ALABAMA BAPTtST H;r.T'-:?^iCAI SOCIETY
Fifty-Seventh Annual Session
^irminghani Baptist Association
HELD WITH ^M
Bessemer Baptist Church. |
BESSEMER, JEFFERSON COUNTY, ALABAMA, §
October ioth, itth, and 12th. 189o.
Roberts & Son, LrrnoGKAi'jiicits, Printek* a vn Hivih-hs,
Fifty-Seventh Annual Session
Dlrminapam Daptlst Association
Bessemer Baptist Church,
BESSEMER, JEFFERSON COUNTY, ALABAMA,
October 10th, iith, and i2th, 1890.
Roberts & Son, Lithographers, Printers and Binders,
A. J. WALDROP, Moderator, - - - Woodlawn, Ala.
R. W. BECK, Clkrk, East Lake, Ala.
The next session of the Association will be held with the Truss-
ville Baptist Church, at Trussville. Alabanna, commencing on
Wednesday before the first Sunday in October, 1891, at lO
o'clock a. m.
Order of Business.
1. Reading of Church Letters.
2. Enrollment of Delegates.
3. Election of Officers.
4. Receive Churches Applying for Admission.
5. Appoint Special Committees.
6. Receive Correspondence.
*7. Return Correspondence.
8. Miscellaneous Business.
0. Report on Foreign Missions.
10. Report on Home Missions.
11. Report on State Missions.
12. Report on Religious Literature and Colportage Work.
13. Report on Education.
14. Miscellaneous Business.
15. Report on Sabbath Schools.
16. Report on Temperance.
17. Report on Church Improvements.
18. Report on Documents.
19. Report on Nominations.
20. Report of Treasurer.
21. Repoi-t of Finance Committee.
22. Appoint Standing Committees.
23. Report of Committee on Spiritual Condition of Churches.
24. Report of Executive Committee.
25. Miscellaneous Business.
The flfty-seventh annual session of the Birmingham Bap-
tist Association assembled in the meeting house of the Besse-
mer Baptist Cliurch at 10 o'clock a. m., Friday, October 10,
The body was called to order by the Moderator, Rev. A.
J. Waldrop, and a half hour was devoted to devotional exer-
cises, conducted by Rev. P. T. Hale.
The order of business as published in the last minutes was
Brothers A. W. McGaha and H. H. Brown were appointed
to read the letters from the churches, and the following names
were enrolled as delegates :
Avondale — Rev. J. M. Green, Faggard, Geo. Garrard,
Gilbert Carter and Cooper.
Adger — J. B. Boston.
Bessemer — M. M. Wood, A. M. Hendon, J. L. Thurman,
A. A. Harris and T. P. Waller.
Bethany— J. P. Pearson, Levi McBrayer and C. W. Mc-
Birmingham, First Church — Rev. W. L. Pickard, Rev. D.
I. Purser, A. B. Johnston, G. G. Miles, E. L. Ballard, A. E.
Williams, D. B. Pearson, E. H. Cabaniss, R. F. Mauley, Henry
Fowlkes, Geo. B. Bates and W. J. Pearce.
Birmingham, South Side — W. M. Malone, M. B. Swanson,
W. B. Alexander, R. Holtam, William Nails and Rev. P. T.
Birmingham, Second — A. N. Hawkins, J. P. Rockett and
J. Y. Radford.
Birmingham, Third — Rev. Jas. Hogan, N. H. Sayers, G.
M. Allen and Beatty Thompson.
Canaan — Jos. Massey, J. W. Cooley and W. S. Harrison.
Central— J. M. Pressley, R. M. Inzer, G. W. Hicks, J. F.
Franklin and G. V. Praytor.
Concord — ^W. L. Echols, Jas. Letcher and B. T. Franklin.
Dolomite — Rev. E. L. Nicholson, K. Y. Robinson, S. G.
Robinson, E. A, Harrison and J. P. Warnick.
Elyton— C. B. Lloyd, B. F. Weaver and M. R. Rockett.
Enon — M. P. Rogers and M. D. Hagood.
Ensley— J. K, Pemberton, E. G. Sills and Henry Rury.
Green Springs — G. A. Robertson, G. W. Smith and T. J.
John — W. A. Bynum and R. H. Briston.
Mt. Olive — J. M. Landrum and W. J. Sanford.
New Prospect — Rev. M. T. Branham, J. D. Fawlks, W. L.
C. Vann, W. O. M. Franklin and J. J. Heaton.
Oak Grove — Jas. A. McCombs T. A. Anderson and A. J.
Pratt Mines — R. M. Cunningham, J. F. Huey, J. E. Weaver,
J. W. Minor and Rev. G. T. Lee.
Pleasant Ridge — O. J. Waldrop, T. Robertson and J. V.
Ruhama— Rev. A. W. McGaha, Rev. A. J. Waldrop, R. W.
Beck, T. J. Dill, J. M. Huey, H. H. Brown, T. V. B. Moor and
Rev. B. F. Riley.
Salem — Wm. Franklin, J. L. Watson, Wm. Moore and J.
Springville— Rev. G. W. Lovell, G. M. Truss, J. I. Wash-
ington, J. W. Inzer and A. G. Nunnelly.
Trussville — M. K. Vann, R. H. Hendon, D. Frankhn, D.
H. Vann and N. N. Vann.
Union— C. E. Fulton and W. H. Connell.
Warrior — H. A. Hagler, Rev. W. A. Hobson and J. M.
Woodlawn— Rev. S. R. C. Adams, W. I. Gibson, T. J.
Mason, J. T. Hood and Rev. G. D. Staton.
The preaching of the introductory sermon was postponed
to the night session.
The following officers were unanimously re-elected, to- wit :
Moderator — Rev. A. J. Waldrop.
Clerk— R. W. Beck.
Corresponding Secretary — Rev. M. M.' Wood.
Assistant Clerk — J. F. Huey.
Treasurer — Felix M. Wood.
Upon motion of A. W. McGaha, all the delegates present
Rev. Mr. Nicholson, chaplain of the State convicts, was
then granted the floor to speak to the body of his work, which
The hours for meeting were fixed at 9 to 12 in the morn-
ing, 2 to 5 in the afternoon, 7:30 at night and adjourn at will.
FIRST DAY — Afternoon Session.
Two o'clock p. M. — The body was called to order by the
Moderator. Devotional exercises conducted by Dr. Pickard.
After some timely words of admonition from the Moderator,
some letters from several churches, whose delegates had ar-
rived late, were read. After reading the letters, petitionary
letters were called for, and the following churches applied for
membership, viz.: Union and John Churches, and upon
motion of P. T. Hale, the applications were referred to the
following committee : W. L. Pickard, J. L. Thurman and F.
The Moderator then announced the following special com-
Mnance—T>. B. Pearson, W. L. C. Vann and T. J. Mason.
Documents— R. H. Brown, William Franklin and J. L.
JVomiriaHo'us—G. G. Miles, J. H. Eubank and J. M.
Devotums — Pastor and Deacons of Bessemer Church, with
S. R. C. Adams and M. T. Branham.
Correspondents were then called for, and was answered
by Dr. D. I Purser, Financial Secretary of Howard College ;
Rev. S. P. Lindsay of The Alabama Baptist ; Dr. B. F. Riley,
President of Howard College ; Rev. J. H. Curry, J. L. Cham-
pion and I. C. Lawrence from the Tuscaloosa Association;
S. L. Waldrop from Sulphur Springs Association, and R. W.
Inzer from the Cahaba Valley Association.
Upon motion of P. T. Hale, the report on education was
made the special order for this hour. The report was read by
B. F. Riley, and was discussed by B. F. Riley and D. I. Purser
in able and earnest speeches.
At the conclusion of Dr. Purser's speech a subscription
to the Dormitory fund of Howard College was taken, which
amounted, in cash and notes, to 11,005.
Upon motion the report was adopted.
REPORT ON EDUCATION.
Education, both as to method and principle, is, to-day, in the fore-
front of human interests. As a system, in its practical effect, it has
come to underlie everything that is useful. In the past, when insti-
tutions of learning were scarce, men sometimes rose to heights of emi-
nence ; but this was due. not to a lack of education so much, it was
due to the flexibility of our republican institutions, and to the peculiar
conditions by which men in the past were surrounded. Because of the
paucity of colleges, men could not be fitted as they otherwise would
have been for life, and yet they were needed to fill positions of trust and
responsibility. Hence, we find that our American history abounds in
the records of men who attained to prominence though they were
untaught in the schools. This is but a feeble pretext for neglecting
educational training now. As the country has grown, and its institu-
tions — social, political and religious — have increased, its people have
risen in the scale of moral and intellectual excellence, so that the
demand for educated men and women has augmented. To ignore the
demands of the present period for scholastically trained men and women
is to disregard the high interests of the present generation.
Responding to this demonstration of the times, both the Church
and the state are seeking to supply the demand. Christian denomina-
tions, recognizing the fact that the school and the college are indispen-
sable adjuncts to usefulness, alike in private and public walks, are
establishing institutions of learning of such varied grade as to equal the
demands of the times. While contributing to the public school and to
the maintenance of State colleges in common with other citizens who
are not Christians, they are also establishing and sustaining academies,
colleges and universities through voluntary contributions, in order that
a moral and religious bias may be given to the public mind.
The reception with which such efforts have been met may be seen
by reference to the census of 1880. At that time the property of
denominational colleges was three times as great as that of all non-
denominational colleges together, including those founded by the State.
Four-fifths of all the collegiate students in the country in 1880 were
in denominational colleges. The increase of these colleges was five
times that of the non-denominational. The increase of students in them
was more than five times that of the non-denominational. While the
population of the United States has increased four-fold, the denomina-
tional colleges and the students in them have increased nearly eight-
fold, or nearly twice as rapidly as population. In this enumeration two
facts are quite clear, viz: First, that the Christians of this continent
have not been slow to recognize the importance of scholastic training
binder wholesome influences; and, second, that the country has appre-
ciated the commendable efforts put fortli by Christian people.
While not falling a whit behind the most advanced schools of secu-
lar character, these Christian colleges ha^e striven to combine with
mental discipline the highest moral training.
Belonging exclusively to the Baptists of Alabama, are the two
institutions, the Howard and the Judson, established and maintained
during a former generation by our fathers and grandfathers.
The Baptists of Alabama were among the pioneers of Christian edu-
cation in the South. Full of usefulness and of years these two institu-
tions have been transmitted to us of the present generation. Like other
colleges around them, they have had eventful careers; but they have
come through the ordeals of war and of flame, and the present year finds
them the peers of the leading colleges of the South in scholastic instruc-
tion, while they are pervaded by the spirit of Christianity.
The sessions of these colleges last year were most successful ones.
The enrollment at Howard College was 170, thirty-flve of which number
were niinisterial students. This year the college has opened most aus-
piciously. Already there are enrolled 1.59 students. With the new
buildings our numbers will be greatly increased.
The Judson Female Institute, at Marion, closed last June one of its
most prosperous years, and the present session finds its matriculation
jL'oll greatly enlarged.
If Baptists would give to these colleges the support which they
could, it would be impossible to estimate the amount of reflex influence
exerted in this State and elsewhere in favor of the promulgation of our
Another institution, dear to Baptists throughout the South,
deserves appropriate mention in this connection. Allusion is had to
the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, at Louisville, Ky. In some
respects, it is without a rival on the continent. Within its faculty are
men of prodigious intellect and profound consecration.
This, too, deserves our prayers, our labors and our gifts.
B. F. RILEY, r hair man.
The committee to whom was referred the applications of
new churches, report as follows :
We your committee appointed to examine into the Baptist validity
of the petitionary letters of the Baptist Church at Johns, and of the
Union Missionary Baptist Church, report as follows : The petition of
John's Church is every way regular, but that the petition of the Union
Missionary Baptist Church is a little irregular, in this, that it should
have gone this session to the Harmony Association, of which it is a
member, and gotten a letter from that Association to join this, but as
we are assured that perfect harmony exists between the Church and the
Harmony Association, and that it is best for the Church to become a
member of the Canaan Association, we recommend the reception of
these two churches, and the seating of their delegates.
W. L. PICKARD,
J. L. THURMAN,
F. M. WOOD,
Dr. W. L. Pickard was recognized as the representative
of the Ministerial Board.
Upon motion of A. W. McGalia it was ordered that any
member of this body who may attend the meeting of any other
Association, shall be the correspondent from this body to the
one he may attend.
Upon motion of G. D, Staton, S. T. Vann was admitted as
a delegate from New Prospect Church.
The following resolution was offered by H. H. Brown :
Resolved, That the name of this Association be changed to " Bir-
mingham," instead of "Canaan."
and, after general discussion, was referred to a special com-
mittee of five, said committee consisting of H. H. Brown, P.
T. Hale, M. K. Vann, G. D. Staton and J. B. Glenn.
Upon motion of P. T. Hale, the name of Bro. Stiff was
added to the list of delegates from South Side Church, in place
of M. B. Swanson.
Adjourned with benediction by Dr. Rile5^
FRIDAY NIGHT SESSION— 7:30 O'Clock.
The body was called to order by the Moderator, and after
prayer by Rev. S. R. C. Adams, the body listened to the very
clear and edifying introductory sermon by Rev. A, W. McGaha,
of East Lake, from the Scriptures found in the fifteenth chap-
ter of Luke, first and second verses.
At the close of the sermon the congregation sang : " Praise
God from Whom all Blessings Flow," and the body proceeded
The report on Home Missions was read by A. W. McGaha,
and was discussed at length by B. F. Riley, P. T. Hale and M.
M. Wood, after which the report was adopted.
REPORT ON HOME MISSIONS.
Your Committee are profoundly grateful to God to be able to make
a very favorable and gratifying report of the work done on the home
field. The Home Mission Board reported at Fort Worth tliat more
money had been raised and more work done during tlie last (forty-
fifth) year than during any previous year of its history. Your attention
is called to facts and figures showing number of missionaries employed
by the Board, the work done, and the money collected:
Missionaries employed 371
Churches and stations 1, 182
Sermons and addresses 38,741
Received by letter 8,621
Sunday Schools organized 336
Churches organized 267
Houses of worship built 84
Bibles and Testaments distributed 5,728
Total cash receipts and vouchers $167,576.22
Included in the above amount for building houses of worship
on fields 37,424.85
Alabama contributed last year, $4,336.17; number of missionaries
employed in Alabama, 15; Boai'd expended in Alabama, $2,571 .3!».
The work among the colored people is not what it might be, how-
ever the Board is doing the best they can. In addition to fifty mission-
aries among them, five white brethren have been employed as theologi-
The wonderful work done by our twenty-one missionaries in Cuba
is the admiration and talk of the Christian world. The total member-
ship is over 1,700. Average attendance upon day school is about 700.
There are more than 2,000 pupils in the Sunday Schools, about twenty
young men are prejjaring for the ministry. A school for their instruc-
tion is a necessity.
At the recent session of the Convention, the Board made a special
report on the new work which ought to be done the present year.
"1. Mission Work in the Indian Territory ought to be increased,
and $2,000 additional will be required for that purpose.
"2. A mission in New Mexico is imperatively demanded, which
will require $2,000 more.
"3. The Board ought to increase its appropriation to Eastern Ken-
tucky, East Tennessee, Western North Carolina and Northeastern
Georgia not less than |5,000.
"4. Our work among the foreign population in Missouri and Texas
ought to be enlarged, and $2,000 will be required for this purpose.
" 5. Work among the colored people ought to be so extended as to
give $1,000 each to Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Arkansas.
"6. In the work of church building, the smallest amount consistent
with any sort of efficiency must not be less than $10,000,
"7. $15,000 will be needed to make the next payment on the house
of worship in Havana.
"8. Our work in Cuba, so rapidly enlarging, will require $2,000
more than last year.
"These amounts aggregate $43,000 of new work, which presses
upon the Board.
" This sum of $43,000, added to the $70,000 expended last year, and
which must be expended on the same fields this year, make $112,000
required by the Board for the present year's work. If the churches will
contribute $100,000 of this sum, the Board will secure the remaining
$12,000 from other sources, such as legacies, cemetery in Cuba, rents of
There are within the bounds of the convention 1,250,000 Baptists.
If each one gives 10 cents we would have enough to meet the demands
of the Board, and the handsome sum of $25,000 as a surplus.
Alabama has been asked to contribute for the present year $6,500 —
a little less than 7 cents apiece for our 95,000 members. Shame on the
man who says we can't! God pity and save the man who won't try.
A. W. McGAHA.
After several announcements, the body adjourned with
l^rayer by Rev. M. M. Wood.
SATURDAY MORNING SESSION— 9 O'Clock.
The Moderator called the body to order, and after prayer
by Rev. W. A. Hobson, a half hour's devotional exercises were
conducted by Dr. B, F. Riley.
Upon motion of Rev. S. R. C. Adams, Felix M. Wood was
seated as a delegate from Woodlawn Church.
The report on Foreign Missions was read by Rev. P. T.
Hale, and was discussed by P. T. Hale, B. F. Riley, A. W,
McGaha and A. J. Waldrop, after which the report was
Upon motion of A. W. McGaha, the name of the Sunday
school supporting a girl at Madero Institute, was given. It is
the Sunday School of the South Side Church.
REPORT ON FOREIGX MISSIONS.
In our Foreign Mission work Christ has redeemed his promise : " Lo,
I am with you alway."
At the meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention last May, the
Board reported that it had sent out in the twenty previous months forty
new missionaries. Three of these — the consecrated Miss Mary J. Thorn-
ton, and Mr. and Mrs. J. ^V. McCollum — are from our own State. Bro.
and Mrs. McCollum, together with Bro. and Mrs. J. A. Brunson were
pi"esent at the last meeting of this Association, and received from it the
parting hand before sailing to their distant field of labor in the promising
isle of Japan.
We call especial attention to the fact that the Baptist Churches in
heathen lands contributed last year $4,680.87, an average of |2 to each
member. This is an average, such that if it were equaled by the Bap-
tists of Alabama, vrould put nearly $200,000 in the treasury of our Board
—ran amount nearly double that contributed by the Bajjtists of the entire
The Board received this conventional year— which extended, of
course, from May 1, 1889 to May 1, 1800, $109,174.20. It needed, asked
for, and the Convention thought it might safely count on $150,000, but
the churches failed, by nearly one-third, to raise this amount, so the
work had to be curtailed, reinforcements denied to needy fields, and
promising fields remain unoccupied for lack of funds.
As to Brazil, with the recent change of government to a republic,
insuring religious liberty, and resdwiug in a complete separation of church
and state, the outlook is brightePrhan ever before. A generous brother
in Texas has given $1,000 to build a church in the great city of Rio.
There have been fifty-three baptisms in Brazil in the past year.
The indefatigable W. D. Powell and his faithful co-workers are
pushing our work in Mexico. Among the 213 baptized was a Catholic
priest. One Sunday School within our bounds is supporting a girl at
the Madero Institute.
In sunny Italy, and the island of Sardinia, which seems in God's
providence committed only to us, Drs. Taylor and Eager, and their
native assistants have led 59 from the darkness of Romanism into the
light and liberty of the Gospel.
Japan presents a field full of promise, and we look for good reports
from our four missionaries who have lately entered that ripe harvest
In the awakening of the " Dark ContinenV we have had some part.
We now have fifty-eight members who have become citizens of the
Kingdom of Light. Some peculiar misfortunes have befallen us here,
but we should be all the more faithful and undaunted.
In China our converts have endured some bitter persecution with
the fortitude of primitive Christians. There have been eighty-two bap-
tisms during the year, and our present membership is over 800.
Watchman, what of the night? The night passeth, the day dawneth.
Bright is the prospect as the promises and purposes of God.
Your committee suggests:
1. That a club for the Foreign Missions Journal be raised in every
Church. It has been enlarged to an interesting magazine of fine pro-
portions. Information is the basis of interest.
2. That in addition to asking a contribution from each church mem-
ber, the women and children be organized into Mission and Sunbeam
Societies. The women raised last year over $21,000, and the children
3. That the women all co-operate with the Central Committee,
located at Birmingham.
4. That as the next meeting of the Convention is in our bounds,
in Birmingham, next May, we strive to have, by far, the largest report
in our history, in this work of sending the gospel to the nations beyond.
Respectfully submitted, P. T. HALE, Chairman Committee.
The report on State Missions was read by W. L. Pickard,
and discussed by W. L. Pickard, W. A. Hobson, M. M. Wood
and B. F. Riley, and upon motion of A. W. McGaha it was
REPORT OF STATE MISSIONS.
Your Committee beg to report as follows:
The increase of the spirit of missions and of giving to missions on
the part of our denomination is very'jitatifying.
The latest complete statistical report which we have been able to
get is that of the last State Convention, which is as follows:
Men employed 5.3
Miles traveled 34,800
Sermons delivered .3,587
Addresses made 1,235
Churches constituted 14
Number of persons baptized 345
Baptized by others in connection with labors 430
Received by letter 547
Sunday Schools organized 54
Sunday Schools addressed 227
Ladies' Mission Societies organized 10
Prayer meetings organized 82
Prayer meetings held 869
Number of preaching stations without churches 132
Number of churches visited 581
Number of visits made 7,961
Number of subscribers to Alabama Baptist 115
Subscribers gotten to Foreign Mission Journal 58
Value of books sold $3,800
Pages of tracts distributed 7,103
. Meeting houses commenced 16
Meeting houses finished 5
Money collected for meeting houses 111,072 00
Total collected collected for State Missions (16 months) $12,908.02
Amount paid missionaries $8,019.20
Secretary's salary for twelve months 1,500.00
" " four " 500.00
Traveling expenses of Corresponding Secretary 418.73
Traveling expenses of special agents 125.22
Amount paid clerk hire 893. 30
Pro rata Convention printing 95.02
Amount paid expense account, including stationery,
printing, exchange, express, etc., etc 525.08
Balance on hand 1,327.47
Total, July, 1888, to November, 1889 $12,904.02
NECESSITIES LAID UPOX US.
The material development of our State is unprecedented, marvel-
ous, almost fabulous. Millions of dollars are being brought into our
midst for investment. With this influx of money comes a great influx
of population. Waste places are being rapidly turned into densely pop-
ulated centers. Many of these new citizens are homogeneous in thought,
in purpose, in religion. Many of them are not. Their influence will be
for our institutions or against them, according to the education and
religion of this population. But the religion of Christ is the principal
factor in the destiny of these people, and in our destiny. We need
many, many more houses of worship. We need good houses in many
places where the local membership are utterly unable to meet the
demands. We need more preachers, and we need some of our ablest men
in the places where the Baptists at present are unable to sustain them.
This is absolutely necessary if we would hold the fields in the future.
We need vastly more than in the years of the past. We recommend:
1. That the churches constantly pay for the iirogress of the truth
as it is in Jesus.
2. That the churches try to answer their prayers with their means.
3. That the ministers make their flocks more thoroughly acquainted
with the subject of missions.
4. That the churches give often, regularly and systematically, and
that they give until they feel it.
5. That the churches co-operate heartily with the State Mission
Respectfully, W. L. PICKAED.
The report of the committee to whom was referred the
resolution proposing to change the name of the Association
from " Canaan" to " Birmingham," was read by H. H. Brown,
and after being discussed by H. H. Brown, P. T. Hale, G. T.
Lee, A. W. McGaha, W. A. Hobson and M. M. Wood, was
adopted by a large majority.
The Committee to whom was referred the resolution to change the
name of this body from the "Canaan Baptist Association" to the "Bir-
mingham Baptist Association, have had the same under consideration,
and unanimously recommend the adoption of the resolution.
H. H. BROWIsr,
P. T. HALE,
G. D. STATON.
M. K. VANN,
J. B. GLENN.
The report on devotions was read by Rev. M. M. Wood.
Adjourned with prayer by Rev. B. F. Riley.
SATURDAY AFTERNOON SESSION— 2 O'Clock.
The body was called to order by the Moderator, and led
in prayer by Rev. R. W. Inzer.
The letters from Ensley and Springville churches were
read and delegates seated.
The report on religious literature and colportage work
was read by G. G. Miles, and after discussion by S. P. Lind-
say, H. H. Brown and W. L. Pickard, upon motion of H. H.
Brown, the report was amended and adopted as it is printed.
REPOET ON RELIGIOUS LITERATURE AND COLPORTAGE.
Your committee regards the woi'k of disseminating religious litera-
ture one of the mostimportant undertakings connected •with our denom-
Our poj)ulation is increasing, ovu* raih'oads and towns are being
built with a rapidity which is amazing. As the largest denomination in
the State, what is to prevent us from pushing our peculiar doctrines to
the utmost bounds of our tei'ritory.
We, as Baj^tists; seem to have failed to appreciate the power of the
printing press. Others do appreciate this wonderful agency, and are
using it for all that it is worth. Shall we not do the same, and stimu-
late our people to give greater diligence to this important work?
1. We recommend the Alabama BaptiHt as a means of communica-
tion between the Baptists of the State, and as an educator in the prin-
ciples of morals, temperance and religion.
2. We recommend our Colportage Board, located at Oi)elika, as a
suitable book depository, from which any and all kinds of religious
books may be procured, and through which our Sunday School litera-
ture can be obtained without extra cost to us, but with profit to the
3. We recommend the Kind Worda series of Sunday School litera-
ture, now published in Atlanta, but soon to be turned over to a com-
mittee appointed at the late session of the Southern Baptist Convention
with instructions to make tlie series as perfect in quality and as profita-
ble to our people as possible. We recommend, therefore, that the Kind
Words series be used by all our churches and Sunday Schools. We
regret the appointment of a special agent in our State by the A. B.
P. S., which is causing so much disturbance, and seems likely to create
divisions in our ranks to the detriment of our general denominational
enterprises. We therefoi-e recommend, in conclusion, that our pastors
and churches exercise great diligence and patience to build up our
home institutions and enterprises, believing, as we do, that the Master
has laid upon us great responsibilities, and placed liefore us grand pos.
4. We recommend the Binningham Baptist, published by Hev. P. T.
Hale, of Birmingham, as a very readable and instructive monthly paper,
and especially helpful in our Association in bringing us to know each
other better, and uniting us in our efforts to occupy the territory in our
bounds, which is, in some respects, the most important territory of any
association in the State. D. I. PURSER, Chairman Committee.
The report on Sunday Schools was read by G. G. Miles,
and after being- spol^en to by H. H. Brown, G. T. Lee, F. B.
Stiff, A. N. Hendon and E. H. Cabaniss, upon motion, was
REPORT ON SUNDAY SCHOOLS.
The day is dawning upon us when broader plans are needed, with
more vigorous and aggressive measures adopted in prosecuting this
grand and glorious Avork.
In this enlightened age of the Nineteenth Century, all the voca-
tions of life are moving onward with lightning-like rapidity, and if we,
as Sunday School workei-s, do not fall into line and marshal our strength
in the front ranks, we will not only fail to come up to the full measure
of our duty, but our work will suffer at our hands. More efficient work
and abetter system is the crying need of the hour, hence, in this report
it is the purpose of your Committee to digress somewhat from the old
beaten path of simply giving a few stale statistics and general passing
suggestions on the subject, but enter more fully into the practical com-
mon-sense divisions of our work.
In the first place, it goes without saying that every Baptist Church
should have a Sunday School. Show me a church with an active, well-
ordered Sunday School, and I will show you a live, progressive church.
So it is a self-evident fact that the Sunday School is the pulse of the
church, and just in proportion to the activity of the Sunday School, just
in the same measure you will see the life-blood of the churcli fiowing.
The perplexing question very naturally arises, how are we going to suc-
ceed in securing a live Sunday School? The answer is, "Just have it. '"
This does not mean for just two or three consecrated members to consti-
tute the school. Neitlier does it mean simply the children of the church
and congregation, but it means the church. Brethren we must abandon
the old idea that the Sunday School is only intended for children. There
is much truth in the old saying that we are never too old to learn. It is a
sad truth thacmany of our adult members are mere babes when it comes
to knowing the Scriptures. Then why let such golden opportunities
pass, and not enter actively into the Sunday School, and learn some-
thing of the word of God, and develop into the Christian graces, and
in the meantime help lead souls to Christ. Our churches all need to be
stirred up on this line, and the entire membership brought into greater
sympathy, and closer communion with the work. It is a startling fact,
that, as a general thing, we do not find but about one-tenth of our
membership engaged in the Sunday School work. Any of them will tell
you they like to see the work succeed, and would not be without it, but
would rather not be troubled in keeping it up. Suppose we could enlist
even half of those who profess Christ. What a grand army we would
have for good, and what a power for tearing down the strongholds of
Satan, and snatching many a brand from the burning flames, and in
lieu thereof build up the waste places, in advancing the Master's cause.
The Sunday School at work, should be presided over by a man of
peculiar tact for the position. Some one has said that editors are born
and not acquired, and we are almost persuaded that the same may be
said of Sunday School Superintendents. To say the least, he should be
a man of unquestioned piety, prompt to a minute, full of life and zeal,
possessed of good judgment, abounding in patience, a clo«e student,
keeping pace with the literature of the day, and to know how to select
the best that is issued, and with all, clothed with brotherly love, and
not too full of talk, and the thing uppermost in his mind, the conver-
sion of souls.
But how often these qualifications are ignored, and through some
personal favoritism, a friend who is wholly unfit for the place is chosen,
and as a natural consequence, failure, chaos and discord follows.
The teacher occupies a position of no less responsibility than that
of the Superintendent, and the enormity of its weight can only be
appieciated by those who have had expeiience. The teacher should
know his class, love and pray for them, and in preparing the lesson,
try to arrange some thought which will be particularly helpful to each
individual, and preparation of the lesson means study, it does not mean
simply glancing at the questions and answers just the hour before start-
ing from home on Sunday morning. When the jjreparation is thorough,
it is not only a pleasure, but profitable to both teacher and pupil, while
on the other hand, a recitation where there has been no preparation, the
work is both laborious and hurtful. So we would emphasize the im-
portance of teachers knowing what they attempt to teach, remembering
that the young minds who are entrusted to our care are like the sensi-
tive plate in the camera which receives our likeness. Just so the heart
mould of the little child receives our every word and every act, which
the rolling tide of time can never efface. Through years of toil, pain and
defeat these impressions remain indelibly imprinted, which heli) to
shape the destiny of those whom we have trained in their youth. There
is another thought connected with this great work of Sunday School
teaching, and that is a missionary work, or it should be. The faithful
teacher will endeavor to gather into his class such material as has not
always enjoyed Sunday School privileges, as well as develop those who
are in constant attendance; and suppose those who teach in our Sunday
Schools within the next decade make a special effort to develop the
spirit of missions in their pupils, and convince them that it is right and
their duty to give of their substance in support of the gospel, the old
custom of having to resort to almost desperate measures to raise mission
money would be abandoned, and funds would always be in hand to meet
There are other essential offices aside from the two above-men-
tioned connected with the school, which the wise Superintendent will
take especial care in supplying, viz. : Assistant Superintendent, Secre-
tai-y and Treasurer and Librarian, The music should also be guarded
with a watchful eye, and made one of the chief attractions.
Our Sunday School work should be pressed vigorously on. Much
depends upon this department of the church in Christianizing the
nations. For some reasons we should feel greatly encouraged. There
are over ten million souls engaged in this great work in the United
States and Canada. Much progress has also been made in our Sunday
School literature. The International Series lessen papers, giving almost
the entire world the same lesson every Sabbath, is not only novel in its
arrangement, but doubtless works endless benefits, which perhaps no
other system would accomplish, and to the columns of the various
pei-iodicals that are published, the best talent of the land is employed
to contribute, unfolding with marked ability, yet with simplicity, the
unsearchable riches of God's word. In this connection we would urge
the importance of maintaining, as far as possible, our own Southern
publications, '■^ Kind Words,^^ which would aid the Board in charge of
this work in making them equal, if they are not already so, to any
publication in existence, and in the meantime meet the demands of our
own peculiar views.
While we have much to rejoice over in the progi'ess of our work,
there are some reasons for regret, and strong evidences of a broad field
in which to labor. Coming nearer home, and more directly to the work
of our own denomination, we find that in the State of Alabama we
have about 96,000 Baptists, with 1,400 regularly organized churches,
743 ordained ministers. Yet we have only 500 Sunday Schools. Why
is this true? Because the churches need to be aroused to the impor-
tance of this department of their work
Then, brethren of the Birmingham Association, let us resolve here
to-day that when we return to our respective churches, that we will
enter our work with renewed energy, and endeavor to bring all our
members, with their children, into the Sunday School, and should this
be accomplished, what a grand yiekling up for the Master there would be
shown at our next annual gathering. Weshouldremember that in this
grand and glorious work we are marching onward and upward to loftier
realms, and when we have finished our stewai'dship here we will hear
that welcome plaudit; " Well done, thou good and faithful servant;
thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over
many things; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."
Respectfully submitted, G. G. MILES, Chairman:
The report on nominations was read by G. G. Miles, and on
motion of W. A. Hobson, was adopted.
REPORT ON NOMINATIONS.
1. Place of next meeting, Truss ville Church.
2. On Wednesday before the first Sunday in October, 1891.
3. Introductory sermon to be preached by Rev, M. M. Woods;
alternate. Rev. George T. Lee.
4. Missionary sermon by Rev. P. T. Hale; alternate, Rev. D. 1.
•5. Executive Committee: H. H. Brown, Gilbert Carter, J. M. Huey,
T. J . Mason and John Minor.
6. Delegates to State Convention: G. D. Staton, W. L. Pickard, P
T. Hale, R. W. Beck, A. W. McGalia, S. R. C. Adams, B. F. Riley, D.
I. Purser, A. W. Hendon, W. C. Ward and G. G. Miles.
7. Delegate Southern Baptist Convention: A. J. Waldrop; alter-
nate, B. F. Riley.
Respectfully submitted, G. G. MILES.
The report on Temperance was read by M. M- Wood, and
after being spoken to by M. M. Wood, upon motion was
REPORT ON TEMPERANCE.
The Bible teaches temperance in many things. But it does not
teach that God's servants are to be either slow or weak in their advo-
cacy of that which is pure and right, or in their opposition to that
which is impure and sinful. The rule for each Christian is "Abstain
from all appearance of evil." The Apostle thus lays down a rule com-
pletely prohibiting our indulgence in anything which has the appear-
ance of evil in it. So that we are not to be temperate in sin in any
This is especially true in the use of tobacco, opium and liquor,
except purely and strictly as a medicine.
It is reliably reported that the use of tobacco is rapidly spreading
among our women. The cigarette habit is assuming alarming propor-
tions among the boys, both in and out of our cities and towns.
The liquor trafl&c has not yet starved to death, nor is there any
prospect of it in the near future. It still hangs, like a huge cancer, on
the body politic, an eyesore to the pure and an obstruction to the
spread of the gospel and the development of piety.
Blnningham's and Bessemer' s annual drink bill is estimated at
$3,400,000. Three-fourths of the arrests made by the police of Besse-
mer are for drunkenness.
The State Fair Association has again authorized the establishment
of saloons on the grounds during the coming fair.
Nearly all the drug stores in the country now sell liquors by the
quart, not merely as a drug, but as a beverage, solely for the money
there is in it, and many of these are owned by members of the various
These evils are of such magnitude as to call for your most serious
consideration. Respectfully submitted,
M. M. WOOD, Chairman.
Upon motion of A. W. McGaha, the following resolution
was adopted :
Eesolved, That a committee of five brethren, members of this Asso-
ciation be appointed an Examining Board, whose duties shall be to
examine all applicants for support from the State Ministerial Board,
and whose action shall be the action of this Association.
The Moderator appointed tlie following committee, viz :
B. F. Riley, A. W. McGaha. P. T. Hale, S. R. C. Adams and
J. M. Green, who constitute the Board raised by the resolution.
The following resolution was offered by P. T. Hale, and
on motion of G. G. Miles, was adopted.
Resolved, 1. That in the death of Deacons M. G. Hudson and R. H.
Sterrettwe have sustained a great loss as an Association.
2. That we desire to put on record our high appreciation of the
lofty character, great piety and earnest zeal of these sainted brethren,
and our deep sense of loss in the fact that they will meet with us in our
gatherings no more.
Upon motion of P. T. Hale, the Association heartily
thanked Mayor Hard and the city of Bessemer for the use of
the City Hall in which tlie sessions of the body were held.
Adjourned with prayer by Rev. W. L. Pickard.
SATURDAY XIGHT SESSION— 7:30 O'Clock.
Tiie Moderator called the body to order, and after singing
and prayer by Rev. P. T. Hale, the report on documents was
read by H. H. Brown, and after discussion by H. H. Brown
and P. T. Flale, the report was adopted.
REPORT OF COMMITTEE ON DO<UMENTS.
We find from an examination of the church letters that tliere are
244 baptisms reported, and out of that number 110 are reported from
the Sunday Schools. This shows a decrease from last year's reports of
twenty-one baptisms. The number reported from the Sunday Schools
is comparatively small, and shows a want of interest and efficiency on
the part of the Sunday School officers and teachers, and should arouse
them to a more self-sacrificing and devoted work in the Sunday cause.
There are five churches that report no Sunday School, but we I'efrain
from giving the namei? of these churches, hoping that at the next meet-
ing of the Association each and every church will report a live and
flourishing Sunday School.
The letters fail to show how many of the churches keejj up regular
prayer meetings, and we recommend that the churches hereafter report
whether or not they have prayer meetings.
The letters show no ordinations of ministers or deacons during the
year, and but one licensed minister — that of Bro. Hardy by the Dolomite
Church. The committee, however, have information that several ordi-
nations have taken place. In this connection we suggest that hereafter
the churches report all ordinations, etc., to the Association.
From the letters we find that many of the churches report but
meager contributions for the various objects fostered by the denomina-
tion, and many of them report but a pittance raised for their pastor,
while a few report nothing under the head of pastor's salary, as well as
under other important heads.
Other and important omissions are found which we do not mention
in detail, and which arises, no doubt, from the defects in the printed
ioims used by the churches.
We notice that there is a want of uniformity as to the number of
delegates sent from the various churches to the Association, and it
a))])ears that there is not a perfect understanding as to the basis of rep-
resentation, and that there are differences of opinion as to the number of
delegates each church is entitled to. Upon this (piestion we recom-
mend that action be taken at this session to definitely settle this
We find among the papers turned over to the committee, a commu-
nication from the Warrior Church, complaining that an injustice was
done that church in the publication of the minutes of the last session
of this Association, in that the said minutes showed that there was no
report by letter from that church, while in fact there was a letter sent
giving a full account of the work, and contiibutions of the church for
the next preceding associational year. Upon investigation of this
matter we are satisfied that the said letter was lost or mislaid while the
documents were being handled by, and passed to and from the several
committees, which had to examine them, and that there was no injus-
tice intended, nor any criminal negligence upon the part of any of the
ers or committees of the Association ; and we trust that the good
brethren of Warrior will accept this explanation of what appears to them
as "grossly negligent" on the part of "some one."
In concluding this report we feel that candor compels us to say that
the documents suhmitted to your Committee, taken as a whole, do not
show a very healthy condition of our churches, but that they sadly
show a want of more devotion to the cause of the Master, and of more
systematic organization and work by the churches generally.
Fraternally submitted. H. H. BROWN, Chainnun.
I'he Treasurer ottered his report, which, after a lengthy
discussion, was adopted :
HKl'ORT OF F. M. WOOD, TIfEASURER CANAAiSr ASSOCIATION FROM
OCTORER 12, 1889 TO OCTOKER 1, 1890.
KiTcived of former Treasurer $ 4().72
•' of Finance Committee for general missions. . . .")5.o7
State " ... 26.:50
Home " ... 24.15
• ' '• " Foreign " ... •>3.15
" •' " Ministerial educat'n 28 82
" " " Minutes 64.70
Sabbath collection 43.25
Ladies Aid Society of Woodlawn Church for State Mis-
From Salem Church —
Foreign missions '^•'^5
Stat': " ^^1
Home " 2-^0- 10.96
From Dolomite Church —
-Ministerial education U.oO
From Trussville Church —
State missions 10.00
Home " 5 00
Foreign " 5.00- :i0.00
From Adgar Church —
State missions 3.00
Ministerial education 3.00— (i.OO
From Woodlawn Church —
State missions 66.(iU
Home •' 33.30
Foreign " 31.20
MinivSterial education 7.50 — lo^^.fiO
Total amount received $517.04
By cash to 11. W. Beck lor minutes $ 04.70
" " George W. Ellis, Ministerial fund .50.00
" W. B. Crumpton, S. H. and F 349..50
" " W. B. Crumpton, order G. D. Staton 22.00
" W. B. Crumpton, order W. D. Hubbard 2.5.00
Stationery and commissions 5.50
To balance on hand .34— $517.04
The report on church improvements was read by G. G,
Miles, and upon motion of P. T. Hale was adopted.
KEPOKT OK CHURCH IMPROVEMENT.
Your Committee on Church Improvement beg leave to report as
We are proud to be able to report that the Baptists of this Asso-
ciation are awake on this subject, as is evidenced by the many improve-
ments made and new edifices erected during the past year, together
with those now in course of construction.
There can be no question as to the necessity of and advantage to be
gained from comfortable .and even elegant structures in which to wor-
Churches to a denomination bear the same relation as apparel does
to the man, and is but one element among the many, and by no means
the most important, necessary in the attainment of the grand results
that we as a denomination are striving for.
In regard to church improvement, there can be attached too little
importance, while on the other hand, with equal danger, there can be
placed on it too great a value.
Pastors sometimes become zealots on this subject, and in the heat
f their zeal, lose sight of the many other important factors ne o essary
for the advancement of the interests of the denomination at large, and
failing to consider the amount of means necessary to carry on these
factors, tax their membership to the extent of their ability, and too
often beyond their ability, in the construction of buildings and the
making of improvements.
The membership of a church, like individuals, are limited in income,
and if taxed beyond the limit, must of necessity become involved, and
being placed in this condition, they lose that enthusiasm which charac-
terizes the thrifty and prosperous, and in place of being urged on to
greater prosperity, become careless and unconcerned.
Hence, in considering church improvement and erection of churches,
the character of such improvements or buildings should be determined
according to the ability of the membership, considering at the same
time the many other necessary demands to be made. We regard it a
poor plan to attempt to build a church without sufficient means, and
have to mortgage the same for money with which to complete it. We
think it always advisable to build a church that will not require more
money than cau be raised from the membership and other donations at
the time of its construction. In the distribution of our funds for church
improvements we should always consider where it will do the greatest
good for the interest of the denomination at large. We have many
places in this Association where, if we had small church buildings,
great good could be done. Then, where we have comfortable churches,
before considering more elegant buildings we should look around us, and
see if with the same means we could not do more good in behalf of the
denomination and the advancement of the Master's cause by investing
in church buildings where there are none. This we consider carrying
out the spirit of our religion. In all of our church buildings and im-
provements let them be built; losing sight of our own personal vanity
and selfishness, considering nothing save the advancement of His cause
and consummation of His glory. Respectfully submitted,
E. L. BULLARD, Chairman.
On motion of H. 11. Brown the Finance Committee was
instructed to finish its report and furnish it to the Clerk, said
report not being prepared in time for adoption by the body.
The Moderator here announced the following standing
Foreign Missions — W. A. Hobson, J. M. Huey, D. H.
Home Missions — E. H. Cabaniss, James Hogan, R. M-
State Missions — J. M. Green, G. D. Staton, B. F. Weaver.
Education— T. J. Dill, A. N. Hendon, W. J. Sanford.
Sunday Schools — S. R. C. Adams, E. L. Nicholson, A. N .
Religious lAterattire and (Jolportage Work — H. H. Brown,
J. W. Minor, J. F. Boston.
Temperance — G. T. Lee, W. O. M. Franklin, R. H. Briston.
Church Improvements — J. F. Huey, A. J. Glenn, O. J.
Spiritual Condition of the ChurcJies — A. G. Nunnelley,
G. W. Smith, J. P. Pearson.
The following resolution offered by A. W. McGaha was
Resolved, That the basis of representation to the Association be
changed so that each church shall be entitled to three delegates for the
first li.undred, or fraction thereof, and one for each additional fifty, or
The following resolution offered by P. T. Hale was
Besolved, That the heartfelt thanks of this Association are hereby
returned to the pastor and members of the Bessemer Baptist Church,
and citizens of this city generally, for their courtesy and generous hos-
pitality extended so graciously to the members of this body.
The following resolution offered by H. H. Brown was
Resolved, That a committee of three members be appointed to take
into consideration the subject of revising the Constitution of this Asso-
ciation, and if a revision is deemed proper, that said committee revise
the same and report their action at the next session.
The following resolution offered by H. H. Brown was
Resolved, That the Clerk be instructed to jjrocure as near as possible
a complete file of the minutes of this Association from its organization
up to the present time, and he be required to add to the same all
minutes as hereafter published, and preserve said file, and have it
present at each session of the Association.
The following resolution ottered by R. W. Beck was
Resolved, That we adopt The Birmingham Baptist as our Associa-
tional organ, and urge upon the churches composing this body to take
this paper and report their work regularly through its columns.
The Committee on the Spiritual Condition of the Churches
failed to report.
Upon motion the Clerk was directed to print 1,200 copies
of the minutes, and that he be allowed whatever remains of
the minute fund, after paying for the printing, for his services.
After singing " Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in
Christian love," the fifty-seventh annual session of the Bir-
mingham Association adjourned to meet with the Trussville
Church at 10 o'clock a. m., on Wednesday before the first
Sabbath in October, 1891.
R. W. BEr-K, rierk. A. J. WALDROP, Moderator.
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