xt7g4f1mh65c https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt7g4f1mh65c/data/mets.xml Taylor, William C. 1878  books b92-49-26953094 English Caperton & Cates, : Louisville, Ky. : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Taylor, Alfred, 1808-1865 Baptists Biography. Biography of Elder Alfred Taylor  / by his son W. C. Taylor. text Biography of Elder Alfred Taylor  / by his son W. C. Taylor. 1878 2002 true xt7g4f1mh65c section xt7g4f1mh65c 







       BIOGRAPHY





             OF






ELDER ALFRED TAYLOR.



BY HIS SON, W     C. TAYLOR,
      AUBURN, KY.



LOUISVILLE, KY.:
PAPERTON  CATES.
    1878.

 This page in the original text is blank.

 




















                 DEDICATION.


   To Gasper River Association, whose care, love, admira-
tion and highest honors abounded to my departed father
while living, who dropped the tear of sadness when he was
dead, and whose continued appreciation may be seen in the
monument erected by her beneficence at his grave, is this
work dedicated by                    THE AUTHOR.

 This page in the original text is blank.

 









INTRODUCTION.



  The following, copied from the minutes of Gas-
per River Association for the year i875, explains
my connection with a work which I would have
most cheerfully resigned to others whose age and
ability better fitted them for such responsibility.
  Elder J. S. Coleman offered the following:
  WHEREAS, We remember with gratitude the labo-
rious, self-sacrificing and useful life of Elder Alfred
Taylor, who labored so long and so successfully as
a minister and Moderator of this body; and
  WHEREAS, The time in which, and the brethren
and sisters from whom, the facts and reminiscences
necessary to preparing and preserving a true biog-
raphy of this great and good man are passing rap-
idly away; therefore,
  Resolved, That this body request Elder Wm. C.
Taylor, who is the son of Elder Alfred Taylor,
to collect the material necessary for the future pub-
lication of a biographical sketch of the said Alfred
Taylor.
  Upon this request I have acted, and now offer to
the public this little volume. I have aimed at a
simple statement of facts. In many instances the
record is partial and defective, because all the facts
were not at my command. For more than half of
his ministerial life he left no journal. Some of the

 


Vi               INTRODUCTION.

churches and brethren treated my communications
with silent indifference, and from them and their
churches I gathered nothing.
  These, and an utter want of inquisitiveness on
the part of the author, leave many things of inter-
est still buried in the forgotten past.
  To the many who have aided me in the prosecu-
tion of this work, I return my most sincere thanks.
To the God of my sainted father, whose divine
guidance I have sought in preparing this work, I
look alone for a. blessing in its circulation. If His
approving smiles shall make it a blessing to those
who may chance to read it, I shall feel more than
repaid for all the labor rendered or the criticism
that may follow.
  AUBURN, Ky.             WILLIAM C. TAYLOR.


 












CONTENTS.



                     CHAPTER I.

His Birth and Early Life .......

                    CHAPTER IT.
[His Conversion. .. . .

                    CHAPTER III.
The Beginning of His Ministry ....

                    CHAPTER IV.
His Family. . .. . . . . . . . .  .

                    CHAPTER V.
His Consecration.... .   .  ...

                    CHAPTER VI.
Alfred Taylor Comes to the Front . . .

                    CHAPTER VII.
History of His Work with the Churches

                   CHAPTER VIII.
His Associational Record  d......

                    CHAPTER IX.
Miscellaneous.Work.

                    CHAPTER X.
His Debates .............



          PAGE.
....... . . .  9



.. . . . . . 14



   .. . . . 18



..  . . . . 21



  .. . . . . 24






  .. . . . 38



.. . . . .   71



.. . . . . . 83



.. . . . . . 89

 




Viii                CONTENTS.

                    CHAPTER Xl.
                                               PAG E.
His Timothys . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96

                    CHAPTER XII.
Contributions to His Memory ... . ....    .... Koo

                   CHAPTER XIII.
Obituaries and Conclusion.. . . . . . . . . . . . 1 7


 






CHAPTER I.



         HIS BIRTH AND EARLY LIFE.
  Elder Alfred Taylor, the youngest son of
Elder Joseph Taylor, was born in Warren county,
Kentucky, July 19, 1808. His parents emi-
grated shortly after marriage from North Carolina
to the county of his birth. They embraced re-
ligion in early life, and became members of the
Methodist Episcopal Church. In this connection
Joseph Taylor began the ministry. Some years
before the birth of their son Alfred, they were
constrained by the force of truth to forsake the
church of their fathers and identify themselves
with the Baptist, and were baptized by Nathan
Arnette, of Tennessee. In September, 1804,
four years before the birth of Alfred, they, with
others, were constituted into what is known as
Providence Baptist Church, Warren county, Ken-
tucky. The fountain-head becoming Baptistic,
the streams have been strongly marked with the
same peculiarities. Alfred was born of Baptist
parents. His father was a good man, lived above
reproach, and did some good as a minister of
Jesus Christ. His mother's family gained some
political distinction in North Carolina.

 


BIOGRAPHY OF



  When Alfred was three years old his parents
moved to Butler county, Kentucky. Here he
lived until his removal to Ohio county, which
occurred some time after his marriage. His early
life was spent upon the farm, where he acquired
habits of industry, and developed that energy
which characterized his whole life. Aside from
the influences of home, the moral atmosphere
surrounding his youthful days was by no means
healthy. No Sabbath-schools, and church oppor-
tunities being meagre, many of his Sundays were
spent in fishing and roaming the woods. His
constant associates in this Sabbath desecration
were his brother Stephen, Reuben McCoy and
Amos Russ. Drinking was common in those
days.  Most every family "kept it."  At all
public gatherings the jug was indispensable.
To drink a little too much was not attended
with that odium as it is now. Whatever is com-
mon becomes respectable with the masses.
Christmas was the special season for drinking.
At this time the best of the wine was brought
forth. Alfred Taylor and his bosom friend, A.
Russ, confined their dissipation to this annual
festive season. For several years they yielded
to the customs of that day, and on the 25th day
of December drank to intoxication. This con-
tinued to be their annual celebration of the sup-



10

 


ELDER ALFRED TAYLOR.



posed birthday of the Savior until the subject of
this biography was converted. He forsook the
evil cup, to return to it no more. In his own
account of his conversion he records the fact
that through the evil influence of wicked asso-
ciates he became profanely wicked. Having but
little interest in literary pursuits, he spent many
of his winter nights in hunting. This source of
amusement and profit was suddenly cut off as
follows: Upon cutting a tree for a "coon," it
fell just opposite to what they had anticipated,
from which his brother Stephen barely escaped
instant death. In their great alarm they forgot
their game, and hastened home. Their excite-
ment was so great that they closed not their eyes
to sleep that night. The cure was effectual
and permanent.
  Concerning his early education, I find this
brief mention in his journal:  "Although his
desires were ardent for knowledge, his oppor-
tunities were so limited that at the age of twenty
he could hardly read intelligibly, and could
scarcely write his own name." The school ad-
vantages of those days were nothing to compare
with those of our times. Now a want of a
reasonable education is almost criminal; then it
was pardonable.  Schools then were few and
inferior, and in the rural districts never lasted



I I

 


BIOGRAPHY OF



more than three months in the year.   The
teacher who had gone to " Proportion " in the
arithmetic was thought to be well qualified for
the office of pedagogue. The spelling-book and
Bible were often the only text-books used by
young ladies and gentlemen.
  That the reader may know some of the disad-
vantages of his early day, I state it as a fact
that my father borrowed a grammar, the only
only one in his reach, copied it, and, therefrom
he learned the rudiments of his mother tongue.
Elder J. M. Pendleton, for many years his co-
laborer, writes:  "Your father had an active,
investigating mind, and was always anxious to
know the reasons of things. He and myself
were accustomed to lament our lack of thorough
education, but it was always our determination
to do the best we could with the resources in our
possession." In his journal for 1846 I find the
following: " In view of my failure to improve
my time heretofore, I resolve, by the assisting
grace of God, hereafter I will try, as far as possi-
ble, to write something each day of my life on
some profitable subject, to enable me to make
some additions to my small stock of useful
knowledge. "
  After entering the ministry he returned to
Warren county and spent some time in going to
school to Elder David Mansfield. At a still



1 2

 


ELDER ALFRED TAYLOR.



later period he became a student under Elder
William Warder, of Logan county. The time
spent at either place I have been unable to learn.
But whatever of mental discipline he may have
gained was mainly the results of his continued
efforts after his school days were past. In his
journal I see mention of the time when he be-
gan and when he finished reading many books,
and often, in the same connection, he gives his
synopsis of the book just read, which shows
that he digested the work as he perused it. In
the popular sense, Alfred Taylor was not an
educated man. In the truer sense of the word
he might have claimed that honor. He had
learned to think. Wherever he was, there he
could bring to bear the power of his mind.
Often have I seen him, when about the various
duties of life, take out his pencil and write down
a thought. Many of his best discourses were
made while about the other duties of life. Dur-
ing protracted meetings he often made his dis-
courses new from day to day, and, while others
were talking on every side, he would make and
jot down the divisions and subdivisions of his
sermon. In this, that his mind was trained to
think, and to think under -any and all circum-
stances, he was educated. In that, that he was
ignorant of many of the higher branches now
taught in our schools, he was uneducated.



I 3


 







CHAPTER II.



            HIS CONVERSION.
  In giving an account of his conversion, I will
copy his own statements: " Being raised under
the preaching of the Gospel, at an early age I
saw the heinous nature of sin and the necessity
of religion, but from the languid state of the
church, and the influence of unconverted asso-
ciates, I was led to indulge in many sinful prac-
tices, and eventually became profanely wicked.
It- is, however, a source of joy to reflect that my
career in sin was short. After laboring four
years trying to recommend myself into God's
favor, I was enabled in my twenty-second year,
October, I829, to trust in Him whose blood
speaketh better things than that of Able; in
whom believing, I was enabled to rejoice with
joy unutterable and full of glory. In November
following I was baptized in Sandy creek, Butler
county, Kentucky, by Elder Benjamin Talbott."
  From him and his brother I have learned the
following: His first impressions to seek religion
were received when eleven years old.  These
endured only for a season. In his eighteenth
year he was again awakened under the preaching

 


ELDER ALFRED TAYLOR.



of Elders Abner and Emery. These brethren
were returning from an association, and preached
in a private house near his father's residence.
At the close of their discourses those wishing
the prayers of Christians were invited forward.
Alfred Taylor, with about twenty others, was
found at the altar seeking the pardoning mercy
of an offended God. There being no protracted
efforts in those days, these men of God left this
multitude of penitents and proceeded on their
journey home.   How mysterious this course
appears to us of a better day. Every genera-
tion is fettered by its own customs. It was not
customary to follow up these awakenings, hence
the duty so apparent to us was unperceived and
unperformed by them. For some weeks after
the Christians of the immediate community met
one night in each week to pray for the salvation
of those who were seeking Christ.   During
these meetings many were converted ; but not
so with him of whom we write. Those on the
right and those on the left, friendsyounger and
friends older, found the pearl of great price,
but all was darkness in his own heart. For four
years he sought and found not, because he
sought not by faith. During all this time the
doctrine of special election and reprobation con-
fronted him and kept him from the cross. The



15

 


BIOGRAPHY OF



thought, I am one for whom Christ has not
died, hindered the exercise of that faith so es-
sential to salvation. Doubtless his own troubles
on this point had much to do in shaping his
views of the same, and led him to oppose
through life that feature of special, uncondi-
tional election, which had been such an obstacle
in the way of his own salvation. The question
was finally solved, and he was elected through
sanctification of the Spirit and the belief of the
truth.  The full and precious assurance was
given to his soul, not in the existed multitude,
but in the dense forest, as he returned from an
errand to a neighbor's house. There he made
the vaults of nature ring with the praises of his
new-found Savior, while angels caught and
swelled the strain, until Heaven was filled with
the glad tidings.
  The first meeting following his joyous acknowl-
edgemerit of Christ he joined Sandy Creek Bap-
tist Church, and was baptized, as previously
stated. From the baptismal grave he arises to
walk in a new life. He forsakes the sins and
dissipations of former years, and by a godly
walk and conversation seals the testimony of his
espousal to Christ. He soon began to exercise
his gift in public prayer, and in less than one
year and a half from the time he united with the

 


           ELDER ALFRED TAYLOR.           17

church he was licensed to preach. The spirit of
true obedience to Christ knows no end. It be-
gins promptly, and continues to advance as God
in His providence may open the way. So it
manifested itself in the new life of this new
creature in Christ Jesus.


 






CHAPTER III.



       THE BEGINNING OF HIS MINISTRY.
  He was licensed to preach the third Saturday
in May, 1831.   Where he preached his first
sermon is a question of some doubt. Several
places are contended for as the point where
he made his first efforts. My opinion is that
he attempted his first discourse at Sandy
Creek Church. From   the beginning of his
ministry he was a Timothy to Elder Talbott.
With him he made visits to Muhlenburg and
Ohio counties. Upon these tours he tried to
preach. His second effort was made at Brother
Roade's, of Muhlenburg county; the third at
Brother Ashby's, of Ohio county. This is the
order of his efforts as I gather them from the
many reports received. Of these efforts there
is but one opinion. The universal verdict is
that his beginning was exceedingly unpropitious.
Of all that have spoken of his first efforts, none
have said Alfred Taylor could preach, or give
any hope of making a preacher at the first.
  His first effort was attended with much sorrow.
He arose. under great embarrassment, took his
text, spoke a few words, and then followed that

 



ELDER ALFRED TAYLOR.



dreadful pause so painful to all present. After
a while he proceeded a little further, then com-
plete silence reigned, and ceased not. Mortified
even to bitter tears, he sat down. A few min-
utes covered the entire time of this unhappy
effort. In an effort made shortly after this, at
Nelson Creek Church, his confusion and embar-
rassment was so great that he turned his side to
his audience, and remained in that uncomely
attitude until he sat down. The masses said,
" That man had better quit."   Occasionally
some of the more reflecting of his hearers could
see the out-croppings of some new thought,
that sparkled like a gem in the midst of the rub-
bish of his discourses. His developments were
slow; his discouragements abounded upon every
hand.
   Many who heard him in his prime will hardly
believe me when I say his voice and delivery
were miserably defective. The matter of his
discourses, by no means the most entertaining,
and this told in a squealing, whining tone, made
bad worse. But we must not despise the day
of small things ; neither are we to expect per-
fection without practice.  In speaking of his
early ministry, he says: " I had been trying to
preach four years, and had no assurare that I
had been instrumental in the conversion of one



19

 


20              BIOGRAPHY.

soul." He was ordained at Sandy Creek Church,
May, 1834, by Joseph Tayltr, David Kelly and
William Childres. His first pastorate was at
Pond Run, Ohio county, and. dates from June,
1834.


 







CHAPTER IV.



                 HIS FAMILY.
  We have now reached that period of life where
he begins a new epoch. He becomes a husband
and a father. In both of these relations he was
affectionate and' faithful. He became the hus-
band of three wvives, and the father of fifteen
children.
  His first marriage was to Mary Ann Mahon, of
Butler county, and occurred September 22, 1835.
His second marriage was to Marjary Jane Brown,
of Ohio county, and dates-, I852. His third
espousal was to Eliza Jane Gordon, of Daviess
county; date of marriage, March i, 1859. With
the first wife, he lived seventeen years; with the
second, four years; with the third, six. By his
first wife he had nine children-six boys and
three girls; of these three are dead-one boy
and two girls. Of the three children by his
second wife two were daughters. The son died.
By the last wife there were three children-two
girls and a boy; of these one daughter died.
Of the five gone, God took four of them in in-
fancy and early childhood. Alice Newel, the
first daughter and third child, became a wife and

 

BIOGRAPHY OF



mother before death called her.  She was a
graduate of Bethel Female College, and a
woman of superior qualities. Against the wishes
of father and family she married a man by the
name of Tatum. I am sorry to say the match
was not a congenial one ; so far from it that
death welcomed her to the companionship of
better things, for she was a dear lover of her
Savior.                    0
  Of the living children all are Christians save
three-Dr. V. M. Taylor, Mrs. Susan R. Grubbs,
Hettie A. Taylor. These are the representa-
tives of the three sets of children.
  .J. S. Taylor, J. P. Taylor and W. C. Taylor,
sons by the wife of his early manhood, are all
in the ministry, and following in the wake of
their father. Whilst it is often claimed that in
many respects they resemble their father in the
pulpit, yet the want of age, and perhaps some-
thing that age can not give, leave them some-
thing short of the inimitable genius of Alfred
Taylor.
  As to the three wives, they were all good
women. Mary Ann, the first, was a woman of
fine education and most noble parentage, espe-
cially upon her mother's side, for her mother,
Susanah Mahon, was known and felt throughout
the Green River Country as a pious citizen and



22

 


ELDER ALFRED TAYLOR.



staunch Baptist. She raised a family of.likely
girls, most of whom managed to marry men of
distinction; among the number we may men-
tion President J. W. Rust, of Bethel Female
College, and Elder H. B. Wiggin, a wealthy
merchant of New York City.
  Mary Ann was a faithful companion in the
ministry, and often, in the absence of her hus-
band, would she read the Scriptures in her
family, and dedicate her children to God in
prayer.
  Marjary Jane was universally esteemed for her
amiable qualities, and admired for her great
beauty.  Their connection was most pleasant,
which made the separation more bitter, for only
four brief years and all was over.
  His last wife, Eliza Jane, though a good
woman, was thought by many to be too young
for one more than fifty, she being less than
twenty. Notwithstanding this, the covenant re-
lation was held in harmony, and in affection
did they walk together till God took His servant,
and left a widow to deeply mourn his loss.



23


 






CHAPTER V.



           HIS CONSECRATION.
  In a high degree Alfred Taylor was for many
years a consecrated minister. After several years'
labor, with but little fruit therefrom, he became
doubtful of the reality of his call. Anxious to
have this important question settled, and long-
ing for the salvation of souls, he at once brings
all of his tithes into the Master's store-house.
In these times none might bring the charge that
preachers in his section were hirelings. There
was virtually no wages for the body. The reward
was spiritual. Men labored five and six days in
a week, and preached as best they could on
Saturday and Sunday. My father, upon exam-
ination, found he had means and surplus prop-
erty enough to support his then small family
for one year, and resolved to devote one year
wholly to the work of the ministry. This reso-
lution was faithfully executed, and he went
every-where preaching the word, God working
with him. During this year work so accumu-
lated, preaching places so multiplied, and his
heart was so much encouraged, that continued
consecration seemed to be his imperative duty.

 



           ELDER ALFRED TAYLOR.           25

To this demand he yielded, and for many years,
time, talents and all were laid upon the altar of
the ministry. Preaching during the week either
was or became common. People loved God and
His.Gospel well enough to dismiss all business,
and often would they meet in crowds to hear the
word of our salvation. The preaching of the
Gospel was not confined to church houses so
much then as now. From house to house, as
well as from church to church, he ceased not to
warn both men and women, by day and by
night.
  Dr. Pendleton, who is certainly a competent
witness, says, in his letter to me: " He loved
to preach. It was his greatest joy to proclaim
salvation to dying men. Few ministers of his
day spent more time in preaching, made greater
sacrifices for the cause of Christ, and received a
smaller compensation for faithful woik."
  His was the consecration, not only of time and
talents, but also of means. Besides preaching
much without any remuneration, he gave a part
of the actual income from his churches and farm
to the Lord's cause. In his journal of 1848 I
find the following resolution: "As I resolved
to give five per cent. of my income, that is, of all
the cash I received last year, to some religious
purpose or purposes, so, in the fear of God, I
                      3

 


BIOGRAPHY OF



renew my resolution this year." How long he
kept up this system of benevolence we can not
tell, as we have no journal of his life beyond the
above date. The record of his contributions
shows that these years were only in harmony
with the general tenor of his life, as it respects
giving. His sacrifice of time and means some-
times placed him in straightened circumstances.
Once he had promised Elder J. F. Austin to aid
in a meeting at Mt. Carmel, which he failed to
do. At night, after a hard day's labor, he
wrote as follows.  After speaking of the disap-
pointment and manual labor of the day, he
said: "And at night feel that a helpless family
demands my attention, and that it would be
sinful to go and preach and leave them to suffer."
Amid all his zeal for the church of Christ, he
never forgot that the religion of the Bible de-
mands care for our own, and especially those of
our own family.
  The following well illustrates the illiberality
of the churches and the self-denial of the min-
istry of his day, and is certainly in order in this
connection:  " Lord's day and Lord's day
night, heard Simeon Buchanan preach at Green
River, and gave him fifty cents. As I rode
home, after making the gift, I asked myself:- 'Had
I done right ' I thought of a dependent wife



26

 


ELDER ALFRED TAYLOR.



and seven children; I thought on the fact that
I had just been preaching fifteen days and
nights, and had received one dollar and fifty
cents in cash, and three dollars in trade. I also
found that I had promised the dollar to the
church where I had been laboring to help pay
for their meeting-house; and now the fifty cents
is gone.  Then I thought, above all, not
only my time and money were gone, but my
health, which is worth more than all, is gone,
perhaps never to be regained. But why did I
grive it Because I have learned long since that
preachers go to churches respectable for their
appearance and numbers, and preach until they
are worn down, and when they are done the
brethren gather around them to take their hand
and charge them to return. When he starts he
remembers their tokens of love, but when he
counts up all he finds he is out so much and
nothing in pocket. He thinks of sinners and
mourners; then he thinks, 'I shall be compelled
to return home and work for my family.' To pre-
vent these thoughts and feelings in part, as a
member of the church to and for which he had
been preaching, is the obligation of this gift.
May God' bless the little gift and the imperfect
giver. Amen." Think not of the little gift,
but of the facts developed in this narrative.



27

 


BIOGRAPHY OF



  With him the ministry was always first. If
at times he became in part secularized, it grew
out of the broad and constant failure of the
churches to supply his temporal wants. The
most received during any one year of his min-
istry from the pastorate did not exceed 300.
In many instances it fell far short of that. He
labored to make it true in his day, "that the
poor have the Gospel preached to them." Had
he lived in this day of extravagance, with his
small salary, he could not have given so much
of his time to his life work. His generation was
one of fewer demands than the one succeeding
him. Though he labored upon a small salary,
he did not believe in a worldly, secularized min-
istry. He believed the ministry should be sus-
tained by the churches, and urged the rising
ministry to demand a reasonable compensation
for their services. Churches, whose unpaid sub-
scriptions amount to hundreds, are never tired
of praising Alfred Taylor's course with the
churches. His was a kindness which circum-
stances seem to demand. In the decline of life
he regretted the course adopted in early man-
hood. While to the ministry he leaves an ex-
ample full of the spirit of consecration, in his
charity to the churches to which he preached he
has bequeathed to them a legacy of negligence



28

 


ELDER ALFRED TAYLOR.



in the support of the ministry that has robbed
them of their best talent and filled them with
the evil fruits of their own inexcusable neglect.
That my father was willing, at much sacrifice,
to preach Christ and Him crucified, I most
gladly record; that he indulged churches in
willful neglect to support their pastor, I am
neither proud of nor thankful for.
  What I have just written prepares the
reader more fully to appreciate that devotion
which he manifested amid such discourage-
ments. To be a consecrated minister then and
now requires different degrees of grace.  My
father very often preached beyond his bodily
strength, and gave far beyond the just demands
of benevolence. He died poor and premature.
Elder J. F. Austin, upon the occasion of his
death, remarked:   " Brother Taylor died as
much a martyr to the cause of Christ as if he
he had been burned at the stake." Subse-
quently Dr. Coleman made a similar statement.
In contrast with the interest in the cause he ad-
vocated, he could truthfully say:  "I count
not my life dear." In days fair and days
gloomy, in weather cold and hot, in nights
calm and nights stormy, in health and in afflic-
tion, in poverty and disappointment, with cheer-
ful activity he went forth persuading men to be



29

 


30               BIOGRAPHY.

reconciled to God. He leaves behind an example
in many respects worthy of the imitation of the
many ministers whom he led to Christ and into
baptismal waters. Many of us will never know,
by experience, what sacrifices he endured in
order to furnish us this noble example.  He
looked for his reward after the brief day of life
was over. Elder Pendleton says: "He talked
much of heaven, and his idea seemed to be
that its joys would infinitely more than com-
pensate for all the sorrows and trials of earth."
To that reward he has gone; of those joys
he has shared.  The toils and afflictions of
earth only exist in the recollections of the past.
In all the glory of that heavenly home there is
not one regret on account of the consecration
which marked and adorned his ministry.


 






CHAPTER VI.



    ALFRED TAYLOR COMES TO THE FRONT.
  It is said, circumstances make men. It would
be truer to say, circumstances develop and test
men. They bring to the surface what has been
dormant. We hear that our civil war made
bad men out of good ones. Not so. The war
tested men and developed the weaknesses and
wickednesses which previously existed. Cir-
cumstances opened the way for Alfred Taylor to
step to the front. The providence of God led
him to take that step, while the ability of the
man, directed and sanctified by Divine grace, en-
abled him to hold the position assumed. Be-
tween August, I835, and August, 1836, the
following ministers were called to their reward:
Elders -Talbott, Mormon, Warfield, Chapman,
Kelly, Warder and Wilson. The ministry of
these brethren had been connected, more or less,
with the Green River Country. This wonderful
and mysterious providence took all of the strong
men from the Green River section. A few aged
brethren and a Timothy or two were all that
were left. The people in sadness and despond-
ency asked, " What shall we do " Alfred

 


BIOGRAPHY OF



Taylor, probably more than any other man, felt
the pressure of increased responsibilities. He
looked at the vast field already white to harvest,
and then asked: "How and by whom shall it be
reaped "  He had heard of Tom Fisher, and
longed and prayed for him to come to the Green
River Country. Fisher came not. Was it not
God's will that another should lead his de-
spondent host to battle and to victory The
sequel makes it certain that such was the Divine
will.
  To meet the increased demands Elder Taylor
gives himself wholly to the work of preaching
Christ crucified.  The problem of protracted
meetings was something new in his field of
labor. He saw and contended that religious in-
terest awakened should be fostered until the
fruit was gathered. Convinced of the propri-
ety of a continued effort for the salvation of
sinners, he proceeds with the new departure.
Many of the brethren and most of the aged
ministers opposed outright this departure from
the custom of the fathers. Argument failed to
convince them. God convinced and won them
by the precious fruits of the revival efforts-
The first regular protracted meeting ever held
in Ohio county was begun and carried on by
Alfred Taylor, at Walton's Creek Church, De-



32

 


ELDER ALFRED TAYLOR.



cember, i837. Many were openly against the
meeting.  Others would shake their hoary
locks, doubting what all this might lead to.
Nerved by the honesty of his purpose and led,
as we believe, by the spirit of God, the youth-
ful pastor continued preaching, day and night,
until opposition gave way. God utterly con-
sumed it. The revival, in its power and influ-
ence, swept over the whole country for miles in
every direction.  All classes were reached..
Christians were overwhelmed with a sense of the
goodness of God, while old and young, parents
and children, youths and maidens, sought and
found Christ a precious Savior. Men professed
religion every-where; even those not attending
the meeting, in some instances, were converted.
The like had never been seen by this people.
But all felt and acknowledged the power to be
of God, and not of man.
  The meeting lasted just two weeks. Largely
over one hundred persons professed conversion.
During the meeting, and in a few months after,
one hundred and forty-six were received into
th