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By Charles S. Goff. 

The first Baptists who came to this part of the Illinois 
Territory helped build, and for a while lived in old Fort 
Lamotte, just southeast of the present site of Palestine, 
Illinois. This was the first permanent settlement on the 
east side of the territory and took place in the years 
1810-12. Others of that little band of settlers were Metho- 
dists, at least their immediate descendants were. 

Many of the early settlers on the Indiana side were 
Baptists, too. 

These Baptist pioneers followed the Apostolic custom 
of organizing a church wherever practicable. Hence at 
this time there were a few smfall churches in the Indiana 
Territory along the Wabash river. 

On Friday, July 7, 1809, messengers from five churches 
met at the ''town of Columbia, on Patoka, Knox county, 
Indiana Territory," for the purpose of organizing the 
Wabash District Association. It was composed of the 
following churches originally : Wabash, Bethel, Patoka, 
Salem, and Marra Creek, all of which were in or around 
Knox county, Indiana Territory. 

Two men whose names are dear to Baptists on this 
side of the Wabash were messengers to this meeeting. 
They were Isaac McCoy, of Wabash church, and Stephen 
Kennedy, of Patoka church. McCoy afterwards became 
a missionary to the Indians and Kennedy became one of 
best pioneer preachers of Palestine Association. 

The body drafted a constitution and rules of decorum 
similar to those of Union and Palestine associations at 


When the Lamotte church was organized in 1812, it 
became a member of the Wabash District Association. 
This church on the southern edge of Lamotte prairie and 
Little Village organized near Russelville in 1817, both 
by members lettered from Marra Creek church, were the 
only churches in the present limits of the Association at 
that time. All the Baptist churches on this side of the 
river belonged to the Wabash District Association prior 
to its division over the ^ * anti-mission issue'* in 1823. 

Lamotte, Little Village, Livingston, Darwin and Shi- 
loh, near Bridgeport, Lawrence county, were the only 
Baptist churches in this part of the State prior to the 
early forties. 

In 1819 Daniel Parker began preaching the *' anti-mis- 
sion" and *^ two-seed" doctrine in the Wabash District 
Association. This locality in southeastern Crawford and 
northeastern Lawrence counties, is the birthplace of this 
doctrine and Daniel Parker was its progenitor. He was 
a member of Lamotte church, hence that church bore the 
brunt of the conflict. 

The movement sprang up independently in three differ- 
ent parts of the United States, and it is doubtful if one 
leader knew of the others. Rev. Daniel Parker preached 
it in the Lamotte church and Wabash District Associa- 
tion in 1819, a Kev. Mr. Jones in the Illinois Association 
near St. Louis in 1824, and the Rev. Joshua Lawrence in 
the Kehukee Association in North Carolina in 1827. 

When the Wal>ash District Association divided over 
the issue in 1823, seven of its twelve churches organized 
Union Association in Indiana, and the other five stayed 
with the Wabash which remlained * ^ anti-mission. " Two 
of this five were Lamotte and Little Village, the others 
were in Indiana. 

Prior to this division the Wabash District Association 
had been a missionary body. The year that Daniel 
Parker came from Kentucky here, 1817, it put on record 
the following statement : ^ * This Association has received 
with pleasure the circular of the Board of Foreign Mis- 


sions, and is highly pleased with the information derived 
therefrom.^' In 1815 it had appointed Eev. Isaac McCoy 
corresponding secretary, to correspond with the Baptist 
Board of Foreign Missions. In 1817 he had an appoint- 
ment of some kind from the board. Daniel Parker be- 
came jealous of the influence of McCoy in missionary 
work, and when the latter began his work among the In- 
dians, Parker, who coveted the appointment, began vent- 
ing his spleen by opposing missions. 

Little Village church, under Daniel Parker's influence, 
went bodily with the * * Parkerites, ' ' as the * ' anti-mission * * 
brethren were called, and in 1827 Lamotte church was 

In the fall of 1841 messengers from six Illinois churches 
met with the missionary Lamotte church and organized 
the present Palestine Association, Friday, Oct. 15, of that 
year. It still exists in Crawford and adjoining counties*