scarborough thundered forth in 
this language: "Every Christian should hold it as a 
duty to God, a duty to his own family, and a duty to 
the world at large, to use all fair, and honest means to 
procure prohibition law.'' In 1888, R. Drummond rec- 
ommended total abstinance by ever3'' church member of 
the Association, and stringent measures on the iniqui- 
tous evil. No less positive were the reports on Temper- 
ance submitted to the Association at its meetings the 
two following years. 



166 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

Year by j-ear, during this decade, reports were sub- 
mitted on the subject of Sunda^^ schools to the Associ - 
ation. In 1880, T. D. Bush, in his report affirmed that 
the Sunday- school was second only to the living minis- 
tr3^ in disseminating gospel truth, and it was urged 
that ever^^ reasonable sacrifice be made to organize and 
maintain a Sunday school in each church. A few 3''ears 
after, a prominent pastor said that the Sunday school 
lessons on the Acts had helped to develop his churches 
on the subject of missions to a perceptible degree. The 
Sunda^^ school was not so wrongfully recommended as 
to take the place of parental instruction. It was 
thought that the Sunday school should be attended by 
the old as well as the young, and that its usefulness 
should not stop short of the conversion of the pupils. 
It was recommended to the Sunday schools, to take 
^^Kind Words,"' published then at Macon, Georgia. In 
1886, the letters from the churches to the Association 
showed a growing interest in the Sunday school w^ork. 
The church letters showed a great many accessions to 
the churches from the Sunday schools. In 1889 and 
1890, the report on Sunday schools was submitted by 
J. P. Culpepper, in which it w^as recommended that 
they put a man in the field to organize Sunday schools 
in ever3' community in the Association, and that 
a Sunday' school convention be organized in the bounds 
of the Association, to meet on the fifth Sundays. 

The work of Foreign Missions was kept distinctly 
before them for five j^ears of this decade, after which, 
the bod}' had reports on the general subject of missions 
with questionable efficiency-. The reports on missions, 
as a rule were devoid of any specific information on 
foreign missions. In 1880, the committee on foreign 
missions recommended that each pastor in the Associ- 



HISTORY OF MIS.SISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 167 

ation keep foreign missions constantly before his 
churches until a permanent interest should be manifest; 
and recommended The Foreign Mission Journal, pub- 
lished at Richmond, Virginia. In 1883, the request of 
the Foreign Mission Board, asking that Mississippi 
raise $8,000 that year for foreign missions, was cor- 
dially endorsed, and the body pledged to raise its pro 
rata of the amount, and the pastors of the churches 
were entreated to labor as never before to get their 
people to feel the great obligation resting on them, to 
give the gospel to the \vorld. The report of the com- 
mittee on foreign missions in 1884, was somewhat re- 
freshing. It expressed an unwillingness to accuse the 
ministers of unfaithfulness, but it appeared that, in 
some instances, they were derelict in duty, and if this 
objection could be removed, soon a great change would 
take place in the affairs of foreign missions. "Lay on 
McDuff." 

Our churches and Associations experience great dif- 
ficulty in distinguishing between State missions and 
Home missions. In the early history of the churches, 
associational missions was invariably called Domestic 
Missions, which \vas the original name of United 
States Missions, or missions at home. The Associa- 
tional mission was a mission at home, and it \vas de- 
nominated Domestic missions. State Missionsis a home 
work, and is so regarded. It would prevent much con- 
fusion of thought if the Home Mission Board could be 
called the Sout hern Mission Board. The first reports 
that were made to the Pearl River Association on State 
Missions, were made under the head of HomeMissions- 
(untill883), while they contained no reference to South- 
ern missions outside of our State. No report was 
made to the Association under the head of State Mis- 
sions until 1883. 



168 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

In 1880, the Association was congratulated by the 
chairman of the committee on Home missions, G. W. 
Mikell, upon the revival of the missionary spirit in the 
churches. The church letters to the Association show- 
ed the gratifying fact that, save one, all the churches in 
the body had sent up contributions for Home missions 
(State missions). The occurrence had broken the ex - 
ample of the churches, itis said, "for many long years." 
The committee showed interest in the work of the State 
Mission Board in the delta. Population was crowding 
into the great Mississippi bottom. Hundreds of young 
inen were going to that fertile valley. That part of 
the State was said to be "a fearfully wicked country, 
whiskv drinking, gaml:)ling, and Sabbath desecration," 
where rife, and missionar}' work a pressing necessity. 
The State Mission Board had under its appointment, 
at that time, twent^'-five missionaries, one of them be- 
ing T. D. Bush, the missionar3^ in the Pearl River Asso- 
ciation, who was doing good work. 

In 1881, the committee on Home or State missions 
noted the fact that the State Mission Board was en- 
larging its work, and urged every church of the Associ- 
ation to meet the duty of more liberal support of that 
Board. The following year, T. J. Walne was chairman 
of the committee, and his report was loaded with facts 
bearing on the work so near his heart. The report re- 
counted that, in the eight 3^ears preceding, the mission- 
aries of the Board had traveled 225,188 miles; preach- 
ed 11,831 sermons; baptized 1,910 persons; received 
by letter, and restoration 1,365; constituted twenty - 
seven churches; organized one district Association, and 
sixty-five Sunday schools. In 1883, T. S. Powell, 
chairman of the committee on State missions, submit- 
ted a good report. The following year, the subject was 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 169 

put before the body by J. G. Chastain, (their mission- 
ary under the appointment of the State Mission Board). 
He said the time had come when churches that do noth- 
ing at all for the spread of the gospel, should cease to 
be recognized as missionary churches. In 1885, J. G. 
Chastain labored in the Association, under the State 
Board, 273 days; traveled 1,363 miles; preached 105 
sermons, and baptized forty -two believers. 

Supplement to Pearl River Association: — Be- 
tween 1890 and 1895, the meml3ers of the Pearl River 
Association imposed continual confidence in their ofti - 
cers. In that period, R. R. Turnage was moderator, 
W. J. Armstrong clerk, and N. S. Buckley treasurer. 

The usual reports of committees were submitted to 
the body. The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary 
received unusual attention, and what is unusual, they 
had a committee to report on vocal music, and anoth- 
er on their Sunday school Board. They had no report 
on associational work until 1895, when it was recom- 
mended that a missionary board be appointed to look 
out the destitute places in the Association, and to cor- 
respond with secretary Rowx as to supph'ing it. 

In 1891, there were seventeen churches in the body, 
v^rhich had an aggregate membership of 1,697 ; in 1895, 
eighteen churches with a total membership of 1,880. 
In 1891, their cash collections amounted to $271.55, 
and in 1895, to $243.75. The pastors in the Associa- 
tion in 1895 were C. P. Sheppard, R. Drummond, J. W. 
Tolar, J. P. Culpepper, J. C. Buckley, N. L. Robertson, 
J. L. Finley, J. L. Price, B. A. Crawford, A. F. Davis, 
and R. R. Turnage. 

In 1891, Shiloh church, Marion county, and New 
Hope, Lawrence county, were received into the union, 
and in 1892, Clear Springs church, Lawrence countv 



170 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

Special recommendations were made in 1892, as to the 
process of carrying on their mission work. It was rec- 
ommended that Special effort be made to secure a con - 
tribution to missions from each member of each church, 
and that regular quarterly collections for mission be 
taken. 

Their Sunday school statistics in 1895, showed 
that they had eleven Sunda\' schools, sixty -fiYe officers 
and teachers, and an enrollment of 835, or 1,015 more 
members in their churches than pupils in their Sunday 
schools. Between 1895 and the close of the century, 
the officers of the preceding five years were kept in of- 
fice, until 1900. In that year, AV. J. Armstrong was 
elected moderator, J. Ci Buckley clerk, and X. S. Buck- 
le3' treasurer. 

In 1896, there were twenty -two churches in the 
union, with a total membership of 2,299, and in 1900, 
twenty -one churches with an aggregate membership 
of 2,305, or a net gain of six members. 

The pastors of the churches in 1900 wei'cas follows : 
Of Antioch, and Black Jack Grove, T. B. Forten- 
berry; of Bethel, J. L. Price; of Columbia, Pine Springs, 
and Societ\' Hill, J. T. Dale; of Cedar Grove, Holly 
Springs, and Pearl Vallc}', J B. Polk : of Clear Springs, 
T. D. Cox; of Crooked Creek, J. P. Williams; of Good 
Hope, A. A. Briant ; of Magees Creek, J. T. Ellzey; of 
New Hope, J. M. Riche\'; of Pleasant Hill, and Provi- 
dence, W. R. Johnston; of Silver Creek, J. C. Bucklej^; 
and, of Sliiloh, C. P. Torrey. 

In 1896, R. R. Turnage was missionary- in their 
bounds. He reported seventh" - seven days of ser^-ice ; 
thirty -eight sermons preached, and twelve iDaptized. 
He collected $10-1.00. The following vear, he gave the 
Association twenty' - seven davs of service, and collect- 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 171 

ed for associat'ional missions $208.00, and for State 
missions $100.00. In their report on State missions, 
it is said, "Your committee has no new plans to sug- 
gest, but would urge upon the churches of the Associa- 
tion to stand firmly by our Board with their prayers, 
and contributions, until every destitute portion of our 
State is supplied." 

The Ebenezer church was dismissed by letter in 

1898, and the Little River, and Good Hope churches 
^vere added to their list. It is said of the good Hope 
church that it was formerly a member of the Bethel As- 
sociation, and "said Association being anti-mission- 
ary, she withdrew from the same, and united with us, 
where they hope to be able to do good for the spread 
of the gospel." 

The Pearl River Association held its eightieth an- 
nual session with the Shiloh church, Marion county, in 

1899. The institution had reached a good old age. It 
had in the eighty years, had in it many men of com - 
manding genius, and choice grace, and had done great 
good to the part of the State in w^hich it was located. 

The report on Sunday schools in 1899, submitted 
hj ]. J. Stringer, was rather spic\'. It said : "We go to 
our Associations each year, and write reports, and 
make rousing speeches, and make good recommenda- 
tions, onlj^ to go back to our homes, and get to work 
at the same old job of doing nothing." His language 
is so true to facts that it is refreshing. That year, four- 
teen churches reported SundaA^ schools, with a total of 
seventy -three officers and teachers, and an enrollment 
of 756 scholars. 

In 1900, the following letter found in their minutes 
was addressed to A. V. Rowe, Secretarj' of the Conven- 
tion Board : "We, the Pearl River Association, in or- 



172 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

der of business, do hereby' express ourselves as believing 
that the community of the Pearl Yalle3' church is an 
important mission station, and that a limited part of 
the State Mission funds can be as well invested in said 
community- as it can an3'\vhere : 

Therefore, We request that you carefulh' and 
prayerfulh' consider the spending of the amount rec- 
ommended by our local Board, and our missionary, J. 
B. Polk, on said field."' This letter is given to show 
that at the end of the centur^^ the Pearl River Associa- 
tion was in hearty- S3^mpathy with our organized work, 
and wished close and hearty co-operation with the 
Conventioa Board. i 

No other Association in our State has, in its his - 
tory, encountered so many difficulties as the Pearl Riv- 
er. With the courage of conviction, the work was be- 
gun, w^hen the Association was constituted in 1820, 
w^ith twenty - three churches scattered over south Mis- 
sissippi. The countrv was thinly populated, but des- 
tined to be peopled b^' a numerous, honest, industrious 
host. Many serious questions presented themselves 
during the flight of years, but they were met gravely, 
and with dignity. If the}- were sorely perplexing, they 
had to wait a 3'ear before they could receive an answer, 
or ^vere referred to the churches for prayerful delibera- 
tion and wise handling. The Association was never 
without its men of strong common sense, and becoming 
gravity, who faced every impending issue \vith a firm 
resolution, and a charitable desire. They loved their 
brethren with an affection stronger than their love of 
life, an affection that was onlv surpassed by their love 
of the cause which made them brethren. The historian 
pens this last sentence, expressing an unfeigned admir- 
ation of the record made by the Pearl River Associa- 
tion, while cherishing the hope that a favoring Provi- 
dence ma}' continue to smile on their efforts made in 
forwarding the cause of Christ. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 173 



CHAPTER VI. 

CHOCTAW ASSOCIATION. 

The Chodlaw may be classed with the old Associa- 
tions of north Mississippi. In its earliest daA^s it was a 
conglomerate bod3\ It seemed to lack affinity. Some 
of the churches were in Alabama, and some in Mississ- 
ippi. The population was unstable, and composed of 
people from different parts of the south-eastern States. 
The Baptists, who composed the body, differed in sen - 
timent as to progressive work. 

The original Choctaw Association was formed in 
August, 1834-. At what place, there is no way of as- 
certaining. Several attempts w^ere made to have a 
brief history of the bod}^ put in the minutes, which, it is 
to be regretted, were abortive. In 1840, it was Resolv- 
ed, That Michael Ross, and Burwell L. Barnes be ap- 
pointed a committee to prepare a history of the bod\^, 
and print it in the minutes of the succeeding year. 
That year, M. Ross was appointed to revise the writ- 
ten histor3% and the churches were requested to send to 
the Association of 1842, a sufficiency of money to ena- 
ble them to publish it in the minutes. But in 1842 the 
subject was indefinitely postponed. This action of the 
body is to be deeply regretted, but by dilligent research 
we have been able to reclaim some of the facts of the 
early histor}- of this Association that have remained 
hidden from the casual observer. 

From Benedict, we learn that the Choctaw was or- 



174 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

iginallj' composed of sixteen churches, nine in Mississ- 
ippi, and seven in Alabama. These churches were in 
Noxubee, and Kemper counties, in Mississippi, and 
Sumter count3^, Alabama. In 1837, the organization 
w^as composed of thirtj^ - nine churches, which had an 
aggregate membership of 1,008. Twelve of these 
churches were received that year. Thirteen of them 
wherein Sumter county, Alabama, the remainder of them 
in Mississippi, in the counties of Noxubee, Kemper, 
Lauderdale, Winston, Oktibbeha, Leake, and Newton. 
It had, in three years, joined twent3^- three churches, 
and largely extended its territory. 

At the first anniversary^ of the body, Michael Ross 
was clerk and treasurer. It was not until 1837 that 
he was paid for bringing out the minutes of 1835. 
But the honest\' of the Association was seen in the fact 
that he was not to go unpaid for his official work. In 
1836, Francis Thomas was clerk, and William Calla- 
way' was moderator. That was the second anniver- 
sar^' of the body. In 1837, Michael Ross was eledted 
moderator, and Lewis Stovall clerk. Between the an- 
nual meeting of 1836 and 1837, William Callaway died. 

The following excerpt is taken from a letter writ - 
ten by Michael Ross, and printed in the Luminary in 
1837: "I have been in the State nearh' four ^^ears. 
When I first arrived, there was not a Baptist church in 
the Choctaw country of Mississippi. In company 
Avith William Callaway and Pace, myself and Alwood, 
(who came from South Carolina with me) constituted 
the Bethel church, in the house of brother Thomas, in 
Kemper county, in December, 1833."' 

The leading ministers of the original Choctaw As- 
sociation, were James Barnes, Silas Dobbs, Michael 
Ross, Wade H. Crawford, S. G. Jenkins, R. R. Shelton, 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 175 

W. B. Lloyd, J. Micou, and William Callaway. Among 
the names of the messengers from the churches, we find 
such familiar names as Hibbler, Mclnnis, Bunyard, 
May, Spinks, McClannahan, Patton, and Haynes. 
Many of the descendants of these men may be found 
today in east Mississippi, and especially in Meridian. 
It [appears that the Association of 1837, was the 
last harmonious one of the great old Choctaw. Sever- 
al causes contributed to this result. The territory of 
the body had become exceedingly extended, which, 
with the large number of churches, contributed largely 
to this result. The Louisville Friendship Association 
was formed on the west, and the Libertj^ Association 
on the south, and an anti- missionary body called 
Zion's Rest Association. Twelve of the churches of the 
old Association went into the new, four of them to the 
Louisville Friendship, and at least, two of them to the 
Liberty. Perhaps the death of William Callaway, caus- 
ing the loss of his influence over the churches, ^was the 
breaking of the chain that bound the churches together. 
It was said in the brief obituary notice that appears in 
the minutes of the bod^^ of 1837, "To his labors, in a 
good degree, under God, many of the churches of this 
country-, and the Association itself, are indebted for 
their origin;" and "We feel sensibly, the stroke which 
has separated us from him, w4iom we tenderly loved, 
and whose memory ^ve revere.'^ He was the magnetic 
member of the body. Perhaps also, the aggressive 
spirit of John Micou disturbed the conservative mem - 
bers of the body. The names of S. G. Jenkins and 
Michael Ross are connected with our time by their rela- 
tions in those days, with N. L. Clarke, who is still living- 
in vigorous age in Newton, being over ninety 3'ears ot 
age. He was baptized b^- S. G. Jenkins, and Alichael 



176 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

Ross was one of the council of ministers who aided the 
church in his ordination. 

This resolution appears in the minutes of 1837: 
*^ Resolved, That w^e recommend the brethren of this 
Association to read the Bible through at least once a 
year." 

Benedict sa3's that the ne\v Chocta^^ Association 
was constituted in 1837, -which can scarcely be true. 
A copy of the minutes of the meeting of the old Choc - 
taw of 1837, is still extant, which shows that the 
meeting was held, beginning September 16, 1837. The 
meeting so late in the year, was in such a ineasure har- 
monious, that the Association was re -districted, and 
the time of the meetings of the five districts arranged 
for. Besides this, the minutes of the meeting of the 
new body in 1840, are declared to be "the minutes of 
the second anniversary meeting." Then, the first anni- 
versary' must have been in 1839, and the body consti- 
tuted in 1838. B. L. Barnes was treasurer in 1839. 

The session of 1840 was held with the Gainesville 
church, beginning September 18th. The introdu6tory 
sermon was preached b^- Michael Ross. John Micou 
was elected moderator, B.L.Barnes clerk, and Michael 
Ross treasurer. It is seen by this election that the 
strong men of the old body w^ere still placed in positions 
of honor, and responsibilit}-. In the Association of 
1840, we find the names off. Willingham, W. M. Far- 
rar, Elijah Deupree, S. S. Lattimore, C. A. Hatch, and 
N. L. Clarke. N. L. Clarke was a licentiate. 

In 1840, there v^ere twenty -one churches in the 
union which reported an aggregate of 358 baptisms. 
Of these baptisms Jones' Creek, Sumter county, Ala- 
bama, reported seventy -seven, and Hopewell in the 
same State, forty -seven. The total membership of the 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 177 

churches was 1,322. Nine of the churches were in Ala- 
bama, and twelve in Mississippi. The majority of the 
baptisms were reported by the churches in Alabama. 
The Mississippi churches were in the counties of New - 
ton, Kemper, Lauderdale, Noxubee, and Winston. 

The Mount Zion church, Sumter county, Alabama, 
presented a petition for membership. There was a diffi- 
culty existing at the time between this church, and the 
Liberty Association. The church could not, therefore, 
be received until the difference could be investigated, 
and the church exonorated. A strong committee was 
appointed to examine the charges against the church, 
consisting of M. Ross, T. Willingham, W. M. Farrar, 
M. Talbot, and S. T. Williamson. The Liberty Associ- 
tion charged that the pastor of the Mount Zion church, 
James Veasy, was heterodox. 

The committee brought in a lengthy report, in 
w^hich they declared the Mount Zion church "in perfedt 
harmony, and good standing," and the charges against 
James Veasy, the pastor of that church, not sustained by 
facts. Veasy was also accused by the Liberty Associa - 
tion of ministerial discourtesy, which w^as admitted by 
the committee, but it ^vas not regarded by them as an 
offense of such gravity asto justif}- the severe censure of 
the Liberty Association. The kindest feelings were 
manifested for the Liberty Association. 

In 1842, a letter was received by the Choctaw from 
the Liberty Association, complaining of this course of 
action. The letter was referred to a good committee,, 
which recommended the appointment of a committee 
of seven to meet a like committee from the Liberty, ta 
strive for an adjustment of the difficult3'^ between the 
two bodies. The committee from the Liberty accepted 
the explanation made by the committee from the Choc- 



178 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

taw as satisfactory, and the committee from the Choc- 
taw recognized that the Liberty Association had acted 
on its "constitutional rights.'' Honors were about 
even, and fraternal relations established. 

Tw^o or three things went to show, as early as 
1840, the missionar}' convictions of the body. The 
deepest interest was manifested in the Sunday school 
work. This resolution was adopted that 3^ear. 

''Resolved, That this Association look upon the 
Sabbath school institution as one of the deepest inter- 
ests of the church of Christ ; and they recommend to 
the churches within her bounds to hold a Sabbath 
school convention, at De Kalb, on Friday before the 
fifth Lord's day in November next, for the purpose of 
adopting some plan for concert of action on this all 
important subject." 

That year, the "Domestic Missionary' Board" of 
the Association made its first annual report. It had 
its first meeting in September, 1839. Michael Ross was 
chairman of the Board. William M. Farrar was their 
missionar\' in the associational limits. He assisted in 
sixteen protracted meetings, in which more than one 
hundred and thirty persons were baptized. The mis- 
sionary' was to have a salar\' of $600.00 per annum. 
Owing to the imperfect banking system of that day, 
each bank floating its own paper money, their treasury 
suffered from "depreciated currency."' At the close of 
the associational 3'ear, they were due their missionary 
$252.87. What should be done ? Nearly the entire a - 
mount was raised at once, and the obligation met 
without delay. 

In the afternoon of the Sunday embraced in the 
sitting of the bod}', S. S. Lattimore preached one of his 
characteristic sermons in the Presbvterian church. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 179 

His theme was the "Sovereignity- of God." The Associ- 
ation, by resolution, asked for its publication as meet- 
ing their ' 'entire approbation. ' ' Why ? The anti - mis - 
sionary element that went out from them, were chiding 
them as being Arminian in sentiment, and they wished 
at once to place this opinion forever at rest. They 
could believe in Sunday schools and associational mis- 
sions, and yet hold to the doctrine of God's sovereign 
power in the conversion of the soul. 

The Choctaw was then greatlj^ blessed with men of 
strong missionary convictions, and of advanced views. 
W. M. Farrar, John Micou, and S. S. Lattimore, were 
among the most eminent men in the meetings of the 
Mississippi Baptist State Convention, and were agents 
at one time or another for the benevolences, fostered by 
the Convention. 

In 1841, the church at Macon, and the Unity 
church, of Kemper county, were received into the union. 
That year, the Association was concerned as to locat- 
ing the meetings of the body. In those good old times, 
mauA^ of the Associations of North Mississippi had "en- 
campments."" A large pavilion was erected for preach- 
ing, about which the people tented during the sitting 
of the Association. The devout Baptists would come 
from far and near, with their small wagons loaded 
w4th such things as they v^-ould need at the encamp- 
ment, and hoist their white \vinged tents, and remain 
to enjoA^ all the exercises of the Association until its 
adjournment. Michael Ross, the old hero, preached a 
missionary sermon on Sunda3% after which a collection 
was taken amounting to $36.87. The missionary- sen- 
timent was abounding. Burwell L. Barnes, in his re- 
port on the state of the churches, said : "We are pleased 
to find that manv of our churches are dissatisfied with 



180 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

preaching but once a month." Jas. R. Smith w^as 
their missionary. There has always been a Smith or a 
Whitfield among Mississippi Baptists ready to engage 
in a good w^ork. He had aided in twelve protracted 
meetings in which nearly 400 had been received into 
the churches by baptism. Their Domestic Board said 
that all opposition was fast giving way, and com- 
mended the churches for their prompt support of their 
work. M. Ross had this to say : ''All is bright and en- 
couraging. * * * And altho" some enemies j^et remain 
on the field of action, hurling their defiance, throwing' 
their darts, and laying obstacles in the way, yet their 
downcast looks, and broken ranks, invite us on to 
conquest." That year, the grand old Choctaw gave 
$784,241/2, to their Domestic Missions. This amount 
was nearly duplicated the following year. About this 
time, the Choctaw became much interested in Ministe - 
rial Education. Many promising 3'oung men were a- 
mong the large accessions to the churches. By resolu- 
tion, they agreed to pra^- the Lord of the harvest, that 
he would send more laborers into the field. In 1842,. 
they agreed to raise funds for the education of their 
young ministers. The sentiment, it was said, -was 
unanimous on the subject. The churches were advised 
in 1844, to raise money for this cause, and the "How- 
ard Collegiate, and Theological Institute, at Marion, 
Alabama, were recommended. 

The mooted question of "washing the saints' feet"' 
came up in 1844. John Micou was chairman of the 
committee on queries. In his report he acknowledged a 
difference of opinion on the subject among the churches. 
He said time sufiicient for the presentation of arguments 
against the practice could not then be allowed, and the 
matter was left to the discretion of the churches, and 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 181 

mutual forbearance recommended. The wisdom of 
some of our old preachers in prohibiting minor matters 
from rending the churches, and stopping their on^vard 
movements, is not only observable, but full often highly 
commendable. 

The missionary board began its operations in the 
associational year of 1843—1844 with $156.00 in the 
treasury'. Farrar, and demons were the missionaries 
in the field, Farrar laboring south of the Noxubee river, 
and demons north of it. Their labors were crowned 
w^ith success, and the amount of $25.64 w^as left in the 
treasury after all expenses were met. 

In 1845, there were twenty -six churches in the un- 
ion, ten in Alabama, and sixteen in Mississippi. The 
additions to the churches that 3'ear aggregated 285, 
the total membership of the churches being, 2,566. 
Their most efficient pastors were James F. Brown, P. 
G. Edmonds, Thomas Willingham, Michael Ross, James 
Barnes, Burwell Barnes, W. Carter, John Micou, W. B. 
Lloyd, and N. L. Clarke. 

Their interest in Ministerial education was still on 
the increase. They had at Howard Institute a young 
minister, by the name of Meaix-ws. He had been close- 
ly examined b^- the mission ]3oard as to his Christian 
experience, and call to the ministry, "which was of 
thrilling interest." The Board raised a purse at once 
to send him to school, and the churches were advised to 
enlarge their contributions to the educational fund. 
The Southern Baptist Theological Institute, at Coving- 
ton, Kentucky, was not deemed worthy of confidence, 
on account of the abolition views of its president. 

The Chodlaw was much exercised as to the division 
of northern, and southern Baptists, which culminated 
in 1845. They acquiesced in the necessity for the sepa - 



1^2 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

ration, and instructed their, treasurer to transmit mon- 
ey for Home, and Foreign missions to the treasurers of 
the Southern Boards of missions. In the letter of cor- 
respondence it was lamented that the}' had, in the past 
3'ear, done so little for Foreign missjons, owing to the- 
agitation then existing as to the separation of Baptist 
forces in the United States. But the following 3'ear, J. 
L. Shuck, of Canton, China, and Yong Sean Sang, a 
Chinaman, were with them, and elicited great interest 
in Foreign missions. 

Human nature is so constituted that men can look 
steadily and successfully at but one thing at a time. In 
1846, some thought that doctrinal purity was on the 
decline. It was advised that greater caution be exer- 
cised as to the occup^'ing of their pulpits, and the min- 
isters of the bod}' \vere cautioned as to assisting in the 
ordination of any one known to be Arminian in faith. 
The resolutions on this subject were oifered by John 
Micou. Michael Ross, as chairman of the committee on 
queries, responded to the question emphatically in the 
negative: "Is it Scriptural for Baptist churches to re- 
ceive as members, those who have been immersed by 
other than regularh' authorized Baptist ministers?"' 
The Memphis church was in trouble on the subject, and 
received an emphatic answer to their question. 

The years 1847 — 1848, were marked b\' an unusual 
spiritual power in the meetings of the bod}'. As soon 
as the Association was organized in 1847, S. S. Latti- 
more claimed the floor. After some feeling remarks on 
spiritual power, upon his motion, by unanimous con- 
sent, two ministers Avere released from the business of 
the Association, to devote themselves to preaching to 
the surging mass that would assemble in connection 
with their session. On Sunday, \Vm. H. Taj-lor, S. S. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 183 

Lattimore, and W. Manning, preached in "a clear, for- 
cible, and feeling manner.'' The meeting was contin- 
ued for many days after the Association adjourned its 
proceedings, and eighty persons were buried with 
Christ by baptism. The following 3^ear, S. S. Latti- 
more, and W. Manning w^ere released from the business 
of the Association, to preach during the sitting of the 
body, and to protract the meeting. On Sunday, John 
Micou, Michlael Ross, and S. S. Lattimore preached. 
There was great seriousnes in the large congregation. 
The meeting was protracted until the next Sunday, 
and forty -four were baptized, one restored, and about 
fifty still seeking the way of life. To God's name was 
given the glory. The effect of this spiritual awakening 
was felt in the Choctaw^, and had its reflex influence on 
their missionary work. It is said in the report of the 
Executive Board : "The churches have nobh^ sustained 
the Board, * * * having contributed, with the amount 
in hand from last A'car, sufficient to pa^^ our missionary 
(J.J. Morehead), for his services rendered, ($430.00) 
and leaving a balance on hand of $5.95." Meadows, 
their ministerial beneficiary, was still aided at the 
Howard. 

Aluch interest \vas taken in the spiritual improve- 
ment of the blacks. The body relieved its pent up feel- 
iugs as to "the morbid philanthropy, and wild and un- 
holy fanaticism of northern and western abolitionists J^ 
The owners of slaves were urged to permit and encour- 
age their servants to attend church worship, and each 
one to eredt on his farm a suitable building, in which 
the blacks might worship. 

In 1847 and 1848, the Choctaw had a remarkably 
strong ministr}^ ; Daniel P. Bastor was pastor at 
Gainesville, Alabama, and Bazil Manly Jr., was at War- 



184 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

saw. In Mississippi, they had S. S. Lattimore, Peter 
Cra.\vforcl, James Barnes, John Micou, Wm. M. Fan'ar, 
Michael Ross, and W. H. Head. A stronger force of 
consecrated intelligence could hardly be found in any of 
our Associations toda3\ 

In 1849, the Choctaw was in full accord with the 
Mississippi Baptist State Convention. It was com- 
posed of thirty' - six churches, which received that year, 
403 members by letter, and by baptism, and had an ag- 
gregate membership of 3,080. The moderators w^ere 
John Micou, from 1840 to 1843; S. S. Lattimore, in 
1844: John Micou, in 1845, 1846, 1847, and 1848; 
and S. S. Lattimore, in 1849. The clerks were B. L. 
Barnes, in 1840; M. Ross, from 1841—1849 inclusive. 

In 1851, the Choctaw began to be interested in the 
Mary Washington College, at Pontotoc. It was in the 
territory' of the Aberdeen, but the Chickasaw, the Co- 
lumbus, the Judson, the Louisville, and the Choctaw, 
were all interested in the institution of learning. It 
had connected with it, in the years of its existence, 
such distinguished men as Martin Ball, W. H. Hol- 
combe, Wm. L. Slack, and H. H. Tucker, of Georgia. 
Pontotoc was the old land office for the Chickasaw 
lands, and was the centre of influence in North Missis - 
sippi in the early days. A member of the Alserdeen As- 
sociation, by the name of Davis, was at the meeting of 
the Choctaw in 1857, representing the Mary Wash- 
ington. A committee of five was raised to report on 
the claims of the institution. The committee on educa- 
tion recommended the recent projection of a college at 
Clinton, the Male Academy at Macon, and "the Fe- 
male College, which some of the Northern Associations 
propose to establish at Pontotoc." The special com- 
mittee on this institution, with S. S. Lattimore as 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 185 

chairman, recommended a connection with the Mary- 
Washington, and advised the appointment often trtis- 
tees to unite with the trustees appointed by other As - 
sociations to forward its interests. For a number of 
3^ears, the school was recommended to the Association 
as w^orth}' of patronage. 

The interest in Domestic Missions was still good in 
the fifties. In 1852, their missionary' rode 1,734 miles, 
preached 140 sermons, and baptized fift^' persons. He 
reported considerable interest in religion among the 
colored people. After meeting all obligations, the 
Board had on hand $48.00. The following 3'ear, O. 
Perkins, and J. White labored for the Board three 
months each, and baptized sixteen persons. 

About this time, the body was being weakened by 
the dismission bA' letter of some of its best churches. 
The Jones Creek, a church in Alabama had left them, 
and in 1854, the old Concord church got a letter of 
dismission. Jas. Barnes had died, and Michael Ross 
had decided to go to Texas. The saddening news of 
the intention of Ross was revealed to the body in 1854. 
The old and the new Choctaw had delighted to honor 
him. He was clerk of the old Choctaw in 1834, twen- 
ty years before the date of his proposed departure from 
their midst, and had been clerk of the new Choctaw 
nearly every session. He \vas their beloved Ezra, the 
scribe. He was first and foremost in all their advanced 
work. The Association expressed regret at their loss 
in suitable resolutions, and extended to him sorrow - 
full^^ the parting hand. Michael Ross was a great 
man. 

But we will notice the strength the Association 
still had in 1855. True, they were losing Lattimore 
also. He was in ill health, but still in the vears of his 



186 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

usefulness. Thej^ parted with him with sincere regret. 
But thcA^ had yet such men as Jesse H. Buck, L. R. 
Barnes, James B, McLelland, Mat hyon, Thomas B. 
Altom, and others. The bod}- was composed of thirty 
churches, with a total membership of 2,359. They con- 
tributed in 1855, for associational missions $386.50, 
for Foreign missions $ 102.00, for Indian missions 
$130.25, for Domestic missions $40.00, and for minutes 
$71.00. Total, $728.75. 

In 1856, all the churches of the Association Avere in 
Alississippi. They were in the counties of Noxubee, 
Oktibbeha, Kemper, and Neshoba ; themajority of them 
in Noxubee, and Kemper. Their principal missionary 
Avork was with the blacks, and at Bigbee vallc}', and 
Pleasant Grove churches. 

The following A-ear, two things disturbed the body. 
J. L. Shuck, the missionary to California, had so far de- 
parted from Baptist usage, and principles as to repre- 
sent a Baptist Association in a Alethodist Conference. 
That was current news at least. But this ^vas of small 
consideration compared with another grievance. S. S. 
Lattimore had been the subject of scurrilous attack, by 
some secular newspaper. The Choctaw had long hon- 
ored him, and much revered him. He was in ver^' fee- 
ble health, and as his step was unsteady, he had been 
accused b^- merciless enemies of drinking. This stirred 
the blood of the Choctaw Baptists. But before the As- 
sociation arose from its labors, the sad ne\vs reached 
them that the gifted Lattimore was dead. A good re- 
port was Avritten, expressive of their sorrow. As to 
the life, and death of this great orator, much has been 
written in the history- of the Aberdeen Association. 
Suffice it here to say that in discursive thought he has 
had few equals among our brethren, and no superiors. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 187 

In 1859, their interest in education and missions 
was increased by the presence of Martin Ball. He also 
represented the Mississippi Baptist, and received for 
that paper $102.00 in advance and new subscriptions. 
He addressed the body on domestic and Indian missions, 
and received the amount of $310.00 in pledges, and 
$26.75 in cash. The Executive Board had Thos. B. 
Altoni and Isaac White in the field, doing missionary- 
and colportage ^vork. F. M. Haj-nes had been kept at 
Alississippi College. His record at college had been 
satisfacton*'. A balance of $47.30 was in the treasur3' 
to the credit of ministerial education. The total col- 
lections for the associational year amounted to 
$1,157.00. 

In 1860, another fruitless effort was made to gath- 
er some of the histor3^ of the bod3^ One cannot but 
Avish that they had succeeded in some of their efforts at 
compiling their history. It ma3^ not be out of place to 
say that their history' in associational missions, up to 
the Civil War was not equalled b\^ any other Associa - 
tion in the State. Thej" raised more money 3'earh' for 
this purpose, and oftener had surjDluses in their treas- 
ur^^ than anj^ similiar bod^^ in the State. And they 
were all the while in strict accord with the organized 
work. They readih' 3'ielded to the persuasive elo- 
quence of Barnes, Ross, Farrar, Lvon, Taylor, Latti- 
more, Micou, and such men, the peers of whom are dif- 
ficult to find. 

When the Choctaw met in 1861, the Civil War was 
a cruel realit3^ The entire South was in a feverish ex- 
citement. The mature men were enlisting in the arm3'. 
Ver3' little could be done in religious work at home. 
The hearts of the aged fathers, of the sisters, wives, 
and mothers were with their loved ones on the tented 



188 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

field. Church work was, in a great measure ^spended. 
But the Choctaw Association, as many others, made 
an effort to hold its annual meetings without a chasm 
of years between them. L. R. Barnes, Jas. B. McLel- 
land, and others were faithful in the discharge of their 
duty to the body. 

In 1861, the introductory sermon was preached by 
the young minister they had supported at Mississippi 
College for a number of years. His text was, "How 
much owest thou unto m}- Lord ?"' Another fine 
preacher, whom they heard gladly, was G. H. Martin. 
He offered a resolution requesting the churches to say 
whether they should continue to do their work through 
the Executive Board. Before the next meeting of the 
Association, the young Haynes, gifted and educated, 
had at least paid the debt of nature, and the eloquent 
Martin was where human plans are not needed. The 
Choctaw mourned their loss, and spoke of their com- 
mon sorrow when they met in 1862. 

In 1861, the Association settles all its endebtedness 
before the sullen war clouds should claim all their at- 
tention. The}' placed themselves as debtors to their 
country. The reports that were placed before the body 
were little more than incoherent speech. They had no 
point, they had no aim. They were iDut the perform- 
ance of a perfunctory duty. Some effort was made in 
1861 arid 1862 to do missionary work for the soldiers, 
but it was not eas^' to reach the object at which they 
aimed. He who is accustomed to be busy can not sit 
and hold his hands. Effort gives some relief to him, 
who wishes to aid in a good cause. 

In 1864, one church had gone to another Associa- 
tion, and six \vere not represented at the meeting of 
the Association. Nearly all the churches that compos- 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 189 

ed the body had only one or two messengers at the 
meeting. The churches reported an aggregate of eightj^- 
nine baptisms. The treasurer's report was excessive. 
He reported as collected $1,679.66, butit was Confed- 
erate mone^^, $50.00 of which was just sufficient to 
purchase a hat. The committee reporting on associa- 
tional missions, felt that such a performance was little 
less than a force. The Executive Board found an outlet 
for the flow of its benevolence through the Domestic 
Board at Marion, Alabama. They sent to that Board 
$1,771.83 to support W. C. Buck as missionary to the 
soldiers. 

The Civil War left our State in the condition of a 
citA' swept by a cyclone. The debris must be removed 
before building could be done. The conditions of life 
were changed, and new^ lines of effort must be project- 
ed. But the universal financial ruin made men feel the 
bracing eftect of fellowship in suffering, and our people, 
by a slow process, began to regain their energies, and 
adopt methods of work. 

It is observable that the Cho(?taw Association was, 
through its existence to 1866, in hearty' co-operation 
with the Mississippi Baptist State Convention. In 
that year, it felt free to make suggestions to the Con- 
vention, as to the handling of funds for the Bible cause, 
and appointed as delegates to the Convention, James 
B. AlcLelland, Eugene Strode, J. H. Buck, E. Deupree, 
and Thomas J. Deupree. 

The warm esteem the body held for Soldiers" Or- 
phans Home, at Lauderdale Springs, was substantiated 
in 1866. On Sunday during the Association, a collect- 
ion was taken for the Home, amounting to $42.70. 
The report of the treasurer shows that they gave the 
Home, that 3'ear, $202.15. The report on Sunday 



190 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

scliools showed little interest in this line of work. The 
Macon church alone is commended for having a good 
Sunday school. 

Efforts were made in 1866 to revive the Chocftaw 
Collegiate Institute for the benefit of young men having 
the ministrj^ in view. A committee was appointed in 
its interest, that suggested the filling of the vacancies 
in the board of trustees, but we hear no more of that 
institution of learning. 

In 1867, W. M. Farrar \vas agent for the orphans' 
home. He was at the Association, and took a collect- 
ion for that object on Sunday, amounting to $18.00. 
They contributed that year to the Home $103.40. The 
report on Foreign inissions closed with this resolution : 

*' Resolved, That the churches composing this As- 
sociation be requested to do all they can for the sup- 
port of Foreign Missions, as well as for the various in- 
terests nearer home." 

The report on Sunday schools spoke of only two 
Sunday schools in the Association, and the report on 
associational missions declared that there was no ne - 
cessity that the Executive Board should meet, as there 
was nothing for it to do, and no funds to control or 
appropriate. This collapsed condition of the Choctaw 
was not anomalous. Many of the best Associations in 
the State were in a ^vorse condition in the sixties. 

We find some verv^ familiar names in the minutes of 
1868. H. D. White preached the introductory sermon. 
No one of our ministers used to better effect his natural 
gifts than Henry White. He was one of the apostles to 
the Delta, along with R. A, Cohron, and V. H. Nelson. 
W. S. Webb Avas with them, as a representative from 
the Columbus Association. J. B. Hamberlin ^vas with 
them, representing the Baptist Female School at Me- 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 191 

ridian, and Tom Jeff Deupree was a member of the 
body. 

Among the reports of committees of that 3^ear we 
must notice some things said of Sunday schools. It 
was said that there was a general awakening through- 
out the land on the subject. The last State Conven- 
tion organized a Sunday school Convention for the 
State at large, but nothing is said of any Sunday 
schools in the Association. The treasurer's report was 
feeble, but it showed that he had received $130.80 for 
various objects. 

In 1869, L. C. Kellis, now of Texas, was elected 
clerk and treasurer of the bod3\ He was for a time a 
student in Mississippi College, partly by the kind con- 
sideration of the Choctaw Association. One of the re- 
freshing features of this meeting was the presence of 
Thos. C. Teasdale. He was then representing the 
Southern Sunda^^ school Board. He addressed them on 
his cause, and raised $57.00 for the Sunday school 
w^ork. Thos. S. Gathright, president of the Board o 
Trustees of the Orphans' Home, was with them, and 
raised $17.40 in cash, and got a subcription of $29.50. 
A resolution vi^as passed discountenancing a Baptist 
w^ho would assist in establishing a drinking saloon. 
All these actions showed the slowly returning life of the 
body. 

In the following year, R. E. Melvin was with them 
as "a licentiate of our Faith and Order.'' R. E. Melvin 
w^as one of the most pointed and original men we have 
had since the Civil War. H. J. Vanlandingham was 
also at that meeting of the bod\^ He is a thorough 
business man, and wise in council. Vanlandingli^m 
was the author of this resolution : 

'^Resolved, That this Association insti'uct our Ex - 



192 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

ecutive Board to employ a missionary to ride all his 
time, and preach the gospel throughout the destitute 
portions of the same." 

The resolution had the appearance of business. H, 
D. White had been in the field as missionary, and, as 
might have been expected, brought things to pass Avith 
astonishing rapidity-. He said his success exceeded his 
most sanguine expectations. He traveled 3,400 miles, 
and labored incessantly in the Sunday' school work. 
He sold $2,000.00 of religious literature. He realized 
$269.00 with $590.00 profit on books sold by sub- 
sription, which were not delivered at that time. This 
sounds like the old reports made before the Association 
on their local work. That the various lines of work 
pursued by the Association may be considered con- 
nectedh', the topical plan of investigation will be used 
in considering the history of this Association from 1870 
to 1878. 

It does not appear that this organization was ever 
especiallj' a(5live in the temperance reform. In 1871, it 
was recommended that the churches prohibit their 
members from selling intoxicants, or giving any encour- 
agement to the establishment of retailing saloons. The 
report of 1874 closed with this sentence, "We, there- 
fore, recommend that all Baptists in the bounds of this 
Association discountenance the manufacture, sale, and 
use as a beverage, of all spirituous or malt liquors, wine or 
cider.'" The Association did not engage in the prohibi- 
tion movement. The reports on publications usually 
recommended Ford's Christian Repository, The Baptist^ 
of Memphis, and, after the spring of 1877, The Baptist 
Record, along with The Southern Baptist. 

^ The Cho(5law Association was an unvar3'ing friend 
of the Orphans' Home. It was near them, and appeal- 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 198 

ed to the most gciicM'ous sentimentvS of the soul. In 
1871, it was recominended that every chiirch in the un-- 
ion aid in the support of the orphans, and ever^^ one to 
solicit subscriptions to the Orphans' Home Banner. In 

1873, the Superintendant of the Home was requested 
to publish in the Banner a brief statement of the finan- 
cial condition of the institution, and the facts as to the 
general management of affairs; In 1873, the last re- 
port was made on the Orphanage. It was very cheer- 
ful. The Home bid fair to Ijecome soon self-supporting. 
Alas, the absence of discomfort was 1)ut the precursor 
of death ! 

The Chodtaw showed more real interest in Sunday 
schools soon after the re -organization of the body (in 
1840), than at i\r\\ time afterward. In 1871, it was 
said, "We are happ\' to find many zealous laborers in 
the Sunday school field," but we are not told of a sin- 
gle Sunday school in the Association. Thomas Ha^nies 
w^rote the report in 1873. He appears to have been an 
ardent Sunday school worker, and loved the work. In 

1874, there was no report. In 1875, R. E. Melvin 
wrote the report. He recommended that an effort be 
made to have a Sunday school in each church, and that 
the pastors preach once a year on the subject. Like re- 
ports were made, year by year, but no information is 
given as to the Sunday schools of the body. 

The Cho6law kept in touch with the educational 
w^brk of the State Convention. Yefirly the College was 
recommended as w^orthy of their patronage, and sup- 
port. W. H. McGee wiis, by their genero.sity, kept in 
Mississippi College until he was graduated from that 
institution of learning. 

Though this Association Wcis in close sympathy 
with the Baptist State Convention, to 1878, we do not 



194 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

find any reports on State Missions. They did their 
own associational vv^ork through their Executive Board. 
In 1871, G. Gay was their missionary. His work was 
highly appreciated bj^ the Board. The following 
year, their work w^as in a collapsed condition, but in 
1874, the^' had W. H. McGee to labor for them during 
his vacation. He received $149.90 from the churches 
and from private individuals. He made a cheerful re- 
port to their Board. He was employed for two months 
the following j^ear, but was not so successful in his la- 
bors. The work done by them for the next three years 
was small, and devoid of large results. 

It is observable th^it the Choctaw did not regain 
its efficiency as a working body to the end of this pe- 
riod. It had in it many good men, but lost some of its 
strongest churches, which went to other Associations 
in the passing years. 

The officers from 18G0 to 1878 were, in 1860, L. R. 
Barnes moderator, and James B. McLelland clerk. 
They were elefted in 1861. 1862, and 1863. In 1864, 
Barnes was elected moderator, and J. M. Nicholson 
clerk. In 1865 and 1866, Barnes and McLelland were 
elected. In 1867, Thos. B. Altom was elected modera- 
tor, and McLelland clerk. In 1868, Edwin Page was 
moderator, and McLelland clerk. In 1869, Jesse H. 
Buck was moderator, and L. C. Kellis clerk. In 1870, 
1871, 1872, and 1873, they held the same positions. 
In 1874, J. H. Buck was moderator, and H. D. White 
clerk. In 1875, J. M. Nicholson was moderator, and 
H. D. White clerk. In 1876, they were re -elected. In 
1877, G. Gay was moderator, and E. A. Pace clerk. 
They were re-elected in 1878. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 195 



CHAPTER VII. 

LIBERTY ASSOCIATION. 

If the histoiy of thisbodA^ has been preserved, it has 
been impossible for the writer to procure the fadts. 
This is to be deeply deplored, as it is an old institution 
with an honorable record. 

According to Benedict, this Association was formed 
in 1837. It is in eastern central, Mississippi, east from 
Meridian. It was constituted of churches of the origi- 
nal Choctaw Association. Its early history was close- 
ly associated with the existing Choctaw Association. 
Fraternal relations between the two bodies were close, 
but not alwa^'S peaceful. 

We find, that in 1890, there were seventeen churches 
in 'the union, with an aggregate memljership of 917. 
There were, at that time, four churches of Alabama in 
the Association. The largest church in the body w^as 
the BethanA', a Mississippi church. It is known that 
in 1890, and the two following years, B. E. Lucas was 
moderator. In 1890, J. W. Ellis was clerk, and treasu- 
rer. In 1891, and 1892, John M. Carmichael wasclerk 
and treasurer. 

The pastors of the churches in 1890 were, G. A. 
Davis, J. D. vStone, J. F. Bynum, E. A. Clarke, J. M. 
Sammons, H. A. Pickard, D.V. Riley, L.J. Harrington, 
G. W. Fagan, and W. West. The missionary contribu- 
tions of the churches were, to Foreign missions $36.95, 



196 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

to Home missions $22.20, and to the General Associa- 
tion $3.55. 

The Association was, about that time, sustaining 
in part, the work of the State Convention, and in part, 
the benevolences of the General Association, of south- 
east Mississippi. In 1891, the report on Finance show- 
ed $5.25 contributed to State missions of the Conven- 
tion, and $4.70. to Indian missions, of the General 
Association. 

In 1893, their Mission Board had D. V. Riley em- 
ployed as associational missionary "to arouse the 
churches to more earnest work in the way of missions, 
and Sunday schools, and to do colportage work." He 
organized several Sunday- schools, and colledted some 
money for missionary purposes. 

The following historical table shov^-s the places of 
the meetings of the Liberty Association from its first 
annual meeting in 1838 to 1893, the moderators of the 
bod}', and clerks, together Avith the names of the minis- 
ters who preached the introdu(?bor3' sermons. 



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HISTORY OF MIvSSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 199 



CHAPTER VIII. 

ZION ASSOCIATION. 

Much of the early histoi-3^ of the Zion' Association 
rests in obscurity, if not in oblivion. It is slighth- con- 
fusing to the historian to approach it. He instindlively 
feels that surely some where are facts that would l^e of 
great value to the history of the institution. The 
thought of attempting to write the history of a people, 
with many 3'ears of their beginnings veiled from the 
eye, not only discourages effort, but also baffles one 
painfully at the beginning of what would, otherwise, 
be a delightful task. 

The Zion Association has been an active, and usefid 
institution. It has grown from vsmall proportions to a 
body of great size, and fine energy. It was constituted 
in 1835 of churches in the counties of Chc6taw% and 
Chickasaw, according to the county divisions of that 
day. That part of our State was settled early by a 
thrifty, moral, and religious people, and has to this 
good day the record of sobriety, and honesty. 

Among the original churchCvSi of the. body were Fel- 
lowship chuich, near Belle Fontaine, then in Chocta\v, 
but now in Webster county, the Bethany church, a lit- 
tle further north, the church to which J. T. Fox belong- 
ed, in the fifties, and perhaps the Hays Creek chui'ch, 
though some doubt gathers about this fact. The Asso- 
ciation was strengthened after the dissolution of the 



"200 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

old Yazoo Association bA' the addition of the Carroll^ 
ton church. 

The first annual meetin<> of the Zion Association 
was held with the Fellowship church, October 9, 1836. 
M. White was moderator, and Thomas Fox clerk. 
Oeorge Stovall, later of the I*rairie Grove church in the 
Columbus Association, was amoni? the early ministers 
of the body. The names of J. Thomas, R. M. Cunny, 
and G. W. HoflTman also appear in early records of the 
doings of the body. 

The second annual gjitherini^" ^vas held Avith the 
Bethlehem church, on Saturday l)efore the fourth Sun- 
day in September, 1S37. At that time the fraternity 
was weak. There were seven churches in the Associa- 
tion, which had; a total membershi]) of 204 males and 
females, or less than an average of twenty members to 
a church. Some of these seven cluirches, l^eyond ques- 
tion, had a much. smaller mend)ership than this general 
average. The rapid growth of the Association is evi- 
dent from what we. learn of some of the churches a few 
A'cars later, in less than a decade. In lS46,the Middle- 
ton church had 20n members, the Bethany 164, Hays 
•Creek 135, and Carrollton church 103. 

Two causes niiiy l)e assigned for this rapid increase 
<)f the memlx-rslii]) of the churches, if not three. The 
influx of population is one. Many families were com- 
ing to our State, at th^it time, and especially to that 
part of our common\vealtli. Tlie churches, inany of 
them in the State/at that time, had large ingatherings 
at revivals, but perhfvps the most potent cause Avas the 
missionary spirit that animated the Zion Association. 
In 1S46, these resolutions were adopted by them: 

''Resolvech' That it is the duty of this Association 
to supply everv^destitute' place within its boimds with 
a preached gospel: '■ 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 201 

Resolved, therefore, That a central Executive 
Committee be appointed to make inquirv^ in relation 
to the destitution within the bounds of the Association, 
to take charge of all its funds pledged for its supply, 
and to employ one or more missionaries whenever the 
funds on hand will justify it, which missionaries shall 
report to the next Association." 

The Wake Forest church, which v^^as in the Zion 
Association in 1858, went into the Columbus Associa- 
tion in 1846, It was represented in the meeting of the 
Columbus Association, that year by Robert Quinn, A. 
]. Franklin, and J. P. Woodson. This church was not 
in theColumbus Association after 1848, and must have 
transferred its membership to the Zion Association a - 
bout that time. In 1848, J. R. Lowrie, of one of the 
western churches of the Zion Association, was their 
messenger to the Columbus Association. 

In 1847, the Association met with the Columbia 
church, Choctaw covinty, and, in 1848, at P^leasant 
Grove church, on September 30th, and Avas in session 
until October the second. In 1848, O. Echols was 
moderator, and A.B. Hicks clerk. The institution had 
in it tw^enty-eight churches ^vith an aggregate member- 
ship of 1,592. 195 were bji])tizefl into the fellowship of 
the churches. On the Sunday eml^rticed in their meet- 
ing, a collection was taken up for Foreign Missions of 
$24.90. There was on hand for their associational mis- 
sions, the sum of $57.00 tor the ensuing year. Salem 
church, Carroll county, enjoyed a fine revival that 
3^ear, and had twenty-nine additions by baptism. The 
Middleton church completed a good house of worship. 
The church had two hundred members. The session of 
1849 was held with the Salem church, nine miles 
south of Middleton, on Friday- before the first Sunday 
in October, 1849. It was a pleasant session. 



202 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

• In November, 1851, delegates from several of the 
churches, composing the Zion Association, met at old 
Shongalo church to consult as to the advisability of 
forming a new Association of churches in the western 
limits of the Zion Association, w^hich is nowknow^n as 
the Yazoo Association. These churches going out of 
the Zion Association were Middleton, Sharon, County 
Line, Old Salem, Bethlehem, New Salem, Shongalo, and 
Ebenezer. These were nearly all strong churches, and 
their going out weakened the fraternit3', but did not 
discourage it, nor destroy its vitality or recuperative 
power. 

In the fifties, revivals in the churches of the Zion As- 
sociation were frequent, and extensive. We learn that 
in 1857, Macedonia church had twelve additions by 
baptism, Midway five, Fellowship twenty-five, and 
Greensboro fourteen. That year the Association gave 
$140.00 to missions. Revivals of grace in the heart, 
and missionary' endeavor have ever gone hand in hand 
since the apostolic age, and this will ever be true. 

It was in 1857 that the Zion Association also took 
positive stand against the seductive evil of strong 
drink. It passed ringing resolutions against the excess- 
ive use of intoxicating drinks. All of our old Associa- 
tions have put themselves on record in their opposition 
to the liquor consumption, and trafl!ic. The coming 
generations will need but to refer to the old minutes of 
of our Associations to find what Mississippi Baptists 
have thought about the liquor traffic 

The twenty- - second session of the Zion Association 
was held with the Greensboro church, beginning Sep - 
tember 18, 1858. There were then twenty-four church- 
es in the Association, with an aggregate membership 
of 1,651. The churches received that year, by baptism, 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 203 

169 members. The pastors of the churches were, J. R, 
Golding, their moderator, J. C. Butts, J. T. Fox, W. W. 
Finley, C. C. Lee, Joseph Winter, R. W. Thompson, J. 
Martin, G. Woodruff, B. Watson, J. T.Johnson, and J. 
M. Reid. 

They were honored at that meeting of the body 
wnth the presence of EHjah Smith, Silas Dobbs, Moses 
Cranberry, A. C. Caperton, and A. W. Chambhss. A. 
W. Chambhss preached on the Lord's day morning in 
the Methodist church, and A. C. Caperton in the Bap- 
tist church at the same hour. They had crowded 
houses, and received fixed attention. 

The churches of the union were then in a healthy 
condition. As an evidence of this fa6l, the}- had a net 
gain in membership that year, b^^ baptism, and letter, 
of 321 members. The report on Obituaries was read by 
Isham P. Trotter, father of LP Trotter, pastor at Hat- 
tiesburg, and Walter Trotter, of Winona. He had to 
report the death of A. B. Hicks. A. B. Hicks was an 
able, and efficient preacher, and correct, and upright in 
his dealings with others. His influence was salutar}', 
and his loss felt b}^ the Association' It is said that he 
was a logical thinker, and a bold debater. 

The session of 1859 was held with the Double 
Springs church, now^ in the Chester Association. The 
meeting was on Saturday before the third Sunday in 
September. After that meeting we know but little of 
the doings of the Zion Association, until 1869. But 
what was accomplished by our Association in that 
period of time was of little note beyond the accessions 
to the churches. The deleterious effect of the Civil War 
left all missionary operations in a collapsed condition, 
from which there was no recovery until about 1870. 

By comparing the statistics of 1858, and 1869, we 



204 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

see that the growth of the Zion Association in churches, 
and members of churches was amazing. In 1858, as we 
have seen, there were twenty-four churches in the insti- 
tution which had an aggregate membership of 1,651. 
In 1869, there were thirty-three churches in the body, 
with a total membership of 3,161. This increase at 
that time bordered on the marvelous. 

In 1869, G. L.Jennings was chosen moderator, T. 
B. Dalton clerk, and J. J. Fox treasurer. W. L. Coch- 
ran preached the introductory sermon. The Montpel- 
ier church was received from the Aberdeen Association. 
R. \V. Thompson was received as a messenger from the 
Aberdeen Association, A. H. Booth from the Yazoo, 
and Robinson Sansing from the Columbus. In that 
year unusual interest was shown by them in Ministerial 
education. They resolved to appoint an executive com- 
mittee on this benevolence, and requested the pastors, 
delegates, and members of the churches to duly consider 
this subject, and make an effort to get contributions 
for it to be j)aid by the first of January or March, 1870. 
The executive committee consisted of G. L. Jennings, T. 
H. Wilson, J. T. Fox, and Allen Moore. W. T. Hicks 
and Daniel E. Spencer were commended by the commit- 
tee on Ministerial Education, as ministers seeking an 
education, worthy of the sympathy find support of the 
Association. 

The death of J. K. Golding, one of the former mod- 
erators of the Association, was reported. He was a 
native of South Carolina. He Avas among the first 
settlers of Choctaw county, after the Indians were re- 
moved. He at first connected himself with the old 
Bethany- church, but was later in the Philadelphia 
church. By this church he was ordained to the full 
work of the ministry. He had been pastor of a num- 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 205 

ber of churches in the Association; and is said to have 
been an earnest, zealous, devoted, and beloved minister. 

The delegates from the churches assembled at Har- 
mony church, in Choctaw county, September 17, 1870, 
in the thirty -fifth annual session of the body. G. L. 
Jenning was eledled moderator, J. P. Thompson clerk, 
and T. J.- Moore treasurer. Three churches were re - 
ceived into the union. Mount Comfort, Concord, and 
Oak Grove. The messengers from other Associations 
were T. C. Atkins, of the Louisville, A. H. Booth, of 
the Yazoo, J. G. Hall, of the Yalobusha, and J. B. 
GambrcU, of the Columbus. The presence of J. G. Hall, 
of Grenada, secured the commendation of the Emma 
Mercer Institute, and J. B. Gambrell then of West 
Point, was doul)tless instrumental in having the Bap- 
tist Female Seminary of that place incorporated in the 
same resolution. 

At that time their interest on Ministerial education 
w^as abounding. They had three young ministers pre- 
paring for their life's work, whom they wished to aid 
in securing a collegiate education. The following year, 
more than a page of their minutes was covered with 
reference to this benevolence. After the committee 
on this subject reported, contributions wereVeceived for 
it in cash, and pledges, by churches, and amounting to 
$111.00. The Executive committee reported $179.10, 
as already received for Ministerial education. It was 
suggested that they have an Executive Board on Minis- 
terial education to act in concert with the Board of the 
Baptist State Convention. 

The negroes in their churches had to this date re- 
mained with the whites. It was decided that in 1870, 
it would be well to let them meet to themselves, and 
transact their own business, and when sufficiently in- 



206 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

formed to be organized into separate churches. That 
mode of proceeding was inevitable, and had long before 
been adopted in the parts of the State, where the blacks 
w^ere at all numerous. They were destined to be a peo- 
ple to themselves, socially and religiousW. 

The following resolution on Foreign missions was 
adopted in 1870: 

''Resolved, That this Association recommend to 
the churches to appoint one meeting in each ^^ear for 
collection for Foreign missions, which be sent \vith 
money for minutes, and be specified in letter.'' The fol- 
lowing 3'ear, the committee on finance reported $64.40 
received for Foreign missions, which showed a growing 
interest in the work in Foreign fields. 

In 1874, there were fort^'-four churches in the fra- 
ternity, \vith a total membership of 3,216. They re- 
ceived that 3'ear, 373 In- baptism, and 211 by letter. 
There were tvventA'-four ordained ministers in their 
churches, and eight licentiates. The total receipts of 
the committee on finance were $186.30. 

The committee on Publications recommended The 
Baptist of "Memphis, The Foreign Mission Journal, and 
the Orphan's Home Banner. M. P. Lowrey ofour State 
was ably editing the Alississppi department of The Bap- 
tist. Reports were also made by committees on Foreign 
missions, Domestic missions, Orphan's Home, Minis- 
terial education, Sunday schools, Finance, Nomina- 
tions, and preaching. 

The forty-first annual session was held with the Pleas- 
ant Grove church in ^Montgomery county. J. T. Fox 
w^as ele(5ted moderator, J. P. Thompson clerk, and J. T. 
Moore treasurer. M. T. Martin was with them in the 
interest of the endowment of Mississippi College, and 
secured some promissory- notes. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 207 

The reports of the committees on missions were be- 
coming more pointed ; the writers were concluding 
them with recommendations to the Association. In 
this year, it was recommended that each church have 
a committee of two efficient members to collect money 
for missions, to be sent to the treasurer of the Associa - 
tion, to be appropriated to mission purposes. It was 
recommended, also, that one or more of the members of 
each church ])ledge themselves to make an effort to 
raise money for State missions, and send it to T. J. 
Walne, of Vicksburg. 

Their work in Sunday schools appears to have been 
to them, in a very unsatisfactory^ condition. The small 
interest taken by the churches in Sunday schools was 
lamented. Not one church of the twenty - nine reported 
a prosperous Sunday school. In 1880, the committee 
on Sunday schools began the report in this language : 
"Your committee adopt the language of the report for 
last year, and say that Sunday school reports have 
done but little good, and ^ve are almost ready to rec- 
ommend to the Association to drop the subject from 
the minutes." 

The session of 1877 was held with the Pleasant 
Grove church, in Chickasaw county. The moderator 
and clerk of the previous session w^ere re-eledted, and 
T. N. Ross chosen treasurer. Some of the ministers in 
their churches v^'ere a source of annoyance to the Asso- 
ciation. It appears that if their prayer was for more 
ministers, it was for more like their best. The Double 
Springs church was called to account for refusing "to 
deal" with a minister, one of its members, for unchris- 
tian conduct, and a committee of three was asked of 
the Association, the dut^- of which was to visit the 
churches, and ascertain why a minister should hold 



208 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

authority to preach \vhen nobody wished to hear him. 
The concealed thought was that if God calls a man to 
preach he calls men to hear his message. They had 
nineteen ordained ministers, and four licentiates. 

Their forty -fourth annual session was held with 
the Spring Hill church in Calhoun county. J. P. 
Thompson was elected moderator, J. A. Cox clerk, and 
H. H. Hightower treasurer. 

The spiritual condition of the churches was report- 
ed, on an average, as good. Wake Forest had received 
by baptism in the Associational year, ten. Pleasant 
Grove fifteen. Mount Pleasant seventeen, Hebron eight- 
teen, and Bethel twent3'-eight. Dissension had arisen in 
the Spring Hill church, (the church with which the\' 
Avere meeting), as to the final settlement of the estate 
of J. M. vSpencer, by the trustees, N. A. Burson, andB. 
Delashmet. A minority of the church appealed to the 
Association for council in the matter. A good commit- 
tee was raised to consider the appeal, which reported 
that the matter was not in a condition to be taken up 
by the Association, but suggested that the church get 
council from other churches to aid in the settlement of 
the difficulty 

In 1880, there were thirty-one churches in the fra- 
ternity' with an aggregate membership of 2, 776. The 
body was in numerical strength, a giant. The churches 
reported that year in their letters to the Association 
as contributed to Home missions $20.85, and to For- 
eign missions $135.65. It was resolved that the church- 
es be requested to make January 1881, a "mission 
month," and take up collections, for missions in that 
month. 

In the decade between 1880 and 1890, reports were 
made annuallv on SundaA' schools, to what effect we 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 



209 



shall see. In 1881, it was recommended that each 
church in the Association organize a Sunday school, 
and that the p istors bring the matter before their res - 
pective churches, and yet, in the report on Sunday 
schools the next year, it is said, "It is a deplorable fact, 
that of all the churches represented at this meeting of 
our Association, but one has reported as having a Sun- 
day school in operation. The following year matters 
were no better. 

In 1887, two churches reported amounts expended 
by the Sunday schools, Bethany church reported 
$43.95, and New Hope $10.00, but in the report of the 
committee on Sunday schools, we are not favored with 
a list of the churches having schools. The following 
year their report was more cheerful. It began thus : 
"We are glad to believe that the Sunday school work is 
enlarging, that the number of schools is increasing, and 
the \vork in general is becoming more efficient." Nearly 
every year a report was read on prohibition to keep 
their pos' tion on the subject of the liquor traffic well de- 
fined, that the world might know where they stood. 
In the report of 1884, there is a preamble, and resolu- 
tion, the language of which cannot be mistaken, and 
w^hich speaks well for the body. It is this : 

"Whereas, The present crisis in the temperance re- 
form, demands a special and outspoken avowal of our 
principles and position, therefore. Resolved, That as 
Baptists of Mississippi, and as the body known as the 
Zion Baptist Association, we propose to place ourselves 
on record on this subject,'' and then "we raise our un- 
compromising protest against the use, manufacture, or 
sale of intoxicating liquors as a beverage." 

Their reports on Publications for this decade, are 
about as we find the reports on this subject in other 



210 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTIST?. 

Associations. Our Baptist State papers, the Foreign 
Mission Journal, and Kind Words, were invariably 
recommended to the churches as safe, sound, and profit- 
able reading, and now and then The Baptist, of Mem - 
phis, Ford's Chistian Respository, and The Argus 
Avere commended. 

Their reports on Ministerial education were at no 
time extravagant, nor compressed, but spoke of the 
subject as an aid to proficiency in the ministry-, and 
nothing more. Mississippi College, usuall3^ called 
Clinton college, or the college at Clinton, received their 
honest approval and warm endorsement, with a good 
support. In the report of 1883, we find sentiments 
that are characteristic of their reports on the sulDJect, 
and we give from it the following excerpt: "Our own 
Baptist college at Clinton, is doing a good work. * * * 
One of the chief designs of Mississippi College is to pro- 
mote ministerial education. Thirt\^ - seven young min- 
isters were at the college last session, one of w^hom re - 
sides in the bounds of this Association. We expect an- 
other next session, Brother Willie Thompson, who has 
been licensed to preach." 

In 1881, in the report on missions, it was said that 
nearh^ all the territory- in the bounds of the Zion Asso- 
ciation was supplied with preaching, but the calls of the 
State Mission Board, and the Foreign Mission Board, 
for help should be heeded, and every church was asked 
to contribute something for missions. The following 
3^ear, the committee on finance handled $47.30 for 
Foreign Missions, and $75.25 for State Missions, be- 
sides what the churches had sent directly to the secre- 
taries of the Boards. In 1883, the churches reported 
in their letters to the Association $185.05, as contribu- 
ted to State Missions. We take this language from 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 211 

their report on Home and State Missions of 1884 : 
"Let us see to it that ever3^ member of everj^ church is 
brought into heart^^ co-operation in the great work. 
The motto of our Convention is, every Association, 
every church, every individual member. Let us see to 
it that the Zion Association shall not be slow to fall in 
to line." The churches sent up in 1884 and 1885, 
$184.85 to State Missions, and $63.35 to Foreign 
Missions. The amounts contributed by the churches 
were not every ^-ear equal to these to the close of this 
decade, but showed a commendable interest in the 
great onward movement in missions. 

J. P. Thompson \vas moderator of the hodj from 
1881 to 1885, inclusive; James T. Pryor was their pre- 
siding officer from 1886 to 1889 inclusive, and G. W. 
Dudley in 1890. Their clerks in this decade were J. A. 
Fox from 1881 to 1886 ; W. A. Hurt 1886, and 1887, 
and T. N. Ross in 1889 and 1890. 

Some things must be noticed as peculiar to the 
Zion Association. One is the ministerial efficiency. No 
Association in the State has grown as rapidh^ in num - 
bers as the Zion Association. Their preachers must 
have quietly, under God, done this work. Another pe- 
culiarity of this body is that it occupied the Avaste 
places in its territory without any great noise or dem - 
onstrations at the annual meetings of the Association. 
The churches are nearly all country churches, j^et they 
have not opposed the general work in the State by for- 
mulated opposition, or any kind of open disapproval. 
May the Lord's blessings continue with them. 

In 1891, 208 persons were received into their 
churches by baptism, eighty-seven by letter, and thirty- 
eight bj" restoration. 123 members were dismissed by 
letter, fifty-eight excluded, and thirty died. The total 



212 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

increase of members, therefore, was only thirty-two. 
The total membership of the churches was 2,894. A.B. 
Hicks was moderator in 1891, T. N.Ross clerk, and J.T. 
Pryor treasurer. Nothing of unusual interest was done 
in their annual gathering. They were elected to fill 
these positions respectively for the years, 1892, and 
1893. The session of 1893 was held with the Pleasant 
Grove church in Chickasaw count^^, and in 1894 with 
Sabougla church. In 1893, there were thirtj^-eight 
churches in the Zion Association which had an aggre- 
gate membership of 3,118 persons. Of their Sunday 
school Convention of 1893, Baily Hardin was president, 
andL. T. Burns secretar3\ The meeting was held with 
the Eupora church. Only six churches were represented 
by delegates, but four more churches w^ere received in- 
to the body. A number of papers were read on topics 
relating to the Sunday" school work. The session of 
1894 was to be held with the Hopewell church. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 213 



CHAPTER IX. 

COLUMBUS ASSOCIATION. 
BY L. S. FOSTER. 

The Columbus Baptist Association is a large and in- 
fluential body, the territory of which is embraced with- 
in several counties in east Mississippi, with small por- 
tions of counties in west Alabama. It derives its name 
from Columbus, the principal city within its bounds. 
Although the minutes of the first three meetings are 
lost, it is stated by William Halbert, who was present 
at the organization, that "the Association was organ- 
ized at Mount Zion church, Lowndes count}^ Mississip- 
pi, on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday before, and the 
fourth Lord's day in November, 1838, with the follow- 
ing churches : Oak Grove, Providence, Mount Zion, 
South Carolina, Columbus, and Lebanon," There ap- 
pears a report in the minutes of a subsequent session, 
1859, copied from "the first minutes of the Association, 
in 1838" stating the reasons for its formation : 

"Your committee appointed to state the reasons 
w^hy we withdrew by a letter of dismission from the 
Buttehatchie Association, beg leave to report : 

"First, Because the territorial limits of the Associ- 
ation were too extended for the delegates to meet to - 
gether with convenience. 

"Second, Because the churches were unequally rep- 
resented, each church being entitled to send three dele - 
gate s without regard to its number of members ; conse' 



214 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

quently the churches in the southern part of the Asso - 
ciation, having a large majority of members, perceived 
that they did not occupy equal ground ; but that the 
minority churches had a controling influence which we 
could not conceive was equitable. 

^^ Third, Because a regular Baptist church petition- 
ing membership was reje(5ted on account of claiming 
the right of having a Sunday school, or joining a tem- 
perance society if she chose to do so. This appeared 
too much like destroying the independence of the 
churches, and taking away their ke3^s. 

'^Fourth, Because it was apparent that a diversity 
of sentiment prevailed, tending to destroy that har- 
mony of feeling which is essential to the happiness and 
prosperity of associated Christians. 

"■Fifth, Because in the formation of a new Associa- 
tion, we had in view still to follow the old land -marks 
of the Baptist denomination as regards one faith, and 
to be liberal in our views in regard to the missionary 
efforts of the day. 

^' Sixth, Because we could not conceive that it was 
in accordance with the republican principles of our de- 
nomination for each church, regardless of the number 
of its members, to be represented by the same number 
of delegates; thereby- enabling the minorit3^ to govern 
the majority-. 

"Your committee would beg leave further to remark 
that they feel satisfied it is but an act of justice, both 
to this and the Buttehatchie Association, for us to as- 
sign the reasons of our withdrawal. Erroneous im- 
pressions have arisen, and ma^^ probabW increase un - 
less a correct statement of facts be given, which is the 
chief cause of the foregoing explanations. It is not- in- 
tended to wound the feelings or impugn the motives of 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 215 

any person ; nor do we feel less Christian regard for the 
churches from \vhich \ve have withdrawn than we for- 
merly felt. Taking the example of those eminent ser - 
vants of God, Paul and Barnabas, we thought it bet- 
ter to part in peace and fellowship. We are persuaded 
that, when churches differ about what we term non- 
essentials, it is advisable to separate, and let each pur- 
sue that course which he honestly believes to be in ac- 
cordance with the sacred Scriptures ; and whilst we ac- 
knowledge Christian fellowship for our brethren who 
entertain an honest difference of opinion, we think that 
justice, apart from anj' other consideration, will ac- 
cord to us a like sentiment and feeling." 

"Jno. Halbert, Chairman." 

The time of meeting of the Association from its or - 
ganization until 1867 was Saturday before the second 
Lord's day in September. In 1867, the following, off- 
ered by T. G. Sellers, was adopted: '^Resolved, That 
the annual session of this body shall commence on Fri- 
day, at ten o'clock a. m., before the second Sabbath in 
September." The time still continues to be Friday in- 
stead of Saturday. 

At this point maj' be inserted the following, passed 
in 1856 : '^Resolved, That the churches comprising this 
Association be requested to release their pastors from, 
labour during the Associational season. 

As a matter of curious interest, it may be stated 
that in the early years of the Association, the daily ses- 
sions began at sunrise, and much time was given to 
preaching during the sitting of the bod3^ 

The place of meeting in the early years of the Asso- 
ciation was decided somewhat arbitrarily, but in 1867, 
the churches were arranged into three districts, and, by 
resolution, it was decided that its meetings should be 



2l6 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

held alternately in each district, beginning with the first. 
As new churches were received, and as the occasion de- 
manded, they were revised, and the meetings of the body 
have been held in them alternately. In 1879 and 1880 
maps of the Association were prepared and printed on 
the cover of the minutes. 

At each annual session of the Association, corres - 
ponding messengers from other bodies have been wel - 
comed, and messengers have been appointed from this 
to other bodies. Those bodies with which correspond- 
ence has at an3^ time been maintained are the following : 
(1) The Southern Baptist Convention. (2) The 
Mississippi Baptist State Convention. (3) The General 
Association of North Mississippi. (4) Several neigh- 
boring District Associations: Choctaw, Zion, Louis- 
ville Friendship, (now simpler Louisville), Chickasaw, 
Judson, Aberdeen, North River, Yellow Creek, Tusca- 
loosa, Union, Muscle Shoals, Cahawba, Bear Creek, 
and Yalobusha. 

Occasionally additional correspondence has been re- 
ceived : (1) From distant Associations; the Harmony, 
by W. W. Kone; the Mississippi, by J. D. Raspberry; 
the Central, Tennessee, by M. Green. (2) Visitors or a- 
gents for various enterprises : In 1844, M. P. Jewett, 
Howard College, Marion, Alabama. In 1848, C. M. 
Breaker, of the Alabama Baptist. In 1850, J. A. Kem- 
ball, and Andrew Moffatt, of American Indian Mission 
Association. In 1854, E. C. Eager, Clinton College, 
S. W. Woolard, and E. B. Eakin. In 1857, W. B. Wil- 
Hams, American Bible Revision, Louisville, Kentucky. 
In 1858, WilHs Burns and M. Bennett. In 1859, C. E. 
Brame, Greensboro, Alabama, brethren, Poole and El- 
lis, Buttehatchie Association, T. P. Crawford, Shan- 
ghai, China, and J. H. Weatherly, Marion, Alabama. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 217 

In 1860, A. H. Booth and M. T. Sumner, representing 
the two Boards of the Southern Baptist Convention, 
T. H. Scott, Smithville, and E. Rogers, Corinth. In 
1861, M. Crowson and W. M. Jordan. In 1862, A, P. 
Norris, Edgefield, South CaroHna. In 1863, R. M. 
Humphries, Decatur, Alabama. In 1866, R. Holman, 
Marion, Alabama, and J. L. S. Foster, Mobile. In 
1868, S. S. Granberry, Orphans' Home, and J. G. Bur- 
gess, Shannon, and J. B. Hamberlin, Meridian. In 1871, 
A. A. Lomax, Mississippi, College, and T. C. Teasdale, 
Sunday School Board Southern Baptist Convention. 
In 1872, A. D. Trimble, Orphans' Home, and M. T. 
Martin, Mississippi College. In 1873, M. P. Lowrey, 
State Convention, and S. A. Hayden, New Orleans. In 
1875, T. J. Walne, State Mission Board, and J. W. San- 
ford, Centennial Movement. In 1880, D. I. Purser, 
State Evangelist. 

Delegates have always been appointed to represent 
this body in those with which a regular correspondence 
has been maintined, and several times resolutions have 
been adopted, requesting the churches to send as many 
delegates as possible to the State Convention, and 
authorizing any to act as delegates, who are members 
within the Association, and who present a copy of its 
minutes, at the State, or the Southern Baptist, Conven- 
tions, or any other corresponding body. 

In 1845, 1846, and 1847, there was published a let- 
ter of general correspondence, giving an account of the 
representation in this body, of the interest of the meet - 
ing, missionary work, and time, place and preacher of 
next meeting. 

At almost everj^ meeting of the Association, a com- 
mittee on Nominations has been appointed, charged 
with the duty of recommending the place of next meet- 



218 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

ing, the minister to preach introductory and mission- 
ary sermons, the person to write the Circular Letter 
and, in later years, the members ot the Executive Board. 
In the early years of the Association, the minister to 
preach the annual sermon, according to the Rules of De- 
corum, was elected by ballot. This Rule, however, was 
often suspended, and the selection made by the moder- 
ator, or a special committee, and in 1875, it was ex- 
l^unged, and, as alread3' stated, the selection left to 
the committee on Nominations. 

In 1869, a special nomination was made. Upon 
resolution, "T. C. Teasdale was appointed to preach a 
sermon on Restricted Communion as practiced by Bap- 
tist churches, on Saturday night, at the next session of 
this body." At Columbus, in 1870, at the appointed 
hour, this appointment was filled. 

The missionary sermons, of W. Carey Crane, in 
1845, of W. C. Buck, in 1856, and of T. G. vSellers, in 
1872, were requested for publication, by the Associa- 
tion. 

In 1845, the following was passed by the Associa- 
tion: ''Resolved, That it be recommeded to the churches 
to employ the term, 'Bishop' to designate those minis- 
ters who are pastors."' But at the next annual meeting, 
the title was changed by another resolution : "That the 
term, 'Elder' as applied to ministers of the gospel be re- 
adopted instead of the term 'Bishop.'" This contin- 
ued to be the custom as there was no further action on 
the subject. 

It may be mentioned as a matter of curious inter - 
est, that in the old minutes of the Association the ex - 
pression "meeting house" was applied to the church 
building, and "church'" was applied to the organized 
bodA'' of worshippers, while now "church" desigatnes 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 219 

both the building and the membership. On the title 
page of the minutes of 184-1, it is stated that the Asso- 
ciation "convened, agreeably to appointment, in the 
meeting-house^ of the Baptist church in the city of Col- 
umbus.'' 

The committee on Benevolent operations, in the re- 
port in 1845, say: "Since our last annual meeting it 
has pleased the Lord to allov^ a division among the 
Baptists in the United States, upon benevolent opera- 
tions, the reasons for which are generally known, and 
appreciated. It behooves us, therefore, simply to ex- 
press our opinion. We submit the following resolutions : 

"That this Association approve of the formation of 
the Southern Baptist Convention, and that it be recom- 
mended that all monies, intended for Foreign missions, 
hereafter, be forwarded to Archibald Thomas, treasu- 
rer of the Foreign Mission Board, Richmond, Virginia, 
and for Domestic missions, to the Domestic Mission 
Board, Marion, Alabama. 

"That one or more delegates (as the funds contrib- 
uted may hold out), be appointed to represent us in 
the Southern Baptist Convention, at its meeting in 
June next, in Richmond, Virginia." 

• W. C. Crane, and J. C. Keeney were chosen as mes- 
sengers to represent the Association in the Southern 
Baptist Convention, and the payment of the expenses 
of the former, to Richmond, and return, was assumed 
by the Association. The treasurer \vas ordered to "pay 
over all the monies now in hand, or v^^hich may come 
to hand, for Foreign missions, before the session of said 
Convention, to the treasurer of the Board of Foreign 
Missions." 

At the same meeting the following w^as also passed : 
"Resolved, That it be recommended to the Board of 



220 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

managers for Foreign missions, under the direction of 
the Southern Baptist Convention, to take such legal 
measures as w'ill secure in perpetuity to the members of 
said Convention, and their successors, all property, 
such as chapels, mission-houses, printing-presses, which 
have, or may hereafter, come into the hands of mission- 
aries, agents or teachers through funds contributed to 
the Board above mentioned.'' A copy of this resolu- 
tion was sent to Richmond. 

This action, together with the annual correspond - 
ence, clearly indicates the attitude of the Association 
towards the Southern Baptist Convention, audits sub- 
sequent history proves its hearty co-operation with 
that body. 

From its earliest history the Association has co- 
operated in the work of the State Convention. 

In 184-1, it was formalh' determined "that we cor- 
respond with the Mississippi State Convention, com- 
mencing Frida}' before the last Sabbath in May, 1842, 
* * * and that there be appended to these minutes an 
Address of the Convention instead of the Circular 
Letter." 

In 1845: ''Resolved, That this Association ap- 
proves the objects of the Mississippi Baptist Conven- 
tion, and its course in relation to the Southern Organ - 
ization," and in 1846 : "That this Association become 
auxiliar^^ to the Baptist State Convention, and that 
delegates be appointed to represent us at its next ses- 
sion." In 1849, a similar resolution of aid to the Con- 
vention was adopted, also determining to "report an- 
nually all monies raised within our bounds ; likewise 
the amount of missionarv' labor performed under our 
appointment, and that any surplus funds in hand for 
missionary purposes, be sent to the treasurer of the 
Convention." 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 221 

An organization, located at Louisville, Kentucky, 
had for its object, the religious benefit, and evangeliza- 
tion of the Indians. In 1845, the Association passed 
the following resolutions : 

"That the 'American Indian Mission Society' is en- 
titled to our pra3'ers, and donations, and that it be 
recommended to our churches to contribute of both 
prayer, and money to its support. 

"That it be recommended to said Society, to hold 
its semi-annual ineeting next spring in Columbus, Miss- 
issippi, and that the moderator, and clerk sign this res- 
olution, and forward it \vith a copy of our minutes to 
J. McCoy, corresponding secretary, American Indian 
Mission Society, Louisville, Kentuck3\'" 

The Association has always encouraged the circu - 
lation and reading of the Bible, as the great agent in 
promoting the civilization and the moral elevation of 
the human race. During the existence of the Book De- 
pository, (subsequently mentioned) a supply of Bibles, 
and Testaments was kept on hand and the Scriptures 
were placed in the hands of the people wherever the 
missionary went preaching the gospel. 

In 1841 ; "'Agreed, That we send to the State Con- 
vention, bj^ our messenger, S. McGo\ven, ten dollars 
for printing the Bible in Burmah;'' and in 1842, ten 
dollars more were sent for the same purpose. In 1845, 
the following was passed; ^^Resolved, That until 
Southern organizations for the circulation of Bibles, 
Testaments, and religious books be established, this 
Association recommends to the brethren, the claims of 
the American and Foreign Bible Societ3^ and the Amer- 
ican Baptist Publication Society." 

W. B. Williams was received by the Association in 
1857, as agent for the Bible Revision Board, Louisville, 



222 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

Kentucky', and presented its claims before the body. 
E. C. Eager was received as the agent of the same 
Board in 1860, at which meeting the following was a- 
dopted by the Association : 

"Whereas, The Bible Revision Association, loca - 
ted at Louisville, KentuckA', is engaged, in connection 
with the American Bible Revision, in the great work of 
revising and correcting the English Scriptures, and 
Whereas, E. C. Eager, of Clinton, Mississippi, is now 
canvassing our State as the agent of the Bible Revision 
Association for Mississippi, therefore, 

''Resolved, (1) That we cordially commend him as 
said agent to the Christian regards and liberal contri - 
butions of all who love the pure word of God. (2) 
That we recommend to our churches to send up a con - 
tribution for this cause, each 3'ear, to our Association, 
to be forwarded by our treasurer to said agent at Clin- 
ton, Mississippi. (3) That we recommend to our 
brethren genera Ih^ to procure such portions of the Pri- 
mary Revision as are now ptiblished, also the Perma-' 
nent Documents, in two volumes, and the History of 
the translation, in one volume, which may be procured 
through the Post Office from James Edmunds, corres- 
ponding secretary of the Bible Revision Association, 
Louisville, Kentucky, or of the agent, E. C. Eager, 
Clinton, Mississippi." 

On the same general subject, the following was 
passed at the same meeting: ''Resolved, That this As- 
sociation highW approves of the formation of the Alis - 
sissppi Baptist Bible and Colportage Society; and 
warmh' commends its objects to the patronage of the 
churches within its bounds.'' 

A report on the Bible cause, in 1864, reads: "The 
Bible is indeed a most precious book. It is God's reve- 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 223 

lation to man. It is the appointed instrument of con- 
version. 'The law of the Lord is perfedt, converting 
the soul,' It is the chief instrument of Christian sanct- 
ification. 'Sanctify them by thy truth ; thy w^ord is 
truth.' It is therefore our duty to circulate this blessed 
truth to the extent of our ability. The demand for 
Bibles among our soldiers is very great. Our Domes- 
tic Mission Board, at Marion, Alabama, has 
done much to meet this exigency in the army. Many 
thousands of dollars have been expended by that Board 
to procure Bibles and Testaments for the soldiers. Let 
us aid them in this great and good work,"' 

An elaborate report, in 1865, says: "The Bible is 
God's own book. It contains the revelation of his 
character, and of his will to man in the all -important 
matter of salvation. It contains the law by which hu- 
man actions are to be governed."' In its "study the 
mind is brought into contact with the revealed raind of 
God, and, by the principle of association, so far as per- 
verted human nature will allow, it is made better, pur- 
er, and more like God. It is, therefore, the appointed 
instrument for the regeneration and reformation of 
man." The main cause of the demoralization which 
prevails at present is the failure of men to regard, and 
be governed by, the teachings of the Bible, "the sword 
of God, the onW infallible guide of fallible men.'" Again 
it is said ; "The Bible has ceased even to be read by a 
majoritA" of the people. Where are the professing 
Christians who read the Bible privately upon their 
knees, or assemble their families and read to them and 
with them these words of life and salvation ? That so 
few do accounts for the coldness and deadness of so 
many Christians. The path that leads from the word 
of God is a most dangerous path.'' How shall the de- 



224 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

moralized state of society be remedied? The restora- 
tion to its supremacy of the divine law is the remedy. 
Three suggestions are made for securing this restora- 
tion : ( 1 ) By increased attention to the individual 
and private study of God's word. (2) By restoring 
the authority and power of the word of God in the 
family. The family altar \vith the open word of God 
upon it must be set up. (3) By the establishment of 
adult and junior Bible classes in our congregations. 

The Association, in 1867, said that "the Bible is 
the word of God,'' a revelation of his decrees, elevating 
the mind, guiding man and purifying his heart. It 
builds up society, and is the foundation of State and 
national government. There is a wanton neglect of it 
which leads even Christians astray in vice. There must 
be a change in society and that change must be effected 
b}^ an open Bible. The same agent must effect the res - 
t oration of peace between two contending sections in 
our nation. The suggestions of the last year's report 
are repeated. 

The report, in 1869, calls attention to the common 
truth that "among Baptists the Bible alone is the rule 
of Christian conduct." "We adhere strictly to the let- 
ter of the law."' We should then be zealous in the dis- 
semination of Bible knowledge, for the Bible is fitted 
for the instruction of all classes and conditions of men. 
Its hoW precepts, its pathos, its sublime truths, touch 
the heart and convince the mind of all who carefully 
read its sacred pages. We would suggest that the Bi- 
ble is too little read. Church members are too little in- 
jormed as to its teachings. We know of no scarcety of 
books in our Association. In the absence of anj^ or- 
ganized plan of distribution, and in view of our great 
povertj^, we do not recommend an^- Bible Board in the 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 225 

Association. Supplies of Bibles and Testaments may 
be had from the Columbus Branch of the American Bi- 
ble Society, or the South Western Publishing Company^ 
Memphis. 

As indicating the interest of the Association in the 
distribution and reading of the Bible, it may be noticed 
that yearly reports on the "Bible cause" were adopted. 

In 1870, the following was indorsed as the view of 
the body : "The Bible, as the great conservator of civ- 
ilization, the instrument of spiritual conversion and of 
the sanctilication of the people of God, should be uni- 
versally circulated and studied by all. Its teachings 
should be practiced in our lives. The Bible is the sa- 
cred treasure on which to pillow our heads in the dying 
hour. We anchor on its precious promises until w^e go 
home to heaven." 

The report, in 1871, asamended, refers to themoral 
power of the Bible, to its instrumentality in freeing 
men from moral pollution, to its illuminating power in 
shedding celestial light upon the pathway of Christians 
and to the obligation resting upon Baptists to labor 
and contribute to send this blessed light to everj- crea- 
ture. It recommends "that the pastors and deacons 
adopt measures to ascertain the amount of Bible desti- 
tution in their bounds." It further recommends "that 
a committee of three be appointed at some point within, 
our bounds, who shall be called "A Bible Distributing- 
Committee,' whose duty shall be to procure as nearly 
as possible a supply of Bibles and Testaments for dis - 
tribution.'' 

At the meeting, in 1872, this committee presented 
the following report: "The Bible Distribution Board re- 
port, that they, in order to carry out the resolution of 
the Association, corresponded with each church in the 



226 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

Association, and in answer have not received any report 
of destitution of Bibles, that the^^ have received for 
this object, $8.90, wdiich is now read^^ to be handed 
over to this body." The Bible Distribution Board, at 
"West Point, with the present officers, w^as continued. 

In 1873, the following action was taken: "On mo- 
tion, the Bible Board was discontinued and the funds 
in their hands ordered to be turned over to the Executive 
Board." This small sum was placed in the hands of 
the missionary with instructions to supply therewith 
any Bible destitution he might find. ^ 

The establishment of a book Depository for the dis - 
semination of religious books was recommended by a 
committee in 1844, insisting upon the propriety and im- 
portance of such a measure and recommending: ( 1 ) The 
immediate subscription of sums by different members, 
one-half of which was to be refunded to subscribers in 
the shape of books; (2) The raising of a public collect - 
ion in the various churches, and suggesting John N. 
Mullen, of Columbus, as a suitable depositor^^ agent, 
and Columbus as a suitable location for the Depository. 

In 1845, this Depositor^^ was established and lo- 
cated at Columbus, with J. N Mullen as agent, and un- 
der the control of a committee of good business men, 
viz: W. Carey Crane, S. McGowen, R. C. Burleson T. G. 
Blewett, and James S. Norris. The books kept on its 
shelves were first class in every respect, and were sold 
at actual cost. The missionary was colporteur and a- 
gent for the Depositor^'. 

The financial condition of the Depositor^-, in 1845, 
was encouraging, and its assets amounted to $512.91. 
In some cases donations of books were made. In 1846 
the value of the books on hand w^as $157.64. Themis- 
ionarj' of the Association sold, through the year, 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 227 

books to the amount of $13.52. In 1847, the report of 
the committee on the Depositor^', deplores the fact that 
the circulation of religious literature has not been so 
extensive as the exigencies of the times demand, and 
confesses that very little has been done in this depart- 
ment during the past year. It refers to the establish - 
ment of the "Soxithern Baptist Publication Society'" at 
Charleston, South Carolina. The financial condition 
of the Depositor3' at this time was critical. 

In 1848, a resolution was passed appointing the 
pastors as special agents for the Depository to make 
sale of the books on hand. In 1850, two resolutions 
were passed: (1) Authorizing the committee to pay 
the debts of the Depository as fast as colledlions be 
made. (2) Appointing J. T. Freeman, W. J. Smith, and 
W. T. Moore a committee to sell all the books that 
should remain unsold at the close of this session. 

In 1853 : "Resolved, That this Association estab- 
lish a Tract Society, with a view to furnishing our 
missionarj^ with tracts and cheap Baptist books, for 
distribution and sale, so as to make the missionary do 
the duties of a colporteur, and that W. B. F. Yandle, 
and J. T. Freeman, W. J. Smith, the moderator, and A. 
N. Jones be constituted a board to attend to this 
matter. 

"That each church in this Association, in favor of 
this object, he requested to send up funds for the pur- 
pose to the State Convention, at Columbus." 

Nothing, however, seems to have been done in the 
matter, and in 1855: ''Resolved, That the pastors of 
the various churches composing this Association be re - 
quested to urge upon their respective congregations 
the propriety and importance of raising a fund to pur- 
chase standard and denominational books, and to es- 



228 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

tablish a Book Depository in this Association; and 
that the churches be requested to send up to the next 
session of this body what they are willing to give for 
this object." 

In 1858, a well prepared report was adopted, in- 
sisting upon the necessit3^ of circulating Baptist litera - 
ture, because of the intense spirit of inquire" ^vhich has 
arisen, and the proneness of the membership to keep 
doctrinal peculiarities in the background, and passing 
resolutions: (1) To create and establish an Associa- 
tional Book Depository ; (2) To appoint a Depository 
agent, who shall give bond for the faithful discharge of 
his dut}^ and shall receive a commission of ten per 
cent on his sales ; (3) To raise immediately $500.00, to 
be used in purchasing sound literature ; (4) To request 
pastors and missionaries to make an immediate and 
continual effort to raise funds for this purpose; (5) To 
allov^ contributors to receive back their contributions 
in books at cost, or certificates drawing eight per cent 
for amounts not taken in books; (6) To locate it at 
Columbus, with W. J. Smith as agent. 

As nothing further appears on the records of the As- 
sociation, the inference is that this effort proved abor- 
tive and failed. 

The Association has uniformlj^ realized the mighty 
power of the press for the promulgation of religious 
truth, and has ever, warmly, and earnest^, encouraged 
the dissemination of religious literature throughout 
its bounds. 

In 1843, John Armstrong was "respedlfully request- 
ed to prepare for publication a tract on the subjects, 
and mode of baptism, and to present said tract to B. 
Manh', of the Universitj^ of Alabama, and S. S. Latti- 
more, of Sumpter county, Alabama, for examination, " 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 229 

and the same was to be placed in the hands of David 
Ferguson, of Columbus, for publication, and distribu- 
tion. It was also determined "that there be an Appen- 
dix to said pamphlet on Church Communion." 

In 1844, the following was adopted : 

"Whereas, It is of great importance that there be 
some organ of public communication through the press, 
for the diffusion of religious intelligence among breth - 
ren of the same faith, and order. 

^'Resolved, That the paper called The Baptist, 
which A^^as formerly published in Nashville, Tennessee, 
and subsequently merged into the Baptist Banner and 
Western Pioneer, but now revived under different au - 
spices, under the editorial charge of R. B. C. Howell, of 
Nashville, Tennessee, and W. Carej' Crane, of Colum- 
bus, Miss., be recommended to the patronage of the 
pastors, and brethren of the churches of the Associ - 
ation. 

"That we desire to impress on the members of the 
churches the importance of supplying themselves with 
the religious periodicals of the denomination, and we 
commend to their patronage the Alabama Baptist, 
published at Marion, Ala." 

At the session of 1846 three resolutions were pass- 
ed, concerning publications : "(1) That t\\Q Southern 
Baptist Missionary Journal, a monthly periodical in 
Richmond, Va., at the price of one dollar per year, be 
recommended to the members of all churches, as the or- 
gan of the Southern Baptist Convention, for Foreign 
missions. (2) That the Wester/? JBaptist i?eriew, pub- 
lished at Frankfort, Ky., by J. L. Waller, be recom- 
mended to the members of the churches composing this 
body. (3) That w^e recommend to our churches, and 
the brethren generally, the Mississippi Baptist, publish- 



230 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

ed in the city of Jackson, [Miss."' At the same meeting 
the Association recommended to the churches "that as 
soon as pracfticable, they estabhsh church Hbraries." 

In 1847, the follo^ving were recommended to the 
Baptist denomination : The Mississippi Baptist again, 
which is under the direction ot the "Baptist PubHcation 
Society," edited by W. H. Taylor, and W. C. Crane; 
the South - western Baptist Chronicle, pubhshed weekly 
in New Orleans, edited by W. C. Duncan; and the Ala- 
bama Baptist. 

It was determined by resolution, in 1849, that the 
"Association recommend to the favorable notice, and 
support of the public generalh', and of the Baptist de- 
nomination in particular, the 'Southern Baptist Alma- 
nac," printed at Nashville, Tenn." 

In 1853, the Association stated, in formal action, 
that, "we most cordially, and warmh' commend to our 
churches the Tennessee Baptist, edited l3y J. R. Graves, 
of Nashville, Tenn., and that at least one copy of it be 
taken in each family composing our churches." 

At this point it may be \vell to state that resolu- 
tions were adopted, in 1854, relative to a controversy 
conducted b3^ J» R. Graves, arid Alexander Campbell, 
indorsing Graves, and repudiating most heartily the 
teachings of Campbell; also indorsing and recommend- 
ing again the religious paper edited by Graves. A sim- 
ilar action of the Association in 1855, recommended the 
same paper and the "Southern Baptist Review and Ec- 
lectic," to the cordial support of the denomination, as 
essentially Baptist papers, and worth^^ of the patron- 
age of every Baptist in the land. 

In 1857, E. L. Compere was received as agent for 
the Baptist State paper, previoush' mentioned, and, 
with N. Sansing and AI. Lyon, addressed the Associa- 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 231 

tion in behalf of this paper, pubHshed at Jackson, by J. 
T. Freeman. A resohition was passed at this meeting 
recommending this paper, and that of J. R. Graves to 
the brethren. In 1858, E. L. Compere was again pres- 
ent as agent for the Mississippi paper, and Willis Burns 
as the agent for the Tennessee paper, both of whom 
urged the claims of these papers respectively. Resolu- 
tions were passed, recommending them both. A pre- 
amble and resolution was also passed, referring to at- 
tacks made upon the character of J. R. Graves, and set- 
ting forth the unlimited confidence of the Association 
in his integrity. 

J. T. Freeman was present, in 1859, in behalf of the 
Baptist State paper, and while the report on Publica- 
tions was under discussion, made a thrilling appeal in 
its behalf, requesting the denomination of the State to 
loan him $2000, in advance pa\'ments for the paper, to 
enable him to buy a power press. Five hundred dol- 
lars of the amount was raised almost immediately, 
several generous l3rethren making their pastors per- 
petual subscribers to the paper by paying thirty" dol- 
lars in advance. 

The report, at this session says: "We regard the 
circulation of a pure Baptist literature among our 
membership and the people, generally as a prime neces- 
sity of the times. * * * The system of journalism, now 
almost everywhere in use, from its cheapness, and the 
value of the facts it distributes, is everywhere friendly 
to an extended range of information, and places the ac- 
quisition of its treasures within the reach of every one. 
* * * We regard it as a solemn duty of each lay mem- 
ber to pay for and read our current Baptist literature, 
and especially our State organ." Reference is also 
made to the urgent call for aid, mentioned above, in 



.232 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

purchasing a power press, and, besides the collection 
taken at this meeting, the report recommends that the 
missionaries be especially charged with the duty of ex - 
tending its circulation to every family within their res- 
pective fields. 

It also recommends the Southern Baptist Review, 
Children's Friend, and the Home and Foreign Journal, 
and deplores the lack of a book depositor^^ and refers 
to the efforts of N. Sansing to supply this deficiency in 
the matter of religious books. 

The report, in 1861, refers to the course of many 
members of the churches in taking "several political 
papers, when they and their families are perfect stran - 
gers to all that good and salutary influence which is to 
be derived only from religious newspapers, and Sab- 
bath school books." To all such, besides the State, and 
Tenn. Baptist papers, the following are recommended: 
Baptist Correspondent, Home and Foreign Journal, 
Dayton's Monthly Magizine and Question Books, and 
other publications of Graves, Marks & Co. 

During the war of the States, a considerable sum was 
expended in supplying the soldiers with Bibles, Testa- 
ments, religious tracts and papers, and the report, in 
1864, says: ' ' We can hope for but little in this department 
at present, yet we feel that by concert of action much 
might be done which is neglected. If but one denomina- 
tional periodical could be sustained in our part of the 
country, it would surely be the means of much good, 
wherefore, Resolved, That this Association would 
heartily welcome the re-establishment of the Tennessee 
Baptist.'' 

At the meeting of 1865, in the report, reference 
is made to the suspension of the Mississippi and Ten • 
nessee Baptists; to the inaccessibility of the Baptist 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 233 

Banner and Christian Index, owing to the want of mail 
facilities; to the fact that J. R. Graves has obtained per- 
mission to return to Tennessee, and resume the publica- 
tion of his paper; and hopes this paper may soon be - 
come a weekly visitor. 

The report, in 1866, mentions the suspension of 
publications, and lack of mail facilities, but notices the 
resumed publication of some old, and the establishment 
of some new, papers. It urges the churches to labor to 
sustain a pure religious press as a mighty agency for 
good. A resolution was adopted cordially recommend- 
ing the CAnstian Watchman, of Mississippi, as a ster- 
ling meritorious Baptist paper. The same paper was 
represented at the session of 1867, bj^ its editor, T. 
Whitfield, and was heartily indorsed, and recommended 
as worthy of patronage by the report. 

By a resolution, in 1868, the Home and Foreign 
Journal was recommended. The report urges that it is 
the duty of every family to take a religious newspaper, 
and calls attention to The Baptist, Religious Herald, 
and the Judson Baptist, now in contemplation, to be 
located at Tupelo, Miss., as the organ of the Baptists 
of the State. Kind Words is also recommended as well 
as the doctrinal tracts published by the Philadelphia 
Society. 

A w^ell written report was presented at the session 
of 1869. The distribution and reading of sound relig- 
ious literature, alwaj^s including first the Holy Scrip - 
tures, is second in importance only to the preaching of 
the gospel. There is an increasing interest in this mat - 
ter manifested by our people. It recommends The 
Baptist, which has a Mississippi department, edited by 
J. T. Freeman, under the auspices of the State Conven- 
tion. An earnest recommendation is given to Kind 



234 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

Words, edited by Mrs. S. R. Ford, at Memphis, under 
the auspices of the Sunday school Board of the South- 
ern Baptist Convention. Reference is inade to the ef- 
forts of J. R. Graves, in behalf of this Board, to secure 
enough mone^^ to publish a one -hundred -volume li- 
brary of Sundaj' school books, written by our own 
people, within the neighborhood of the contributors, 
and asks; "May not this Association furnish the 
means, and one such book?" Reference is made to a 
correspondence between B. Griffith, Philadelphia, and 
T. G. Sellers, concerning the co-operation of this Asso- 
ciation with the American Baptist Publication Society, 
in employing a colporteur within the Association. It 
is suggested that 1)ut little can be done in this direct- 
ion, except in the sale of books. The circulation of 
good books among the colored people is recommended. 

In 1870, the report mentions the importance of 
concentrating on some good religious paper, and sug- 
gests The Baptist, with a Mississippi department, as 
deserving this patronage. Kind Words is recommend- 
ed for Sunday schools, and the Baptist Teacher for Bi- 
ble classes. The s^'stem of Uniform lessons is also rec- 
ommended. For the promotion of foreign missions, the 
Home and Foreign Journal is recommended ,and in be- 
half of the Orphan's Home, the Orphan's Home Banner 
is recommended. Special mention is also made of 
"Gardner on Communion."" 

The report in 1871, as amended, warmly reommend- 
ed the Mississippi department of The Baptist, also the 
Christian Repository, Kind Words, Home and Foreign 
Journal, and Orphans Home Banner. In 1872, the re- 
port on Publications dwells exclusively upon the value 
of the Bible, as the greatest and best of all publications, 
revealing God"s dealings with man, and the glorious 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 235 

plan of salvation, carn-ing with it divine power, which 
compels men to acknowledge its power, and as being 
the great fountain of all truth. All Christians are 
urged to use all possible means with all possible zeal in 
carrying this lamp of life to the benighted of earth. 
The report on Periodicals, again recommends the pa- 
pers mentioned in last year's report. 

The report, in 1873, says; "Ever^^ southern Baptist 
can certainly find among these first class papers such 
literature as may be needful, and has now become a ne- 
cessity among Baptists." Of Kind Words it saj^s; "We 
feel it our duty to urge with might and main the claims 
of this valuable paper to all Sunday school organiza - 
tions, as the very best known to us in this specialty, 
and beseech southern Baptists to concentrate their 
means and energies on this periodical." 

R. N. Hall, superintendent of the Orphan's Home, 
represented the Home Banner in 1874, and obtained a 
number of subscribers for it. A report v^^as presented, 
urging "that our brethren exercise a diligent and pray- 
erful care as to the character of literature introduced 
iuto and read by their families, and especially the peri - 
odical literature. Let us remember that the books 
which children read have much to do in forming their 
character." The periodicals, except one, mentioned in 
the last two reports are again recommended. Atten- 
tion is called to the Southern Baptist Publication Soci- 
ety, recenth^ established in Memphis. "This Society is 
a joint -stock company of Baptists, actively engaged in 
publishing Baptist books and tracts, and proposing to 
issue a sound Baptist and religious literature, and to 
keep on hand, and for sale, all approved Baptist books 
usually sold in this country." By w^ay of patronizing 
:|.his Society, the printing of the mmutes of the Associa- 



236 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

tion for the years 1874, 1875, and 1876 was given 
to it. 

The report, in 1875, says : "In taese days when the 
religious world is adrift on the sea of liberalism, and 
some of our own loved denomination, having lost their 
chart and compass, are in danger of going down on 
the rock of open communion or of being engulfed in the 
yawning maelstrom of the 'Evangelical Alliance,' we 
would point to The Baptist as a moral light -house, 
whose bright rays refle(?t the pure truth of God's word." 
The Mississippi department is recommended to the 
brethren. Again it is said ; ''Kind Words'' is truly the 
children's paper. We gladly recommend it to every 
Baptist Sunday school. * * * The Southern Baptist 
Publication Society made a good exhibit at its last an - 
nual meeting: its success seems assured. * * * We 
would drop a tear over the death of the Orphan's Home 
Banner, and mourn because it is not." 

In 1876, the report urges that; "The dissemination 
of sound Baptist literature among our denomination, 
and the world, is of paramount importance. The Bap- 
tist and Alabama Baptist are recommended. Refer- 
ence is made to the discontinuance of the Mississippi de- 
partment of the former and to the action of the Baptist 
State Convention in regard to the establishment of a 
Baptist State paper, which action is heartilj^ indorsed, 
and all the members of the Association are urged to 
work to secure subscribers to the contemplated paper. 
Such a paper is needed. Kind Words is again recom - 
mended for systematic arrangement, sound doctrine 
and beauty of illustration. Substantially, the same 
publications were mentioned in the recommendations 
to 1881. 

The Association has ever insisted upon an educated 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 237 

ministr\', and has nobly contributed its aid to secure 
the education of any young ministers in need of aid 
within its own bounds, and elsewhere within its knowl- 
edge. Its record in this department constitutes some 
of the brightest pages in its history. 

In 1843, a committee was appointed to take in 
charge the work of raising money for the education of 
young ministers in pursuance of the first of the follow- 
ing resolutions : "(1) That in the opinion of this Asso- 
ciation, a fund should be established for the education 
of our young ministering brethren, who desire more ed- 
ucation, and that a committee be appointed to effect 
this object. (2) That the churches be requested to look 
out among themselves useful talent and encourage it by 
kindness and opportunity, for exhortation and for more 
enlarged usefulness, * * * satisfying themselves of the 
doctrinal views and teaching capacity of the gifts, call- 
ing in aid in such cases from sister churches and neigh - 
boring ministers for examination of candidates." 

This committee presented their report in 1844, in 
the form of a resolution; "That, in order to bring our 
churches into more sj^stematic efforts for the improve- 
ment of the rising ministry, our ministers be requested 
to preach a discourse annually upon the subject of ed- 
ucation and take up a collection for the purpose." At 
this meeting, a letter and other documents upon the ed- 
ucation of young ministers were referred to a committee 
consisting of J. C. Keeney, W. Carey Crane, and T. G. 
Blewett. This committee was instructed to prepare a 
system of rules by which the action of the Association, 
in regard to young ministers, was to be governed; but 
presented no report during this session, merely suggest- 
ing the following; "Should there be any pious 3^oung 
man of promising talent in any of the churches, desir- 



238 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

ing assistance the present year, that the churches be 
requested to raise funds to send such person to the fol - 
lowing theological seminaries; The Howard, at Ma- 
rion, Ala., Mercer Institute of Georgia, or the Western 
Theological Institute at Covington, Ky." 

At the same meeting, a committee was appointed 
"to act in behalf of this Association during this \'ear, 
as an educational board, to examine the claims of min- 
isterial gifts and to recommend such gifts to the favor- 
able notice of those institutions provided with means 
for their intellectual and spiritual improvement. 

An educational committee, with W. Carej' Crane as 
chairman, in 184-5, presented the following report ; "No 
application has been made to the committee for. ex - 
amination and recommendation. They have heard of 
no young men within the associational limits desirous 
of entering upon a course of preparation for the gospel 
ministr3\ We deeph^ regret that there are so few who 
feel that a \Yoe rests upon them if they preach not the 
gospel of the Son of God. 'The harvest truly is great 
but the laborers are few.' Let us pray that the Lord 
of the harvest ma}^ send more laborers into his vine- 
yard." 

At the same tneeting, J. C. Keeney, in behalf of the 
committee to recommend a sj^stem of action on minis - 
terial education, presented the following report : 

"Whereas, The glory of God and the salvation of 
sinners are intimately connected with the gospel minis- 
try; v^hereas, there are connected with our churches in - 
digent 3'oung men of promising talents and ardent pie - 
ty, therefore, '^Resolved, (1) That the churches bere- 
spectfulh' requested to take up a yearly collection to as- 
sist such brethren as have in view the gospel ministry 
in acquiring a more thorough education than they are 
able to obtain bv their own individual efforts 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 239 

"(2) That one- third of the eolleclion taken up after 
a charity sermon at each annual meeting of this body, 
be devoted to the education of pious young men." 

The following were adopted at this meeting as by- 
laws CONCERNING MINISTERIAL EDUCATION. 

"1. That each young man applying for aid shall be 
examined by a committee on education to be appointed 
by this Association. 

**2. No 3'oung man shall be received as a benefic- 
iary by the committee unless he come well recommend - 
ed by his church, and also give satisfactory^ evidence of 
his having been called of God to the sacred office. 

"3. The church by \vhom the beneficiarv" is recom- 
mended shall be urged to defray part of his expenses. 

"4. Each beneficiary^ shall go to such theological 
seminar\% and shall pursue such a course of studies as 
the committee shall direct. 

"5. It shall be the duty of each beneficiary^ to ob- 
tain semi-annually from the professors, and forward 
to the committee, a report of his progress in studj^, 
and of his general conduct. 

"6. If any beneficiary shall at an^^ time prove him- 
self unworthy of the ministerial office, or shall abandon 
his studies without the approbation of the committee, 
he shall be held legally bound to refund w^iatever the 
committee may have expended on him." 

The committee in charge of this work consisted of 
W. Carey Crane, S. McGowen, W. Manning, J. C. Kee- 
ney, and R. C. Burleson. At the same meeting it was; 
'^Resolved, That it be recommended to our churches to 
look for suitable gifts in their bodies and encourage the 
same in duty.'' 

At the meeting of 184-6, the above committee re- 
ported that no application had been made to them, 



240 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS, 

and, therefore they have had no opportunity of exercis- 
ing their duties, but by resolution one-third of the col- 
lection on Sundaj' was set apart for aiding j^oung min- 
isters in indigent circumstances. The committee say; 
"Inasmuch as there is great demand for ministerial aid 
in all this region, they earnestly recommend that the 
churches seek out suitable gifts, foster and cherish them, 
and furnish such aid as \Yill bring these gifts into active 
and profitable employment. Though not so charged, 
they take the liberty of recommending to their breth - 
ren who have not enjo3''ed advantages for ministerial 
culture, and to others actively engaged in the work, 
the following books, embracing a course of Biblical 
study; (1) Christian Theology" — Fuller's Works, Rob- 
ert Hall's Works, Hinton on the Prophecies. (2) Bibli- 
cal Criticism and Interpretation — Carpenter's Lectures, 
Serle's Horai Solitarite. (3) Ecclesiastical History — 
Jones' Church History, Wharej-'s Sketches of Church 
History' (a Compend of Mosheim), Hinton's Historj^ of 
Baptism. (4) Homiletics — Doddridge's Lectures on 
Preaching, Campbell and Fenelon on Eloquence, (Prof. 
RipW.) (5) Practical Divinity and Christian Ordi- 
nances — Howell on Communion, Carson on Baptism, 
Dowling on Romanism, WhatW's Kingdom of Christ 
Delineated, Booth's Reign of Grace, Booth on Bigotry, 
Reasons Why I am not a Churchman. (6) General Re- 
ligious Literature — Encyclopcedia of Religious Knowl- 
edge, Taylor's Lives of Virginia Baptist Ministers, Mer- 
cer's Memoirs, Howell on the Deaconship, James' 
Church Member's Guide. Our ministers, whose advan- 
tages have been limited, \vould, by the aid of humble 
praA'er and a thorough study of these works, guided by 
the direction of God's word and making that their 
great text book, become, with God's blessing, thorough- 
Iv furnished for their work."' 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 241 

By resolution it was determined, "that the portion 
of monies raised bj'^ collection after the missionar3' ser- 
mon on Sunda}^ which was directed to be applied to 
the aid and support of indigent young men preparing 
for the ministry" be held by the treasurer subject to the 
educational committee. 

It was determined in 1847, "that the committee on 
education act as the agents of the Association" in col- 
lecting funds for this object. The committee deplores 
"the lamentable fact that there are so few candidates 
for the sacred ministry," and urges that "we need an 
educated ministry. * * * We ask that our preachers be 
educated; but Aow educated? Some, who have not 
enjoyed classical advantages, may by the husbanding 
of their time, improve their minds, even at home, so 
that audiences of whatever degree of improvement, 
may be benefitted by their ministrations. Others, who 
are young, should be furnished w^ith the means of pur- 
suing a liberal course of study. We earnestlj- recom- 
mend that the churches seek out suitable gifts, foster 
and cherish them, and furnish such aid as wnll bring 
these gifts into active and profitable emplo3'ment. 
Having been informed that the board of the State Con- 
vention had adopted a young brother, Powell, now 
stud3ang at Mercer University, Ga., as its beneficiary, 
and desired aid in sustaining him, an order was giveni 
to John Micou, the indefatigable agent of the Conven- 
tion, for the sum of $13.50 for Powell's support. 
Those acquanted w^ith Powell are satisfied of his piety, 
correct views of truth, and call to the glorious work of 
preaching the gospel. If we had the means, we are as- 
sured that candidates might be found worthy of sup- 
port, who, when prepared, would enter the harvest 
field, and reap for the glory of the coming kingdom of 
Christ.'' 



242 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

In 1848, the report indicates "that no beneficiary 
^'ithin the liounds of this Association has appHed for 
aid during tlie past year ; l3ut the pastor of a Baptist 
church in Hinds count^^ Miss., has made application 
for two 3'oung- brethren, members of said church, who 
desire to stud^' for the gospel ministry. The board of 
the State Convention has recenth' adopted one of these 
brethren, W. B. Gallman, as a beneficiary, w'ho is now 
at Mercer Universitj^ Ga. One of \'Our committee is 
acquainted with the young brother, and believes him 
w^orthy of the patronage of the denomination." For 
this object twenty- -five dollars was raised and forward- 
ed to the State Convention. 

The report on education, in 1850, states that no 
candidate for the ministrv had requested aid since the 
last meeting of this bod}'. "Brother Wm. Gillard has 
gone to Murfreesboro, Tenn., as a licentiate for the 
purpose of preparing himself for the ministry.'" He did 
not ask aid but the report recommends aiding him. It 
insists upon the education of ministers, and properly 
defines education to be a thorough discipline of the 
mind by a proper attention to such means as lie in the 
reach of ever}' man. This education is thus classified; 
"(1) A practicable knowledge of English Grammar; 
(2) A thorough acquaintance with the Bible and its 
meaning, as received among orthodox Christians: (3) 
An acquaintance with the standard works of our de- 
nomination, such as may he designated b}- a commit- 
tee of ministers qualified to state what are standard 
works."' It is urged that this ought to be required of 
every candidate for ordination. "Ever\^ church may 
license a brother to preach, but the whole denomina- 
tion is affected b}' his ordination : and therefore we rec- 
ommend more care in examining candidates, and in or- 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 243 

der to do this the presbytery of examination should 
have definite rules to be gn^iided b^- in so delicate and 
responsible a task ; and such presbytery should consist 
of five experienced ministers/' It is also suggested 
that the churches try candidates for at least twelve 
months before recommending them for ordination. 
Yet wdiile thus cautious we should pra^'for more labor- 
ers to supply the great destitution \vhich exists, and a 
da^' of fasting and pra^-er for this object should be ap - 
pointed, and followed b\' a collection for the same. 
Though there are no candidates in our midst, such con- 
tributions should be sent to the State Convention as it 
has three beneficiaries now in schools. Earnest action 
is urged upon the churches. 

Resolutions were passed in 1852 as follows; "1st. 
That as men are more important than means in our 
missionary operations, the Executive Board of our As - 
sociation endeavor to find 3'oung men of gifts and spir- 
ituality-, who may be placed at school preparatory- to 
the ministry ; and if such can l3e procured that the^' en- 
deavor to raise the funds to secure for them a suitable 
education for that hoh- calling. 2nd. That said Board 
correspond with the State Educational Society, and 
act as auxiliary to that body. 

In 1853, reports on education and iDcnevolent oper- 
a.tions, recommended action for assisting worthy but 
indigent young men in preparing for becoming teach - 
ers and preachers, since so many men of ability are 
taken from the pulpit to become teachers. Both re- 
ports recommend the raising of a permanent fund of 
five or six thousand dollars, and its donation to Missis- 
sippi College for this pMrpose. Acting upon these sug- 
gestions, resolutions were passed instructing the Edu- 
cational Boanl to "endeavor to raise funds sufficient 



244- HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

to purchase ten or more scholarships in our denomina- 
tional College, at Clinton, Hinds count3'. Miss., to be 
used for the purpose of educating 3'oung men for teach- 
ers and ministers."' A form of note for this purpose is 
given in the minutes. 

An Educational Board, consisting of one member 
from each church, Avith J. T. Freeman as chairman, 
was created at this meeting, having in charge the gen - 
eral cause of education, but more particularh^ that of 
ministerial education. 

In 1854, the report on education refers to the grow- 
ing interest on the general subject religiously. It rec- 
ommends the continuation of the Educational Board, 
whose duty shall be the raising and expending of funds 
for the education of pious but poor young men for 
teachers and ministers. It also urges all pastors to 
preach at least once each 3'ear on the subject of educa- 
tion and take up a collection for this object. If at any 
time the amount raised in the Association should ex- 
ceed the necessities within it the over -plus can be paid 
to the Mississippi Baptist Ministerial Education Socie - 
ty, to be appropriated by it to this object. The Board 
agreed to educate Edward R. Freeman, a pious young 
brother from the Stark ville church, who had entered 
the Clinton College, and had been licensed to preach by 
the church at that place. A lilseral brother presented a 
scholarship in this College to the Association, the bene- 
fit of which this brother received. Another liberal 
brother advanced $150 for him. The Board called up- 
on the churches for contriljutions to aid in this work, 
instructing its beneficiar\' to remain at Clinton. 

InlS55; '"Resolved, That this Association instract 
its missionaries to co-operate w4th the Educational 
Board, in urging upon Baptists within our bounds, the 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 245 

propriety of raising a fund to aid in educating indi- 
gent young men, who may desire to preach the gospel ; 
and that said missionaries l^e authorized to receive and 
pay over to the treasurer of this Association, alimonies 
received for this object." The report on benevolent op- 
erations also urges the same matter "as of vital impor- 
tance to the denomination."' Referring to such young 
men, it says; "most, if not all, of our voung brethren 
^who are preparing for the work of the ministry, are in 
"vvant of means to enable them properly to qualify 
themselves for this mighty v^'ork." "Some of them 
wish to go to school, and others want suitable books 
to read." It recommends that a committee be appoin- 
ted "to ascertain their wants, lay their claiins before 
the churches, and obtain the necessary- aid for them, if 
possible." 

In 1856, the report on l^enevolent operations urges 
the same object, "as embodying in itself abundant in- 
terest to call forth the liberal contributions of every 
Christian." It speaks of the great need of ministers to 
supply the places of those who are growing old, and 
wearing out, and recommends pra^-er to the Lord of 
the harvest for laborers, and then a due attention to 
the aiding of these laborers as the\' are found. The 
same suggestion is made in reference to a committee for 
looking out, and assisting young men needing aid in 
preparation for the ministry. 

Tie report, in 1859, says: "There are young men 
in our bounds who feel it their duty to preach, but they 
feel themselves unqualified for the work. They have 
not thejmeans to procure an education sufficient to en - 
able them to preach acceptabh' to the masses, and they 
look to us for the requisite aid. Shjdl they look in 
vain? * * * Unless we take some ac:ion reports are of 
no avail.'" 



246 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

In 1860, the report urges that 3^oung brethren who 
feel themselves called of God to this sacred work should 
avail themselves of all the facilities within their reach, 
and qualif)^ themselves as fulh' as possible for the du- 
ties of this high vocation. Our churches also should 
provide the means necessary for such of these young 
brethren as are indigent, to enable them thus to qualify 
themselves for this great work of the Lord. In 1861,. 
the same reasons for this are given, and the same sug- 
gestions to young ministers, and to the churches are 
made, as at the last session. Those whom God calls 
are usually indigent young men. They nnist be aided 
in their education Ijy the churches. Our State Ministe- 
rial Education Society has been doing a good work for 
several 3'ears, but needs a much more substantial pat- 
ronage to enable it to do all that is necessarv. "We 
beg the churches to consider this matter, and come up 
at once to 'the help of the Lord against the mighty.' " 
During the dark days of 1862, 1853, and 1861-, any ac- 
tivity in the education of ministers was impossible, but 
it is said: "This Associat on should do all she can 
when an opportunity presents itself." 

In 1865, 1866, and 1867, \he same needs, and obli- 
gations are urged. In 1868, substantiallv, the same 
reasons alread}' mentioned i 1 several reports are urged, 
yet, as alread3'' mentioned, not holding that a/7 must be 
educated, and referring to the l^lessed results of a zeal- 
ous uneducated ministry. The Association, at this 
meeting, made L. S. Foster, a memljer of the Starkville 
church, its IjeneficiarA- by pledging $150 for his support 
at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary-, Green- 
ville, S. C. At the meeting in 1869, $100 was again 
pledged for the support of the same iDeneiiciary at the 
S-minary, the former amount having been thus applied 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTTSTS. 24T 

A report urged the importance of an educated ministry 
upon the following grounds : ( 1 ) Ministers occupy the 
important position of religious teachers. (2) They are 
expounders of the dodlrines of the Bible. (3) They are 
to so apply the food of the Bible to Christians that 
they may grow in grace. (4) They are the champions 
of the truth againvSt error of every form, and against 
ignorance, and moral darkness. (5) As the age of mir- 
acles is past they are to bring the Bil^le in contact with 
the hearts of men. (6) They are watchmen to herald, 
the approach of moral danger. The churches should 
therefore renew their exertions for an educated ministry. 
In 1871, the report, urges the obligation resting 
upon every minister to cultivate his mind, and refers to 
two common errors concerning ministerial education. 
1st. That which attaches too little importance to such 
education. As a means, it is very important. The bur- 
den of preaching is to persuade men to come to Christ. 
Instruction is the basis of persuasion, and ministers 
must know orthey cannot teach. 2nd. That\vhich at- 
taches too mtich importance to ministerial education. 
Education cannot make a man a preacher. Nor is it an 
essential among a minister's qualifications. At Mis- 
sissippi College, thirty young ministers were in attend- 
ance last year, supported mainly In- the churches. Res- 
olutions were passed ; ( 1 ) Indorsing, and expressing a 
sympathy with, Alississippi College, and the Southern 
Baptist Theological Seminary. (2) Pledging the Asso- 
ciation to aid in the support of 3'oung ministers at 
these institutions. (3) Requesting the pastors to pre- 
sent the claims of Mississippi College, and solicit aid 
from their churches. (4) Creating a Ministerial Edu- 
cation Board of five members to look out and recom- 
mend young men and to co-operate with, and be auxil- 
iary to, the vState Ministerial Education Board. 



248 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISES. 

A. A. Lomax was present at this meeting as the a- 
gent of Mississippi College, and presented its claims, se- 
curing, in cash and pledges, $342 to aid the College in 
its present embarrassed condition. 

In 1872, the report, by A. Blewett, urges that Bap- 
tists should have an educated ministry because the ad - 
Yocates of error have men of high attainments, and be - 
cause the meaning of God's word is perverted, and hu- 
man teaching substituted. It recommends thecontinu- 
•atioft^ of the Board of Ministerial Education, and that 
%S\lcli 3'oung men as may give evidence of a call to the 
ministry' be ptaced in school at Mississippi College, 
"and the pastors of the churches to which the3- belong, 
be made the special agents to secure money to defray 
their expenses." Also "that such A'oung men as may 
be approved, and give evidence of being eminently use- 
ful, receive the benefit of a thorough theologicid train- 
ing." 

It v^'as recommended to the churches to take the 
case of L. J. Hilburn, a licientiate of ^Border Springs 
church, under consideration, and endeavor to place him 
in Mississippi College, at Clinton, Miss., (sometimes 
called "Clinton College" in these pages.) He was also 
recommended to the Ministerial Education Board of 
the State Convention, and a colletion was taken up for 
his benefit, amountiong to thirty dollars in pledges, 
which were paid. 

Again, in 1873, the report, by J. W. Moore, urges 
the responsibilit}' of the churches in the matter of 
preaching the gospel through their ministry. Denomi- 
national existence depends upon the educating of our 
ministers. "Education in these times, is a necessity, 
and the chuerhes must meet it or become imbecile and 
srrovel alonsr in the rear of advancing civilization and 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 24'9 

cultivation. Brother L. J. Hilburn, in our bounds, is 
\vorth\' of our confidence, and desires a better educa - 
tion. We urge a collection now for his benefit, and 
pledges for his future aid, and also for the aid of any 
others so worthy and apt to improve as he. 

The Association recommended brother Hilburn to 
the Ministerial Education Board of Alississippi Col- 
lege, as entireh' worthy of its support and benefit, and 
the Executive Board of the Association was charged 
with the duty of raising funds for his benefit. 

The report of 1S74, by T. J. Deupree, refers to Paul's 
declaration, (1. Tim. 3:2,) that a bishop must be "apt 
to teach,'" and properh- insists that culture, for a minis- 
ter, is second in importance to earnest piety only. At 
Mississippi College, $100 will support a young minis- 
ter one term, and about the same amount at the Semi- 
nary. James Nelson, secretar3' of the Ministerial Edu- 
cation Board, has secured contributions to keep thirty- 
seven young minsters atClinton, among whom is L.J. 
Hilburn, from us, who desires to continue his studies 
there. L. S. Foster, now at the Seminary, is also in 
need of a loan of twenty-five dollars. We urge pledges 
no\v, to be paid in earlv, to aid these brethren. Pledg- 
es were made amouning to $77.50 for this purpose. 

•In 1875, the report, mentioned again, the requisi- 
tion that a preacher must be "apt to teach.'" Unedu- 
cated ministers would have accomplished much more 
had they been educated. Educated men are needed to 
meet every form of error. The splendid work of Alis - 
sissippi College and the Seminary in the education of 
ministers is mentioned with hearty approval. But there 
is still a great work to be done. A collection was at 
once taken up for the work, amounting to fifty dollars, 
in cash, and pledges to be paid January 1st., 1876. R. 



250 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS, 

N. Hall was received, in 1876, as a representative of the 
State Board of Ministerial Education. A report says- 
that the minister is a teacher of the most important, 
things, and must he educated. Paul said to Timothy;. 
"Commit these things to faithful men, who shall be a- 
ble to teach others.'" "He cannot teach who is not ed- 
ucated in his profession above the intellectual standard 
of those whom he would teach " Reference is made to 
the excellent work of Alississippi College, in furnishing 
young ministers a classical education,, and of the Semi- 
nary, in furnishing theological training. This "school 
of the prophets" turns no one away. Its schools meet 
the wants of all grades of scholarship. Dr. J. P. Bo^^ce 
has raised, for the endowment of the Seminary, from 
Kentucky Baptists, $300,000, and it rests with other 
states to raise $200,000, each state to raise only 
$30,000. If the states complete their quota of the en- 
dowment, the Seminary will be moved to Louisville, 
K\%, and liccomethe finest institution of the kind in the 
United States. Contributions for the Ministerial Edu- 
cation Board at Clinton, Miss., were paid over to R. N. 
Hall. Good reports in the following years, to 1881, 
urge practically the same considerations. The records 
of the Association indicate that it has felt a warm in- 
terest in the mental elevation of the masses. Every de- 
nominational enterprise for Higher Education espccialh^ 
has ahva\'s received a hearty support from its mem- 
berrs, although the education of young ministers may 
have received a gi'eater degree of attention from the 
the bod^' than any other educational enterprise. 

In 1848; ^^Resolved, That this Association recom- 
mend to the Baptist denomination in particular, and 
the friends of education in general, the Lowndes Acade- 
my', near Daih-'s Cross Roads, Lowndes county, Aliss.,. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 251 

the property, and under the superintendence, of Peter 
Crawford, A. M." 

In 1851, the attention of the body was called to 
the establishment of a Female College at Pontotoc, 
Miss., under the patronageof the Chickasaw, Aberdeen, 
and Columbus Associations. Upon the report of a 
special committee on the subject, J. R. Davis, the agent 
of the enterprise, gave ''a lucid explanation of the es- 
tabhshment, and objects of this institution of learn-^ 
ing.'" The report recommends ; "1 . That this Associ - 
ation regard with deep interest this important enter - 
prise, * * * and cordially recommend said Female Col- 
lege to the liberal support and patronage of all our 
churches and the community generally within our 
bounds. 2. That this Association will, by re(iuest, ap- 
point ten Trustees of the College, who, with an equcil 
number from each of the above Associations, shall con- 
stitute a Board for the management of the same. 3. 
That w^e fully approve and recommend the establish- 
ment of scholarships in said institution, on the plan pro- 
posed by the trustees." The ten trustees elected for 
this College, were: J. T.Russell, J. T. Freeman, N. Sans- 
ing, and T. G. Blewett, O. Canfield, J. T. Owens, Wm. 
R. Smith, James Jones, John M. Morgan, and E. B. 
Hoskins ; who had power to fill vacancies in their num- 
ber. This College w^as established and called the Mary 
Washington Female College, and H. H. Tucker was 
present in 1852, as its agent and presented its claims 
before the body. At the same meeting, W. M. Farrar 
w^as present as the agent of the College recently estab- 
Hshed by the Baptists of the State, at Clintcm, Miss., 
and presented its claims. 

The report notices the increased attention of Bap- 
tists to education, and the importance of supportmg 



252 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

Baptist institutions in preference to all others. It saysj 
"We are pleased to state that our State Convention 
has now in operation a Male College at Clinton, Hinds 
county, with a Theological Department. Our own 
body, in connection with three sister Associations, has 
succeeded in coniinencing a Female College at Pontotoc, 
under the supervision of our esteemed and beloved 
brother, H. H. Tucker. But these institutions are in 
their infanc3', and need our fostering care, our contribu- 
tions and our pra^-ers.'" Resolutions were passed hear- 
tih^ indorsing and recommending these institutions, 
and urging their claims for patronage. Dr Hampton 
was present as the agent of Mary Washington College 
and addressed the body in its Ijehalf, and T. G. Blewett 
represented Clinton College, at the session of 1S53. 

E. B. Eakin, inlSoS, represented the M. W. Female 
College. Its claims were also advocated by X. Sansing, 
S. S. Lattimore and W. M. Farrar. after which sixty 
dollars was raised to liquidate its debts. E. C. Eager 
was present in behalf of Clinton College, and earnestly 
advocated its claims. Resolutions were passed, and 
supplemented by material aid, expressing sympathy, 
for, and pledging aid to these institutions. A preamble 
and resolution refers to the prosperity of Clinton Col- 
lege, and pledges patronage to it. 

In 1857, the report notes the continued improve- 
ment in Baptist institutions of learning, male and fe- 
male, but calls special attention to the condition, pro- 
gress and wants of Mississippi College. Its condition 
is health}-; its officers have the confidence of all; and its 
endowment has been largely increased. For building, 
$50,000 is needed, and for endowment, $30,000 more. 
This body should extend its hearty aid. 

No agent for the College was present in 1858, but 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 253 

an earnest report was presented^ from which some 
words are extra(5led : "The religion of the Lord Jesus 
Christ is the religion of light, and knowledge, and un- 
der the hallowed influence of the gospel, the human 
mind will reach the highest point of developement, 
* * * It is the duty of the churches to foster every effort 
to expand the mind, and enlarge the heart, also to 
open ever3' avenue to knowledge which may lie within 
the province of church legislation. To this end we 
would urge the necessity of sustaining, bj^ patronage, 
and money, the institutions of learning under the super- 
vision of our denomination. * * * We believe we have 
in charge the true principles of the gospel, and therefore^ 
under the guidance of these higher truths, we are emi- 
nenth^ qualified to direct them (the 3^oung) in the ac- 
quisition of all substantial truths." Clinton College is 
heartily indorsed, and recommended again. 

In 1860, a resolution of commendation of Mississ- 
ippi College was passed. In 1868, J.B. Hamberlin, and 
W. E. Chambliss were present, the former representing 
a Female College at Meridian, and the latter a similar 
institution at Aberdeen. A special hour was appointed 
for them to present the claims of their respective Col - 
leges, and a report was adopted strongly recommend- 
ing both "as worthy of the patronage of the denomi- 
nation.'' 

In 1870, a resolution was adopted: "That we 
cordially recommend our denominational institution, 
Mississippi College, located at Clinton, to the patron - 
age and support of the Baptists of this Association, and 
to the friends of education generall3^" The report on 
Education notes the tendencj^ of the age towards a 
higher standard of scholarship, creating a demand for 
institutions of a higher order. Will Baptists meet this 



:254 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

demand? All feel the need of education: who will take 
charg^e of its interests? The West Point Baptist chnrch 
is endeavoring to establish a first-class Female Semi- 
nary. Its location is advantageous, and the follow- 
ing resolution of the body indorses it : "That we hearti- 
ly approve the action of the West Point church in 
their efforts to build a Baptist Female Seminary at 
that place, and we recommend the same to the favour- 
able consideration and patronage of the Baptists in 
ourbounds."" 

M. T. Aiartin was present as agent for Missis- 
sippi College in 1872. From the report, it appears 
that the College is free of debt; that it needs a perma- 
nent endowment; that the Trustees, at the instance of 
the State Convention, ask for $100,000, in the raising 
of which the members are urged to aid; and that Ar- 
kansas and Louisana Baptists are expected to aid in 
this. At this meeting, pledges were secured for this ob- 
ject, amounting to $2,850, for which endowment notes 
w^ere given. 

M. T. Martin was present £(g£un in 1873, for the 
College. The report mentions the election of W. S. 
W^ebb to the presidency of the College, the change of 
the old curriculum to a system of six schools, affording 
an opportunity for graduation and diploma in each. It 
states that $37,000 of the endowment has been secured. 

W. S. Webb was present in 1874, as the representa- 
tive of this Institution, and a concise and comprehensive 
report, b}- J. H. Cason, contains the following: "Of our 
College, we think Ave maj^ truthfully affirm the follow- 
ing: (1) Its present prospects are exceedingly flatter- 
ing. (2) It is manned by an efficient Faculty. (3) It 
is doing a grand and noble work. (4) It should there- 
fore have the heart}- and united support of the denomi- 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 2o5 

nation throughout the State. (5) Its endowment should 
be speedily completed. We most heartih' commend 
it to the prayers, patronage and benefactions of the 
people." 

In 1875, a centennial movement was inaugurated 
by the Baptists of the State to celebrate a centennary 
of religious liberty in connection with the National Cen- 
tennial next A'car, by endeavoring to secure one dollar 
from every Baptist for the endowment of Mississippi 
College and for the Seminary. This movement was 
brought before the Association hy the report of a spe- 
cial committee, and was represented by W. S. Webb and 
J. W. Sanford, who secured ninety -six dollars for the 
College. 

At themeeting of 1876 : ''Resolved, That this body 
iiakes great pleasure in recoinmending the Stark ville Fe- 
male Institute to the favorable consideration of the 
members thereof, 'and the country at large, as well 
v-vorth^' of general patronage." 

The reports on the College for 1876 and 1877, state 
the same facts, sul)stantialh', which have already been 
mentioned, both indicating heart3' interest in the for- 
tunes of the College; and the same is again forcibly set 
forth in 1878. 

Its claims are urged, in 1879, b^- R. N. Hall, upon 
three considerations: (1) The high moral tone and 
efficiency of the Faculty. (2) The moral inffiience of the 
College. (3) It is our College, established b^'our tears, 
sacrifices, and prayers. Resolutions were passed; ten- 
dering sympathy to the Professors, appealing to all in - 
debted to the College to pay such indebtedness, and 
pledging all possible aid in advancing the interests of 
the College. 

George Wharton was present in 1880, also the pre - 



256 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

vious 3'ear, as the representative of the College, and the 
report which was presented said: "In the ardent 
quest for mental development which signalizes the age, 
there is much danger of depreciating the intimate asso- 
ciation between mind and soul. As the soul is the stand- 
ard of the man, we hold that the process of education 
which conduces most to its highest interest, while at the 
same time developing the faculties of the mind is to be 
preferred."' This is made the basis of an appeal for 
the College, and the same resolutions were passed as at 
the last 3'ear. 

Throughout the records of the Association, there 
are expressions of an unqualified advocacy of "temper - 
ance in all things," and especially in the use of intoxi- 
cating drinks. 

The sentiment of the Association found expression 
in 1845, in a report by S. McGowen, in which occur 
these words ; "No subject is more immediately connect- 
ed with our present and eternal welfare than that of 
temperance, consequently no other subject calls more 
loudh' for our best energies. * * * Temperance Socie- 
ties are doing a great work in our own land and in Eu- 
rope. * * * Looking upon their trophies, none but a 
Stoic could withhold tears of gratitude to God, that 
He ever inspired so great and blessed a work. * * * We 
recommend that at least one sermon in every year 
should be preached to each church on this subject." 

The bod^', deprecating the use of spiritous liquors, 
as a beverage, adopted resolutions in 1848, earnestly 
urging the churches to make every proper effort to dis- 
courage and banish this evil froin the land, and to en- 
courage temperance efforts to this end. 

The expression of the bod3', in 1851, vigorously in- 
sists that churches are the great efficient power in ac - 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 257 

complisliing permanent results in temperance, and min- 
isters should cry' aloud and spare not, reasoning, as did 
Paul, of "temperance, righteousness, and a judgment 
to come."' The sentiment of the bodj'-, as repeatedly 
expressed, is always that total abstinence from intoxi- 
cating drinks is a solemn religious duty, and that while 
churches are the efficient power, societies may accom - 
plish much good. Resolutions in 1852, recommend the 
encouragement of these societies, and urge the impera- 
tive duty of every Christian to cultivate temperate 
habits. Almost every possible feature of the temper- 
ance question is presented in the expressions of the bod^^ 
from time to time. The detrimental effects of strong 
drink upon the usefulness, health, and happiness of men, 
the insufficiency of moral suasion to remove the evils of 
intemperance, the utter w^ickedness of the rum -seller in 
disregarding all the teachings of morality and religion, 
and all the misery he causes in pursuing his nefarious 
calling, and the propriety of stringent legal enactments 
to prevent this traffic, are all brought out in the re- 
ports of 1854, and 1855. 

An elaborate report, in 1856, notices that intoxica- 
ting drinks are made more poisonous every j^ear, that 
intemperance is making rapid progress, that to check it 
children must be taught to shun it, and young ladies 
must use their influence against it, that the object of 
temperance societies should be preventive, and that the 
Christian standard should be raised so high that in 
joining a church, every one should be made to under- 
stand that he is joining the ver3^ highest temperance 
society. 

That the remedy for intemperance is the arousing 
of public sentiment against dram -drinking, is the 
thought urged by the report of 1857, while the strict- 



258 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

est discipline in the churches is necessary to free them 
from the curse. 

The hope is expressed, in the report of 1858, that 
churches and ministers will do all in their power to 
stay the evil of intemperance ; while, in the next annual 
report, the fear is entertained that modern improve- 
ments, such as railroads, etc., increase intemperance, 
and that there is a relaxation of effort on the part of 
the advocates of temperance, while there should he in- 
creased effort ever3'wliere, the churches being the only 
great efficient power. 

The report of 1860, contains these earnest words : 
"Intemperance is exceedingly demoralizing, debasing 
the soul, brutalizing the disposition of man, filling him 
with the spirit of a demon, and almost precluding the 
possibilit\' of his salvation. * * * It has filled our land 
with widows and orphans, has filled graves with the 
ruined sons of our citizens, and sent gra3'- haired fath- 
ers and broken - hearted mothers down to the grave in 
sorrow. * * * Who is not willing to lend his influence 
to * * * stay the destructive tide of intemperance 
w^hich is spreading dark and deep over the land ?"" 

A report, in 1861, again mentions the fact that all 
power to suppress this mightA' evil must emanate from 
the churches which are "the salt of the earth", and 
"the light of the world," The body passed resolutions, 
expressing, strong dissaproval of the traffic in ardent 
spirits, the exceedingl3'^ injurious influence of dram- 
drinking, and drunkenness upon the cause of Christ, 
the dut3' of churches to exercise strict discipline in this 
matter, and requesting the churches to inform the As- 
sociation of the state of temperance among their 
members. 

Some of the same suggestions are made again in the 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 259 

action of 1864, and, in addition, the report refers to 
the action of the Legislature, in breaking up the distil - 
leries in the State, and prohibiting the importation of 
ardent spirits. 

Temperance is urged from the example of Christ, in 
the next annual report, which example should stimu - 
late and dwell like a mighty principle in the heart : and 
insists upon the teaching of God's word as to "temper- 
ance in all things," and realh' eloquenth' pictures the 
debasing influence of intemperance upon the moral, in - 
tellectual, and physical man, earnesth' urging that pe- 
culiar obligations rest upon Baptists to exemplify the 
pure doctrines of temperance, and cease to be proverb - 
ial for their drunkenness. This report, in 1867, is an 
excellent literary specimen. 

Substantially the same line of thought is pursued 
in the report of 1868. The churches are again properly 
urged to firm and rigid discipline that they maA' thus, 
in this matter, place a mark upon the crime, and let 
the world see that morality and religion are in- 
separable. 

Through its committee in 1869, the Association de- 
clares : "We are strong advocates of temperance, since 
the Scriptures teach it, common sense approves it, and 
self-interest ckmands it." 

The feeling of the body found expression, in 1870, 
in the following: '^Resolved, That we, as a bod^- of 
professing Christians, do hereby- pledge ourselves to use 
our influence for the suppression of the vice of intemper- 
ance," and the report of 1871, sa^^s : "We conceive in- 
temperance to be the greatest evil with which we have 
to contend, and we recommend that all churches hav- 
ing members who indrlge in the immoderate use of ar- 
dent spirits deal with them as the New Testament 
requires." 



260 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

The increasing magnitude of intemperance, its ex- 
tent among Baptists, and the general HabiHty to abuse 
the appetites which God has given us for beneficient 
purposes, as well as the dut3^ of churches to frown up- 
on the use ot ardent spirits as a beverage, is the tenor 
of the report of 1872 ; and the next annual expression 
insists again that the frown of the denomination should 
be against the use of intoxicating drinks as a beverage, 
and that discipline is needed in the matter. In 1874 : 
'^Resolved, That this Association recommend a more 
vigorous discipline in the matter of intemperance in the 
use of intoxicating liquors on the part of any church to 
whom this resolution ma\' apph'." A special hour was 
set apart for the consideration of the subject, and the 
discussion elicited much interest. 

At the meeting of 1875, the .\ssociation, by resolu- 
tion, ceased to consider the subject of temperance, not 
therebA^ indicating its unimportance, or an^- abatement 
of interest, but simply referring the ^vllole matter to 
the churches exclusiveh' for their consideration and 
management, where, of course, all real action must be- 
gin and end. 

Realizing, from its earliest days, the importance of 
S^'stem in its Benevolent Operations, this body, as ear- 
ly as 1844, passed the following: *^ Resolved, That the 
Association recommend to her ministers to teach and 
explain to their churches the command as given in the 
Bible for the management of our pecuniary matters and 
the evils resulting from a departure therefrom."' 

A report on Benevolent Operations, in 1846, after 
mentioning that God has opened a way to almost every 
part of the world, the degradation of the heathen, the 
destitution in the United States and among the In- 
dians, the needs ofA'oung ministers who desire educa- 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 261 

tion, and God's command to "preach the gospel to 
every creature,"' gives the following s^'stem for meeting 
the requirements of this command: "Let each pastor 
prepare a book to take down the sums given by the dif- 
ferent members of his charge. Let him at least once a 
year, present the different claims which God has on His 
people, so that each one may have an opportunitv of 
giving as the Lord has prospered him, to either or all of 
the benevolent operations of the day; and collect and 
bring up said sums to the Association annuallv." The 
next annual expression mentions the stronger hold up- 
on the hearts of Christians which the different benevo- 
lent objects now have, but that very little has been 
done compared with what is yet to be done. "God 
works loy means. We want action, systematic action, 
united, persevering, untiring action, in the great work 
of evangelizing the world. * * * We would advise a due 
degree of Christian action for all benevolent objects and 
especially that we be mindful of the great destitution of 
the word of life in our own and sister states.'' 

1849, it is said : "We consider thechurhes of Christ 
a great benevolent society, andever3' child of God, from 
the relations he sustains to Him and His creatures, is 
under high obligations to" work for God as He has so 
abundanth' blessed many of our churches with wealth. 
"For lack of combined systematic action, very little has 
been accomplished and that bj- a few liberal brethren." 
By resolutions, pastors were requested to present the 
claims of all the various gospel enterprises, and secure 
contributions for the same, and churches requested to 
co-operate in the same. 

The churches were reciuested in 1849, to report an- 
nualh' to the Association all contributions made 
through the year to all objects, and the same requtes 



262 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

was repeated next year when the report on benevolent 
op erations was presented. This deplores the lukewarm- 
ness of Christians in the benevolence which the gospel 
i nspires, and attributes the same to indifference and a 
lack of a systematic plan by ^vhich all members should 
be led to feel the claims of religious benevolence upon 
them. Resolutions urged the churches (1) to supply 
themselves with preaching one -half or three -fourths of 
the time if possible, (2) adopt some systematic plan of 
giving and endeavor to secure the co-operation of every 
member without exception. 

The plan suggested in 1853, as the most effectual is, 
that pastors, in special discourses, annualh' present all 
the various claims of the gospel upon the benevolence 
of Christians, and show what a large amount would 
flow into the treasury of the Lord, and ho\v much 
would be saved from agent's salaries, if all would give 
only a few dimes thus and send it up annually. 

The Association recommended, in 1856, that each 
deacon supph' himself with a book having a column for 
each object patronized by the bod^-, and an effort be 
made to secure something for each object from each 
memljcr to be sent up to the Association, viz : Name of 
contributor, church expenses, pastor's salary', Domestic 
missions. Foreign missions, and Bible cause. 

In 1858; '^Resolved, That the ministers of the As- 
sociation be requested to preach a missionary sermon 
in their respective churches, and take up a collection dur- 
ing the next 3'ear,"" and in 1861: "That the form of let- 
ters be so amended as to embrace the amounts con- 
tributed for the various benevolent objects, and the a- 
mount paid by churches to their pastors.'' 

The imperative necessitj^ for prudence and S3'stem 
in giving, arising from the changed circumstances of 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 263 

our people, is urged in the report of 1869. The Scrip- 
tural command is presented: "Upon the first da}^ of 
the week let every one of you lay by him in vStoreas God 
has prospered him f 1 Cor. 16:2. The body says: 
"This Association recommends all the churches com- 
posing it to make not less than four contributions dur- 
ing the year; for missions, especially domCvStic; for edu- 
cation, particularly ministerial; for publications, includ- 
ing the distribution of the Bible and religious l3ooks;for 
Sunday schools. These contributions should be made 
by public collection quarterly, after previous public no- 
tice of the object of the collection;"' and be appropria- 
ted through the Southern Baptist Convention. Great 
success has attended system in other denominations, 
and the same would be the result if we could systema- 
tize. At twent-five cents per meml^er quarterly, $200 
could he raised in the Association. 

The futility of plans without action is compared, in 
the report of 1870, to a perfect engine, with wood and 
water all in place, but engineer too lazy to kindle the 
fire. The great need is for zealous workers. "One 
great systematizer, is to live near God and in the dis- 
charge of all our Christian duties, and our benevolence 
Avill flow out smoothly and systematically, and we will 
always find our treasury full." 

In the next annual report, it is said : "System is the 
order of nature, and of God. It is as essential in God's 
spiritual kingdom as in His physical and moral govern- 
ment. The want of it brings chaos and ruin in every 
undertaking, human or divine." It is a New Testa- 
ment law, and, .disregarding it, we cannot expect the 
blessing of Christ. The law respecting benevolent con- 
tributions is as plain and emphatic as the law of repent- 
ance or baptism. The time is specified; "upon the first 



264 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

day of the week.'" It embraces all; ''let ever^- one of 
you."' The limit of the law is fixed: "as God hath pros- 
pered him." The law is eternally loinding. But there 
inust be s\'stem throughout. There must be some plan 
adopted and carried out. What that plan shall be, is 
left to the wisdom of the churches. 

The same divine law of giving is again enforced in 
the reports of 1872 and 1873, the former insisting upon 
the dutA' of ministers to teach their churches on the 
subject, and the latter urging the individual and uni- 
versalh' applicable obligation growing out of the law 
and earnesth' recommending everA' one to pra^'erl'ul 
consideration and action. 

The Scriptural dut^' of all Christians to give for the 
support of the gospel, and of pastors to enforce the law 
of giving already mentioned, and a suggestion that the 
Association adopt this plan, is the substance of the re- 
port of 1874. 

A very practical report, the next \-ear, deplores the 
failure of so many professing Christians to contribute 
anything to the work of the Lord, while they are under 
the highest obligations to do so, and "the Loi'd loveth 
a cheerful giver,'' and "the lilDcral soul shall be made 
fat." A resolution earnestly recommends each church, 
along with the pastor's salary, to raise a special a- 
mount for State, Domestic, and Foreign missions, and 
ministerial education, in this proportion : for every 
$100 on pastor's salary, let ten dollars each be given 
for church expenses, and poor of the church, and five 
dollars each for State, Foreign, and Domestic missions, 
let all these sums be applied through, or reported to the 
Association, and be published in the minutes. 

The next yearh- report merely urges action in pur- 
suance of previous recommendations, and in 1877, the 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 265 

New Testament rule is again urged in the report, and 
each church is exhorted to adopt some plan for oloeying 
it, while pastors are requested to place the matter be- 
fore their people, and have a committee to plan, and ex- 
ecute their plan of finances, endeavoring to collect some- 
thing for the various religious enterprises of the Asso- 
ciation. The propriety- of forming societies is also sug- 
gested as a means of fostering a benevolent spirit. 

"We regard benevolence as a part of our holy relig- 
ion," says the next annual report. "The principle is 
manifested to us in the gift of the Son of God to die for 
our sins, who wiis rich, yet for our sakes He became 
poor that we through His poverty- might be made rich."' 
The precept, and example of the early churches teach us 
a forcible lesson of benevolence, and the divine plan is 
explicit. As God giveth, so He rec[uireth. This plan of 
the Apostle is again vigorously presented, and the duty 
of frequently teaching it is urged upon pastors. 

"Christianity is systematic benevolence,'" says the 
report of 1880. "Too much of the energy of Christians 
is wasted for lack of system." This plan is suggested : 
"The deacons, with assistance from the church, should 
estimate the amounts needed for ]3astor's salarv, i^un- 
daj^ school, house of worship, and poor of the church. 
They should also estimate the income of ever^- mem1)er, 
and sum up the aggregate, dividing the same by the a - 
mount needed. This gives a percentage b\' which to es- 
timate each member"s proportion ; but each case must 
now be considered in relation to its peculiar circum - 
stances, and relative equality olDtained, and an amount 
put opposite each name. * * * Habitual delinquents, 
who in the judgment of the deacons have no excuse, 
should be reported to the church for advice or discipline, 
as covetous persons. During January, February, and 



266 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

March, the pastor or other person designated 133- the 
church, should take up a colledlion for some or all of 
the following objects: Foreign, Domestic, State, and 
Associational missions, and ministerial education. 
These months are emphasized in order to meet the ne - 
cessities of farmers. * * * We give as our authoritj^ for 
our suggestions as to church expenses : 1 Cor. 9 : 7 — 14; 
2 Cor. 8 : 7 — 15 ; for the discipline of wilful delinquents : 
Eph. 6:1, 5—9: 1 Cor. 5:11—13; Heb. 13:5, 16, 17; 
and for missions, and other objects of benevolence : 
1 Cor. 16:1—3; Acts 11 : 27— 29 ; Rom. 15 : 26, 27; 2 
Cor. 9:1—15."' 

For a numl)er of years, the Association, in its re- 
ports, and deliberations on the subject of Benevolence,, 
directed the attention of the churches to such objects 
of benevolence as were not referred to separate commit- 
tees. At some of the annual sessions, attention was di- 
rected to one object, at others to another. In this con- 
nection is noticed its action concerning old ministers, 
and families of deceased ministers. This is a subject of 
importance, and should claim the attention of every re- 
ligious body. 

"It is certainly the duty of churches to attend to 
the wants of their disabled ministers," urges the report 
in 1854. "It is not the mighty, and rich," it continues, 
"but the weak, and poor that are called into the minis- 
trv, and they are almost certain to remain poor, unless 
through misfortune they marry rich. * * * The church- 
es * * * appear to be forgetful that without some of 
the goods of this world, their (/. e. ministers") families 
must be left destitute, and frequently in a suffering con- 
dition" when they become infirm or die. We think that, 
knowing this, many ministers join secret societies in or- 
der to provide againvSt such emergencies. Ministers are 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 267 

debarred from many lucrative pursuits, and spend their 
talents in the service of the churches, which imposes an 
obligation upon the churches to "beniore liberal, and 
reward their ministers better for their services, or take 
care of their families when they are dead."' As some 
churches are too weak to do this for their ministers the 
Association should adopt some plan of action. By res- 
olution, the churches were requested to contribute an- 
nually for this purpose at least one dime per memlDcr,, 
and in 1855 the treasurer was "instructed to pay over 
to brother F. M. Sansing, son of the late John Sansing, 
a preacher, $125, the quarterly salary of the latter as 
our missionary." The report this year again earnestly 
urges the dut3^ of caring for superannuated ministers, 
renewing the request that every member pay one dime 
for this object. This matter received attention again, 
at the instance of the report of 1857, which seeks to 
elicit action in caring for '■'way-worn" ministers, and 
repeats the suggestion of establishing a fund for this 
object. 

That something was done in this direction is seen 
from a resolution in 1858, loaning "the superannuated 
ministers" fund to the Association" for other purposes. 
In 1859, the fund was returned and applied to the use 
of the widow of John Sansing, and in addition, $27.60 
was raised, and the whole amount paid over to T. P. 
Montgomery for her benefit. By resolution, the church- 
es were again requested to do something for this object 
and pastors requested to publicly present the duty of 

this action. 

By order of the Association, in 1860, "the amount 
($6.20), sent by the Prairie Grove church, as widows' 
and orphans" fund, was appropriated," together with 
nineteen dollars more, (raised by collection), "to the 
use of sister Sansing." 



26S HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

In this connection, may be mentioned resolutions ot 
the Association, making inquiry concerning J. K. Bar- 
ry, appointed by the Aberdeen Association, to raise 
funds for the erection of a suitable m.onument at the 
grave of S. S. Lattimore, and for relief to his widow, 
and requesting that Association to "obtain, if possible, 
from the said Barry, a full list of contributions made to 
him for these o1>iects, and that the same be published 
in the Mississippi Baptist.^' 

There was an Institution controled by the Baptists 
of Mississippi for the purpose of caring for those who 
Avere made orphans by the war of the States. Each 
year, after its establishment, a committee was appoint- 
ed by this body to laA' the claims of the Home before it, 
.and some of its most enthusiastic work was on behalf 
of the same. 

"In the judgment of this committee," says the re- 
port of 1865, "the 'Orphans' Home' is an institution of 
the very first importance, and justlv deserves the warm- 
est sympathies, and most liberal support of all Christ- 
ians, and patriots throughout the State.'* The trus- 
tees have purchased property at Lauderdale Springs, 
and rely upon the contributions of Baptists to meet the 
payments for the same. Assistance is also needed in 
furnishing rooms, and putting the institution into op- 
eration. The small contributions of the masses must 
do this. The Superintendent also proposes to establish 
Ladies' Aid Societies over the State, and furnish them 
with all needed information to guide them in their la- 
bors of love. The benevolence of all is appealed to in 
behalf of the dependent orphans, in furnishing 
rooms, etc. 

The liquidation of a large debt of the Home, and 
the payment for a quantity of hardware, cutlery, furra- 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 269 

ture, crockeiy, and supplies, and the election of S. S. 
Cranberry as Superintendent, are the topics of the re- 
port of 1866. Resolutions insist upon the eminent 
worthiness of the institution of the support of all the 
philanthropic and patriotic in the State, and urge all 
the churches of the Association to co-operate in its sup- 
port, bj' contributions of cash or produce. 

The report of 1867, refers to the rescue from pover- 
ty and want of one hundred and fifty orphans of sol- 
diers by this institution of the State Convention. The 
Home has not appealed in vain to the charities of Chris- 
tians. A sufficiency of food and clothing has been re- 
ceived, but many other orphans are applying for ad- 
mission. Have we charity" and religion enough to ad- 
mit them, bj' increasing our contributions? 

In 1868, there were something over two hundred 
orphans, several of whom were from the bounds of the 
Association. The Home became greatlj^ pressed for 
supplies, and hundreds had to be denied admission into 
it. These orphans appeal strongly' to the benevolence 
of the State. Such is the substance of the report. 

The minutes of the Association, for 1869 and 1870 
were printed at the Home b3' the boys in charge of the 
Orphans" Home Banner. At the session of 1869, while 
the report was before the body, $184.50 was pledged 
for the Home. The report speaks of the imminent peril 
of the Home. The property has been sold and must be 
rented. "We must bu}' a new Home or cast two hun- 
dred children upon the world. This Association should 
not permit this, for West Point, the best location for 
the new Home, is in its bounds. Will we not aid in se- 
curing this?" (The Home was not located at West 
Point.) 

The report of 1870 speaks of the poverty' of th 



"270 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

Saviour, of His great care for the poor, of His instruct- 
ion to care for the poor, of the injunction of James and 
Peter to Paul to specially "remember the poor," which 
the latter sa\'S he was alwa^'s forward to do, and of 
James' declaration that a part of pure religion is to vis- 
it the fntherless and widows in their affliction. Two 
hundred of these poor are at the Home, silenth" appeal- 
ing for our Christian benefactions. Resolutions reques- 
ted each church in the Association to assume the sup- 
port of at least one orphan at the Home, appointing 
some member to raise the necessary amount, ($60) in 
cash, provisions, or clothing, and send to the Superin- 
tendent ; requested this agent to strive to increase the 
circulation of the Banner : and solicited other Associa- 
tions "to co-operate with us in this plan for the sup- 
port of the Home.'' 

"The Home still lives, and vigorouslv does its work 
after five years existence,'' sa^'S the report of 1871. It 
has been Tcfflicted by the death of Superintendent Gran- 
berrv, and Assistant -Superintendent M. J. Thigpen. 
The Home now needs meat, bread, and shoes, for two 
hundred orphans, a supply of corn for the coming 3'ear, 
a good house for the winter, instead of the present 
leak}' one. The l^oys have made the l^rick, but money 
is needed to build. The resources of the Home are (1) 
The Banner, which is self-supporting, and deserves a 
much wider circulation to make it a source of revenue ; 
(2) The concerts given by thirty' orphans in charge of 
A. D. Trimble; and (3) The generous aid of the Alason- 
ic Fraternity. Baptists should do more for the Home 
or turn it over to the Masons. The resolutions of last 
year were re -adopted, and a collection of ninety' dollars 
raised. 

A. D. Trimble was present in 1S72, as the represent- 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 271 

ative of the Home. The report speaks of the perilous 
condition of the same, and gives an extract from the 
last report of the State Convention on the subject, 
from which the following is taken : "transfer of the 
HOME. Your committee recommends that this ques- 
tion be referred directly to the churches in the State, 
with the request that they take definite action on this 
subject — solemnh' pledging themselves to give annually 
so much monev for its support, or so much in supplies ; 

* * * that this Convention give the churches until the 
first of December, proximo, to act on this question. 

* * * If by that time the trustees of the Home are sat- 
isfied, by the action or /joh- action of the churches, that 
they do not intend to support the Home, which requires 
annually $12,000, your committee recommends, as an 
act of humanity, that this Convention authorize the 
Board of trustees of the Home to tender the same, its 
sacred trusts, and legal possessions, to the Masonic 
Fraternity of the State of Mississippi, to be theirs for- 
ever." A resolution of the Convention requested every 
Baptist church to appoint a special working agent to 
collect for the Home. The Association adopted resolu- 
tions indorsing this action of the Convention, and urg- 
ing all the churches to act in accordance therewith. A 
contribution of $90 was received for the Home. 

A. D. Trimble was present again in 1873, and, from 
the report, it appears : "That the question of transfer- 
ring the Home to the Masonic Fraternitj^ has been 
definitely decided, and the institution remains under the 
control of our Convention." Annual pledges, amount- 
ing to $3000, have been made, and but few churches 
have been canvassed. Just now the Home is in need of 
supplies, and needs them immediately. Resolutions, 
earnestly requesting all the churches to immediate adt- 



272 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

ion for the Home, determining to take up a contribu- 
tion at once for the pressing \vants of the same, and in- 
dorsing R. N. Hall as its Superintendent, and agent, 
were passed, and a contribution of $13.75 was made. 

The report of 1S74 notes the increase of interest in 
regard to the Home. A steam gin, and mill are in con- 
templation, and will soon beat work. The Banner has 
doubled its subscription list. Every effort is being 
made to make the Home self-supporting. Other ma- 
chinery will he added, and the land will be cultivated. 
The Superintendent asks for one dollar from each church 
as a mill fund, and also for a cash contribution for cur- 
rent , expenses. Resolutions recommended early contri- 
butions for both of these objects by the churches, and 
the appointment by each church of a special local agent 
to act in their midst. 

At some time before the next meeting of the Associ- 
ation, in September, 1875, the Orphan's Home ceased 
to exist. But during all its varied fortunes until its dis- 
continuance it was warmly supported b}- the Associ- 
ation. 

The reports of its committees from year to year, in- 
dicate hearty interest, and zeal in the department of 
SundaA' school work. Its importance is alwaA'S empha- 
sized. As early as 18-15, the following action was tak- 
en : "On motion of W. C. Crane, Resolved, That it be 
earnestly recommended to the several churches compos- 
ing this body to establish Sal)bath schools at. each 
place of worship," and next year the churches were re- 
quested to establish church libraries as soon as possible. 

A report, in 1852, notes with regret that but one 
Baptist Sunday school is reporter/ within the Associa- 
tion, and it is stated in the next annual report, that 
while there has been an increase of schools, vet there is 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 273 

still much destitution, adding: "We believe that this 
institution is our greatest dependence for an efficient 
ministry', faithful deacons, and for Sabbath school 
teachers." Resolutions earnestly requested all the 
churches to make strenuous efforts to have their own^ 
and all the children of the community in a Sunday 
school, and expressed the belief of the Association that 
it is the duty of all Christians to engage in this enter - 
prise b}' their presence, and the presence of their chil- 
dren, if heads of families, and by teaching the children 
of others. 

So far as is known, the Sunday schools in the Asso- 
ciation were in a flourishing condition in 1854, states 
the report. Schools are earnestly recommended. The 
advantages of the Sunday school in promoting a knowl- 
edge of the Scriptures, keeping the young from tempta- 
tion, and bringing them under the influence of the Chris- 
tian religion, making the best members, and training 
the rank, and file of Christians who engage in it, and 
the duty of ministers, and all members to labor in this 
department, is the tenor of the report of 1855. 

Lack of interest in the work, its great importance,, 
and the dutA' of the churches to prosecute it, and report 
to the Association, are the topics of the next report, 
while the report of 1857 regrets that the previous rec- 
ommendations have not been heeded, and fears that 
there is not as much interest as there should be on this 
subject. For the encouragement of all in this Avork it 
is written : "Train up a child in the way he should go^ 
and when he is old he will not depart from it." Luke- 
warm brethren are urged to try this work one 3^ear, 
and see what may be accomplished. 

The grandeur and efficiency of the Sunday school 
work, second only to that of the pulpit, are urged in. 



« 



274 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

the report of 1858. The Sunday school is compared to 
an angel of mercy sowing the seed of divine truth. 
Truth early learned is like an electric telegraph, linking 
the soul to the throne of God. Sunday schools are an 
efficient auxiliary in family government. The3' have ac- 
complished a vast amount of good for our country at 
large. "They are vavSt reservoirs of moral influence, 
sending forth their pure and crystal streams, * * * 
cheering the hearts of thousands with their healing 
draughts." These facts place obligations upou all 
Christians to give to the j^oung a pure doctrine, and 
a Baptist literature instead of a Union literature. Sub- 
stantially', the same facts are set forth in the next an- 
nual report, and, in addition, the churches are requested 
to report the statistics of their schools. The suscepti- 
bility of the young mind to receive religious impress - 
ions, and the fact that if we do not, others will take 
advantage of this, and impart to our children a relig - 
ious bias for life, is made, in the next annual report, a, 
strong reason for procuring and using the Baptist pub- 
lications from the Nashville house. 

The encouraging prospects communicated in regard 
to this work in some of the letters, is noted with pleas- 
ure in the report of 18G1. The fostering of a more gen- 
eral interest in the work and the use of Baptist books, 
are recommended, and the report concludes: "Let us, 
as has been remarked, close the 'Book of Resolves' and 
open the 'Book of Acts,' and the Lord will bless us and 
our children with success in this world, and a glorious 
immortality beyond the grave" 

In 1864, "the clerk was instructed so to alter the 
form of Church Letter as to include Sabbath schools, 
number of scholars, volumes in library-, and to publish 
the same in the minutes when sent up." That much is 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 275 

now being accomplished in this department is a source 
of joy to the committee of this j-ear. The necessity of 
schools and a pure literature are urged; and, by resolu- 
tion, the Association requested the President of the 
South Western Sabbath School Union to call a meet- 
ing of that body at the earliest possible moment for 
the purpose of devising some plan to supply literature 
for the Sunday Schools. 

At the session of 1869, T. C. Teasedale was 
present as the representative of the Sunday School Board 
of the Southern Baptist Convention. The report pre- 
sents the claims of this cause upon our sympathy and 
support. Its importance is seen in the indellible nature 
of earh^ impressions. Reference is made to the location 
of the Sunday School Board at Memphis. Resolutions 
(1) Pledged the hearty support of the Association to 
the Memphis Board in its endeavor to promote the effi- 
ciency of the Sunday school work; (2) Specialh^ request- 
ed the pastors, deacons, and members generally to 
maintain in their midst an evergreen School, and estab- 
lish one wherever there is none in operation; and (3) 
Recommended the publications of the above mentioned 
Board. The substance of these resolutions is embodied 
in the suggestions of the report of 1870, which, in ad- 
dition, suggests that there be only Baptist Sunday 
schools, that Kind Words be taken and read in our 
schools, and that the mission work of the Memphis 
Board be approved, which work justly appeals to our 
people for aid. T. C. Teasdalewas again present in be- 
half of the Memphis Board, presenting its claims and 
receiving a contribution of sixty -five dollars for its 
work. 

During the next few years excellent reports insist 
upon the same lines of thought and activity in this 
•work. 



276 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

In 1877, the report gathers the statistics of this 
work in the Association, indicating schools in twelve 
out of its nineteen churches. It is said that a Sunday 
school is a church at work, studying the Scriptures, in 
obedience to the Saviour's command, "Search the Scrip- 
tures," (Jno. 5:39). The Bible is "the sword of the 
Spirit," (Eph. 6:17); it makes its devout students 
"wise unto salvation," (2 Tim. 3 : 15) ; ignorance of it 
is a source of error, (Matt. 22:29, and Acts 13:27); 
and the Church, which is "the pillar and the ground of 
the truth," (1 Tim. 3:15), is edified thereby, (1 Cor. 
14 :4'), for all Scripture is given b3^ inspiration of God, 
and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, 
for instruction in righteousness," (2 Tim. 3:16). 
Churches which fail to have schools usually fail to have 
pastors. The\^ should afford themselves the luxury of 
working together with God in this sphere of Christian 
activity. 

The report in 18S0 calls attention to two extremes 
in regard to Sunday schools, the one attaching too lit- 
tle importance to Sunday school work, the result part- 
ly of a slothful indifference ; the other, growing out of 
zeal, and Christian earnestness, attributing too inuch 
importance to this work, and exalting it above preach- 
ing. While it can never do the work which preaching 
must do, 3^et within its proper sphere, it demands the 
earnest zeal, and consecrated work of all Christians. 

During the entire history- of the Association, there 
has been an Executive Board, composed of earnest and 
judicious brethren, having in charge the missionary op- 
erations of the bod^', and making regular annual re- 
ports of their work, embracing the reports of its mis- 
sionaries. In the later years of the Association, this 
Board has been appointed by a nominating committee, 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 277 

the report of which is ratified by the Association, in its 
adoption. As to how the members were previously 
chosen no intimation is given in the records, nor is it a 
matter of any consequence. 

The main work of this Executive Board has been to 
prosecute, in behah'of the Association, through its mis- 
sionaries, the preaching of the gospel to the destitute 
-within its bounds. In 1847, a summary of its entire 
work, up to that time, in this department, is given, 
from which the following is taken : 

"At the October session, 184-0, it was Resolved, 
That it is the duty of this Association to sustain a mis- 
sionary within its own limits, whose business it shall 
be to suppW destitute neighborhoods with preaching 
and to assist in the building up of feeble churches.'' Ac- 
cordingly, efficiency was given to the enterprise by the 
appointment of an Executive committee, (consisting of 
one member from each church,) whose peculiar province 
was to emplo3', supervise, and direct the service of a 
suitable minister in this department. 

"In November following, the committee met and 
appointed J. G. W. Mallett to devote three -fourths of 
his time to the service of the Association, at a salary of 
$330. His labors commenced January 1st, 1841, and 
embraced the counties of Monroe, Lowndes, Oktibbeha, 
and the north-western portion of Noxubee, in Miss., 
and Fayette, in Ala. In Monroe, at that time there 
was great destitution. The Association had no minis- 
ter there except its missionary, and in the white popu - 
lation there were several families who had never heard 
a Baptist preach, and had never seen any one baptized 
until they saw that ordinance administered by J. G. W. 
Mallett. 

"In this county (Monroe) he constituted one church 



278 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

(with the aid of AI. Bennett) at Lea's school house, 
now known as the church at Greenwood, since famed 
for its members' piety and influence. It now belongs 
to the Aberdeen Association. In Lowndes the Associa- 
tion has but one minister west of the Tombigbee river. 
In this countA', with the aid of John Armstrong, he es- 
tablished a church at Border Springs, consisting of 
eight members. At its first meeting, after the organi- 
zation of this church, which continued sixteen days, 
there were sevent3' converts, tAventy-one of whom 
Avere baptized bj^ the missionary. He thence proceeded 
to hold a meeting in his own neighborhood, which con- 
tinued a few days, and was transferred to the Pilgrim's 
Rest church, where about thirty eml3raced religion, and 
twent3'-one were baptized. Oktibbeha, at that time, 
except the churches at Starkville and Salem, was also 
wathout Baptist preaching, and many portions of it 
had no preaching at all. In this count\', the mission- 
ary^, watli the aid of AI. Bennett, constituted a church 
at C^'press Creek. In Noxubee count}-, with aid, he es- 
tablished a church at Prairie Grove. Here the destitu - 
tion was also very great, there being in that portion of 
the count}' where the missionary traveled very little 
ministerial labor except his own. 

"Fayette count}-, Ala., also presented a picture tru- 
ly melancholy on account of the great want of this 
prominent means of grace. In fact, to look at the pres- 
ent condition of the territory embraced within this, and 
the above mentioned counties, one would be wholl}^ un- 
fit to realize the true condition at the time when" this 
statement begins. And only those who have been wit- 
nesses to the quiet, and purif\'ing operation of gospel 
truths, as proclaimed by the domestic missionaries, are 
prepared to appreciate the fact that by the 'foolishness 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 279 

of preaching' these 'desert places have been made to re- 
joice' and this 'wilderness to blossom as a rose.' 

"In Septeml:)er, 1841, J. G. W. Mallett and vS. Mc- 
Collough were employed in this department ; the former 
to devote one-half of his time to the churches and coun- 
tr}^ on the west side of the Tombigbee ; the latter one- 
half of his time on the east side of that river ; each at a 
salary of $200. S. McCollough baptized in this associ- 
ational 3-ear, fifty -three persons; with assistance, or- 
ganized two churches, and w^as engaged 227 days in 
the service of the Association. J. G. W. Mallett labor- 
ed about one -fourth of his time, and in consequence of 
accepting the pastoral care of three churches resigned 
his place as domestic missionary. The committee ap- 
pointed S. McGowen in his stead, who began his mis- 
sionary duties on April 2nd, 1842. He baptized forty- 
five persons, and, wnth aid, constituted one church. He 
received $200 for his services, and J. G. W. Mallett $75 
for the time he labored this year. 

"In September, 1842, S. McCollough was again 
employed to devote one -half of his time on the east 
side of the river, and J. G. W. Mallet and S. McGowen 
were employed to devote each one - fourth of his time to 
the south-western portion of the Association, at $100 
each. S. McCollough only labored three and one -half 
months this year, ordained four deacons, and baptized 
eighteen persons, and received for his services $166.66. 
J. G. W. Mallett, with the aid of M. Bennett, ordained 
one minister, J. R. Lowry baptized a number of persons, 
and, with the assistance of J. R. Lowry, and W. H. 
Holcombe, constituted two churches, Goose Pond and 
Union. S. McGowen, with the aid of J. C. Keeney, es- 
tablished one church, organized one Sunday school, and 
baptized twenty -five persons. 



280 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

"In 1854, A. W. Elledge was employed as mission- 
ary at a salary of $300. He rode 3,166 miles, preached 
302 sermons, constituted four churches, and obtained 
fifty subscribers to the Baptist Memorial and Record, 
and Christian Index. He devoted ten months and 
twent3' - three days to the service of the Association. 

"In October, 184-4, Nelson Sansing was employed 
in this department at a salary of $400. His labors 
during this ^--ear were given exclusively to the destitute 
churches in the Association. With the aid of minister- 
ing brethren, he constituted two churches, Union and 
Wake Forest in Chickasaw count3% attended the ordin- 
ation of five deacons, established three Sunday schools, 
preached 234 sermons, baptized thirty -five persons, 
and in performing this service traveled 3,300 miles. 

"The ^Executive Board again employed X. Sansing 
on the -l_6th of September, 1845, for $400. He supplied 
the pulpits at Bethlehem and Border Springs during the 
^Associational year. With aid, he constituted two 
churches, Hopewell and Wake Forest in Oktibbeha 
county, assisted in the ordination of two ministers and 
one deacon, established two Sunday schools, delivered 
.298 sermons, baptized thirty -six converts traveled 
3,500 miles, and sold $13.52 worth of the Depository's 
books. N. Sansing was emplo\'ed as missionary also 
in September, 1846, to devote three - fourths of his time 
to the work for $400 per annum. This year, he con- 
stituted one church, and baptized eighteen converts." 

In 1847 — 1848, N. Sansing was again employed by 
the Board, and, besides preaching to the colored people 
one-half of his time, preached regularly at Blufi" Springs. 
During this period he reported 1,970 miles traveled, 
137 sermons preached, and fifty baptisms. This is the 
work of the Association up to September, 1848, while 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 281 

in 1849, it is ascertained that for a year no mission 
work had been done, while the destitution was very 
great. By resokitions, the dut^^ adopting some effect- 
ive plan of operation is acknowledged, and pastors and 
churches are urged to action in the matter. 

M. Bennett was the missionary of the Association 
in 1850, at a salarj^ of $4-00. In this capacit\^ he aided 
in the organization of one church, Siloam, and preached 
to this church regularh' once per month, also to Friend- 
ship church. He reported in his work, 1,500 miles 
traveled, 150 sermons preached, 300 exhorations, and 
thirty baptisms. 

In 1851, W. H. Robinson labored as missionary of 
the Association for eight months at a salary of $266 
for that time. He aided in the constitution of Double 
Springs and Fredonia churches, and preached to them, 
also to Friendship and Spring Hill churches. He re- 
ported 2,249 miles traveled, 116 sermons preached, and 
assistance in the ordination of two deacons. 

In 1852, the Association appointed an agent for 
each district to represent its mission work among the 
churches of these districts. The importance of the work 
is presented in a report, by N. Sansing, in which it is al- 
so stated that eleven of the seventeen churches of this 
Association, besides a number in other Associations, 
have been gathered by this work of this body. W. H. 
Robinson was employed this year as missionary at a 
salary of $400, and reported 2,330 miles traveled, 201 
sermons preached, 131 baptisms, and one deacon or- 
dained . 

W. H. Robinson was employed as missionary- again 
during 1853, at a salary of $375, and his labors were 
abundanth- blessed. He reported 4,442 miles traveled, 
about 120 sermons preached, thirty -eight baptisms, 



282 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

six deacons ordained, one church organized, and other 
labor performed. The report, at this session, by E. B. 
Alills, earnesth' presents the obhgations to supply 
preaching in the home field, where there is great desti- 
tution, exclaiming: "How strange, that an Association 
of seventeen churches, embracing eleven hundred and 
six members, covering a territory' of seventy-five or 
eighty' miles square, and wielding millions of earthly 
Avealth, can onh'- support one missionary at the poor 
rate of $400 per annum!*' 

W. H. Robinson was again emplo\'ed in 1854, at a 
salar\' of $500, and his work was again abundantly 
blessed. He reported 3, 754 miles traveled, 227 sermons 
preached, 120 baptisms, two churches organized, and 
one minister and four deacons ordained. The report, 
by P. Crawford, mentions the "cr^nng demand for 
more missionary- labor,"' and suggests the appointment 
of two missionaries, and a sermon and collection in 
each church in the interest of this work. 

In 1855, W. H. Robinson \vas again emplo3'ed, R. 
R. Straw-n, also, for one -fourth of the year, and John 
Sansing for five months. Their labor aggregated 4,213 
miles traveled, 263 sermons preached, twenty- - seven 
baptisms 1,000 pages of tracts distributed, one church 
organized, and one deacon ordained. The report, by 
W. H. Glenn, presents the inviting field, and recom- 
mends the continuance of two missionaries. 

T. P. Montgomer3^ and W. H. Robinson were the 
missionaries of the Association in 1856. The former 
gave one - half of his time to Salem church, and the oth- 
er half to destitute places generally. He reported 2,200 
miles traveled, 165 sermons preached, twenty -nine 
baptisms, 225 families visited, one church organized, 
one minister and three deacons ordained, and 15,000 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 283 

pages of Baptist books and tracts distributed. W. H. 
Robinson reported 3,846 miles traveled, 206 sermons 
preached, sixty- four baptisms, 365 families visited, one 
church organized, four deacons ordained, and 25,000 
pages of Baptist books and tracts distributed'. The re- 
port on this work, b^^ N. Sansing, speaks of the blessing 
of God upon the valuable work of the missionaries, and 
refers to the work remaining to be done. 

It is mentioned as a source of regret in the report of 
1857, by O. Canfield, that during the past year, this 
great, and blessed work has not been prosecuted, and 
the Association is urged to resume it speedih^ 

In 1858, T. P. AIontgonier3' was emplo^-ed as mis- 
sionary, and reported 3,326 miles traveled, 222 sermons 
preached, forty -nine baptisms of colored, and fift\'-one 
of white persons, 275 families visited, and one church 
organized. S. S. Franklin, in the report on this work, 
speaks hopefully of it, mentions the good already done, 
and the inviting field still before the Association. 

T. P. Montgomery, and W. H. Robinson were em- 
plo\^ed as missionaries in 1859 at $700 each. The for- 
mer reported 4,100 miles traveled, 222 sermons preach- 
ed, 110 baptisms, 325 families visited, one church or- 
ganized, and one minister, and two deacons ordained ; 
the latter failed to report. At this time there was an 
increasing demand for missionary work of this kind, 
and the report urges that this demand should be more 
fully met by the Association. 

In 1860, W. H. Robinson, and T. P. Montgomery 
were again the missionaries of the body. The former 
reported 4,075 miles traveled, 208 sermons preached, 
thirty -one baptisms, and $23 from his field ; the latter 
4000 miles traveled, 204 sermons preached, twentj^-six 
baptisms, 325 families visited, and one church organ- 



284 HISTORY OP MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

ized, and received into the Association at this session. 

During 1861, there was no missionary work done, 
although the destitution was very great. W. C. Mont- 
gomery was employed as missionary- seven months in 
1862, arid reported 1,398 miles traveled, ninety -five 
serons preached, twenty -seven baptisms, and 100 
families visited. W. H. Roljinson was appointed inis - 
sionarv in 1863, but the unsettled state of civil matters 
prevented much labor in this field. 

In 1864, W. H. Robinson was again employed for 
nine months, and reported 2,391 miles traveled, 155 
sermons preached, and sixt^- baptisms. 

T. P. Montgomery- was employed one-half of his 
time in 1865, and reported 1,030 miles traveled, eightj-- 
three sermons preached, and fort^^-four baptisms. He 
found several churches cold, and declining, and recom- 
mended the employment of an efficient missionar\-. 

This work, in 1866, as a natural consequence, was 
in a deplorable condition, and as a result of this there 
was a great religious decline throughout the body. T. 
P. Montgomery was employed one- half of his time at 
a salary of $400 to act as agent of the Association, to 
travel, and collect funds for this mission, and to do 
evangelistic work among the weak churches. 

W. H. Robinson w-as emplo^^ed as missionan,^ in 
1867, at a salarv- of $800. He reported 107 days ser- 
vice (about 856 miles traveled), eighty -three sermons 
preached, thirty- -six baptisms, and two deacons, and 
tw^o colored ministers ordained. The fact is mentioned 
in the report on this work, that all the churches feel the 
neglect of it by becoming cold religioush-. 

In 1868, W. F. Spragins was employed as mission- 
ary at a salary of $720. His work was quite satis- 
factory, and he reported 1,350 miles traveled, seventy- 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 285 

one sermons preached, ten exhortations, eighteen pray- 
er meetings attended, two Sunday schools organized, 
and sixt3^ religious visits. 

During the next year the body did no work in this 
department, but favored co-operation w^iththe Domes- 
tic Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, 
which is mentioned in detail in the report on the 
subject. 

In 1870, and 1871 also, no work was done in this 
field, and the Association devoted itself to the payment 
of the balance due its last missionary. The report of 
the latter of these 3'ears, urges that the effects of giving 
up this w^ork are seen in the failure of all the churches 
to enjoy spiritual prosperit3^ Pastors, and deacons 
are earnesth^ requested to take some action by way of 
resuming this w^ork. 

At the meeting in 1872, as no missionary work had 
still been done, the Association, through its committee, 
requested the churches to pay an assessment amount- 
ing to $500, and instructed the Executive Board to em- 
ploy a missionary' in this department at once. 

In 1873, W.H. Robinson was emplo3^ed as mission- 
ary, and reported 2,201 miles traveled, 197 sermons 
preached, thirt3'-one baptisms, many lectures, and 
many prayers \vith families. He received a salary of 
$500. In 1874, he was again employed as missionary 
for three - fourths of his time, and reported 978 miles 
traveled, and sixt\^-four sermons preached. At this 
session, co-operation wath the State Mission Board 
was determined upon Iw the Association, and accord- 
ingly the report of the Executive Board, in 1875, shows 
that all funds contributed for Home missions were paid 
over to T. J. Walne, of the State Board, for the work of 
that Board, to be appropriated, at least in part, with- 
in the Association. 



.286 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

This plan of co-operation with the State Board 
A?vas pursued again during 1876, and the Association 
thus parth' sustained W. H. McGee, who labored a 
portion of his time within its bounds. He continued 
his labor under this plan until Januar3', 1877, when he 
resigned his position. No work was then done in the 
associational field until the following June, when R. N. 
Hall began work in the neighborhood of James Creek 
church. 

During 187S, R. N. Hall was employed for one- half 
of his time as missionar^^ of the Association, at a salary 
of $500. In this capacity he did a good work at James 
■Creek, Coble's Switch (Harmony- church), New Bethel, 
and Artesia. He reported a fine prospect at New Beth- 
el, and at Cobb's Switch where the members are build- 
ing a $450 house, the cause progressing at James Creek 
where $225 have been expended in church repairs, and 
a rather unfavorable prospect at Artesia. 

In 1879, R. N, Hall was again employed one -half of 
liis time, J. T. Christian for one -half of his time, and 
George Wharton for one -fourth of his time for three 
months. Their labors were quite satisfactory, and re- 
sulted in the organization of one church, the upbuilding 
of another (Harmony), where reorganization had just 
been effected b\' William Halbert, the revival of others, 
with many additions by baptism. 

In 1880, J. T. Christian w^as again employed for 
-one-half of his time. His labor was bestowed at New 
Bethel, Harmony- (Cobb's Switch), Artesia, Sun Creek, 
Palo Alto, and Hebron. He reported 1,025 miles trav- 
eled, seventy -two sermons preached, 100 families visit- 
ed, and three Sunday school speeches. Upon receiving 
intimation of his probable resignation, the Executive 
Board passed a resolution expressing its appreciation 
of his services. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 287 

From this sketch of work, it will be seen that labor 
has been performed in this department in onh' thirty- 
three out of the forty \'ears existence of the Associa - 
tion, and that the reports of work in some of these 
years are very imperfect. In consequence of this incom- 
pleteness, no accurate summary can be made. Sup- 
posing, how^ever, that there had been work done every 
year, and that it were all embraced in the reports, the 
following summary might be made : In fort^^ 3'ears, at 
a cost of $14,000 (according to treasurers' reports), 
have been accomplished, 63,100 miles traveled, 4,131 
sermons preached, 1,226 baptisms, 1,775 families visit- 
ed, 41,000 pages of Baptist books and tracts distribut- 
ed, thirty -tw^o churches organized, and eight ministers 
and thirty' - five deacons ordained. This w^ould give a 
yearly average of $350 expended, 1,572 miles traveled, 
103 sermons preached, thirty baptisms, forty- four 
families visited, 1,000 pages distributed, with a church 
constituted every sixteen months, a deacon ordained 
ever\' fourteen months, and a minister ordained every 
five years. But there was work done only thirty -three 
years. This would give a 3^earl3' average of $424.25 
expended, 1,912 miles traveled, 125 sermons preached, 
thirtj^- seven baptisms, fift^-- three families ' visited, 
1,272 pages distributed, with one church organized 
•everv^ thirteen months, one deacon ordained every 
eleven months, and one minister ordained ever\' four 
years. But let it be remembered that, as stated above, 
in the yearl3^ reports there are often omissions in regard 
to these items of lal)or. ^ 

Had the work been earnesth' prosecuted every \'ear 
what might have been done! Nevertheless, even this is 
-a praiseworthy- record. The churches thus gathered 
numbers more than the present Association, and the 



288 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

baptisms reported aggregate almost as many as its 
present membership. 

The interest of the Association in the spiritual wel - 
fare of the colored people found expression in 1844, in 
the follo\ving: ''Resolved, That a committee of three 
be appointed to devise a plan for a more thorough re- 
ligious instruction of the colored population within the 
bounds of this Association." W. C. Crane, T. G. Blew- 
ett, and D. T. Deupree were appointed. 

From the report of this committee, in 1845, the fol- 
lowing is taken: "The number of colored communi- 
cants in our churches is ver\' large: exceeding that of 
any other body of religious \vorshippers. * * * In order 
to secure thorough and s^^stematic knowledge, the com- 
mittee recommend the following plan : 1. That in 
towns or villages, the colored population be gathered 
together ever\' Sabbath, and religious services be held 
with them after the following manner : (1) Singing, (2) 
Pra^^er, (3) Singing, (4) Reading of a portion of Scrip- 
ture, followed by an expository discourse b^- the minis- 
ter or an explanation of Scripture b^- the deacons or 
members of the church designated for the purpose. 2. 
That once in three months, the pastors and deacons at- 
tend the place of meeting, and catechize the colored 
members of the church upon the prominent historical 
facts and fundamental principles of religious belief and 
practice set forth in the Bible."' Another thing suggest- 
ed w^as the arrangement of religious meetings for the 
colored people on plantations, with the consent of the 
proprietors: and ai^ther Avas the erection of houses of 
\vorship by planters remote from churches, in order to 
give their servants the benefit of religious \vorship. It 
was also recommended that this committee's report be 
read b\' the pastors from each pulpit in the Association^ 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 289 

As earlj'as 1847, the Executive Board was instruct- 
ed to raise funds to employ a missionary to this people, 
and N. Sansing, the missionary of the Association, gave 
one -half of his time to this work. Almost all of the 
churches arranged a service for the colored people on 
Sunday afternoon. This custom was recommended by 
the Association to all the churches. Its missionaries 
were instructed thus to devote their Sunday afternoons, 
in doing which they were punctual, and accomplished 
good. It is true that planters sometimes objected to 
religious services with their servants, but all consented 
in the case of a duly accredited minister. In 1853 and 
1854, there was considerable religious interest and 
work among the servants, in which the white members 
co-operated, and the pastors rendered all possible as- 
sistance, preaching as often as they could. The services 
were thronged, and many professed faith and united 
with the churches. 

Interest in this department of work grew in the 
hearts of the people of God in 1855 and 1856, as the 
records state, while the colored people manifested much 
anxietj^ for religious instruction. The reports each 
year urge the importance of this work, and the magni- 
tude of its claims upon all Christians. During several 
years the missionary continued to devote a portion of 
his time to this department, and, feeling that enough 
was not being done, E. Smith, in 1857, offered his ser- 
vices gratuitously to ride one month to secure funds to 
emplo}^ a minister wholly for this v^ork. 

Gratifying results attended the work of the mission- 
ary in this sphere, and the reports adopted breathe an 
earnest and Christian interest in this woxk of givingre- 
ligious instruction to the colored people. In a quiet 
way much good was acomplished in this direction. 



290 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

The mere fact that the majority of its pastors preached 
regularly to the servants proves that at least the fif- 
teen thousand colored people within the Ijounds of one 
Association w^ere not entirely neglected religiously be - 
fore the Civil War. 

In 1878, the; report urges this work (1) Because of 
the need of the colored people for religious instruction, 
and (2) Because of their willingness to receive it. By 
resolution, the Association determined to employ a 
missionary among the colored people, and authorized 
the Executive Board to make the necessarj' arrange- 
ments. A subscription of $223 was immediately raised 
to start the matter, and W. F. Spragins was employed 
as missionary for this field. He gave his whole time to 
the w^ork, and the mission was productive of much 
good. 

Besides the work of keeping a missionarv^ within its 
own limits, the State Mission Board has always had 
the earnest and hearty sympathy of the Association. 
The action mentioned on page 220, formally ap- 
proved of the objects of the State Convention, and 
in the further action, mentioned in the same connection, 
the Association declared itself auxiliary to that Con- 
vention in its work. 

In 1847, J. Micou was present as the agent of the 
Convention, and in 184-9, S. S. Lattimore was present 
in the same capacity. These agents of the Convention, 
at each meeting, received contributions from the Asso - 
ciation. In 1850, the churches were earnesth^ recom- 
mended to organize a systematic plan for aiding the 
benevolent operations of the Convention. This was 
suggested by a letter from W. C. Crane, Corresponding 
Secretary of the Conventon. 

In 1858, E. L. Compere was present, and addressed 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 291 

the Association in behalf of the Convention, presenting 
the claims of its work upon the SA-mpath}' and aid of 
the churches; while in 1865, the churches were request- 
ed to send as many delegates, and as much money as 
could be collected for the objects of the Convention, to 
its next meeting in Jackson. 

There has been, all the while, co-operation with 
the Board of State Missions, although the contribu- 
tions do not always appear in the minutes. In 1874, 
the Association formally decided not only to do its own 
mission work, but recommended "that means be raised 
for missions, and placed in the hands of the Executive 
Board of State Missions to supply the great destitution 
in other portions of our State." The several churches 
contributed for this object, and in 1875, a resolution 
was passed instructing the treasurer to pay over to 
the secretary of the State Mission Board all funds re- 
ceived for Home or State Missions. At the meeting of 
1876, during the time W. H. McGee was emploj-ed, 
(as mentioned on another page,) the Association in- 
structed its treasurer to jDay such funds to W. H. AIc- 
Gee as the representative of the Board. As already 
mentioned, this minister was employed by the Associa- 
tion conjointly with the State Board until January, 
1877. 

Although assuming entire control of its own inter- 
nal mission work in 1878, and expending $478 in pros- 
ecuting the same during the 3'ear, the Association, in 
addition to this, contributed $210 to State Missions, 
thus giving its aid to the excellent work accomplished 
by the State Board. 

In 1879, M. V. Noffsinger represented this Board 
and the report, by P. C. Bradle\', insists upon the im, 
portance of the work of the Board, and its claims upon 



292 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

the Association. The finance report indicates that it 
was remembered in the contributions of the churches. 

In 1880, the report on Domestic Missions, by M. 
V. Noffsinger, earnestly recommended aid in the work 
of the Board, and a cash contribution of twenty- -two 
dollars was immediateh' handed to D. I. Purser, the 
representative of the Board, besides $217 contributed 
during the year. 

The amounts incidentalh' mentioned in this outline 
of work through the State Board are not intended as a 
complete statement of contributions in this department, 
for Yer3' much has been done which was never reported 
to the Association. 

In the early records of the Association, the phrase 
"Domestic Missions," referred to missions within its 
bounds. Yet as earh^ as 184-6, J. C. Keene^^ was re- 
ceived as the representative of that work of the South- 
ern Baptist Convention, known as Domestic and Indian 
Missions, and committed to its Board located at Ma- 
rion, Ala. J. C. Keeney also represented this Board at 
thesessions of IS-iT, 1848, and 1849, and received con- 
tributions from the Association for its work. 

In 1851, a donation of fift^^ dollars from Dawson 
and Franklin, of Alobile, Avas appropriated to Indian 
Missions, to be applied through the State Convention. 
The report notes the increase of interest in this work^ 
and bases its claim to Christian zeal upon the driving 
of the Indians from their lands, and their willingness 
now to receive the gospel. But the interest in this 
work does not equal that in Foreign Alissions, for 
which in a j-ear Baptists have given $150,000, while 
for Indian Alissions thcA' have given onh' $27,000. 

The report in 1852, in order to stimulate action, 
gives a summary- of the 3'ear's work of the Marion 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 293 

Board among the Indians, and earnestly appeals to the 
body to engage in this work. Another donation of fif- 
ty dollars by Dawson and Franklyi was appropriated 
to it. A rejDort on New Fields of Labor, after calling 
attention to the work of the Board, and urging renew- 
ed and increased contributions to the same, invites the 
attention of the Board to New Mexico, Utah, and Cal- 
ifornia. 

The report in 1853, insists that no field of labor has 
more readily rewarded culture with abundant fruit 
than this, and that no other has higher claims upon 
Christians. A contribution of $17.60 was at once 
made for the work. The report in 1854, simply urges 
action in this department ; and in 1855, Thos. E. Lock- 
heart was present as the representative of this Board. 
The amount of eight^^ - seven dollars was pledged annu- 
ally for five years to aid in relieving the Board of debt. 
The report mentions the transfer of the work of the 
Indian Mission Association to the Marion Board, and 
a consequent debt of $6,000, and urges the Association 
to aid in cancelling this debt. 

In 1857, the two departments of the work of the 
Marion Board — work in destitute sections in the South 
and among the Indians — were considered separately, 
and the progress in each department is mentioned in 
the reports, and the claims of the Board are advocated. 
N. Sansing, in the report of 1858, again insists upon 
the obligations to ^\q the gospel to the Indians ; and 
in 1859, Lee Compere, in the report, bases these obliga- 
tions upon the divine command, and upon the peculiar 
relations of the Indians to the people of the United 
States, and gives two great reasons for prosecuting 
this w^ork ; (1) As a people the Indians are fast wasting 
away; (2) They are easih' reached, — all obstacles have 



294 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

been removed. The work among them too has been 
greatl3H3lessed. At this meeting (1859) a pubUc con- 
tribution of $750 was made for the mission. 

In 1860, AI. T. 'Sumner was present as the Secre- 
tar3% and agent of the Marion Board, and at the close 
of his address received $238. An interesting report, in 
giving a summary of the year's work of the Board, re- 
fers specially to its work in the South. The work a - 
mong the Indians was presented in a report, which 
speaks of its great progress as seen in its summarj' for 
the 3^ear, and deplores the Association's lack of interest 
in this work. 

T. C. Teasdale, and W. S. Webb were received as 
agents for the Board in 1861. A report presenting the 
departments of its work, rejoices that the blessing of 
the Lord has rested upon this work, and that such 
gratifj'ing progress has been made in the evangeliza- 
tion of the Indians. 

During the dark days of 1862, 1863, and 1864, the 
work of this Board was very much hindered, especially 
that among the Indians. It was chiefl^^ engaged in 
work among the soldiers where there was great need of 
the gospel. Resolutions were passed in 1863 : (1) Ten- 
dering to it the s^-mpathy of the Association, (2) Re- 
questing the churches to contribute for its aid, and (3) 
Proposing to devote Sunday's collection to this object. 
In 1864, the report refers to the necessity of the work 
of the Board, and the blessed results of the same as 
seen in the revivals among the soldiers, saying: "We 
owe our preser\'ation as a people to this remarkable, 
and general outpouring of the Hoh^ Spirit. It has kept 
the people from despondenc3\ * * * To keep up this re- 
ligious interest is the hope of our country'.'' During 
the next associational 3-ear, $153 was contributed for 
Indian missions, and $3,031.41 for army missions. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 295 

In 1866, this Board was represented byR. Holman. 
The report on its work, after a statement of its present 
operations, says: "Of these appointments six are in 
this State, at a yearly expense of $3,300. In view of 
the relations we sustain to this Board, and the amount 
it is appropriating to supph^ the destitution of our 
State, * * * your committee urge an immediate effort 
for this cause, and recommend all the churches of the 
Association to make a special colle6lion for the Board 
before the meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention 
in Memphis, next May. 

In 1867, the report on this work, after noting the 
amount of labor performed by the Board, and the wide 
field it is endeavoring to evangelize, says: "All who 
love our Lord Jesus Christ should aid in this noble 
work. All who love their children should seek to pro- 
mote, in the land in which they live, a pure gospel. All 
Baptists should, to the extent of their power, assist in 
establishing those fundamental truths that the Bible is 
the only rule of faith, and practice, and that all depar- 
tures from it involve the agents thereof in great wick- 
edness." 

In 1868, the report mentions the appointment by 
the Board of Al. P. Lowre^^ as general evangelist in the 
State, and urges all to aid it, sa^dng: "Let our associ- 
ational mission be considered auxiliary to this Board. 
We would advise that our Executive committee recom- 
mend to it a suitable minister to be commissioned to 
labor within our bounds, the Association pledging it- 
self, as heretofore for his support." 

M. P. Lowrey was present in 1869, as the repre- 
sentative of the Board, and upon presenting its claims, 
secured pledges for $136. The Executive Board was 
instrud:ed to recommend some one for appointment as 



296 HISTORY OP AnSSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

missionary in the Association, but the plan was not 
consummated . 

In the report of 1870, it is said: "We regard the 
efforts of the Domestic, and Indian Mission Board of 
the Southern Baptist Convention in this regard (i.e. of 
^preaching the gospel to every creature,') as justh' en- 
titled to the warmest S3^mpathy, and most cordial sup- 
port of all the members of our churches."' 

In the report of 1871, the following occurs, extract- 
ed from the report of the Marion Board : "New fields 
are constanth' opening up before us ; old prejudices are 
giving way ; and the people from Marydand to Mexico, 
from the shores of the Atlantic to the w^estem boundary 
of our territor3'', sa3^ 'Come.' The red man rejoices in 
the Saviour of sinners, and, thank God! there is room 
for him." 

The year's w^ork of the Board is reviewed in the re- 
port of 1872, and made the basis of encouragement to 
the churches. The fa6t is mentioned that the Board 
had expended in the State $385.83 mare than it had re- 
ceived therefrom. M. T. Sumner Avas present in 1873, 
and the report strongh' sets forth the claims of the 
Board, represented b\'Dr. Sumner. Pledges were made 
for it amounting to $104.75. 

A report in 1874, urges a(?tion upon the ground of 
increased facilities, and the extent and character of the 
field which invites the labors of the Board. A resolu- 
tion warml}'^ indorses its work. The report of 1875, 
thus speaks: "The Domestic Alission Board of the 
Southern Baptist Convention, which has for j^ears done 
a noble work in our own and the other southern States, 
and is 3'et doing a good work, is now financially em- 
barrassed, and is crying to all Southern Baptists for 
mone3^ to pa3'^ the debts which threaten to crush her." 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 297 

A division of contriljutions l3et\veen this and the State 
Board is recommended to the churches. 

In 1876, S. A. Goodwin represented the Board; and 
the report urges that none are excused from the grave 
responsibihties growing out of the commission of the 
Saviour. Boards have been constituted as the best 
means of disseminating the gospel, and in the absence 
of any better instrumentaHty Christians should sustain 
them. Hence, our duty to this and the State Boards. 
A considerable sum was subscribed for the work of 
both. 

The report of 1877, insists again upon the claims 
of this work. Contributions to it have been only par- 
tially reported, and an intelligent sj-mpathy for it ex- 
ists in the Association. The report of 1878, l^riefly sur- 
veys the different departments of Domestic missions, 
and urges work, and the finance report indicates $39.50 
contributed to the Home (formeW Domestic and Indian) 
Mission Board, besides $-101.25 expended in Associa- 
tional missions. 

The work of the Board is warmh- commended, and 
the churches are urged to remember it in their other con- 
tributions, in the report of 1879. In 1880, the report 
says: "We commend the work of missions within the 
bounds of the Southern Baptist Convention, because 
there are many points and sections of the country, not 
cared for by any State or District mission, and because of 
the important work among the Indians so successfully 
prosecuted for man\' years. 

On Sunda\', Septeml^er, 8th, 1844, J. C. Keeney 
preached a missionary sermon, after which a contri- 
bution w^as made, one-half of which was devoted to 
foreign missions; and in 1845, the Association, in ex- 
pressing its approval of the formation of the Southern 



298 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS, 

Baptist Convention, also indorsed its foreign Avork. 
J. Alicou represented the Foreign Alission Board in 1846, 
and received contributions for its work. The report 
refers to the claims of the heathen world upon all Chris- 
tians, and recommended to all pastors to preach on the 
subject, and adopt some S3'stem of action. At the 
same meeting, a resolution recommended the Southern 
Baptist Missioticiry Journal as the organ of this work 
of the Convention. 

W, AI. Farrar represented the Foreign Board at 
the sessions of 1848 to 1851, and received contribu- 
tions for its work. In 1851, the report, after present- 
ing the claims of the work, gives a statement of the 
work of the Board (which is located at Richmond, Va.,) 
and concludes with resolutions: (1) Acknowledging 
the obligations resting upon Christians, to cultivate 
the spirit of missions, and to pray for an increase of 
missionaries; (2) Requesting pastors and missionaries 
to^use all possible means for the dissemination of mis- 
sionary intelligence; (3) Requesting the pastors to act 
as volunteer agents in raising funds for this object, en- 
deavoring to secure such an amount as will average ten 
cents for ever^' member. 

W. M. Farrar represented the Board again, in 1854, 
and after an address, received fort^- dollars for the work. 
A preamble and resolution adopted, recognize the pe- 
culiar obligations resting upon Baptists in the evangeli- 
zation of the world, based upon the special providence 
which has kept them as a peculiar people. The report 
speaks of the degradation of the heathen, and the ap- 
peals of devoted missionaries, for the support, and 
prayers of Christians, and urges eveiy member of each 
church to do something to aid in this blessed work. 

W. M. Farrar represented the Board again, in 1856, 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 299 

and the report, after insisting upon the duty of carry- 
ing religion and civiHzation to the benighted regions ot 
earth, mentions the fact that Mississippians are today 
laboring in foreign lands which places special obliga- 
tions upon this Association to aid in this work. 

The disturbed condition of affairs in China, is men- 
tioned in the report of 1857, as a hindering cause to 
missions there. Progress is being made in Africa on the 
coast, and explorations in the interior. Christians 
ought to be aroused to the importance of supporting 
their foreign laborers. 

The report in 1858, refers particularly to some of 
the missionaries in China, and their difficulties during 
the late civil war there. The missions of the Convention 
are mentioned in detail, and the report thus concludes : 
"Unless we intend to do something in this cause wor- 
thj^ of the name of those whoprofess to be the friends of 
missions, we had better cease," appearing "to be what 
we are not," 

T. P, Crawford, one of the missionaries of the Con- 
vention to China, was present at the meeting of 1859, 
and imparted a missionary inspiration to the members. 
In 1860, A. H. Booth represented the Board, and receiv- 
ed a large contribution. The summary of its j^ear's 
work, given in the report, indicates a contribution of 
$1,827.29 from this State, It is urged that; "Much 
more (than this amount) should be contributed by the 
Baptists of Mississippi to this important object; and in 
order to secure this result, special efforts should be made 
by our pastors, and others to circulate more wideh' a- 
mong our people the Comtmssion and the Home and 
Foreign Journal, which are the organs through \vhich 
the latest and most important missionary intelligence 
is conve3'ed. Ever3' church should take up a collection 



300 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

at least once a 3^ear for the cause of Foreign missions, 
and pastors should make sj^ecial apjieals for it to their 
people." 

When darkness began to gather ove the South in 
1861, it is said: "Xo material retrenchment can be 
made in the operations of the Foreign Alission Board 
without disaster to the cause. Our missionaries are in 
the field, * * * engaged in ver\' important self-denying 
toils, and it is manifesth'- our dut^- to see that the^' do 
not suffer for want of support. If the times require re- 
trenchment, let us retrench in other matters, but not 
in the sacred cause of missions. Let us not rob God.'' 

During the next two years of gloom, all operations 
in this field were prevented, and, in the report of 1864, 
by Arthur Foster, it is said : "All our energies for the 
present seem to be devoted to the cultivation of the 
home field. As our communication with foreign lands 
is almost entireh- cut off, this seems no^v to be the 
most appropriate wa^^ in Avhich to employ ourmeans." 
During the absence of communication, many of our 
missionaries continued to toil on in their fields, and af- 
ter communication was restored increased efforts and 
sacrifices were required to regain what had been lost, 
to paA' accrued debts, and to give efficiency to the la- 
bors of the faithful heralds who remained at the post 
of duty among the heathen. Their cause should alwa\''S 
be near the hearts of God's people, in whose benefact- 
ions the^' should be remembered. Such is the tenor of 
the report of 1865. 

The instruction given to the Board, by the Conven- 
tion, to sustain its present missionaries, and re-inforce 
them as it is possible to do so, is mentioned in the re- 
port of 1866. Though impOA-erished we must do some- 
thing to sustain the missionaries already in the field. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 301 

The churches were requested to contribute for this ob - 
jedl before the next Convention, at Memphis, in May, 
1867. But remissness is confessed in the next report in 
consequence of financial pressure, and the commission 
of the Saviour is still in full force and Christians have 
not obeyed it to the extent of their ability. 

In 1868 the Home and Foreign Journal wsiS recom- 
mended and its circulation urged, while the report de- 
plores the meager contributions to, and the lack of any 
just appreciation of this enterprise. It is a great and 
blessed work, and noble men are engaged in it, of w^hom 
it is said: "Strongly as this cause commends itself to 
our kindly regards by its intrinsic excellence, its claims 
upon our sj^mpathy and support are apparent also 
from the character and sacrifices of the corps of noble 
missionaries engaged in this department of Christian 
labor." The Board is in a health^^ condition finan- 
cially. 

In 1871, the report notes the marked increase in 
the work during the last year, the number of mission - 
aries having been nearly doubled. It is said that ; 
"There have never been in the history of this important 
w^ork, facilities equal to those at present offered to 
Christians in contributing to this work. The State 
Convention, at its last meeting, realizing the impor- 
tance of this branch of the mission work, organized a 
State Board, located at Canton, as an auxiliaiy to the 
Foreign Alission Board of the Southern Baptist Con- 
vention, which will at once place in the field an efficient 
agent." The pastors of the churches were requested to 
take up quarter^ collections for Foreign Missions, and 
paj' over to the State agent, E. D. Miller. 

In 1872, the following action of the State Conven- 
tion was made the expression of the Association's feel- 



302 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

ing: "Whereas, The mission work of the Foreign 
Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention has 
been greatly blessed of God, and whereas, That Board 
is making efforts to enlarge the work, having recentlj^ 
sent ont eight missionaries, and having determined to 
build a large house of ^vorship in the city of Rome ; 
therefore, 

^'Resolved, That Baptists in Mississippi should in- 
crease their contributions to the Board, taking up at 
least one collection a year in every church."' 

"The field of Foreign missions," continues the As- 
sociation's report, "becomes daily more inviting, and 
aside from the encouragement afforded by the past suc- 
cess of the work, we should be impelled by our love to 
Jesus, and our sense of dut}', to carr^- out the intent of 
the above action of the State Convention, by our per- 
sonal contributions, and by recommending to the 
churches"' to act upon the above resolution. 

In the report of 1873, it is urged that the spirit of 
missions is the spirit of Christ and of His gospel, and is 
breathed in His great commission, and that thus were 
planted the New Testament churches. It deals compre- 
hensiveh' ^vith the questions, ^What nre we doing?' and 
'What should we do in Foreign Lands?'' giving an in- 
teresting summar\^ of the Board"s work in Foreign 
lands and heartih- commends the Foreign Mission 
Journal. During the consideration of the report there 
was much zeal manifested and sixty - one dollars were 
pledged for the work. 

In addition to the facts already' mentioned, the re- 
port of 1874, refers to the plan of the Board of paying 
its missionaries in quarterh' installments and of assess- 
ing the different States at an average of seven cents 
per member. By resolutions the Association recognized 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 303 

the obligation of its members to give the gospel to ev- 
ery living being, and to consecrate property, efforts 
and prayers to this end ; and requested its pastors to 
make special appeals to their churches, and gather con- 
tributions for Foreign missions. 

In 1875, the public collections at Sharon (v^'here 
the Association was held) and Brooksville (six miles 
distant) were divided between Domestic and Foreign 
missions. In 1876, the report gives a surve}- of the 
foreign field, refers to the flourishing condition of the 
Italian mission under the zealous and efiicient manage - 
ment of Geo. B. Taylor, and in the same connection to 
the work of Van Meter, under the auspices of the 
Northern Board, and to the work in Africa under our 
missionaries, David and Colley (colored). The China 
missions are mentioned in detail — the Canton mission 
under R, H. Graves and wife, N. B. Williams and wife, 
and Miss Whilden ; the Shanghai mission under Yates, 
and the Tung Chow mission under T. P. Crawford and 
wife, Mrs. Holmes and the Misses Moon. It thus con- 
•cludes; " 'Tis true we do not see as great success of 
their labor as we could wish, but all great works have 
a small beginning, and we sincereh^ believe that the 
time is near at hand when the many seeds sown will 
spring up into a rich and bountiful crop that will yield 
a harvest so abundant and glorious that it will sur- 
pass our highest conceptions." We are in dutj' bound 
to do our fidl share in supporting these men and wom- 
en who have left all for this work. 

A good report, in 1877, justh' argues that the gos- 
pel is aggressive and must be sent. "Go," is the watch- 
word, — "into all the world, and preach the gospel to 
every creature." Early Christians obeyed this com- 
mand and spread the gospel far and wide. "'Come,' 



304 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

and 'Go,' epitomize Christianity.*' A similiar summary 
of the foreign work is given, condensed from the twen- 
ty second annual report of the Richmond Board. This 
w^ith our own favored condition, our opportunities for 
spreading the gospel, and the entreaties of the nations 
to receive it, should inspire us with zeal in this sphere 
of work. 

The report of 1878, speaks of the real progress of 
the work, notwithstanding many embarrassing circum- 
stances, and of its claims upon our sympathies. He 
contrasts earnest, working. Ladies' Missionar3^ Socie- 
ties with female degradation in heathen lands, and 
recommends the circulation of Foreign mission intelli- 
gence as a means of cultivating a missionary spirit. 

The report of 1879 mentions benefit to mankind as 
the essence of the gospel and urges that the majorit^^ of 
Christians fail in their dutj^ to the heathen because of 
ignorance. "M3'' people are destroyed for lack of 
knowledge," saith the Lord. The dissemination of 
missionarj^ intelligence, in every possible manner, 
should be so extensive that the names of our mission- 
aries would be household words in every Baptist 
famih'. 

In 1880, the report repeats that expressive truism ; 
"The spirit of missions is the spirit of the gospel,"' as it 
prompted the blessed Saviour to lay aside His glory 
and undertake the moral renovation of man. The mis- 
sion work is ONE ; beginning at Jerusalem and reaching 
"the uttermost parts of the earth." There has been a 
rapid and \vonderftil development iii modern missions, 
and it is impossible to give an account even of the work 
of Southern Baptists. The Foreign Mission Journal 
is again recommended, and a cash contribution of 
$13.70 is made. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 305 

This condensed statement of the Association's 
words concerning Foreign missions includes also some 
contributions. All reported contributions appear in 
financial tables, but much has been done that is kept irr 
record only in the archives of heaven. 

Columbus Association supplement. (1881): — 
The history of the Columbus Association, written 
b3^ L. S. Foster, and printed in 1881, is inserted in this 
work, at least as much of it as can well be put in a histo- 
r3^ of this kind. But Foster's histor3' of this body un- 
fortunately extends onh^ to 1881. So it falls to the lot 
of the writer to continue the \vriting of their history 
to the close of the century'. The dutA^ is reluctanth' as - 
sumed. The course of events as they are naturally re- 
lated, will be followed rather than the to])ical plan 
adopted by Foster. The events of the five j^ears from 
1880 to 1885 inclusive will first claim our attention. 

For the first four years of this period, T. G. Sellers 
was moderator of the body, W. H. Glenn, clerk, and J. 
E. Joiner, treasurer. The onlv change of ofiicers the 
fifth 3'earwas in the election of J. W. Deupree, clerk. 

The session of 1881 was held with the church at 
Crawford. At that meeting, the Cumberland church 
w^as received into the union. The organization of that 
church \vas a result of the labors of their missionary-, L. 
S. Foster. Also, the Pleasant Grove church was receiv- 
ed b^' letter. 

L. S. Foster was, as usual, concerned about the 
preservation of facts. He presented a number of reso- 
lutions to the bodv, asking that the committee on Nom- 
inations be instructed to appoint some one to write a 
brief histor^^ of the Association ; that the clerk be in - 
structed to publish a list of their ordained ministers ; 
that each church of the bod^- be urged to preserve in 



306 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

the future a file of their minutes ; and that each church 
be entreated "to report in its letter all sums contribiit - 
ed to all objects." 

In the report on Sunday schools it appeared that 
twelve of their churches out of twenty -three reported 
Sunday schools. The grand total of teachers was 
eighty, and pupils 791. The churches had a total 
membership of 1,65S. Of course this report was not full. 

In the associational yearof 1879 — 1S80, J. T. Chris- 
tian had been the missionary in their bounds. But, un- 
like most office holders, he resigned. At the beginning 
of the year 1880, and 1881, the Executive Board em- 
plo^'ed L. S. Foster, who labored at Palo Alto, Abbott's 
Hall, and Cumberland. L. S. Foster lost but one ap- 
pointment, and gave three extra Sunday's v^ork. He 
traveled 742 miles, and organized one church, the Cum- 
berland, already referred to. The salary of the mission- 
ar}^ for eight month's labor, $266.65, was promptly 
paid. 

In October 1881, B. R. Hughey was chosen to 
■work at Cumberland, and Bell's school house. He be- 
gan his work in January, 1882. He reported 227 miles 
traveled, (organized two Sunday schools, raised $100 
for associational missions, and $16.50 for other pur- 
poses. R. N. Hall was their missionarj^ at McClanna- 
han Mission, and Noxubee church. He held one pro- 
tracted meeting and collected $44.50 for associational 
missions. 

At the meeting of the Association, in 1883, the Ex- 
ecutive Board reported four missionaries in the held 
during the past year. Hughe}' was at Cumberland, 
Hall at Xoxubee, J. T. Freeman at Sun Creek, and H.J. 
Vanlandingham at Mayhew. The total atiiount receiv- 
ed for their missions was $369.65. The missionaries 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 307 

were all paid in full, and a balance left on hand of 
$39.65. 

In 18S4-, Hu^hey was still laboring at Cumberland, 
J. J. Jackson was at Noxubee church, J. T, Freeman at 
Sun Creek, and W H.Carroll at Macon. Small appro- 
priations were also made to Montgomery and Mount 
Zion. The following year, help was extended to Mont- 
gomery, Noxubee, and Caper's Chapel, Memphis, and 
Ackerman. Three persons were added to the Cumber - 
land church by baptism, six to Noxubee, and six to Ca - 
per's Chapel. 

In 1881, the Association gave to State missions, 
$665.55, and to Foreign missions, $122.10; in 1885, 
they gave to State missions $383.85, and to Foreign 
missions, $60.00. Something must have affected their 
benevolence that year, as, in 1884, they gave to Foreign 
missions, $235.10. 

For the next four years, or to 1889 inclusive, T. G. 
Sellers was annually elected moderator, J. W. Deupree 
was clerk for the same length of time. J. E. Joiner was 
treasurer in 1886 and 1887, and J. L. Crigler in 1888 
and 1889. The Concord church, Noxubee county, was 
received into the fraternit^^ in 1887 from the Choctaw 
Association, and the New Hopechurch, Kemper county, 
from Louisville Association. A letterof dismission was 
granted to the Cumberland church in 1888, but with - 
out the concurrence of the church was it asked. The 
letter was returned, and the messengers from that 
church seated in 1889. (The Little Bethel church. Bells 
school house church, and Memphis church, Ala., were 
received in 1886.) 

The mission statiour^of the Association were all oc- 
cupied in 188i). H. J. X'anlandingham, was at Mont- 
gomery, J. J. Jackson at Noxubee, Caper's Chapel, and 



308 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

Memphis, L. \l. Stone at Little Bethel, and T. G. Sel- 
lers at Ackerman. Their salaries \vere all paid, and a 
balance of $24.80 on hand. 

The Association was in thorough harmony' \vith the 
State Convention, and labored for genuine co-opera- 
tion. Their churches gave that year the sum of $379.80 
to State inissions. 

Of the thirty churches in the Association, twenty - 
six had Sunday schools with a total enrollment of 
1,330. The churches had an aggregate membership of 
2,223. .The showing they made in their Sunday school 
\vork was far better than in many of the other good 
Associations in the State. 

In 1887, the Executive Board supplemented the sal- 
ary- of H. J. Yanlandingham ^vith $75.00 at Montgom- 
erv, and appropriated $50.00 to Sun Creek church. 
Bell's school house got a $50.00 appropriation, Little 
Bethel, $50.00, Mount Zion, $25.00, and Memphis, 
$30.00. 

In the minutes of the Associtition of 1887, is printed 
a historical essa^^ on the Columbus Association from 
the pen of J. H. Buck. It bears on the early history- of 
the body. It deals at length \vith the c^uestion of sepa- 
ration of their oldest churches from the Buttehatchie 
Association. It seemed all along their history to be a 
sorrowful refle(?tion that they had to withdraw from 
that body. They at one time petitioned the Butte- 
hatchie for fraternal relations, but got a cold negative 
response. 

In the year 1888, they made a change in their mis- 
sion work. There was "dissatisfaction, and complaint"" 
as to the management of their associational missions ; 
also, a "want of interest"' in it, as the Executive Board 
expressed it. It was thought best that the Executive 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 309 

Board suggest to the Convention Board the mission 
stations, and the missionaries to be employed, and let 
the Convention Board commission them. The Secre- 
tary of the Convention Board was to report to that 
Association the work done by missionaries in the 
bounds of the Association. By this plan of co-opera- 
tion, H. M. Long was missionary at Scooba, J. T. Free- 
man at Sun Creek, H. J. Vanlandingham at Montgom- 
ery, and Mount Zion, L. M. Stone at Little Bethel, J. P. 
White at Bell's school house; and A. J. Walker at New 
Hope. 

The New Prospect church, Oktibbeha county, was 
received into their union in,18S9. That 3'ear, after the 
reading of the report of the Executive Board, a motion 
was carried to continue their associational work, and a 
special committee raised to report to the body, at that 
session, suggesting a plan for conducting this woi'k. 
The committee recommended the appointment of a mis- 
sionary for all his time, find also to aid feeble churches. 
The Executive Board was to be untrammeled in its op- 
erations. The Executive Board had met fit Starkville, 
October 20, 188S, and had decided to resume their mis- 
sion work as a separate body, and appointed their own 
missionaries. The best laid plans sometimes fail in the 
execution, and men as readily change their minds as 
women, and full often not so wisely. 

The ordained ministers in the Columbus Associa- 
tion in 1889, were W. H. Robinson, T. G. Sellers, J. T. 
Freeman, J. H. Buck, W. F. Spragins, C. E. W. Dobbs, 
T. C. Teasdale, H.J. \'anlandingham, \l. W Noftsinger, 
H. F. Von Kohn, L. M. Stone, J. J. Jackson, W. C. Lat- 
timore, H. M. Long, Sid Williams, W. I\ Bond, J. T. 
Graham, J. P. WilHams, B. R. Hughey. J. P. White, and 
J. D. Jamieson. 



310 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

H. F. Sproles was with the body in 1890, in the in- 
terest of the Jackson Baptist church. In the report of- 
their finance committee is the statement that he receiv- 
ed for that cause, the sum of $383.00 in cash and relia- 
ble pledges. That wonderful man is shy of praise, but 
be it said to his credit that few men could have accom- 
plished in our State what he did for our cause in Jack- 
son I J. A. Hackett was also at that meeting, and 
preached a fine sermon from Zach. 4:6, on "The Holy 
Spirit and His work." 

The Association accepted two suggestions as to 
Ministerial Education, viz : That pastors and churches 
"seek out'" young men having the ministry in vie\v, 
and encourage them to prepare themselves well for 
their life's work : and that the pastors take collections 
for ministerial education. C. M. Morris of Caledonia 
\vas a licentiate of one of their churches. A good col- 
lection was taken for his support \vhile at College. 

In 1890, J. T. Freeman was under the eiuploy of 
the Executive committee, laboring on the line of the G. 
P. Railway. H. F. Voii Kohn was laboring for them 
at Siloam and Ridgeway : J. P. White at Pearson's 
Chapel ; and N. O. Adams at Xew Hope. 

Mrs. Delia B. Deupree, (\'ice President Central 
Committee on Woman's Work), had been surely "act- 
ively and earnestly*' engaged among their women. Of 
the thirty -three churches in the Association, twenty - 
nine had Ladies Societies. This record could scarcety 
have been surpassed by any other Association in the 
State. The financial record of that year showed that 
they gave to associational missions $665. -IS ; to State 
missions $179.45 ; to Home missions $97.90: to For- 
eign missions $210.45 : to Mississippi College $228.62 ; 
and to the endowment of that institution $1,790.45. 



HISTORY OF MISvSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 



311 



In 1891, two more churches were received into the 
union, Pheba and Enon. J. T. Freeman, as their mis- 
sionary, had been preaching at Alaben and Pheba ; J. 
H. Buck had given one Sunday in each month to the 
Memphis church ; and H. J. Vanlandingham was mis- 
sionary pastor at Siloam. The following year, H. J. 
Vanlandingham had also the work at Mhoon Valley 
and Maben. 

From 1890 to 1892, inclusive, T.G. Sellers was still 
moderator of the body, J. W. Deupree, clerk, and J. L. 
Crigler, treasurer. In 1892, there were thirty -five 
churches in the organization with an aggregate mem- 
bership of 2,532. 

Their missionary operations, in 1892, were carried 
on at Mhoon Valley, Maben, in the territory east of 
Macon. J. H. Buck was also missionary pastor at 
Ridgeway and Scooba. The Executive Board made a 
number of recommendations to the Association : that 
the Board be composed of five members, who were to 
co-operate with the State Convention Board. A writ- 
ten application should be made to the Executive com - 
mittee by a church wishing aid, which their Board 
should recommend to the Convention Board. The Ex- 
ecutive Board was to ascertain from the secretary of 
the Convention Board how much money they were to 
raise, and all funds collected sent to the Convention 
Board. 

The following year, it was resolved to carrA' out 
this recommendation. It had not been put into effect 
th^ year before, because of a failure of the Executive 
committee to complete the arrangements with the Con- 
vention Board, and work had been carried on through 
the year on the old plan. The financial statement 
shows that thev gave that vear to the State missions 
$156.75. 



312 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

In 1894, only twenty-nine of the thirty-four church- 
es of the bocU- were represented in the body. Nineteen 
Sunday schools were reported Avith a total attendance 
of 1,250, which was an increase of sixt^'-two over the 
enrollment of the previous year. There were eleven La- 
dies Societies. The churches reported 186 baptisms. 
The aggregate membership \vas seventy-four greater 
than the \'ear before. 

There were thirtA'-onc churches in the fraternity in 
1895. These churches contributed that year to State 
missions, $447.15, to Ministerial Education, $411. 37, 
and to Foreign missions, $369.97. The grand total of 
their benevolent work was $1,977.38. There were six- 
teen Ladies Societies reported. 

T. G. Sellers became moderator of the Columljus As- 
sociation in 1872, and was elected annualh' to fill that 
oftice to the year 1898 inclusive, or for twenty -six 
vears. He died March 11, 1899. He was a man of 
fine culture, and of a large heart. He was universally 
respected in the bounds of his Association, and had the 
complete confidence of the Columbus Association. A 
full sketch of his life may be found in "Foster's Baptist 
Preachers." 

From 1895 to 1900, J. W. Deupree was clerk, and 
D. M. Love treasurer. They are both earnest and con- 
secrated laA'man. J. W. Deupree is a teacher of extend- 
ed reputation, and D. \[. Love, a successful ti'aveling 
man. 

In 1896, the churches had an aggregate membership 
of 2,277, and in 1900, a total of 2,423. In 1896. their 
total gifts amounted to $8,268.97, and in 1900, to 
$11,147.70. Reports were made annually upon all the 
subjects usualh- reported on by the committees of the 
State Convention. These reports were unusually well 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 313 

Avritten, and were full of general instruction for the 
churches. 

The Columbus Association is a dignified body, 
calm, and meditative. It has in it a degree of intelli- 
gence unusual in our State. Its ministry is usually 
equal to any in the South. The Columbus church has 
alwa^'S commanded the best talent, a the most com- 
petent ministers in the South. The Starkville churcli 
has been fortunate in its pastors, and Macon, West 
Point, and Shuqualak have had fine preachers. The 
churches at Crawford, Deer Brook, and Brooksville, 
have an intelligent and orderly membership. The As- 
sociation cannot ]3ut elicit tidmiration and I'espect. 



314 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 



CHAPTER X. 

• MOUNT PISCAH ASSOCIATION. / 

111 the Luminary, of 1837, is seen an announcement 
of a call for a convention to consider the adYisabilit3'- of 
formmor a new Association. The convention w^as to be 
held \vith the Tilda Bogue church. The call was made 
b^" Tilda Bogue, Doak's Creek, Mount Pisgah, Alount 
Gilead, Mount Bluff, Union (Hinds), and Mount Pros- 
per churches. The meeting to form the Association 
was to be held with Mount Pisgah church, in Novem- 
ber, 1837. Below we have the history of the Mount 
Pisgah Association to 1891, written by X. L. Clarke, 
of Xewton. 

This body of Baptists was organized in the 3'ear 
1837. The meeting for that purpose was held with the 
Mount Pisgah Ba])tist church, Rankin county. Miss., 
in connection with the hrst Lord's day in October in 
that year. Of the circumstances attending its organi- 
zation, little can be said, as I have no minute of the 
proceedings. From various sources, however, I gather 
the following facts : The churches represented in the 
Convention of organization, or at least composing the 
body at its second session, were Antioch and Jerusalem, 
Scott county: Antioch, Rankin county; Brandon, 
Mount Pisgah, Steen's Creek, Doaks Creek, Tilda 
Bogue, Pilgrim's Rest, Palestine, and Bethel. These 
churches were situated in the counties of Scott, Rankin, 
Madison, Leake, and Newton ; and at the session at 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 315 

1838, reported a membership of 370, making it clear 
that their membership in organization was about 300. 
The ministers present at the formation, or coming in 
at its second session, were Cader Price, T. S. N. King, 
Stephen Berry, William Denson, Henry Chambers, Eli- 
jah Willbanks. Cader Price was the first moderator, 
and T. S. N. King the first clerk. These brethren were 
re -.elected to the same positions at the session of the 
body for 1838. The Abstract of Faith was that pub- 
lished in the minutes of the Mississippi Baptist Associa - 
tion. The Rides of Decorum such as are mommon in 
such organizations. The session of 1838 convened with 
Jerusalem, Scott countj^ Miss. The session for 183 9 
was appointed to l)e held with Antioch church, Scott 
county* Miss. 

Cader Price entered the ministry in this State, and 
at an early age; and was a man of fine capacity and 
great faithfidness. And during a long life of vself - sacri - 
ficing labor, did much to advance the cause of Christ 
in Mississippi. Likely, no man in this day had more 
completely the confidence of the people among whom 
he lived and worked. The greater part of his gospel 
labor was done in the counties of Simpson, Rankin, 
Scott, and Newton. He died at an advanced age, ceas- 
ing from his lalDors. T. S. N, King came to Mississippi 
a preacher, was a man of intelligence, good personal 
appearance, fine social qualities, and active in business; 
with but moderate ability in the gospel. For several 
years he resided at Brandon; and about the year 1846 
moved to Arkansas to continue his work. 

Stephen Berry began to preach in Mississippi, likely 
in Simpson county, afterwards moved to Scott to pros- 
ecute his calling; was a man of fair ability, a lively ex- 
horter, and was much blessed in building up the church- 



316 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

es. In the controversy on the mission question in the 
Association he sided \vith the anti- mission party, and 
in the division went with them. Soon afterwards he 
moved to the State of Arkansas to finish his course. 

William Denson iDegan to preach in the State of Ala- 
bama, came to Alississippi when yet young, and settled 
in Rankin county ; was a zealous, able, and successttil 
minister, and did much to build up the cause of Christ 
in the eastern, and central parts of the State, especially 
in the counties of Madison, Scott, and Rankin. For 
many years he was connected with the Mount Pisgah 
Association, and for a time its moderator,- but on the 
formation of the Harmony- Association, he withdrew, 
and connected himself with that body, of which he was 
for 3'ears the moderator. He toiled with energy in the 
great calling of his life, earnestly contending for tlio 
faith once delivered to the saints till he was old ; and 
finished his course on Lord's day morning, in the yard 
of the church house where he had for so many years 
w^orshipped God. Henry Chaml^ers came from Tennes- 
see to Mississippi an old preacher, was for a number of 
years connected with Mount Pisgah Association; 
preached to the churches in Scott county, at an ad- 
vanced age was called to his reward. 

Elijah Willbanks entered the ministry in the State 
of Alabama, but in the earl^- settlement of East Alissis- 
sippi came to this State : he was a man of fair ability, 
and dignified deportment ; he was at one time modera- 
tor of the Association, In the division on the mission 
question, he left the Association, and identified himself 
with the anti -missionaries. 

In the year 1837, the Association convened with 
the Antioch church, in Scott county. The introductory 
sermon was preached by Elijah Willbanks. Cader 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 317 

Price was re-elected moderator, T. S. X. King clerk,. 
andS. J. Denson treasurer. Seven churches were added 
to the body, to wit : Lime Creek, Clear Creek, Bethel, 
Erron, Ebenezer, Mount Sinai, and Mount Olivet. Cor- 
respondence was received from, and returned to Liber- 
t3% Pearl River, Leaf River, and Union Associations. 
Among the messengers we find the names of ministers 
once held in high esteem, and of great usefulness in Mis- 
sissippi : N. Robertson, Sr., James Powell, James Mur- 
ray, William P. Carter, and E. Y. Terrell, and as visit- 
or, N. R. Granberry. About the ordinary business for 
Associations in those days was transacted. The body 
voted to pay their messengers to sister Associations. A 
well written circular letter on Christian duty is printed 
in the minutes of this year, and there is evidence of 
great harmony. 

William Denson was appointed to preach the next 
introductory sermon. The body then adjourned to 
meet with Antioch church, Rankin county, at the same 
time in the next year, showing for this year a member- 
ship of 545, sixty -two of which had been baptized dur- 
ing the associational year. The largest church, Doak's 
Creek, numbering eighteen. 

According to adjournment the Association met in 
her session for 1840, (her fourth) with Antioch church. 
The introductory sermon was preached by William 
Denson. Cader Price was again elected moderator, 
John M. Chambers clerk, and S. J. Denson treasurer. 
Six new churches were added to the body — New Hope, 
Siloam, New Bethel, Liberty, White Oak Creek, and 
Mount Pleasant. Correspondence was received from 
sister Associations as last year, and returned. As mes- 
sengers from other Associations, not named before, I 
find the following : Allison Phillips, Wyatt Hall, D. B. 
Crawford, and Louis Granberr}'; visitor, S. Thigpen. 



318 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

The proceeding-s show the reception of a communi- 
cation from the Baptist State Convention, the object 
not stated. The proposition was not favorably enter- 
tained l)y the Association, though the Convention was 
regarded favorabh', evidenced by the passing of a reso- 
lution favoring the printing of the minutes of the vari- 
ous Associations in the State through the agency of the 
Convention, in one volume. Great harmony in the 
proceedings ])revailed, calling forth a suitable resolu- 
tion of thiinks to God for the same. It was agreed to 
hold the next annual session with the Bethel church, 
Newton county. Miss. J. P. Martin to preach the next 
introductory sermon. The minutes show twenty-four 
churches in the body, 811 members, 143 baptized dur- 
ing the year, eight ordained ministers, four licentiates, 
Brandon the largest church, 115 strong. 

John P. Martin entered the ministrA' in the State of 
Georgia: came to Mississippi likely in the year 1817; 
v^-as a man of fine mind ; reached his conclusions with 
great readiness. His style of deliver^'- was direct, forci- 
ble and clear. Sound in the faith of the gospel, added 
to great life and force in exhortation, he was alike a- 
vailable in pastoral and missionary work, between 
Avhich he divided his long and toiling life. He was at 
one time twenty -six 3'ears the pastor of the same 
church, and at different periods of his ministry was con- 
nected with the Mississippi, Pearl River. Leaf River 
Mount Pisgah, and Ebenezer Associations, often being 
moderator. Possessing great energy of character, and 
unconquerable determination, and blessed \vith long 
life, his labors wonderfulh' served to advance the cause 
of Christ in the southern and southeastern parts of our 
State. Brother Martin died at about the age of eighty- 
eight years at his home in Smith county. Miss. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 319 

Shadrach Jones was an Alabamian, and Ijeo^an to 
preach in that State, but soon after cameto Mississippi 
and located in Neshoba county. He was an ani- 
mated speaker, sound in the gospel faith, and of ov- 
er average abihty. In his early ministry, he was a rig- 
id anti- missionary, but suspecting the correctness of 
his position, he was led to investigate the subject, and 
with cordiality embraced the views of the Regular Bap- 
tists. Now free from the shackels of his former views, 
he devoted himself afresh, and with great energy to his 
Master's work, laboring in the counties of Neshoba, 
Newton, Leake, Rankin, and Scott, in pastoral and 
self- sustained missionary work. He loved the name of 
his Master, he loved to pi-each. In the midst of his 
usefulness his health gave way, and he died at his home 
in Leake county. Miss., aged about forty -five years. 

Bishop Coxe was challenged not long ago to give 
the proof that the maxim long attributed to the Jesuits 
to wit : "The end justifies the means,'" is to be found in 
any of "the authentic works of the thousand authors 
of Jesuits.*' He met the challenge by giving the challen- 
ger the sentence, ''Finis cleterminat probihatem act- 
us.'" It is found in the textual quotations made from 
three Jesuit writers, Busenbaum, Layman, Wageman in 
Encyclopedia Britannica, page 651, and certainly leaves 
the advocate of Rome without a peg to hang a doubt 
upon that the maxim is thoroughly Jesuitical. 

The eyes of many conscientious Roman Catholics 
have been opened to the enormous wickedness perpetu - 
ated by these satantic emissaries of tne church by hav- 
ing this wicked dogma pointed out to them. When 
anj^ honest man or woman among them places this foul, 
though cherished rule of action of his church alongside 
of our Saviour's savings to the trafficers of sacrifices in 



320 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

the temple, "It is written 1113- House shall be called the 
house of pra^-er, but ye have made it a den of thieves," 
they are at once moved to do with the whole thing,, 
as the whale did with Jonah after its three days trans- 
portation of the indigestible morsel. Let us hope that 
since their denials have called out the heroic and unim- 
peachable nailer of Bishop Coxe, that many more will 
be taken with a similar healthy spewing. 

In 1841, the body convened with Bethel church, 
Newton county, Miss. The introductory sermon was 
preached b^- John P. Martin, who was also elected 
moderator in the organization, J. M. Chambers clerk^ 
Eli Nichols treasurer. Four new churches were receiv- 
ed ; Pleasant Hill, Macedonia, (3coha, and Sulphur 
Springs. Correspondence from sister Associations as 
before. Visiting S. Thigpen Sr., a time worn veteran of 
the cross, then living in Jasper county. Miss. The sub- 
ject of Domestic missions was discussed with much an- 
imation, and some feeling. The matter was for the 
present set, tied b}- a resolution of request to the 
churches to send up their minds at the next meeting of 
the bod}' as to the best method of reaching the destitu- • 
tion within the bounds of the Association. Man}- sup- 
posed the body about equalh' divided on the mission 
cjuestion. A circular letter, written by S. Jones, appear- 
ed in the minutes of this session. H. W. Hodges was 
appointed to preach the next introductory sermon. 
The next annual meeting was appointed to be held with 
Doak's Creek church, Madison county. Miss. The min- 
utes show twenty -eight churches in the body, with 
nine hundred members, seventy -five baptized during 
the 3'^ear. Brandon, the largest church, one hundred 
and twenty strong. The writer was first in this Asso- 
ciation this year. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 321 

In 184-2, the Association met witlithe Doak's Creek 
church, as agreed. H. W. Hodges preached the intro- 
ductory^ sermon. J. P. Martin was again elected mod- 
erator, J. M. Chambers clerk, and Eli Nichols treasurer.. 
Tavo new churches were received into the body, Rockj'- 
Creek, and New Chapel. Correspondence kept up with 
Pearl River, Union, and Liberty Associations. Leaf 
River discontinued. Among the names of messengers 
this3'ear, I find those of Jesse Crawford, and J.E. Sand- 
ifer, once able ministers in Pearl River Association. A- 
bout the ordinary business those da^'S was gone through 
with. The answer from the churches to the resolution 
inquiring on the subject of Domestic missions created 
inuch interest, causing much discussion. It now ap- 
peared clear that the body was in such a state of disa - 
greement as would hinder her from working together 
much longer. Much feeling was manifested. A resolu- 
tion was passed urging the churches to sustain their 
pastors more liberally, thus giving them an opportun - 
it^' to include the destitution with their pastoral work; 
thus disposing of the question for the present. The; 
Association in its earliest history arranged for fifth 
Sunday union meetings. These were arranged and ap- 
pointments made to have them attended, A further 
effort was made to secure correspondence with Choc - 
taw Association. It was agreed that the bod^-^ hold its 
session for 1843 with Mount Sinai church, Neshoba 
county, Miss., and that N, L. Clarke preach the next 
introductory sermon. The minutes of this session con-^ 
tain a circular written by N, L. Clarke, on the subject 
of prayer. The statistical table shows thirty churches^ 
1,116 members, 211 baptized during the year; evidenc- 
ing health and vigor in the body ; Brandon the largest 
church, 127 strong. 



322 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. . 

W. H. Holland became a Baptist and began to 
preach in Scott county, Miss., but soon afterwards 
moved to Newton county, where he remained for sever- 
al years; was an animated speaker, a forcible exhorter, 
and though 3''oung in the ministry, he evidenced fine 
gifts for usefulness; he went to Louisiana, thence to 
Texas: and at last account was still preaching in the 
south western part of that great State. 

G. AY. Dorance, a young man of northern birth and 
rearing, came South, and for a time resided at Brandon, 
and was connected with Mount I'isgah Association, 
had a liberal education, and was of moderate ability as 
a preacher, remaining but a short time in the South, 
he returned to the home of his 3'outh. 

H. W. Hodges was for a time located in Madison 
county, Miss., and was connected with Mount Pisgah 
Association: was a man of fine personal appearance, 
amiable manners and an able, instructive, and influen- 
tial minister of the gospel. But soon left and went else- 
"vvhere to prosecute his Master's work. 

A. Goss, a native of a northwestern State, came 
South and became a Baptist, and entered the ministry 
in Scott countA', Miss. A man of commendable zeal 
and fine ability. He was the first missionary- sent out 
by Mount Pisgah Association, and was continued in 
that work for several years, givinggeneral satisfaction. 
Afterwards he labored with great faithfulness in pas- 
toral work in many of the counties of east Mississippi. 
He had many admirers — was deeph' doctrinal. His 
ministry covered a period of about fort3'-five years. 
He finished his course but recenth^ near Columbia Miss., 
and passed to his reward. 

The Association covened in 1843, with Alount 
Sinai church, Neshoba county, Miss. The introductory 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 323 

sermon was preached by N. L. Clarke. Elijah Will- 
banks elected moderator, J. M. Chambers clerk, Eli 
Nichols treasurer. Five churches were received into the 
Association— Campground, Carthage, Pleasant Grove, 
Edinburg, and Mountain Hill. Correspondence receiv- 
ed from Union, Pearl River, and Leaf River Associa- 
tions. Among the messengers present on this occasion, 
were Alexander Murray, and Wilkes Honey, then active 
ministers in Pearl River Association. N. R. Gran- 
berry, then in the vigor of his ministry, was from the 
Union. The ordinary forms observed, and business 
gone through with, the suljject of missions, which for 
years had been discussed in the l^odj- was again before 
it. It had become clear that the difference in opinion 
in the body was widening, and that unless healed, must 
come to a crisis. In the organization on Saturday', it 
was evident that the anti- mission element was prepar- 
ing for the conflict, as Elijah Willbanks, the leading 
minister, was contrary to expectation elected modera - 
tor; also the treasurer appointed, was under that in- 
fluence, who, under the protest of the body, declined to 
serve. Also, the chairman of the committee on preach- 
ing, was a rigid anti. Under this management, Joel 
Harve^', a visitor from the West, an avowed and practi- 
cal non-fellowshipper, was appointed to preach on the 
Lord's day, but was not allowed b^' the Association. 
Much feeling was up, at the time of adjournment 
on Saturday, \'et the preaching was animated, and 
sound, James Merchant, N. R. Granberry, Wm. Den- 
son occupying the stand. Sadness prevaded the whole 
delegation, and much apprehension was felt with regard 
to the meeting of the Association on Monday. The 
body convened, tlie motlerator prayed, and business 
proceeded, yet it was clear that there was but little un- 



324 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

ion. Early in the day, during; the discussion of a ques- 
tion, more or less involving the subject of missions, the 
climax was reached. Roderic R. Fortson, rising from 
his seat, and addressing the Association in a short talk, 
closed by saA'ing, "I am not of 3'^ou, and that it may be 
manifest that I am not of you, I now go out irom you;" 
and suiting his action to his words, left the house, follow 
edby a number of delegates that agreed with him in sen- 
•timent. Thusoccured the division in the Mount Pisgah 
Association on the subject of missions. I have been 
thus particular because it has been much talked of, and 
will 3'et be in the bounds of the Association; and also, 
because there are but few now living that were there. 
This action, of course caused temporary- confusion in the 
body which, however, was soon quieted, and business 
went on, it being now manifest that the regular mis- 
sion sentiment, was largely in the ascendency in the As- 
sociation, the withdrawing not materially affecting the 
business strength. The following resolution was passed 
and sent forth to the churches. 

^'Resolved, That the churches be requested to state 
in their letters to the next session of this Association, 
whether it is their mind to invest the surplus tunds in 
the treasury in employing a faithful minister or minis- 
ters, to ride, and preach the gospel in the destitute 
parts within the bounds of our Association; and, if not, 
what disposition shall be made of it, and that those 
who favor an itineracy, send up funds specified for that 
purpose." 

Union meetings were kept up. It was agreed that 
the session of the Association for 1844 be held with 
Line Creek church, Scott county, Miss., and that James 
Merchant preach the next introdudlory sermon. A 
well written circular letter appears in the minutes of 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 325 

this year on church discipHne, and Christian propriety. 
The statistics show thirty -five churches in the body, 
aggregating 1,344 members, 236 baptized during the 
j^ear, fifteen ordained ministers belonging to the Associ- 
ation, eight hcentiates. 

James Merchant, an able and influential Baptist 
minister, and for many years connected with Mount 
Pisgah Association, entered the ministry', either in 
Smith or Simpson county-, Miss., in which region of the 
State he spent the strength of his da^-s in gospel work. 
A man of fine mind, a close student, and deeply indoc- 
trinated in the truths of the Bible he greatly edified 
those that waited on his ministry-. His favorite theme 
was the two dispensations, the Jewish and the Chris- 
tian showing the glor}- of the new over the old coven- 
ant. Emigrating to Texas, he located in Polk county- ; 
where, after a fe\v years he died at about the age of 
sixty years. 

The Association for the \'ear 1844, convened with 
Line Creek church, Scott county-, Miss. The introduct- 
ory^ sermon was preached by James Merchant. The 
body was called to order by Cader Price, the former mod - 
erator, Elijah Wilbanks, having withdrawn with the 
antimission party. J. P. Martin was ele6led moderator, 
J. M. Chambers clerk, T. R. Green treasurer. Much anxi- 
ety had been felt among the churches during the past 
associational year as to the final result of the anti- 
mission disaffection at the last session of the body. 
Five churches were \vithdrawn from by the Association 
as having gone into non- fellowship ; New Bethel, Edin- 
burg, Pilgrim's Rest, Mount Pleasant, and New Chapel, 
and on careful computation, it was found that the body 
was ninety- - six members weaker than at the close of 
the session of the previous year. One new church, at 



326 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

Canton, was received into the Association. Corres- 
pondence was received from Pearl River, Union, and 
Choctaw Associations. Among the messengers present 
this 3'ear, were B. L. Barnes and Benjamin Whitfield, 
then in the prime of their ministry, and ripe in useful- 
ness. In answer to the recjuest sent out at the session 
before, the churches expressed themselves in favor of 
the Association's engaging in the work of Domestic 
missions, within her o^vn l^ounds. Whereupon a reso- 
lution was passed that the body take steps to carry 
out the wishes of the churches. Shadrach Jones, Cader 
Price, Burwell L. Barnes, N. L. Clarke, James Mer- 
chant, J. P. Alartin, and J. AI. Chambers were appoint- 
ed a committee to draft rules to govern the work. By 
request of the Association, B. L. Barnes preached on 
missions on Lord's da}-, and a pu1)lic colleclion was 
taken up in support of the cause. Alanson Goss was 
appointed missionary to lal^or in the destitution with- 
in the bounds of the Association the ensuing year; and 
I. R. Bass, S.Jones, L. B. Bilbro, X. L. Clarke, I. Mai- 
lory, James Thames, B. Alison, Cader Price, William 
Purvis, James Merchant, Everit Lewis, and W. Toler, 
together with the officers of the Association, were ap- 
pointed an Executive Board to superintend the work 
during the coming year. A Bible society was organized 
to labor in circulation of the Scriptures called the 
"Mount Pisgah."' An able circular letter fvom the pen 
.of J. M. Chaml3ers on the state of the churches, the im- 
portance of vigilance and puritj', appeared in the min- 
utes of this year. It was Fesolved, That the next ses- 
sion of the Association be held with Bethel church, 
Newton county, Aliss., and that J. M. Chaml^ers preach 
the next introductory sermon. Great harmony- pre- 
A^ailed during the whole session ; calling forth a resolu- 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 327 

tion of thanks to God for the same, which was unani- 
mously adopted. And especially, that the bodv had 
been able in harmon^^ to enter upon the great work of 
missions. Nor is it wa'ong here to sa3'^ that the work 
so happily entered upon then by this Association has 
been regularh^ kept up till now either in her owm, by or 
through the General Association. The statistics show 
thirty -one churches in the body, 1,338 members, seven- 
ty-seven baptized during the 3^ear. Steen's Creek, the 
largest church, 132 ; seventeen ordained ministers, ten 
licentiates. 

John M. Chambers was reared to manhood in Mis- 
sissippi; but while attending school in Tennessee, pro- 
fessed faith in Christ, and joined the Cumberland Pres- 
b3'terians. On returning to his home in Mississippi, 
he embraced the views of the Baptists, and was l)ap- 
tized into the fellowship ofSiloam church, Scott coun- 
ty, and soon began to preach; was ordained in 1842-, 
and located at Hillsl^oro, laboring in the ministry', and 
was for a number of years a successful merchant. For 
several vears, he was pastor at Hillsboro, and at various 
other churches in Scott and adjacent counties. He was 
for fourteen years clerk of iVIount Pisgah Association, 
was secretary' and depository agent of Mount Pisgah 
Bible Society, and member of the Executive Board of 
the Association. A man of pleasing appearance, genial 
manners; intelligent and active in lousiness; he had a 
fine reputation amongthe churches, and for many years 
did much to advance the cause of Christ in east Mis- 
sissippi, possessing, at the least, average abilitv in the 
pulpit. Failing in his Imsiness, his ministry passed 
with it. Emigrating to north Mississippi, and thence 
to Tennessee, he located at or near Saulsbury; and af- 
ter a time resting, again engaged in liis Master's work; 



328 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

Avas for 3'ears connected with Big Hatchie Association, 
and was much esteemed among the churches for which 
he labored till after the war, \Yhen he was called to his 
reward. 

William F. Barrett was a minister of the gospel 
and physician. He began to preach in Sumpter county, 
Ala., came to Alississippi, likely in 1842, and for years 
resided in Newton and Scott counties, preaching the 
gospel and practicing his profession. He was a man of 
active mind and liberal education, and fair pulpit abili- 
ty. After a few years of busy and useful life in Missis- 
sippi, he closed his earthly labors. 

The session of the Association for the 3-ear 1845, 
was held with Bethel church, Newton count\'. Miss. 
The introductory sermon was preached 133^ J. AI. Cham- 
bers. J. P. Martin was elected moderator, J. M. Cham- 
bers clerk, and T.K. Green treasurer. Two new church- 
es were received into the body — Mount Vernon, and 
Mill Creek, the latter constituted under the labor of 
our missionary-, A. Goss. Correspondence was received 
from Libert^' and Pearl River Associations. Among 
the messengers present this year were N. Slay, \V. P. 
Carter, and D. Sumrall, then in the prime of their man- 
hood, and vigor of their ministry. The report of the 
Executive Board gave an interesting exhibit of the la- 
bors of A. Goss, missionar\- of the body during the past 
year; showing 231 da^'S service ; 225 sermons preach- 
ed; nineteen persons baptized : one church constituted, 
and that he had traveled 3,090 miles. Showing, too, 
a wide field of destitution, and the people anxious to 
hear the word, and that the churches were becoming 
more united in the work. The committee on the State of 
religion reported the churches in a thriving condition. 
Two ministers belonging to the Association had ceased 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 329 

from their labors during the year — Stephen WilHams, of 
Madison county, and Shadrack Jones, of Leake county. 
A. Goss was re-appt)inted missionary- of the Associ^i- 
tion for tlie ensuing year, for three -fourths of his time. 
I. R. Bass, William Denson, Eli Nichols, N. L. Clarke, 
L.P. Murrell, W. H. Holland, T! Tullas, J. G. H. Baugh, 
W. G. Butler, B. Allison, James Merchant, and Thomas 
Davis, with the officers of the body, were appointed an 
Executive Board for the ensuing year. A resolution 
was passed asking the churches to express themselves 
as to the best method of supplying the destitution in 
the bounds of the Association. It was agreed that the 
next session of the body be held with the Jerusalem 
church, Scott county, and that A. Goss preach the next 
introductory' sermon. The table of statistics show 
thirty -three churches in the body; 1,4'37 members; 
148 baptized during the year; twenty -one ordained 
ininisters, and four licentiates. 

B. L. Barnes was a native of the State of Georgia, 
had a liberal education; was a man of polished man- 
ners. Entering the minivStrv,' while yet a young man, 
he came to Alississippi to pursue his holy calling: and 
was an able and instructive preacher. For a number 
of years, he was connected with Alount Pisgah Asso- 
ciation, residing in Madison county; was pastor at 
Canton, and preaching in the surrounding country-. He 
\vas last in the Mount Pisgah Association, in 1846; 
soon after which it pleased God to call him from his 
earthly labors, while yet in the midst of usefulness. 

Lee P. Murrell was born in the State of North Car- 
olina, 25th of September, 1808, and, while yet quite 
young, came with his parents to Mississippi, living in 
different counties in the State. In earh- life, he located 
in Scott countv, where he is still living. In the year 



330 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

1840, Air. Alurrell professed faith in Christ, and 
Avas baptized into the fellowship of Antioch church, 
Scott county, Aliss., bA' Stephen Berry, Rejoicing in 
the love of God, and in Christ as his own Saviour, he 
was soon impressed to preach Jesus unto the people. 
Air. Alurrell was licensed to preach by the Antioch 
church in 1842, and in 1844, was ordained to the full 
work of the gospel ministry; William Denson, A. Phil- 
lips, and David Cook, acting as presbytery. At once 
entering upon the full work of the ministry, he rose rap- 
idly to influence and usefulness: engaging in pastoral 
work in various counties in east Alississippi. He has 
been pastor of Pleasant Hill church for forty -two con- 
secutive years; has been connected with Alount Pisgah 
Association since 1841, and with the General Associa- 
tion from its organization. Possessed of a sound and 
active mind, great soundness of judgment, and clear- 
ness in his conceptions of divine truth as taught in the 
gospel, and of the faith of the Baptists, (of which he is 
a faithful expounder) and backed by a consistent life, 
he has Ijeen a great favorite with the churches, and all 
that love pure gospel. And during a long life of self- 
sacrificing devotion to the cause of Christ, he has not 
only built up a fine reputation as a gospel minister, en- 
deared himself to friends of truth as far as known, but 
has done a great work in advancing the cause of truth, 
and giving glor\' to God. God has blessed our brother 
Avith long life, fine health and comfortalile living. 
Though noAv in his eightieth year, he loves to preach, 
and does it well, and prays with great fervor. Alay 
God bless his servant with years of comfort and useful- 
ness still. 

In the session of 184(3, the Association convened 
with Jerusalem church, Scott county, Aliss., a harmon- 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 331 

ious and prolitalDle meetiiii^-. The introductory sermon 
was preached by A. Goss, Wni. Denson was elected 
moderator, and J. M. Chambers clerk, T. K. Green 
treasurer. One new church was received into the body 
— Benevolence, Leake county. Miss. Correspondence 
from sister Associations much as heretofore. Among 
the messengers present this year was Wm. M. Farrar, 
for many years a popular and useful minister in the 
State, and then from the ChoAavv Association. A. Goss, 
made an encouraging report as missionar}- of the body 
for the past year, reporting remaining destitution. 
Whereupon it was resolved to continue the work. A. 
Goss and J. D. Abney were appointed to labor in the 
destitution, the ensuing year, each for one -half of his 
time, also an Executive Board of Missions was appoint- 
ed . A well written circular on the doctrine of election ap- 
peared in the minutes of this session, written by B. 
Manly Sr., of Alabama, and copied from the minutes of 
the Tuscaloosa Association. The appearing of this 
circular was timely, and it exerted a fine influence upon 
the churches composing the body. Some of the church- 
es of the Association were dismissed during this session, 
in order to aid in the organization of the Central and 
Ebenezer Associations. It was resolved to hold the 
next meeting of the body with Rocky Creek church, 
Newton count}-, Miss., and that Wm. Denson preach 
the next introductory sermon. Much harmony pre- 
vailed during the meeting, evidencing that the churches 
of the bod}' were, as a whole advancing in every good 
w(^rk. 

1847 : This year the Association met with Rocky 
Creek church, Newton, Miss. The introductory^ ser- 
mon was preached by William Denson, who was 
also re-elected moderator, J. M. Chambers clerk, 



332 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

and T. K. Green treasurer. Seven new churches were 
added to the body, Pinckney, Union, Judson, Bethle- 
hem, Good Hope, Fellowship, and Pleasant Hill, in 
Smith county. Correspondence was received from 
Pearl River, Central, Libert3', Choctaw, Ebenezer, and 
Louisville Friendship Associations ; giving to the occas- 
ion an amount of ministerial talent seldom found to- 
gether in east Mississippi, in those daj'S. Among the 
messengers, those who had not been before \vith us, I 
may mention W. H. Ta^dor, then editing the Alississip- 
pi Baptist, cit the city of Jackson, J. Micou Jr., John 
Moffat, Wm. Williams, and R. Y. Rasberry. There was 
also correspondence from the Baptist State Conven- 
tion, Ta^'lor and Micou messengers. The fraternal feel- 
ings of all these bodies Avere reciprocated in a proper 
manner. The committee on the state of religion re - 
ported favorably as to the condition of the churches, 
Avhile the report of the labor of our missionaries, as set 
forth by the Executive Board, indicated success in the 
past and hope for the future. A friendh- correspond- 
ence was sent to the Baptist State Convention, A. Goss 
and Ira Townsend messengers. The report of the 
Mount Pisgah Bible Society evidenced activity-. Many 
copies of the Scriptures had been sold and given away ; 
as also other religious books. J. D. Abne\' and L. P. 
Murrell were appointed missionaries for the ensuing 
year, to labor within the bounds of the Association. 
Fifth Sunday Union meetings were still kept up. It 
was resolved that the next session of the bod3' be held 
with Antioch church, Rankin county-, Miss., and that 
J. D. Abney preach the next introductory sermon. The 
table of the statistics shows thirty -three churches in 
the bod^', 1,172 members. 116 baptized during the 
past year. The largest church, New Hope, Madison 
.county, 154. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 333 

J. D. Abne\', was for 3'ears a citizen of Neshoba 
county, Aliss., and in his earlier hfe was connected wdth 
the Episcopal Methodists. Becoming convinced of the 
correctness of the views of the Baptists on Scriptural 
doctrine and ordinances, he was baptized In^ A. Goss, 
and became a member of the Ebenezer Baptist church. 
He was at once licensed to preach, and, evidencing gifts 
for usefulness, w^as soon called to ordination, and en- 
tered on pastorpJ work. Posessed of good social qual- 
ities, a fair, and fruitful mind, and being a pleasing, and 
often a forcible speaker, he soon advanced to usefulness, 
and built up a good reputation as a Baptist preacher, 
laboring in the counties of Neshoba, Newton, Scott, and 
Smith, and for some years was missionary of Mount 
Pisgah Association, and president of the Bible Society. 
For a time, also, he labored in the Southwestern part 
of the State. But trials came, and with them sore tem- 
tations, and clouds that obscured the brightness of his 
ministr3\ Leaving Mississippi, he emigrated to Texas 
to finish his course. Let those clouds be to us the man- 
tle of charity to hide his faults, while we admire his 
virtues. 

The bod3^ convened, in 1848, Avith the Antioch 
church, Rankin county. Miss., and was blessed with an 
encouraging session. The introdudtory sermon was 
preached by J. D. Abney, text: "Why stand ye here all 
the day idle?" Usual form was observed in organiza- 
tion. The former moderator, Wm. Denson was re- 
elected, J. M.Chambers clerk, Thos. K. Green treasurer. 
Three new churches were received into the body. Sul- 
phur Springs, Scott county ; Bethesda, Madison coun- 
ty; Friendship, Scott county. Correspondence received 
from Pearl River, Central, Louisville Friendship, Choc- 
taw, Liberty, and Ebenezer Associations.. About the 



334 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

usual business was gone through with, in the main 
harmoniously. When differenced existed, they vanish- 
ed under the great democratic rule, ever dear to Bap - 
tists ; popular vote, majority ruling. Correspondence 
was returned to all the above named Associations ex- 
cept Louisville Friendship. The servic s on Lord's day 
were of much interest. The clerk thus speaks of them : 
"The congregation appeared to be much interested, 
and at the close of the services many persons came for- 
ward for prayers." 

The report of the Executive Board gave an encour- 
aging account of our mission work the past year. 
Thev stated, "At our first meeting L. P. Murrell declin- 
ed his appointment as missionary, and R. Y. Rasberry 
w-as appointed in his place, and entered at once upon 
his work, together with J. D. Abney. They have mani- 
fested much zeal in the work, and have done much 
faithful labor. The following is the result: 263 days 
in the work: 192 sermons preached; three churches 
constituted; fifty -five persons baptized; 1,917 miles 
traveled, besides much exhortation given, families visit- 
ed, Bibles and Testaments sold and given away." 
Your Board feels encouraged to persevere in the work. 

By recjuest sent up from some of the churches, it ap- 
peared there were differences existing as to the wording 
of the Abstract of Faith of the Association. It was 
not understood that there w:ls a real difference in doc- 
trine. After full discussion, it was resolved to publish 
in our minutes the Abstract of Faith found in the En- 
cyclopdffiia of Religious Knowledge, thatthe churches 
might read it, and if thought satisfactory, might adopt, 
it. It was also resolved to send a delegation to a con- 
vention proposed by the Pearl River Association, to be 
held in August, 1849, with Hopewell church, Copiah 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 835 

county, Miss., in order to harmonize on an Abstract of 
Faith for general adoption. The following persons 
were appointed delegates: Wm. Denson, A. Goss, J. J. 
S. Miles, N. L. Clarke, L. P. Murrell, J. M. Chambers, 
James Merchant, J. D. Abney, J. G. H. Baugh, I. R. 
Bass, and T. K. Green. 

It was agreed to continue the mission work. Wm, 
Denson, J. M. Chambers, T. K. Green, R. Edwards, W. 
W. Ely, I. R. Bass, J. J. vS. Miles, J. Keen, T. Tullos, B. 
Alison, C. G. Smith, H. Granberry, J. Merchant, I. H. 
Gary, and H. Nichols constituted the Executive Board. 
J. D. Abney and N. L. Clarke were appointed mission - 
aries to labor each one-half of his time in the iDounds of 
the Association for the ensuing year, and receive one 
dollar per da^- for their services. 

It was agreed to hold the next session of the body 
with Mountain Hill church, Simpson county. Miss. J. 
J. S. Miles to preach the next introdudtory sermon, L. 
P. Murrell alternate. The table shows thirty -five 
churches in the Association, 1,338 members, 258 bap- 
tized, the largest church. New Hope, Madison county, 
Miss., 153— W. H. Taylor, pastor. 

Reddin Y. Rasberry was born in the State of 
Georgia, but while quite young came with his parents 
to Alabama, and was there reared to manhood; was 
baptized in the 3'ear 1839 at Mashulaville, Miss., bj^Mr. 
Holbrooks; was first in the Mount Pisgah Asssociation 
in 1841; was liberated to preach by the Sulphur 
Springs church, (now called Zion,) about the year 1843, 
and preached as licentiate in Neshoba, Kemper, New- 
ton, and Lauderdale counties; was ordained to the full 
work of the gospel ministry in 1845, and soon became 
active in ministerial work, visiting destitute places, and 
serving churches in pastoral work. Of an active turn 



336 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

of mind, aliveh' exhorter, and ever ready to do the best 
he could, he soon rose to fine reputation, and entered a 
career of great usefulness in his hoh^ calling. Man3^ yet 
live that will remember his labors and success at Liber- 
ty and Hickory Grove, in Kemper county-, and Oktib- 
beha, and Zion Hill, in Lauderdale county, and Mount 
Pleasant, in Newton county. For a time, he labored at 
Enterprise, Miss. Afterwards moving to Mobile, he la- 
bored in the cit3^ and other localities near with great 
acceptance. The Avar came, and with it trouble and 
confusion. Leaving Mobile, he once more made his 
home in Lauderdale county, and ended his useful life in 
December, 1864, near Hickory Grove church, where he 
had gone to again take charge of that church, wdiere in 
early life he had been so blessed. Brother Rasberry 
died in the fifty -second 3'ear of his age and about the 
twentj'^ - second 3'ear of his ministry. He and his dear 
companion sleep in the Hickory Grove cemetery. 

In the year 1849, the Association convened with 
Mountain Hill church, Simpson county. Miss., in her 
thirteenth annual session, which was a meeting of much 
interest. The introductory sermon was preached by J. 
J.S. Miles, text, "Now abideth faith, hope, and charity, 
but the greatest of these is charity." Letters were 
read from thirty churches, and statistics noted. Wm> 
Denson, former moderator, was re-elected ; J. M. Cham- 
bers clerk ; T. K. Green treasurer. Five new^ churches; 
w^ei'e added to the body — Raleigh, Smith count}-, New 
Prospect, Newton count}^ Providence, Leake county. 
Leaf River, Smith count}-, Harmony, Smith county. 

Correspondence \vas received from Pearl River, 
Central, Ebenezer, and Liberty Associations. Promi- 
nent among the messengers was S, R. Freeman, then 
just entering themini.stry, who rose to greater eminence 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 337 

in after years. Preaching in Alabama and Mississippi, 
and for a time Avas president of Howard College, Ala. 
He afterwards went to Jefferson, Tex., where he labor- 
ed but for a short time, and died while yet in the prime 
of life. James Murray, Thomas Willingham, N. Robert- 
son, Jr., and J. D. Abney preached on Lord's day. Mr. 
Willingham, by request, preached a sermon on missions, 
followed by a collection. The clerk states that the con- 
gregation was large, the preaching faithful, the collect- 
ion for missions amounted to nearly sixty dollars. A- 
bout the ordinary course of business was transacted. 
The question as to the wording of the Abstract of 
Faith was again before the body. The churches declin- 
ed to adopt the Encyclopaedia faith, whereupon an Ab- 
stract was presented before the body, so worded as to 
meet the feelings of all, yet retaining the principles of 
the old Abstract of Faith, which was unanimously 
adopted, and the question settled. The report of the 
Executive Board gave an encouraging account of mis- 
sion work during the past year. The report says, "J. 
D. Abney declined the appointment given him, and has 
rendered no service." N. L. Clarke entered promptly 
on the v^ork assigned him, and we are much gratified 
to be able to state to you that his labors have been 
greatly blessed, for which we should be thankful to 
God ; and it should lead us to put forth renewed efforts 
in the cause of truth ; to spread abroad the gospel of 
Christ through our beloved Zion till all shall be blessed 
with the preached word. The footing up shows the fol- 
lowing results, 140 days, 150 sermons, forty- one per- 
sons baptized, fifteen received by letter, five churches 
constituted, 1,737 miles traveled, besides much other 
labor. In July, I. R. Bass was appointed missionary 
to fill the place of J. D. Abney, left vacant by his resig- 



338 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

nation. Mr. Bass has labored thirty days, preached 
twenty - eight sermons, traveled 382 miles. We recom- 
mend that the work be continued. In view of the large- 
ness of the associational territory, a special committee 
was appointed to enquire into the propriety of forming 
a new Association on the northwest of the Pisgah. 
Committee: R. Edwards, N. L. Clarke, J. J. S. Miles, 
and T. Willingham. The committee reported favora- 
bly. Frida\' before fifth Lord's da^^ in December was 
set as a suitable time, and Jerusalem church, Scott 
county, Miss., as a suitable place to hold a convention 
to CRvry out the work. Said meeting was held, result - 
ing in the formation of the Harmony Association. 

Correspondence was returned to the various Asso- 
ciations. N. L. Clarke was appointed missionary for 
one-half of his time for the ensuing associational 3'ear 
to serve; and the divine blessing on the work was im- 
plored, Thomas Willingham leading in prayer. It was 
agreed that the next session be held with Pleasant Hill 
church, Newton county-. Miss. That L. P. Murrell 
preach the next introductory sermon, Thomas Willing - 
liam alternate. The table shows thirty -eight churches 
in the body; 338 baptized during the 3^ear; total mem- 
bership, 1,758, sixteen ordained ministers, six licen- 
tiates; largest church, New Hope, Madison county, 165. 
The session closed in great harmony, assured that the 
Association was in a prosperous condition. 

Hillsman Hill was a native of North Carolina, pro- 
fessed religion in early life, and was soon baptized; be- 
gan to preach in his native State at eighteen years of 
age. In after life moved to Alabama and settled in Sum- 
ter county-, and there resided a number of 3^ears, and la- 
bored in the ministry. Moved to Mississippi about 
1845, and preached in man^^ counties in the eastern 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 339 

part of the State. Was tall and dignified in personal 
appearance, deliberate in his manner of address, dwelt 
much on doctrine, was a sound Baptist, and useful 
minister of Christ. Was for a time connected with 
MountPisgah Association. Finalh^ finished his course 
in Leake county, at, likely, about eighty- years of age. 
His ministry covered a period, of, at least sixty years. 

Thomas Willingham came to Sumter county, Ala., 
in the earlj' settlement of that country and was then an 
ordained minister of the gospel; and preached in differ- 
ent counties in that part of the State. Among other 
places he preached at Gaineville, Ala., was present when 
the writer was baptized in 1838. He afterwards moved 
to Mississippi, and labored in his holy calling in the 
eastern and central portions of the State; resided at 
Brandon, Miss., for a number of years, where he was 
pastor, also to the churches in the surrounding country. 
Thomas Willingham w^as of good personal appearance, 
pleasing manners, and often an impressive speaker, and 
of more than average ability for the times in which he 
lived. Just where and when he closed his useful life, we 
have no way of knowing. 

In 1850, the Association convened with the Pleas- 
ant Hill church, in Newton county. Miss., which was 
her fourteenth annual meeting. The introductory ser- 
mon was preached In' L. P. Murrell, text: "In whom 
we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness 
of sin through the riches of his grace." Wm. Denson, 
the former moderator, having with his church with- 
drawn from the Association to aid in the formation of 
the Harmon^', N. L. Clarke was appointed moderator 
pro tern, for the organization of the body. Letters 
were received and read from twent\'- churches, and 
their statistics noted. A. Eastland adted as teller in 



340 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

the election of officers. X. L. Clarke was elected as 
moderator, and J. AI. Chambers clerk ; I. Mallory was 
appointed treasurer. Ordinary forms observed in all 
its parts. Three new churches were added to the body, 
Hopewell, Scott county, Aliss., Poplar Springs and 
Pine Ridge, both of Newton county-. Correspondence 
received from Louisville Friendship, Ebenezer, and Lib- 
ert\' Associations, and also Harmony, a body recently 
organized, and chiefl^^ composed of churches dismissed 
from the Pisgah. P. F. Alorehead, A. Goss, J. P. Mar- 
tin, and J. AI. Chambers preached on Lord's day. The 
clerk sa\'s, "On Lord's da\" the Word was faithfully 
preached to a large and attentive congregation, and a 
collection taken up for Domestic missions amounting 
to $35.00 The clerk stated that under privilege allow- 
ed him at last session, he had given letters to fifteen 
churches to enter into the formation of the Harmon^^ 
The special committee on Abstract of Faith reported^ 
report approved : all satisfactory. 

The Executive Board reported the mission Avork in 
a favorable condition during the past 3''ear. They say, 
"Yourmissionar\', N.L.Clarke, has been activeh' engag- 
ed in 3'our service during the past j-ear. His labors 
have been abundanth^ blessed by the great Head of the 
church. His report shows that he has spent 148 days 
in the work, preached 158 sermons, baptized sixt^^-one 
persons, constituted two churches, received nineteen by 
letter, ordained two deacons, distributed religious books 
and tracts, served six churches all or part of the time, 
and traveled 2,310 miles. Thanking God for his mercy, 
we recommend a continuance of the work."' The com- 
mittee on the state of religion, reports, "that harmony 
prevails, precious revivals have been enjo3'ed, sinners 
converted and added to the churches."' N. L. Clarke 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 341 

was re -appointed missionary for half of his time for 
the ensiling 3-ear, to work in the bounds of the Associa- 
tion who agreed to serve. Prayer was offered for the 
divine blessing, Brother Chambers leading. It was a- 
greed that the next session of the body be held with the 
Camp Ground church, Neshoba county, IMiss. That 
R. T. Gatewood preach the next introductory- sermon, 
J. G. H. Baugh in case of failure. The tables of statis- 
tics show twenty' -four churches in the bod}", total 
membership of 1,103; 201 baptized during the 3'ear; 
eleven ordained ministers, eight licentiates. Camp 
Ground the largest church, eighty- seven, T. J. Hand 
pastor. The meeting was pleasant, and closed with 
encouragement. 

R. T. Gatewood was raised to manhood in the 
State of Kentucky- ; came to Mississippi in earl\' life, 
and at an early age professed religion, and was bap- 
tized ; had his membership in the Baptist church at 
Hillsboro, Miss. While quite young, under impressions 
of a call to that work, entered the gospel ministry- ; ex - 
ercised at Hillsboro, and the surrounding counties of 
East Mississippi ; was ordained about the ^-ear 1845, 
and engaged in pastoral work in mauA' churches in 
Mississippi, and for a time visited and preached in Ala- 
bama ; and for A-ears had a career of fine usefulness. 
He was of a cheerful and liveh' temperament, warm 
and rapid in his deliverv-, with a fair gift in sermoniz- 
ing ; he was an agreeable companion, and a useful and 
impressive preacher. His ministry covered a period of 
about twenty- years, possibh' twenty -five. In the lat- 
ter part of his ministry- his health gradually declined, 
reminding him and his friends that his end was nigh. 
He died in great peace. He lies buried in the family 
burving ground, six miles south of Forest, Scott coun - 



342 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

ty, Miss. The writer, by his request left \vritten,, 
preached a sermon in his memory. 

In 1851, the Association inet ^Yith Mount Nelson 
church, Neshoba county, Aliss., evidencing sound- 
ness in the faith, activity and progress. R. T. Gate- 
wood preached the introductory' sermon; text, ''Go ye 
into all the world and preach the gospel to every crea- 
ture. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved,, 
he that believeth not shall be damned." The sermon 
was faithful and instructive. The body was called to 
order by the moderator, N. L. Clarke, with praise and 
praj' er. Letters were received and read from twenty - 
one churches. N. L. Clarke was elected moderator; J. 
AI. Chambers clerk; I. Mallor3', treasurer. Suitable re- 
marks were made b}- the moderator on taking his seat. 
Three new churches were received into the body. Fair 
Mount and Piney Grove, Jasper county-, and Shiloh, 
Smitii county. H. Greer, Sr., I. Mallory, Thomas Da- 
vis, and W. A. Hutson formed thecominittee on preach- 
ing. Correspondence received from Harmony, Liberty, 
Pearl River, and Ebenezer Associations. The names of 
the correspondents present were, Goss, Alorehead, Miles, 
SlaA', Chandler, Barrett, Moffatt, and Johnston, all 
of them ministers in active life. Nathan Slay, then liv- 
ing in Choctaw county-, Ala., was justly considered one 
of the leading ministers of that bod}'; was at that time 
about fifty -five A^ears of age; able in doctrine, and 
much respected, and lived to about seventy- -two years 
of age. Joseph Chandler began to preach in early life,. 
Avas for manj^ 3"ears connected with Pearl River Asso- 
ciation, was an active minister, and preached in many 
of the counties of Mississippi, and was much blessed in 
work, was frequent in the Mount Pisgah Association 
as messenger. The pulpit was occupied on Lord's Day, 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 343 

by Barrett, Slay, Goss, and N. L. Clarke. The clerk 
says : "The brethren appointed preached the gospel on 
Lord's Day to a large and attentive congregation. The 
order was unusually good." 

The collection on Lord's Day for missions was lib- 
eral. Correspondence was returned to sister Associa- 
tions, and about the ordinary lousiness was gone 
through with. The query from Rocky Creek church 
produced much interest — "Is it gospel order to retain in 
fellowship persons engaged in trading in ardent spirits 
for the purpose of making money?" Answer; "It is 
the sense of this Association that it is not gospel order 
to hold such persons in fellowship." The committee 
on state of rehgion, say "We rejoice that all our church- 
es have had preaching once a month, and evidenced in- 
creased liberality in sustaining the gospel among them- 
selves, and in sending it abroad to the destitute. At no 
time have our churches been so unanimous in support 
of missions." The Executive Board in reporting mis- 
sions, say, "The Board would gratefully acknowledge 
the goodness of God in our preservation, and His lov- 
ing kindness to us and the churches composing our 
body." This year was remarkable for the general 
drouth that prevailed, which is alluded to by the Board. 
The Board then adds; "Your missionary, N. L. Clarke, 
has continued in the field about one- half of his time, 
during the past year; he has performed much labor, and 
the work has prospered in his hands. His statement 
shows 150 days labor; 150 sermons preached; be- 
sides much other labor connected with this; fortv- eight 
persons baptized ; three churches constituted ; eleven 
received by letter; one minister ordained, and three dea- 
cons ; supplied five churches all or a part of the time; as 
missionary, traveled 2,638 miles. We recommend that 



344 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

N. L. Clarke be continued in the work." N. L. Clarke 
was re - appointed missionary for half of his time for 
the ensuing 3-ear; \vages as before. He accepted the ap- 
pointment, and A. Gossledinpra^'crfor the divine bless- 
ing on the work. A resolution w^as passed recommend- 
ing the churches to hold pra^-er meeting at their places 
of worship. It was agreed that the next session of the 
body be held with Bethel church, Newton county, Miss. 
That J. G. H. Baugh preach the next introductory- ser- 
mon, S. F. Wall alternate. The records show twenty - 
seven churches in the body, 125 baptized during the 
vear, total membership, 1,084, largest church, Zion, 
Kemper county, seventy -eight, pastor, R. Y. Rasberry. 
Ordained ministers, eleven, licentiates, nine. The ses- 
sion closed in great harmouA', with praise and prayer. 

Iverson Mallor3' came to Alississippi, soon after 
the country- was opened to white settlement, lived in 
Neshoba county, and was a member of Ebenezer church, 
and w^as for \'ears treasurer of Mount Pisgah Associa- 
tion; commenced preaching about the year 1848 in 
Scott county-, and exercised his gift in the surrounding 
countr\'. Membership at Hopewell and other churches 
in the Pisgah Association ; was ordained likely in 1850, 
w^as pastor at Hopewell, Leaf River, Polkville, and 
other churches in East Mississippi; a man of respecta- 
ble gifts, and reasonabh' successful in his calling. 
Leaving this State he passed like manv others, to the 
west, laboring in Louisiana and Texas. 

John Moffatt was from earh' life a citizen of East 
Mississippi, became a Baptist, and when smarth' ad - 
vanced in life, entered the gospel ministry- ; preaching in 
various counties in the eastern part of the State. Af- 
ter some years received ordination, and engaged in 
pastoral work, though not extensively. Was at differ- 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 345 

ent times conne6led with different Associations. Delib- 
erate in delivery, exceedingly cautious as to doctrine he 
did not attain to a high order of eloquence. He was 
held as sound in our faith; divine sovereignty-, salva- 
tion by grace, the work of the Spirit, final persever- 
ance of the saints, and the heavenly glor^- were his 
themes. He lived to a great age, retaining his mind 
vigorously to the close of his life. His last sermon was 
only a few weeks before his death. He died some few 
years since in Smith county, Miss., in the ninety -eighth 
year of age. 

In 1852, the Mount Pisgah Association met with 
the Bethel church, Newton count^^. Miss. This church 
\vas constituted in the year 1839, and has been and 
still is, one of the most prominent and active churches 
of the body. The introductory sermon was preached 
by J. G. H. Baugh. Text, John 6:44, "No man can 
come to me except the Father which sent me draw 
him." The body was called to order In- the former 
moderator, N. L. Clarke, with praise and prayer. John 
Moffatt and M. C. Thomas preached at the stand. 

Letters were received and read from twenty- - seven 
churches. In the election of officers N. L. Clarke was 
made moderator; J. M. Chambers clerk; I. Mallory 
treasurer. A. Eastland and John Rushing conducted 
the election. Two churches were added to the body, 
Beulah, Newton county, and Ebenezer, Neshoba coun- 
ty. Ebenezer was the first church constiuted in East 
Mississippi ; but fell into decay and lost her situation 
in the Association ; but having been revived, she again 
occupied her place in the body. Thus the oldest church 
in the Choctaw Nation was preserved. Wm. L. Mcin- 
tosh, John Alderman, Wm. Thomas, and J. T. Pace 
were the committee on preaching ; great and good men- 



346 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

Correspondence between Associations was more prized 
then than now. 

The stand on Lord's day was occupied by John 
Rushing, then a useful minister of Harmony Associa- 
tion, X. L. Clarke, L. P. Murrell, and J. M. Chambers. 
The clerk says, Lord's day the brethren appointed, ad- 
dressed large and attentive congregations. A collect- 
ion amounting to about thirty -two dollars was taken 
up for mission work. A quers' came from Bethel church: 
"Are members of Baptist churches in their duty to hold 
letters of dismission when near churches of their faith 
and order?'' Answer: "It is the sense of the Associa- 
tion that the churches are the only competent judges 
in such cases. Yet we advise the churches to take care 
in maintaining discipline, that order ma^' prevail." 

The Executive Board in its report represents the 
Avork of Missions as in a prosperous condition during 
the past year. Thc}^ sa^^ "N. L. Clarke, your mission- 
ary has been activeh' engaged in your service during 
the 3'ear. His quarterly reports to the Board have 
been truly encouraging. He has spent 171 daA^s in 
3'our service; preached 186 sermons; baptized sixty - 
three persons; received thirty' -one by letter; ordained 
one deacon; and traveled 2,960 miles ; besides much other 
necessar\' labor. He has sustained the relation of sup - 
ph' to four churches as missionary'. There is A^et much 
destitution, and we recommend that he be continued 
in the work, and for three -fourths of his time next 
3'ear. 

N. L. Clarke was re -appointed missionarA^ and for 
three AA^eeks in each month, during the associational 
year. Brother Clarke accepted the appointment, and 
agreed to serve; and R. T. Gatewood led in prayer for 
the diA^ne blessing on the work. The Association Avas 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 347(' 

re- districted. It was agreed that the next meeting of' 
the Association be held with Lime Creek church, Scott 
county, Miss., that S. F. Wall preach the next intro- 
ductory sermon, and that I. Mallory be his alternate. 
The bodj^ adjourned in great harmony; remarks by 
the moderator, singing, hand shaking and prayer. 
The records show twent3' - nine churches in the body ; 
total membership, 1,173 ; 134 baptized ; largest church 
Mount Nelson, eight\'-two, pastor, T. J. Hand; or- 
dained ministers, twelve; licentiates, eight ; died during 
the 3'ear, twent3'-two. 

Samuel F. Wall came from the north-west, (3hio, 
likelj' ; married and lived in Newton county. Professed 
faith in Christ, and was baptized at Pinkne^^, Newton 
countv, and soon JDCgan to preach. He moved about 
this time to Scott count\^, and labored among the 
churches of that count^^ Received ordination and en- 
tered on pastoral work ; laboring in Scott, Smith, New- 
ton and Neshoba counties, and had his measure of use- 
fulness in the churches of Mount Pisgah Association; 
was rapid in deliver)^ at times becoming impetuous. 
At a little past middle age he emigrated to the State of 
Texas, to finish his work in that growing State. Some 
two years ago he was still living, likely upwards of 
eighty years of age. 

In 1853, the body met with Line Creek church, 
Scott county. Miss., which was the seventeenth annual 
session. The Line Creek is one of the oldest churches in 
the eastern part of the State. The introductory^ ser- 
mon was preached 1d3^ S. F. Wall, text: "Let brotherly 
love continue,'' Heb. 13 : 1. Fifteen minutes recess, (in 
those da3's dinner was not provided as of late), and the 
Association was called to order by the moderator, N. 
L. Clarke, with praise and prayer. S. S. Turner, and 



348 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

J. P. Johnston occupied the stand in preaching. R. T. 
Oatewood, E. L. Carter, and A. C. Gunn read letters. 
Thomas WilHamson, S. H. Carn.-, and E. G. Tullos 
committee an Finance. Letters were read from twen- 
ty -seven churches, and statistics noted. X. L. Clarke 
Avas again elected moderator, J. AI. Chambers clerk, 
Iverson Mallory treasurer: W. R. Butler, and J. G. 
Baugh acting as tellers. Six new churches \vere added 
to the body: Herbert, Xeshoba county. Tallahatta, 
Newton county, Alount Pisgah, Jasper county, Sharon, 
Jones county, Concord, Simpson county, and Zion Hill, 
Smith county, by letter, from Ebenezer Association, all 
of Mississippi. Received correspondence as follo\vs: 
Ebenezer, Pearl River, Harmony, Liberty, and Bethle- 
hem. Present, Aloffatt, Johnston, Wolf, Denson, and 
Turner as messengers. Correspondence was kindly 
returned . 

The usual committees were appointed, performing 
their duties faithfulh-. J. \l. Chambers was received, 
and recognized as agent of the Board of Foreign mis- 
sions of the Southern Baptist Convention. The follow- 
ing preamble, and resolutions were presented, and 
adopted : 

Whereas. We Ipelieve that unions, and Associa- 
tions give strength, and that this holds good among 
the people of God as well as among others, and. 

Whereas, There is in the south-eastern part of 
our State, much religious destitution, and much before 
us as a denomination, claiming our attention, and that 
said interests would be advanced by a general union of 
the Baptists in this part of the State, therefore, 

Resolved By this Association, That it is expedient 
that the Baptists of south-eastern Mississippi should 
form a General Association for the purpose of advanc- 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 349' 

ing the cause of Domestic, Indian, and Foreign missions, 
Education, Sabbath schools, distribution of the Script- 
ures, and general religious benevolence. 

Resolved, That a committee of five on the part of 
this body, together w'ith the corresponding messengers 
from sister Associations present, be appointed to take 
this matter under consideration, and report Monday 
night. 

Resolved further, That we cordially invite the fol - 
lowing Associations : Harmony, Pearl River, Biloxi, 
Ebenezer, Liberty, and Bethlehem, with any other that 
may think proper, to unite with us in the organization 
of said General Association. 

The committee appointed on the part of this Associ- 
ation: J. M. Chambers, L. P. Murrell, E. L. Carter, W. 
White, R. T. Gatewood, and N. L. Clarke was added 
by action of the body. Wm. Denson, from Harmony; 
John Moffatt, and J. P. Johnston, from the Ebenezer, 
and S. S. Turner, from the Bethlehem, agreed to act 
with the committee of the Association. 

The stand on Lord's da^^ was occupied by L. P. 
Murrell, and Wm. Denson in the morning, and N. L. 
Clarke in the evening. The clerk says, on Lord's day 
the brethren appointed preached to large, and attentive 
audiences. About twenty -eight dollars was collected 
for Domestic missions, and twenty dollars for Foreign 
missions. 

The Tennessee Baptist, New Orleans Baptist Chron- 
icle, and Eastern Clarion were requested to publish the 
proceedings looking to formation of the General Asso - 
ciation in Southeast Mississippi. The. report of the Ex- 
ecutive Board represented the mission work as prosper- 
ous during the past associational year. They say, 
"your missionary, N. L. Clarke, has been actively en- 



350 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

gaged in your service, preaching the gospel the greater 
part of the time since your last meeting. His quarterly 
reports, as well as his general report, show a steady 
progress in the glorious work." 

"The final report shows 182 days of service, preach- 
ed 178 times, baptized forty -three persons, constituted 
five churches, received twenty -four by letter, ordained 
three deacons, and traveled 3,260 miles. Having, as 
missionary-, sustained the relation of supply to seven 
churches more or less of the time. We recommend 
that you continue the work of missions." - 

The special committee on the propriety of organiz- 
ing a General Association, reported: That it is expe- 
dient to form said body; to that end, that a Conven- 
tion be held with Bethel church, Newton county, Aliss., 
on Friday- before the fourth Monday in October, 1854, 
of all the Baptist bodies friendly to the organization. 
This report was unanimously adopted, and an address 
w-as ordered to be printed in the minutes, appealing to 
the churches and Associations for aid. N. L. Clarke 
was again appointed missionary- for three -fourths of 
his time for the next associational 3'ear. He consented 
to serve. S. F. Wall led in prayer for the divine bless- 
ing on the work. A resolution was passed, encourag- 
ing the aiding of 3^oung students, preparing for the min- 
istry. The following resolution brings to our considera- 
tion a fact that reflects great credit on the Baptists of 
the South. 

'' Resolved, That this Association does fully indorse 
and adopt the memorial of the Southern Baptist Con- 
vention at Baltimore, on the 18th of May, 1853, to the 
Congress of the United States of America on the subject 
of taking measures, through the action of Congress, to 
-secure to citizens of the United States, the unmolested 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 351 

exercise of public religious worship, according to their 
consciences, when called to reside in Foreign Govern- 
ments." 

The committee on the state of religion, sa^'s: Your 
committee having had before them the letters from the 
churches, and documents from sister Associations, beg 
leave to report that there is evidence of a steadfast ad - 
vance, and a gradual growth in the cause of our blessed 
Redeemer. The churches have all been supplied with 
preaching. Never have our churches been more united 
in mission work. The Western Recorder, Tennessee 
Baptist, and Baptist Chronicle were recommended to 
the support of the churches. It was agreed that the 
next session of the Association be held with Pleasant 
Hill church, Newton county'. Miss. That I. Mallory 
preach the annual sermon, W, H. Hatsell, alternate. A 
form of letter of dismission from the churches was writ- 
ten and published in the minutes. The table shows 
thirty -five churches in the body, a membership of 1,386, 
146 baptized during the year, largest church. Line 
Creek, eighty-eight members, pastor, J. M. Chambers, 
fifteen ordained ministers, seven licentiates, died, eleven. 

M. C. Thomas was reared to manhood in Mississip- 
pi. At an early age, professed faith in Christ, and was 
baptized in Scott county, where he spent the first part 
of his Christian life. At about middle age, he gave evi- 
-dence of a call to the ministry, was liberated b^- his 
church, preaching in his own church, and the surround- 
ing churches. For his opportunities in life, his prog- 
ress was rapid. Soundly converted, and greatly at- 
tached to the cause, and of great tenderness of feeling, 
he made a fine impression, and gained rapidly in useful- 
ness. M. C. Thomas was ordained about the date 
1848, and entered upon pastoral work in the eastern 



352 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

counties of Mississippi, and greatly strengthened the 
brethren in the faith of the gospeL Few men have done 
more in the same time than M. C. Thomas. About the 
year 1858, he left Mississippi much to the regret of his 
brethren, emigrated to Texas to finish his work. Of his 
work in the Lone Star State, the writer has no infor- 
mation. He was a fine exhorter. 

In the year 1854, the Association convened with 
the Pleasant Hill church, Newton county. Miss. This 
is one of the oldest and most influential churches of the 
body, the church over which our beloved L. P. Murrell 
has so long presided as pastor. The introductory ser- 
mon was preached b}' I. Mallory; text, "The entrance 
of thy word giveth light,'' Ps. 119. A brief intermis- 
sion, and the body convened, and was called to order 
by the moderator N. L. Clarke, with praj^er and praise. 
R. T. Gate wood and E. L. Carter were requested to 
read correspondence. W. L. Mcintosh, E. G. Tullos, 
and B. B. Windham, committee on finance. James 
Merchant and John Williams occupied the stand. Let- 
ters were received and read from twenty -one churches, 
names of delegates enrolled, statistics noted. W. P. 
Carter and E. Kenned^' acted as tellers, and oflficers 
were elected, N. L. Clarke moderator; J. M. Chambers 
clerk; I. Mallory treasurer. The Association was an- 
nounced ready for business. An opportunity^ was of- 
fered for new churches, when the following applied and 
w^ere received: Harmon3% Salem, and Mount Carmel, 
Smith county. Spring Hill, Rankin county, Tallahala, 
Scott county, and Ellisville, Jones county, all of Mis- 
sissippi. Correspondence received as follows: Ebenez- 
er. Harmony, Bethlehem, and Liberty, and Strong 
River; also A. McKenzie from the American Indian As- 
sociation, Louisville, Ky. Correspondence was duly 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 353 

returned to sister Associations. The Pearl River was 
with reluctance dropped, as Strong River was between 
us. Wm. Thomas, M. Tyler, J. M. Trussell, M. Steph- 
ens, and I. Mcllhaney, committee on preaching, strong 
and good men. It was agreed to raise two standing 
committees in addition, one each on Foreign and In- 
dian missions. W. P. Carter and A. McKenzie preach- 
ed on Lord's day. McKenzie preached on missions. 
Collections were taken up, for Domestic missions, 
$20.55 ; for Indian missions, $42.25 ; and for I. J. Rob- 
erts missionary to China, $17.35. The committee on 
the state of religion in its report spoke favorably of the 
condition of the cause, both in our own Association, 
and those with which we correspond. They recom- 
mended to the churches The Tennessee Baptist, Pastoral 
Visitor, Nashville Tenn., Western Recorder, Indian Ad- 
vocate, Christian Repository, Louisville, Ky., Alabama 
Baptist, and Home and Foreign Journal. The Red 
Land church asked advice. May we receive to our fel- 
lowship an individual excluded from another church? 
Answer : It is our mind that it is not order to do so. 
The Executive Board, in its report, represents the mis- 
sion w^ork as prospering during the past year. They 
say, "Your missionary, N. L. Clarke, has been actively 
and we believe, zealously engaged in preaching the gos- 
pel to the destitute for the greater part of the time 
since your last session. His quarterly reports show a 
steady progress in our work. His final report shows 
the following facts : 204 days spent in mission work, 
200 sermons preached, sixty -four persons baptized, 
five churches constituted fifty -three persons received 
by letter, two deacons ordained, supplied seven church- 
es all or a part of the time as missionary, and traveled 
2,953 miles, beside other necessarily attending labor. "^ 



354 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

The committee on Foreign missions gave favorable no- 
tice of the work of the Southern Baptist Convention in 
Africa and China, spoke kind W of I. J. Roberts, of Ken- 
tuck}', who was then in China, but not sustained by 
the Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. Also, 
a tender and earnest ajipeal was made in behalf of the 
Indians, their claims upon us, and our obligation to 
give them the gospel. The Association passed resolu- 
tions pledging herself to the support of Indian missions, 
to collect and forward funds for that work to the In- 
dian Mission Association, Louisville, Ky. In view of 
the action of the body at the last session contemplat- 
ing the formation of a General Association in South- 
east Mississippi, and holding of a Convention to that 
end with Bethel clwirch, last of October, the Associa- 
tion proceeded to appoint delegates to that Conven- 
tion as follows: L. P. Murrell, J. M. Chambers, John 
Thornton, S. F. Wall, M. C. Thomas, N. L. Clarke, A. 
Anderson, A. M. King, I. Mallory, M. Tyler, and W. 
L. Mcintosh. N. L. Clarke was re -appointed mission- 
ary' for one -half his time for the ensuing year. He con- 
sented to serve; and A. McKenzie led in pra3-er for the 
divine blessing on his labors. It was agreed that the 
next session of the body be held with the Decatur 
church, and that W. Hatsel preach the next introduct- 
ory sermon, and that M. C. Thomas be his alternate. 

W. H. Hatsel in his early life, was an orderly Bap- 
tist in the northwestern part of Scott county, Miss. 
Post Office, Pensacola, membership in Friendship 
church, possibly at an earlier day at Jerusalem. En- 
tered the ministry at about middle age, advanced rapid- 
ly, had greatly the confidence of the churches, soon 
passed to ordination, and engaged in pastoral work at 
Friendship and other churches, was considered greatly 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 355 

^fted in the doctrine of the Scriptures, preached the in- 
troductory sermon at Decatur in 1855. He was justly 
esteemed an able, reliable and useful minister of the 
gospel. His name last appears in our minutes in the 
year 1859, after which, like many others, he sought a 
new field of labor, and since then is unknown to the 
w'riter. 

W. P. Carter, present from Bethlehem Association, 
was an able minister of great influence and usefulness, 
and was at that time in the strength of his ministry. 
He served one term in the State Senate. Few ministers 
in our country have had a finer reputation. He died at 
Enterprise, Miss., about the year 1858. 

In 1855, the Association convened with the Deca- 
tur church. (This church w^as constituted, likely in 
1837, and in the communitj' where the Beulah church 
now stands. Held its first meeting at Decatur in con- 
nection with the first Lord's day, in January, 1848). 
The introductor)^ sermon was preached b^- W. H. Hat - 
sel. Text, Dan. 2 :44. "In the days of the kings, etc." 
The body was called to order b^^ the former moderator, 
N. L. Clarke, he engaging in prayer. J. P. Johnston 
and Joseph Morris appointed to preach at the stand. 
E. L. Carter and W. J. Morris, readers of correspond - 
€nce. J, M. Chambers former clerk, having gone be- 
yond the bounds of the Association, R. T. Gatewood 
was made clerk pro tem. J. M. Trussell, B. B. Wind- 
ham, and W. C. Porter c'nppointed financial committee. 
Joseph Chandler and W. J. Morris acting as tellers, the 
Association proceeded to elect officers. L. P. Murrell, 
moderator, N. L. Clarke, clerk, J. M. Pace, treasurer, 
James Merchant, assistant clerk. Letters were received 
and read from thirtj^ - eight churches, delegates names 
enrolled and statistics noted. Seven new churches were 



356 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

received into the body; Ebenezer and Antioch, Jasper 
county, Good Hopeand New Prospect, Newton county, 
Bluff Springs and Center Hill, Neshoba count}', and 
Sardis, Scott county. Correspondence received from 
Ebenezer, Strong River, Liberty, and Bethlehem Asso- 
ciations. AI. M. Keith, HenrA'Dunn, J. M. Kelley, John 
Smith, and Isaac Anderson formed the committee on 
preaching. L. P. Murrell, Joseph Morris, and R. Y. 
Rasberry were appointed to preach on Lord's day. 

The clerk tells us that the services on Lord's day 
were of much interest. The brethren appointed, preach- 
ed abh" to a large congregation, observing good order, 
and giving marked attention. A collection of thirty - 
six dollars \vas taken up for Domestic missions. Cor- 
respondence was returned to sister Associations, except 
Libert}', which Avas discontinued. 

N. L. Clarke Avas received by the bod\^ as a delegate 
from the General Associational Convention, held the 
October before, with Bethel church, Newton county. 
Miss. N. L. Clarke presented a minute of the proceed- 
ings, aims and desires of the Convention, asking sym- 
pathy and aid in said work of organization. It was,, 
on motion, agreed, to send fifteen delegates to an ad- 
journed meeting of the Convention to be held, later in 
October, and to convene, again with Bethel church. 
We give names of the persons appointed : Joseph Mor- 
ris, N. L. Clarke, M. M. Keith, E. L. Carter, John Wil- 
lianis, Wilson West, Isaac Anderson, M. C Thomas, W. 
H. Hatsel, James Merchant, M. J. Pace, W. C. Porter, 
W.J. Morris, L. Crosby, J. Hamilton, and on motion, 
L. P. Murrell was added. The usual committees were 
appointed b}- the moderator, who presented reports of 
much interest. An important query came before the 
bodj' from Jones county, Sharon church : What ought 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 357 

we do with persons applying for membership, who 
having been married, separate from their companions, 
and marry again, their former companions yet living? 
Answer: We believe it to be wrong to receive persons 
so situated into the church, that onh' death can dis- 
solve Scriptural marriage. 

Foreign, Indian, and. Domestic missions received 
marked attention from the committees, sanctioned by 
the bod3\ The committee on the state of religion rep- 
resented the cause as in an encouraging condition in 
our own body, and those with whom we correspond. 
The organization of the General Association was encour- 
aged by the committee. The Tennessee Baptist, South 
Western Baptist, Western Recorder, Religious Herald, 
Home and Foreign Journal, with other papers of less 
note were recommended. Also the publications of the 
South-western publishing house, and of the Southern 
Baptist Publication Society. The Executive Board re- 
ported favorabl3' as to the mission work during the 
year. They sa3% "We have great reason to thank God 
for mercies attending our work during the past vear. 
Your missionar3^, N. L. Clarke, has been actively en- 
gaged in the work about one -half of his time, since 
3^our last meeting. Aluch has been done for the cause. 
N. L. Clarke has labored IT-i days, preached 178 ser- 
mons, baptized thirty-nine persons, received thirty -sev- 
en by letter, constituted two churches, and ordained 
one deacon, sustained the relation ofsupplv, as mis- 
sionary, all or a part of the time, to seven churches, 
and traveled 3,297 miles. We recommend that you 
continue the work.'" 

N. L. Clarke was re - appointed missionarv for the 
ensuing j^ear to labor, and receive compensation as 
\veretofore. N. L. Clarke consented to serve, and Jos- 



358 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

eph Morris led in prayer for the divine blessing on his 
labors. 

It was agreed to hold the next session of the body 
with the Fair Mount church, Jasper county, Miss. 
This church, before the meeting of the Association, was 
moved to Garland ville, and the name changed, and it 
so appeared in the minutes. M. C. Thomas was ap- 
pointed to preach the next introdu6tor\^ sermon, E. L. 
Carter, alternate. The table of statistics shows forty - 
live churches in the body ; a total membership of 1,694, 
158 baptized during the year, seven members died. 
Pleasant Hill, the largest church, eighty -t\vo members, 
L. P. Murrell, pastor; fifteen ordained ministers; four- 
teen licentiates. The bod3' gave evidence of great pros- 
peri 1 3'. 

John G. H. Baugh was reared to manhood, or near- 
\y so, in Simpson county. Miss. In early life professed 
faith in Christ and was baptized, but just where is un- 
known to the writer. In the earh' settlement of Smith 
county, he came with his father and familj^ and settled 
in the vicinity of Polkville, where he remained during 
his life, raising a large famih-. Mr. Baugh was under 
impressions to preach at an early age, and received li- 
cense to do so, likeh', b^- Antioch church, Rankin coun- 
ty, and soon after the date 1840, exercising in his own 
church, and surroundings, and was well received as a 
3'oung minister. Advancing in the work, and his la- 
bors needed, Air. Baugh passed to ordination about 
the date 1847, and entered upon pastoral labors, and 
was much esteemed in his holv calling, serving various 
churches for 3'ears in succession, in great faithfulness. 
A close student of the Bil^le, possessed of great sound - 
ness in the faith. Those that knew him best admired 
him most. Firm in the doctrine of the Scriptures, and 



lliStORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 359 

anxious to see our people sound in the faith, he reason- 
ed with patience, and great candor to reclaim others 
from error, and to settle our own people in truth. Mr. 
Baugh suffered sore bodily affliction in his last A^ears, 
till it pleased God to call him to the rest prepared, and 
remaining for his people, which is now several years 
ago. Mr. Baugh died at about sixty-three years of age. 
The twentieth annual session of the body was held 
with the Garlandsville church, beginning October 4, 
1856. The introductory sermon was preached by 
Moses C. Thomas, from Rom. 4:25. Letters were 
read from forty -one churches, two churches, Shiloh 
and Polkville, not being represented. L. P. Murrell 
was elected moderator, and N. L. Clarke clerk. Two 
churches were received into the fraternity. Fellowship 
of Lauderdale, and Talahoma of Jasper county. Cor- 
respondence was received from the Ebenezer, Harmony^ 
Liberty, and Bethlehem Associations. 

By resolution, passed on Saturday, a collection 
was taken for missions on Sunday. Manning and 
Clarke preached on Sunday ; the collections for missions 
were as follows, for Domestic missions $14.75, and for 
Indian missions $16.25. 

By resolution passed on Monday, it was agreed to 
send $13.15 to Home missions, and to Indian missions 
whatever amount was in the hands of the treasurer for 
that object. E. L. Carter was chosen missionary' for 
the Association for one -fourth of his time, being allow- 
ed $1.50 a day for the time given to the Association. 
It was stipulated that he was to supply churches that 
could not otherwise get preaching. 

During the associational year, N. L. Clarke had 
been their missionary in their bounds. He labored 115 
days, preached 159 sermons, baptized twenty -five per- 



360 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

sons, received thirty -six b}' letter, constituted tv^^o 
churches, ordained one minister, three deacons, and 
traveled 2,689 miles. He had served seven churches. 
He gave a statement of the eight 3^ears work he had 
given the body as missionar3^ He had spent 1,320 
days in the ^vork, preached 1,368 sermons, baptized 
384 persons, received 226 by letter, constituted twen- 
ty-four churches, and traveled 21 944 miles. That 
was a splendid record as an associational missionary, 
perhaps not equaled 133- an}' other in the histor}- of the 
Associations of our State. Still there was some desti- 
tution in their bounds. The missionary funds collected 
that 3'ear amounted to $135.95. 

In 1857, the Association met with the Ebenezer 
church. This church is situated in Jasper county-. Miss., 
twelve miles south of Paulding. The introductory^ ser- 
mon was preached bj'- E. L. Carter, text, Ezra 37:22. 
Theme, Unity of God's people. A brief intermission, 
and the delegates met in the church house, and the 
bod}' was called to order b\^ the former moderator, L. 
P. Murrell. Air. Killen led in pra3'er. Joseph Chandler 
and Drur}' Sumrall preached to the people at the stand. 
W. R. Butler and W. J. Morris reading clerks. M. Ty - 
ler, I. Baliff and E. Price appointed committee on fi- 
nance Letters were received and read from fort^'-two 
churches, and statistics noted. Benjamin Tliigpen and 
W. J. Alorris acted as tellers. Officers for the 3'earwere 
ele(fted ; L. P. Murrell moderator, N. L. Clarke clerk, J. 
M. Pace treasurer. Two new churches were added to 
the bod}', Paulding, Jasper count}-, and Okahay, Cov- 
ington county. Correspondence was received from 
Harmony, Ebenezer, Liberty, Bethlehem, and Strong 
River Associations. The usual committees were ap- 
pointed, and did their work faithfully. J. H. Rush, 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 361 

Wm. Thomas, A. Pace, J. A. Wheeler, formed the com- 
mittee on preaching. L. P. Murrell, J. Lawrence, and 
N. L. Clarke occupied the stand on Lord's day. The 
services on Lord's da^^ were of much interest. The 
clerk adds, The brethren labored according to their ap- 
pointment. The congregation was large, and from the 
attention given, and the seriousness manifested during 
the services, and the concern in the close, we have reas - 
on to believe much good will result from the labors. 
Quite a number came forward for praA'er. The collect - 
ion amounted to $25.40. Received a letter of friendly 
correspondence from the General Association of Missis- 
sippi, by the hands of N. L. Clarke and J. A. Hill, who 
w^ere cordialh' received, and friendship and co-op- 
eration expressed. Correspondence was regularly 
returned. 

Able and interesting reports were presented on va - 
rious subjects by the respective committees. Attention 
is invited to the report on queries. Query from Leaf 
River church, "Is it according to gospel order and 
Christian prosperity for Baptists to engage in dancing 
and playing cards, orto suffer suchin their houses ?"' An- 
swer, "We think not. It does not comport with the or- 
derly walk and godly conversation to which we are ad- 
monished in the Scriptures.'* The Mississippi Baptist, 
then published at Jackson, Miss., was very cordially 
recommended to the favor and support of the Asso- 
ciation. 

Missions, Domestic, Indian and Foreign, were ur- 
ged on the people for their support. The annual report 
of the Executive Board showed faith, fullness, and suc- 
cess in the labors of E. L. Carter, the devoted mission- 
ary. The\' saA' : "We are satisfied E. L. Carter has la- 
bored in great faithfulness, and with success. He has 



362 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

spent ninety - seven days in the work ; preached ninety - 
six sermons, baptized sixteen prsons ; constituted one 
church ; received five by letter : ordained two deacons ; 
supplied three churches as missionary', and traveled 
1,504 miles. There is yet destitution to be met, but we 
recommend that the Association transfer her mission 
Avork to the General Association, and for the future 
carry it on through that body. 

The committee on the state of religion, indicated,, 
at least a usual state of peace and prosperity ; though 
not a 3'ear of large ingathering. R. T. Gatewood hav- 
ing died during the associational year, resolutions of 
esteem and appreciation were passed by the Associa- 
tion. (See a notice of R. T. Gatewood's life elsewhere.) 

A resolution was passed approving of the aims and 
work of the General Association, and that the Associ- 
ation in the future, do her mission work through that 
body, so as to co-operate with other Associations in 
the State. A representation of fifteen persons was ap- 
pointed to the General Association at its next meeting,, 
w^hich was to be with the Decatur church. By resolu- 
tion, the time of meeting of this body was changed to 
Saturday before the third Lord's da3' in September in 
each year, to avoid collision with the State elections. 

It was agreed that the next session of the Associa - 
tion be held with Leaf River church. Smith county. 
Miss., that James Merchant preach the next introduct- 
ory- sermon, that X. L. Clarke be alternate. A cordial 
vote of thanks, as in all such cases, was voted to the 
church and community. The body adjourned, feeling 
that God had blessed us, and that the cause was ad- 
vancing. The table shoves fort3'^-six churches in the 
Association, a total membership of 1,633, 118 baptiz- 
ed ; Pleasant Hill the largest church, 104-, L. P. Murrell 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 363 

pastor; twenty -eight had died; fifteen ordained minis- 
ters, sixteen Hcentiates. 

W. A. Hiitson, for nearh' thirty j^ears, a faithful 
and useful minister of the gospel in the churches of 
Mount Pisgah Association, was born in the State of 
South Carolina, on the thirteenth of September, 1812. 
When quite young, he moved with his parents to Co- 
piah count3% Aliss. Soon after coming to Mississippi, 
both his parents died, leaving himself, one brother, 
and three sisters, orphans in the world. W. A. Hut- 
son was reared to manhood by a Presbyterian 
preacher named Patterson. In 1855, March 4th, he 
w^as married to Miss Frances A. Rollins, and settled in 
Scott county, Miss. Was baptized into the fellowship 
of Line Creek church, in that county, by Stephen Berry, 
on the thirtieth day of June, 1840, liberated to preach 
May 11th, 1850, ordained to the full work of the min- 
istry in June 1852, at Line Creek church, and entered at 
once on pastoral work. We had no more faithful man 
among us. One that kne\v him intimately says : "from 
soon after his ordination, he had from two to five 
churches, situated from five to forty miles from him, yet 
I never knew him to disappoint a congregation by fail- 
ing to be on hand, unless providentially hindered. W. H 
Hutson was untiring in his work, 

"Through heat and cold he often went, 

|And wandered far and near 

To call poor sinners to repent^ 

And seek their Savior dear." 

He was, too, a successful minister. Full of the spir- 
it of the gospel, he was a firm supporter of the cause of 
missions. We always looked for help from Bro. Hut- 
son's churches. The latter part of his life, he was fee- 
ble and lonely ; his beloved w'ife having gone before him 
about three years, and his health failing as he neared 



364 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

the end of his course. W. H. Hutson closed his life in 
great peace at his home in Scott county, Miss., July 23, 
1881. A good and a true man. Mrs. Hutson had died 
Nov. 28, 1878. The^^ were the parents of four children. 
The oldest, T. J. Hutson, died in Texas, in 1873, 
(Methodist minister,) while the other three, J. M. Hut- 
son, and two sisters yet live in Scott county-. Miss., all 
professing faith in Christ. The memory of the just 
shall be blessed. 

In 1858, the Association met with Leaf River 
church, Smith county, Miss. This church was consti- 
tuted in 1849, and is in the north-eastern corner of 
Smith coimty. 

The introductory sermon was preached by X. L. 
Clarke. Text, Xeh. 6:3, 'T am doing a great work, 
so that I cannot come down to thee.'" A short inter- 
mission, and the body was called together in the house 
for business, hj the former moderator, L. P. Murrell. 
W. R. Butler, and \Y. J. Morris were re- appointed to 
read letters. W. L. Mcintosh, I. Baliff, and W. C. Por- 
ter appointed committee on Finance. F. M. Meek, and 
John Williams preached to the people at the stand. 
Letters were read from forty -four churches: names of 
delegates written and statistics noted. W.J.Morris 
and J. S. Antley acted as tellers. Officers elected, L. P. 
Murrell, moderator, N. L. Clarke, clerk, and I. Baliff, 
treasurer. No new church was received this year. Re- 
ceived correspondence from Strong River and Ebenezer 
Associations. W. A. Hutson from the General Associa- 
tion, with letter and minutes. J. S. Antley came before 
the body as agent of Central Female Institute. He 
was received, and a hearing promised him Monday mor- 
ning at ten o'clock. The usual committees were appoint- 
ed, and made interesting reports. G. W. Barnes, James 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 365 

Jones, W. White, and H. Dunn formed the committee on 
preaching. It was arranged that J. S. AntlcA", L. P. 
Murrell, and S. J. HittlaJ^or on Lord's day in the order 
of their names. 

Lord's day, the brethren appointed, preached in the 
order of their names. The congregation was large, the 
order good, and we trust much good will grow out of 
it. A collection of $19.25 was taken up for Domestic 
missions, and $7.50 for Indian missions. Correspond- 
ence was regularly arranged, and reports of committees 
were heard, and discussed. 

At ten o'clock J. S. Antley addressed the Associa- 
tion in behalf of the Central Female Institute, Clinton, 
Miss., reading the report of the Board of Trustees. 
The report w^as ordered printed in the minutes of the 
Association. The committee on documents, and the 
state of religion presented a length^", and able report. 
The Mississippi Baptist was recommended to the confi- 
dence, and support of the churches of the Association. 

The report on missions, was likely the most thor- 
ough that had been presented before the body. We 
find this language : "Much preparatory work has been 
done. The great victory is yet to be gained. Our cap- 
tain rides forth, and animates us to the work. He calls 
us to toil, and triumph. Let us go forth after him to 
glorious war, to certain victory. The command is, 
'Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to ev- 
ery creature.' This is to us, will we heed it? The most 
weighty considerations that can be brought to bear up- 
on the human mind urge us to obedience, and steadfast 
perseverance." 

Resolutions were passed re -affirming our steadfast 
adherence to the great principles of strict communion, 
otherwise called close communion, and condemning. 



366 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

alien immersions, no odds Ijy what order administered, 
and urging the churches to continue in these great ])rin- 
ciples of our people. 

Delegates were appointed to meet with the General 
Association, and the funds ordered to be sent up. Del- 
egates, W. A. Hutson. John Williams, W. L. Alclntosh, 
N. B. Robertson, Wiley White, W. R. Butler, L. P. Mur- 
rell, N. L. Clarke, W. J. Morris, H. Rush, G. F. Smith. 

At no time, thus far, had the body been more stead- 
fast in the adherence to our distinctive principles, re- 
flecting the sentiment of the principles that are so firm - 
ly held by our churches. The organization, and keep- 
ing up of Sunday schools was urged. The time of the 
meeting of the Association \vas changed to Saturday 
before the second Lord's daA- in October in each 3'ear. 
It was agreed that the next meeting of the body be 
held with Pleasant Hill church, Newton county. Miss., 
and that W. A. Hutson preach the next introductory 
-sermon, and L. P. Alurrell in case of absence of first 
named. The table shows fort\'-fiYe churches in the 
body, a total membership of 1,800; 100 baptized dur- 
ing the 3'ear; fourteen ordained ministers, and seven- 
teen licentiates. Pleasant Hill, the largest church, L. 
P. Murrell, pastor. The closing services, a good hymn 
sung, and the right hand given; often causing many 
tears to flow. 

Daniel Fore was bom in the State of Tennessee. 
W^hen very 3'oung his parents brought him to Alabama, 
where he grew to manhood. He came to East Mississ- 
ippi soon after the countr\' was opened to the settle- 
ment of the country- b^- the whites. Professed faith in 
Christ in 1848, and was baptized into the fellowship of 
New Prospect church, Scott county, Miss., hj J. M. 
Chambers. Realizing the blessedness of salvation in 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 367 

his own soul, Mr. Fore was anxious that others might 
share the same, hence he soon began to pray, and talk 
in public, evidencing impressions to preach ; received 
licensed from his church in 1849, and preached in his 
own church, and surrounding country. Not long after 
he received ordination, and entered on pastoral work, 
laboring in Smith, Scott, and Newton counties, and 
was quite successful in building up the churches, and 
baptizing many into their fellowship. His longest pas- 
torates were with Randall Hill, and Concord churches, 
in Jasper county-, and FHne Ridge and Poplar Springs 
churches, Newton county ; spending shorter time with 
other churches. 

He loved a good meeting, was tender and win- 
ning in his exhortations. In his older days he was 
less active in the ministry, laboring nearer home, as 
he felt he was growing feebler by reason of age. He 
closed his earthly labors February 25th 1891, the im- 
mediate cause of death being injuries received in a fall 
from his wagon a few da^^s before. He died in great 
peace, talking of the love of God ; the blessed hope of a 
glorious immortality, and rest with Christ. Bidding 
his wife, children, and friends farewell, he ceased to 
breath and was at rest. 

In 1859, the body met with Pleasant Hill church, 
Newton county. The introductory sermon was preach- 
ed by W. A. Hutson, text, "For we are laborers togeth- 
er with God." Half hour for refreshment, and the del- 
egates convened in the house, and were callled to order 
by the former moderator, L. P. Murrell, A. Goss pray- 
ed. W. J. Morris and H. E. Chambers appointed read- 
ing clerks, W. R. Butler assistant clerk. D. D. Booth 
and A. Goss preached to the people at the stand. A. 
Eastland, B. B. Windham, and J. Holland financial 
committee. 



368 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

Letters were read from thirty -nine churches, and 
delegates names recorded, and statistics noted. Jos- 
eph Morris and T, M. Weaver acted as tellers, and offi- 
cers were elected, L. P. Murrell moderator; N. L, 
Clarke clerk ; I. Bailiff treasurer. An opportunity was 
afforded, and Hepzibah church, Newton county. Miss., 
was received. This church is now known as Hickory^ 
having been moved to that place, audits name changed. 
Received correspondence from Ebenezer and Harmony 
Associations, also from the General Association, asking 
sympathy and aid, Joseph Morris messenger. A letter 
was received from A. C. Dayton, secretary of the 
Southern Baptist Sunday school Union, and a bundle 
of the Children s Friend; also a bundle of minutes from 
the Baptist State Convention. The usual committees 
were appointed, and made interesting reports. C. H.. 
Johnston, M. B. Kirk, J. Canada, and the deacons of 
Pleasant Hill church composed the committee on 
preaching. The services on Lord's day were of much 
interest, conducted by Joseph Morris, Wilson West, 
and A. Goss; N. L. Clarke closed the services. The 
clerk says : The congregation was large and attentive, 
and it is hoped much good will grow out of it. $40.60 
was taken up for Domestic missions, and a small sum 
for education. 

Monday morning the bod^^ met in great harmony 
and cheerfulness. The moderator prayed. Correspon-. 
dence regularly returned, and committees reported, re- 
ports attended to. The committee on the state of re- 
ligion and publication, in their report say : It is a mat- 
ter of thankfulness to God, that all the churches of the 
body are regularly supplied with stated preaching of 
the work ; and that many have been added to the 
churches. Revivals of religion have taken place in 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 369 

many parts of the world ; and our own region has been 
ble^ssed with the outpouring of the Spirit. The Missis- 
sippi and Tennessee Baptists, were commended to the 
support of the people, and the Southern Baptist Re- 
view. 

Full and interesting reports were presented on mis - 
sions and Sabbath schools, as also on temperance, ur- 
ging the support of missions, both Home and Foreign, 
and working with the General Association. The sub- 
ject of better instruction to the colored people was re- 
ported and approved, and urged upon the churches and 
pastors. Appointed delegates to the General Associa- 
tion, and appropriated funds for the support of the 
general body. The powers of the Association, Abstract 
of Faith, Gospel order, and Rules of Decorum appear in 
the minutes of this year. The following resolution was 
passed : 

Resolved, "That we believe it to be the duty of the 
churches to deal with their members who aid in the 
evils of intemperance, and seek to promote the liquor 
traffic." 

It was agreed that the next session of the body be 
held with Beulah church, Newton county, that W. R. 
Butler preach the next introductory sermon, N. L. 
Clarke alternate. The table shows forty -one churches 
in the body, some having been dismissed to go else- 
w|iere; a total membership of 1,752, baptized during 
the 3'ear 258, with sixteen ordained ministers, nine li- 
centiates, largest church, Pleasant Hill 131, L. P. 
Murrell pastor. A j^ear of great prosperit}'. 

John J. S. Miles was born in the State of Georgia, 
January, 5, 1807. He made profession of faith in 
Christ, and was baptized while 3'et in his seventeenth 



370 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

year, in Washington county, Ga. While yet quite 
young he gave evidence of impression to preach, and 
was licensed to do so : exercising his gift in the church- 
es of Flint River Association ; where he received ordina- 
tion, and entered upon pastoral and evangelical work. 
While yet young in the work, brother Miles found him- 
self in the midst of the strife that arose out of the ques - 
tion of missions in the bounds of the Flint River Asso- 
ciation, in which many of the churches and members 
embraced anti- mission views, including nearly all the 
ministry, leaving young Miles almost alone in the 
struggle. Young and active, full of zeal, with great 
bodily power, and a determination nearly unconquer- 
able, our young brother threw himself with great force 
into the fight for the principles of the regular Baptists. 
His labors were immense, but he was successful. At 
the age of about fort}" years, he rejoiced, with others 
that worked with him, to see the cause established, 
churches revived, new ones planted, and his Associa- 
tion built up, and active. Greatly worn out in body, 
and more or less financially, by the sacrifices he made 
in his labors, he resolved to go West. 

Leaving Georgia in 1844, brother Miles spent some 
months in Alabama, came to Mississippi, and made his 
home for a number of years in Neshoba county in this 
State, and had his membership in the Mount Nelson 
church, and was connedled with Mount Pisgah Associ- 
ation for a number of j-ears ; was active in the ministry, 
serving the churches adjacent to him. For several 
years he was their pastor at Mount Sinai church, Ne- 
shoba county, and also at Mount Nelson. After some 
3'-ears, he became a citizen of Leake county, and contin- 
ued his labors there, and in the adjoining counties, and 
was connected with Harmonv Association. Our recol- 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 371 

lection [is ' that his last earthly home was in Leake 
county where he died about the date 1855, loved by all 
that knew him. Brother Miles was an able and useful 
minister. Possessed of a commanding personal ap- 
pearance, a fine voice, sound in gospel doctrine, a good 
singer, and an animated exhorter, he exercised a great 
influence over his congregation, and won manj^of them 
to Christ. His labors were much blessed in Mississippi 
as well as in Georgia. 

In 1860, the Association was held with Beulah 
church, Newton county, which was the twenty -fourth 
meeting of the body. The introductory sermon was 
preached by W. R. Butler; text, Mark 1 :15, "The time 
is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand ; repent 
ye, and believe the gospel.'' A short interval was giv- 
en, and the delegates convened, and were called to or- 
der by L. P. Murrell, the former moderator: himself 
praying. J. H. Rush, A. Clarke, and H. E. Chambers 
were requested to read letters. C. C. Gorhara, W. C. 
Porter, and W. W. Hardy appointed committee on fi- 
nance. Letters were read from thirt\'-six churches, 
delegates names enrolled, and statistics noted. M. M. 
Keith and W. L. Mcintosh acted as tellers. The fol- 
lowing officers were elected, N. L. Clarke moderator, 
Wm. R. Butler clerk, Ishmael Bailiff treasurer. The 
moderator on taking the chair, made a short talk, and 
the body proceeded to business. It was a custom to 
invite visiting members to seats. This was done. A- 
mong others that took seats was W. Cecil Beecher, of 
the Coliseum Place Baptist church, N. O. Five new 
churches were added to the Association ; Etchoma, Jas- 
per county. High Hill, Smith county, Morton, Scott 
county, County Line, Jones county, and County Line, 
Neshoba county. J 



372 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

The usual committees were appointed and perform- 
ed their \York with promptness and fidelit^^ Wm. Gra- 
ham, J. M. Pace, B. Hawkins, E.J. Collins, and J. E. 
Traylor, composed the committee on preaching. Cor- 
respondence ^vas received from Strong River, Ebenezer, 
Bethlehem, Harmony, and Choctaw Associations, all 
of which was courteously reciprocated. I. Anderson 
was received from the General Association, It was ar- 
ranged that J. P. Johnston, L. P. Alurrell and N. L. 
Clarke preach on Lord's da\'. The adjourning hour is 
always welcome, and the body adjourned to meet at 
nine o'clock Alonday. 

Of Lord's da\', the clerk says: "The brethren ap- 
pointed, performed their duties faithfully. There is 
reason to hope that, through the divine blessing, much, 
good Avill grow out of it. A collection w^as taken up 
for missions amounting to $33.70."' 

Much cheerfulness was manifested Monday morn- 
ing as the delegates met each other. W. A. Hutson 
pra3'ed. Correspondence was arranged, and reports of 
committees heard and discussed with much interest. 
The general letter of correspondence sa3'S, "From all 
the facts before us, we arrive at the conclusion that our 
Redeemer's Kingdom is advancing in this part of the 
moral vineyard." After the same way, the committee 
on the state of religion goes on to speak. The3^ say : 
"Revivals of religion have taken place in manj' parts of 
our beloved country', and a large part of the churches 
of this bod\^ have been refreshed, and blessed with the 
outpouring of God's Spirit. The committee urges to 
thanksgiving for past mercies, and earnest pra\'ers for 
a continuance of the same. On publications the}- urge 
the reading of the Mississpipi and Tennessee Baptists 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 373 

Able reports were made on missions and Sunday 
schools ; seeking to imjDress the people of God to renew- 
ed energy and effort for the spread of the gospel among 
our own people, and the nations of the earth. 

Delegates were appointed to the General Associa- 
tion, and funds appropriated for the support of its 
■w^ork. The clerk was instructed to have the Abstract 
of Faith, Gospel Order, Powers of the Association, and 
Rules of Decorum printed in the minutes of this meet- 
ing. This was done that our members might read and 
compare the Abstract with the vScriptures : so be sound 
in the faith. 

It was agreed by the body to change the time of 
meeting to the third Lord's day in September in each 
year and Saturday before. The next session of the 
bod^^ was appointed to be held with Alount Pisgah 
church, Jasper county, and that L. P. Murrell preach 
the annual sermon, Wilson West alternate. 

The scenes of adjotirnment were tender and endear- 
ing. The table shows fort^^- three churches in the body, 
a total membership of 1,760; 200 baptized during the 
year; seventeen ordained ministers, eleven licentiates; 
Pleasant Hill the largest church, membership 151, L. 
P. Murrell pastor. The Beulah church was then young 
but active and vigorous has attained to great useful- 
ness since. Different ministers then present as correspond- 
ents were in the prime of their ministry', or 3'oung men 
J. P. Johnston, Isaac White, Alcek, J. L. Mathews, 
just entering the ministr3'. 

W. R. Butler was born in Rankin count\', Nov. 15, 
1828. In. 1831, he came with his parents to Scott 
county-, in which county he has made his home until 
now, a period of fifty -nine j^ears ; with onh' occasional 
absence for onl}' a short time in teaching or for other 



374 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

business. During the 3'ear 1848, Aug. 31st, W. R. 
Butler made profession of faith in Christ, and was bap- 
tized into the fellowship of the Hillsboro Baptist church 
b^^ William Denson. Feeling now the love of God, and 
wishing that others might feel the same and be saved, 
he was soon under impressions to preach the gospel. 
He received license in the 3'ear 1849, and exercised his 
gift in his own church and surrounding country. Was 
ordained in 1852, and entered upon pastoral and evan- 
gelical work. August 6, 1854, he was married to Miss 
Julia Long, of Hinds count3', who is 3'et the companion 
of his hopes, joys and sorrows. 

From the first he was active in the ministr}'. Pos- 
sessed of a vigorous mind, being a close student, and 
being active in his calling, his progress was pleasing, 
and rapid ; and, having the confidence of the churches, 
his labors were much prized, and greatly blessed. Af- 
ter serving various churches in different parts of the 
countr\', his own church at Hillsboro called him to pas- 
toral work with her. In this work he continued twen- 
tv-nine consecutive years, much of the time the church 
greatly prospering under his care : while at the same 
time he extended his labors to the churches in the sur- 
rounding countrv^ Sardis, Hopewell, Libert^-, Forest, 
and inany others receiving the benefit of his self sacrific- 
ing labors. In 1860, our brother was elected clerk of 
of the Mount Pisgah Association, which office he con- 
tinued to fill until he left the Mount IMsgah to enter the 
organization of the Springfield Association, of which 
body he was at the first made moderator; which posi- 
tion of honor and usefulness he has continued to fill at 
each succeeding session of the Association. For two 
years he labored as missionarj^ under the direction of 
the Springfield Association, feeding the scattered sheep, 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 375 

and building up the waste places of Zion. Mild, and 
agreeable in personal appearance, courteous, and affa- 
ble in his deportment, gifted in the pulpit, and sound to 
the^centre in the faith of the Baptists, brother Butler 
has been loved and appreciated wherever he has labor- 
ed among the people of God. He is not yet old, com- 
pared with many, and it is hoped it may be the will of 
God to spare him for many years of usefulness in the 
cause he loves so well, and to the honor of his divine 
Redeemer. 

In 1861, the Association convened with Mount Pis- 
gah church, Jasper county. The introductory sermon 
was preached by Wilson West. Text, Matt. 16 : 18 ; 
"And I say unto thee that thou art Peter, and upon 
this Rock will I build m\' church, and the gates of hell 
shall not prevail against it." A short intermission, 
and the bod3^ v^^as called together bj' the fonner moder- 
ator, N. L. Clarke, Wilson West led in pra3'er. B. Sims 
and G. Myers conducted w^orship at the stand. A. 
Eastland, A. C. Gunn and A. Clarke were appointed to 
read letters, B. Thigpen assistant clerk. W. L. Mcin- 
tosh, W. W. Hardy, and Josh Collins were appointed! 
committee on finance. 

Letters were read from thirty -five churches, names 
of delegates enrolled and statistics noted. The follow- 
ing officers were elected by acclamation : N. L. Clarke, 
moderator; W. R. Butler, clerk; I. Bailiff treasurer. A 
few remarks In- the moderator, and the body was ready 
for business. Two new churches were added to the As-- 
sociation, Siloam, Simpson county, and Mount Vernon,, 
Jasper county. No correspondence from sister Associa- 
tions. The change of our time of meeting supposed to 
be the cause. Committees were appointed on various, 
subjects, who were prompt and faithful in their work.. 



376 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

Missions, Sunday schools and pulDlications received 
careful attention. True to her principles, the Associa- 
tion urged the work of missions, Home and Foreign. 
J. E. Traylor, B. AI. Spangler, H.Dunn,B. Thigpen and 
H. S. Boling were appointed a committee on preaching. 
N. L. Clarke, W R. Butler, and W. A. Hutson occupied 
the stand on Lord's day. The clerk tells us that the 
above named brethren preached on Lord's da3\ The 
congregation was large; the order good, and at the 
close of the services many came forward for prayer. 
$13.4-0 was taken up for Domestic missions, $13.10 for 
Indian missions. 

The brethren convened Monday morning with cor- 
dial greeting. Reports of committees heard and dis- 
cussed. The committee on the state of religion present 
it as averaging a fair condition. Aluch excitement pre- 
vailed in view of the threatened and coming war be- 
tween the States. The Mississippi and Tennessee Bap- 
tists were recommended to the churches, also the Bap- 
tist Correspondent. Representatives to the General 
Association were appointed and funds appropriated. 
It was ordered that the Articles of Faith be again pub- 
lished with the powers of the Association^ It was de- 
cided to hold the next session of the body with Alount 
Carmel church, Smith county. John Williams is to 
preach the next introductory sermon, and that A. 
Clarke in case of failure. The scene of parting was ten- 
der and interesting. The clerk sa^-s : the Mount Pisgah 
Association thus closed her twenty- - fifth annual meet - 
ing in peace and harmony. W. R. Butler prayed> 

The table shows thirty- - seven churches in the body; 
1,783 members; seventeen ordained ministers; nine li- 
centiates ; Pleasant Hill the largest church in the body, 
L. P. Murrell pastor. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 377 

Oliver F. Breland, for man}- ^-ears an esteemed min- 
ister of the gospel, connected with Mount Pisgah Asso- 
ciation, was a native Mississippian, and was reared to 
manhood in East Mississippi. Just before the war be- 
tween the States he made profession of religion and 
was baptized into the fellowship of Pinckney Baptist 
church. The war came, and Breland entered the Con- 
federate army ; was a true and active soldier, and was 
spared to pass through the dangers of the war, and re- 
turn to his home and his famih^ ; and with a character 
unstained as a Christian ; liut with his temporal affairs 
in a wasted condition. Under impressions to talk to 
his neighbors about the love of God and the worth of 
souls, he received license, and exercised his gift in his 
own church and the surrounding countr3\ Now in the 
path of duty, and urged forward bj- the love of God 
and the love of souls, Mr. Breland advanced rapidlv in 
his calling, and in public esteem as a maij of gifts and 
usefulness. Soon his ordination was called for, and he 
entered upon pastoral work with great zeal, energy 
and success; laboring in the cause of his Master with a 
self-sacrificing devotion rarely known in our country; 
and wath a success truly cheering. Humble, cheerful, 
read3^ and gifted, our brother was gladh^ received 
wherever he w^ent. The writer often said while O. F. 
Breland w^as Hving, that no man among us did so much 
work at such a sacrifice. His labors were chieflv in the 
counties of Newton and Neshoba. He was a gifted wri- 
ter, surprisingly so, considering the busy life he lived. 
Many will remember his instructive communication in 
the Southern Baptist in the day of its life and prosperi- 
ty. It w^as his lot in the latter part of his ministry to 
struggle with decHning health. After a ministry of 
some fifteen or eighteen years of great usefulness, he 



378 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

died in great peace in Neshoba count3\ His body rests^ 
at Mount Sinai church in that county ; while, doubtless 
his spirit is with Him he loved so A\^ell. Mr. Breland 
raised a large family, the greater part of which A^etlive, 
respected and useful. His oldest son, G. W. Breland, as 
if seeing his father fall in the charge, seized the flag that 
fell from his lifeless hands, and raising it aloft, is bear- 
ing it manfully forward against the foe. 

When yet 3'outhful John Herrington lived in south- 
eastern Alabama. EarW in the settlement of East 
Mississippi bA^ whites became to this State, and settled 
in Kemper county'. At that time, though he was a 
good citizen, yet was wonderfulh' addicted to the use 
of spirits, and b\^ many it was thought that he \vas 
doomed to a drunkard's grave. About the year 184-4, 
he went to hear A. E. demons preach, then missionary 
of the Choctaw Baptist Association, who w-as keeping 
up an appointment at a school house near Mr. Herring- 
ton's. Under the preaching of l^rother demons he be- 
came interested about his soul's salvation, and during 
the year he made profession of faith in Christ, and was 
baptized. This profession he honored till the end of his 
life. Soon he manifested impressions to preach, and re- 
ceived license, and before long, ordination. While yet 
3'oung in the work, he moved to Neshoba county, and 
more fulh' entered upon pastoral and evangelical work, 
a man of excellent moral character, but moderate gifts 
in the gospel. Brother Herrington was remarkable for 
his command of Scriptures, and appreciated his. religi- 
ous associations ver}' much. For man3' 3'ears he was 
connected with Mount Pisgah Association, and was al- 
wa\'s a welcome visitor among the churches and fami- 
lies of our people. Our brother lived to old age, and at 
the call of his Master, he passed awa}-. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 379 

In 1862, the body convened with the Alount Car- 
mel church, Smith count3^ The Civil war was fully un- 
der way, and much excitement prevailed ; and, likely, 
the delegation was on that account smaller. 

The introductory sermon was preached by John 
WiUiams ; text. Matt. 28 : 20 : "Teaching them to ob - 
serve all things whatsoever I command you." A few 
minutes for refreshments, and the body was called to 
order by the moderator, N. L. Clarke. L. P. Murrell 
led in prayer ; Searcy and Sims conducted worship at 
the stand. A. Eastland, A. C. Gunn, and F. M. Pool 
read letters; T. J. Denson was assistant clerk ; J. W. D. 
Duckworth, J. D. Hardy, and G. W. Barnes were com- 
mittee on Finance. Letters were read from thirty - 
three churches, delegates names enrolled, and statistics 
noted. Officers were elected by acclamation, N. L. 
Clarke moderator; W. R. Butler clerk; I. Baliff treasu- 
rer. A short talk from the moderator, and the body 
was ready for business. One new church was added to 
the body, Home wood, Scott county. Received corre- 
spondence from Strong River, and Ebenezer Associa- 
tions. Appointed the usual committees, who performed 
their duties in great faithfulness. W. L. Mcintosh, E. 
W. Norwood, J. E. Traylor, and T. D. Collins were the 
committee on preaching. It was arranged that W. R. 
Butler, N. L. Clarke, and J. P. Johnston preach on 
Lord's day. Correspondence was duly returned to sis- 
ter Associations. The adjourning hour was hailed with 
pleasure. 

On Lord's day the congregation was large, and the 
preaching interesting. The clerk says : ''There seemed 
to be good interest throughout the congregation, and 
much sign of penitence by giving the hand for prayer." 
$49.90 were taken up for Domestic missions ; $5.20 for 



380 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

Indian missions: $37.95 for religions reading for the 
soldiers. 

Monday came, and \vith it readiness for business. 
A. Gressett prayed : rules of decorum read. The reports 
of committees read and discussed. The state of religion 
encouraging, all the churches have preaching. The 
Avork of missions was pressed on the body and urged 
on the churches. A resolution was passed, expressing 
gratitude to God for His providences in sustaining us in 
our struggle for Southern independence. Delegates 
were appointed to the General Association, and funds 
appropriated. A time for special prayer was recom- 
mended to the churches to be observed to invoke the di- 
vine blessing upon our countr}-, and upon our soldiers. 
It was agreed that the next session of the Association 
be held with the Decatur church, and that A. Clarke 
preach the next introductory sermon, A. AYinstead, 
alternate. 

The table shows fort^'-two churches in the body; 
a total membership of 2,100 : 159 baptized during the 
past associational year. Pleasant Hill, the largest 
church, 148 members, L. P. Murrell, pastor; eighteen 
ordained ministers, and eight licentiates. The session 
w^as harmonious, the closing scene tender, and endear- 
ing. Much interest Avas felt for the comfort of the sol- 
diers, and the results of the war. 

John Williams, a useful minister in East Mississippi, 
reared up in, and connected ^vith the churches of the 
Mount Pisgah Association, Avas reared to manhood in 
Jasper county. In early life he made a profession of 
faith in Christ and joined the Methodist church, and 
was licensed to preach. Moving to the coast country, 
heassociated with Mr. Bowen, and became convinced of 
the truth of Baptist principles. Returning to Jasper 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 381 

county, he was baptized by the writer into the full fel- 
lowship of Fair Amount Baptist church. He was at 
once licensed to preach, and evidenced an encouraging 
gift in the gospel. At the request of Poplar Springs 
church he was ordained to the full work of the ministry 
and became their pastoral supply, which was the be- 
ginning of the work with him. Mr. Williams grew 
rapidly in ability, and in the esteem of the people, and 
soon other churches called for his services. Poplar, 
Springs, Garlandville, Bethel, Mount Pisgah, Mount 
Carmel, Homewood, Leaf River, and Randall Hill had 
the benefit of his pastoral labors, and likely several 
others not remembered. Wherever he labored the 
Lord blessed him, and many were baptized. Laboring 
in the counties of Newton, Jasper, Smith and Scott, he 
passed the strength of his days before, during, and af- 
ter the w^ar. On the resumption of active mission 
work by the General Association some years after the 
war, brother Williams became the missionary' of that 
bodj^ to labor in Southeast Mississippi, in which work 
he continued for a number of yfears ; during the time, 
moving to the coast country that he might be more 
convenient to his work. He achieved much for the 
cause as our missionary, retiring from the missionary 
w^ork, he entered upon pastoral work in the count\' of 
his adoption, where he yet lives, bearing testimonj^ to 
the truth and value of that gospel he has loved so well, 
and so faithfully preached. John Williams has been, 
and is a very gifted man in the gospel. He is now in 
the evening of life, yet he loves the work of his Master. 
In 1863, the Association met with the Decatur 
church. This church was constituted in the year 1837, 
and was first called Enon. In 1848, it moved to De- 
catur, and took the name of its ne\v location. The 



382 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

war was raging with all its fury ; hence the representa- 
tion was smaller. The introductorj' sermon was 
preached b^^ A. Clarke; text. Col. 3:3, theme, the final 
perseverance of the saints. Half hour intermission, and 
the delegates convened in the Methodist house of wor - 
ship and were called to order by the moderator, N. L. 
Clarke, reserving the Baptist house for preaching. L. 
P. Murrell prayed. J. L. Matthews and J. A. Hitt con- 
ducted worship at the Baptist church house. F. M. 
Poole, A. C. Gunn and S. King were reading clerks. J. 
W. Murray, T. J. Denson and J. Pearce were appointed 
committee on finance; A. Clarke assistant clerk. Let- 
ters were read from thirty churches, names of delegates 
enrolled, and statistics noted. Seven churches not rep- 
resented. Officers were elected by acclamation, N. L. 
Clarke moderator, W. R. Butler clerk, I. Bailiff treasur- 
er. A short talk from the moderator, and the body 
was ready for business. Visiting members were invit- 
ed to seats. Two new churches were added to the As - 
sociacion, Siloam and Libertj^, Newton county. Salem 
Association, a new body, petitioned correspondence 
with us, \vhich was granted. I. Anderson was their 
messenger. Ebenezer also sends up correspondence by 
letter and minutes. The committees on various sub- 
jects were appointed, performing their labors with fi- 
delity and interest. W. L. Mcintosh, H. Dunn, J. M. 
Trussell and I. Bailiff were the committee on preaching. 
It was arranged for preaching at both houses on 
Lord's day. L. P. Murrell, I. Anderson, W. R. Butler, 
and S. King were appointed to preach. The services 
on Sunday ^vere of much interest. The clerk says: 
"The brethren appointed performed the services assign- 
ed them with great faithfulness; and from the order 
observed, and the attention given, we have great reas- 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 383 

on to believe that much good will result from the la - 
bors of the day. $56.30 were collected on Lord's day 
for Domestic missions, and $128.50 for the spiritual 
benefit of the soldiers. Good social and Christian feel- 
ing was manifested on Monday' morning as the dele- 
gates met. N. L. Clarke prayed, and the body proceed- 
ed to business. The reports of the committees were 
read and discussed. The work of missions was urged 
in our own destitution of State, also among the sol- 
diers in the army. The state of religion was represent i 
ed as being average. Sunday schools were urged upon 
the churches, and also a set day to be observed for 
prayer, in behalf of our country. In the midst of the 
business, a motion was made and prevailed to suspend 
all business, that the body might engage in prayer for 
our soldiers and our country. Shelby King led the As - 
sociation in the services. Much concern was manifest- 
ed. Steps were taken looking to the sending of a mis- 
sionary to the arm}^ b3' the General Association. Dele- 
gates were appointed to the General Association, and 
funds appropriated. That the spirit entertained and 
manifested by our old Association may be understood 
by this generation, we here insert a preamble and reso- 
lutions passed bA' the bod}' at Decatur: 

Whereas, We, as a nation, are engaged in a great 
struggle for our independence; and in view of our de- 
pendence on the God of nations and of battles : — There - 
fore, 

Resolved, That we humbly confess our sins, both 
national and personal, before the God of heaven, that 
we pour out our hearts before our God, in gratitude for 
the many vi6lories vouchsafed to our armies ; that we 
earnestly pray that the Almighty God would in His 
great mercy, and goodness, give our rulers, both civil, 



384 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

and military strength, adequate to their duties, our ar- 
mies health and triumph ; that He would graciously 
preserve our sons and brothers in the day of battle : 
that He would drive our enemies from our land, and re- 
store to our country' the blessings of peace, and pros- 
perity. 

It was agreed that the next session be held ^vith 
the Bethel church, Newton county-. Miss., and that 
Shelby King preach the next introductory sermon, and 
F.JM. Poole be alternate. The table of statistics shows 
thirty -nine churches in the bod^', a total membership 
of 1,888 ; 140 baptized during the year. Pleasant Hill, 
the largest church, 155 members, L. P. Murrell, pastor. 
Nineteen ordained ministers, seven licentiates. 

A. Winstead, for many 3^ears, a faithful, and highly 
esteemed minister of the gospel within the bounds, and 
among the churches, of the Mount Pisgah Association, 
is a native of North Carolina, where he was reared to 
manhood. While 3-et quite 3'oung, and but recently 
married, he migrated to Mississippi, and settled in Ne- 
shoba county', and attended the ministry of the writer, 
as well as that of others. After many years he pro- 
fessed faith in Christ with great earnestness and was 
baptized into the fellowship of Rocky Creek Baptist 
church, Newton county. In a short time Mr. Winstead 
gave [ evidence of impressions to talk to his neighbors 
about their souls and the love of God, and was praying 
in public. Receiving license from the church, he exer- 
cised his gift in that congregation and the surrounding 
country. Impressed from above, and moved forv^^ard 
b}^ the love of souls, his progress in the gospel Avas 
quite rapid and encouraging. Soon he passed to ordi- 
nation, and entered upon pastoral work in his ow^n 
church and others in the surrounding countrv. His 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 385 

labors have been chiefly confined to the counties of Ne- 
shoba, Newton, Kemper and Lauderdale, and have 
been continuous, self-denying and successful. Mr. Win- 
stead's labors have been much appreciated, and in a. 
ministry of now some forty years, they have resulted 
in an amount of good that eternity only can make 
known. On the formation of the Oktibbeha Associa- 
tion, our brother became connected with it, has been 
its moderator at different times, also its missionary, 
and a leading minister in all its work. A country pas- 
tor, he has always had a good farm, the products of 
which have gone far in supporting his family, which 
added to what he has received from the churches, has. 
made for himself, and family an abundant and comfort- 
able living. Brother Winstead 3'et lives, and though 
advanced in years, yet he loves the work of his Master 
and is active in it. May God spare his servant long^ 
and prosper him. 

In 186'4, the Association convened with Bethel 
church in Newton countj^ ; which was its twent v-eighth 
annual session. The war still raging with all its des- 
tructive fury, trying times on the churches. The intro- 
ductory sermon was preached by S. King. Text, "My 
kingdom is not of this world."' In those days dinner 
was not furnished, as now. Short intermission, and 
the body was called to order in the house, by N. L. 
Clarke, the moderator, himself leading in prayer. A. 
Clarke and S. King reading clerks, A. Gressett assist- 
ant. J. A. Hudson, A. C. Anderson, and Daniel Welch 
were committee on finance. W. A. Hutson and J. L^ 
Mathews were requested to preach to the people at the 
stand. Letters were read from twenty -eight churches,, 
delegates names enrolled and statistics noted. Several 
churches not represented. N. L. Clarke was elected 



386 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

moderator, W. R. Butler clerk, I. Bailiff treasurer. A 
short talk from the moderator, and the Association 
w^as ready for business. No new churches received into 
the body. Received correspondence from the Salem As- 
sociation, Wm. Thigpen messenger. A letter was read 
from Capt. Blackwood, staff officer of Gen. Adams' 
brigade, setting forth the temporal necessities of that 
part of the army. It was made the special order for 
ten o'clock Monday. The usual committees were ap- 
pointed ; who did their work promptly and faithfully. 
The arrangement being made for preaching at the 
stand and in the house, the work was laid on Thigpen, 
Mathews, Butler, Clarke, Gressett, Sims, Murrell and 
Williams, and that collections be taken up to support 
mission work. The Association adjourned with cheer- 
ful feelings anticipating rest and comfort on Lord's day. 
The clerk says: "The brethren appointed to labor to- 
da\', did their work in faithfulness. The congregation 
^^as large, orderly and attentive, and much interest 
Avas iTianifested. ]\Iany came forward for prayer, and 
God's people were much refreshed.'" $112.35 were 
taken up for Domestic missions, and $180.75 for army 
mis.sions. Cordial greeting attended the gathering of 
the bodA' Monday morning. A. Gressett prayed, and 
the body was in order for work. J. L. Mathews and 
A. C. Gunn preached to the people. Arranged corres- 
pondence with sister Associations and heard reports of 
committees, and discussed and acted on them, in which 
the various claims of benevolence Avere urged upon the 
churches. On the state of religion the committee speaks 
favorable. ThcA^ say: "Though our country is invaded 
by the foe, and though the times are gloomy, nation- 
ally, yet God has favored his Zion in these ends of the 
vearth, many^ hearts ha^-e been made to rejoice in hope of 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 387 

the glon' of God.'' Sunday schools were recommended 
as greath' useful, and the work of missions urged upon 
the churches, and sorrow expressed that more is not 
done. The special order, Capt. Blackwood's letter in 
behalf of the soldiers, drew out a fine interest. The fol- 
lowing resolution was passed : 

Resolved, That the temporal claims of our soldiers 
in General Adams' brigade are of great consideration to 
this body; that we urge their claims upon the brethren 
and people; that for this purpose we request Wm. L. 
Mcintosh to open a public subscription to collect funds 
for that pui-pose." 

In the midst of these proceedings it was resolved 
to suspend business and engage in prayer for our coun- 
try, L. P. Murrell leading. Appointed delegates to the 
General Association and appropriated funds. It was 
agreed by resolution to recommend the churches of the 
Association to receive persons to fellowship that were 
properly baptized in the army. The place appointed 
for our next meeting was Pleasant Hill church, New- 
ton county-. That N. L. Clarke preach the next intro- 
ductory sermon, John Williams alternate. The ad- 
journment was a time of tenderness and affection. The 
clerk says : "Thus passed and closed in great harmony 
the twenty-eighth session of the Alount Pisgah Asso- 
ciation.'" The table shows 3-i churches in the body, 
with a membership of 1717; 189 baptized during 
the year. Pleasant Hill, the largest church, L. P. Mur- 
rell pastor, 32 had died during the year; 14 ordained 
ministers, 5 licentiates. 

George Myers was first known to me as an orderly 
Baptist in Neshoba county about the vear 1845 and 
had his membership in Rocky Creek church, was an 



388 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

actiA-e and attentive member, praA'ing in public, giving" 
admonition, etc. At about the age of forty he received 
license to preach, and exercised in his own and the 
surrounding churches and adjacent communities with 
a measure of success. After some A^ears he received 
ordination, and more or less engaged in pastoral 
work ; of good moral character, 3^et of moderate 
abilit}^, his attainments \vere not extensive nor his 
field of labor wide, 3'et had his measure of usefulness 
and was a willing advocate of the cause of Christ and 
the good of men. The Avar came and the embarrass- 
ments, and Mr. M^-ers passed to other parts, and since 
then has been unknown to me. 

Henry Gill grew to manhood in Newton county, 
Mississippi, and made profession of faith in Christ at 
an early age, \vas baptized and had membership in the 
PinckncA' Baptist church ; an orderly and unassuming 
youth. At about thirty years of age he was licensed 
to preach, and exercised his gift in his own church and 
the surrounding country; and, though not sprightly, 
3^et such was his order, solemnit}- and soundness, that 
he advanced firmlj' in reputation and influence. Soon 
his ordination Avas called for, that he might do pas- 
toral work, Avhich he did in his own church and others 
in the county, and was much esteemed as a safe and 
useful man. Various churches — as PinckncA', Chunkej^- 
ville, and Poplar Spring, had the benefit of his gifts and 
labors; for though he Avas not brilliant, yet he w^as 
attentive, instructive, and alwa^'S safe. Sah^ation by 
grace, through the purposes of God in Christ, justifica- 
tion b^^ faith, the work of the Hoh^ Spirit, faith evi- 
denced b}' obedience, and the final perseverance of the 
saints, were themes ever dear to him. At the solicita- 
tion of the Poplar Spring church, Newton county. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 389 

Miss., he was led to locate in that community, where, 
in the midst of growing usefulness he closed his earthly 
labors, respected and loved by all that knew him. He 
died in the prime of life. 

In 1865 the Association met with Pleasant Hill 
church, Newton county. Miss., which was its twenty- 
ninth annual meeting. The war had closed ; we had 
been defeated, and the people were confused and under 
apprehension ; 3'et the delegation was large and hope- 
ful. The introductory sermon was preached by N. L. 
Clarke, text Eph. 4:14, "Till we all come to the unity 
of the faith," etc. A short intermission and the delega- 
tion met in the house of worship and the body was 
called to order by the moderator, N. L. Clarke. Prayer 
by L. P. Murrell. J. F. Matthews, A. Clarke and A. 
Eastland were requested to read letters. T. J. Denson 
acted as assistant clerk. J. L. Gresham, W.W. Hardy 
and A. G. Anderson were appointed a committee on 
finance. J. C. Elerb3' and D. D. Booth were requested 
to preach at the stand. Letters were received and read 
from thirty-three churches, delegates names enrolled 
and statistics noted. A resolution was offered and 
passed, making it proper to elect officers by acclama- 
tion if desired. This time the election was by acclama- 
tion — N. L. Clarke moderator, \V. R. Butler clerk, 
I. Bailiff treasurer. A short address from the modera- 
tor and all were ready for business. Visiting brethren 
were kindh' invited to seats. No new churches were 
added to the bod^-. Correspondence was received from 
Bethlehem Association, J. L. Matthews, messenger. 
All the standing committees were appointed and did 
their work in great faithfulness. L. P. Murrell, A. 
Eastland, E. E. Haralson and J. M. Pace were the 
committee on preaching. It was arranged that J. L. 



390 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

Lattimore, W. R. Butler and J. L. Matthews preach; 
that a public collection be taken for Domestic missions. 
Leave of absence w^as granted to a few, and adjourn- 
ment came. On Lord's day Lattimore and Butler 
preached ; unfavorable weather hindering Mr. Mat- 
thews. The clerk adds: "The brethren appointed did 
their work faithfully. $29.30 was taken up for Domes- 
tic missions." On Monday morning the Association 
convened in cheerfulness ; Mr. Matthew^s prayed ; de- 
corum read, A. Gressett and W. A. Hutson w^ere 
appointed to preach to the people, correspondence 
returned, and reports of committees Avere heard, dis- 
cussed and acted upon. The reports evidenced thought, 
ability and faithfulness. The committee on the state 
of religion reported favorabh', TheA' say, "We are 
happy to report that many of the churches seem to be 
in a prosperous condition, and, notwithstanding the 
demoralized state of society, peace and. harmony pre- 
vails and many of the churches have enjoyed precious 
revivals, for which we have great reason to be thank- 
ful to God and take courage. The cause of missions 
received careful attention, both home and foreign. 
That again the way was opened that we could reach 
the outside w orld in the work of foreign missions, as 
also there was a vast field open for home work, to 
reach the destitute and to repair the damages of the 
war. Sabbath schools also were urged on the churches. 
A special committee was appointed to report on the 
state of our countr}^ : J. L. Lattimore, W. W. Hardy 
and J. L. Gresham were that committee. After time 
given, the}' present the following as their report : 

Whereas, God in the wise dispensation of his 
providence, has seen fit to withhold from us the bless- 
ings of liberty and independence, for which we, as a 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 391 

people, have been struggling for the last four years, 
therefore, 

Resolved, That while we cherish a fond attachment 
for our beloved South and the principles which we: 
fought for, yet at the same time we feel that it becomes 
us to be reconciled to His will and adore His goodness,, 
that has preserved so many of our noble countrymen 
through the struggle, and that we acknowledge His 
chastening hand that has suffered our present humilia- 
tion to come upon us. 

This, after impressive remarks by Lattimore, East- 
land, Elerbee and Murrell, was unanimously adopted. 
It was agreed that the next session of the bod.y be held 
wath Pinckney church, Newton countA^, and that W. R, 
Butler preach the next introductor\^ sermon, L. P. Mur- 
rell alternate. Thanks were voted to the community 
and church. The scene was tender in the separation.. 
The closing prayer by Mr. Clarke. The clerk adds, 
"Thus closed the twenty-ninth annual session of 
Mount Pisgah Baptist Association, unsurpassed, if 
ever equalled, for harmony' and tokens of brotherly 
love. The table show^ 35 churches in the body— 1844 
members, 201 baptized during the year. Decatur, the 
largest church, 168, N. L. Clarke pastor ; JB ordained 
ministers, 7 licentiates. The session was one of much 
comfort, showing the Association in a thriving con- 
dition. 

James L. Alatthews, for \'ears an active ininister of 
the gospel, connected with the Mount Pisgah Associjl- 
tion, was born in the State of Georgia, and there 
grew^ to manhood ; came to Mississippi likely in 1857,. 
was a ph3'sician b^^ calling, and a man of liberal educa- 
tion. In the year 1860, he was baptized into the fel- 
lowship of the Mount Pleasant church, Newton county-. 



392 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

JVIiss., by the writer, and soon gave evidence of impress- 

ricais to preach : was licensed b}- his chui'ch and entered 

"Upon the work. He soon exhibited fine capacity-, and 

in a verv' short time passed to ordination, and l^ecame 

pastor of the church of which he was a member : also 

^ took charge of other churches within his reach. His 

advance in ability was very rapid, a gifted talker, 

^ sound liio the faith of the gospel, his ministry was much 

ca3j5ioinne<i!» and his labors sought for. 

The war came with all its sorrows, but our brother 
was steadfast and increasing in influence and useful- 
ness. Some 3^ears after the war he emigrated from 
Mississippi to Texas and settled in Yanzant county, 
A^vhere he was allowed to live a number of A^ears in 
great usefulness, serving churches and in various forms 
making himself useful. Was superintendent of educa- 
tion, and served his county in that and other callings 
consistent with his ministry. Mr. Matthews was a 
strong man, a great man in the gospel. He died some 
five years since, admired and loved by all that knew 
him. But few men have had a more profitable gift 
than he possessed. 

In 1866, the Association convened with Pinckney 
church, Kewton county, which was the thirtieth annual 
session of the bodA'. The introductory sermon Avas 
preached by W. R. Butler. Text, Matt. 7 : 24-27, theme, 
distinction betAA-een nominal and real piety. A short 
intermission, and the delegates convened, and were 
called to order in the house bA- the moderator N. L. 
Clarke, who led in prayer. J. A. Hitt and S. J. Denson 
were requested to preach to the people at the stand, 
S. King and J. L. Lattimore were appointed reading 
clerks. J. M. Trussell, F. Sansing and Thomas Keith, 
acted as a committee on finance, A. Gressett assistant 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 393 

clerk. Letters were read from thirty-four churches, del- 
egates names enrolled and statistics noted. Officers 
were elected by acclamation : N. L. Clarke moderator, 
W. R. Butler clerk, I. Bailiff treasurer. A short talk 
irom the moderator, and the Association was ready for 
"business. Visiting ministers were invited to seats. 
One new church was added to the body, New Provi- 
dence. Received correspondence from Salem Associa- 
tion, Wilson West and J. A. Hitt messengers, from 
Bethlehem, J. L. Matthews messenger, from Harmony, 
S. J. Denson messenger. The regular committees were 
appointed who performed their w^ork with ability and 
faithfulness. L. P. Murrell, E. W. Roebuck, J. M. 
Pace, A. Pace, and H. Dunn were the committee on 
preaching. S. King, H. W. Watson, and L. P. Murrell, 
were appointed a special committee to take into con- 
sideration the queries from Bethel church, as to the 
best plan of supplying the destitution in the bounds of 
our own Association. The committee arranged for 
J. L. Mathews, Wilson West, and N. L. Clarke to 
preach on Lord's da}-, and that a public collection be 
taken up for Domestic missions. Benediction by the 
moderator. The clerk tells us that the brethren ap- 
pointed labored on Lord's daj'. He says: "From the 
interest manifested by the people of God, and the con- 
gregation, we have reason to believe that much good 
will result from the labors of the day," $18.25 were col- 
lected for Domestic missions. 

The gathering Monday morning was with cheerful- 
ness, but with deep thought on many minds ; as a 
change in our plans of mission work was contemplated. 
S.J. Hitt led in prayer. A special committee was ap- 
pointed to investigate and present a report to the As- 
sociation during its present session, on our relations 



394 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

with the colored people, and our duty to them as 
churches. H. W. Watson, L. P. Murrell, and S. J. Hitt 
committee. Returned correspondence. Reports of com - 
mittees were heard and acted on. The committee 
on queries reported against lotteries and gift merchan- 
dise, as inconsistent with Christan purity and faithful- 
ness. The committee on the state of religion in the 
*churches took a hopeful view, and so expressed them^ 
selves. The mission work, Home and Foreign, was 
urged as of next importance to church support at 
home. The special committee on questions from Bethel 
recommend that the Association should at once take 
steps to supply the destitution in her own bounds, 
Avhich was cordialh' approved. To that end it was re- 
solved that a missionar}' be appointed to labor within 
the bounds of our own Association. On an election of 
the man for the work, X. L. Clarke was unanimously 
requested to undertake it. He asked till the first meet- 
ing of the Board to give an answer which w-as allowed. 
A Board consisting ol ten brethren was appointed to 
take charge of the work. The officers of the body being 
ex-officio members of the Board. It was resolved to 
appoint at this session of the bod^-, a suitable minister 
to preach at eleven o'clock on Lord's da}- of the next 
session of Association, a sermon in advocacy' of the 
work of missions, and that this be continued as the 
custom of this Association. The special committee to 
report with regard to our relations to the colored pop- 
ulation reported, and after discussion, the report w^as 
unanimoush' adopted. The report is here omitted. 
Appointed delegates to General Association and appro- 
priated funds. The Christian Watchman, a Baptist 
paper published at Jackson, b^- Akin & Kimball, and 
edited by J. B. Hamberlin, was unanimoush' recom- 
mended to the support of the churches. • 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS^. 395< 

It was agreed to have the next meeting of the body 
with the Hickory church, Hickory, Miss., and that L. 
P. Murrell preach the next introdu(ftor)^ sermon, J. L.. 
Lattimore alternate ; W. R. Butler to preach the mis- 
sionary sermon, S. King alternate. At each successive 
meeting of the Association, arrangements were made 
wath the clerk securing the preparation and printing of 
the minutes, allowing the clerk a reasonable compensa- 
tion for his services. 

The table shows 36 churches in the body, a total! 
membership of 2,050; 234 baptized during the year,, 
26 having died ; largest church Decatur, membership 
182, N. L. Clarke pastor, 18 ordained ministers, 6 li- 
centiates. A prosperous session, it closed with good 
feeling, with singing and the parting hand ; L. P. Mur- 
rell led in prayer. 

Wilson West, for many years an active and useful' 
minister of the Mount Pisgah Association, was raised 
to manhood in New^ton county. Miss., and in his boy- 
hood had such opportunities for education as a frontier 
country generally affords to its population. While yet 
young he made profession of religion and was baptized 
into the fellowship of Mount Vernon church, Newton 
counts'', Miss.; an orderly, quiet young man, religion 
was the theme of his conversation. Those much with 
Mr. West soon discovered that he had impressions to 
public life. These impressions were made known to his 
church, who gave him the privilege to exercise his gift, 
which he did in his own church and congregation ac- 
cording to the ability' God had given him. His progress 
was not rapid, 3^et there was a constant advance. 
Cheerfulh^ read^^ to do what he could, he was alwa3'S 
useful in the gatherings of God's people. About this 
time he became a citizen of Smith count}-, where, for a 



396 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

time he attended school, cultivated his farm and 
preached to the people ; while yet young his ordination 
was called for, and he entered on pastoral work. For 
a time he resided in Jasper county', moving from there 
to Smith at the call of Zion Hill church, making his 
home in Smith county most of the time for a number of 
years. Once fulh^ in the ininistry his advance was 
beautiful in power and usefulness. An earnest Chris- 
tian, a fluent speaker, a forcible exhorter and a gifted 
singer, his influence was great among the people. He 
loved to preach and his labors were sought : and God 
ow^ned and blessed to the doing of great good. His 
labors have been chiefly in Jasper, Smith, Newton, 
Clarke, Wa^-ne and Lauderdale counties, in Mississippi, 
and down the country to Mobile, ser\'ing churches and 
laboring as a missionary. Few ministers, if any, in 
our country-, have baptized more persons than Mr. 
West. Our brother yet lives, and though now becom- 
ing advanced in life, is activeh' engaged in the cause of 
his Master. Mr. West has raised a large famih', and 
has one son, if no more, in the ministry. Ma\' God 
bless our brother and give him a strong and useful old 
age. His present home is near Waynesboro, ^liss. 

In 1867, the Association met with Hickor^^ church, 
Newton county. The meeting was large and encourag- 
ing. The introductory sermon was preached by L. P. 
Murrell. Text, 2 Tim. 4:2, "Preach the word." A 
few minutes intermission and the delegates met, and 
were called to order by the moderator, N. L. Clarke, 
himself leading in prayer. J. L. Lattimore, S. King, 
and A. Eastland were reading clerks. J. L. Gresham, 
J. F. Sims, and J. O. Carr were committee on finance, 
A. Gressett, assistant clerk. J. M. McAllister was re- 
quested to preach to the people at the stand. Letters 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 397 

were read from thirty-four churches ; delegates names 
enrolled, and statistics noted. 

Officers were elected by acclamation : N. L. Clarke,, 
moderator; W. R. Butler, clerk; I, Bailiff, treasurer. 
Proper remarks w-ere made by the moderator, and the 
Association was ready for business. Visiting ministers 
invited to seats. Four new^ churches were added to 
the bodj^ — Forest, Lake, Rocky Creek, in Scott county^ 
and Good Hope, Neshoba county. Correspondence 
was received from Salem Association; A. Ulmer and 
W. Sanders, messengers. 

The usual committees were appointed. A. F. Tem- 
ple, J. M. Pace, H. Dunn, F. Sansing and L. B. Wilkins,. 
committee on preaching. Returned correspondence to 
sister associations. It w^as also resolved to send cor- 
respondence to the Baptist State Convention, to con- 
vene at Meridian in May, 1868. N. L. Clarke, H. W. 
Watson, S. King and J. L. Lattimore appointed mes- 
sengers. It was arranged that W. R. Butler preach the 
Mission sermon at 11 o'clock on Sunday-, followed b}^ a 
collection for Domestic missions. N. L. Clarke to 
preach in the evening; and by request, the funeral of 
Sister Furguson. The report of the Executive Board 
was read and laid over until Monda3\ The adjourning 
hour was cheerful. 

W. R. Butler on Sunday preached the Mission ser- 
mon. $22.40 were taken up for missions. N. L. Clarke 
preached in the evening. The clerk adds : " At the close 
a good deal of feeling w^as manifested in the congrega- 
tion; many came forward for pra^^er, and w^e trust 
that lasting good will be the result of the labors of the 
day. Mr. Breland pra3'ed in the organization Monday 
morning; rules of decorum read. The report of the 
Executive Board was called up. The Board speaks- 



398 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

favorabh' of the labors of the missionary during the 
past year. The Board says: "Your missionary, N. L. 
Clarke, entered upon the work assigned him in January 
last, and since that time has labored much of the time 
in your service. The meetings of your Board have been 
regularly held in connection with the fifth Sundays, at 
which your missionary was present and made his re- 
port. It will appear from the reports of his labors 
that divine success has attended his efforts.'" He has 
traveled about 2,000 miles: spent 130 days in the 
work : preached 158 sermons : constituted three 
churches, one at Lake, one at Forest and one near 
Morton; also renewed Hopewell in Scott county; bap- 
tized thirt^'-six persons, and received twenty by letter. 
Several churches have been supplied with preaching, 
more or less of the time, which otherwise would have 
been destitute. We would, therefore, recommend the 
Association continue the missionary- work. The report 
\vas adopted. The state of religion was represented as 
encouraging. Missions and Sunday schools were both 
ably reported and urged. These reports were discussed 
with much interest. 

An important query came from Bluff Springs 
church: "Has not a man the right to put away his 
wife or a woman her husband for the cause of adultery 
and to marry again ? '" We answer : " That a husband 
or wife aggrieved, as stated in the foregoing query, 
upon applying to the constitutional tribunal, and that 
tribunal adjudging upon proof that the party com- 
plaining is entitled to the relief sought, and shall sever 
the contract of marriage existing between the parties, 
by divorce. Then the party thus relieved has the right 
to contract marriage again.*' This answer has become 
the rule of action in such cases in this Association from, 
then until now. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 399 

A resolution was passed to continue the mission 
work in the bounds of the Association. N. L. Clarke 
was requested to continue in the field for one-half his 
time, and consented to do so. No appointment of dele- 
gates to the General Association was made, it having 
suspended business for the time. 

L. P. Murrell, H. W. Watson, S. King, J. L. Latti- 
more, W. A. Hutson, A. Eastland, J. E. Trajlor, F. 
Sansing, W. W. Hardy, with the officers of the body, 
formed the Executive Board. It was resolved to hold 
the next session of the body with Randall Hill church, 
Jasper county. That J. L. Lattimore preach the next 
introductory sermon; S. King, his alternate: N. L. 
Clarke preach the mis^onarv sermon; L. P. Murrell, 
alternate. 

Pledges were made by different brethren for the 
support of missions, and to be paid in during the yearj 
The adjourning hour was one of tenderness; a hymn 
w-as sung and the parting hand given. The clerk says 
the meeting closed harmoniously and in love. The 
table shows 41 churches in the body; 2,280 members, 
308 baptized during the year, 31 had died ; the largest 
church, Pleasant Hill, 211 members, L. P. Murrell, 
pastor; 17 ordained ministers, 8 licentiates. 

S. J. Denson became a citizen of Scott county soon 
after it was settled b^- white people ; was an intelligent 
and cultivated man and of great respectability, filled 
various public positions in county; was for a time 
county judge. He was a Baptist early in life, and had 
membership in Jerusalem church, Scott county, for 
many years, and was an able and valuable member. 
While yet in the prime of life he was liberated to exercise 
a public gift in the gospel, and for many years was a 
licensed preacher. When considerably advanced in life 



400 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

he received ordination, and more or less engaged in 
pastoral work. S.J. Denson was for nianj^ 3'ears con- 
nected w^ith Mount Pisgah Association. His church 
w^as in the organization of the Harmony, after which 
he \\'orked with that body. He lived to great age, es- 
teemed b3' all who knew him. For several years be- 
fore his death he lost his eye-sight. 

The Association convened with Randall Hill church 
in 1868. S. King preached the introductory sermon. 
Text, Psalm 74:22, "Arise, O God, plead thine own 
cause." Intermission of half an hour, and the delegates 
convened and were called to order by the moderator, 
N. L. Clarke, who led in praA'cr. A. Eastland and A. 
Gressett were appointed readin^clerks ; W. A. Hutson 
assistant clerk ; W. W. Hardy, J. E. Traylor, and J. 
White committee on finance. I. Anderson and O. F. 
Breland preached to the people at the stand. Letters 
were read from thirty- -tAvo churches, delegates names 
enrolled and statistics noted. It being a 3'ear of much 
sickness in the countr}', some churches Avere not repre- 
sented. 

Officers Avere elected ; N. L. Clarke moderator, W. 
R. Butler clerk, I. Bailiff treasurer. A short talk from 
the moderator, and the bod}- was read^' for business- 
Tavo new churches were added to the body, Talashee 
and Mount Pleasant, both in Newton county. Corres- 
pondence was received from Salem and HarmouA' Asso- 
ciations. The regular committees Avere appointed : S. 
King, J. M. Pace, J. Canada, E. E. Chapman, and J. W. 
Matthews Avere the committee on preaching. The title 
of the committee on the state of religion was changed 
so as to read : "The committee on the state of religion 
and fraternal correspondence with the churches." The 
report of the Executive Board was read and made the 
special order for ten o'clock Monday. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 401 

The committee on preaching arranged for Lord's 
day. N. L. Clarke to preach at eleven, and a collection 
for missions to be taken up, and W. R. Butler to preach 
in the evening. On Lord's day, the brethren preached 
as appointed. $14-. 00 were colledled for Domestic mis- 
sions. 

The gathering of the members of the body Monday 
morning was pleasing; though there were many dis- 
couragements. The people were poor, money scarce^ 
misrule in State affairs, and much sickness among the 
people. A. Gressett led in prayer. The usual forms 
v^ere observed in preparing for business. Correspon- 
dence returned, and reports of committees heard, dis- 
cussed i and acted on. At the proper time the report 
of Executive Board was called up and acted on. They 
report favorably of the mission work for the past \'ear,. 
and recommend its continuance. Thej' say : "Soon af- 
ter your last meeting your missionary proceeded to his 
work. He has been engaged 154- da3"S, preached 168 
sermons, baptized nineteen persons, received ten by let- 
ter, constituted one church, revived two churches con- 
sidered dead, and traveled 2,390 miles, besides muck 
additional labor. He has sustained the relation of sup- 
ply as missionar)^, more or less of the time to six feeble 
churches." The report was cordially adopted. 

The reports on Missions and Sunday schools were 
well w^ritten, urging both as of great importance to 
the cause of Christ. The committee on the state of 
religion and fraternal correspondence with the churches 
made an interesting report. They say, "The churches 
are generally in peace, and revivals wath man^^ — our 
mission w^ork has prospered — we should be thankful 
to God. 

In conclusion, allow us to address you a few words 



402 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS, 

by way of counsel and admonition. Be careful to 
search the Scriptures; love and sustain your pastors, 
remembering that they that minister should be minis- 
tered unto ; cultivate a liberal spirit in mission work ; 
earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the 
saints, and never suffer the doctrine of the Bible to be 
trodden under foot. We especialh' call 3'our attention 
to the subject of sacramental communion. The Lord 
says: "This do in remembrance of me.'* This is his 
chosen method of being remembered. Let us obeA' ; let 
us carefully adhere to our long established custom of 
strict or close communion. We may not commune with 
the unbaptized. 

Delegates were appointed to' the Baptist State Con- 
vention, to convene at Canton, Miss., June next. X. L. 
Clarke was appointed missionary for the coming asso- 
ciational year for one-half of his time, to work within 
the bounds of the Association at the same rates of pay 
as before. N. L. Clarke consented to serve. The Bap- 
tist, published bj- J. R. GraA'cs, was recommended to 
the support and use of the churches, and the writings 
of Breaker, Remington and Howell to those that 
wished to read on the communion question. It was 
agreed that the next session of the body be held with 
Hillsboro church, Scott county'. That N. L. Clarke 
preach the next introductorj^ sermon. W. R. Butler, 
alternate : S. King to preach the missionary sermon, 
L. P. Murrell, alternate. The adjourning hour was 
one of tenderness, hand-shaking and singing. The 
closing prayer by L. P. Murrell. 

The table shows 42 churches in the Association ; a 
membership of 2,350, 201 baptized during the year, 27 
have died. Pleasant Hill, the largest church, member- 
ship 223, L. P. Murrell, pastor ; 12 ordained ministers 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 403 

9 licentiates. The object and powers of the Associa- 
tion, Abstract of Faith and Gospel order, and Rules of 
Decorum are printed in the Minutes of this year. 

Anderson Clarke, for years a useful minister con- 
nected with Mount Pisgah Association, \vas raised to 
manhood in Kemper county, Miss., was educated at 
'Gathright school, near Sumrnerville, where he professed 
faith in Christ and was baptized, and while quite 
young was licensed to preach. Well educated and a 
close student, his advance was encouraging, so that his 
ordination was called for, that he might engage in pas- 
toral work. About the 3^ear 1858 he moved to Scott 
county', and became a member and pastor of Tallahala 
.church, and preached in the surrounding country. Af- 
"ter a time he moved to Newton county, and was a 
member of Pleasant Hill church ; was supply of New 
Prospect church and preached in the adjacent congre- 
gations. An intelligent minister of fine order, fair gifts, 
in easy teinporal circumstances, he w^as much esteemed. 
About the year 1867 he emigrated to Texas and settled 
in Bell county, and engaged in the -work of the ministry 
and farming, where, at last account, he was still living. 

Mastin Bishop, a minister of moderate ability, but 
becoming convinced of the propriety of believer's bap- 
tism, he became a Baptist, and w^as for many years a 
licensed preacher in Newton and Jasper counties, Mis- 
sissippi. When quite advanced in life he was ordained, 
and more or less engaged in serving churches, laboring 
in different counties in East Mississippi. His discourses 
were short, compact and in earnest, and his prayers 
were fervent, brief, and to those that heard, edifying. 
The last time v^'c heard him pray, he seemed to get very 
near to God, and seemed filled with the Spirit. Then 
he was more than eighty years of age. If not living 



404 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

now, he has died but recenth'. Mastin Bishop'was for 
many years connected with the Mount Pisgah Associa- 
tion. 

In 1869, the Association met with the church at 
Hillsboro, which was the thirty -third annual session. 
The introdudtory sermon was preached by N. L. Clarke. 
Text, "Pra^' ye, therefore, the Lord of the harvest, 
that He would send forth laborers into His harvest.'' 
A short intermission, and the bod}- convened, and was 
called to order by the moderator, N. L. Clarke, prayer 
by S, King; A. Eastland, J. J. Crane, and S. King were 
reading clerks, Z. Falkner assistant clerk. H. Cooper, 
Wm. Graham, and T. K. Cole were appointed commit- 
tee on Finance, O. F. Breland, and J. S. Antley were 
requested to preach to the people at the stand. Letters 
were received from thirtA' - seven churches, names of del- 
egates enrolled, and statistics noted. Officers were 
elected, as follows: N. L. Clarke, moderator; W. R, 
Butler, clerk ; I. Bailiff, treasurer. Suitable remarks 
were made by the moderator, when the body proceeded 
to business. Six new churches were received into the 
Association — Union, Neshoba county; Salem, Scott 
county; Sharon and S^dvarena, Smith county; New- 
ton, Newton county — all in"Mississippi. Correspond- 
ence was received from Harnion\^ and Salem Associa- 
tions. The regular committees were appointed. J. M. 
Pace, W. R. Butler, J. C. Haralson, M. E. Manning and 
J. Canada, composed the committee on preaching. The 
annual report of the Executive Board was read, and 
made the special order for Monda3' at 10 o'clock. The 
committee arranged for D. D. Booth to preach Satur- 
day night ; S. King, Lord's Da^- at 11 o'clock ; R. Cren- 
shaw in the evening, and N. L. Clarke to close the 
ser^-ices. The hour of adjournment was hailed with 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 4-05 

delight. The Lord's Day services were of much inter- 
est. The persons appointed preached, and in much 
faithfulness. $52.35 were collected for Domestic mis- 
sions, and in the evening $50 was raised for Elder 
Crenshaw, a blind minister, who had preached that 
evening. The meeting of the delegates Monda3' morn- 
ing was with more than usual cheerfulness. Prayer by 
the moderator; rules of decorum read, and visiting 
ministers invited to seats with the Association. J. S. 
Antley and R. Crenshaw were seated with the body. 
Returned correspondence to other associations. Re- 
ports of committees were read, discussed and acted 
upon. The reports of committees ^vere well and faith- 
fully written, especially those on queries and requests, 
Sunday schools and missions. The following resolu- 
tion closes the report on missions : 

^^ Resolved, That the efforts for the spread of the 
gospel through foreign countries meets our hearty ap- 
probation, and that our sympathies are enlisted in the 
good work." 

The Report of the Executive Board gave much en- 
couragement. They set out thus: "Your Board feels 
thankful to the Father of Mercies for his goodness 
to us through the past, and in allowing us to present 
this, our annual report. We feel that the divine bless- 
ing has attended us through the past year. Your mis- 
sionary has been engaged in the work assigned him, 
and with success. His final report shows that he has 
spent 165 days in the work, preached 200 times, bap- 
tized 21 persons, received 20 by letter, constituted 2 
churches, licensed 1 preacher, and traveled 2,370 miles, 
w^ith much incidental labor. Your missionary has sus- 
tained the relation of supply to five feeble churches, all, 
or a part of the time, lie reports much feeling in the 



406 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

congregations generally. We advise you to continue 
the work." The report was cordially adopted. 

The report of the committee on the state of religion 
\\'as even cheering. After stating that the churches are 
in peace and the truth extending, and speaking of the 
meeting of the Association, as one of the most liberal 
and encouraging that we have had since the war. 
They add : "We claim to be the successors in faith and 
practice of the primitive churches, and feel as such, 
that to us is committed the important work of sup- 
porting and defending the doctrine and institutions of 
Christ. 

We claim not only, that our principles are set forth 
in the Word of God, but that in the light of historj^ we 
are able to trace a succession of churches from the days 
of Christ until now, that have held and maintained the 
distinctive principles that characterize us as a people. 
First, A believing membership; Second, Baptism by 
immersion onl^^; Third, Equality in the ministry; 
Fourth, The government a popular Democracy. This 
succession of churches we admit to have existed under 
different names, to-wit : Disciples, Christians, Montan- 
ists, Cathari, Paulicians, Aibigences, Waldences, Ana- 
Baptists, finally Baptists.'' 

N. L. Clarke was again appointed missionary to 
labor half his time in the bounds o4' the Association for 
one more year. Mr. Clarke accepted the appointment, 
and prayer was offered b^^ L. P. Murrell for the divine 
blessing on his labors. Da3'S of fasting and prayer 
were recommended to the churches. It was resolved 
that the next session of the body be held with the Zion 
church, Kemper county-; that W. R. Butler preach the 
next introductory sermon, that W. A. Hutson be his 
alternate : that L. P. Murrell preach the missionary 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 407 

sermon, A. Gressett be his alternate. After arranging 
for the printing of the Minutes, and a vote of thanks 
to the church and community, the body adjourned in 
great harmony. 

The table shows 48 churches in the bod\' ; a total 
membership of 2,570 ; 223 baptized during the year, 
40 had died. Decatur, the largest church, menibership 
212, N. L. Clarke, pastor; 14 ordained ministers, 10 
licentiates. The session of the body was pleasant and 
encouraging. 

Benjamin Sims, for many years connected with 
Mount Pisgah Association, was born, and reared to 
manhood in the older States. While the countrj' was 
yet new he came to Sumpter counter, Alabama. He 
was first connected with the Methodist church, but be - 
coming convinced of the correctness of the doctrine, 
and ordinances of the Baptists, he was baptized on pro- 
fession of his faith in Christ, and soon after began to 
preach, and was ordained to the full work of the gos- 
pel ministr3% and labored with more or less ability 
among the churches. Soon after, he came to^Mississ- 
ippi, and settled in Scott count}^ ; was a prosperous 
farmer ; had membership at Homewood and Hopewell 
churches, was pastor at Hopewell and elsewhere, and 
preached to other churches in the surrounding country; 
"was a man of fair abilit3^, fond of preaching, and en- 
jo3''ed himself greatly in the associations of his breth- 
ren, manifesting fine social qualities. Mr. Sims lived 
to be quite old. In propertj^ he suffered heavily from 
the events of the war. Some few 3'ears since he passed 
from the sorrows of earth to meet the Savior he loved 
and preached. 

In 1870, the Association convened with the Zion 
church, Kemper county, which was a meeting of great 



408 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

encouragement. The introductory^ sermon was preach- 
ed by W. R. Butler. Text, Heb. 4:9, "There remain- 
eth, therefore, a rest to the people of God." A short 
time for refreshments, and the delegates assembled, and 
were called to order b\' the moderator, N. L. Clarke ; 
prayer b}- the moderator. T. J. Hard^-, J. H. Grundy 
and W. S. Ferguson were requested to read letters. J. 
A. Lake, J. B. Smith, and S. Everett were appointed a 
committee on Finance ; A. Gressett assistant clerk. J. 
A. Hitt and T. E. Robinson were requested to preach 
to the people. Letters were received and read from 
fortj'- three churches, names of delegates enrolled, and 
statistics noted. Officers were elected b^^ acclamation : 
N. L. Clarke moderator; \V. R. Butler clerk; J. A. Hen- 
derson treasurer. A short talk from the moderator, 
and the body was in order for business. Visiting min- 
isters were invited to seats, J. Herrington, and T. J. 
Hand accepted, and were seated. One new church was 
received into the body, Macedonia, Lauderdale county. 
Received correspondence from Salem, Bethlehem, and 
Choclaw Associations. The regular committees were 
appointed, J. M. Trussell, F. Sansing, Z. T. Falkner, J. 
L. Hardy, W. Vinzant, and S. P. Poole were commit- 
tees on preaching. The committees were composed of 
men of ability and faithfulness. The committees on 
preaching arranged that A. Gressett preach the mis- 
sionary sermon at eleven o'clock on Lord's da^- ; N. L. 
Clarke to follow him, and take up a collection, L. P. 
Murrell having failed to be there. That Wilson West 
preach in the evening, followed by O. F. Breland, and 
that a pra^-er meeting be held in the morning. The an- 
nual report of the Executive Board was read, and made 
the special order for eleven o'clock Monday- morning. 
The motion to adjourn was received with cheerfulness. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 409 

Labors on Lord's day were as arranged, Gressett, and 
Clarke in the morning, followed b^- a collection of 
$20.50 for Domestic missions; $16.65 for Indian 
missions. 

In the evening brother West preached, when $38.75 
was raised for our blind brother, R. Crenshaw. The 
clerk adds, "From the feeling and tenderness mani- 
fested in the congregation we have reason to believe 
that much and lasting good will grow out of the ser- 
vices." The gathering Monday' morning evidenced 
much affection for the other. W. A. Hutson led in 
prayer; roll call and reading the Rules of Decorum was 
in order, and attended to correspondence to sister As- 
sociations returned. The reports of committees were 
read, discussed, and acted upon. Sabbath schools, and 
missions received due attention, and were set forth as 
works in which the churches should be active, especial - 
ly, the work of missions. 

The committee on the state of religion gave an en- 
couraging statement. They thank God for his good- 
ness during the past year, and for the encouragement 
of our present meeting. The churches are said to be in 
peace, blessed with the gospel, and the presence of the 
Spirit. They further say, "God still adds the seal of 
his approval to our missionary work. Our missionary 
has been blessed to perform the work assigned him ; 
and God has blessed and owned it to the good of souls 
and the strengthening of the weak places of our Zion.'' 
The report of the Executive Board gave an encour- 
aging account of our mission work. They give as the 
result of the year's labors, "163 daj'S spent in the 
work ; 189 sermons preached, 29 baptized, 139 received 
by letter, 2 churches constituted, 2 ministers and 3 dea- 
cons ordained, 2,753 miles traveled, beside much other 



410 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

labor. Your missionary has sustained the relation of 
supply, as missionary, more or less of the time, to eight 
churches, all of which are stated to be in peace and 
prosperity. We recommend that you can continue the 
mission work."' The report was heartiW approved. 

X. L. Clarke was reappointed missionary for one- 
half o/his time, at the same rate of compensation. He 
accepted the appointment, made impressive remarks, 
and W. R. Butler led in prayer for the divine blessing 
on his labors. The Financial Committee represent 
funds as more than sufficient to meet all engagements. 
Great encouragement was felt and expressed. 

R. Crenshaw, an old and blind minister, was recog- 
nized as dependent on the Association, and as having 
claims on the charit\^ of the churches. L. P. Murrell 
was chosen to preach the next introdu6tory sermon, S. 
King alternate ; N. L. Clarke to preach the next sermon 
on missions, D. D. Boothe alternate; and Leaf River 
church. Smith count^^ as the place of the next annual 
meeting. Arrangements were made for the printing 
and distribution of the minutes, and disposed of funds 
on hand ; and thanks to the community and church, 
and the body adjourned in brotherly love and ten- 
derness. 

The table shows forty -eight churches in the body, 
a total membership of 2,659 : 239 baptized during the 
year, Decatur the largest church 185, X. L. Clarke pas- 
tor; twenty -two ordained ministers, nine licentiates. 

James A. Hitt was born in South Carolina, but was 
reared to manhood in Greene count3', Ala. Early in 
life he moved to Sumter county, where he professed re- 
ligion and was baptized into the fellowship of Siloam 
Baptist church, and was an active 3'oung member. Af- 
ter some \'ears he emigrated to Mississippi and settled 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 411 

in Smith county, and was in the constitution of Mount 
Carmel church in that county. For years Brother Hitt 
w^as under impressions to preach, to which he at last 
yielded, and was liberated by his church, and exercised 
his gift in his own and surrounding churches. His la - 
bors being called for, he submitted to ordination and 
engaged in pastoral work, in which he has now been 
engaged more than thirty years, a faithful and useful 
minister of Christ. His labors have been chiefly in 
Smith county, yet at times in other adjoining counties. 
He has had membership in several different churches. 
For many years he was connected with Mount Pisgah 
Association, afterward worked with the Salem, likely 
for a time with the Springfield, and more recentl3' was 
in the organization of the New Liberty. For a time he 
was in the mission work, under the direction of the 
General Association, and it may be other bodies. An 
humble and faithful Christian, with the weight of the 
ministry laid upon him, with gifts edif^nng, useful, and 
God honoring, our brother has labored hard in his call- 
ing, and at a great sacrifice. Always cheerful, with 
good gifts in the family as well as in the pulpit, his 
company and visits have been pleasant, and his labors 
useful. Lively in his ministrations, sound in the faith 
of the Baptists, and deeply experimental in preaching, 
he has greatly comforted the people of God and won 
souls to Christ. Mr. Hitt yet lives and loves to preach. 
He is now about sevent}^ years old ; and though labor- 
ing under some bodil3^ aflEliction, is still in the work of 
his Redeemer. May God bless his servant and enable 
him to do much good in the cause he loves so well. 

In 1871 the Association met with the Leaf River 
church. Smith county. The introductory sermon was 
preached by L. P. Murrell— Text, "But we are bound 



412 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

to give thanks alwa^'S to God for 3'ou brethren, be- 
cause that God hath from the beginning chosen j'ou 
unto salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and 
the beHef of the truth." A short time for refreshments, 
and the delegates convened, and the body was called 
to order b^- the moderator, N. L. Clarke, who led in 
prayer. B. F. Duke, T. J. Hardy and S. King were re- 
quested to read letters. H. Easterling, W. A. Gate- 
>?vood and E. C. Thornton were the committee on 
finance. I. A. Hailey, assistant clerk. A. Gressett and 
G. W. Gunn appointed to preach at the stand. Letters 
were read from forty-five churches, the names of the 
delegates enrolled and statistics noted. Officers were 
elected bA' acclamation — N. L. Clarke, moderator; 
W. R. Butler, clerk; J. A. Hendon, treasurer. Thanks 
were expressed by the moderator and the l3ody declared 
ready for business. For the first time for many years 
no new church ^vas received into the Association. Cor- 
respondence \vas received from the Salem Association 
by Wm. Thigpen, messenger. AI. T. Martin was re- 
ceived as correspondent from Mississippi College, also 
Ministerial Educational Society of Mississippi. The 
usual committees were appointed. J. Al. Pace, W. 
Thames, W. F. Jones and A. Taylor, with the pastor 
and deacons of the church, were appointed a committee 
on preaching. A special committee was appointed on 
the Orphans Home: B. F. Duke, H. Cooper and Z. C. 
Humphries. It was arranged that X. L. Clarke preach 
at 11 o'clock on Lord's day, a collection to follow for 
missions ; Wm. Thigpen to preach in the evening, W. R. 
Butler to close the services. Messrs. Crenshaw and 
Hitt to preach on AIonda3', work being through, the 
bodj' adjourned. The services on Lord's day were as 
arranged, N. L. Clarke and Wm. Thigpen preached, 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 413' 

W. R. Butler closed. $28.65 were taken up for the 
different missions. 

M. T. Martin addressed the congregation in behalf 
of Mississippi College. The clerk observes : ''From the 
order and attention and interest manifested, we trust 
that lasting good will result from the lalDors of the 
day." Refreshed and cheerful, the delegates convened 
Monday morning, and were called to order by the 
moderator, who led in prayer. Roll called and rules of 
decorum read, correspondence was returned to other 
bodies, and reports of committees were read, discussed 
and acted on. Faithfulness and ability was evidenced 
in preparing the various reports. The committee on 
the state of religion says: "We are glad to say, that 
from the letters from the various churches of our body, 
that at no time for many years, have they been in a 
more peaceful, united and prosperous condition. We 
feel we have been greatly blessed in our present meet- 
ing ; and we think it proper to state that the report of 
our missionary for the past year evidences a continu- 
ation of the divine blessing on our labors." They close 
thus: "Dear Brethren and Sisters, let us labor to be 
faithful, to maintain order and strict discipline, keeping 
ourselves unspotted from the world. Let pastors be 
prompt in their duties, and let the churches remember 
that the laborer is worthy of his hire. May God bless 
and prosper his people." The cause of missions and 
Sunday schools received due attention, and their im- 
portance was urged, especially missions, the giving of 
the gospel to the perishing nations of the earth. The 
Executive Board, in reporting, says: ','Your Board 
feels thankful to the Father of all Mercies for his good- 
ness to us through the past year. Your missionary, 
N. L. Clarke, has spent during the associational year^ 



414 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

in your work, 164 da\^s, preached 194 sermons, bap- 
21 persons, received 47 b^' letter, assisted in the ordi- 
nation of 2 deacons, sustained the relation of supply to 
7 churches as missionary, all of which he reports in 
peace and prosperity, and has traveled 2,656 miles. 
We think we should continue the mission work in our 
bounds. We also urge upon you the work of Indian 
and Foreign missions. The report was unanimously 
adopted. S. King and J. E. Traylor were appointed to 
visit the Salem Association, and confer with that body 
v^ith regard to the propriety of the General Associa- 
tion resuming work again in its own bod^-. In con- 
tinuation of the mission work, N. L. Clarke, W. A. Hut- 
son and O. F. Breland were appointed to labor a part 
of the time, each in different parts of the territory. All 
accepted, and L. P. Murrell led in prayer for the divine 
blessing on their labors. 

A preamble and resolutions were passed expressing 
their views of the Association with regard to the con- 
duct of the Northern Baptists, their past and present 
course toward us, and what should be our conduct 
toward them in view of it. The resolution set forth 
the idea that in view of their conduct toward us before 
the war, during it and since, we cannot consistently 
co-operate \vith them in Christian benevolence. They 
were very heartily adopted. $21, in addition to the 
$60 sent from the churches, were raised for the benefit 
of R. Crenshaw. It Avas agreed that the next meeting 
of the Association be held with Pleasant Hill church, 
Newton countA- ; that S. King preach the next intro- 
ductory^ sermon, and that A. Gressett be alternate; 
that W. R. Butler preach the next sermon on missions, 
L. P. Murrell be alternate. Funds were appropriated 
.and arrangements made for the printing and distribu- 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 415 

tion of Minutes, and a hearty vote of thanks expressed 
to the church and the community, and the adjourn- 
ment hour came. The singing' of a song and giving the 
hand of Christian love, make up the forms of separa- 
tion. S. King pra^'ed. The table shows the following 
facts : 48 churches in the body ; 2,480 members, 146 
baptized during the A^ear. Decatur, the largest church, 
172 members, N. L. Clarke, pastor ; 22 ordained minis- 
ters and 7 licentiates. (The reduction of our member- 
ship is owing to the withdrawing of the colored 
members). 

J. M. McAlister, for years a useful minister of 
Mount Pisgah Association, was born in the State of 
Georgia, but in early life came to Newton county, 
where he grew to manhood, professed faith in Christ, 
and was baptized into the fellowship of Enon church, 
known since as Decatur, and was, with his wife, an or- 
derh' and consistent member. In after \'ears he moved 
within the bounds of Ebenezer Association and had 
membership in a church belonging to that body, by 
which he was licensed to preach, and after a time re- 
ceived ordination, and entered more or less on pastoral 
w^ork, and acceptably labored in the cause of Christ. 
Returning to his old home, he lived in Newton, Lauder- 
dale and Neshoba counties, serving in faithfulness the 
adjacent churches, and was much esteemed for his use- 
fulness, and was 3'ears connected again with Mount 
Pisgah Association. Brother McAlister was in the or - 
ganization of the Oktibbeha Association, and was con- 
nected with its churches until he left this State for 
Texas, where he yet lives and preaches. An humble 
and devoted Christian, and clearly sound in the faith 
of the Scriptures and the Baptists, with fair gifts as a 
preacher, he has stood fair with the churches and edi- 



416 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

fied and built them up, and, no doubt, won many souls 
to Christ, and has been esteemed wherever known. He 
is now old, having years since passed his three-score 
and ten. With but little of this world's goods, he is 
yet cheerful, feeling assured that it is and will be all well. 
In 1871 the thirty-sixth annual session of the Asso- 
ciation was held \vith the Pleasant Hill church, Nev^- 
ton county. The introductor\^ sermon was preached 
b^' S. King — theme, the "Gospel Ministry." After a 
short intermission, the delegates convened and the 
body was called to order by the moderator, N. L. 
Clarke. L. P. Murrell led in pra3'er. S. King, I. A. 
Haile3^ and H. B. Cooper were reading clerks. J. A. 
Lake, Thomas Keith and J. B. Smith \vere Committee 
on Finance, and W. J. Idom assistant clerk. W. T. 
Hutson and Z. T. Faulkner were requested to preach to 
the people. Letters were read from fortA'-eight churches, 
delegates names enrolled and statistics noted. Officers 
were elected hj acclamation — N. L. Clarke, moderator; 
W. R. Butler, clerk ; J. A. Hendon, treasurer. Thanks 
■were returned b\' the moderator, and the body an- 
nounced read\' for business. Six new churches were 
received : Bethlehem and Rock Branch, Newton county; 
Missionary Hope, Leake county ; Morton, Scott county; 
High Hill, Smith county; Antioch, Neshoba county; 
and correspondence was received from Bethlehem and 
Salem Associations. The regular committees were ap- 
pointed. E. W. Roebuck, F. S. Smith, with the pastor 
and deacons of the church, were the committee on 
preaching. The report of the Executive Board was 
read and made the special order for Monday at 10 
o'clock. The committee arranged that W. R. Butler 
preach at 11 o'clock on Lord's day. The sermon on 
missions to be followed by a collection for missions; 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 417 

J. B. Hamberlin to preach in the evening, N, L. Clarke 
to close the services. With good feeling and animation 
the body adjourned. The services on Lord's day were 
according to arrangement; Butler and Hamberlin 
preached, Clarke closed the services ; $25 were collected 
for missions, and $42.25 for Brother Crenshaw, who 
preached at night. The clerk sa3^s : "The congregation 
was large, orderh^ and attentive; much interest was 
manifested. 

The meeting Monday morning was liveh^ and 
brotherly. The Association was called together by the 
moderator, who led in prayer. Roll was called and 
decorum read, and visiting members invited to seats. 
J. B. Hamberlin, of Meridian, accepted the invitatiorL 
and was seated. Correspondence returned. O. F. Bre^ 
land and J. A. Hill preached to the people on Monday. 
Reports of committees were heard and acted on. The 
Committee on the State of Religion and Fraternal Cor- 
respondence with the churches made an interesting 
report. They sajs " We have had correspondence from 
all our churches, with the addition of seven new ones. 
The letters from these churches represent them as in a 
hopeful condition, most of them prospering. Many of 
our churches report interesting additions. Beloved 
brethren, contend earnestly for the faith once delivered 
to the saints. Contend for the doctrine of salvation 
by grace ; love, cherish and maintain the doctrine of 
election, and adhere strictly to and defend our peculiar 
views of baptism and sacramental communion. It is 
much better to exclude a member tainted with open 
communion principles, than that he should annoy and 
corrupt the church. Lat him renounce his errors or 
lose his membership." The Executive Board report, 
encouragingly with regard to our mission work during^ 



418 HIS'];ORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

the year. The^^ report, as the j^ear's work in missions, 
"124 days spent, 142 sermons preached, 8 persons 
baptized, 5 churches constituted, 2,371 miles traveled." 
The\^ mention some remaining destitution and -urge the 
work of Home, Indian and Foreign missions. Mis- 
sions, Sunday schools and Orphans' Home were faith- 
fully reported on. The same ministers were reap- 
pointed to the mission work in the bounds of the Asso- 
ciation for another year, viz: O. F. Breland, W. A. Hut- 
son and N. L. Clarke, who agreed to serve. L. P. Alur- 
rell led in prayer for the divine blessing on our work. 
The preamble and resolution of last Association as to 
the relation of the Baptists of the Southern States to 
those of the North, were unanimously re-affirmed as 
expressing the sense of the Association upon that ques- 
tion. A resolution ^vas passed ordering that all funds 
on hand, after paying expenses, be turned over to the 
General Association of South-east Mississippi, that 
bod}^ having assumed active work in missions. It was 
agreed that the next session of the Association be held 
with County Line church, Neshoba county, and that 
A. Gressett preach the next introductor}' sermon, Z T. 
Faulkner alternate ; that N. L. Clarke preach the next 
sermon on missions, O. F. Breland alternate. Arrange- 
ments w^ere made as to printing and distributing the 
Minutes; funds were assigned and hearty thanks 
voted to the church and communit3', and the adjourn- 
ing hour came. A song was sung, the hand of love 
given, and J. B. Hamberlin, of Meridian, made the 
closing praj'er. The table shows 55 churches in the 
bod}', a total membership of 2,690, 265 baptized 
during the year, 27 died. Decatur, the largest church, 
181, N. L. Clarke, pastor; 23 ordained ministers, 13 
licentiates. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 419 

J. Griffith was a minister in Alabama. About the 
year 1830, and at about fift3^ years of age he came to 
Mississippi, and settled in Smith countj^ and likeh^ had 
membership in different churches. For years he was a 
member of the church at Raleigh, and was pastor there 
and preached to the churches of the surrounding coun- 
tr3^ He was a man of fine personal appearance, intell- 
igent, and gifted as a speaker. Few men that we have 
seen in the pulpit have made a better impression per - 
sonally, and for a time had quite a career of usefulness, 
but declining health narrowed down his labors, till at 
last he was forced to give up his sacred calling, and 
was confined to his home, where, after much suffering, 
he passed from the sorrows of earth to the presence of 
his Redeemer, at about the age of sixty years. 

Simon Davis was for years a citizen of Jasper coun- 
ty, near the north line of the county, and had member - 
ship in the Mount Vernon church, that worshipped 
where the present Mount Vernon church is situated in 
Newton county. Brother Davis began to preach ^^hen 
smartly advanced in years ; had moderate gifts, loved 
to preach, delighted in the association and fellov^ship 
of his brethren, never attained to ordination, but was 
loved b^^ his brethren, and had a measure of usefulness 
in the cause of Christ as a preacher. He suffered sorely 
under affli(5lion in the latter part of his life, and before 
very old, died in hope of a blessed immortality. 

In 1873, the Association held its thirty" - seventh 
session with County Line church, Neshoba county. The 
introductory sermon was preached by Z. T. Faulkner. 
Text, "Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at 
hand." After half an hour intermission, the bod^^ was 
called to order in the house b}' the moderator, N. L. 
Clarke,, prayer by S. King. H. B. Cooper, Z. T. Faulk- 



420 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

ner, and S. King were requested to read letters. J. A. 
Lake, J. B. Smith, and Thos. Keith appointed a com- 
mittee on finance, S. H. Kirkland assistant clerk. J. A. 
Hitt and L. B. Fancher preached to the people at the 
stand. Letters were read from fift}"- three churches, 
delegates names enrolled, and statistics noted. Officers 
^were elected by acclamation : N. L. Clarke moderator, 
W. R. Butler, clerk, J. L. Gresham treasurer. Thanks 
were suitabh" returned b3' the officers elect, and the As- 
sociation was ready for business. 

Two churches were added to the bod\', Harperville, 
Scott county, and Chunkej'ville, Lauderdale county. 
Correspondence received from Harmony and Ebenezer 
Associations. The regular committees were appointed: 
J. M. Pace, O. F. Breland, J. M. Moore, F. Sansing, 
and M. P. Williams formed the committee on preach- 
ing. Preaching arranged as follows : S. King Saturda^^ 
night, X. L. Clarke at eleven on Sunday', missionary 
sermon; J. P. Johnston in the evening, followed by J. 
M. Pearson, L. P. Alurrell at night. The report of the 
Executive Board was read and made the special order 
for ten o'clock Alonday. The body adjourned, prayer 
by D. Fore. 

The preaching services were carried out according 
to arrangement. X, L. Clarke and J. P. Johnston 
preached on Lord's da3', J. M. Pearson closing, S. 
King and L. P. Murrell preached at night. A collection 
was taken up for missions amounting to $14.25 ; 
$21.25 taken up for R. Crenshaw. The clerk adds: 
"We have had abundant reasons to believe that much 
good w^ill result from the labors of the day; much in- 
terest \vas manifested, and many came forward for 
pra3'er.-' 

Refreshed and cheerful, the delegates met Monday 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 421 

morning, and the body was called to order by the mod- 
erator, who himself led in prayer. The roll was called 
and objects and powers of the Association w^ere read, 
and visiting ministers invited to seats. Correspon- 
dence returned, and reports of committees were heard 
and acted on. The committee on the state of religion 
and fraternal correspondence with the churches made 
an interesting report, representing the churches at 
peace, and the cause of truth prosperous. The^' close 
thus: "We are known as Baptists — Regular Baptists. 
Baptists are a peculiar people. We claim to embrace 
the w^hole truth, to be successors of the Apostolic 
churches; this is high ground, and yet true. Beloved 
brethren, let us walk worthily of so high a claim ; let 
us maintain the purity of Christian ordinances. We 
dare not justify the immersion of Pedo-Baptists, and 
to suffer open communion would be to abandon almost 
our whole ground — yen, and we would be unfaithful to 
Christ. It would be much better to withdraw from a 
brother unsound on these points than to suffer the 
laws of Christ to be trodden under foot." 

Missions, Sunday schools. Orphans' Home, all re- 
ceived attention and were reported on. The preamble 
and resolutions setting forth our relations to Northern 
Baptists, and the course that we should take in regard 
to them, were unanimously re-affirmed. W. A. Hutson, 
N. L. Clarke and D. Pore were appointed to do some 
mission work in the boar. Is of the Association, com- 
pensation as heretofore. These brethren accepted the 
appointments, and L. P. ]^>Iurrell led in pra3^er for the 
divine blessing on their Vv'ork. 

A resolution was passed, agreeing to represent the 
body in the General Association of South-east Missis- 
sippi. N. L. Clarke, L. P. Murrell, S. King and B. M. 



422 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

Buckley, delegates, and funds appropriated to that 
work. 

In view of the probable organization ot a new asso- 
ciation during the coming 3'ear, it was resolved that 
the clerk of the Association write letters of dismission 
to any of the churches of the bod\' that may apply for 
them, and report to the next meeting of the Associa- 
tion. The report of the Executive Board shows 98 
days labor, 138 sermons, 19 persons baptized, 6 re- 
ceived bA' letter, 1 minister ordained, 3 deacons, 1 
church constituted, 1 revived, 1,836 miles traveled. 
Funds were ample to meet all demands. 

It was arranged that the next session of the body 
be held with the Newton church; that J. M. Moore 
preach the next introductory sermon, and that W. A. 
Hutson be his alternate ; L. P. Murrell preach the next 
sermon on missions, and J. A. Hitt be his alternate. 
Arrangements were made for the printing of the Min- 
utes, funds appropriated, heartA'- thanks voted to the 
church and communit}-, and the adjournment came. 
A song was sung, the hand of love given, pra^'er by 
W. A. Hutson, and the session \vas over. 

The table shows 57 churches in the bod\', 250 bap- 
tized during the year, a total membership of 2,866. 
Decatur, the largest church, membership 183, N. L. 
Clarke, pastor, 27 had died ; 27 ordained ministers, 
12 licentiates. 

Daniel Dove, for years a minister connected with 
Mount Pisgah Association, was in his 3'outh for A^ears 
a citizen of Sumter, Alabama, where he made profes- 
sion of faith in Christ, and was baptized. Moving to 
Mississippi, he settled in Ne\vton count}', and became a 
member of Beulah Baptist church, and soon after was 
licensed to preach and exercised his gift in his own and 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 423 

surrounding churches. Of a quiet disposition and fine 
r^orals his gifts passed for all the force. After a few 
years he pasted to ordination, and engaged m pas oral 
work, serving different churches in the county and had 
a fair measure of usefulness. After the war he emi- 
grated to Texas, and continued his mmistenal work 
for a number of years, and there fi^i^^^^^/.^^J^I^^^-!: 
eral years since, an humble, sincere and faithful Baptist 
minister. Daniel Doye loyed the associations of his 

brethren dearly. 

Hubbard N. Reese was raised m Tuscaloosa county, 
Alabama, and there professed religion and was bap- 
tized While quite young he came to Mississippi and 
settled in Newton county, and became a member of 
Beulah Baptist church; and soon after was licensed to 
preach, and exercised, as such, in the churches of the 
Association. After some years he moved to Texas and 
continued his ministerial work, received ordination, 
and spent many years in pastoral labor; was for a 
time moderator' of his Association, sustammg himself 
as a faithful and useful minister of Christ. Some three 
years ago he ceased from his labors, havmg grown old 
in his Master's cause. 

In 1874 the Association convened with the Newton 
church The introductory sermon was preached by 
T M Moore-text, 1 Tim. 3 : 15 ; Theme, "Unity of the 
Church " Half hour for refreshments, and the body 
met in the house and was called to order by the mod- 
erator N. L. Clarke. Prayer by A. Gressett. G. F. 
Lowry, I. A. Hailey and J. E. Graham were appointed 
to read letters. J. H. Limbough, J. R. Pace and P. S. 
McCormick formed the Committee on Finance. H. B. 
Hitt preached to the people m the Methodist church- 
hou'.e Letters were read trom forty-four churches, 
delegates names enrolled and statistics noted. 



424 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

Officers were elected by acclamation — N. L. Clarke, 
moderator; A. Gressett, clerk; J. AI. Pace, treasurer. 
Four churches were added to the body : Pleasant Ridge, 
Scott county; Concord, Jasper county; Mount Sinai, 
Neshoba county ; Ebenezer, Newton county — all of Mis- 
sissippi. Received correspondence as follows: Eben- 
ezer, Bethlehem and Harmony Associations, by the 
delegates; also the Springfield, a newh' organized body 
applied for correspondence, and was received. \Y. R. 
Butler and J. L. Gresham, delegates. R. N. Hall was 
received from the Orphans' Home. Thirteen churches, 
under the resolution of last session of the Association, 
had received letters from the clerk in order to go into 
the formation of the Springfield, and were considered 
dismissed from the body. Committees were appointed : 
J. M. Pace, A. P. Wash, M. P. Williams, J. E. Traylor 
and A. M. Cross were the committee on preaching. 
The committee arranged for preaching in both houses 
of worship on Lord's day; L. P. Murrell and J. P. 
Johnston in the Baptist church, W. R. Butler and A. 
Gressett in the Methodist church. L. P. Murrell to 
preach the sermon on missions, to be followed by a 
collection. On motion — adjourned. 

Services on Lord's day were according to arrange- 
ment. L. P. Murrell preached in the Baptist church at 
11 o'clock a. m., Johnston in the evening; W. R. Butler 
in the forenoon at the Methodist church, Gressett in 
the evening. $12.55 were collected for missions, and 
$20.70 for Brother Crenshaw. R. N. Hall preached at 
night at the Baptist church. The clerk adds: "We 
have abundant reason to hope that much good will 
^ow out of the labors of the da^-.'' 

The gathering Monday- morning was in cheerful- 
ness and love. A. Winstead led in pra^-er ; roll called, 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 425 

powers of the Association and rules of decorum read. 
Correspondence returned and reports of committees 
heard, investigated and acted on. The committee on 
the state of religion and fraternal correspondence rep- 
resented the churches as in a hopeful condition and the 
cause steadily advancing. As to our mission work 
they say, "As much success has attended our labors as 
we could reasonably expect. The scattered sheep of 
Christ have been gathered and fed ; feeble churches sup- 
plied and the gospel preached to perishing sinners." 
They close with a Ijrotherly admonition, of which we 
give a specimen. "Beloved brethren, bear in mind the 
sacred character of your holy profession. It was vol- 
untarih^ made; it was made in the name of Ciirist and 
before God, and to honor that profession should be the 
main object and end of our lives.'' 

The report of the Executive Board speaks favorably 
of the mission work of the Association. The summing 
up shows eighty -three days in the work, 108 sermons, 
six baptized, eighteen received b\' letter, one church 
constituted, two supplied by the missionary-, 1,721 
miles traveled. The funds were ample to meet all en- 
gagements. Missions, Sunday schools and Orphan's 
home ably and favorably reported on. Four queries 
were sent up to the body from different churches ; all of 
v^hich were carefully answered in harmony- with the 
settled views of the Baptists, as they understa-nd the 
New Testament. N. L. Clarke, W. A. Hutson, and A. 
Gressett were appointed to do some mission work in 
the bounds of the Association, to be compensated as 
heretofore. They accepted the appointment and L. P. 
Murrell led in prayer for the divine blessing on the 
work. N. L. Clarke and J. H. Limbough were appoint- 
ed delegates to the General Association at its coming 



426 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

session. Funds on hand for the work of that body, 
w^ere ordered paid over to the delegates. 

It was agreed that the next session of the l3od3^ be 
held with Ebenezer church, Neshoba county' : that W. 
A. Hutson preach the next introductor3^ sermon, O. F. 
Breland alternate. W. D. McGouirk preach the next 
sermon on missions, that A. Gressett be his alternate. 
It was ordered that the clerk prepare and have printed 
in the minutes a form of letter for the use of the 
churches writing to the Association. Arrangements 
were made for the printing and distribution of the min- 
utes, funds appropriated, and a hearty vote of thanks 
expressed to church and communit3% and body ad- 
journed. A song was sung, the hand of love given, and 
the separation came. 

The table shows fort3'-eight churches in the body, 
a total membership of 2,500 ; 208 baptized during the 
year ; twenty -three have died ; Decatur the largest 
church, membership 198, N. L. Clarke pastor; thirteen 
churches dismissed to form Springfield Association; 
twenty-one ordained ministers, nine licentiates. 

James W.Johnston, for some years a useful minis- 
ter connected with Mount Pisgah Association, was 
born in Elbert county, Georgia, May, 19, 1847, and 
when about ten years old came with his parents to 
Mississippi and settled in Newton county. About the 
year 1866, he made profession of religion, and was bap- 
tized into the fellowship of the Decatur Baptist church. 
From the first, an orderh^ and consistent 3^oung mem - 
ber, he soon gave evidence of impressions to preach ; 
and was liberated by the church to exercise his gift, 
which he did in his own church, and surrounding com- 
munities, making encouraging advancement. For a 
time he was in school at Clinton, Miss. There being 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 4-27 

need for his labors, he was called to ordination by his 
church; L. P. Murrell and N. L. Clarke, Presbytery^ 
and entered on pastoral work, and was called to the 
care of Pinckney, Ebenezer and Mount Pleasant 
churches, moving his membership from Decatur to 
Pinckney church. On the 20th of March, 1873, he was 
married to Miss Hattie Cross, of Jasper county, and 
located in the Pinckne3' community, and ministered to 
the churches of his charge, a gifted and popular young 
minister, giving great satisfaction and promise of fu- 
ture usefulness, and loved b}^ all that knew him. In 
December, 1873, in the midst of his career of usefulness, 
he was severely attacked by disease and on the 9th of 
the month died, in his twenty-seventh ^-ear, loved and 
honored by all that knew him. Few young men, if 
any in our countr^^, promised greater usefulness. 

In 1875 the Association met with Ebenezer church, 
Neshoba county. This being the oldest church in this 
part of the State, having been constituted in 1836 near 
the place now known as New Ireland, Newton county. 
The introductory sermon was preached by W. A. Hut- 
son— text, Prov. 11:14-. After a short intermission 
the delegates convened and were called to order by the 
moderator, N. L. Clarke, who led in pra^'er. A. Gres- 
sett, the former clerk, being absent, W. D. McGouirk 
was appointed clerk pro tem. H. B. Cooper, W. L. 
Phillips and G. P. C. Sansing were requested to read 
letters. J. R. Pace, John Boler and R. E. Chapman 
were committee on finance. ' Letters were read from 
forty churches, delegates names enrolled and statistics 
noted. Thus organized the body proceeded to elect 
officers— N. L. Clarke, moderator; W. D. McGouirk, 
clerk; J. M. Parker, treasurer. Four churches were 
added to the bodv : Salem, Smith county ; Hickory 



428 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

Springs and Philadelphia, Neshoba county ; Fellowship, 
Scott county-. Correspondence was received from 
Ebenezer and Harmony associations. The regular 
committees were appointed. J. M. Pace, W. F. Jones, 
E. J. Collins, \V. R. Hailey, J. Chisholm and W. Walton 
composed the committee on preaching. It was ar- 
ranged that W. D. AIcGouirk preach the missionary- ser- 
mon at 11 o'clock on Lord's da^-, to be followed by a 
collection for missions ; and that J. P. Johnston preach 
in the evening. The adjourning hour was pleasant, as 
each retired to seek refreshment and shelter for the 
night. The services on Lord's day were according to 
arrangement: W. D. McGouirk preached at 11 o'clock 
—text, Dan. 2:44; theme, "The Kingdom of God." 
$19.50 were collected for missions. J. P. Johnston 
preached in the evening — text. Job 9:2; theme, "Justi- 
fication.'' The clerk adds: "The congregation was 
large and attentive, and much religious interest was 
manifested among the people.'' 

The delegates came together refreshed and cheerful 
on Alonday morning and was called to order at the 
proper time. Brother Murrell led in praj-er. Roll was 
called, rules and powers of the Association read. The 
annual report of the Executive Board was read and 
approved and correspondence returned. The Executive 
Board gave an encouraging report of the labors of our 
missionaries: 92 da3'S spent in the work, 117 sermons 
preached, 11 baptized, 10 received by letter, 1 church 
constituted, 1 deacon ordained, 1,569 miles traveled. 
The report of the committee on the state of religion 
and fraternal correspondence with the churches, repre- 
sent the cause as ver3' hopeful. They say : " The letters 
from the churches represent them as in a hopeful con- 
dition. No church has been without preaching, and 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 429 

nearly all have had additions by baptism, while some 
have had large ingatherings: great harmon^^ has at- 
tended our present session : we should be humbly 
thankful to the giver of all good." They close with 
admonition to the churches, of Avhich the following is a 
part: "At home things are much as usual, but at a 
distance dark clouds of trouble appear, and maj'- come 
near and pour their baneful showers of confusion upon 
us. At last the clamor of Pedobaptists has prevailed 
among Northern Baptists, and the practice of open 
communion is engaged in b\' some that were supposed 
to be fixed in strict communion principles, having fallen 
in with the popular tendency to error. Now, w^hat 
shall we do ? Shall we also A'ield and prove unfaithful ? 
Is it possible that unyielding faithfulness, self-sacrificing 
toils, and unfaltering devotion to truth, even unto 
blood, so long manifested by the Baptists, have all 
been in vain ? If open-communion Baptists are right, 
then all our sufferings have been in vain, j'^ea, even 
preaching. Missions were ably reported on and encour- 
aged. W. A. Hutson, D. Fore and N. L. Clarke were 
appointed to do some mission v^ork in the bounds of 
the Association during the ensuing year. Those 
brethren accepted the appointment, and prayer was 
made for the divine blessing. Delegates were appointed 
to the General Association and funds appropriated, 
A. Gressett, D. Fore, N. L. Clarke, L. P. Murrell, W. A. 
Hutson, W. D. McGouirk and Frank Peebles w^ere dele- 
gates. A resolution \vas unanimously passed endors- 
ing the Southern Baptist, a religious paper published 
by A. Gressett at Meridian, Mississippi, himself editor 
and proprietor, the first number issued July 14, 1875. 
Resolved, also, That the next session of this body 
be held with Pleasant Hill church, Newton county;, 



4-30 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

that A. Gressett preach the next introductory sermon, 
D. Fore being his alternate ; that N. L. Clarke preach 
the next sermon on missions, L. P. Murrell his alter- 
nate. Arrangements were made for the printing and 
distribution of the Minutes ; hearty' thanks voted to 
the chi'rch and community for their hospitality and 
the adjourning hour came, Zion's song was sung, the 
i closing prayer, and the session closed. 

The table shows 51 churches in the bod^-, a total 
membership of 2,650, 163 baptized during the year, 
22 had died, 23 ordained ministers, 7 licentiates. De- 
catur, the largest church, 190, N. L. Clarke, pastor. 

Alvin Gressett, for man^- 3'ears an able and useful 
minister of the gospel, connected with Alount Pisgah 
Association, but of late with the Bethlehem, was born 
in Perry county, Mississippi, November 2, 1829 ; came 
with his father to Lauderdale county about the year 
1840 ; was married to Aliss Christena Gilbert, Novem- 
"ber 16, 1849. In the year 1850 he professed faith in 
Christ and was baptized into the fellowship of Zion 
Hill church, Lauderdale county, b3' R. K. Rasbury. In 
the year 1855 he moved to Newton county, and be- 
came a member of the Beulah Baptist church, and was 
soon afterwards licensed to preach, and he exercised 
his gift in his own church and the surrounding countr3\ 
In the year 1862, he was called to ordination, John 
Herrington and N. L. Clarke ordaining Presbytery, the 
work taking place on the fifth Sundaj- in June of that 
year. Forthwith he was called to the pastoral care of 
Beulah church and was continued in that work four- 
teen years or more, baptizing over two hundred per- 
sons into its fellowship during the time ; also, more or 
less of the time was supph' to Hickory, Alount Pleas- 
ant, Libertv, Zion, Countv Line, Chunkeyville and 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 431 

Pine Grove churches, all of which prospered under his 
labors. These churches were in Newton, Kemper, Lau- 
derdale and Neshoba counties. In 1870 Brother Gres- 
sett moved to Meridian, and was pastoral supplv of 
the Fellowship, Ebenezer, Mount Haret and Marion 
churches, continuing with the latter six j^ears. Under 
a weighty sense of the needs of the Baptists of the 
State of Mississippi, in 1875 Alvin Gressett commenced 
the publication of the Southern Baptist at Aleridian, 
issuing the first number on the 14-th day of July, him- 
self editor and proprietor, continuing its publication 
for nearly twelve years, accomplishing for the Baptist 
cause in the State an amount of good that eternity 
alone can make known. Failing health forced him to 
abandon the work, and the Southern Baptist was con- 
solidated with the Baptist Record. During this time 
Elder Gressett was active in locating and building up 
the Calvary Baptist church in the city of Meridian, of 
which he was a consistent member, and at different 
times its pastor. Likely the year 1886 was A. Gres- 
sett's most laborious year — the year of the whisky 
campaign, into which he threw- himself with a zeal that 
knew- no tiring. Beside the Southern Baptist, he pub- 
lished a ''Daily Bulletin,'' at the same time speaking at 
manj- places in the county, and aiding to gain a grand 
Yictor3- over the friends of w-hisky ; at the same time 
doing the editorial work of his office, and during the 
fall attending in the State seven different associations. 
But his physical powers gave way, and for four or five 
months he was confined to his room nearly all the time, 
not crossing his room for three months in succession. 
Slowly recovering. A, Gressett again became active in 
life; and, though not possessing strength for regular 
pastoral work, 3-et he preaches as he has strength, and 



432 HISTORY OF AnSSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

as there were openings in providence before him ; loving 
yet the cause of Christ and of souls, and contending for 
the faith once delivered to the saints. Few men among 
us have done more to advance the cause of Christ in 
our country' than Alvin Gressett. He yet lives, is not 
very old, and it is hoped the Lord will bless him with 
many daj^s of usefulness still. 

In 1876, the Association convened with Pleasant 
Hill church. The introductory sermon was preached by 
D. Fore. Text, "The entrance of Thy word giveth 
light." A half hour for refreshments, and the delegates 
met in the house and the body was called to order by 
the moderator N. L. Clarke who led in prayer. H. B. 
Cooper, D. S. Holmes, and G. P. C. Sansing were re- 
quested to read letters. J. A. Lake, J. D. Hardj^, and 
F. M. Poole w^ere appointed committee on finance. O. 
F. Breland was requested to preach to the people at 
the stand. Letters were read from fifty-two churches, 
the delegates names enrolled and statistics noted. Of- 
ficers were elected as follows : N. L. Clarke moderator, 
W. D. McGouirk clerk, J. M. Pace treasurer. Suitable 
remarks were made by the moderator, and the Associ- 
ation announced ready for business. No new church 
^vas added. Correspondence was received from Spring- 
field, Ebenezer and Salem Associations, and also from 
the Baptist Union, all sending delegates. Regular com- 
mittees were appointed. J. M. Pace, E. W. Roebuck, 
W. R. Hailey, J. Jolley, A. P. Wash, and W. D. Smith 
were the committee on preaching. The committee ar- 
ranged that N. L. Clarke preach on Lord's day at 
eleven o'clock, the missionary sermon, to be followed 
by a collection for missions and for R. Crenshaw. The 
adjourning hour was hailed with cheerfulness. The 
services on Lord's day were as arranged. N. L. Clarke 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 433" 

preached at eleven a. m., and Johnston at two p. m. 
The clerk speaks in high terms of the sermons preached 
and the interest manifested. The congregation was 
large, evidencing much interest. $17.75 were taken up. 
for the work of benevolence. 

The gathering Monday morning was in much cheer- 
fulness and affection. The body was called to order; 
prayer by the moderator. Rules of decorum read and 
visiting ministers invited to seats. Correspondence 
returned. The report of the Executive Board was read 
and approved. Their final report shows 79 days in the 
work, 84 sermons, 1 baptized, 4 received by letter, 
1 church re-organized, 1,593 miles traveled. They 
thank God for his goodness, and state that the desti- 
tution is reached within the bounds of the Association^ 
and recommend that the Association henceforth do 
mission work through the General Association of 
South-east Mississippi. The report of committee on 
the state of religion represent the churches as in a 
peaceful and prosperous condition. All our churches, 
they say, have had preaching every month. They fur- 
ther say: "There remains so little destitution within 
our bounds that it is thought best in future to work 
with the General Association of East Mississippi, and 
do all our Home Mission work through that body. 
The report was unanimously adopted, settling the 
question of full co-operation with the General Associa- 
tion and of closing our work in the Pisgah, after 
twenty-four years of active service, fourteen years be- 
fore the war and ten afterward. Erom that time the 
Association has done all her Home, and Indian mission 
work through the General Association. Sunda3'-schools 
and missions were ably reported. There were several 
queries which were carefully answered. This from 



434 msTORY OF Mississippi baptists. 

Black Grove church: "Is it right for the deacon to 
receive and baptize when the church has no pastor ?" 
We answer, no. H. B. Cooper, D. Fore, J. A. Cham- 
bers, L. P. Murrell, N. L. Clarke, J. B. Ishee, Z. K. 
Gilmore, C. Owens and J. W. Huff were appointed dele- 
gates to the General Association, and funds appro- 
priated. The Alississippi College, of CHnton, and 
Female College, of Meridian, under C. M. Gordon, were 
both recommended as worthy of the support of our 
people. The Southern Baptist, published b\' A. Gres- 
sett, at Meridian, Miss., was warmly recommended. 

The committee on Nominations reported that J. M. 
Moore preach the next introductory^ sermon, L. B. 
Fancher, alternate ; that A. Winstead preach the next 
sermon on missions, A. Gressett, alternate, and that 
next session be held with Beulah church. Arrangements 
"were made for the printing and distribution of the min- 
utes; heartA^ thanks were voted to the church, and 
community for thier great kindness, and heartj' support 
of the Association during the now closing session, and 
adjournment was voted. A song was sung, and the 
right hand of affection given, and the delegates dis- 
persed with thoughts of "home sweet home." 

The table shows fift^^-one churches in the body, a 
total membership of 2,744; 158 baptized during the 
the year; forty-three had died. Decatur, the largest 
church, 202, N. L. Clarke, pastor; twenty-three or- 
dained ministers; eleven licentiates. The session was 
Yer\' encouraging; the preaching spiritual, and in- 
structive. 

W, D. McGouirk, for several years a much respected 
able and useful minister, connected with Mount Pisgah 
Association, was raised to manhood east of Mississ- 
ippi, likely in Alabama, where he was liberated to 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 4?35 

preach. For a time, he resided in Mississippi, and from 
this State moved to Texas, where he received ordina- 
tion, and was active in the ministry for several years. 

Returning to Mississippi, he located at Lawrence in 
Newton county, and had membership in Bethel church, 
where he was pastor for several years, and preached in 
the surrounding country ; was for years clerk of Mount 
Pisgah Association, and was for a time missionary un- 
der the direction of the General Association of Mississ- 
ippi. He was a man of fine personal appearance, good 
intellect, liberal English education, an instructor, and 
at times, a forcible speaker. Brother McGouirk was a 
man of rare social qualities, delighting greatly in the 
company of his friends, and the associations of his 
brethren. His vStanding was honorable, his ministry 
esteemed and useful. To human vie\v, his death was 
untimely and sad. He died at his home in Lawrence, 
during reconstruction days of 1878, under a difficult 
case of fever. An active follower in the footsteps of 
•Christ, he died in the full faith of his Redeemer. 

Uriah Harveston was an ordained minister living 
in Scott county, and was for a time connected with 
Mount Pisgah Association in its earlier years. A man 
of moderate abilit3% he remained for a short time and 
then moved to parts unknown to us. 

The Association met in the year 1 877 with Beulah 
<:hurch, Newton county. The introductor}^ sermon was 
preached by J. M. Aloore— text, Galatians 1:8; theme, 
''The Doctrine of Election."' The discourse was able 
and timel3\ After a short intermission the delegates 
convened in the house and were called to order by the 
moderator, who led in prayer. H. B. Cooper, D. S. 
Holmes and I. A. Hailej- were requested to read letters. 
W. W. Hard3% J. A. Chambers and J. W. Huff were ap- 



436 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

pointed a committee on finance. A. J. Trippe was re- 
quested to preach to the people at the stand. Letters 
were read from fort3^-fiYe churches, delegates names 
written and statistics noted. Officers were elected as 
follows: N. L. Clarke, moderator; W, D. McGouirk^ 
clerk; J. M. Pace, treasurer. One new church w^as 
added to the bodj-^. New Hope, Neshoba county. Cor- 
respondence was received from Bethlehem, Salem, and 
Ebenezer associations and the Union of Churches. 
Committees were appointed : J. M. Pace, J. Tatum,. 
J. J. Phillips and the deacons of Beulah church, were 
the committee on preaching. It was arranged that 
A. Winstead preach at 11 o'clock on Lord's day, the 
missionar}' sermon to be followed by a collection for 
missions, and for Brothers Crenshaw and Wilson West 
to preach in the evening. M. T. Martin and A. J. Free- 
man to occupy the stand on Monda3^ Adjourned to 
meet Monday. 

The services on Lord's day were as appointed. 
A. Winstead preached at 11 o'clock, followed by a col- 
lection amounting to $19.85. W. West preached in 
the evening. The clerk says: "The congregation was 
large at each service, and much good feeling mani- 
fested." The body convened Monday morning with 
much good feeling, and was called to order. W. D. Mc- 
Gouirk led in prayer ; rules of decorum were read, and 
visiting ministers were invited to seats. M. T. Martin 
accepted. Correspondence returned to sister associa- 
tions and reports of committees heard, investigated 
and acted upon. Several queries were sent up from 
the churches, which were carefully and faithfully an- 
syvered. Sunday schools and missions were carefully 
reported on. The Southern Baptist was cordially 
recomimended ; also the Baptist Record, published at 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 4.3T 

Clinton. The committee on the state of rehgion re- 
ported favorably as to the state of the churches, all in 
peace, and having preaching. The report closes w^ith 
affectionate admonition. Delegates were appointed to 
the General Association. The committee on nomina- 
tions reported that the next meeting of the body be 
held with Bethel church, Newton county' ; that L. B. 
Fancher preach the next introductory sermon, A. J, 
Freeman alternate; that A. Gressett preach the next 
sermon on mission, L. P. Murrell his alternate. Funds 
were assigned and directed and arrangement made for 
the printing and distribution of the Minutes ; and a 
hearty vote of thanks passed to Beulah church and 
community for their kindness to the delegates while 
the Association has been in session among them. Then 
the adjourning hour came. Singing and hand-shaking 
was the closing feature of the services. 

The table shows 50 churches in the body, 120 bap- 
tized during the 3^ear, a total membership of 2,797, 
12 had died. Decatur, the largest church, 219, N. L, 
Clarke, pastor : 22 ordained ministers, 6 licentiates. 

Lewis Jenkins, for several years an-ordained minis- 
ter of the gospel connected with Mount Pisgah Associ- 
ation, was reared in the State of Georgia. While yet 
young he moved to Mississippi, and for a time lived in 
Kemper county, where he became a Baptist. After- 
wards he moved to Newton county and had membership 
in Pinckney church, w^here he was licensed to preach, and 
exercised in his own church and the surrounding country. 
Afterwards he moved his membership to Pleasant Hill 
church, where he received ordination; and aided the 
pastor in his work, and preached to other churches 
surrounding. For- a time he was missionary in the 
coast countrv under the direction of the General Associ- 



438 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

ation. A man of good religious character, moderate 
ability, loved his calling and the associations of his 
brethren, and had his measure of usefulness. About 
the time of the war he changed his residence, and since 
has been unknown to the writer. 

No meeting of the Association was held during the 
year 1878 on account of the prevalence of yellow fever, 
and the wide spread panic in consequence. Fever pre- 
vailed at Lake and Lawrence in east Mississippi, and 
in the western part of the State. At Lake the mortal- 
ity- was very great, and quite considerable at Law- 
rence. Among those that died at the latter place was 
W. D. McGouirk, the clerk of the Association. The ap- 
pointment of the body the session before was that the 
meeting for 1878 be held with Bethel church, Newton 
county. Delegates were regularly elected by the 
churches ; and at the regular time and appointed place 
there was a gathering of man3' of the delegates, but 
the number was so small that no session was held. 
The delegates present came together, set another time 
for meeting and returned home. On the coming of the 
time set, manj' of the delegates again met; but not rep- 
resenting a majorit}^ of the churches, no session of the 
body was held ; but resolved that the arrangement of 
the Association at the session of 1877 stand for 1879, 
and that the next meeting of the body be held w^ith 
Bethel church at the regular time in 1879. So for that 
year there was no session held. The distress in the 
country was very great, the panic immense. Nearly 
the \vhole of the citizenship of the town of Lake died ; 
the Baptist church was nearh^ broken up by death 
from the dread destroyer. 

In 1879, the Association met with Bethel church, 
Newton countv, which was the fortv-second annual 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 439 

session of the body. The introductory sermon was 
preached by A. Gressett. Text: "My kingdom is not 
of this world"; Jno. 18:36. Theme: "Kingdom of 
Christ in the world, its origin and character." A short 
intermission, and the Association was called to order 
in the house, by the moderator N. L. Clarke. Prayer 
by A. J. Freeman. H. B. Cooper was appointed clerk 
pro tern ; D. S. Holmes, D. T. Chapman, and A. J. Free- 
man read letters. J. L. Hardy, J. A. Chambers and W. 
L. Kelly were appointed committee on finance; Z. K. 
Gilmore was sent to the stand to preach to the people. 
Letters were read from forty-three churches, delegates, 
names enrolled and statistics noted. Officers were 
elected by acclamation: N. L. Clarke moderator, H. B.. 
Cooper clerk, J. M. Pace treasurer. Four churches 
were added to the body. Sand Spring, Midway, Friend- 
ship, and Woodland. Visiting ministers were invited 
to seats. A. Gressett of Meridian, and J. B. Gambrell 
of Clinton accepted. Received correspondence from 
Ebenezer and Springfield Associations. Committees 
were regularly appointed, J. M. Pace, J. B. Buckley, 
Joseph White, B. M. Buckley, with the pastor and dea- 
cons of Bethel church, were the committee on preach- 
ing. Arrangements were made for Lord's day services. 
N. L. Clarke to preach at eleven o'clock, the annual ser- 
mon on missions, to be followed by a collection ; J. B. 
Gambrell to preach in the afternoon, M. E. Manning 
at night. The adjourning hour brought cheerfulness to 
the now tired bodj^ The services on Lord's da\' were 
carried out according to arrangements. N. L. Clarke 
preached at eleven o'clock, a collection taken amount- 
ing to $15.75, and J. B. Gambrell at 2 :30 p. m. The 
clerk speaks in commendation of the sermons as able 
and instructive. ]M. E. Manning preached at night. 



440 HISTORY OP MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

The gathering on Monday morning was marked by. 

"much affection. The Association was called to order 
by the moderator, who led in prayer. The roll was 

^-called and rules of decorum read. B. F. Carter was re- 
quested to preach to the people, to be followed by A. J. 
Preeman. 

Correspondence was returned, and reports of com- 
mittees were heard, and acted upon. The committees 
On the state of religion, and fraternal correspondence 
with the churches began their report thus: "Through 
the kindness of our heavenh' Father, we have been per- 
Ttiitted to convene in this, our annual meeting for 1879. 
The mournful circumstances that led to our failure last 
year will be remembered with sadness b^' all. But it 
becomes us to be resigned to the dispensation of an all 
w^ise, and gracious God. We mourn the loss of our 
"brethren and sisters \vho fell under the weight of the 
"terrible scourge at Lake and Law^rence. Our present 
session has been quite interesting. So far as we know 
all our churches have had preaching with greater or 
less regularity. We thank God and take courage so far 
as our own bod^' is concerned. We rejoice to learn that 
the open communion movement set on foot b^- northern 
Baptists has proved a failure. Increased faithfulness 
should characterize our conduct as Baptists. Let us 
guard the faith carefull^^'■ Sunday schools and mis- 
sions were ably reported on, and the work of giving 
the gospel to the Indians in Mississippi was urged ; 
delegates were appointed to the General Association, 
and funds appropriated for that work. 

The Southern Baptist was earnestly recommended 
to the support of the churches, also Kind Words. It 
Avas agreed to hold the next session of the Association 
TArith Sulphur Springs, Scott county. That L. P. Mur- 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 441 

rell preach the next introductory sermon, W. A. Hut- 
son, alternate; J. M. Moore preach the next annual 
sermon on missions, A. J. Freeman, alternate. Provis- 
ion was made for the printing, and distribution of the 
minutes, and funds assigned ; hearty thanks was voted 
to the church and community for the kind and lil^eral 
manner in which they had sustained the Association. 

Then came the adjourning hour. A hymn was sung 
the hand of brotherly affection given and prayer, then 
the session closed with great harmony. The table 
shows forty-eight churches in the body, a total mem- 
bership of 2,523; 189 baptized during the 3^ear; De- 
catur the largest church, N. L. Clarke, pastor. Twen- 
ty-one ordained ministers, seven licentiates. 

P. F. Morehead, for years an active minister of the 
gospel connected with Mount Pisgah Association, was 
raised to manhood in Neshoba count3% Miss. Early in 
life he made a profession of faith in Christ, and was 
baptized into the fellowship of Mount Sinai Baptist 
church, Neshoba county, by J. J. S. Miles. From the 
time he was baptized he was a warm hearted and zeal- 
ous member, and verj^ soon manifested impressions to 
preach, and was liberated by his church to do so. His 
progress was rapid and satisfactory. Few young men 
in all these parts grew more quickly into influence, and 
usefulness. Soon his ordination was called, and took 
place, and he entered on pastoral work in his own 
church, and others in Neshoba and Leake counties, giv- 
ing great satisfaction, and greatly building up the cause 
of Christ in his part of the State. In after time he be- 
came identified with the Harmon^^ Association. Mr. 
Morehead was greatly esteemed. He was quick, bold, 
and forcible in his style, and, for his age, quite doctrin- 
al, but his career was short. Soon his health began to 



442 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

fail, and while yet young he died, lamented by all who 
knew him. 

In the year 1880 the Association met with Sulphur 
Spring church, Scott county. The introductory sermon 
w^as preached by L. P. Murrell — text, Isaiah 35 : 10. 
One hour intermission, and dinner, and the delegates 
were called to order by the moderator, who led in 
praj^er. J. E. Graham, G. W. Rainer and O. F. Breland 
read letters, W. M. Hardy assistant. N.T. Johnston, 
G. W. Rainer and Dr. J. M. Ke% were Committee on 
Finance. Letters were read from fort3'-nine churches, 
delegates names enrolled and statistics noted. Officers 
w^ere elected by acclamation — N. L. Clarke, moderator; 
H. B. Cooper, clerk; J. M. Pace, treasurer. 

Two new churches were added to the body : Cross 
Roads, Xewton countA'; Philadelphia, Neshoba county. 
Correspondence was received from Chickasahay and 
Springfield Associations : visiting ministers were in- 
vited to seats in the body. Committees were ap- 
pointed: I. M. Pace, Joseph White, F. Sansing and 
pastor and deacons of the church, were the committee 
on preaching. For Lord's daA' services it was arranged 
that J. M. Moore preach the sermon on missions at 
11 o'clock, to be followed b3^ a collection; A. Gressett 
preach in the evening : pra^-er meeting Sunday morning. 
Adjourned until AIondaA'. Lord's day services accord- 
ing to arrangement. Pra^^er meeting in the morning. 
J. M. Aloore preached at 11 o'clock on missions. The 
sermon was timeh', able, and well received. $51.95 
was collected for missions. A. Gressett preached in the 
evening, much to the edification of the congregation. 
The clerk adds: "The day's services closed with fine 
interest, quite a number coming forward for prayer. 
The dav and its exercises was one of great interest." 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 443 

The convening Monday morning was in much affec- 
tion. Prayer was offered by the moderator. The roll 
was called and decorum read, correspondence returned, 
and reports of committees heard, investigated and 
acted on. The committee on the state of religion 
speaks favorably of the condition of the churches. 
They say: "The letters from the churches, taken alto- 
gether, represent them as in an encouraging condition. 
All have had preaching, all in peace, and reporting the 
largest number of baptisms we have had for many 
years. The collection on Lord's day for missions, both 
Home and Foreign, was considered liberal. Taking all 
things together. Mount Pisgah Association has lost 
none of those qualities that have rendered her so useful 
to the cause in times past. It is now thirty-six years 
since we began active mission work, which has con- 
tinued until now. Missions and Sunday schools re- 
ceived proper attention, and the Southern Baptist was 
warmly recommended. Delegates were appointed to 
the General Association, and funds appropriated. Or- 
dered that the Abstract of Faith, Gospel Order, Powers 
of the Association and Rules of Decorum be printed in 
the Minutes of this session. It was agreed that the 
next session of the body be held with the Decatur 
church ; that N. L. Clarke preach the next introductory 
sermon, O. F. Breland be his alternate; that A. J. Free- 
man preach the next sermon on missions, H. B. Cooper 
his alternate. Arrangements were made for the print- 
ing and distribution of the Minutes, and money as- 
signed ; and cordial thanks voted to the church and 
comniunitv for their liberal support of the body while 
in session'with them. Then came the adjournment— 
the vote, the singing, the hand-shaking, the tears of 
many, and the session of the dear old body for 1880 
was closed. 



444 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

The table shows 50 churches in the body, a total 
membership of 2,783, 217 baptized during the year. 
Decatur, the largest church, 181, N. L. Clarke, pastor; 
21 ordained ministers, 11 licentiates. 

D. D. Booth, for ^-ears a minister connected with 
Mount Pisgah Association, had membership in Ne- 
shoba county, and devoted his time and labors chiefly 
in that count3^ and the northern part of Newton. He 
entered the ministry before the war, continued his 
w^ork through that dark time and for years after in 
this countr3'. Brother Booth was a man of fine intel- 
lect, a good sermonizer, a liveh^ exhorter, loved to 
preach, and was blessed to the building up of the 
churches and gathering man\- to their membership. 
Sad to say, he left Mississippi with a cloud over his 
Christian and ministerial character and moved to 
Louisiana. When, at last account, he was zealorusly 
engaged in the \vork of his Master. The cloud that 
was over him here has altogether passed away. 

In 1881 the Association met with the Decatur 
church. The introductory- sermon was preached by 
N. L. Clarke — text, Jude, 3rd verse; theme, "The Im- 
portance of Christian Faithfulness." The opening 
prayer was by J. A. Hitt. One hour intermission and 
dinner, and the delegates convened and the body was 
called to order by the moderator. Prayer by D. Fore. 
A. J. Freeman, G. P. Clarke and L. AI. Phillips were 
requested to read letters. D. T. Chapman, D, S. Holmes 
and J. E. Graham were the Committee on Finance. 

Letters read from forty-one churches, delegates 
names enrolled and statistics noted. Officers were 
elected b^- acclamation — N. L. Clarke, moderator; 
H. B. Cooper, clerk; J. M. Pace, treasurer. One new^ 
church added to the body, Linwood, Neshoba county. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 44-5 

Visiting ministers were invited to seats with the Asso- 
ciation ; J. B. Gambrell, A. Gressett and J. C. Foster 
accepted, and were seated with the body. Correspond- 
ence was received from the Ebenezer, Springfield and 
Oktibbeha associations. A letter was received from 
Shady Grove Association of colored Baptists, asking 
correspondence. The request was granted and corres- 
pondence returned. Also New Hope (colored) Associa- 
tion. Committees were regularly appointed: J. M. 
Pace, C. G. Johnston, W. C. Sessums, E. Deane, W. M. 
Saddler, W. L. Bassett and deacons of Decatur church, 
w^ere the committee on preaching. Lord's day services 
arranged: A. Freeman to preach at 11 o'clock a. m.; 
the sermon on missions to be followed by a collection ; 
J. B. Gambrell to preach at 2 o'clock in the evening, 
J. C. Foster at night, A. Gressett and T. I. Wells on 
Monday. Adjourned until Monday. 

The Sunday services \vere according to arrange- 
ment: A. J. Freeman preached at 11 o'clock; $36.60 
were, taken up for missions; J. B. Gambrell preached in 
the evening; J. C. Foster preached at night. The con- 
gregation was vast, the order good. The clerk in 
speaking of the services, says: "We feel that much 
good will result from the day's labor." 

The meeting on Monday morning was cordial and 
brotherly. Prayer was made by the moderator, and 
the body declared ready for business. The roll was 
called and rules of decorum read ; correspondence re- 
turned, and reports of committees read, investigated 
and acted on. The committee on the state of religion 
reports favorably as to the state of the churches and 
the then present session of the Association. The^^ say : 
"Peace attended our deliberations. The preaching at 
this meeting has been Scriptural and spiritual, and the 



446 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

collection for missions, both Home and Foreign, en- 
couraging. We feel that we have great cause for 
thankfulness." Missions, Sunday schools and Educa- 
tion were ablj' reported on. The Southern Baptist and 
Baptist Record were recommended to the favor of the 
churches. Delegates were appointed to the General 
A«sociation, and funds appropriated. Resolutions 
were passed approving the work of the General Asso- 
ciation, and encouraging the churches to be more active 
in it. It was agreed that the next session of the Asso- 
ciation be held with the ]Mount Sinai church, Neshoba 
count^^ J. M. Moore was appointed to preach the 
next introductory sermon, D. Fore his alternate ; that 
L. P. Murrell preach the next sermon on missions, 
G. W. Rainer his alternate. 

Arrangement was made for the printing and distri- 
bution of the Minutes and funds assigned. The thanks 
of the Association were heartih' voted to the Decatur 
church, and the cominunity for their kind attention and 
liberal support- The adjournment was voted: then 
with singing the parting hand was given, and prayer 
offered, and all were on their waj^ to their homes. 

The table shows 45 churches in the body, a mem- 
bership of 2,335, 169 baptized during the ^-ear. De- 
catur, the largest church, 162 members, N. L. Clarke, 
pastor; 19 ordained ministers, 9 licentiates. 

John C. Elerbee, for many years an ordained minis- 
ter of the Baptist church, connected with Alount 
Pisgah Association, was born in Chester countA', South 
Carolina, December 25, 1824. In 1845 he moved to 
Mississippi and settled in Lauderdale county, where, in 
the year 1848 he was married to Miss Elizabeth J. 
Trussell. In the year 1849 he made profession of re- 
ligion and joined the Methodist church, was soon after 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 



447 



liberated to preach. In 1851 he joined the traveling 
connection, in which he continued until 1857, when his 
mind underwent a change on the mode and subject of 
baptism. Satisfied of the truth of Baptist views, he 
was baptized into the fellowship of the Tallahatta 
Baptist church, Lauderdale county, Mississippi, by 
Elder A. Winstead, in the year 1857. Soon after his 
baptism his ordination was called for — A. Winstead, 
David Killen and Isaac White ordaining Presbytery. 
At onqe he became pastor of his own church, and 
preached in the surrounding country along the line of 
Lauderdale and Kemper counties. The war came, and 
he entered the army, was first Lieutenant in Company 
I, 37th Mississippi Regiment. The war over, he re- 
turned to his home, and again engaged in pastoral 
work in Newton and other counties. Brother Elerbee 
was -a gifted speaker and an able sermonizer; and, 
though at times, eccentric, j-et at others, he was ear- 
nest, eloquent and tender. He died in Scott county, 
November 20, 1880. His last sermon was preached on 
the first Sunday in that month— text, "Though I walk 
through the valley and shadow of death, I will fear no 
evil ; for Thou art with me. Thy rod and Thy staff they 
comfort me."' He told his brethren that he would meet 
them no more, that his work was done, that he was 
goinsf to his rest. .He died in his 58th vear. His re- 
mains rest in the New Prospect cemetery, Newton 
county. 

In 1882 the Association met with the Mount Sinai 
church, Neshoba county. The introductory sermon 
was preached by J. M. Moore— text, 1st Corinthians 
1:2; theme, "The Church of God, its membership, or- 
dinances and work." Opening praj-er by L.J. Caugh- 
man; one hour intermission for dinner, and the body 



448 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

was called to order in the house by the moderator. 
Prayer by A. J. Freeman. J. M. Moore was appointed 
clerk, pro tern. A.J. Freeman, L. L.Jones and W. L. 
Kelly were requested to read letters. J. E. Graham, 
J. D. Hardy and G. W. Robinson Avere appointed a 
committee on finance. Z. K. Gilmore and D. Fore were 
requested to preach to the people. Letters were read 
from forty-three churches, delegates names enrolled 
and statistics noted. Officers \vere elected by acclama- 
tion — N. L. Clarke, moderator; J. M. Moore, clerk; 
J. M. Pace, treasurer. Visiting ministers were invited 
to seats. One new church was added to the body, 
High Hill, Leake county. Correspondence was received 
from Choctaw, Bethlehem, Springfield and Oktibbeha 
associations. Also from Lone Pilgrim, an association 
of colored Baptists, asking correspondence, which w^as 
granted. Committees regularly appointed : J. M. Pace, 
A. J. Rainer, R. King, with the pastor and deacons of 
Mount Sinai church, were the committee on preaching. 
The committee arranged that L. P. Murrell preach on 
Lord's day at 11 o'clock; the sermon on missions fol- 
lowed b3' a collection; N. L. Clarke to preach in the 
afternoon ; W. R. Butler, A. Gressett and J. K. P. 
Showes on Monday Adjourned until Monday. Lord's 
day services as per arrangement : L. P. Murrell preached 
at 11 o'clock A. M. the sermon on missions — theme, 
"Redemption bA' Christ and Missions." $25.55 were 
collected for missions. N. L. Clarke preached in the 
evening — theme, "The Increase and Final Triumph of 
the Kingdom of Christ.'' The services of the day were 
of great interest. The clerk says: "The congregation 
was \ery large and attentive and was deeply im- 
pressed. We have much reason to hope that the cause 
of Christ was greatly furthered by the day's labor. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 4-49 

The coming together Monday morning was truly 
brotherly. The moderator was in his place, and called 
the bod^^ to order at the proper time. Prayer by L. P. 
Murrell ; the roll was called and rules of decorum read ; 
correspondence "w^as returned to sister associations. 
Messengers to write their own letters. Reports of 
committees were read, investigated and acted on. The 
committee on the state of religion and fraternal corres- 
pondence reported favorably. They say: "We have 
great reason for thankfulness to God for His mercies 
continued to us through another year, and for the 
present state of the churches. Our present meeting has 
been encouraging and hopeful. It is believed that all 
the churches of the Association have had preaching, at 
least one Sunday in the month. It is thought there is 
no abatement of interest in the work of missions, but 
rather an increase. The preaching during this session, 
has been sound and vei-y interesting." The report 
closes with brotherly admonition: Thus, "Let us be 
firm in our adherence to the Scriptures, to the creed of 
our fathers, to our own creed. We want no change, 
but that we may be a better people. Let us guard 
alike against Arminianism and Anti-nomianism." Mis- 
sions, Sunday schools and education were properly 
reported, and delegates appointed to the General Asso- 
ciaton and funds apj^ropriated . The Southern Baptist 
was warmlj-- recommended to the favor and support of 
the churches. The body determined to have the arti> 
cles of faith, decorum and powers of the Association 
printed. 

It was agreed that the next session of the Associa- 
tion be held with Poplar Springs church, Newton 
county ; that D. Fore preach the next introductory 
sermon, A.J. Freeman, alternate; N. L. Clarke preach 



450 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

the sermon on missions; L. J. Caughman, alternate 
Arrangements were made to have the Minutes printed 
and distributed and funds assigned. Thanks were 
heartily voted to the church and community for their 
great kindness and liberal support of the body while in 
session. 

The table shows the following results : 44 churches 
in the bod3% 171 baptized during the year, total mem- 
bership of 2,250, Decatur, the largest church, 139 
members, N. L. Clarke, pastor; 18 ordained ministers, 
10 licentiates. 

Nicholas B. Robertson, for a number of years a use- 
ful minister connected with Mount Pisgah Association, 
was reared to manhood in south-east Mississippi. In 
early life he was baptized and had membership in the 
■churches of Covington county. At about the age of 
tw^enty-five j^ears he received license to preach, and ex-i 
ercised his gift in the churches of his vicinity. His ad- 
vance was not rapid, circumstances being adverse. 
About the year 1850, he was called to ordination, and 
•entered upon pastoral and evangelical work, and had 
quite a career of usefulness, and success. His labors 
^'^ere in Covington, Simpson, Smith, Jasper, and Jones 
counties. Mr. Robertson w^as a humble man, grave in 
his manner of speaking. As he advanced in ^-ears, his 
health failed, and failing still, he became unalDle for the 
burdens of life and laid down his armor and passed to 
his reward before he was old. 

John Thornton had membership in Leaf River 
church, Covington county, in early life, and was there 
licensed to preach. In after life he moved to Smith 
countA', and had membership in Raleigh and then in 
High Hill churches, and still continued to preach, but 
was never ordained. Brother Thornton was a respect- 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 451 

able farmer and citizen ; served his county in different 
public positions. He lived to be quite old, and died at 
his home in Smith county, and v^as gathered as grain 
ripened for the harvest. 

The Forty-sixth annual session of the Association 
^was held w^ith Poplar Spring church, Nev^ton county, 
Mississippi, September, 1883. The introductory ser- 
mon was preached by D. Fore — text, Eph. 2:8; theme, 
"Salvation by Grace, Through the Atonement of 
Christ." One hour intermission for dinner, and the 
body was called to order in the house by the mod- 
erator, N. L. Clarke. Prayer by A. Gressett. A. Gres- 
sett, A.J. Freeman and L. M. Phillips were requested 
to read letters. W. L. Kelly, J. W. Huff and A. J. Keith 
were appointed a committee on finance. Letters were 
read from forty-five churches, delegates names enrolled 
and statistics noted. Officers were elected by acclama- 
tion — N. L. Clarke, moderator; J. M. Moore, clerk; 
J. D. Hardy, treasurer. L. J. Caughman was requested 
to preach at the stand. Visiting ministers were invited 
to seats. Two churches were received into the body. 
Mount Vernon, Newton county-, and Old Union, Scott 
count3'. Received correspondence from Harmony, 
Springfield and Bethlehem associations. The regular 
committees were appointed : A. P. Wash, W. G. Fort- 
son, E. Deane, L. E. Wilson and H. White were the 
committee on preaching. It was arranged by the com- 
mittee that N. L. Clarke preach at 11 o'clock on Lord's 
day on missions, followed b^^ a collection for that 
work ; that A. Gressett preach at 2 o'clock, A. J. Free- 
man at night. Adjourned until Monday. The services 
on Lord's day were according to arrangements : N. L. 
Clarke preached at 11 o'clock on missions; $24.20 
were taken up for that work. A. Gressett preached at 



452 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

2 o'clock in the evening. The congregation was large 
and the ser\'ices were of much interest. 

A pleasing feature of the services ^vas the presence 
of several Choctaw Baptists but recently converted to 
Christianity. With eyes all wet with tears, they 
pressed into the crowd to grasp the hands of their 
white brethren. Much religious joy was manifested. 
A. J. Freeman preached at night. The delegates met 
on Monday morning with much religious affection, and 
were called to order 133^ the moderator. J. M. Moore 
led in prayer. Roll was called and decorum read ; cor- 
respondence was returned to sister associations. The 
reports were then read, discussed and acted on. The 
committee on the state of religion reported encour- 
agingly. They saj^ : "All the churches composing this 
body, except one, have sent up delegates to the present 
meeting. The3' represent the churches to be in a peace- 
ful and thriving condition." The^^ saj', further: "We 
hope there is no abatement among us in the great 
work of missions. Dear brethren of the churches, let 
us remind you that this is the one important work be- 
fone us as a Baptist, and that it is to be a lifetime 
work. Occup\' \'our time until I come ! Let us never 
forget the unspeakable riches of God's grace conferred 
on us through the gospel, and that this blessed gospel 
has been conferred upon us that we may give it to 
others." Alissions, Sunda3^ schools and education 
were ably reported on. The Southern Baptist and 
Baptist Record were cordiall3' recommended to the 
churches. Delegates were appointed to the General 
Association and money appropriated. The Abstract 
of Faith, Po\ver of the Association and Rules of De- 
corum were ordered to be printed in the Alinutes. A 
resolution was passed encouraging the churches to 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 4.53 

liberality in mission work. The following preamble 
and resolution were passed : 

Whereas, much has been said of late with regard 
to the unification of Baptists of the State ; therefore, 
be it 

''Resolved by this Association unanimously, That 
w^hile we wish harmony among the Baptists of Missis- 
sippi, both in faith and practice, yet we are not willing 
to abandon the General Association and its great mis- 
sion work, because it is more convenient to us and 
better suited to the circumstances of our people than 
any other organization." 

Provision was made for the printing and distribu- 
tion of the Minutes and funds assigned. Hearty 
thanks were voted to the church and community for 
their kindness and liberal support of the bod3' and its 
friends. An adjournment was voted, when, with sing- 
ing, hand-shaking and prayer, the session of 1883 
closed. 

The table shov^-s 46 churches in the body, a mem- 
bership of 2,557, baptized during the year 177, 18 had 
died. Decatur, the largest church, 141, N. L. Clarke, 
pastor; 17 ordained ministers, 12 licentiates. 

H. B. Cooper, for several j^ears connected with 
churches of iVIount Pisgah Association, was born in 
Mississippi and raised to manhood in Newton county. 
In early life he made profession of faith in Christ and 
was baptized into the fellowship of the Decatur Bap- 
tist church. From the first Hamilton was an orderly 
and attentive young member. Brother Cooper soon 
gave evidence of impressions to preach, and was liber- 
ated to do so in his own church and the surrounding 
country. His progress was encouraging. After a time 
his ordination was called for, when he entered on pas- 



454 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

toral work in Newton and Lauderdale counties, and 
gave good satisfaction. Impressed by a desire for a 
better education he spent a time at Mississippi College, 
laboring in the country adjacent. Returning east, he 
labored in the gospel as there was opportunity. For 
some years Mr. Cooper was clerk of Mount Pisgah 
Association ; for a brief period was resident in Louisi- 
ana, but was forced to return to Alississippi by the 
affliction of his family. Anxious for a wider field ot 
labor, he became missionary of the General Association 
for a time, and inoved to Perry county, and labored in 
the south-eastern part of the State as missionary and 
in pastoral work. After some years Mr. Cooper re- 
turned to Newton counts', the home of his youth. 
Finding the churches supplied by other ministers and 
no field open adequate to his desires, he resolved to 
seek a home and field in the far West, and moved and 
settled in Hunt count^^ Texas, where he now lives, and 
preaches as there are openings in the providence of 
God. Brother Cooper is remarkable for his soundness 
in the faith, and is a gifted and interesting preacher, 
and is A'et in the prime of life. 

In 1884 the Association met with Sylvarena church. 
Smith count}', \vhich was its fortj^-seventh annual ses- 
sion. The introductory sermon was preached by J. M. 
Moore — text. Acts 2:41; theme, "Scriptural Qualifica- 
tions for Meinbership in a Gospel Church.'' One hour 
intermission for dinner, and the body was called to 
order by the moderator, who led in prayer. A. J. Free- 
man, J. E. Chapman and L. M. Phillips were requested 
to read letters. G. C. Harper,, N. T. Johnston and 
W. C. Thornton were appointed a committee on finance. 
Letters were read from forty-four churches; delegates 
names enrolled and statistics noted ; officers were 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 455 

elected by acclamation — N. L. Clarke, moderator; J. M. 
Moore, clerk ; J. D. Hard3% treasurer. Visiting minis- 
ters were invited to seats. Three new churches were 
added to the body : New Hope, Scott county ; Bethany^ 
Neshoba county, and Prairie Concord, Newton county. 
Correspondence was received from Salem, Springfield 
and Bethlehem associations. Committees were regu- 
\sir\y appointed: H.J. Connel, J. B. Ishee, J. D. Hardy 
and J. W. McCaugh were the committee on preaching. 
The arrangement for services w^ere as follows : G. W. 
Rainer to preach at night, A. J. Freeman to preach at 
11 o'clock, Sundaj^ the sermon on missions, to be fol- 
lowed by a collection ; L. P. Murrell to preach in the 
school building at the same time, A. Gressett in the 
evening, and J. T. Simmons at night. The adjoumiug 
hour was pleasant. The Lord's day services w^ere 
according to arrangement ; began by a prayer meeting, 
conducted by B. W. Bearing, after which the brethren 
preach according to appointment. The congregations 
were large and the preaching spiritual and instructive. 
$14.90 were taken up for missions. The vastness of 
the gathering and character of the services, lead to the. 
conclusion that great good was done. 

Nine o'clock Monday morning found the body to- 
gether refreshed and readj^ for business. Prayer by the 
moderator. Roll was called and rules of decorum read, 
and correspondence returned to sister associations. 
Reports of committees were heard, discussed and 
acted on. The report of the committee on the state of 
religion possessed much interest. Thej^ say : " We have 
word from nearly all our churches, informing us that 
they are all in peace, and in a usual state of prosperity. 
Additions by baptism equal that of former 3'ears. 
Great harmonv has attended our deliberations in busi- 



456 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

ness, while the preaching has been spiritual and edi- 
fying. Taking all into consideration, this has been, 
not only a pleasant, but an encouraging session of our 
beloved Association.'' Again they say : "Let us watch 
against innovations that would tend to unsettle us. 
Your committee would especialh' guard the churches 
against the new and confusing views of the communion 
question ; as we are satisfied that our practice of inter- 
communion with the membership of our own churches, 
is consistent. Scriptural and profitable." Able and in- 
teresting reports were read on the subject of Missions 
and Sunday schools. The Southern Baptist and Kind 
Words were recommended to the churches ; also dele- 
gates were appointed to the General Association, and 
funds appropriated. A resolution was passed express- 
ing unabated confidence in the work and plans of the 
General Association. The abstract of faith, gospel 
order, powers of the Association and rules of order were 
ordered reprinted in the Minutes. It was agreed that 
the next meeting of the bod\' be held with Harperville 
church, Scott county; that G. W. Rainer preach the 
next introductory sermon, S.J. TuUbs alternate; N. L. 
Clarke to preach the next sermon on missions, L. P. 
Murrell alternate. Provision was made for the print- 
ing and distribution of the Alinutcs, and funds assigned. 
Thanks were cordially voted by the Association to the 
church and community for their great kindness to and 
liberal support of the bod}- while in session among 
them. The adjourning hour came; the song was sung, 
and the hand of love was given, with a closing prayer. 
The session was one of much interest. 

The table shows as follows, viz : 49 churches in the 
body, with a membership of 2,586, 176 baptized during 
the year. Pleasant Hill, the largest church, 154, L. P. 
Murrell, pastor; 19 ordained ministers, 12 licentiates. 



^'^ HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 457 

""^ Pullum Vaughn, for years connected with the 
churches of Mount Pisgah Association, was bom in 
Kentucky in 1804. In his earlier days he came to Ala- 
bama, and was baptized in the eastern part of that 
State in the year 1828, where he entered the ministry 
while yet young; was soon ordained, and entered upon 
pastoral and missionary work, and for many years 
was active and successful in the cause of Christ in the 
central and eastern parts of the State. During the 
sad times of the war he moved to Mississippi and set- 
tled in Newton county, and had membership for a time 
in Mount Pleasant church, and was more or less active 
in ministerial work. In after 3'ears Mr. Vaughn was a 
member in the Oakland church, at which place he had 
membership at the time of his death. He was an or- 
derly and intelligent minister of the gospel ; well versed 
in the religious questions of his da}^ ; was fond of read- 
ing, and sound in the faith of the Baptists; was an 
interesting and instructive preacher, but never became 
active in the work in Mississippi, being old when he 
came to the State. Brother Vaughn lived to great age, 
retaining his powers of mind to the last, and passed 
away in bright anticipation of a blessed immortality. 

Matthew Stephens was "a Baptist in Smith and 
Covington counties, Mississippi. For a time he was a 
member at Raleigh, and was by that church liberated 
to exercise a public gift, which he did, much to the edi- 
fication of the membership and arousing of many to 
think. Few men that we have met have been more 
gifted in exhortation than Brother Stephens. After a 
time he moved to Covington county-, but was soon 
called to his reward while he was not yet old. 

In 1885 the Fort^'-eighth annual session of the 
Association was held with Harperville church, Scott 



458 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

count}'. The introductory sermon was preached by 
L. P. Murrell— text, Eph. 2:10; theme, "The New 
Creation of God's People in Christ unto Good Works. '^ 
Brother Rainer, the appointee, failed to attend. One 
hour and dinner, and the delegates assembled in the 
house and were called to order bj' the moderator. 
J. M. Kelly led in prayer. Thos. Keith, L. M. Phillips 
and Hi Eastland were requested to read letters. N. T. 
Johnston, J. D. Hardy and D. T. Chapman were the 
committee on finance. Letters were read from forty- 
nine churches, delegates names enrolled and statistics 
noted. Officers were elected by acclamation — N. L. 
Clarke, moderator; J. \l. Moore, clerk; J. D. Hardy, 
treasurer. Visiting ministers were invited to seats. 
Three new churches were received into the body : Union 
and Pine Bluft, Newton county, and New Prospect, 
Lauderdale count}-, all of Alississippi. Correspondence 
was received from Springfield, Bethlehem and Mount 
Olive associations. Committees were regularly ap- 
pointed: J. L. Shackelford, E. Beggs, G. C. Harper, 
J. R. Pace, Wm. Yarbrough and L. P. Murrell were the 
committee on preaching. Arranged preaching as fol- 
lows, to-wit : T. L Wells to preach Saturday night; 
N. L. Clarks to preach at 11 o'clock Lord's day the 
sermon on missions, to be followed b}- a collection ; 
J. M. Aloore to preach in the evening; pra^^er meeting 
at 9 : 30 o'clock Sunda}' morning. The adjourning 
hour ^vas met \vith cheerfulness. A. J. Freeman filled 
T. L Wells' appointment Saturday night. Lord's day 
services as arranged: pra3'er meeting in the morning; 
N. L. Clarke preached at 11 o'clock on missions — text, 
John 3: 30; theme, " The Spread of Christ's Kingdom 
Over the Earth ; to be consummated through the gos- 
pel;"' after which a collection ^vas taken up for mis- 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 4-59 

sions, amounting to $31.90. J. M. Moore preached in 
the evening — text, Col. 1:13; theme, " The Setting Up 
of the Kingdom of God ; the proper subjects of the 
same." The congregation was large, the order good. 

The writer has seldom spent a pleasanter day. 
Refreshed by the Sunday services, the body convened 
with much cheerfulness Monday morning. Prayer by 
J. W. Arnold. The roll was called and the rules of 
decorum read and correspondence with sister associa- 
tions arranged. The reports of committees were read^ 
investigated and acted on. The committee on the state 
of religion reported favorably as to the condition of 
the churches. They say : "The word from the churches 
represent them as in peace and prosperity. The ad- 
ditions by baptism will nearly equal former years, we 
think. In many of our churches there have been 
precious revivals. We think there is a growing interest 
in the work of missions. Great harmony has attended 
our present session; the order has been admirable. 
Dear brethren, we live in an interesting time — inter- 
esting for its privileges and for its opportunities, and 
solemnly interesting, because of its responsibilities. 
New vie\vs, often strange indeed, are rising up, and 
heresies, to deceive, if it were possible, the verj^ elect. 
How important that we should watch and be sober ; 
that the membership of our churches should be care- 
fully instructed that they be sound in the faith.'' Able 
reports were made, discussed and acted upon, on mis- 
sions, Sunday schools,, temperance, education and pub- 
lications. The Southern Baptist and Kind Words were 
recommended to the favor of the churches. A strong 
and well drafted resolution was passed on the temper- 
ance question, endorsing the prohibition of the traffic 
in ardent spirits. Delegates to the General Association 



460 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

appointed, and funds appropriated. It was arranged 
that the next annual session of the body be held with 
Oakland church, Newton county ; that A. J. Freeman 
preach the next introductory sermon, J. E. Chapman 
alternate ; L. P. Murrell the next sermon on missions, 
T. I. Wells alternate. The printing and the distribu- 
tion of the Minutes were provided for and funds as- 
signed. Heart^^ thanks were voted to the church and 
community for their kindness and hospitality to the 
body while in session. Then came the adjournment, 
the song, the hand-shaking, the look of kindness and 
prayer, and the separation came. 

The table shows the following state of the body : 
52 churches belonging to the Association, 2,703 mem- 
bers, 101 baptized during the 3'ear; 19 ordained minis- 
ters, 11 licentiates. Beulah, the largest church, 154-, 
J. M. Moore, pastor. 

I. R. Bass, for 3'ears connected with Mount Pisgah 
Association, was raised to manhood in North Carolina, 
but in early life came to Alississippi and settled in 
Madison county ; was then a Baptist and had member- 
ship in New Hope church. Mr. Bass was a planter 
of fine means, liberal and intelligent. Under impres- 
sions of dutj' he was liberated to exercise a public gift 
in the gospel. His position and influence as a Christian 
gave weight to his labors from the first. He was soon 
called to ordination and engaged in pastoral work 
with much acceptance. For a time he was Missionary 
of Mount Pisgah Association. On the formation of the 
Central Association he became connected with that 
body, since which the writer has known but little of 
him', either as to his labors, his influence, or when he 
ceased from his labors. Brother Bass was a prominent 
member of the Association in 1843, when the anti-Mis- 
sionaries withdrew from it. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 461 

James B. Gage for years had membership in the 
Canton Baptist church, and frequently represented 
that church in the Mount Pisgah Association, When 
first known by the writer he was a licensed preacher, 
but afterwards attained to ordination ; was a man of 
liberal education, cheerful and active as a Christian, 
and fairly gifted as a preacher, giving life and cheerful- 
ness to Christian work. He, too, on the organization 
of the Central Association left the Pisgah and has been 
unknown to us since. 

In 1886 the Association met wnth Oakland church, 
Newton county, w^hich w^as the Forty-ninth annual 
meeting. The introductory sermon was preached by 
A.J. Freeman— text. Acts 28 : 22 ; theme, " Sects Against 
the Baptists." One hour and a bountiful dinner, and 
the delegates assembled in the house and were called to 
order by the moderator, who led in prayer. B. W. 
Bearing w^as requested to preach at the stand. Thos. 
Keith, L. M. Phillips and A.J. Freeman were appointed 
to read letters. D. T. Chapman, N. T. Johnston and 
J. R. Pace were committee on finance. Letters were 
read from forty-four churches, delegates names enrolled 
and statistics noted. Officers were elected by acclama- 
tion— N. L. Clarke, moderator; J. M. Moore, clerk; 
J. D. Hardy, treasurer. One new church added. Lib- 
erty, Newton county. Visiting ministers were invited 
to seats. Correspondence was received from Bethle- 
hem, Salem and Oktibbeha associations. Committees 
were regularly appointed: G. W. Rainer, J. B. Ishee, 
G. C. Harper, A. W. W. Grafton, with the pastor and 
deacons of Oakland church, were the committee on 
preaching. The arrangement was that L. B. Fancher 
preach Saturday night ; prayer meeting Sunday morn- 
ing; that L. P. Murrell preach at 11 o'clock on Sutiday 



462 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

the sermon on missions, to be followed by a collection; 
J. M. Moore preach in the evening, J. T. Simmons 
preach at night. Adjourned until 9 o'clock Monday. 
The Lord's daj^ services were according to arrange- 
ment : L. B. Fancher preached Saturday night ; prayer 
meeting on Sunday morning; L. P. Murrell preached 
at 11 o'clock the sermon on missions, followed by a 
•collection, amounting to $41.55; J. M. Moore preached 
in the evening, J. T. Simmons at night. From the vast- 
ness of the congregation and the soundness and ability 
of the preaching, we have good reason to hope that 
much good was done. The gathering on Monday 
morning was cheerful and brotherh\ At 9 o'clock the 
Association was called to order. Prayer by A. J. Free- 
man. The roll was called and decorum read. George 
Whitfield, vice-president of the Foreign Mission Board, 
was welcomed to a seat in the body. A report on 
Foreign mission work, presented hy him, was ordered 
printed in the Minutes of the Association. A letter 
was read from the Sweet Pilgrim Association, a body 
of colored Baptists asking correspondence, which was 
accepted and returned b^^ letter. Returned correspond- 
ence to sister associations. Reports of committees 
were heard and acted on. The report of the committee 
on the state of religion and • fraternal correspondence 
with the churches was of much interest. The^- say : 
'' Through the still abounding mercies of God, we have 
been favored to meet in our annual session for 1886, 
which is the Foii;3'-ninth annual meeting of the Asso- 
ciation. Our welcome with the Oakland was hearty, 
and the accommodations abundant. The attendance 
from the churches has been iiearly full, representing the 
churches in peace and order; and, though the number 
baptized has not been so large as in some years before, 



HISTORY OF ■ MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 463 

yet it has been creditable, amounting to about 150. 
All our churches have had preaching with more or less 
regularity ; in some there have been large and precious 
ingatherings. The spirit of missions still lives in the 
churches of our Association, and in some it is growing. 
So far as seen there is but one discouraging fact among 
our churches, and that is the disposition of border 
churches to withdraw and go elsewhere, thus weaken- 
ing down the venerable old bod^^ that has so long bat- 
tled for the truth and done so much for the cause of 
Christ. 

Our present session has been unusually harmonious 
and peaceful, the preaching sound, instructive and 
profitable. And while as churches and ministers we 
may not have done all we might in the great work of 
spreading the blessed gospel, 3'et much has been done, 
and God has blessed it. Thankful for the past, appre- 
ciating the present and trusting God for the future, we 
thank Him and take courage. The Baptists are an 
historic people, divinel3^ historic. Their history is writ- 
ten in the word of God ; it is written in the dark pages 
of Jewish, heathen and Popish persecution ; it is writ- 
ten in the tears and groans and death of the suffering 
saints, w^ho have laid down their lives for Christ and 
his truth. With such an ancestr3^ in the faith ; with 
such examples before their eyes, we dare to be faith- 
ful — we dare to contend earnestly for the faith one de- 
livered to the saints. Yea, we must be faithful, declar- 
ing the whole counsel of God, avoiding all s^-mpathy 
with the popular errors around us. We dare not affi- 
liate with those living in error if we would be clear of 
sin. What fellowship has light with darkness? Men 
in error should not be invited to preach for our people ; 
nor can we participate in the religious meetings of 



464 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

Pedo-baptists and be faithful to God and to his truth ; 
though it is frequently done, even to the giving of the 
right hand of fellow^ship to those christened in infancy, 
and likely 3^et unconverted. In this way v^e sanction 
error, bring about divisions among our membership 
and grieve the minds of our pastors, who are in duty 
bound to oppose these errors. Let us remember that if 
we bid God speed to error we become guilt3\ Under 
the constitution and laws all orders have the same 
rights, and should have. Our security' and spiritual 
prosperity- is in social separation from all errorists, in 
keeping aloof, in showing no fellowship for their un- 
scriptural practices. Let us pra3^ constantly that error 
ma^- perish, and do all we consistantly can to pull 
down rather than build it up." 

Missions, education and Sunday schools were ably 
reported on. The Southern Baptist, Baptist Record, 
and Kind Words were recommended. The powers of 
the Association, abstract of faith, gospel order and rules 
of decorum were ordered to be printed in the minutes ; 
also delegates were appointed to the General Associa- 
tion and funds appropriated. Provision was made to 
have the mini <tes printed and funds assigned. Hearty 
thanks were voted to the Oakland church and commun- 
ity for their kindness and liberal support of the Associ- 
ation while in session \vith them. It was ordered that 
the next session of the Association be held with the 
Cross Road church, Newton county. An adjournment 
was then voted. Fifteen minutes were spent in singing, 
giving the parting hand and prayers, and the delegates 
were on their way home. A profitable meeting of the 
body. 

The table shows the follow-ing: Fifty churches in 
the body with a membership of 2,723, baptized during 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 4-65 

the year 142, Decatur the largest church 152, N. L- 
Clarke pastor, twenty ordained ministers, ten licen- 
tiates. 

Isaac Anderson, for many years connected with the 
churches of Mount Pisgah Association, was reared to 
manhood in South-east Mississippi. About the year 
1850, he made profession of faith in Christ, and was 
baptized by the writer in the lower part of Jasper 
county. From the very first, after his baptism, he bore 
his profession with dignity, and was soon under im- 
pressions to preach, and was encouraged to pray, and 
talk in public, but was entirely without* an education. 
The writer taught him his letters, and the first princi- 
ples of an education at his own home. After this, he 
attended school, and obtained such advantages of edu- 
cation as his circumstances allowed, at the same time 
preached as the openings were before him. After some 
years, he was ordained, and engaged in pastoral work> 
laboring in the counties of Jasper, Smith, Covington^ 
Jones, Perr3% Marion, and more or less down to the 
coast, and was highly esteemed for his work's sake and 
the good he achieved for the cause of his Master. While 
brother Anderson was not considered very profound^ 
nor very able as a minister, yet he attained to great 
soundness in the faith in the gospel, and was a true 
and consistent Baptist minister, and was loved by all 
the brotherhood that knew him. He was in a wonder- 
ful degree given to hospitality. He died some years- 
since, near Purvis, Miss., aged about sixty-five years. 

In 1887 the Association met with Cross Roads 
church, Newton county. The introductory sermon 
was preached by G. W. Rainer — text, Eph. 2:8; theme, 
"Salvation by Grace." One hour intermission and 
dinner, and the delegates convened in the house and! 



466 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

-was called to order by the moderator. J. M. Moore led 
in praj^er. J. J. Ingram was requested to preach at the 
stand. L. M. Phillips, T. C. Viverett and Thomas 
Keith were appointed to read letters. N. T. Johnston, 
A. W. W. Grafton and J. H, Limbough were committee 
on finance. Letters were read from fortj'-five churches, 
delegates names enrolled and statistics noted. Officers 
were elected b_v acclamation — N. L. Clarke, moderator; 
J, M. Moore, clerk ; J. D. Hardy, treasurer. One new 
church was added to the body, Good Hope, Scott 
count3^ Visiting ministers were invited to seats in the 
lDod\'. Correspondence was received from Alount Olive, 
Salem, Springfield and Bethlehem associations. Com- 
mittees were regularh' appointed : J. B. Ishee and A. P. 
Wash, with the pastor and deacons of Cross Roads 
church, were the committee on preaching. 

The Lord's day services were arranged as follows: 
Pra\'er meeting in the morning, conducted b^- Brother 
Preeman; mission talk by Prof. Leavell; J. M. Moore 
±o preach at 11 o'clock on missions, to be followed by 
a. collection ; J. T. Simmons to preach in the evening. 
Adjourned to 8 : 30 Alonda^- morning. 

Lord's day services \vere as arranged : Prayer meet- 
ing in the morning; lecture on missions by Professor 
Leavell; J. M. Moore preached at 11 o'clock on mis- 
sions, followed b3' a collection for missions, amount- 
ing to $42.35 : J. T. Simmons preached in the evening. 
Prom the size of the congregation, the character of the 
preaching and the attention given, we have good 
reason to believe that much good was done. 

At the appointed hour Monday morning the Asso- 
ciation met and was called to order and prayer offered. 
The roll was called and rules of decorum read. L. P. 
Murrell appointed to preach at 11 o'clock. Corres- 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 467 

pondence was returned to sister associations, and re- 
. ports of committees read and acted on. The report of 
the committee on the state of religion was full of inter- 
est. They saj': ** Another year has passed away, and 
again through the mercj^ of God, our beloved Associa- 
tion is in annual session, and with great evidence of 
the divine blessing upon us. Not for man3' years, if 
ever before, has the Lord so blessed and increased our 
churches by baptism ; at the same time general peace 
prevails. This added to the increased production of 
our fields, gives us great occasion for gratitude to God 
and encouragement in our work. Our present session 
has been ver\^ harmonious and interesting, the delega- 
tion from the churches nearly full, while the preaching 
has been able and sound. It is thought there is no de- 
crease in the devotion of the churches to the \vork of 
missions, but rather a growth. Our reception 1)v the 
brethren at Cross Roads w^as cordial, and our support 
liberal and abundant. Under all the circumstances we 
thank God both for the present and the past, and, we 
hope for the future. 

"In looking back over -the past labors of our be- 
loved Association, we feel that much has iDeen done for 
the c^iuse of Christ. This, however, has been done 
through self-sacrificing adherence to our distinctive 
principles as taught in the word of God, attended by 
the divine blessing, and in no other wa^^ can we sustain 
and advance the work of our body and meet our 
weighty obligations. Allow us then, brethren, to en- 
courage you in \-our course of faithfulness. God has 
•committed to you, to us ail, a great work. We must 
be true to our trust. Let us keep prominently before 
the people ; the fall and depravity, the total depravity 
«of man, salvation by grace. Justification by faith 



468 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

alone, in the imputed righteousness of Christ, obedience 
as the evidence of faith, and the final perseverance of 
the saints. Vastly important in the cause of Christ is 
strict adherence to the doctrine of a converted member- 
ship. Leave this out and ^ve are on the broad sea with 
out chart or compass. Our views of church member- 
ship and baptism, make our practice of close commu- 
nion clearly consistent, yea, a necessity, let others say 
what they will about it. We may not turn aside to 
please any one. Our views of baptism are clearly Scrip- 
tural and must be maintained at every cost. The word 
used in the New Testament, haptidzo, was not trans- 
lated, but merelj^ transferred to the English New^ Tes- 
tament, and it has preciseh^ the same meaning as our 
w^ord dip. Calvin, the founder of Presby terianism ; 
Luther, the founder of Lutheranism ; and Wesle^', the 
founder of Alethodism, all admit this, together with 
all the scholars of note in the world. Dipping-in bap- 
tism was universal for two hundred and fifty years ot 
the Christian era, and almost universal for twelve hun- 
dred years. The Roman Catholics then introduced 
sprinkling and pouring, and Protestants received it 
from them, while the true church of Christ has main- 
tained dipping from the time of Christ down to the 
present." 

Interesting reports were read on missions, Sunday 
schools, publications and temperance, and ably dis- 
cussed and approved. Strong resolutions were passed, 
pledging the Association against the whisky traffic, 
and in favor of prohibition. The Southern Baptist 
Record was recommended to the favor and use of the 
churches. The Report on Foreign missions, prepared 
by George Whitfield, vice-president of the Foreign Mis- 
sion Board, was ordered printed in the Minutes of the 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 469 

Association. Delegates were appointed to the next 
meeting of the General Association and funds appro- 
priated. The following resolution was unanimously 
passed : That N. L. Clarke be requested, at his conven- 
ience, to write the history of Mount Pisgah Association. 

A resolution encouraging liberality in mission work 
was unanimously passed. The Garlandsville church 
sent a query: "Is it prudent or safe to invite a minis- 
ter to preach in our churches, or serve as pastor of a 
church, who holds a letter from other church which 
knows nothing of the Christian conduct of said minis- 
ter since granting the letter ? " Answer, " It is not pru- 
dent nor safe." 

It was agreed that the next session of the Associa- 
tion be held with Rock Branch church, Newton county; 
that T. I. Wells preach the next introductory sermon, 
J. W. Arnold alternate; that N. L. Clarke preach the 
next annual sermon on missions, A. J. Freeman be his 
alternate. Arrangement was made for the printing 
and distribution of the Minutes and funds assigned. 
Heart}^ thanks were cordially voted b^' the bod^- to the 
church and community for their great kindness and 
liberal support of the body while in session with them. 
Then came the vote to adjourn. "Amazing Grace" 
was sung while giving the parting hand ; closing prayer 
by L. P. Murrell. 

The table shows 48 churches in the body, contain- 
ing a membership of 2,721, 366 baptized during the 
year. Beulah, the largest church, 187, H. O. White, 
pastor; 35 have died during the year; 21 ordained 
ministers, 15 licentiates. 

E. L. Carter, for many years connected with the 
churches of Mount Pisgah Association, and afterwards 
with the Salem, was born either in Georgia or South 



'470 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

Carolina. In early life he moved to Alabama, and af- 
terwards came to Mississippi, and resided in Lauderdale 
county, where in the prime of life, he professed faith in 
Christ, and was baptized. Soon he gave evidence of 
impressions to preach, and w^as licensed to do so ; exer- 
cising his gift in Lauderdale, Clarke, and Newton coun- 
ties. About the year 1850, Brother Carter was or- 
dained to the full work of the gospel ministry, and en- 
tered on pastoral w^ork, with great faithfulness, in the 
counties alread3' named, and also in Jasper, Jones Cov- 
ington, Simpson, and Smith, seeking the salvation of 
the lost, feeding the flock of God, and earnesth', honest- 
ly, and faithfully contending for the faith of the gospel. 
For a time he traveled as a missionarj^ under the di- 
rection of Alount Pisgah Association, and was also 
missionar3' of the General Association for j^ears. Like- 
ly a truer man in his intentions never entered the Chris- 
tian ministry. While he was not truly eloquent, yet 
his style of deliver3^ was pleasant, his utterance distinct 
and his discourses were instructive and interesting. 
His aim was to build on the Rock, and material that 
would neither bum nor rot. God and his promises, 
Christ, and the grace of God, through Him, experiment- 
ally applied by the Holy Spirit, justification by faith, 
evidenced by obedience, were themes he delighted to 
dw^ell on. Brother Carter died at the age of eighty-two 
years. Like the ripened fields of grain, he was gathered 
into the garner of rest and glorv'. 

In the 3'ear 1888 the Association met with the 
Rock Branch church, Newton county, it being the fifty- 
first annual session of the body. The introductory 
sermon was preached by T. I. Wells— text, 2 Tim. 1:9; 
theme, "The Calling and Salvation of God's People the 
Result of His Gracious Purpose in Christ from Eternity, 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 471 

which secures their final redemption." After intermis- 
sion of one hour and dinner, the body was called to 
order in the house. Prayer by S.J. TuUos. Thos. Keith, 
L. M. Phillips and T. L. Moore were requested to read 
letters. T. C. Viverett, N. T.Johnston and D. S. Holmes 
were the committee on finance. L. B. Fancher was re- 
quested to preach to the people at the stand. Letters 
were read from forty-seven churches, delegates names 
enrolled and statistics nqted. Officers were elected by 
acclamation — N. L. Clarke, moderator; J. M. Moore^ 
clerk; J. D. Hardj^ treasurer. One new church was; 
added to the body. Center Ridge, Newton county... 
Correspondence was received from Oktibbeha Associa- 
tion and the Baptist State Convention. Committees 
were regularly appointed : F. Sansing, J. P. Pace, C. G, 
Johnston and N. Barham, with the pastor and deacons 
of Rock Branch, were the committee on preaching. 
The committee arranged for preaching services as fol-. 
lows: A.J. Freeman to preach Saturday night at the- 
church ; also G. W. Rainer to preach at Union ; J. J. In- 
gram at Hebron; N. L. Clarke to preach at 11 o'clock 
on Lord's day the sermon on missions, to be followed 
by a collection : J. B. Gambrell will preach at 2 o'clock 
in the evening. Adjourned to 9 o'clock Monday. 

The Lord's day services were of much interest : 
Prayer meeting in the morning, conducted by Brother 
Hailey; N. L. Clarke preached at 11 o'clock; a collec- 
tion was taken up, amounting to $44. 35. J. B. Gam- 
brell preached in the evening a sermon of much interest. 
Seldom, if ever, has it been our privilege to witness or 
enjoy a more interesting da3'. The clerk says: "Alto- 
gether the day's services were abundantly edifj-ing to 
the children of God. The truth was tenderly and faith- 
fully preached ; surely much good was done that day 



472 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

in the name of Jesus. Seldom, if ever, has it been our 
privilege to attend such a meeting of the body." 

The Association was called to order at the hour 
set. Prayer by H. Bruce. The roll was called and de- 
corum read, visiting ministers invited to seats and cor- 
respondence returned. Reports on committees were 
read, discussed and acted on. The report of the com- 
mittee on the state of religion possessed much interest. 
They tell us that the churches are in peace ; nearly a 
full delegation was present ; that all the churches have 
preaching. They state that we have abundant reasons 
for gratitude to God for His blessings on the churches. 
They add: "Much good has been done and much re- 
mains to be done, if we meet our obligations and sus- 
tain the cause of Christ committed to our hands. The 
times that are upon us require soundness, intelligence 
and energy', yea, watchfulness. Your committee is im- 
pressed with the fact that our pastors should be careful 
to indoctrinate the people of their charge, giving them 
line upon line, precept upon precept, that they may 
know the truth." 

J. E. Chapman preached at the stand in the morn- 
ing. Able and interesting reports were made on 
Sunday schools, missions and temperance. Much im- 
jDortance was given to the subject of temperance. The 
report was able, clear and conclusive, and b\' permis- 
sion was voted on by the whole congregation, the 
whole house unanimously rising. L. P. Alurrell 
preached at the stand in the evening. A voluntary 
contribution was made in the body for missions, 
amounting to $15.70. Delegates were appointed to 
the General Association and funds appropriated. The 
Southern Baptist Record was recommended to the use 
and support of the churches. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 473 

It was agreed that the next annual session of the 
body be held with Pleasant Hill church, Newton county. 
That J. W. Arnold preach the next introductory sermon, 
S. J. Tullos alternate. That A. J. Freeman preach the 
next sermon on missions; J. M. Moore alternate. Ar- 
rangement was made for the printing and distribution 
of the minutes, and funds assigned. Thanks were 
heartily voted to Rock Branch church and community 
for their great kindness and hospitality to the body 
while in session. Adjournment was voted, and the time 
of parting came. Much tenderness was manifested 
w^hile singing one of Zion's songs and giving the part- 
ing hand. J. M. Kelh^ offered the closing prayer. 

The Minutes show fort3'-nine churches in the body ; 
a total membership of 2,670: ISO baptized during the 
year ; thirtj' had died ; twenty-two ordained ministers; 
eighteen licentiates. 

John Rush, for years connected with the churches 
of Mount Pisgah Association, was when quite young 
baptized into the fellowship of Zion Hill church, Lauder- 
dale count\'. After a time he gave evidence of impress- 
ions to preach and was given license to exercise accord- 
ing to his ability. His growth was not rapid, yet his 
gifts were such as to make him acceptable among his 
brethren. In after time he moved to Jasper county 
and had membership in Mount Pisgah church, where 
according to the recollection of the writer, he received 
ordination, and engaged in pastoral work in Jasper 
county and the country around. For a time he did 
pastoral work at Whistler, Ala., thus transfering his 
. labors to the south-east. The war came on, and the 
writer lost sight of him ; but am under the impression 
that he went west of the IMississippi, but was called to 
his eternal home before he was old. He was a man of 



474 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

good personal appearance, cheerful and sprightly man- 
ners, fair talents as a speaker, and had a fine career as 
a minister for a number of 3'ears. The latter part of 
his ministry was saddened by the sorrows of the war. 

David Williamson %vas formerly a member of Pop- 
lar Springs church, Newton county, w^as there licensed 
to preach, and gave promise of much usefulness ; but 
following the tide of emigration, he moved to Texas, 
and continued his work as a minister of the gospel for 
mam^ 3^ears, attended with much usefulness, calling 
sinners to repent, and feeding the flock of God. 

In 1889 the Association met with Pleasant Hill 
church, Newton county-, being the fiftA'-second session 
of the bodj'. The introductory- sermon was preached 
by J. W. Arnold — text, Rom. 4:3; theme, "Justifica- 
tion by Faith." Intermission and dinner, and the body 
was called to order b^- the moderator. Pra^-er b^- J. J. 
Ingram. A.J. Freeman, L. Phillips and J. E. Chapman 
■were requested to read letters. N. T. Johnston, C. C. 
Roebuck and A. Pierce were appointed a committee on 
finance. L. J. Caughman was appointed to preach at 
the stand. Letters were read from fort^'-five churches, 
delegates names enrolled and statistics noted. Ofiicers 
were elected by acclamation — N. L. Clarke, moderator ; 
J. M. Aloore, clerk : J. D. Hard^', treasurer. Visiting 
ministers were invited to seats with the bod\\ W. J, 
David, missionary' from Africa, A. Gressett and J. B. 
Gambrell of the Record , accepted. Two new churches 
were added to the Association — Union, Newton county 
and Bethel, Neshoba counts-. Received correspondence 
from Salem and New Liberty associations. Commit- 
tees were regularly appointed : Wm. Graham and J. J. 
Phillips, with the pastor and deacons of Pleasant Hill 
church, were appointed the committee on preaching. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 4-75 

Sunday' services were arranged as follows: Prayer 
meeting 9 o'clock a. m., conducted by L. M. Phillips; 
W. J. David, missionary to Africa, to lecture on African 
missions at 10 o'clock; A. J. Freeman to preach at 11 
o'clock the annual sermon on missions, to be followed 
by a collection for missions; J. B. Gambrell to preach 
at 2 o'clock. Adjourned to meet at 9 o'clock Monday 
morning. 

The services on Sunday were as arranged. The 
prayer meeting was fervent, David's lecture interesting 
and instructive; the preaching able, instructive and 
comforting; $27.82 were collected for missions. The 
appearance was that much good was done in the name 
of Christ. 

The convening on Monday morning was with much 
greeting and cheerfulness. A hymn was sung and 
L. M. Phillips led in prayer. The roll was called and 
decorum read. Returned correspondence to sister asso- 
ciations. Reports of committees were read, discussed 
and acted on. The reports were able and interesting, 
and discussed with animation. The committee on the 
state of religion gave an encouraging view in the 
bounds of our Association, both in the churches and in 
our present meeting. They close thus : "In reviewing 
the past, 3^our committee feels there is much to be 
thankful for, and a wide opening for usefulness in the 
future. Let us enter the opening, and in faithfulness 
occupy. We must maintain the spirituality and purity 
of our membership. Charactar, not numbers, should 
be our motto. We must not receive the unconverted, 
as it would be unprofitable to them and dangerous 
to us. Let us remember that the world is man's 
natural state, and that a church of Christ is composed 
of persons redeemed and called out of the world. Great 



476 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

care should be taken to train and indoctrinate our 
young members, teaching them to understand why we 
are Baptists, and why v^e do not fellowship and com- 
mune with the Pedo-baptists. Our people have need of 
knowledge, Scriptural knowledge. " Stand in the ways 
and see, and ask for the old paths : there is the good 
way and walk therein, and ye shall find rest to your 
souls." There can no good come by introducing new 
and questionable methods, but they engender strife and 
are questions that do not edif\'. We respectfully urge 
the churches composing this body to faithfulness in all 
things, and liberality in giving for the spread of the 
glorious gospel of Christ. "They that water shall be 
watered. The^' that sow liberalh' shall reap also lib- 
erally ; but thcA' that sow sparingly shall reap also 
sparingly.'" May God bless the membership of the 
churches of our dear old Association. 

The report of the committee on missions was ably 
discussed, especially by W. J. David, also b\' J. B. Gam- 
brell, at whose suggestion a voluntary contribution 
was made to aid the Cuban mission, amounting to 
$20. The report of the committee on publications was. 
listened to with much interest and discussed with some 
feeling by Gambrell, Freeman and Clarke. The report 
contains the first public suggestion as to the propriety 
of starting another Baptist paper in the State. That 
suggestion is in the following language: "We suggest 
to this Association, and to those working through the 
General Association, and the Baptists of the State 
generally, the propriety of making an effort for better 
privileges. We, therefore, recommend this bodA' to ap- 
point a committee of five brethren, whose duty it shall 
be to investigate this matter, and report to the coming 
session of the General Association, with the consent of 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. ■4-77 

that body." The following are the names of the breth- 
ren appointed in pursuance of the above : N, L. Clarke,, 
D.T. Chapman, A. J. Freeman, J. M. Moore, T. I.Wells, 
G. W. Rainer. 

Able reports were read on Sunday schools, educa- 
tion and temperance. The Southern Baptist Record 
Mvas recommended to the favor and use of the churches. 
Delegates w^ere appointed to the General Association 
and funds appropriated. 

A resolution was passed, binding the delegates to 
urge the work of missions in their churches. Provision, 
was made for the printing and distribution of the Min- 
utes, and funds assigned. It was agreed that the next 
session of the body be held with Bethel church, Newton 
county ; that S. J. Tullos preach the next introductory 
sermon, and J. J. Ingram be his alternate; that J. M. 
Moore preach the next annual sermon on missions, and 
L. B. Fancher be his alternate. Hearty thanks were 
voted to Pleasant Hill church and community for their 
liberal support to the body while in session with them. 
The adjourning hour came, a song was sung, the hand 
of parting given, prayer by L. P. Murrell. Thus passed 
and closed an interesting meeting of Alount Pisgah 
Association. 

The table shows 49 churches in the body, a total 
mcuibership of 2,608, 134 baptized during the j^ear. 
Bculah, the largest church, 198, H. O. White, pastor; 
32 have died during the year; 22 ordained ministers, 
21 licentiates. 

Z. T. Faulkner, for years a minister connected with 
churches of Mount Pisgah Association, was reared to 
manhood in East Mississippi, likely in Clarke county. 
While quite young he came with his father to Scott 
county and had membership in the New Prospect 



478 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

church in that county, by which he was Hcensed to 
preach, while a* young man. Possessed of an active 
mind, a liberal education, and a commendable zeal to 
succeed and be useful, his advance was pleasing and 
rapid. In a short time his ordination was called for, 
and he entered upon pastoral work in his own county 
and the surrounding. Active, prompt and able, he 
gave great satisfaction to the churches that had the 
benefit of his labors, and was blessed to the building 
up of the churches and winning souls to Christ, a gifted 
and able minister. He is yet in the strength of his 
manhood : lives in the same community, labors in the 
same section of countr\' as in youth. On the forma- 
tion of the Springfield Association he became a minis- 
ter of that body. We pray that God may give him 
mauA' years of great usefulness in the cause of his divine 
Master. 

In 1890 the fiftj'-third session of the Association 
■^vas held with the Bethel church, Newton count3'. The 
introductory sermon was preached by S. J. TuUos — 
text, 1 Cor. 3:4: theme, "The Resurrection of Christ, 
the foundation of the Christian's j 03'." One hour inter- 
inission and dinner, and the bod\' convened and was 
called to order b^- the moderator. L. B. Fancher led in 
pra^-er. J. H. Sansing, A. J. Freeman and J. C. Foster 
were requested to read letters. N. T. Johnson, D. C. 
Pajme and T. H. Stamper were appointed a committee 
on finance. J. J. Ingram was requested to preach at 
the stand. Letters were read from fort^'-seven churches, 
delegates names enrolled and statistics noted. Officers 
were elected b^- acclamation — N. L. Clarke moderator; 
J. M. Aloore, clerk; J. E. Graham, treasurer. Visiting 
ministers were invited to seats; one new church was 
added to the bod3', Hardjwille, Newton county. Cor- 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 479 

respondence was received from Salem and New Liberty 
associations. Committees were appointed : J. B. Ishee, 
J. P, Mason and A. P. Wash, with the pastor and dea- 
cons of Bethel church, formed the committee on preach- 
ing. Lord's day services were arranged as follows : 
Prayer meeting at 10 o'clock in the morning, conducted 
by G. W. Rainer; J. M. Moore to preach at 11 o'clock 
the annual sermon on missions, to be followed by a 
collection for missions; J. C. Foster to preach at 
2 o'clock; L. B. Fancher at night, and T. T. Wells on 
Monday. Adjourned to 9 o'clock Monday morning. 

Services on Lord's day were as arranged : Prayer 
meeting at 10 o'clock, conducted by G. W. Rainer. At 
11 o'clock J. M. Moore preached the annual sermon on 
missions — text, 1 Tim. 1:15; theme, "The Mission of 
Christ." $33.35 were taken up for missions. J. C. 
Foster preached in the evening — text, John 8 : 12 ; theme 
"Christ, the Light of the World." The sermons were 
able and instructive, and the da^^'s services interesting 
and profitable. 

Monday at 9 o'clock the delegates were on hand, 
refreshed and cheerful, when the body was called to 
order by the moderator. PraA'er by J. M. Hutson. 
The roll was called and rules of decorum read ; returned 
correspondence to sister associations, the messengers 
to ^vrite their own letters. The reports of the commit- 
tees were able and judicious. The committee on the 
state of religion represent the churches in peace and 
united in gospel work, and in defense of the faith of the 
gospel, and the passing session as harmonious and 
profitable. The^^ then add: "Your committee believe 
that our dear old Association is still true to the work 
committed to her more than fift^^ ^^ears ago, the main- 
taininof and defense of the truth. Like the battle- 



480 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

scarred soldier, may the victories gained prepare us 
more fully for endurance and toil in the future." 

Beloved brethren, let us be true to the trust reposed 
in us. "Be thou faithful unto death," says our Re- 
deemer. The tendency in Christianity in America is to 
the world. What is there for us ? "Be not conformed 
to this world — love not the world," The unconverted 
in our churches can only work evil to us, evil to the 
cause ^ve love and advocate. Few unconverted per- 
sons will make an effort to come into our churches if 
pastors are faithful to their trust. A great weight of 
responsibility rests on the ministry to the churches; 
• great, great, indeed. At the same time churches should 
remember their obligation to these pastors. 

Your committee is impressed with the importance 
of our avoiding questions that engender strifes. " Mark 
them ^vhich cause divisions and offenses contrary to 
the doctrine ^^e have received, and avoid them." This 
is an admonition to the church at Rome. Church mem- 
bers should know the faith and be prepared to defend 
it. The older ministers and members are passing away, 
and soon the ^vhole work will be on younger ones. 
The generation passing and gone have done a great 
work. Will the coming be equal to their task ? Fifty 
years ! More than fifty have we toiled ! The next fifty ! 
Ah, the next fifty! Oh, brethren, what, what! May 
God bless us in our work. 

The work of missions received special attention as 
the great work of the churches of Christ. An able re- 
port on publications set forth the organization of Bap- 
tist Publication Society at Newton, Miss., and the 
publication of the Mississippi Baptist, recommending 
the paper to the favor and support of the churches. 
Delegates were appointed to the General Association 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 481 

and funds appropriated. A resolution was passed^ 
binding the delegates to present the cause of missions 
to their churches. 

It was arranged that the next session of the Asso- 
ciation be held with the New Prospect church, Newton 
county. That J. E. Chapman preach the next intro- 
duAory sermon, T. I. Wells be his alternate; that L. 
B. Fancher preach the next sermon on missions, J. C. 
Foster be his alternate. Provision w^as made for the 
printing and distribution of the minutes and funds as- 
signed. Hearty thanks were voted to the church and 
community for their kindness, and their abundant sup- 
port to the body and its friends while with them. The 
adjourning hour came, a song was sung, the hand of 
parting given, closing pra^-er by L. J. Caughman. 

The table shows the following state of the Associa- 
tion : Forty-eight churches, 2,614 members, 156 bap- 
tized during the year, fort3^-six have died, Beulah the 
largest church, 196, H. O. White pastor, twenty or- 
dained ministers, nineteen licentiates. 

William Tullos, forman3^ 3^ears a minister connected 
with the churches of Mount Pisgah Association, w^as 
bom in the State of Georgia in the year 1807, came 
with his parents. Temple and Sarah Tullos, to Mississ- 
ippi while quite young, and had his home in Simpson 
count}^ where he united in marriage wath Miss Belinda 
Kennedy. While j^et 3^oung, he moved to Neshoba 
count3% where he made profession of faith in Christ, 
and in 1836 was baptized into the fellowship of Eben- 
ezer church, b3^ Shadrach Jones ; was in the organiza- 
tion of the Alount Sinai church in the 3'ear 1838, by^ 
which he was licensed to preach about the 3'car 1842. 
Such was his aAivity and progress, that his ordination 
was called for, and took place in 1844; ordaining pres- 



482 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

bytery, Shadrach Jones, and Alanson Goss. He was 
pastor of Mount Sinai chiirch in 184-5. Few men stood 
fairer, or promised greater usefulness than brother Tul- 
los, but in an evil and unguarded hour temptation 
came, and he was deposed from the ministry for a time 
and lost his standing as a Christian. In 1849, he gave 
full satisfaction to the church, regained his Christian 
standing, and in the year 1852, was fully restored to 
the work of the Christian ministry-. From then till the 
close of his life, he gave himself earnesth' to the cause of 
Christ, in Neshoba county, having the confidence of all. 
He was instrumental in the constitution of Good Hope 
and Black Jack churches, of which he was for years 
the successful pastor, and under whose ministry' they 
prospered. "His works do follow him.'" Brother 
Tullos died February, 1875, aged sixt^'-six ^^ears. 

In 1891 the Association met with the New Prospect 
church, Newton county, in her fift\'-fourth annual ses- 
sion. The introductory- sermon was preached by J. E. 
Chapman — text, Eph. 1:7; theme, "God"s Purpose of 
Grace in Christ carried out through the gospel, securing 
the salvation of his people. The sermon was sound, 
solemn and impressive. One hour intermission and 
dinner and the body was called to order by the moder- 
ator. J. E. Chapman was appointed clerk, pro tem, 
the former clerk, J. M. Moore, being absent. Thomas 
Keith, J. H. Sansing and A. J. Freeman were appointed 
to read the letters from the churches. N. T. Johnston, 
J. M. L^des and C. R. Pace were appointed a committee 
on finance. H. Bruce was requested to preach at the 
stand. Letters were read from fort\--seven churches, 
delegates names enrolled and statistics noted. Officers 
were elected b^- acclamation — N. L. Clarke, moderator; 
J. E. Chapman, clerk; J. E. Graham, treasurer. Visit- 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 483 

ing ministers were invited to seats in the body. No 
new church was added to the bod^-. Correspondence 
was received from Harmony and Oktibbeha associa- 
tions. The regular committees were appointed by the 
moderator: J. M. Haralson, J. B. Ishee and A. W. W. 
Grafton, with pastor and deacons of New Prospect 
church, were the committee on preaching. 

The services on Lord's day were arranged as fol- 
lows : Prayer meeting 9 : 30 o'clock a. m., conducted by 
R. K. Cleaveland; mass meeting for the Mississippi 
Baptist at 10:30 o'clock; L. B. Fancher to preach at 
11 o'clock the sermon on missions, to be followed by a 
collection ; N. L. Clarke to preach in the evening. Ad- 
journed to meet 9 o'clock Monday morning. 

The services on Sunday were of great interest. The 
congregation was immense, the order fine, and the 
order of the services as arranged by the committee 
was strictly carried out. Every part of the services 
was conducted with propriet}- and to edification. A 
collection was taken up, amounting with that on Mon- 
day, to $35.45 for missions. The vast congregation 
separated on Sunda^^ evening, cheerful, showing that it 
was good to be there. 

The gathering on Mondaj^ morning was with cor- 
dial greeting, and approving remarks as to services on 
Lord's da3^ The body was called to order at 9 o'clock 
by the moderator. Prayer by Brother Yarbrough. The 
rules of decorum were read and correspondence re- 
turned. Reports of committees were read. The com- 
mittee on the state of religion and fraternal corres- 
pondence with the churches gave a favorable account 
of the state of the cause and condition of the churches. 
They sa}' : " How interesting these large country gath- 
erings of Baptist people. Rarely are they seen among 



484 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

other denominations now. With them there is a ten- 
dency to leave the country and concentrate in the vil- 
lages and towns ; such interests have been connected 
"with the present meeting of our Association with New 
Prospect church. A stranger would have been sur- 
prised to witness the vast concourse gathered, the order 
observed, and the abundant supplies furnished for the 
comfort of the body and its friends. The delegation 
from the churches was very full, while the letters rep- 
resent them as being in great peace and more than 
ordinarih' prosperous. 

Our present session, this 3^ear, has been harmonious 
and pleasant, the churches reporting more baptisms 
than for years before. There is no decline in the spirit 
of missions. Aluch interest has been manifested in the 
publication and circulation of our paper, the Missis- 
sippi Baptist. The preaching has been spiritual, sound 
and instructive. Our dear Association seems yet in the 
vigor of youth, and anxious for every good work. 

Dear brethren, allow us in the close of our report 
to give 3'ou a few admonitions. Let us remember that 
yve are a growing people, that every year we are re- 
ceiving large additions to our membership. These 
must receive attention, careful attention; they must 
be taught in the doctrine and in the great work of 
practical obedience, that the3^ be fruitful in everA' good 
work. Let u.s maintain that simplicitj^ that has ever 
been characteristic of our people. Let us see that the 
poor have the gospel preached unto them. 

Able reports were read on the subjects — missions, 
Sunday' schools, publications, temperance, etc., and 
discussed with interest and ability'. The Mississippi 
Baptist \vas highly commended and cordially recom- 
mended to the favor and support of the churches. Dele- 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 485 

gates were appointed to the General Association and 
funds appropriated. A strong and pointed resolution 
was adopted, condemning the proposition to open the 
doors of the Columbian Centennial at Chicago on Sun- 
day, and inviting all Christians to exert their influence 
against it. It was arranged that the next annual ses- 
sion of the bod}' be held with the Mount Pleasant 
church, Newton county; that T. I.Wells preach the 
next introductory sermon, J. W. Arnold alternate; that 
J. C. Foster preach the next sermon on missions, J. E. 
Chapman alternate. Arrangements were made for the 
printing and distribution of the Minutes, and funds 
assigned. A resolution of thanks was cordially voted 
to the New Prospect church and community for their 
kindness and liberal support of the Association and its 
friends while in session among them. 

The hour of adjournment came. A song was sung, 
the parting hand given, thus closing in great harmony 
the fifty-fourth session of the bod^-. The closing prayer 
by A. J. Freeman. 

The table shows 48 churches in the bodj', a mern- 
bership of 2,614; 203 baptized during the year, 32 
have died ; 20 ordained ministers, 17 licentiates. Beu- 
lah, the largest church, 203, T. I. Wells, pastor. 

J. M. Moore, now for many j-ears an able and use- 
ful minister of the gospel connected with the churches 
of Mount Pisgah Association, was born and raised to 
manhood in the State of Georgia, whe,re he made pro- 
fession of faith in Christ and was baptized while yet a 
young man. Soon Brother Moore was under impres- 
sions to preach, and was liberated b}- his church to 
engage in that work. Being a man of liberal education, 
he spent part of his time in teaching school, at the same 
time preaching the gospel as opportunity opened before 
him. His progress in the gospel was solid and encour- 



486 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

aging. Soon after the war Mr. Moore came to Alissis- 
sippi with his family and settled in Neshoba county, 
becoming a member of Count}^ Line church, b}^ which 
he was soon called to ordination, L. P. Murrell and 
N. L. Clarke forming the Presbj-tery. ' At once our 
brother entered upon pastoral work, rapidly' ad- 
vancing in gifts and usefulness. The churches in Ne- 
shoba and Newton counties have been made partakers 
of the blessings of his ability' and faithfulness, as also 
in our general and associational meeting. No man 
among us has stood by our cause with more dauntless 
courage or unswerving faithfulness than J. M. Moore. 
For 3'ears he was the efficient clerk of the Mount Pisgah 
Association. Brother Aloore yet lives, and is in the 
strength of his ministerial power. And, though no 
longer a 3'oung man, yet he is not so old but that we 
ma^' hope for mam^ 3'ears of usefulness 3'et from him in 
the cause of Christ, \vhich is the prayer of the writer, 
and many others. 

The fifty-fifth annual session was held wnth the 
Mount Pleasant church, beginning September 17, 1892. 
The introductory sermon was preached by T, I. Wells, 
from Rom. 3 :24.. The sermon was able and sound in 
doctrine. After a bountiful dinner had been served, the 
body came together, and organized b^- the election of 
the officers of the previous year. Correspondence was 
received from- the New Libert3' Association. 

On Sunday the congregations were large and or- 
derly. The services began at 9 : 30 a. m., with a prayer 
meeting conducted by A. J. Freeman. N. L. Clarke 
made some remarks also in advocacy of the claims 
of their paper, the Mississippi Baptist. The annual 
sermon was preached by J. E. Chapman on "The pur- 
poses of God carried out in the gospel.'' The sermon 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 487 

was said to be "Scriptural, timely and able." The af- 
ternoon services were conducted by J. M. Moore, J. J. 
Ingram preaching in the church at night. W. C. Gres- 
sett was received as a messenger from the Oktibbeha 
Association, and J. M. Tucker from the Bethlehem. 

The following resolution was adopted on missions : 

'■'Resolved, That the pastors and delegates of this 
Association be requested to stir up the churches on the 
subject of missions, and urge them to send up funds to 
the General Association." The body w^as preeminently 
missionary in spirit. 

This meeting was saddened by the knowledge of 
absence of one whom they had for nearly a halt century 
loved and revered. On the 22nd of Januarj-, 1892, 
Lee P. Murrell passed away. For five j-ears before 
the Civil War, beginning in 1855, he was moderator 
of the Mount Pisgah Association. Below, we give 
the obituarj^ notice of his death read before the frater- 
nity by N. L. Clark : 

The subject of this sketch, Lee P. Alurrell, w^as born 
in Roberson county-. North Carolina, September 25th, 
1808. While yet 3^oung his parents moved west and 
settled near Winchester, Mississippi, where he was 
raised to manhood. For a time he was a citizen of 
Simpson, also of Smith count^^, and while j'oung set- 
tled permanently in Scott count3', near the place where 
he spent and closed his long and useful life. About the 
year 1840 he made a public profession of faith in Christ 
and was baptized into the fellowship of Antioch Bap- 
tist church by Stephen Berr3\ From the xtvy beginning 
of his Christian career he evidenced deep devotion to 
the cause of his Redeemer, and impressions to the 
work of the ministrj-, and in harmony' with these im- 
pressions, was liberated by his church to exercise his 



488 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

gift in public about the year 1843, and was soon after 
ordained to the full work of the ministry and engaged 
in pastoral work. 

Brother Murrell was engaged in the work of the 
ministry' for about fort^'-seven years, fort\'-five of 
which he was pastor of Pleasant Hill church. Deeply 
experimental in his views of Christianity, and beyond 
all question, sound in his views of the doctrine of the 
New Testament as held by the Baptists and being a 
gifted speaker, his labors were much appreciated by 
the churches. He soon arose to great power, influence, 
and usefulness which continued with growing force 
while he lived. Long will his memory be cherished by 
those who knew him, long will his faithfulness, zeal 
and usefulness be held in grateful remembrance, for, he 
being dead, yet speaketh. He closed his useful life in 
great peace Jan. 22, 1892, in the eightv-fourth year of 
his age. 

We would also make mention of Francis Sansing, 
who was called from his earthh' labors Aug. 15, 1892. 
He was bom in South Carolina, raised to manhood in 
Georgia, where he was married and baptized, and also 
liberated to exercise a public gift. He in after years, 
moved to the State of Mississippi, and attached him- 
self to the church at County Line in 1864, and remain- 
ed a member to the close of his life. Though never or- 
dained, yet he had his measure of usefulness among the 
churches as a public man. Brother Sansing leaves a 
large famih' of sons and daughters \vho are walking in 
the steps of their father. We mourn the absence of our 
brother. 

In 1893, the bodv met with the Union church, New- 
ton county-. The weather was pleasant and balmy, 
and their reception by the church most cordial, All of 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 489 

the churches were represented, and were reported har- 
monious, and in an encouraging condition. The "dear 
old Association"' stood firm in its work, and was 
sound in doctrine. It had "Campbellism" with which 
to contend, but, the "ism'' was reaping a very small 
measure of success. 

The introductory sermon was preached by J. W. 
Arnold on the theme "We are created in Christ Jesus 
unto good works." The ofiicers of the previous year 
were re-ele6led by acclamation, N. L. Clarke modera- 
tor, J. E. Chapman clerk, and J. E. Graham treasurer. 
Correspondence was received from the Choctaw, Ok- 
tibbeha, Harmony, New Liberty-, and Pearl Valley As- 
sociations. 

The attendance upon the services on Sunday was 
said to be the largest in the history of the Mount Pis- 
gah Association. At ten a. m. W. P. Yaughan con- 
ducted a pra^'er meeting. Special prayer was made for 
S. J. Tullos, of Edinburg, who was in failing health. 
Later a collection was taken for his benefit, amounting 
to $14.00. The annual sermon on missions was 
preached 133^ A. J. Freeman. N. L. Clarke preached at 
the stand at eleven o'clock, and L. B. Fancher in the 
afternoon. 

The General Association, through which the frater- 
nity sent its contributions, had, at that time four white 
missionaries emploj-ed, and four preaching to the Choc- 
taw Indians in their bounds. The work in both fields 
was in a healthy and growing condition. It was rec- 
orsmended that each church take a collection for these 
missionaries in (3ctober, and, if a church could not rep- 
resent itself in the General Association, to send contri- 
butions to N. L. Clarke, or D. T. Chapman. It was 
suggested to the General Association that steps be 



490 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

taken looking to the employ- ment of a missionary in a 
foreign field, and the Mississippi Baptist was heartily 
commended, as it was the only paper through which 
they could learn of the workof the General Association. 

In 1893, there were in the churches of the Mount 
Pisgah Association, twent3^-two ordained ministers, 
and twelve licentiates. In that year C. P. Partin, an 
eminent ph3'sician of Decatur, died. We take the fol- 
lowing extract from their minutes : 

C. P. Partin was born in the State of Alabama in 
the year 1825, and was there raised to manhood. In 
earh' life he made a profession of faith in Christ, and 
was baptized. He was, by calling, a physician. While 
quite young he imigrated to Mississippi, and settled in 
his profession in Lauderdale county'-, near the place now 
known as Sukulena, and had membership in the Oktib- 
beha church. For 3'ears his home was at Chunkyville, 
and vicinity, having membership in the churches adja- 
cent, and practiced his profession. For the last several 
3^ears of his life, brother Partin resided at Decatur, 
Miss., and was an esteemed member of the church at 
that place. He, at the call of his countr3', took up 
arms and went forth in the defense of southern rights, 
as captain of a compan3' in the thirt3'-sixth Mississippi 
regiment, and was afterwards promoted to the rank of 
Major. He died early in June, 1893, esteemed by all 
that knew him, as a citizen, physician and Christian. 
Brother Partin died at the age of sixt3'-eight 3'ears. 

Their fift3^-seventh session was held with the Pleas- 
ant Hill church, beginning September 15, 1894. By 
unanimous vote the oflftcers were elected. New Provi- 
dence and Hebron churches, of Newton countv, were re- 
ceived, also Ephesus church, of Scott county, from the 
Springfield Association. On Lord's da3', great numbers 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 491 

of people gathered earh' upon the grounds, and the ser- 
vices of the day were exceedingly profitable. A collect- 
ion was taken up for Foreign missions of $4.36 ; for 
Indian missions, $9.15; for Domestic missions, $4.25, 
making a total of $17.76. 

Strong resolutions were adopted as to the purity 
of faith of the ministers and churches. It was regarded 
that innovations were being made in Christian work, 
sufficiently alarming as to call for serious attention. 
The existence of "outside societies,*' as young people's 
meetings, and female societies in the churches, was 
deeply deplored. Extreme views on Alinisterial educa- 
tion were deprecated. Ah, well! A wheel without 
breaks is apt to revolve too rapidly do\vn hill, and 
some possibilitj^ of friction is sometimes necessary to 
prevent ominous results. 

The committee on missions recommended that the 
pastors keep the mission \vork in all its forms before 
their churches. The doors of all nations were open for 
the entrance of the gospel. Sunday schools, as ever, 
received due attention. It was wished that the true re- 
lation of the Sunday school to the church should be ob- 
served. The Alississippi Baptist, with N. L. Clarke, 
the "tried veteran of the cross," as editor, was recom- 
mended without stint, and along with it the Foreign 
Mission Journal, the Home Field, and Kind Words re- 
ceived due approbation. 

The session of 1895, was held with the Beulah 
church, Newton countv, beginning Saturda^^ before the 
third Lord's daj^ in September. L. B. Fancher was to 
preach the introductory sermon, and J. E. Chapman, 
the annual missionarj^ sermon. Unfortunately the 
writer has not in hand the minutes of the Mount Pis- 
gah Association of 1895, and 1896. If they are 3'et re- 
ceived this vacant space will be filled. 



492 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

The sixtieth annual session was held with the Pop- 
lar Springs church, in September, 1897. There were no 
questions in the churches that gendered strife, and they 
were all regarded as sound in the faith. The work of 
missions was still in great favor in the Association. 
The fraternitA' had not at an^- time in its histor\' been 
more united in missionary- work. There were then 
fortj^-seven churches in their union, with an aggregate 
membership of 2,776. They reported 160 baptisms 
that A^ear, and 144 as received bA' letter. 

On Lord's da^-at eleven a. m., J. M. Moore preached 
the annual sermon on missions, his theme being "The 
Kingdom of Christ, and its mission in the world.'" The 
sermon is said to have been one of his very best, and a 
large congregation enjo^'ed it. At its close, a collect- 
ion was taken for missions. In the afternoon J. T. 
Halford preached at the stand, and H. O. White at the 
meeting house. Refreshments were served on the 
ground to the joy and fullness of many. 

The death of A. J. Freeman was rej^orted, which 
sad event occurred June 20, 1897. He was a Georgian, 
born in 1830. He was ordained to the work of the 
ministrA^ in 1859. He was closely indentified with the 
Mount Pisgah Association, loved his brethren, and was 
loved and honored in return. He was for four years 
one of our State Senators, and was honored and re- 
spected in that dignified body of legislators. 

The session of 1898 Avas held with the Sulphur 
Springs church, Scott county. The reception and sup- 
port of the bod\' by this church was hearty and 
abounding. The weather was all that could have been 
desired. The churches were all in good working order, 
and the good accomplished as great as the year 
previous. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 4-93 

T. I. Wells had died during the associational 3'ear. 
Their men in high places were falling year by year. We 
give what is said of him in the report of their Commit- 
tee on Obituaries, as they know more of him than the 

writer : 

Among the number lost is our much esteemed 
brother, T. I. Wells, of Moore's Mill, Mississippi. He 
was born August 16, 1848, in Lauderdale county, Mis- 
sissippi. He came to Newton county with his father, 
J. H. Wells, in 1867. He was married to Miss Sallie J. 
Alexander,' December 27, 1867. He was baptized into 
the fellowship of Beulah church abotit the year 1874. 
He was licensed to preach by the Beulah church, but 
was ordained by the Oakland church the same day it 
was constituted, he being in the constitution of said 
Oakland church, the 1st day of May, 1880. He was 
called to the pastorate of Oakland, and served her 
until his death, which sad event took place June 25, 
1898. Brother Wells was an able minister of the gos- 
pel and was very closely identified wath our Associa- 
tion, and w^as highly esteemed as well as greatly 
beloved among us. His death is greatly felt and his 
presence greatly missed among us. Brother W^ells was 
a great friend to, and much beloved by, the Choctaws. 
He did a great deal to help our mission work among 
them, both wath his presence and means. 

Perhaps no better place can be found to make a 
statement of the relation of N. L. Clarke to the Mount 
Pisgah Association. It is known that an article ap- 
pears in Foster's Baptist Preachers on this venerable 
and worthy minister. All that is left for these pages is 
to make clear his relation to the Mount Pisgah Asso- 
ciation. What he has been to the General Association 
will appear in the history of that body. 



494 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

N. L. Clarke took up his residence in Newton county 
in 1847, when he became a member of the Decatur 
church, and the pastor of that church, which official 
connection has remained unbroken until this day, or 
for fifty-five years. Eight years he was missionary of 
the Mount Pisgah Association, with the blessings of 
the Lord on his labors, as already' stated. For five 
years he was clerk of the Association. In 1847, his 
name occurs first on the pages of their Minutes, as one 
of the reading clerks, and as an ordained minister with 
Herbert as his postoffice. 

In 1849 he was sent as a messenger to the Liberty 
Association. He was that 3'ear put on a committee 
raised to consider the advisability of dividing the As- 
sociation, and was appointed as missionary' to travel 
one-half of his time. In 1850, in the absence of the 
moderator, he was appointed moderator pro. tern., 
and in the organization elected moderator. The fol- 
lowing 3'ear he was elected their moderator and mis- 
sionar3', which position he again filled in 1852 and 
through 1854. He was received in 1855 as a messen- 
ger from the convention formed for the purpose of 
organizing a General Association of South-east Missis- 
sippi, held at Bethel church, Newton county, embracing 
the fourth Lord's day in October, 1854, and was one 
of the fifteen delegates sent b^- the Association to the 
first meeting of the General Association. In 1856 he 
was clerk of his association, which position he held 
through 1859. 

In 1860 he was again elected moderator, which 
position jhe has held uninterruptedh' to the present 
time, or for nearh' fort3'-two 3'ears. This record can 
scarceh' be equaled in all the histor3' of the Baptists of 
the United States. He was frequenth' called upon to 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 4-95 

preach their annual sermons on missions, and their 
introductory sermons. 

The writer has a deep affection for N. L. Clarke in 
his associational affinities. In 1865, when this scribe 
was 17 years of age, and a Confederate soldier, N. L. 
Clarke was his chaplain. He well remembers assisting 
to make an elevated stand covered with dirt, on which 
to pile the pine knots, by the blaze of which N. L. 
Clarke read his Scripture and his hymns. The memory- 
holds dear the scene, as under the tall pine trees by the 
light of the burning fagots, we sang the songs of our 
absent mothers, and listened to the good man as he 
told of duty and of God. His face, as the writer saw 
him a few moons past, is now marked by age and care, 
but the same in outlines as it was under the stars and 
bars in the perilous 3'ears of civil strife. N. L. Clarke, 
now past 90 years of age, is growing feeble in body, 
but his mind is as clear as the chimes of bells, and his 
heart as warm as in the days of his strength. 

In 1898, the Cedar church of Jasper county. Stam- 
per church of Newton, and Golden Grove of Neshoba 
countj^ were received into the union. At 11 a. m. Sun- 
day, N. L. Clarke preached their sermon on missions, 
after which a collection was taken for Home missions, 
$5.10; for Foreign missions $9.65, and for Indian mis- 
sions $9.25— total, $24.00. Their connection with the 
General Association was ver^^ close, and all money on 
hand, after the expenses of the body had been met, was 
sent to the General Association for its missionary 
work. The usual reports were made on Publications, 
Missions, Education, Temperance, Obituaries, Nomina- 
tions, Sunday schools and Finance. The session of 
1889 was held with the church at Decatur, Newton 
county, beginning Saturdaj^ before the third Lord's day 
in September, 1899. 



496 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

The Mount Pisgah Association has performed a 
noble mission. Its position has been peculiar, and its 
duties to South-east Mississippi numerous and binding 
The wisdom of its leading men has been displa3'ed in 
keeping in harmony the churches with their possible 
divergence of opinion on missions, and directing them 
in proper channels of activity and usefulness. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 49T 



, CHAPTER X. 

CHICKASAW ASSOCIATION. 

The organization of the Baptists in the northern 
part of the State into Associations was distinct from 
the constitution of such bodies in South Mississippi. 
North Mississippi was peopled with an immigration 
from States east of us, after the third cession made by 
the Choctaw Indians, and the cession made b^^ the 
Chickasaws. The Choctaws left our State in 1830^ 
and the Chickasaws not before 1835. These two ces- 
sions included most of Mississippi, north of a straight 
line from Friars Point to Shubuta. 

In the northern part of this territory, the Chicka- 
saw Association was formed in 1838, embracing the 
counties now known as Marshall, LaFayette, Benton,, 
Union, Pontotoc, Lee, Tippah, Alcorn, Prentiss, Tisho- 
mingo, and Itawamba. The country was sparsely 
populated, and consequenth^ there was great distance 
between the churches. Through the virgin forests the 
messengers from the churches to the Association rode 
horseback, striving to reach the home of some known 
Baptist each day before nightfall. 

One of the moving spirits in the constitution of the 
Chickasaw Association was W. H. Holcombe, a native 
of Alabama. From what can be learned of him, he was 
an earnest, progressive, quiet man. His praises are 
not sounded out as some of his contemporaries, but his 
name is distinctlv mentioned in all the earlv onward 



498 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

movements of the Association. He was its first moder- 
ator, presiding over the bodj^ for three consecutive 
years. 

In the earh' daj^s of the Association, James M. Grif 
fin was eminent in labors. He was a pioneer mission- 
ary^ in the Association, characterized b^- his ability to 
endure hardness, by his generous nature and s^-mpathy • 
for fallen humanit3% and by his burning zeal in the 
Master's work. He organized many churches in most 
early days and during his ministry' in the Association. 
Under God, he inspired many young men of fine gifts 
to enter the ministry of the Association. 

Little can be learned of the working of the Associa- 
tion before 1843. In that \^ear its annual session was 
held with the Amaziah church in Tippah county. 
Eighteen churches then composed the body, namely : 
Aberdeen, Academy, Antioch, Amaziah, Cypress Creek, 
Fellowship, Holh- Springs, Houlka, Liberty (Monroe 
county). Liberty (Pontotoc county'), New Hope, Rip- 
ley, Philadelphia, Rocky Mount, Salem, Tockshish, 
Temperance Hill and Zion. Eleven churches were re- 
ceived into the union at that meeting of the Associa- 
tion, viz : Antioch (Tishomingo county), ^-Enon, ^E^non 
(Monroe county-). Friendship, Mount Pleasant (Mar- 
shall county). New Harmony, New Union, Pleasant 
Grove, Rienzi, Town Creek and Union. Four hundred 
and ninet3'-seven baptisms were reported that 3'ear in 
the letters b^' the churches to the Association. 

In 1845, when this Association was just six 3'ears 
of age, eight churches withdrew to ga into the Aber- 
deen Association. "There is that scattereth and yet 
increaseth," and the old Chickasaw Association has 
acted on this Biblical assertion. It may be called the 
mother association of North Alississippi, as the Missis- 
sippi Association is in South Mississippi. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 499 

In 1846, Martin Ball was elected moderator of the 
Association. W. H. Holcombe was moderator of the 
body for three years, until 1841 ; after that C. W. 
Waldrop presided over the body three consecutive 
years, A. McCain occupied the position for two years, 
.and v^as succeeded by Martin Ball. Martin Ball w-as 
of short build, but, in his best health, quite corpulent. 
He had light hair and gray ej^es ; his face was round 
and intellectual. There was the appearance of ease 
and approachableness about him, and a vein of humor, 
well under control, was apparent in his conversation. 
He was a master of men 133^ their ready consent, and 
-was controlled by the spirit of his Master with grace 
and readiness. His eloquence of speech was moving 
rather than charming. Britton R. Webb, once a 
teacher of great distinction in North Mississippi, used 
to say, that if he was on his way to hear Martin Ball 
preach and discovered he had no handkerchief with 
which to wipe his eyes, he would at once return home 
to get one. 

In 1848, the Association met with the Academy 
church, in Tippah county. Twenty-eight churches 
were represented, composed of 1,571 members. The 
Cherry Creek church, the largest, had 166 members. 
The Association was then ten years old, and was be- 
ginning to feel the need of better organization. The 
abstract of principles, good in the main, had the crude- 
ness incident to hasty gathering together by men 
conversant with Baptist belief, but who had not in 
hand a written formuhited confession of faith. It was 
unanimously resolved " to adopt the articles of faith as 
found in the Encvclopedia of Religious Knowledge," 
which was the declaration of faith, published by the 
Baptist Convention of New Hampshire. 



500 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

This Association paid its respects to the temper- 
ance question in clear and unmistakable terms. A query 
came up from the church in New Albany as follows : 
* ' What are the steps for a church to take with a mem- 
ber who is engaged in vending ardent spirits ?" A well 
chosen committee recommended to the Association "to 
advise the church to admonish the offending brother ; 
and, if he still persists, to exclude him from her fellov;^- 
ship." This carried Baptist fairness and a clear ring 
of moral correctness. Early Baptists did not wink at 
the whisky traffic. 

At this meeting of the Association, the Executive 
Committee was empowered to purchase Bibles and 
Testaments and religious books to put into the hands 
of the missionaries in the Association for free distribu- 
tion among the poor and indigent. H. L. Finley, in his 
brief histor\' of Chickasaw Association, ver^' aptly says: 
"The Association from the beginning had a good and 
thoroughly Scriptural plan for the spread of the gospel 
and the elevation of mankind general^." The Associa- 
tion, in 1848, was doing the kind of missionar}' work 
Paul did, and as he was forward to do, gratuitously 
assisted the poor Christians. $362 was the sum raised 
that year in cash and subscriptions for Domestic mis- 
sions, and Boswell, L. Ball, Griffin, McCain and Malone, 
gave so much of their time as the Executive Committee 
desired through the \'ear for giving the gospel to "re- 
mote and destitute neighborhoods." The report of the 
Executive Committee was made through its chairman^ 
Joel H. Berrj', who was a prince among men. 

In 1849, the Association met wnth the Alount Zion 
church, in Itawamba county, the extreme northeastern 
part of the State. Six new churches were received into 
the Association. Sympathy was shown for J. R. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 50l 

Graves in his struggles in Nashville, Tennessee, for self- 
vindication, and his paper, the Tennessee Baptist, was 
declared " one of the best Baptist papers in the South." 
The wonderful influence of that great man was thus 
early beginning to be exerted upon Mississippi Baptists. 
William Farrar, W. H. Holcombe and S. S. Lattimore 
represented the State Convention. S. S. Lattimore 
preached a great sermon on Sunday, which, by resolu- 
tion, was requested hy the Association for publication. 

In 1851, the Association had twenty-three ordained 
ministers and seven licentiates. The introductory ser- 
mon was preached by A. H. Booth, a man of wonderful 
power as a preacher in those da\'s. The Alary Wash- 
ington College, located at Pontotoc, was then living in 
the hearts of the best men of the Association. Wm. H. 
Holcombe made the report of the "joint committee " of 
the Chickasaw and Aberdeen associations, which sup- 
ported the institution of learning. Trustees were ap- 
pointed, and the report of the joint committee spread 
on the Minutes. Missions, charity and education were 
equallv regarded b^^ the old Chickasaw Association a 
half century ago. Broad-minded men planned for the 
future of the wieldable body and planned wisely 
and Avell. 

In 1850, the Chickasaw Association was twelve 
years old. J. S. Morton was elected moderator and 
Simon R. Spight clerk. The^- returned correspondence 
with the Bear Creek, Panola, Big Hatchie, Cold Water, 
North River and Aberdeen associations. TheA'were on' 
good terms with the Baptists in Tennessee and Alabama. 

They passed a preamble and resolution that year 
on systematizing their gifts to benevolence. Those who 
were reached b^^ an agent contributed liberally, but the 
majority was doing nothing. Each member of the 



502 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

church was asked to give annually ten cents or more 
to each of the mission fields, Foreign, Domestic, Indian 
and State missions. 

Their messengers to the Aberdeen Association were 
requested to submit a proposition to that body to 
unite with the Chickasaw in "establishing a female 
seminar\^ of high order" under the control of Baptists. 
If the Aberdeen should accept the proposition, the 
moderator of the Chickasaw was to add three others 
to the messengers to the Aberdeen, making a committee 
of seven, with power to act in the establishment of the 
school of learning. So the idea of starting Marj^ Wash- 
ington College originated with the Chickasaw Associa- 
tion, and doubtless with Martin Ball. 

In 1853 and 1854, the Association lost four of its 
strongest churches, Oak Hill, Hickory Grove, Poplar 
Springs and Pleasant Valley, which went to the Judson 
Association, an association constituted in 1852, south- 
east of the territory' of the Chickasaw Association. 
The Association of 1853 met with the Cherr\' Creek 
church. M. Ball was appointed to preach a missionary 
sermon at the next meeting of the body. This Associa- 
tion, in all its history, does not appear to have been 
afflicted \vith an opposition to missionary effort. 
M. Ball and W. H. Holcombe were the moving spirits, 
and had a missionary conviction that was infective. 
J. T. Pitts, a member of the Cherry Creek church, was 
ordained Sunday while the Association was in session. 
A. L. Stovall preached the sermon on the text, "Ye 
are God's Building." The candidate was presented by 
Martin Ball and examined b\' William Hale, the charge 
was given b^- W. H. Holcombe, and the Bible presented 
b^^ William M. Farrar. This ordination brings to our 
notice the strong preachers that were in the body at 
that sitting of the Association. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 503 

The Ministerial Education Society reported a col- 
lection of fort3^ dollars for ministerial education, which 
was sent to L. W, Stephens, a beneficiary of the society 
who was attending Mercer Universit3^ The Mary 
Washington College, which has already been referred 
to, was, in 1853, clairning much of the attention of the 
Association, It was established under the patronage 
of the Chickasaw and Aberdeen associations, but was 
at that time supported also by the Choctaw and the 
Columbus associations. William L. Slack, a ripe scholar 
and a fine educator, was president, and the Stewart's 
department was under the control of Martin Ball and 
his wife, who were commended "for their faithfulness in 
discharging the arduous and responsible duties con- 
nected with this department." It is said, "they kept 
an excellent table," but it is not said that the pupils 
said so. The Southern Psalmist was that 3^ear(1853), 
recommended to the churches and was for many years 
the hymn book in general use in the Association. 

In 1854, the Association was composed of forty-one 
churches, which had a membership of 2,903 members. 
The peace of the churches seemed disturbed by Mr. 
Alexander Campbell, of Bethany, Va. Mr. Campbell, 
it seems, had in the August number of the Milennial 
Harbinger declared that many Baptist ministers were 
in sympathy with him in his controversy w^ith J. R. 
Graves. It was resolved, 2d, "That in our judgment 
Mr. Campbell's writings are self-contradictory and 
dangerous, because erroneous." Resolved, 3rd, "That 
w^e highly appreciate the course of Brother Graves 
toward Mr. Campbell and his heresies." Resolved, 4th, 
"That we earnestly' request Brother Graves to publish 
in pamphlet or book form, a series of articles written 
on Campbellism when completed.'" To the Association 



504 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

the quer3' was put: " Is it right for us as Baptists, to 
open our doors to or suffer Campbellites to preach in 
our churches ?"" This quer\' received an emphatic nega- 
tive answer. 

In 1855, Mark P. Lowre^- had forged to the front 
rank of the ministry of the Association, as he was pas- 
tor of three churches in the Association, namely : 
Friendship, Kossuth, and Harmony; which churches 
reported jfift^'-eight baptisms during the associational 
year, and gave $89.70 to associational missions. As 
missionary of the Association, he traveled 2,200 miles, 
preached 181 sermons, and distributed 150 Bibles, and 
Testaments. To the name of Mark P. Lowrey is 
linked the name of Lewis Ball. The^' were friends, and" 
co-laborers from this date until death saparated them. 
In the report of the Executive Committee, made by 
Joel H. Berrv, in 1855, we find this language: "When 
Lewis Ball first went there (to Bethel church), as our 
missionary, moral desolation reigned over the entire 
scope of the c.ountr\\ The repose of the Sabbath day 
was uniformly disturbed bv the shrill sound of the 
hunter's horn, the merr3^ chase and the sharp crack of 
the rifle, or anon, bj' the wild shout of the drunkard or 
gambler. But this man of pra^'cr went in the strength 
of Israel's God. He found but three Baptists, collected 
them together, preached Christ crucified — sinners gave 
a listening ear — his labors were blessed, the character 
of the neighborhood was changed. Instead of the rude 
desecration of the Sabbath day, the sound of prayer 
and praise may now be heard in almost every cottage. 
And in their midst there stands Bethel — how appro- 
priate in name— with her 172 members, nearly all of 
whom were received by experience and baptism." This 
is a beautifullv written statement of the grand achieve- 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 505 

ment of one of those co-laborers. In 1857, the Associa- 
tion reported through EHj ah Smith, Jr., $952.99 given 
to Domestic missions, which was associational mis- 
sions. M. P. Lowre3' and J. T. Pitts were the mission- 
aries at a salary of $200 each for half their time. The 
Executive Board reported "much land yet to be pos- 
sessed." The committee on Foreign missions made this 
statement: "The Foreign Mission Board has two 
missions in China — one at Shanghai, and the other at 
Canton, both of which are doing well." Our Foreign 
Mission Board now has in China ten missionary- cen- 
tres and man^" outposts, fiftj^-two missionaries and 
quite a number of native helpers. The Committee on 
the Religious Instruction of the Colored Population 
said : " We recommend that each church make arrange- 
ment with its pastor to preach at some hour on the 
Sabbath for their special benefit." 

"We would also recommend that owners of slaves 
use their influence to have them observe the Sabbath 
* * * making the impression on them that the Sabbath 
is the Sabbath of the Lord." 

The session of the Association in 1858 was held 
with the church at Corinth. It then consisted of forty- 
six churches. The prominent ministers of the Associa- 
tion were M. Ball, Elijah Browning, James Boswell, 
W. H. Holcombe, H. G. Savage, A. H. Booth, M. P. 
Lowrey, L. Ball, J. T. Pitts, and C. C. Malone. The 
choice "men of the pew" were Joel H. Berry, S. H. 
Plant, Carej- Pitts, Elijah Smith, and Henry Pitts. 
William Carej^ Crane, J. T. Freeman, and J. R. Graves 
w^ere the distinguished visitors. J. R. Graves at 2 p. m. 
on Sunday', in a grove, standing on a goods box, 
preached two hours and a half on "the origin and his- 
tory of the church of Christ." It is said, "Whilst many 



506 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

were blessed and edified, there were some upon whom 
the truth fell with such ponderous weight as to giv^ 
offense." It is thought that this was the greatest 
meeting of the Association held up to this time. 

The Association met at Mount Pleasant, near Wal- 
lerville, in 1859. E. D. Miller and Thomas Smith rep- 
resented the Cold water Association. Martin Ball was 
moderator, and John B. Herring clerk. G. W. Selvidge 
of Georgia was present. The writer was pastor of his 
family in Dalton, Ga., in 1873. He was made ac- 
quainted with the fact that G. W. Selvidge was a man 
of deep piet^', and fine natural abilit3^ To aid in his 
support as pastor at Corinth, Mark P. Lowrej'' raised 
the sum of $220.00. J. T. Freeman at this time in the 
decreptitude incident to advanced age, is still living. 
He was in his prime not only a good writer, but one of 
the most chaste and winning speakers of our State. 
He was at the Association of 1859. The minutes say, 
"So pertinent were his remarks, that all were satisfied 
of the importance of sustaining a Baptist journal in 
our State, and manifested the determination to do so 
by paying $472.50 advanced subscription for the Mis- 
sissippi Baptist.^' 

John B. Herring, the clerk of the Association, v^as 
graduated from the University of Mississippi, and was 
held in universal esteem for his learning and probity. 
The home was considered as honored by a visit from 
him. He closes his Minute of the session with a beau- 
tiful paragraph in which he sa^-s, "The moderator * * 
proceeded to deliver a very feeling and pathetic address 
on the sorrow which we experience here at parting 
with those v^e love, and the jo}^ we shall experience 
when we shall meet with them in heaven around the 
throne of God, where parting will be no more." Mar- 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 507 

tin Ball, the moderator, was taken to the "beautiful 
home" before the Association met again. The writer, 
with twelve summers behind him, saw the funeral pro- 
cession, as the remains of Martin Ball were being con- 
veyed to their resting place in the Cherr3^ Creek grave- 
yard. The occasion was so solemn and proininent that 
he was awed into silence, and, open-eyed, looked curi- 
ously on as the long line of mourners slowly and with 
stately tread followed the pale sleeper to the hill of the 
dead. The old horse, which the great orator (for such 
he was) rode on his missionary journeys, saddled, but 
without a rider, was tied behind the conversance that 
solemnly bore the dead. The 3'outh fancied the faithful 
animal knew the sad import of the funeral hush and 
the subdued sobs of the bereaved relatives of the de- 
ceased. He saw steady hands gently lower the coffin 
into the genial clay of that sacred hill, and then fill the 
vault with the dry pulverized earth, and the people 
slowly leave the place of the dead in speechless quies- 
cence, and the impressible lad felt that a great man 
was gone, and our world the poorer for his departure. 
In 1860, the Association was composed of forty-nine 
churches, with 3,657 members. But that year twenty- 
seven churches withdrew to form the Tippah and Tisho- 
mingo associations. This left the body with twenty- 
two churches, and virtually the mother of four (4-) 
associations. In 1860, the Association was at the 
acme of its greatness. In twenty -two years the desert 
had been made to bloom as the rose, and the hills that 
two decades before echoed the howling of the fierce 
wolves and the valleys that rang with the pitiful 
screams of the panther, were vocal with the songs of 
praise to the One who made the everlasting hills im- 
movable, and the smiling vales to yield their fatness. 



508 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

Before the next g-athering of the messengers of the 
churches in our Association civil war with all the agi- 
tation incident enchained the thoughts of our people. 
The young men of the churches donned their uniform 
and shouldered their muskets and went forth to fight 
their countr^^'s battles, some of them never to return to 
our State. No associations in the State suffered as did 
the old Panola, the Cold Water and the Chickasaw. 
The frequent cavalry raids from Alemphis kept the 
northern part of our commonwealth in constant dread 
of the devastation of the booted horsemen of the enemy. 
From 1860 to 1866 the Association was virtually in a 
state of suspension. 

In 1866, the Chickasaw Association met with the 
Clierr\^ Creek church. It was a meeting of great im- 
portance. The churches must be revived and enspirited. 
Whatever might be the future of the Southland, life 
must begin to assert itself in some form or fashion. 
The ministers who had returned from the war began 
to aid in getting the churches together, in operative 
condition. The introductory sermon was preached 
before the Association b\^ H. L. Finlej- from Xehemiah 
2:18. The strength of the discourse was in the sen- 
tence, "Let us rise up and build." The theme was 
apth' chosen, and the text a gem for the occasion. The 
sermon had a most salutary effect. It fired the mind 
and quickened the emotions of Lewis Ball, then in the 
verv^ prime of his noble manhood. H. L. Finle^', in his 
brief history of Chickasaw Association, says : " That 
grand man, Lewis Ball, took the stand, and with one 
of his characteristic appeals, so aroused the messengers 
that, with one mind and one heart, the3' caught the 
spirit of the text, and went about the work of restoring 
order in the churches and addins: new territory. "' The 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 509 

old Panola Association had been disbanded, and many 
ot the churches of that body went to the Chickasaw,, 
and soon the Chickasaw was operative and active. 

Rapidly the churches gained strength of purpose 
and numbers. Revivals swept the northern part of the 
State. Lowrey, Ball and Gambrell went from strong- 
hold to stronghold, and Pitts, Smith and Boswell fired 
the country churches. Ik 1869, the Association was 
back at Cherry Creek. Lewis Ball was moderator, and 
Elijah Smith was clerk, both members of that old his- 
toric church. An effort was made to secure the history 
of the churches in 1868 and 1869. A committee was 
raised, with Joshua T. Pitts as chairman, to compile a 
history of the churches then in the Association. Some 
of the churches, such as Amaziah, Cherry Creek and 
Libert^^ had a long and praiseworthy existence, and 
their history should have been compiled and preserved 
for coming generations. The need of a well-equipped 
Baptist female school at some accessible place was also 
recognized. The boys went to the University' at Ox- 
ford, and a few of them to Mississippi College, but the 
crying need was a school for Baptist girls. The female 
school at Pontotoc, opened about this time, will re- 
ceive due attention in its place. 

The prominent men in the Association in 1869 were 
L. Ball, J. B. Gambrell, James Boswell, W. W. Finley, 
H. L. Finley, N. M. Berry, E. Smith, Calvin Tucker, 
Henry Pitts and others. 

The time had come for the Association to adopt 
some plan of systematic benevolence. In 1870, James 
Nelson visited the Association, representing the Board 
of Ministerial Education of the Convention. In 1871, 
A. A. Lomax attended the meeting of the body in the 
interest of Mississippi College, and in 1872, Prof. M.T. 



510 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

Martin, fresh from his success in raising the mortgage 
off the cohege, came to the Chickasaw Association and 
raised $550 on endowment of the college. Various 
interests were claiming the attention of the body and 
some order of benevolence was sought b^- the leading 
men. In 1870, a committee was appointed on S^'stem- 
atic Benevolence, with W. W. Finley as chairman, who 
suggested a Scriptural plan to the churches to train 
their members to the regular habit of giving. Another 
committee was appointed in 1871 and one in 1872, and 
so on. It is often hard to inaugurate a plan that will 
be accepted with moderate approval, but harder to 
make it work than to originate it. 

Later in the decade, the need of a driving wheel was 
felt imperative. The Alississippi department of the 
Baptist was enjo^-ed in North Mississippi, for Mark P. 
Lowrey was editor of it. But thinking men saw that 
the paper interest was trammeled, and the need of the 
hour was a Mississippi Baptist paper. The Associa- 
tion of 1876 met with the Bethel church of LaFayette 
county, Jas. Boswell moderator. At that meeting of 
the Association, the following resolution was adopted : 

"whereas, The Baptist State Convention at its 
late session at Jackson, withdrew the State depart- 
ment in The Baptist and appointed a committee of fif- 
teen to investigate, and to decide as to the propriety of 
getting up a State paper as an organ of the Baptist de- 
nomination ; therefore. 

Resolved, That we promise to support such an or- 
gan, if gotten up on a basis satisfactorily sound in doc- 
trine and properly conducted." 

The Association of 1878 met with the Spring Hill 
church, Pontotoc count^^ The committees were ample 
and well appointed, and the correspondence full. On 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 511 

the committee on devotion were Nathan Berry and 
Simeon Hughes, both of whom were eminently devout. 
Nathan Beriy had a religion that had hands to it ; he 
was a helper in the true sense of the word. Simeon 
Hughes had a talking face that was a thermometer for 
the man of God who was preaching, and was a line 
judge of a sermon. To the call for correspondence, re- 
sponse came from such men as Lowrey, Bolls, W, E. 
Berrj--, J. L. Johnson, J. H. Amaker, and L. R. Burress. 
These men with the talent and grace of the Association 
made the meeting distinctive in the annals of the 
Association. 

More and more, was the education interest of Bap- 
tists of the State made prominent in the bod^^ Male 
and female education received equal attention. Just 
after the Civil War female education was emphasized 
more than the education of the bo3's. It was thought 
that the boy could make his way through the tangled 
wild woods of the time by sheer force of manhood, but 
that girls should be educated to enable them to take 
proper stand in the pressing emergencies of the changed 
condition of affairs. In 1884, the committee on educa- 
tion with much grace recommended in two consecutive 
sentences, Blue Mountain Female College and Missis- 
sippi College, for the securing of intelligent membership 
in the churches. 

Toward the close of this decade, the Association 
w^as noted for its harmon^^ in its sessions and its fine 
reports. Some of the reports are truh^ masterh' in 
grasp and ample in scope. The3' show not only mature 
thought but breadth of information. Let us instance 
the report made by Joshua F. Pitts on Foreign mis- 
sions in 1888. It covers four pages of the Minutes. It 
gives the proportionate activity' of the Southern States 



512 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

in Foreign mission work, and the condition of the 
missionary work in Mexico, Brazil, Italy, Africa and 
China, and closes -with appeals for help and states what 
is needed to promote the continued progress of our 
Foreign mission work. 

In 1890, the Association met with the Midway 
church in Lafayette count3^ W. L. Souter was elected 
moderator. The Association was then composed of 
thirty-six churches, had thirty-six ordained ministers, 
and a membership in its churches of 2,942, and con- 
tributed to its benevolences $4,431.64. It was then 
fifty-two 3'ears old, without the abatement of strength. 
It had sent out churches to form three associations and 
to strengthen a new association formed on its borders. 

The writer is indebted to H. L. Finley for the table 
of the officers of the Association to date. 

List of Moderators. — W. H. Holcombe served three 
years, C. B. Waldrop three 3^ears, A. McCain two years, 
Martin Ball thirteen 3'ears, J. S. Martin one \^ear, 
A. Ray one 3^ear, James Boswell seven years, L. Ball 
six years, W. W. Finley six years, J. T. Pitts six j^ears, 
Isaac Smith five 3'ears, G. W. Potter two 3'ears, W. L. 
Souter three 3'ears, and C. W. Smith four 3'ears. 

List of Clerks. — Simeon R. Spight served seven 
years, Berr\' Collins three 3'ears, J. E. Teague three 
years, W. J. Riddle six 3'ears, H. J. Riddle one 3'ear, 
J. Martin two 3'ears, J. B. Hanon one 3'ear, Elijah 
Smith twelve 3'ears, C. A. Short three 3'ears, J. W. 
Powell seven 3'ears, G. W. Potter one 3'ear, W. U. 
Hampton two 3'ears, F. M. Ferrell seven 3'ears, and 
V. B. Tucker six 3'ears. 

List of Trea s wrers.— John Du vail served seven \'ears, 
Benjamin Collins four 3'ears, J. E. Teague two 3'ears, 
Elijah Smith twent3' 3'ears, N. M. Berrv twent3'-three 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 513 

years, W, M. Berry one year, A. D. Tucker two years, 
and B. O. Garner three years. 

The whole number of baptisms in the Association 
to date have been 13,374; and $47,601.37 has been 
given to missions. 

The session of 1891 was held with the Macedonia 
church, Union county. W. L. Souter was elected mod- 
erator, F. M. Ferrell clerk, and N. M. Berry treasurer. 
The same officers were elected the following year. 
There were at that time thirty-eight churches in the 
fraternity, with an aggregate membership of 2,991. 
There were thirty-five ordained ministers in the churches, 
and eight licentiates. The churches gave to general 
benevolence $550.93. 

During the year the Executive Board held four 
meetings, at Cherry Creek, Shady Grove, Spring Hill 
and Oak Grove. W. L. Souter proposed to travel as 
colporteur at his own charges, and books on hand for 
sale were placed in his charge. He traveled 907 miles, 
sold 119 books and distributed about 2,000 doctrinal 
tracts. The belief was expressed that the meetings of 
the Executive Board did much good for Sunda;^schools 
and missions. 

The net gain in numbers by baptism and letter was 
177. Some of the churches reported gracious revivals. 

Eighteen of the twent^^-eight churches had Sunday 
schools, with a total enrollment of 864 pupils. The 
Association had a good annual Sunday School Conven- 
tion, in which much interest was taken. The program 
for 1892 had for discussion such subjects as, "The Im- 
portance of Sunday School Music;" " Sj'stematic Giv- 
ing in Sunday-schools;" and the "Best Method of Keep- 
ing Up Interest in Sunday Schools." 

There were Ladies' Missionary Societies in eleven 
churches which contributed in 1891, $331.23. 



514 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

In the 3^ear 1892, the usual sprightliness was shown 
by the grand old Association. Its mission work was 
up to high-water mark, its Sunday schools well at- 
tended and full of interest. The session of 1893 met 
with Bay Springs church on Tuesday before the third 
Sunday in September. 

The old Chickasaw Association has ever been noted 
for good attendance, for cheerfulness of spirit, and for 
missionary zeal. It has had in it many men of remark- 
able common sense, of Christian character, and keen 
insight as to the general denominational possibilities 
and needs. The body still retains the vigor of youth. 



fflSTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 515 



CHAPTER XL 

LOUISVILLE ASSOCIATION. 
L. S. FOSTER. 

The territory of the Louisville Baptist Association 
lias always been wholly in Mississippi. The Minutes 
of its first session are lost, and those of the next two 
are so badly mutilated as to be of little value. W. M. 
Farrar, who resided in an adjoining association at the 
time, says that the organization took place at Louis- 
ville, Winston county, Mississippi, some time in the 
winter of 1838, 1839. Benedict says : " The Louisville 
Association was organized in 1838. As has already 
been stated, it arose out of the old Choctaw Confeder- 
acy. It began with ten churches, and on the ground 
which, as far as our denomination is concerned, was 
cultivated by Silas Dobbs, Joel Harvey, G. E. Nash, 
J. J. Morehead and J. J. Holman. This body came to- 
gether on what was called a half-way ground between 
mission and anti- mission principles." (History of the 
Baptists, p. 773). 

The mutilated Minutes o£ 1839, though claiming 
•that meeting at Ephesu.> church, as the "first anniver- 
sary'' of the body, yet turnish evidence that it was 
organized previously. It cannot be ascertained from 
the records, however, whether this meeting for organi- 
.zation was held late in 1838 or early in 1839. 

The churches composing the body in 1839— its first 



516 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

anniversary — were Mt. Zion, Noxubee county ; Hebzi- 
bah, (Louisville), Winston county; Libert3^, Choctaw 
count}" ; Hebron, Attala count^^ ; Ephesus, Noxubee 
county; Good Hope, Winston county; Bethlehem, 
Choctaw county ; and New Hope, Neshoba count3\ 

So far as the material in hand is concerned, there 
is no possibility of presenting the causes which led to 
the formation of the body. 

In 1845, "a motion was made to dissolve the As- 
sociation, which was taken up for consideration, and 
after much discussion, the Association resolved not to 
dissolve." The Minutes are silent as to the cause of 
this movement. 

In 1859, "preamble and resolution was offered by 
W. W. Nash, relative to the division of the Association, 
and after consultation it was postponed until the next 
meeting of the Association, and the churches were re- 
quested to give an expression of their wishes in their 
letters." 

In 1860, this division was made and letters of dis- 
mission were granted to sixteen churches, (See Spiritual 
Condition of the Churches) which formed the Kosci- 
usko Association. 

It is made the duty of the clerk to preserve a file of 
the printed Minutes of the bod}'. It is not strange, 
however, that the file, passing through the hands of 
different clerks, should become worn and mutilated and 
incomplete, as it now is. 

The Association has each year enjoined it upon the 
clerk to have the Minutes printed and distributed 
among the churches, and has allowed him a compen- 
sation for the same. The number of copies published 
each year, together with the amounts paid to the 
clerks, have been placed in the financial table. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 517 

In one instance, (1859), there was a delaA' in the 
pubhcation of the Minutes until within a short time of 
the next annual meeting, which was explained by the 
clerk in a card in the Minutes of the next 3'ear, (1860), 
as being caused b\' the negligence of the printer. 

As to the time, the first recorded meetings of the 
bodj-- were held on Saturday' before the second Lord's 
da^' in September. But, in 1841, it met Saturday- before 
the second Lord's day in October. In 184-5, the follow- 
ing session was appointed for the third Lord's day in 
September, but, in ISl-G, the time was placed back to 
the second Lord's da^- in October, as formerly. In 
1873, the propriety of making the time to embrace the 
third Lord's day in September was proposed for the 
consideration of the churches, but no action was taken, 
and the time since has remained the second Lord's day 
in October. The time was once (1876) made to begin 
on Friday, but the next 3'ear was changed back to 
Saturday. 

As to place of meeting, there seems to have been no 
definite plan of fixing it until the Association was 
divided into three districts in 1841, and into two in 
1842. The meetings then alternated between the dis- 
tricts, and for some years the churches in each district 
decided where the meeting should be held. It was 
found, however, that this plan sometimes led to con- 
fusion, and the Association determined to decide where, 
in the respective districts, its meetings should be held. 
After a time the districts ceased to be observed in the 
selection of a place of meeting. In 1881, the Associa- 
tion was re-divided into four districts, and the meetings 
were to be held in these alternately. 

Maps of the Association were published in the Min- 
utes of 1881 and 1882. 



518 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

It has been the custom of the Association, at each 
annual session, to receive corresponding messengers 
from other religious bodies "of the same faith and 
order," and to appoint messengers to other bodies. 
During its existence, there has been maintained corres- 
pondence with the following bodies : 

(1). The Southern Baptist Convention. (2). The 
Mississippi Baptist State Convention. At one time,, 
however, (1843), the correspondence with this body 
w^as interrupted by some little misunderstanding. In 
a few years this passed away and the correspondence 
was thenceforth hearty and cordial. (3). General As- 
sociation of North Mississisppi. (4.) Neighboring Dis- 
trict Associations, viz: Choctaw, Union, Zion, Colum- 
bus, Cahawba, Mt. Pisgah, Aberdeen, Yalobusha,. 
Harmon^', Yazoo, Kosciusko and Oktibbeha. 

Besides regular correspondence, there has been re- 
ceived occasional correspondence, viz.: (1). From dis- 
tant Associations — in 1866, S. W. Eddins, from the 
Tuscaloosa; in 1875, J. C. Foster, from the Bethlehem. 
(2). Visitors or agents for denominational enterprises,. 
viz.: In 1843, Benj. B. Smith, D. D. Dupree ; 1847, Jos. 
M. Robinson; 1848, J. J. S. Miles and Isaac Merchant; 
1851, John Holman; 1852, J. T. Fulks, J. R. Graves, 
Tennessee Baptist, and J. C. Keeney of Mary Washing- 
ton College; 1853, C. W. Gailard, S.Wilkerson, A.Goss, 
W. F. O'Reilly, John Linder, W. G. Caperton, Thos. 
Lockhart of Domestic Mission Board of the Southern 
Baptist Convention, and Thos Compere of Arkansas ; 
1856, D. Dobbs, G. Woodruff, D. G. McGarrity and 
A. M. Hanks; 1857, J. H. vStribling, Texas, Thos. Lock- 
hart and A. W. Chambliss; 1864, J. B. Link, Army 
missionary-; 1871, M. P. Lowrey, State Convention; 
1874, Prof. M.T. Martin, Mississippi College, and Joel 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 519 

Towers, Orphan's Home; 1875, J. W. Sanford, Centen- 
nial and Miss Mary J. Welsh, Southern Baptist Publi- 
cation Society; 1880, M. T. Martin, L. S. Foster, 
Western Recorder, and J. C. Foster, State Mission 
Board; 1880 and 1881, L. E. Hall, State Mission 
Board. 

Corresponding messengers have been regularly ap- 
pointed for all the bodies with which the Association 
corresponded, and several times resolutions were 
passed authorizing any member within its bounds to 
act as corresponding messenger, who might present a 
copy of the Minutes at the meeting of such bod^^ 

A letter of correspondence has been prepared and 
published in the Minutes of every session since 1851, 
except those of 1864, 1865, 1871, 1880 and 1882. Its 
omission in these w as no doubt due to the oversight of 
the clerks ; at any rate, it was due to this cause in 1882. 
This corresponding letter usually gave an account of 
the representation, the interest of the meeting, a sum- 
mary of statistics, account of missionary work and the 
time, place and preacher of next meeting. 

Committees: — (1). Nominations. It has been the 
custom of the body to have at each session a commit- 
tee on nominations, charged with the duty, in early 
years, of nominating persons to preach the Introduc- 
tory and Missionary sermons, and to write the Cir- 
cular Letter, and later, to simply nominate the minister 
for the introductory sermon. These nominations ap- 
pear elsewhere. 

In 1869, a special nomination was made by the 
body, viz: "J. R. Graves, of Nashville, Tennessee," was 
invited "to be present at our next session and deliver 
a discourse on baptism.'' This request was not ac- 
cepted. 



520 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

(2). Arrangements. Until 1867, it was customary 
to have a committee to arrange "the order of business" 
for its guidance, and such order was usually followed 
except for some special reason. Though this coinmit- 
tee is no longer appointed, there is a sort of traditional 
"order of business which is ordinarih^ followed more or 
less closeh^" 

(3). Standing Committees, or committees ap- 
pointed at one annual session to report at the next. 
The first appearance of these committees is in IS 50, in 
a resolution that the Association "appoint committees 
to report on the following subjects, at its next annual 
session, viz : 

The Bible Cause, Foreign, Home and Indian ^lission. 

In 1857, the appointment of Standing Committees 
was dispensed with ;"' but, in 1859, "Standing Commit- 
tees were appointed as follows :"' 

On Home and Foreign missions, Sabbath schools, 
Bible Cause and Publications. 

In 1861, these committees were again dispensed 
with, but, in 1882, were appointed on Doinestic and 
Foreign Missions, Publications, Ministerial Education, 
S^^stematic Benevolence, Sabbath Schools, Mississippi 
College and Temperance. 

(4). Special Committees in those meetings where 
there were Standing Committees, have generally been 
appointed on the sulyects of Arrangement of Business, 
Preaching, Digest of Letters, Queries and Requests, 
Nominations and Finance. 

(5). On Preaching. At each annual session there 
has been a committee to arrange divine services during 
the session and especialh' for the Lord's daj'. This 
committee has alwa^'S arranged, when previously ap- 
pointed, a missionary sermon for the Sunday of the 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 521 

Association, and also as many other sermons as were 
in accordance with circumstances. The Hmits of this 
work prevent the mention of the preachers of each 
session. 

In 1869, the Sabbath sermon of T. B. Altom was 
requested for pubHcation, and, in 1870, a sermon on 
Baptism b3^ D. H. Dobbs was also requested for publi- 
cation. 

Co-operation : — (1). Southern Baptist Convention. 
In 1846, the A-ear after the formation of the Southern 
Baptist Convention, the Association indorsed the act 
of the State Convention in dissolving its connection 
with the old Triennial Convention, for reasons which 
need not be mentioned, and thus, of course, identified it- 
self with the work of the Southern Baptist Convention. 

Its co-operation with that body has been mainly 
through the State Convention rather than otherwise, 
and may not have been so hearty as it would have been 
had the members been familiar with its enterprises and 
work. But with comparatively little knowledge of the 
convention's work, it is not strange that it has done 
comparativeh' little in co-operation with it. Yet, 
w^henever the different enterprises of the convention 
have been presented, there has always been a generous 
response. 

In 1848, W. M. Farrar was present as agent of one 
of the Convention's Boards, presented its claims and 
received a handsome contribution and subscription. 
In 1849, " Association suspended business a short time 
to allow W. M. Farrar, agent of the Boards of Foreign 
and Domestic Missions of the Southern Baptist Con- 
vention to address the Association and present the 
objects of his agency." 

What has been done in the different departments of 
the convention's work will appear elsewhere. 



522 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

(2). Mississippi Baptist State Convention. While 
at one time the relations of this Association to the 
Mississippi Baptist State Convention were somewhat 
ruffled, yet its sympathy and aid have generally been 
given to the convention's work. 

In 1848, a resolution declared the Association "a 
member of the Mississippi Baptist State Convention." 
The sum often dollars, necessary to entitle the Associa- 
tion to a delegate, was then raised and N. E. Woodruff 
w^as appointed a delegate. The same action, substan- 
tially, was taken at several subsequent sessions, and, 
besides the sum of $4 yearly, for several years, was 
raised to aid in printing the Minutes of the Convention. 

In 1851, the Association being entitled from the 
certificate of W. M. Farrar, agent of the Southern Bap- 
tist Convention, to twelve delegates in the Baptist 
State Convention, the delegation was appointed upon 
a resolution which was passed. 

In 1852, two delegates were elected to the Conven- 
tion, and, in 1853, it was 

'^Resolved, That this Association send three dele- 
gates to represent her in the State Convention at its 
next session." The delegates in 1852 were : W.W. Nash 
and Robert Crenshaw, and, in 1853, John Micou, Silas 
Dobbs and J. B. McLelland, and the amount to entitle 
the delegates was raised by the members. 

In 1853, "the money raised for Indian missions 
was ordered to be sent up by our corresponding mes- 
sengers to the State Convention." 

Throughout the history of the Association its co- 
operation with the State Convention will be seen in its 
aid to the various enterprises of that body. 

Bible cause : — It is becoming in every religious 
body to exhibit, in its actions as well as words, its 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 523 

hearty belief that the Bible is the Word of God and is 
worthy of intelligent study and of universal circulation,, 
and contains the only knowledge which is able to make 
men wise unto salvation. A fundamental article of be- 
hef of this body is, "That the Scriptures comprising the 
Old and New Testaments, are the Word of God, and the 
only rule of faith and practice." Besides devoting a 
large portion of each annual session to the preaching of 
the truths of this blessed Book, the Association has, m 
other ways, indicated its conviction that the Bible is 
worthy of universal circulation. 

The report in 1851, by Silas Dobbs, says: "God, of 
his infinite mercv, has been pleased to give to his fallen 
creatures a revelation of himself and His will concerning 
them. This revelation * * * we prize above every other 
treasure. We also feel it to be an imperative duty rest- 
ing upon us, as its lovers, to scatter its leaves, 'which 
are for the healing of the nations,' over all the habita- 
ble parts of the earth, that all may hear, learn and tear 
the mighty God of Hosts." Reference is made to the 
Bible Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, at 
Nashville, Tenn., and a resolution recommends that 
Board to the hearty patronage of the churches. 

The unspeakable blessings flowing from the circula- 
tion of the Bible, the blessedness of the work of giving 
it to the people of earth and the claims of His work 
upon Christians, are the thoughts of the report m 
1852, by J. B. McLelland. A resolution again earnestly 
recommends the Bible Board at Nashville. 

"No subject has higher and stronger claims upon us 
than the publication and distribution of the word of 
Life," says John M. Reid, 1853. "It leads us in the 
way of truth and righteousness. * * * It is a declara- 
tion and expounder of our faith. * * * It is our Book of 



524 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

discipline." A yearh' contribution to the Bible work of 
the Southern Baptist Convention is heartily recom- 
mended, 

T. P. Montgomery, 1854, speaks thus: "The Bible 
is the way-bill from this world of sin and sorrow to an 
inheritance incorruptible, undeliled, and that fadeth 
not awaj', reserved in heaven for 3'ou, the instruments 
in the hands of God for the conversion of the nations of 
the earth. To give to all this blessed volume is the 
most God-like work that mortals can do. Let us then 
send it abroad till the dark places of earth shall hear 
the Savior's name and be glad ; till error in all its forms 
shall be dethroned, till truth shall dwell in ever\' heart, 
and all shall see e^-e to eye and speak one and the same 
thing." 

In the report of 1856, b_v W. H. Head, there is a 
historical sketch of Bible work in America, mentioning 
the refusal of the American and Foreign Bible Society, 
the withdrawal of Southern Baptists from that Society 
because of sectional questions. 

In 1858, by the adoption of a preamble and resolu- 
tions, the Association withdrew its co-operation from 
that Board and recommended non-co-operation to the 
churches, because, it "sought to proscribe the issues of 
the South-western Publishing House, * * * and to de- 
stroy the Christian character and usefulness of its 
former Secretary, A. C.Dayton;" claiming that 3'et "we 
still do cherish the Bible Cause and ardenth' desire the 
largest possible distribution of the pure Word of God 
in all languages and among all peoples." 

A resolution in 1864 "approved the organization 
and objects of the Soldier's Bible and Missionary 
Union, of Alississippi," at Hillsboro, Scott county, and 
pledged co-operation in its work. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 525 

This is the last formal declaration of the Associa- 
tion upon this subject, but throughout its histor3'^, in 
all its work, and especially in the expressions in regard 
to Sunday schools, the importance of teaching and cir- 
culating Bible truth is earnestly advocated. 

Book Depository: — The press is a mighty agency 
in advancing civilization and religion, or in promoting 
vice and evil. The religious press is an instrument of 
incalculable power in disseminating religious truth. As 
one means of utilizing this agency, the Association at 
one time determined to CvStablish a Depository for re- 
ligious books. 

In 1853, "W. W. Nash proposed the following, 
which was unanimously adopted : 

Resolved, That we locate a Book Depository in 
our bounds, to be supplied with our denominational 
books, and in order to have a supply of books, that we 
appoint three agents, who shall send for and keep up 
such supply; provided, said agents do not involve the 
Association in debt more than the worth of the supply 
of books on hand at the next annual meeting; and that 
said agents shall make a full report of their proceed- 
ings at the next meeting of the bod3^" 

This Depository was to be located at Kosciusko, 
and the agents were W. W. Nash, D. M. Comfort, and 
E. M. Hammond. These agents, after some time, pro- 
ceeded to establish a Depository at Kosciusko and sup- 
ply it with books. At the session of 1854, they re- 
ported having obtained $150 worth of books, with the 
most of that amount on hand. It was expected that a 
missionary would have been in the field most of the 
time who should act as colporteur, but owing to the 
lack of a missionary a large portion of the time, very 
few books were sold. The agents urged the Associa- 



526 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

tion to devise some plan for selling these and keeping 
up the supply. 

For a small portion of the next associational year 
W. W. Nash was missionary, and sold $60.00 worth of 
books, and the agents reported $60.00 on hand. They 
again "earnestly recommend the Association to use 
every possible effort to continue a distribution of our 
religious books. * * * Many of these books are valua- 
ble, and of great aid in attaining a more speedy, and 
correct understanding of the Bible." 

In 1856, the agents of the Depository reported, 
" that but few books have been sold since our last re- 
port, except what have been sold bv brother Wilson, 
your missionary-." He sold $26.00 worth. They say: 
*' There are yet ninety-six volumes, the worth of which 
we set down at $50.00. We suggest the propriety of 
some plan being devised bv which the^- ma^' be dis- 
posed of.'' 

In 1857, the agents reported, that, "since our last 
Association there has been nothing done in the wa\' of 
purchasing or selling books, and that there is atiU 
$40.42 worth of books.'* They repeat the request that 
"some plan be adopted b^- which the books qi^ ha.iid 
may be disposed of as early as possible.'' 

"Upon the motion of W. H. Head, it was ordered 
that the treasurer pay for the books on hand, and that 
the\' be donated to the New Prospect Baptist Book 
Society.'' 

Publications : — As a means of further utilizing the 
power of the press in spreading Baptist or Bible truths, 
the Association has ever recommended to its churches 
the duty of subscribing for and circulating the religious 
periodie^J* of the denomination. In 1844, the follow- 
ing was adopted : 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 527 

Whereas, It is of great importance that there be 
some organ of pubHc communication through the press 
for the diffusion of religious intelHgence among brethren 
of the same faith and order, therefore, 

Resolved, That the papers called The Baptist, 
printed at Nashville, Tenn., the Alabarnn Baptist, 
printed at Marion Ala., aud the Christian Index, print- 
ed at Pennfield Ga., be and they are hereby recommend- 
ed to the patronage of the pastors and brethren of the 
churches of this Association.'" 

In 1851, The Bible Advocate, Louisville, Ky., and 
The Tennessee Baptist, Nashville Tenn., were recom- 
mended. "The circulation of books published or kept 
on hand for sale by the Southern Baptist Publication 
Society, of Charleston, S. C, and the Tennessee Baptist 
Publication Society, at Nashville, Tenn.," is recom- 
mended in 1852. It is said: "We call the attention of 
the brethren especially to the following works as being 
greatly needed in the better understanding of our prin- 
ciples : Benedict's History of Baptists, Howell on Com- 
munion, R. Fuller on Baptism and Communion, Church 
Member's Hand Book, Howell's Evils of Infant Bap- 
tism, Pengilley's Scriptural Guide to Baptism, Slack's 
Reasons for Becoming a Baptist." 

In 1857, W. W. Nash presents the report. He urges 
the claims of the Mississippi Baptist, of Jackson, by J. 
T. Freeman. "God has given us a banner that it may 
be displayed because of the truth.'' "Will we let it trail 
in the dust for want of a generous patronage ? Let at 
least one copy be found in every famih^'" The Home 
and Foreign Journal is also recommended. 

In 1858, J. A. P. Campbell presents the report, and 
again recommends the State Baptist paper. It is de- 
plored that because of the failure to read a denomina- 



528 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

tional paper, Baptists are generally ignorant of their 
distinctive views. Every one should read an able Bap- 
tist paper to "enable him to keep the truth and avoid 
error." 

D. H. Dobbs reports in 1859, again recommending 
the same State paper and urges the dutA^ of meeting the 
needs of children for such reading as will lead them to 
the Savior, such as the Children's Friend. He also re- 
commends the adoption of a plan for circulating "our 
valuable publications." 

Reference is made in 1861, by O. Clarke, in the re- 
port, to the failure of a number of denominational pap- 
ers since the Civil War began ; also to the importance 
of sustaining good literature because of the influence it 
wields, and especially of sustaining the State organ, 
now by A. Jones. 

During the dark da^'s of the several j^ears follow- 
ing, the attention of the Association was wholly ab- 
sorbed in other enterprises, and nothing is even said in 
the records on the subject of religious publications. 
But, in 1870, the paper of J. R. Graves and the South- 
western Publishing House are recommended. An agent 
(for the Orphan's Home) is requested to use every en- 
deavor to increase the circulation of the Orphans Home 
Banner. 

In 1871, the report is offered by M. A. Metts. He 
says: "In order to be eflicient Christians we must be 
intelligent Christians, and in order to be intelligent 
Christians we must be reading Christians." The Mis- 
sissippi department of The Baptist is recommended, 
also again the Home and Foreign Journal. 

T. A. J. Owen reports in 1872. In addition to peri- 
odicals already mentioned, he recommends Ford's 
Christian Repository, and saj^s any family with these 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 529 

journals can hardly remain ignorant of Baptist doc- 
trine and practice." 

It is said in the report of 1875, by M. A. Metts,. 
that "the good resulting from the reading of good 
books and papers cannot be over-estimated. When you 
find a family well provided v^ith good rehgious litera- 
ture, 3'ou will in almost ever3^ instance find one that is 
pious." For several years substantially the same pub- 
lications are recommended. 

In 1877, W. E. W. Estes reports, and in addition 
to former recommendations, mentions the Mississippi 
Baptist Record, organ of the State Convention. 

This is warmly and heartily recommended again in 
1878 by D. H. Do'bbs ; and in 1879 together with those 
formerly mentioned, by E. A. Fant; while the same are 
earnestly commended again in 1880, by W. H. H. Fan- 
cher, who says: "In connection with the Hol3^ Scrip- 
tures, sound literature is a healthful exercise." 

In 1881, J. M. Dalton reports, recommending the 
same publications adding the Western Recorder and 
the publications of the American Baptist Publication 
Society. 

The report in 1882 says : "The religious press is 
one of the most powerful agencies among God's people 
for the dissemination of religious truth. It can do a 
work and wield an influence which greatl3^ supplement 
the preached Word. To the full extent of their ability 
Christians should utilize this mighty agency for good." 
The same publications are mentioned and it is said: 
"If we would reach the highest efficiency as an Associa- 
tion and as individual churches and Christians, v^e 
should not fail to supply ourselves with some or all of 
these publications. It is a dut^^ which we owe to our- 
selves, our children and the "blessed Master himself^ 
who is supremely worthy of our highest efficiency." 



530 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

Ministerial education : — There are numerous ex- 
pressions throughout the records of the Association 
which indicate that it heartily approves in theor\% of 
an educated ministry. While practically it has not 
done as much in this direction as it ought to have done, 
yet its members have been willing, whenever the oc- 
casion demanded, to assist in the education of young 
ministers. 

In 1849, Resolved, That the amount ($20) we send 
to the Convention be appropriated to the education of 
young men for the mmistr^-. 

In 1854, the following action was taken : 

"Whereas, God has said, 'Ma- people are de- 
stroyed for lack of knowledge" (Hos. 4:5, 6) and, 'I 
will give you pastors according to mj' heart, who shall 
feed you wath knowledge and understanding' (Jer. 3:15) 
and 

Whereas, The Savior has made it the dut\' of his 
ministers to 'teach all nations,' (Matt. 28 : 19) and the 
Holy Spirit, through the Apostle Paul, sa\'S to Timo- 
thy, and through him to all gospel ministers: ' Study to 
show thyself approved unto God, a workman that 
needeth not to be ashamed, righth^ dividing the word 
of truth' (2 Tim. 1 : 15), and that 'a bishop, or pastor, 
:niust not be a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he 
fall into the condemnation of the devil' (1 Tim. 3:6); 
lience the positive command to the ministry, 'Lay 
hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other 
men's sins,' (1 Tim. 5:22.) Therefore, 

Resolved, That we earnestly recommend our 
cliurches and our ministers especially, to take heed to 
the advice of the Holy Spirit upon this subject, and at 
the same time to carefullv look out and properh- en- 
courage all ministerial gifts that ma^- be in their midst, 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 531 

and that they advise all young licentiates to go to 
Mississippi College, where, by the aid of the Mississippi 
Baptist Ministerial Education Society, they can obtain 
their board and tuition free of charges." 

In 1857, a resolution recommended the churches 
to look out young men and advise them to the same 
course suggested last year. The sum of $77.50 w^as 
raised, in cash and pledges, to aid J. W, Sims, a liceU' 
-tiate of Wake Forest church. 

In 1858, W. M. Farrar made som^ 'l-emarks on the 
subject of ministerial educatiau. and proposed a col- 
lection to aid that object/' >rhe amount raised, $9.25, 
was forwarded to the '^.ocietv above mentioned. 

After earnest appeals by j. B. Poteet and W. H.Wil- 
;son, m 185^. g^ ^ash contribution of $18.75 and pledges 
-tor ^73..-"^ J were made for the aid of T. W. Sims. 

^n 1860 T. A. J. Owen "made an appeal to the As- 
sociation to aid John Wilson in obtaining an education, 
followed by W. H. Head, in behalf of H. J. Vanlanding- 
ham for the same object, when the brethren came for- 
ward and laid on the table $11.35, which was divided 
between them.'' 

In 1871, ^'Resolved, That a collection be taken up 
on the Sabbath and the mone}^ placed in the hands of 
D. H. Dobbs to purchase books for the preachers of the 
Association, to be distributed among them as to their 
necessities." The work of Mississippi College in fur- 
nishing free tuition to young ministers was referred to 
and heartily endorsed. It was endorsed again in 1872 
and 1873, and it is said in 1874. " Let us have a noble 
part in building up this institution, whose doors are 
open wide for the reception of all the young gifts — the 
TL<ird's called — of our churches," 

Iq l§7g j^l^" report on Mississippi College, by M. A. 



532 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

Metts, sa3^s : ** We have many precious j^oung brethren 
in our College, who are studying with a view to the 
ministry of God's Word. Let us therefore recommend 
to the churches that the3^ all take up a public collection 
at the regular meetings in December for the purpose of 
relieving the Ministerial Education Board of embar- 
rassment."' 

In 1877, "some books in the hands of D. H. Dobbs,. 
purchased by funds belonging to the Association, were 
distributed to the ministers of the same." 

In 1879, the report by M. A. Aletts sa3^s : "The 
great advantage of an educated ministr\^ is admitted 
by all. The question now is as to the practicability, 
and the modes and plans or institutions in which it is 
to be done. * * * We would urge the prayerful consid- 
eration of acting in the premises upon the churches and 
young ministers, and w^ould recommend our college at 
Clinton, Miss., as a suitable place for the literarv train- 
ing of 3^oung ministers, and the Southern Baptist Theo- 
logical Seminary, Louisville, Ky., as the place for their 
theological education. This institution is thoroughly 
organized and in fine working order, and its faculty is 
composed of the best Baptist talent in America. Our 
own college, at Clinton, is also in fine working con- 
dition, and has a complete, tried and efficient faculty^ 
composed of our Alississippi brethren, and is doing a 
great and good work." 

In 1880, ^'Resolved, That this Association make an 
earnest effort to raise $150 for the purpose of sending 
W. T. Carroll to school for the next 3^ear, and that it is 
hereb\' made the dut}^ of the Executive Board to attend 
to this matter." Immediately $59.50 was raised in 
cash and $52.00 pledged for this object. 

Circumstances were such that W. T. Carroll could 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 533 

not attend school, and this fund remained in the hands 
of the Executive Board, and in 1881, a portion of it 
was returned to the churches and the remainder, to- 
gether with an additional amount, was appropriated 
to the purchase of books for young ministers. In 1882, 
M. A. Metts stated that with the young minister's 
fund he had presented an equal number of books to 
brethren Carroll, Lanford, Woodruff and Edwards, with 
a set of books and a small fund still on hand. * * * He 
He was instructed to pay the fund to W. T. Carroll and 
present thebookstoJ.A.Parham." The report of 1881, 
by J. D. Adams, refers to Paul's language (1 Tim. 3: 2), 
** a bishop must be. * * * apt to teach," (2 Tim. 5:2) 
"These things commit thou to faithful men, who shall 
be able to teach others also." (v. 13) "Study to show 
thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth 
not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth," 
and (Titus 1:9) "A minister must be able by sound 
doctrine both to exhort and convince the gain-sayers." 
The usefulness of many uneducated men is admitted, 
but it is urged that "it is the duty of the Baptists of 
Mississippi to aid in the education of their young min- 
isters." An immediate contribution for this work is 
urged, and the funds contributed are used for the buy- 
ing of books for young ministers, as mentioned above, 
for none in the Association are situated s o that they 
can attend College. 

Denominational institutions :— As first among the 
institutions for higher education, which are conducted 
under the care of the denomination, the Association 
has regarded Mississippi college, located at Clin- 
ton, MISS., as the institution of the Baptists for the ed- 
ucation of their sons. 

This institution was founded in 1826, when it was 



534 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

chartered as "Hempstead Academ^^" by the Legislature, 
In 1827, the name was changed to "Mississippi Acad- 
emy," and in 1830, to "Mississippi College." In its 
early j'-ears it made but little progress, and in 1842, it 
w^as placed under the exclusive control of the Presby- 
terians, and a theological professorship was added. In 
1849 it declined, became involved in debt and was not 
much patronized. In July, 1850, the Presb3^terians re- 
linquished all their claims, and in November, 1850, the 
Trustees tendered it to the Mississippi Baptist Conven- 
tion. Since that time, although passing through sea- 
sons of darkness and crushing financial embarrasements 
it has continued the property of the Convention and 
the College of the Baptists of the State. Several ef- 
forts have iDcen made to endow it which have only been 
partially successful. During its dark days more espec- 
ialh^ it has called upon the aid of the Associations of 
the State. 

In 1852, "an opportunity^ w^as offered W. M. Far- 
rar, agent of Mississippi College, to address the Associ- 
ation on the subject of his mission."' He did so, "pre- 
senting the claims of the College upon the Baptists of 
this State. J. R. Graves follow^ed him in an address on 
the same subject, after which pledges were taken 
amounting to $1,500. 

In 1854, E. C. Eager was present as the agent of 
the College, was courteously received and allow^ed to 
present the claims of the College. The following action 
was taken : 

"Whereas, Mississippi College is now upon a firm 
basis, nearly eighty thousand dollars of the one hun- 
dred thousand dollars endow^ment being subscrib- 
ed; and. 

Whereas, Said College bids fair to become one of 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 535 

the best institutions of the South, having had the last 
year five teachers and one hundred and thirty-seven 
pupils ; therefore, 

Resolved, That we cordially commend said Col- 
lege to all our churches, and recommend our brethren 
to send their sons to this institution instead of sending 
them out of the State." 

The report of 1871 speaks of the healthful location 
of the College, its accessibility, its large number of stu- 
dents the last session, the cheapness of attending it, 
the thoroughness of its courses and the efficiency of its 
facult3% and earnestly urges its claims upon the pat- 
ronage and support of the Baptists of the State. 

In 1872, the report hj N. 0. Adams thus concludes : 
"This College is worthy of the patronage, and claims 
the support of all Baptists." 

In 1873, M. A. Metts reporting, says: "This Col- 
lege is in a more prosperous financial condition than it 
was a few years past. * * * It has been released from 
its embarrassed financial condition. * * * But help is 
still needed. * * * Will we do our duty? * * * Shall the 
College, which is the pride of every Mississippi Baptist, 
be sustained?" 

D. H. Dobbs, in 1874, was appointed a member of 
the Board of Visitors of the College, and W. M. Farrar 
was appointed its associational agent. The report by 
M. A. Metts says: "One thing is needful, under the 
blessing of God, to make the College a grand success — an 
ample endowment. This is needed; this we ought to 
have ; this we must have ; and when the hosts of Miss- 
issippi say we will have it, the work is done. What 
shall we say? * * * Let us show hy our actions that 
we give the agent a heart3^ reception, and bid him God 
speed." 



536 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

The friends of the College, in 1875, availed them- 
selves of the general interest in regard to the Centennial 
proposed b^^the United States in commemoration of its 
centennary of civil liberty, and determined to commem- 
orate the centennary of religious liberty by endeavoring 
to complete the endowment of the College. This was 
to be accomplished b^' securing one dollar, if possible, 
from ever\' Baptist in the State. This Centennial move- 
ment was represented by J. W. Sanford at the session 
of 1875, and brought before the Association by a spec- 
ial committee's report, A mass-meeting w^as held Sat- 
urday night in behalf of this work, and a contribution 
(amount not given) was made to it. 

In 1876, the report byM. A. Metts speaks despond- 
ently of the financial prospects of the College. The 
Centennial failed to realize the needed $100,000, the 
College is in debt, many have failed to pay the interest 
on their endowment notes, and many more have failed 
to pa}' the notes. It is recommended that all churches 
make a contribution for it in December. A public col- 
lection on Sunday is divided between the College and 
Foreign missions. 

The College is eamestW commended, and its pat- 
ronage and support urged after this time, in connection 
A?rith ministerial education. 

MARY WASHINGTON COLLEGE was an institution 
established by the Baptists of several Associations, and 
located at Pontotoc, Miss. It was presided over at 
first by H. H. Tucker, now of the Christian Index, At- 
lanta, Ga. It was represented in 1852 by J. C. Keeney, 
President, who presented its claims "to the patronage 
of the members of the Association." His address was 
* 'listened to with deep interest and attention." 

Yalobusha female college, located at gre- 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 537 

NADA, was at one time a flourishing Baptist institution. 
In 1847, W.M. Farrar "read a communication in rela- 
tion to'' this institution, and a resolution appointed 
M. A. Metts, A. Reed, W. M. Farrar, and C. E. Brame 
as Trustees of the College, 

Temperance : — The Association has uniformh' ex- 
pressed itself strongly and unequivocally upon the duty 
of temperance, and recommended to the churches the 
duty of promptly dealing with those who have been 
guilty of intemperance. 

An earnest report in 1852, by J. B. McLelland, says, 
in substance, that the cause of temperance has superior 
claims upon Baptists because in the past they have 
peculiarly suffered from the baneful effects of drinking 
ardent spirits. This appeals to them for all their 
energy and influence in the glorious work of promoting 
temperance. Three States have legally prohibited the 
importation and sale of all beverages of hell, with their 
" w^ithering, hissing, scorching, blasting and soul-de- 
stroying" power. Much good has been done bj^ human 
institutions in the warfare against the demon of intem- 
perance and deserve our warmest sympathy. In 1853, 
the same member urges, in addition to the above, the 
importance of speaking out upon this subject, and "the 
right of any community to say whether there shall be 
in it a whiskey-shop." 

In 1854, G. G. Snedicor, W. M. Farrar and W. H. 
Head were appointed a committee to memorialize the 
Legislature to enact a law prohibiting the sale of in- 
toxicants as a beverage, and a resolution declares 
"That we will ever unite our fervent pra^-ers to Al- 
might}^ God that the demoralizing influence which is 
and has been so extensively felt from the use and retail 
of intoxicating drinks may be removed from our land." 



538 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

By some misunderstanding this memorial was not 
prepared. 

The effort heretofore (in temperance work) has 
deeph' impressed thousands who still stand firm in 
abstinence principles, and as great good has thus been 
accomplished, all friends of this cause are urged to 
firmness and faithfulness to their pledge in the report 
of 1855. 

A resolution in 1869 earnesth' urges the churches 
to use all possible influence by precept, example and 
firm discipline to arrest the torrent of intemperance in 
the land and its tide of human woes ; for, urges W. H. 
Steele, in the report of 1870, the progress of intemper- 
ance is alarming, and God's people do not strive as 
they should to arrest it. 

In 1871, through J. \V. A. Clifton, the body urges 
that, "while the monster is in our midst, no effort 
should be left untried to stay'' its destructive power. 
All Christians "should unite to put it down by all 
possible means." 

Rather than dishonor the cause of Christ by often 
repeated "shameful acknowledgements," Christians 
are urged to shun intoxicants as a deadly poison, in 
1872, by M. Bennett, chairman, and it is sadh' con- 
fessed, in 1873, I. C. F. Moore, chairman, that "too 
many brethren will drink and drink too much, too." 
Reference is also made to the strong laws now in ex- 
istence. 

In 1874, C. H. Cagle, chairman, the grief, shame 
and wretchedness of intemperance are mentioned, and 
Christians are earnesth' urged to flee from intoxicants 
as from a deadly serpent and as from a source of re- 
proach upon Christianit3^ 

In 1875, in view of the great evil of intemperance, 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 539 

a resolution recommends the churches "to discount] 
enance, in every possible way, the habit of drinking 
intoxicating liquors." 

In 1881 and 1882, the report by N. Q. Adams de- 
picts the destructive nature of ardent spirits, and the 
power of a habit of drinking, and earnestly urges that 
it is entirely inconsistent with the Christian profession 
to have an^^thing at all to do with intoxicants, either 
in drinking or selling them or signing a petition .for 
another to sell, and recommends that all professed 
children of God — soldiers of Christ — marshal their 
forces together against this destructive enemy — whis- 
key. A resolution endorsed the prohilDition movement 
of this State. 

Systematic benevolence: — Every religious body 
has its own peculiar manner for transacting the work 
Avhich comes before it. Some Associations, from time 
immemorial, have devoted a special amount of time to 
considering the best means for securing system in^ 
"eliciting, combining and directing" the energies and 
contributions of their churches. Others have rather 
addressed themselves to the systematic presentation of 
the various departments of v^ork to the churches. Of 
the latter class is this Association. In one or two 
instances, however, its action has indicated a convic- 
tion of the importance of system upon the part of the 
churches. 

In 1850, the following was passed : 

"Whereas, Some of the churches and many indi- 
vidual members of the respective churches composing 
this body have been contributing of their means to the 
support of various benevolent objects through agents 
and otherwise, while, perhaps, a large majority of 
brethren composing this Association, have done little 



540 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

or nothing for any of those objects simph' from the 
fact that they have not been appHed to for aid, and 
the impracticability of haying agents enough to yisit 
all the churches. We therefore feel the necessity of 
adopting a system bj^ which all may be reached, and 
all may contribute something ^yithout am- personal 
sacrifice, and yet greatly increase the amount now 
realized by the various boards of benevolence. We 
therefore recommend to the churchesof this Association 
the adoption of the following resolutions: 

"1. That the Boards of Foreign and Domestic Mis- 
sions of the Southern Baptist Convention, the Indian 
Mission Association and the Bible Cause, are objects 
deserving our sympathies, praj^ers and contributions. 

" 2. That each member of this church agrees to pay 
into the hands of its treasurer annually, ten cents, or 
more, for each of the objects mentioned in the above 
resolution, and those of us who are heads of families, 
agree to pa^' a like amount for each of the members of 
our respective families who ma^' be members of the 
church."" 

In 1870, resolutions were passed urging constant 
and systematic action by the churches for the Orphan's 
Home. 

Aid to aged ministers or their widows : — Truly 
is it that ministers are "the servants of the churches." 
They spend their time and exhaust their energies and 
talents in the service of the churches, receiving in return 
the most meagre compensation, while in other spheres 
they might command handsome salaries and acquire 
competent possessions. Being thus situated they can- 
not possibly la3' b}- anything for old age. It is, there- 
fore, a solemn dut\' obligatory upon the churches to 
support and care for them when they are worn out and 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 541 

sink under the weight of years, no longer able to serve 
in the ministry. It is criminal to neglect them unless 
they had been better paid. It seemed appropriate to 
doff the historian's character in order to sa3^ this much. 

In 1858, this matter was presented to the Associa- 
tion, and received a practical turn in the immediate 
contribution of $16 for the benefit of James Ray, an 
aged minister of the Association, This amount was 
placed in the hands of W. W. Nash, to be conveyed to 
James Ray." 

Similarly, in 1859, *'by request of W. W. Nash, 
public prayer was offered in behalf of John Micou, who 
is confined to a bed of affliction.'' 

In 1873, "the treasurer was ordered to give all 
money in his hands for Associational purposes, not 
otherwise needed, to Sister Micou, widow of our be- 
loved brother, John Micou." 

In 1875, a collection by vote of the Association, 
v^as taken up on Sabbath for the benefit of Sister 
Micou. 

In 1882, J. F. Wilson "made a statement in regard 
to W, M. Farrar, an aged minister," and the messen- 
gers paid $11, and pledged $20 for his benefit. 

Thus, whenever there has been an occasion for 
appeal to the benevolence of the body in this respect 
there has always been a response. 

Orphan's home: — Immediately after the war of 
the States the Baptists of Mississippi established an 
Orphan's Home for the purpose of caring for the chil- 
dren of deceased soldiers. It depended solely upon the 
benefactions of the denomination, and therefore it was 
eminently appropriate for the different associations to 
consider its claims and share in its support. It was 
founded in 1865, and suspended just ten years later. 
This Association was heartily enlisted in its behalf. 



542 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

The report of 1866, by W. M. Farrar, gives a brief 
history of the institution, stating that the State Con- 
vention in 1864 planned it, and afterwards it was 
estabHshed at Lauderdale Springs. A Board of Trus- 
tees have it in charge, with 300 acres of land, extensive 
buildings and accommodations for 500 pupils, S. S. 
Granberry as superintendent and out of debt. It ap- 
peals for aid. A public collection of $28.05 was taken 
for it on Sunday. 

In 1867, \V. AI. Farrar, chairman, in addition to 
■these facts, it is stated that the inmates spend half of 
"th^'ir time in study and half in useful industiy. One 
hundred and fort^- are in attendance, and it is at- 
tempted to support them and give them a good English 
education. A Sabbath collection of $20.10 is made, 
and brethren have contributed during the year to its 
support. 

W. M. Farrar, in the report of 1868, again presents 
all the details of the Home, indicating its successful 
operation, good equipments, knitting and sewing ma- 
chines, loom, stoves, a washing machine, a supply of 
school books and nucleus of a library. It has pressing 
need for drugs, good buildings, bread, meat, funds for 
repairs, mattrasses, quilts, sheets and pillows for its 
200 orphans. A Sabbath collection of $13.65 was 
given to the Home. 

A resolution in 1869 earnestly recommended it to 
the members of the body as having peculiar claims 
Upon them, and resolutions in 1870 urge, first, that 
each church assume the support of one orphan, $60, 
and appoint an agent to raise the necessary amount ; 
second, an endeavor to increase the circulation of the 
Orphan's Home Banner, published at the Home by the 
orphans and devoted to its interests: third, the co-op- 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 543 

eratioii of other associations in this plan, and fourth, 
the printing of the Minutes at the Home. 

In 1871, T. A. J. Owen, chairman, the Uquidation 
of indebtedness, the presence of 200 orphans and their 
claims upon members of the body, are mentioned, 
and the Orphan's Home Banner is recommended for 
patronage. 

"A crisis of vast importance" is mentioned in 1872 
by W. M. Farrar, which is its financial embarrassment. 
A proposition of the trustees to transfer the Home to 
the Masonic traternity has been referred b^' the State 
Convention to the churches of the State. If, by the 
first of the following December, the churches do not 
pledge a sufficiency, ($12,000 annually) to support the 
Home, the trustees will be authorized to transfer it to 
the Masonic fraternity. It was not, however, trans- 
ferred, and the report of 1873, by W. M. Farrar, states 
that it still lives and relies mainly upon the Baptists 
of the State for a support, though a strong effort is 
put forth to make it self-supporting. 

It Tvas represented in 1874 by Joel Towers, who 
received for it a contribution of $26. The report 1>y 
J. B. Poteet, states that the eighty orphans now 
present need supplies of all kinds. The Home has a 
steam mill and gin and other machinery looking to 
self-support. 

The Home suspended before the next sessioti of the 
body. 

Sunday schools :— -The Association began to give 
attention to Sundaj^ schools in 1855, and has since 
manifested an interest in this work. A resolution this 
year requested the churches to report the name of the 
superintendent, character of school, number of scholars 
and volumes in library, and the report by W. W. Nash 



544 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

mentions the importance of the work and deplores the 
lack of interest of the churches, but three schools being 
mentioned \vithin the Association. The work is urged 
upon the churches and pastors. 

In 1856, the same, substantially, is said, and four 
schools are reported. In the next report, W. W. Nash, 
chairman, the lack of energetic teachers is deplored, 
four schools and one union school are mentioned. 

The substance of W. H. Head's report of 1858 is 
that remissness is due to lack of Baptist literature, and 
first, it is urged that Baptist schools only be formed. 
Second, unreasonable opposition to the Nashville Bap- 
tist Sunday School Union is deplored. Third, the ap- 
proaching Sunday School Convention, to be held at 
Memphis in November, it is hoped will prove a great 
blessing. In 1859, four Baptist and eleven union 
schools are reported. 

The report of 1860, by T. A. J. Owen, urges zealous 
work in this direction by the members and pastors. A 
trust of sacred truths have been committed to God's 
people, and thej^ must teach them or be culpable. 

In 1861, the Wake Forest Church letter sa^^s : "We 
have had Sunday school regularly this summer, and 
Sister Nannie J. Franklin has committed to memory 
and recited 3,781 verses in the New Testament, and 
Sister A. E. FrankHn 3,917 verses. 

"The religious instruction of our children is one of 
the greatest duties we owe them, and as preaching is 
usually above their comprehension, every Sunday 
school should be kept in constant operation," says the 
report of 1866, by J. B. Poteet. 

Some improvement is mentioned next year, and 
still there is much indifference. A resolution urges the 
importance of the work. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 545 

The possession of divine truth, opposing forces of 
evil, the permanence of early impressions and the rapid 
flight of opportunities, all urge zealous Sunday school 
work. Resolutions approve and promise co-operation 
with- a State Sunday School Convention. Such was 
the action in 1868, P. B. Cockburn, Chairman of Com- 
mittee. 

Though referring primarily to public preaching, yet 
the commission includes also teaching the young in 
Sunday school. Such work develops Christians, and 
promotes reverence for Sunday, The Sunday school 
efforts of others should stimulate .Baptists to work. 
This is the tenor of the next report by H. J, Vanland- 
ingham. 

In 1870, by W. E, W, Estes, this work is urged 
(1) because of the susceptibility of the 3'oung; (2) be- 
cause those converted young are capable of so much 
more usefulness. 

The report of 1871, by W, D, Kitchens, refers to the 
neglect of the wofk, and the greatness of its import- 
ance. As a means of preparing the 3^oung for the obli- 
gations of life Sunday schools are urged in the next re- 
port ; while, in 1874 and 1875, the churches are re- 
quested to send reports of their schools. 

In 1876, N. Q. Adams reports. Experience has 
confirmed the utilitj^ of this work. It has brought con- 
viction to man3^ Churches should use this great, 
agency'- for good, and add to their strength and useful- 
ness. Every church should have a Sunday school. 

In 1878, D. H. Dobbs reports. This work is import- 
ant, great, good, healthful, and instructive exercise for 
Christians, and a field in which all may work. 

In 1879, N. O. Adams reports. This is a work in 
which children maj^ be trained for the Lord and led to 
Christ, and fitted to take the place of older Christians^ 



546 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

In 1880, J. M. Dalton reports. The small interest 
taken in this w'ork is a shame in comparison with the 
•activity of other denominations. 

In 1881, J. F. Wilson reports. There is some in- 
crease of interest in Sunday schools. Double diligence 
is urged. 

In 1882, J. M. Webster reports. There is very little 
interest b\' the churches. County Conventions are en- 
couraged, and members are exhorted to diligence. A 
resolution requested superintendents to send full statis- 
tics of their schools. 

Executive board and its work:— There has been 
throughout the existence of the Association an Execu- 
tive Board, composed of earnest and devout men, hav- 
ing in charge the home work of the body, and making 
regular reports of its proceedings. A resolution in 
1843 created such a Board, and there has been one 
'Cver}^ year since. 

AssociATiONAL MISSIONS. The chief end in view in 
:all combinations of churches is the promulgation of the 
gospel, and in Associations the principal features ot 
this work is giving the gospel to the destitute within 
its own territory. 

No very decided move in this Tv^ork was made until 
1843, five 3'ears after organization. At this time the 
churches were urged to contribute for supplying home 
destitution, and the ministers were requested to preach 
at favorable places and report to the Association. The 
Executive Board was instructed to supervise, the work 
and disburse the funds contributed. 

In 1844, N. Sansing missionary-, reports active 
work and one church constituted. Silas Dobbs mis- 
sionary, reports tw^o churches organized and ninety 
sermons preached. J. Robinson reports aid in the same 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 547 

two churches and a large amount of preaching. H. W. 
Portwood reports thirteen sermons and one church or- 
ganized. These five receive $148 for service rendered. 
Four churches have been organized and three have 
-united with the Association. 

In 1845, a resolution requested pastors to devote 
one month to this work. J. M. Brown, Silas Dobbs, 
Joseph Robinson, H. W. Portwood and J. J. Morehead, 
report work done and receive seven dollars each for 
services. 

In 1846, no work done ; $205.00 is pledged for the 
work, and H. W. Portwood is elected missionary. 

In 1848, H. W. Portwood missionary, reports 
2,468 miles, 171 sermons, 6 lectures, 34 baptisms, 
164 families visited, 1 church organized, 2 ministers 
and 3 deacons ordained, and 7 administrations of 
the Lord's Supper. He received $212.30. 

In 1849, E. B. Eakin missionary, reports 2,266 
miles, 186 sermons, 18 lectures, 66 baptisms, 322 fam- 
ilies visited, 7 celebrations of the Lord's Supper, 2 
churches organized and 1 deacon ordained He re- 
ceives $200. H. W. Portwood and Robert Crenshaw 
are chosen missionaries for next 3'ear, and $242 is 
pledged. 

In 1850, H. W. Portwood reports 1,816 miles, 101 
sermons, 35 lectures, 160 families visited, 36 baptisms, 
and Lord's Supper 4 times. Robert Crenshaw reports 
1,600 miles, 116 sermons, 23 lectures, 165 families vis- 
ited, 28 baptisms, 1 deacon ordained, Lord's Supper 4 
times. They have labored faithfully. Robert Cren- 
shaw is chosen for next year, and $257 is pledged for 
his support. 

In 1851, great destitution is reported- .Ministers 
and deacons are requested to present the claims of this 



548 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

work, and the churches are requested to express their 
opinion. Robert Crenshaw reports 2,483 miles, 126 
sermons, 4 lectures, 196 families visited, 1 church con- 
stituted, and three deacons ordained. He receives $300. 
Missionary- work b3' pastors is recommended for next 
year and $113 is pledged. 

In 1852, Silas Dobbs, H. W. Portwood, and Robert 
Crenshaw have been engaged in this work; $117 has 
been received. Good work, but no details, is reported. 
For next 3'ear $52.00 is pledged. 

In 1853, Silas Dobbs and J. P. Holiman have done 
some work, but scarcet3^ of means has restricted their 
work. The former receives $50.00, the latter $25.00, 
and Robert Crenshaw receives a deficit of $33.48. For 
next 3'ear $245.50 is pledged. 

In 1854, no work was done. There is much desti- 
tution. For the next 3'ear's work $243 is pledged. 

In 1855, A. Goss and Joseph Robinson have done 
some work. The former received $30 and the latter 
$18. W. W. Nash reports 42 days, 534 miles, 54 ser- 
mons, 1 baptism, 1 deacon ordained, $60 worth books 
sold. For this work $158 has been received, and 
$239.50 is pledged for next year. 

In 1856, W. H. Wilson was at work at $450 3'ear- 
13', and reports 144 sermons, 9 exhortations, 84 famil- 
ies visited, 5 baptisms, 1 church organized, 1 deacon 
ordained, $10 collected, and $26 worth of books sold. 
D. H. Dobbs is chosen missionary- for next \-ear at a 
salary of $450, of which $140 is pledged. 

In 1857, no work was done. The Board is instruct- 
ed to emploA^ a missionar\^ for next 3'ear at $400, and 
of this $194 is now pledged. 

In 1858, D. M. Sims has been at work and reports 
320 days, 3,612 miles, 572 families visited, 219 ser- 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 549 

mens, 113 lectures, 44 baptisms, 3 churches organized, 
$9 worth of books sold, 22 subscribers obtained for 
Mississippi Baptist and 1 for Home and Foreign Jour- 
nal, 5 deacons ordained and 41 members received by 
letter. For next year $482 is pledged, and it is decided 
to employ a missionarj' at $400. 

In 1859, D. M. Sims has been employed and reports 
282 days, 3,660 miles, 208 sermons, 185 lectures, 408 
families, 50 baptisms, 6 subscribers for Tennessee Bap- 
tist, 1 for Mississippi Baptist, and 1 for Home and 
Foreign Journal. Joel Wilson reports 78 days. 

In 1860, D. M. Sims reports 20 days and receives 
$17 for v^^ork ; $35 is pledged for th e aid of Philadel- 
phia church next year. 

In 1861, no w'ork has been done. Something must 
be done the incoming j'ear. 

In 1862 and 1863, nothing has been done because 
of civil disturbances. It is determined to devote all 
efforts to Army Missions. 

In 1864, W. M. Farrar has been Army Missionary 
at $137 per month, and reports 9 months, 2,750 miles, 
119 sermons, man3' religious conversations and many 
conversions. He receives $1,251 for work. 

In 1865, (no Minutes). In 1866, nothing has been 
done last year. The Association organizes for work 
and determines to perform it. 

In 1867. Nothing is j-et done ; but H.J. D. Hendricks 
is now employed at a salary of $600 for next year. 

In 1868, plans have not been executed and no work 
has been done; and 1869, nothing is still accomplished, 
but $315 is pledged for the next year. 

In 1870, W. M. Farrar reports 5V2 months and 
H. J. D. Hendricks reports 5 months. No details are 
given. Both receive $508. 



550 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

In 1871 and 1872. Nothing has been done in twa 
years because of indebtedness to former missionaries. 

In 1873, the Association decides to co-operate with 
the State Mission Board, and to apply all funds in 
this Avay. 

In 1874, co-operation with the State Board has 
been pursued and $145.85 has been thus applied. 

In 1885, co-operation has still been pursued, and 
$52 has been paid to its corresponding secretary. 

In 1875. Nothing has been done during the year. 
The formation of missionary societies is recommended. 
T. A. J. Owen is employed to supply destitution near 
him. 

In 1887, T. A. J. Owen has performed some work, 
reports 141 sermons and 23 baptisms, and receives $50 
for this work. 

In 1878 and 1879. No work has been done in two 
years, and funds collected are used to pay former mis- 
sionaries. There is much destitution, and it is deter- 
mined to resume the work. 

In 1880, W. T. Carroll, at $30 per month, reports 
87 days, 679 miles, 73 sermons, 86 families visited, 58 
families pra\^ed with. He received $87 for services. 

In 1881, J. M. Dalton, at $40 per month, reports 
150 miles, 18 sermons, 25 families visited, 15 families 
prayed with. He received $20 for his services. 

In 1882, L. S. Foster has been employed at $1.25 
per day, and reports 50 days, 312 miles, 40 sermons, 
60 religious visits, 16 baptisms, 16 baptisms bj- others 
in connection with labors, 1 church organized and 
1 minister ordained. He received $62.50 for his services. 

General summary: — The meagerness of many of 
the reports of work renders it impossible to give any 
accurate summary of this work. In only twenty-six, 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 551 

out of the fortA'-three years existence of the Association 
has any work been done in this department. In these 
tw^ty-six 3^ears, by an expenditure of $3,582.32 (in- 
cluding amounts for both State and Associational mis- 
sions), there have been accomplished 26,830 miles, 
2,259 sermons, about 500 baptisms, 2,552 religious 
visits, 13 churches organized, and 10 deacons and 
3 ministers ordained. For the years of labor this 
would be a yearly average of $137.75, 1,031 miles, 
85 sermons, 16 baptisms, 98 religious visits, 1 church 
organized every two years ; 1 deacon ordained every 
two years and seven months, and 1 minister ordained 
in the twenty-six years (through missionarA^ labor). 

(2). The colored people: — While there is no dis- 
tinct mention of special work among the colored people 
prior to 1866, yet there is evidence that this people 
shared in the religious services of the whites and also 
conducted special meetings of their OAAm. All the church 
buildings erected during the servitude of this people 
were provided with galleries or designated space for- 
their accommodation, and in all the statistical tables 
from 1850 to 1866 and later, the churches reported Sk 
colored membership. And as late as the present (1882),. 
some of the churches still have colored members who 
have chosen to remain with them. 

In 1866, after they became free, a committee, W. H. 
Head, chairman, presented their condition and claims 
in the following, w^hich were passed : 

^'Resolved, That in the judgment of this Associa- 
tion, we ought to continue to care tor the spiritual in- 
terest of the black people, lately freed among us. Here- 
tofore, as slaves, we preached the gospel to them, re- 
ceived them into our churches upon conversion, and 
admitted them to all religious privileges with ourselves 



.552 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

as far as they were capable of enjoying them. We then 
deemed it our duty thus to seek their salvation. We 
think it is no less our duty now to do so. But the re- 
lation the\^ now sustain to us as freedmen and all the 
considerations growing out of the change of their state, 
make it yet more important that we give them proper 
religious instruction.'' A second resolution advised 
their organization into separate churches, expressed a 
lively interest in their spiritual welfare and urged the 
brethren to do all in their power to aid them. 

State missions: — In the matters of correspondence 
■and co-operation the attitude of the Association has 
been mentioned. Contributions have been made to the 
^work of that body apart from the special work of the 
Association. In the action mentioned on another page 
the objects of the Convention were approved by the 
Association becoming a member of that body. 

Besides occasional contributions to this work, the 
Association in 1873, as already mentioned, co-operated 
with the State Mission Board and gave up its own 
independent work. This plan of working through the 
State Board was continued during the next year, and 
all funds were contributed through it. The claims of 
this work are urged in the report by W. M. Farrar, 
and a public collection is made for the work on Sunday. 

In 1875, the co-operation has been continued and 
the work and its claims are presented and urged in the 
report b\^ T. A. J. Owen. 

In 1876, co-operation has ceased. Interest is still 
felt in the work of the Board, though the Association 
supplies its own destitution. The destitution in the 
^'bottom " and on the Gulf Coast is mentioned, and it 
is said that the State Board has six missionaries for 
this destitution and works independently of the South- 
ern Baptist Convention. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 553 

In 1877, the destitution which the State Board 
seeks to supph- is again mentioned. T, J. Walne is 
secretar3% and this work demands the hearty support 
of Christians. A contribution is made. 

In 1878, the summary of facts of this work is 
again made, and aid to the Board is urged. 

In 1879, all energy is absorbed in associational 
missions, though the work of the State Board is 
approved. 

In 1880, M. T. Martin is present from the State 
Board. Its work is commended. The Association re- 
solves to co-operate with the Board, requests the ap- 
pointment of a suitable missionary, and recommends 
J. M. Dalton. 

In 1881, L. E. Hall is present from the State Board. 
A mass meeting is held Saturdaj^ night in the interest 
of this v^ork, at which a special sermon is delivered 
and $60 is contributed for the work. 

In 1882, L. E. Hall is again present in behalf of the 
Board, is invited to present its claims and receives a 
contribution of $18.60 for its work. W. H. H. Fancher 
reports, recommending that the Association give the 
Board its hearty' co-operation. 

Domestic and Indian missions: — The expression, 
"Domestic Missions,'' often means work in the Asso- 
ciation, though the reports often mention, in connec- 
tion with this, the work of what was formerly the 
Domestic and Indian Mission Board of the Southern 
Baptist Convention. 

In 1881, Daniel King reports : Too little is done for 
the elevation of the Indians, and they can be elevated. 
There are five millions of them in North America. The 
Indian Mission Association has 4 missions among 
them, 6 stations, 33 missionaries and 19 churches, and 



554 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

among them there were 283 baptisms. Southern Bap- 
tists ought to give at least ten (10) cents yearly for 
this work. 

In 1852, Daniel King reports : Nine- tenths of the 
Indians are without the bread of life, and there are 
encouragements in the small efforts to evangelize them. 
A resolution requests the urging of this work and a 
collection for it. 

In 1853, H. H. Morgan reports: The Indians 
specially deserve the prayers and contributions of 
Christians. They have been driven from their lands, 
and in return the gospel ought to be given to them. 
This bod\' ought to sustain one missionary to the 
Choctaws, covering, as it does, their former territory. 

In 1854, H. H. Morgan reports. The same facts 
substantially are mentioned and pastors are urged to 
press the claims of the Indian and secure a contribution 
for his evangelization. 

In 1855, W. M. Youngblood reports: The Indian 
Mission Association has been merged into the Domestic 
Mission Board, \vhich is now called the Domestic and 
Indian Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Conven- 
tion, and is located at Marion, Alabama. It is $6,000 
in debt. The transfer is approved and a contribution 
of $16.80 is at once made to it. 

In 1856, W. W. Nash reports: The harvest is white 
and the laborers are few, but funds are needed to sup- 
port the laborers. The Board deserves the hearty 
support of this Association. 

In 1859, E. W. Norris reports: This is a very im- 
portant work. The Indians should have the gospel at 
the hands of the missionaries. 

In 1861, W. H. Wilson reports: Indian missionar- 
ies should not be recalled because of expense or a sacri- 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 555 

fice of comfort. The gospel must be preached among 
all nations. 

In 1862 to 1872, other pressing claims so absorb 
the energies of the body that it comparatively loses 
sight of this Board. But in 1872 W. M. Farrar reports, 
recommending that funds in the hands of the treasurer 
be sent to this Board to aid in its work. 

Foreign missions :— Though the Association was 
not very decidedly missionary during the first few 3- ears 
of its existence, yet after the change was made in its 
constitution, removing all anti-mission sentiment, dur- 
ing its subsequent history there has grown up a hearty 
approval and endorsement of the Foreign mission 
work of the Southern Baptist Convention. 

In 1848, W. M. Farrar is received as the agent of 
the Foreign Mission Board of the vSouthern Baptist 
Convention, addresses the Association on the subject 
and receives $8 cash and $75 subscribed. 

In 1851, J. B. McLelland presents the report. This 
work was instituted by the commission of the Savior 
and characterized his Apostles, one of whom said : " I 
am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the 
power of God unto salvation to every one that be- 
lieveth, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." They 
regarded it a solemn duty to spread the gospel. Reso- 
lutions adopted declare the duty of all Christians to 
engage in this work, the Association's approval of the 
Convention and the claims of the Home and Foreign 
Journal upon Baptists. 

In 1852, Isaac Leatherwood presents the report. 
Christians are under strong obligations to preach the 
gospel to the nations, and from this obligation none 
can free themselves, save by aiding to the extent of 
their ability in the work. Millions are now ready to 
hear the good news : 



556 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

Resolved, That "the cause of Foreign missions de- 
mands and is entitled to our sympathies, our pecuniary 
means and our prayers." 

In 1853, Joseph Robinson presents the report. 
"God, in His providence, is opening an effectual door 
to His churches, especialh' in China." Christians 
should do "all they can to aid in this glorious enter- 
prise." 

In 1854, the report is by W. M. Farrar. Angels 
might covet work in this important enterprise. The 
universal prevalence of the gospel is promised. Men 
are the instruments. They can do the work, aided by 
Christ. The reports from the workers are quite en- 
couraging. Southern Baptists work especially in 
China and Africa (one-half of the world's population). 
They need men and means. In China they have fifteen 
missionaries, in Africa twenty-three. The Board is em- 
barrassed. Its receipts were $22,841.12 ; expenditures 
$28,228.17, and so it is in debt. The 40,000 Baptists 
of Mississippi ought to average $1 each, and take the 
Home and Foreign Journal; $69.50 are pledged for 
this work. 

In 1855, W. M. Farrar is agent and presents the 
report — Luke 10:3-6 and Matt. 10:5-10, are not 
against Foreign mission, but call special attention to 
our Lord and his claims. This restriction is removed 
in Luke 22 : 35, 36, and in the commission. The^^ began 
at Jerusalem and then turned to the nations. Peter 
went to Cornelius, and Paul, made three missionary 
tours and was supported by the churches, (1 Cor. 9 : 6- 
15; 2 Cor. 8:1-6; 10:14-16; Phil. 4:15-19). Thus 
the Apostles obej-ed the commission. We don't half- 
way obey it. We have 3 missions, 20 stations, 40 mis- 
sionaries and assistants, 70 schools, 500 scholars, 153 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 557 

baptisms. How few of us have done what we ought. 
For the work $15.50 is paid. 

In 1856, W. H. Head presents the report. We have 
in China C. W. Gillard, M. T. Yates, T. P. Crawford, 
G. W. Burton, M. D., and A. B. Cabaniss and their 
famihes. In Africa there are thirt3'-five missionaries 
and their families. Cason, Priest and Trimble have 
lately sailed. We should all be fellow-helpers. The 
commission is a plea for the work \vhich no authority 
can set aside. The Lord saw all the difficulties and yet 
he says, "Go!" Each pastor should preach on the 
subject and secure a collection. 

In 1857, W. M. Farrar reports. China is more ac- 
cessible. All reports are encouraging. Conversions 
are more frequent, and inquiries are numerous. Liberia 
attracts attention. Much might be profitably expended 
there. A summary of the year's work is given. The 
Board should be relieved from debt. A contribution of 
$27.70 is made. 

In 1859, W. A. Micou reports. The spread of the 
gospel is a most important duty because its object is 
the salvation and infinite happiness of men. The Bible 
endures forever, dissipates darkness and reveals the life 
to come. As an act of humanity we ought to impart 
this to them. Americans only can give the pure gospel. 

In 1861, A resolution recognizes the dutj^, in obedi- 
ence to the commission of the Lord, to aid by sympathy, 
contributions and prayers, to the full extent of ability, 
those who have been sent by the Board to preach the 
gospel. 

In 1866, W. M. Farrar reports. During the dark 
years just passed there was no communication with 
the laborers. They could not be recalled and loans for 
them have produced a large debt. This should be re- 



558 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

■moved as speedily as possible. A contribution of $20 
is raised. 

In 1867, the Board is still in debt and this body 
ought to help pay it. "It is more blessed to give than 
to receive." 

In 1868 and 1869, T. B. Altom reports. Many 
have been saved through the w'ork of the Board. It is 
pressed. Shall its work cease? Must the nations per- 
ish? God's command is to send them the gospel. It is 
the duty of Christians to obey. 

In 1870, N. Q, Adams reports. Many heathen have 
not heard of the gospel. It is the dut\' of all who have 
heard to send it abroad. 

In 1871, A. A. King reports. The divine authority 
of the commission jDlaces an obligation on all Christians 
to obey. The outlook is promising. Sj^ecial attention 
is called to the work of Dr. Cote, in Itah', "under the 
shadow of the Vatican." 

In 1872, W. D. Kitchens reports. The l)inding na- 
ture of the commission is insisted upon and churches 
are urged to contribute to this work. 

In 1873, W. AI. Farrar reports. There is increase 
of interest and of opportunities in China. E. Z. Sim- 
mons appeals for aid. Italy is open for the gospel. 
Christains should contribute liberally for the work. 
Pledges are made aggregating $124. 

In 1874, C. E. Brame reports. Gratification is ex- 
pressed at the increase of interest. Systematic action 
is urged. Pledges of $99 are made and a resolution re- 
commends that pastors present the work in their 
preaching and secure aid. 

In 1875, R. A. Massey reports. This State has giv- 
€n $1200 with no expense. The churches are recom- 
mended to raise money and send to E. D, Miller, of 
Holh' Springs, and $25 cash is paid. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 559 

In 1876, T. A. J. Owen reports. There are ten mis- 
sionaries in China, four of whom are from Mississippi. 
Italy is an interesting field. All the missions have been 
blessed, but the^- need recruits. For the work $123 
were pledged. 

In 1877, N. 0. Adams reports. "The spirit of mis- 
sions is thespirit of the gospel and of Christ as embodied 
in the commission. The Apostles founded many foreign 
churches. Our missionaries ought not to be neglected. 
A contribution of $39 is made. 

In 1878, W. H. H. Fancher reports. There is a high 
obligation in the commission and the missions all have 
claims upon us. A resolution requests pastors to pre- 
sent the matter to their churches. A contribution of 
$20.45 is made. 

In 1879, D. H. Dobbs reports. In view of the com- 
mission it is the duty of every Christian to obey the 
Lord and contribute to the work. The work, though 
feebly carried on, has been blessed. Obstacles have been 
removed. A contribution of $52.10 was made, and 
special prayer was made for the blessing of the Holy 
Spirit. 

In 1880 and 1881, T. A. J. Owen reports. The 
nations are asking for the gospel. Baptists should give 
it to them. Pastors should advocate this work faith- 
fulh^ A contribution of $140 is made at the two 
meetings. 

In 1882, J. M. Dalton reports. There is universal 
obligation to give the gospel to the nations. The 
churches are recommended to send contributions direct 
to the Board and report the same to this body. A con- 
tribution of $48 is made. 

It is just to state that much was done for the work 
that was never reported to the Association. 



560 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

Louisville association supplement: — There is 
nothing that animates the historian more than a dilli- 
gent search after a historical fact ahnost lost. A fact 
lying on the surface of occurrences, any body can see, 
and write about. When another has found the hidden 
facts, and recorded them well, and he is left to subjoin 
well known facts, that is prosy work. 

L. S. Foster has written the history of the Louis- 
ville Association to 1882, and it is left for the writer to 
write about the doings of that bodj^ in subsequent 
years. He will follow the line of events and notice 
their actions, year by year. 

In 1883, the Association met with the Ruhama 
church, in Choctaw county. M. A. Metts was chosen 
moderator, and L. S. Foster clerk. Harmony and Sar- 
dis churches of Winston county w^ere received into their 
fellowship. This made the Association fort^'-two 
churches strong. These churches had a total member- 
ship of 2,729. The largest church in the union was 
New Zion, which had a membership of 125. The lar- 
gest ingathering bj^ baptism was by the Sardis church, 
which received for covenant relation that year, twenty- 
two persons. 

Good interest was shown in State Missions. 
Pledges were made to this object, amounting to 
$318.50. L. S. Foster was appointed to collect the 
fund, and to represent in the Association the State 
mission work. David Burney was endorsed as a suit- 
able person to do colportage work in their bounds. 

The Executive Board had three missionaries in the 
field. N. Q. Adams labored in the northern part, and 
M. L. Lanford in the southern section of the Associa- 
tion. W. T. Carroll did efficient work, and was recom- 
mended as deserving compensation for his service. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 561 

Twenty-two baptisms were reported by the mission- 
aries. The following 3^ear, W. H. H. Fancher was 
chosen- moderator, and J. R. W. Foster clerk. 

In the report on associational missions, the mem- 
bers of the body were urged to show themselves in 
practice what they were in name, missionary. There 
w^ere yet many places in their territory that needed 
evangelical labors. It was recommended that the Ex- 
ecutive Board employ a good active minister to supply 
the waste places. W. H. Head, the grand old hero of 
the cross, had been their missionary the past year. He 
gave them only fifty-six days of labor, which he used in 
visiting the churches, and animating them to more 
efficient service. 

The forty-sixth annual session of the body was 
held with the Bethel church, Winston county, begin- 
ning on Saturday before the second Sunday in October, 
1885. The session of the following year was held 
with the Sturgis church. The officers of the previous 
year were re-elected. The body was happy in having 
as visitors, J. B. Gambrell, H.J. Vanlandingham, J. T. 
Freeman, J. P. Brown, and L. S. Foster. 

The Executive Committee had W. H. Head under 
appointment, but he died before anj^ work was done. 
The committee v^^as grieved that the body was "al- 
most anti-missionary in practice, and suggested a co- 
operation wuth the Convention Board in supplying 
their destitution. A pastor and deacon's meeting was 
recommended to be held on the fifth Sundays in the 
year. 

A sufficient notice is given of the life's work of W. 
H. Head in Foster's Baptist Preachers. It only re- 
mains to be said here, that no one \vas more deeply 
embedded in the affections of the members of the Louis- 



562 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS, 

ville Association than W. H. Head. Here is a part of 
a resolution passed by the body expressive of the great 
loss of the Association in his death, "We never had a 
superior, if an equal, in the ministry of this Association 
to our lamented brother." 

In 1886, the fraternity represented 2,796 Baptists; 
in 1888, the number had increased to 3,236. These 
fignres show the rapid growth of the body in numbers, 
and the latest possibilities of the Association. There 
was in that one Association nearh' as many communi- 
cants represented as there were Episcopalians in the 
entire State. 

The Association ^vas, in 1888, in close co-operation 
with the Convention Board. W. T. Carroll had been 
commissioned to labor in the northeastern part of the 
Association for one-half time, for which he was paid 
$200. \V. T. Carroll is a "plain, blunt man,'" direct in 
speech as the flight of an arrow, and \veight3' in char- 
acter. He knows his people, knows how to reach 
them, and they love him and honor him. He traveled 
1888 miles, baptized 22 persons, and organized two 
churches. Singleton and Ennis. 

W. H. H. Fancher was continued as moderator of 
the Association until 1892, when N. Q. Adams was 
chosen to preside over the body. J. R. W. Foster was 
still their clerk in 1892. In that time the following 
churches were taken into their fellowship : Locofoma, 
Ne\v Prospect, Woods" Springs, Hickory Grove, S\"kes' 
Chapel, Evergreen, Plattsburg, and Center Grove. 

It was apparent that the body was becoming cum- 
bersome. It is said in a preamble and resolution, pre- 
sented in 1891 , that it required all of one day to read 
the letters from the churches and organize the body, 
and that their congregation could not be seated in any 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 563 

'Ordinary house of worship. It was suggested that the 
Association be divided. They had then 28 ordained 
ministers and 51 churches, with a total of 3,392 com- 
municants. The following j^ear sixteen churches re- 
ceived letters of dismission, and constituted the Chester 
Association. 

In 1889, and again in 1890, the Association was 
favored with the presence of Mrs. M. J. Nelson, then 
the efficient laborer under the Convention Board in 
New Orleans. We are told that she was at their meet- 
ing the former year. This is in part what was said of 
a talk she made: Mrs. Nelson lectured the children, 
teaching them what prayer was, and referred to the 
beautiful lessons taught in the Sunday-school litera- 
ture during the past quarter. * * * She taught them 
obedience, showing that it was best always to obej- to 
the letter without consulting our feelings in the mat- 
ter." The talk was touching and impressive. It was 
.made on Sunday morning before a large gathering of 
people of both sexes and different ages. Mrs. Nelson 
talked again "after dinner,'" to the women, "teaching 
the sisters the duties of wives. She was in Paul's way ' 
of talking." 

Their Committee on Woman's Work was wrought 
up to a high stage of enthusiasm and reported : 
"Though many consecrated women have contributed 
to the success of this committee of fifteen, in charge of 
Woman's Work in the State, 3'et we feel that we should 
single out, for special commendation, that grand and 
noble woman, Sister AI. J. Nelson, to whose untiring 
energy, unflagging zeal, and God-directed efforts, the 
success of the committee is so largely due, and we feel 
that a glow of pride ought to mantle the cheek, not 
•only of every Baptist, but every Mississippian, when 



564 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

they reflect that our own beloved State has produced a 
woman \vhose w^orks in the vineyard of the Lord have 
been so signally blessed." This language was adopted 
by the Louisville Association, and thus became the 
sentiment of that body. 

In their report on missions in 1890, they cheerfully 
accepted the apportionment of $200 made them by the 
State Convention for Missions, and pledged themselves 
to make a faithful effort to raise the amount. The Ex- 
ecutive Board had David Burney as their missionary, 
preaching at Loakfoma. The Convention Board was 
in co-operation with the Executive Board. It was a 
wise and good appointment. David Burne\' is one of 
the choicest spirits in Mississippi. He is a part of 
God's best heritage to this world of ours, and the Bap- 
tists of Mississippi will 1)e poorer when the Lord calls 
him aw^ay. 

The appointment of David Burne3^ as missionary 
was continued through the following 3^ear. He re- 
ported 600 miles traveled, 200 sermons preached, 28 
persons baptized, and 1 Sunday school organized. Be- 
side this work, he distributed 1,000 pages of tracts, 
sold 25 Bibles, 10 Testaments and 40 other books. 

In 1892, the Association was cheered by the pres- 
ence of such correspondents as H. F. Sproles, J. F. Wil- 
son, H. M. Whitten, J. L. Pettigrew, and H.J. D. Hen- 
dricks. The clerk of the body volunteered this lan- 
guage as to the sermons preached on Sunday: "Many 
things may be forgotten by the people who attended 
this session of the Loiiisville Association, but the good 
preaching we heard during its session can never be 
forgotten." The Lord's blessings continue with that 
clerk. 

J. J. Carter read the report of the Committee on 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 565 

Sunday schools. We give a part of the closing para- 
graph of the report : " We are unable to give statistics 
of Sunday' schools within the bounds of this Associa- 
tion, the churches not having reported the same 
through their letters or delegates, though we find a 
small increase in the number of Sunday schools, being 
now eighteen among fift^'-four churches composing the 
body." 

The Association received, annually, reports on 
Missions, Systematic Benevolence, Mississippi College, 
and Ministerial Education, Woman's Work, Publica- 
tions, Temperance, Sustentation, and Nominations. 



566 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 



CHAPTER XII. 

YALOBUSHA ASSOCIATION. 

This institution was constituted, Januar3'' 15, 1836, 
at Troy, in Yalobusha county. Troy, as many of the 
oldest towns in Yalobusha county, is among the dead 
towns of our State. It was about eight miles west of 
Grenada, and was north of the Yalobusha River. The 
w^hite population that the settlement once claimed, has, 
in time, become greatly diminished. 

The part of the old Yalobusha county from where 
Parsons now stands, up to Grenada, and north to old 
Hendersonville, then west to old Preston, and south to 
Parsons, was settled very early after it was safe for 
white people to live in North Mississippi. The old 
town of Chuechuma was the land office for the. Choc- 
taw lands until the office was moved to Pontotoc in 
1837. Chuechuma was about twelve or fifteen miles 
down the Yalobusha river from Grenada, or south of 
the river. People who were enterprising were early at 
these land offices, and many good families settled in 
the thirties in the healthy hill country' just north of the 
old Choctaw agency. 

There were missionaries among the Choctaws as 
early as 1818, but they were mostly Presbyterians. 
The Presb3'terian mission was in the eastern part of 
the State. The Choctaws did not get out of our State 
before 1830. The treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek 
(Bogue) was confirmed in 1828. 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 567 

Chuechuma, being a land office, caught the eve of 
the Home Mission Society of American Baptists, who 
did more for that part of our State by wholesome ad- 
vice to young minivSters than by actual work. They 
put their fingers on that part of the map of our coun- 
try as good missionary ground. When a young minis- 
ter asked to do missionary work at a time the society 
had no money to support him in a foreign field, this 
field was recommended. 

On the 15th. of November, 1835, a few churches by 
delegates met in convention at old Troy to take steps 
towards the formation of an Association. Abstracts 
of Faith were drawn up to be submitted to the churches. 

The Yalobusha Association was organized with the 
old Antioch church, with Troy as its post-office, Jan. 
15, 1836. Francis Baker was chosen moderator, and 
Samuel Bean clerk. Of course the body was small at 
that early date, but there were a few churches in that 
part of the country, and they wished associational 
affiliations. Those few churches were in the counties of 
Yalobusha and Carroll. It is to be remembered that 
Grenada county was formed of the northern part of 
Carroll and the southern part of Yalobusha, and that 
Grenada county was not constituted until 1870. 

Francis Baker was a man of sterling worth. He 
was positive in his belief and stable in his positions. 
He was a man of large common sense, and fine business 
capacity. He was strictly antinomian in his doctrinal 
belief, and fixedly opposed to the methods of missionary 
work adopted by Baptists in organized capacity. He 
was a man of such native ability that he left the stamp 
of true manhood on his posterity, and an abiding re- 
ligious influence. 

The first annual session of the Yalobusha was held 



568 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

with Old Salem church in Carroll county. Francis 
Baker preached the introductory sermon on 1 Cor. 3 : 
22-3. The text embraces the doctrine of the final perse- 
verance of the saints, and was a good basis for a ser- 
mon for a man of his mold as a theologian. 

At that meeting of the Association, Francis Baker 
was elected moderator, and Hector McNeil clerk. Hec- 
tor McNeil was a little later among the delegates to 
the Association from the Duck Hill church. There are 
yet McNeil's west of Duck Hill. 

That second meeting of the Yalobusha was held in 
October, 1836. There were but five churches in the 
union, with a total membership of 142. There were 
three ordained ministers in the bodv. The churches 
reported' but two additions by baptism, and thirty- 
two by letter. 

At that meeting, they received a delegation from 
the old Yazoo Association, which brought a request 
for the consolidation of the two bodies. The propo- 
sition of the Yazoo was accepted, and the agreement 
was made that delegates from the two Associations 
should meet with the Rocky Springs church, of the old 
Yazoo Association, on Friday' before the fourth Sunday 
in May, 1837. The meeting was held, but the question 
of missions was opening, which revealed the fact that 
there could be no harmony- in their union, and the 
scheme was abandoned. 

The second annual session of the body was held 
with the Shiloh church* beginning October, 1837. It 
appears that the Shiloh church was a weak church at 
the time. But in those days that was not to be taken 
in account in locating the meeting of the Associations, 
The Associations would meet with a weak church to 
strengthen it bj' the presence of the body bj' preaching ; 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 569 

and the conversation of their preachers on Bible truths, 
which would often be carried on until midnight. The 
matter of accommodations was scarcely to be thought 
of. Of course, thev could be accommodated. A suffi- 
ciency of fresh meat was provided, the horse lot enlar- 
ged, and pallets provided. That was all there was of 
it. Quite frequently the Association would meet with a 
church the first year after it was strong enough to be 
represented in the Association. 

The five churches composing the Association at 
that time were Antioch, Shiloh, Loosascoona, Leb- 
anon, and Salem. Twelve delegates composed the As- 
sociation. 

It is said that Moses Crawson, of Alabama, was 
the first Baptist minister to settle in this part of the 
State. He was assisted by Elder Summers of Alabama 
a little later in the organization of a tew churches. 
Antioch church was organized in the fall of 1834. 
Later, Crawson was assisted by Francis Baker in 
organizing Shiloh, Salem, Loosascoona, and Lebanon 
churches. 

In the fall of 1837, a man of culture, a thorough 
Baptist, a missionary from conviction, came into the 
Yalobusha country. He could not but make himself 
felt. That man was James G. Hall, who lived from 
that time to his death in Grenada. Grenada, the 
"peace name" of Tulahoma and Pittsburg, was incor- 
porated in 1836. J. G. Hall was a North Carolinian 
who came to Mississippi by way of Tennessee. His 
health was poor in North Carolina, and he had to re- 
sort to our healthy State to have his life of usefulness 
prolonged. He was one of the stirring, moving ele- 
ments in the Yalobusha Association. His biography is 
given in Foster's Baptist Preachers. 



570 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

Near the same time, or perhaps a little earlier, there 
came into the Association from the State of Vermont, 
one who was to be a co-laborer witlij. G. Hall, through 
the remainder of his natural life. He, too, was a man 
of learning, and progressive in spirit. His soul was in 
the work of Foreign missions, and failing of appoint- 
ment by the American Foreign Mission Society came 
to the Choctaw country to do missionary work on his 
o\vn responsibilitj'. He was not only progressive in 
spirit but wise in council. That man was William 
Minter. 

Another useful missionary came to North Missis- 
sippi only a little later from Vermont. He was a gradu- 
ate from Madison Universit}'. He had proffered him- 
self to the Board to go to a foreign field. They had no 
money, but told him of the great South and its needs. 
He came to Alemphis, as Abraham left his countr}-, not 
knovkdng where he would locate. He was met in Mem- 
phis by J. G.Hall, the Lord's anointed for the occasion, 
to guide the youthful Paul. E. C. Eager reached Gre- 
nada in 1842. 

The meeting of these three wise men in the Yalo- 
busha Association assured its enlistment in missions 
and education. The^' carried the insight and sagacity 
of the frozen North, and the warm impulse of the South. 
Their presence, their plans and progressive spirit could 
not but disturb the conservatism of men of antinomian 
belief, and lead on to an activity that would leave the 
balking element behind them. 

We take the following excerpt from the history of 
the first decade of the Yalobusha Association, bj^ Judge 
S. S. Fairfield. It gives history that would have been 
lost but for the care of J. G. Hall. "Not being able to 
find the Minutes of the meeting of 1838, I am indebted 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 571 

to a memorandum left loy James G. Hall for what I 
state of this session of the Association. He states that 
the number of the churches was doubled, and the mem- 
bership was more than doubled. Total membership 
325. * * * The church at Grenada, which was estab- 
hshed June 30, 1838, stated in their letter to the Asso- 
ciation of that year, that they were friendly to missions 
* * * and, if they were admitted into the Association^ 
it was to be understood that they were admitted as 
friends of missions. * * * The fourth annual session 
was held with the Loosascoona church on the 12th, 
13th, and 14th of October, 1839. Francis Baker was 
elected moderator, James G. Hall clerk, and William 
Minter treasurer. Eleven churches were represented 
in this meeting bj^ twenty-eight delegates, five of whom 
were ministers ; additions to the churches by baptism 
125, by letter 60. Total membership 499. * * * Parks, 
Meadows, Stovall and Huffman had seats in the meet- 
ing as visiting ministers from abroad, and were invited 
to preach." 

We learn that in 1839, there was aparting of ways 
in the Association. The members, missionary and 
anti-missionary, could not agree, and, so, could not 
walk together, but they could agree to disagree. Four 
small churches withdrew from the Yalobusha, and 
formed an anti-missionary Association. The four 
churches were Hopewell, Mount Carmel, Loosascoona, 
and Shiloh. Hopewell had twenty-two members, 
Shiloh twenty-eight, Mount Carmel fifteen, and Loos- 
ascoona, thirty-two— in all ninety-seven members. It 
is sad that they had to part, but the wheel kept turning. 

In 1840, WilHam Minter was moderator. This fact 
showed the missionary character of the bod3'. The 
four small churches referred to went out, and the Asso- 



572 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS, 

ciation was organized as a missionary' body. Referring 
to the action of these four churches was a resolution 
adopted b^' the Yalobusha Association in 1841. The 
resolution was, 

^'Resolved, That the churches at Loosascoona, 
Shiloh, Mount Carmel, and Hopewell be dropped from 
this bod\', for having declared non-fellowship with 
those friendly to missions in this Association, and for 
withdrawing from this body without letters of 
dismission." 

In 1841, the Antioch church was still, nominally of 
the body. The Antioch and the Salem \vere that year 
not represented in the Association. It was stated in 
1842, in the minutes of the proceedings of the Associa- 
tion, that the names of both of them were dropped. 
They were "anti-missionar3'." 

In 1841, the Association met with Providence 
church, then of Carroll county. J. G. Hall preached 
the introductory sermon from the text: "For we are 
laborers together with God; ye are God's husbandry, 
ye are God's building." In 1841, the Grenada church, 
the Duck Hill, the Clear Creek of LaFayette county, 
and the Troy church were in the union. The connect- 
ion with the Clear Creek church brought to the body 
W. H. Holcombe who was afterward a tower of 
strength to the Chickasaw and Tippah Associations. 

The Troy church must receive special mention. It 
sprung. Phoenix like, from the old Antioch church. It 
was constituted in 1840, by William Minter and George 
Stovall. Ten members \vent into the organization. It 
was situated about eight miles from the Antioch 
church. It was formed of the missionary element of 
the Antioch church. In the fall of 1841, it had 113 
members, having received forty-three members that 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 573 

year by baptism, and nine by letter, making a total of 
fifty-two received in one year. In 1846, its name was 
changed to the Alount Paran church, the church which 
received John Powell by baptism, and is now known 
generally as the church of Hardy Station. 

It is pleasing to note that in 1841, there was sent 
to the Association for the '' Burman Bible'' contribu- 
tions, as follows : Troy church $46.00, Rehoboth church 
$4.93, Concord church $5.75, and Wiljiam Minter 
$43.32 — total $100. Besides this the Baptist Board 
of Foreign Missions, through Heman Lincoln, treas- 
urer, acknowledged the receipt of $52.32 from that 
Association. On Sunday, during the sitting of the 
hodj, William Minter preached a Missionary Sermon, 
after which a collection was taken for Foreign and 
Domestic missions, amounting to $73.62%. That, it 
is. to be remembered, was in 1841. It would not be 
discreditable to an association of to-day. The churches 
were urged to send contributions for Foreign and Do- 
mestic missions to the support of the work. 

A camp meeting was carried on in connection with 
the Association of 1841, beginning Thursday of the 
week the Association convened, and closing on Wed- 
nesday of the week following. It was an occasion of 
great rejoicing. Twenty-six (26) members were re- 
ceived, twenty-three by baptism. S. S. Lattimore was 
at the Association, a man wonderfully blessed in such 
work in the meeting of the Choctaw Association. 

In 1842, there were ten churches in the Association. 
They received by baptism that year a total of 241, and 
by letter 37, making a total of accessions to their 
churches of 278. Their aggregate membership was 
709. The Clear Creek church received 82 by baptism 
that year. William Minter was chosen moderator at 



574 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

their annual meeting, John H. AlcRea clerk, and William 
Minter treasurer. It was decidedly unusual for one 
man to hold in an Association the position of modera- 
tor and treasurer. But William Minter was a man of 
fine executive ability-, and a good financier. He was 
acquainted with the secretaries of the Boards, was a 
large contributor, and well informed as to how money 
could be safely seat to the general boards. 

William Minter exhibited receipts to the bod3' from 
H. Lincoln, treasurer of the American Baptist Board 
of Foreign Missions, for $47.87V2, for Foreign missions, 
and $23.18% for the Burman Bible. The contributions 
at the Association were for Home and Foreign mis- 
sions, $34-. 56. Beside the public offering, J. Boone gave 
$56.00^4 to Foreign missions, and William Minter $20 
for the Burman Bible. 

The Baptist Missionary Magazine, published in 
Boston, Mass., Avas recommended, as a means of cir- 
culating missionary information; the pastors were 
requested to preach on Home and Foreign missions, 
and the churches urged to hold a monthly pra^-er meet- 
ing for missions. J. G. Hall, in his report on Home 
missions, gave the information that there were some 
funds on hand for that object. The report on Temper- 
ance recommended to the members of the churches, 
entire abstinence from all intoxicating drinks, except 
for medical purposes. T. N. Waul, then of Grenada, 
was president of the Alississippi Baptist State Con- 
vention. 

The Association of 1843 held its meeting with the 
Duck Hill church. In 1842, that church was repre- 
sented b3^ Hector McNeil and E. Stephens, names still 
familiar in that part of our State. William Minter was 
to preach the introductory sermon, and W. H. Hoi- 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 575 

€ombe the missionary sermon. The missionary sermon 
was usually preached at 11a. m. on the Sunday, em- 
braced in the meeting of the body, and was followed 
by a collection for missions. The committee to have 
charge of their associational missions that year was 
composed of J. G. Hall, H. Talbert, L. Aldridge, J. S. 
Talbert, Thomas Simmons, H. N. Edmons, and Wm. 
Minter. 

In 1848, another man from Vermont was pastor 
of a church in the Yalobusha Association. He was in 
many respects th© equal, and in some respects the 
superior of the other three men already mentioned, who 
did so much in wisely molding the sentiment of the 
churches of the body. That man was H. B. Hayward. 
He had been graduated from Aladison University-, and 
was a man of fine qualifications of head and heart. 
No one who has ever labored in the Yalobusha Asso- 
,ciation has left a more sweetly perfumed memory. In 
1843, he was pastor of the Troy church. At that 
period Jessie Grifiis was a member of that church, and 
was made a deacon in 1844. He was father of some of 
the best women in the State, Mrs. McCracken, Mrs. 
Salmons, Mrs. Martin and JMrs. Jenning, the mother of 
Mrs. A. L. O'Briant, pastor at Florence. In 1846, 
Lewis Aldridge was elected deacon in that church. He 
was brave in battle, a soldier in the Mexican and Con- 
federate wars, brave and honorable in religious circles. 
He was born a gentleman, and never lost his bearing 
He was the father of the wife of Col. Hicks Barksdale, 
of Hardy Station. 

In 1848, the Association began to show an interest 
in ministerial education. John A. Oliver was a young 
minister bidding fair to be useful. He was adopted by 
the Association in 1848, as their beneficiary, and was 



576 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

supported until his literar3' course Avas finished five 
years afterward. He has ever been regarded as a ripe 
scholar and a man of correct life. If still living, his 
home is six or eight miles south of Carrollton. 

In 1851, the Yalobusha Female Institute was es- 
tablished. Establishing female schools seemed to have 
been a favorite passtime with the associations of olden 
times. But this establishment located in Grenada had 
unusual life, and presided over by men of great merit, 
such men as W. S. Webb and George C. Granberry. In 
six (6) years from the opening of the doors to pupils, 
the main building, three stories high, w^as completed. 

In 1852, J. G. Hall was moderator. This was an 
honor worthily bestowed. J. G. Hall was father of 
Judge J. G. Hall, who for years worthily presided over 
the Baptist State Convention at its annual gatherings. 
He was a worthy' son of a noble sire. 

Of the Executive Board, which was appointed that 
year, Lewis Aldridge Avas chairman, and G. H. Martin, 
secretary. The Board had H. B. Hay ward at Charles- 
ton and James G. Hall at Greenwood, and, also, sup- 
ported an Indian missionary by the name of Folsome. 
Thej^ had, as work doing for Alinisterial Education, 
E.J. Bullock at Georgetown College, Ka'., and Robert 
Alcorn at the school at old Preston. 

The session of 1853 was held in September with 
the Rehoboth church, Yalobusha county. James G. 
Hall was chosen moderator, Lewis Aldridge treasurer, 
and" Hillary Talbert clerk. The introductory sermon 
was preached bj- G. H. Alartin on Ministerial EducHtion. 
The missionar^^ sermon was preached on Sunday by 
H. B. Ha^'ward, after which a collection was taken for 
Foreigh missions, amounting to $74. 

At that meeting pledges were made to Home mis- 



HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 577 

sions, amounting to $234 ; to Indian missions, $47.50; 
to Foreign missions, $67 ; and to Ministerial Educa- 
tion, $87. John Poitevent had left in his will a legacy 
of $100 to F'oreign missions, and $100 to Domestic 
missions. 

The body met the following year at Spring Creek 
church, Calhoun county, which church was nineteen 
(19) miles from Coffeeville on the Pontotoc road. 
That was a long way for the delegates of some of the 
churches to go, but such churches w^ere enlivened by 
the visits of the Association, and the delegates made 
the long ride cheerfully. James G. Gates was to preach 
the introductory^ sermon on Ministerial Education, 
G.H, Martin on Foreign Missions, and H.B. Haj^ward 
on Bible Cause, with W. S. Webb, as alternate. W. S. 
Webb at the time was connected with the Yalobusha 
Female College, and was succeeding in his work. 

The next year, or in 1855, H. B. Hayward was 
moderator, and Henry D. Bridges, clerk. During the 
associational year, Henr3^ Bridges died. He was said 
to be a very useful man in the Association during his 
connection with it. In 1855 and 1856, the Executive 
Board had E. J. Bullock emplo^^ed at Hopewell church, 
and L. B. Sanderson laboring in the eastern and north- 
ern part of the State. 

The three-story building of the Yalobusha Female 
College was in 1856 nearing completion, but it lacked 
much of being paid for. The Board of Trustees had to 
lament this fact and called for an agent to go into the 
field to raise a sufficiency of money to meet their obli- 
gations, which had come upon them b^- accruing debt 
on the building. The}' had been granted indulgence on 
a part of the debt, and thought the balance could be 
liquidated with the greatest ease and readiness. 



578 HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BAPTISTS. 

Increased demands were upon them in their asso- 
ciational work and Foreign missions. Many of their 
churches had no pastors, and the Association was re- 
ceiving many requests for help. Pledges were taken at 
once for this work to be paid at the next meeting of 
the Association, amounting to $172.75. The expenses 
of Foreign mission work were increased by additional 
missionaries being sent into the field, which called for 
an increase of offerings to Foreign missions. 

The Yalobusha mourned in common with the Y