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PIONEER HISTORY OF PALESTINE ASSOCIA-
TION OF REGULAR BAPTISTS.
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
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
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*