xt7r4x54j78s https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7r4x54j78s/data/mets.xml Missouri Bethel Church (Cape Girardeau County, Mo.) Collins, A. Loyd Missouri Historical Records Survey. 1941 12 l.; 28 cm.: UK holds archival copy for ASERL Collaborative Federal Depository Program libraries. Call Number FW 4.14:M 69oc/3/reprint books English St. Louis, Mo.: The Survey This digital resource may be freely searched and displayed in accordance with U. S. copyright laws. Missouri Works Progress Administration Publications Bethel Church (Cape Girardeau County, Mo.) Baptists -- Missouri -- Cape Girardeau County Bethel Church minutes: Reprinted from Record of Proceedings of the Bethel Church and Early Days with the Churches text Bethel Church minutes: Reprinted from Record of Proceedings of the Bethel Church and Early Days with the Churches 1941 1941 2019 true xt7r4x54j78s section xt7r4x54j78s ‘ ‘ munuI"mmiflflu‘l’rmmflnmmmrm‘ E
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”fig-f-jfgjf’ St. Louis. Missouri

: June 1941

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_ Bethel Baptist Church, 1806 , was the E
first permanent Protestant Church to be EE
' established west of the Mississippi. Its EE
. records are of special significance and E
_ interest in that they throw much light on E
E the religious life, customs and conditions E
incident to pioneer times in early Missouri. E
E The following reprint from the original E
minute book of the church is sponsored by the 1;
E Missouri Baptist Historical Society. The
' quotations have been taken directly from the E
E original manuscript book of the church. EE
Bethel Church was located in Cape j
Girardeau County, about two miles southwest E.
of Jackson, Missouri. . E
. . E
E a 64w? W E
' State Supervisor E
Missouri Historical Records Survey 1;
~ St. Louis, Missouri E
June 1941 E

~ E
E Thomas Bull Church. writing Clerk E
'v Transcribed by Thomas P. Green E
1' Commenced May 7, A.D. 1821, at 12 o’clock. E
E End page. E
E Record of Bethel Regular Baptist Church. E
E Transcribed by Thos. P. Green in the summer of 1821. E
Impressed by the propriety of leaving on record this origin of our E
E community, we introduce the records of our proceedings as a church with 2E
E a brief account of the first of our Brethern that in this part of E
E this world. E
E Bethel Church is situated of that section of the country formerly E
1 known by the name of the Upper Louisiana and District of Cape Girardeau, E
: held alternately by the King of Spain and Republic of France, but ceded E
E in the year of our Lord 30 April, 1803 by the Republic of France to the E
I United States and now in 1821 known by the name of Missouri State, Cape E
} Girardeau County. The meeting house stands near the county seat of E
J Jackson. The first of our denomination that moved to this quarter were E
1 Thomas Bull, wife, Mother-in-law, Mrs. Lee, in the year 1790; the two 3
E last died before any church was organized. The next were Enos Randall E E
. and wife in the year following, 1821. The next was Mrs. Abernathie,
the wife of John Abernathie, Esqr. They lived several years in a E
E forlorn and desconsolate manner without regular or even occasional
E religious worship, a few times excepted. Once theyexpected to leave
E the place or submit to the Roman Catholic established religion, but
E God, who intended to raise up a people to save him here, protected these

 - 2 - . 1’
L few scattered sheep who were emphatically in the wilderness, partly by i
the then ruling Commandant's clement temper and partly by their own L
} peaceable demeanor. The Commandant promised them his protection. N
; In the year 1799 Rev. Mr. Thomas Johnson of Georgia visited this %
i part and preached. He found a Mrs. Blues (Bellow) professing a hope, E
' and baptized her in Handel’s Mill Creek near where John Abernathy, Esq. K g
; now lives, giving her a certificate. In the year 1805 Rev. Davis Green, g
I a native of Old Virginia, but then residing in Kentucky, who had lived a
1 and preached in both the Carolinas, visited this place. I
i The change of government now having taken place, the door appeared i
3 opened and evidently it is that God had selected him to be the instru- l
= ' ment in planting His name here. There were by this time others moved 1
‘ here of the same order; he preached amongst them and returned to fl
. Kentucky, but could not remain there satisfied, but came the next spring 1
i with his family and remained here until his death on 9 December, 1809. 1
He was buried on the plantation of Capt. Charles G. Ellis on Handel l
Creek. 1
I From this church, either directly or indirectly, sprung the first E
; churches that composed the Bethel Association, which was constituted é
‘ in 1816 at Bethel meeting House of the following churches: Bethel, l
f Tywappity, Providence, Barron, Bellvicw, Thanie (designated Dry Creek). %
y The following persons Were constituted into a regular Baptist Church f
on the 19th day of July in the year of our Lord 1806 by Rev. David E
: Green; George Lawrence and Henry Cokerham, Deacons, viz: David Green by j
. letter, Jean English by letter, Agnes Blue (Bellow) by certificate, i
William.Smith baptized, Thomas Bull restored. Brother Bull was excluded 3

 E E1
1732' EE 2
:2 I
E : .. 5 .. EE
v in Kentucky by an Armenian Church for holding the predestinarian prin- t
, ciples, Edward Spears restored, Addison Rogers restored, John Hitt by E
E letter, Catherine Anderson by letter, Clary Abernathie by letter, E
. Catherine Anderson by letter, Rebecca Randal by letter, Francis Hitt E
a by letter, William Matthews by letter. E
' The constitution of the church having been adopted, Close Thompson, E
. i
3 Thomas Bull and Furguysen Halo were appointed to draught a Rule of E
E Decorum which was adopted in June, 1811. Article 2 of the Rule of E
1 Decorum.provides that the moderator "invite Visiting brethorn and E
: sisters that are in good standing in their respective churches to E
seats with us". Item 5 makes it the duty of the moderator "to inquire E
I E]
if any of the male members are absent". Article 7: "No person shall E
‘ interrupt the meeting by whispering or otherwise, nor any members E
‘ leave the meeting without leave". Article 8: Male members missing two E
; meetings shall be cited to give their reasons. Females shall attend as E
I often as convenient, and when it is believed they have opportunity and E
E will not, they also shall be cited to give their reasons". E
' In the following pages are some excerpts, chosen at random, from f
. Oct. 11, 1806. "Agreed to build a meeting house on Thomas Bull's E
' land".
' Sept. 3, 1808. "excluded Lydia Wright for holding erroneous E
» doctrine of falling from grace, and trying to lead others into the same
' error. Also Rebecca Wright for joining the Methodist Society”.
E March 9, 1810. "Brethern Matthews and Thompson to talk with
Sisters McDaniel and Watkins for their neglect of church Hastings".
2 Sep.’7, 1911. "Bro. John Reynolds taken under dealings for joining
the Free Masons".

 ‘V {1.171 II
n- - 4 -
‘ Oct. 12, 1811. "John Reynolds excluded for joining the Mason }
Lodge. Also Ann McDaniel for insulting the church and violating the i
f rules". I
, Dec. 10, 1811. "On Monday at 5 o'clock in the morning a great and g
tremenduous earthquake commenced which broke many places of the earth L
, in New Madrid County. It continued shaking very hard all this winter". r
L Sept. 12, 1812. "Resolved to build a meeting house for the church fi
. of the size of 30 ft. by 24 ft. of hewed logs." Isaac Sheppard, John H
‘ Sheppard and Thomas Bull, building committee. i
I Oct. 9, 1812. "Joseph Lockhart excommunicated for unlawful 3
marriage". 5
‘ Nov. 21, 1812. "Samuel Foster excommunicated for drinking too I
- much". I
‘ 1
Dec. 12, 1812. "Stephen McKenzie excluded for drunkeness, swearing i
j and offering to fight. Jean Shields excommunicated for disorder". W
‘ Jan. 9, 1813. "Allen McKenzie excluded for neglecting to hear the I
f church". {
f Feb. 13, 1815. "Ithamcr Hubble excommunicated for drunkencss". W
Oct. 9, 1813. "M. Bird’s negro women Viney excluded for telling a' l
' falsity and for refusing to hear the church". 4
‘ Apr. 8, 1814. "Resolved that no court shall be held in the ;
neeting house". H
p f June 18, 1814. "Resolved that the meeting house be given up to p
1 hold court in until there can be a house on the permanent seat". j
: July 9, 1814. "Sarah Masterson excluded for joining the Methodist E
A Brethern". 1
Nov. -—, 1814. "Excluded Amy Gollon for bad conduct and setting at i
naught the church". 1
i Dec. --, 1814. "Brothern McMillin and Bull write to the Association
to remove the court from the meeting houseL 3
Feb. 11, 1815. "A dispute between Sister Thompson and Brother 1
= Blount concerning a horse which he had sold her for a place. Appointed
the following seven Brethern to settle the dispute, viz: Thomas Bull,
J. Randal, F. Hail, A. Randol, R. English, P. Franks and R. Waller, who
“ report the; Bro. Blount take his horse and Sister Thompson her place".

 ‘1 . - 5 _ I
f 1
. Apr. 7, 1815. "James Blount excluded for not cnmplying with.the J
: rule of the church". 1
. 1
1 Sep. ——, 1815. "AbrahanxKeeny and Deborah, his wife, excluded for f
;' the doctrine of man's purity at birth". t
1 Oct. --, 1815. "Appointed Ezekiel Hill and Anthony Randol to 3
’ visit Sisters Blount, Whtkins and Foster to know the reason why they do f
not attend the church meetings". 3
' Oct. 7, 1815. "Brother Anthony Randol reported an excuse for the L
1 three sisters he visited. Which was accepted." V f
. Nov. 11, 1815.' "FrOm report Bro. Henry Poe has been drunk. 1
, Appointed Sinwn Poe, Sr., to cite him to next meeting to answer charge".
Dec. —-, 1815. "Bro. Henry Poe's case taken up. Brothern
3 Abraham Randol and John Hitt appointed to labor with Poo against next ‘
‘ meeting. Brethern T. Bull and Isaac Sheppard to write to Bro. Wm. '
‘ Johnson of the Arm on Turkey Creek, concerning card playing". 1
‘ 1816
3 Jan. 13, 1816. "Took up the affair of Henry Poo, concerning his }
getting drunk, and he refused to hear the church. Excluded him."
, Feb. 9, 1916. "Brother Bull to write to Furgorson Hail to come 3
to church."
1 Jul. 15, 1816. "Rebecca Hubble excommunicated for leaving her
husband and going off with another man. Jemima Hall excluded for the
A same crime. Green B. League taken notice of for not attending meeting."
5 Oct. 12, 1816. "James P. Edwards engaged to fill the meeting house
cracks and point them with mortar for which he is to receive $13.
: Nov. 9, 1916. "Bro. Forest to stop preaching. Resolved that Sister
Hannah Edwards be allowed to wear gold ear rings for the benefit of her
eyes." r
1 Dec. 7, 1816. "Bro. Cox came forward and confessed that he had fl
been fighting. Laid over till next meeting." 1
3 1817 F
Jan. --, 1817. "Bro. Cox gave the church satisfaction and was g
restored." f
1 Mar. --, 1817. "What will the church do with a member who suffers
gambling in his house, such as card playing? The church believes it to
' be wrong."
.1 \ ¥

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5 May 10, 1817. "Brother Jonathan and Mary Hubble laid in a charge a
9 against Ezekiel Hill for profane swearing and raising a riot". a
. 1;
L July 12, 1817. "Bro. E. Randol brought a complaint against him- g
f self for plaing "fines". Bro. Anthony Randol excluded for getting
{ drunk, fighting and profanely swearing". *

November -—, 1817. "Bro. E. Randol laid in a complaint against
? himself for striking a man. By making a proper acknowledgment was ‘
« forgiven. Florah, a black sister, to give satisfaction to the church
{ for shouting in time of public worship".
5 Doc. 15, 1817. "Appointed Brethern Isaac Sheppard and John ‘
, Sheppard to obtain a deed for one acre from Bro. Bull, including the E
1 meeting house, burying ground, and half the spring." 3
f 1818 '
‘: January --, 1818. "Bro. Simon Poe brought charge against himself .
g for drinking too much. He is forgiven."
.:. \

1 May 9, 1818. "Resolved that the case Ebenezer Hubble marrying a
v second wife and his former wife living, be taken up. The church on
' hearing that he from reports believed his first wife dead, were satis-
7 fied. Committee appointed to examine whether or not a shade be made

for negrocs or other method will be best."
8‘ June 13, 1818. "Agreed that the black members have the seat

behind the white male members at all times".
. 1819 ’ J
3 March 15, 1819. "Bro. Ezekiel Randol made acknowledgment that he

drank too much spirits, forgiven."
, April 10, 1819. "An accusation is laid against Bro. Richard
‘ Waller for having drank to excess, and for stripping to fight".
Z hug. 7, 1819. "Brethern Isaac Sheppard and Thos.Bull to get price

of the baptismal dresses". j
A 1
‘ 1820 H
» Feb. 12, 1820. "Is it wrong for parents professing Christianity to w
‘ allow their children under their control to go to balls and frolics? $
. Answer Yes". Brethern Thompson and Blount to cite sister Watkins to 1
1 next meeting and to find out whether the reports of we hear of her I
v suffering balls and frolics in her house and her children dancing are "


March 11, 1820. "If a member is constrained to shout, will the ‘

church bear with him? Answer, Yes."
. f
. i

 ' 7 '
k: Oct. 7, 1820. "Ferguson Hail excluded for having married while f
3; his first wife Was alive and for not attending meeting after the church L
jg had wrote him." ;
jj 1821 g
2% March -~, 1821. "The committee reported that Sister Stout has 3
f been guilty of impropriety toward Bro. Bull, and a majority of them ' i
j believed her acknowledgment ought to be satisfaction. The report re- ‘
{ ceived and taken up by the church. In the examination of the case E
1 Sister Brown stated that Sister Stout had voluntarily told her.of E
f James Randcl's killing Sullivan and report of her having been begging g
I? which Sister Stout denied on the trial, but said Sister Brown drew it E
t out of her by question after question. When the committee's report E
Q was received Sister Brown complained of the contradiction. Sister E
: Stout rose and denied that she had contradicted Sister Brown on which 5
3 she was unanimously excluded." E
j, July, 1821. "Charges against John Dowty, showed unchristian f
;\ spirit towards Mrs. Stout when a member by passing her and not speaking".
; E
' 'g Nov. —-, 1821. "John Masscy's case taken up. Resolved that he be i
i interrogated why him and his wife lived in adultery,_which at first he I
? refused to answer but afterwards said was correct. He was excluded
. for drinking too much, taking part with gamblers, and putting away his
; wife."
1 Dec. 8, 1821.. "Bro. Hill to answer to charge of his hunting on I
1 Sunday". '
\ Juno 1, 1822. Bro. Ezekiel Hill laid in a complaint against himr
~ self for killing a door on Sunday and was forgiven".
E July 13, 1822. "Bro. Ezekiel Hill stated that it was reported that
he had traded his mare on the Sabbath, but Bro. Benjamin Thompson stated
f that Bro. Hill told him that Levon watkins traded his mare for a gun
3 and watch and he did not receive property for his mare until Monday.
1 He was restored".
' April 10, 1824. "A petition was presented by seven members praying
to be dismissed to for a church in Jackson. Their request is granted.
, E

 — 8 - _ E
; an»: an EVE-IE 2e. memes
W t
a; A. Loyd Collins, A.M., L.L.D.
T} State Supervisor, Missouri Historical Records Survey E
.1 g
_ !
fi' The Baptists were trail blazers in Missouri. Bethel Church, E
E: 1806, near Jackson, Missouri, was the first permanent protestant church E
E west of the Mississippi. Another prominent pioneer church, Fee Fee, is E
a still functioning in Pattonville, Missouri. It was founded 1807. The E
E secOnd church founded in the vicinity of St. Louis was Cold water E
.g Baptist Church, 1809. E
E The records in the original manuscript minute book of the old E
E church were written with a quill pen and have faded with age, but they E
E contain many interesting entries which throw much light upon the E
E religious conditions of that time. Three pages in the front of the E
E book are devoted to the history of the founding of the church and to a E
E discussion of conditions under which the Baptists had to labor in the E
F State in early times. Because of the importance of this contemporary ‘E
E account, it is here given in full as follows: E
E "The Western shores of the Mississippi being the residence of the E
E Catholic, Spaniard and Frenchman, no protestant was permitted without E
f interception publicly to worship God -e- no Protestant minister was E
; allowed to preach or settle in the province....This was owing to the E
: possession of the Country by the King of Spain and consequently the E
-E introduction of the Catholic religion. E
2 "By reason of this the first Christian in becoming a resident in :
E the county found it necessary to his stay, and even to personal safety E
E that he voice not his objection to the established church. E
. :
1 E
ii . I

‘ 3‘. - 9 - r
ii "In this condition things remained until the purchase of the E
5: Country by the United States, whose lawa gave to the professed Christian ?
i: the invaluable privileges of worshipping God as appears to him most g
E5 censistant with revelation 'under his own vine and figtree,' to exercise 9
i: the dictates of his own conscience. i
3{ "For some considerable time then there was in this part of the ;
if Territory only one small Baptist Church called "Feefee Creek.‘ This 9
;5 little band and their surrounding territory was often visited by 3

I ;: ministering brethren from the Illinois Territory--this being...within l
3‘ the limits of the United States. ‘
%; "Through William Patterson an invitation was tendered by preachers
3' to such as--------were on the Lord's side to manifest it by certificate, r
if experience or otherwise. ‘
h "In consequence of this invitation several presented letters from T
Q: sister churches and Brother Allen on the relation of his experience ‘
h was baptized. In this condition they remained about three or four ;
‘ months some advising to become an arm of the Baptist Church of Feefee E
‘2 Greek and others thought that we ought rather to be regarded as an arm i
t of a church on the East side of the Mississippi in the Illinois Territory i
i but the ministering brethren gave still different advice and accordingly
3 it was agreed that we should ourselves be constituted into a visible
3‘ church of the Lord Jesus."

f The articles of faith of the church are interesting. They are
V, recorded in the minute book as follows: I
‘ I

 2):. ‘5'? 1 i
5? - 10 -
is “we believe E
3 1. In one only living and true God, Father, Son and I
~; Holy Ghost. j
Q 2. That the Scriptures of the 01d and New Testament !
1 are the work of God and the only rule of faith W
1' and practice. 4
‘, 3. In the fall of man and the corruption of human nature. r

i 4. That Saints will preserve through grace to glory and l
‘7 none of them be lost.
i, 5. That Saints are justified in the sight of God only
by the imputed righteOusness of Jesus Christ and
that good works are the fee of faith.... ;
“ 6. That Baptism by immersion is the only mode and that
v, believers are the subjects.
5 7. That none but regular baptized members of a church I
3” have right to Communion at the Lord's table. i
Q h 8. In the resurrection of the dead and general Judgment ‘
' and the happiness of the righteous and the punish- I
5; ment of the wicked will be eternal."
S The members of the church in 1809 are listed as follows: John I
: Allen, William Patterson, Sarah James, Sarah Allen, Susannah Jones, i
Elizabeth Hubbard, Hannah (black), Margarete Jessey, Jacob Eastwood, ‘
a and Kitty Eastwood. William Patterson was the first clerk of the church.
E One year the church did not send delegates to the association because ,
3 of trouble with the Indians. Charges were also cited against one brother k
~ because he did not send his Negro slave to church. The following J
T interesting entries are selected at random from the quaint old minute I
;: book. 1
: April 23, 1809. I
‘ "Agreed that our regular meetings be on the third Sunday in every I
3 month and the Saturday before, at William Pattersont on Cold water.“
‘ l

 «: ’ - 11 . I
1 £1 E, 3393. 1
: "Agreed that we attend the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper at our I
:: quarterly meeting in November." i

- _ August _1_9, £1293. fl
;} "Rec'd. Hannah (woman of color) the property of wm. Folley by g
?g experience." ' g
;: "Agreed that when any male member be absent from a regular E
i? church meeting he shall at the next meeting give a lawful excuse of his [
2: absence or be liable to church censure." 1
it La .11., 2.21.9- I
if "Requested the Clerk to see Bro. Peter Ellis on behalf of this {
:% Church on the subject of non-attendance." g
i V Marga 2.9, $8.11
:fi "Rcc‘d; a contribution from Brethren Allen and Patterson to ,
fi: purchase wine for our quarterly meeting." i
Q; September lg; lgll. ;
}§ "The church declined sending delegates to the association on J
fi account of the disturbance with the Indians and the prevailing sickness
:: in that quarter." !

‘1: September £2, lglg. J
? "Bro. J. Allen and J. McDonald appointed a committee to visit ;
,i Sister Hubbard to know the cause of her absence from church and reports." 1
" Februarz E, _1_8}_§. ‘
:: "Appointed Brother Patterson to cite Jordon Whflaside again before 9 :
if the church...and also to write to Thos. Ellis requesting him to come and 5
i‘ give the church satisfaction concerning some reported misconduct." j
. g
.1 ' I

~—________________________ l_ _______________——_——————-v

 i - 12 - '
' Ma‘s}. 232. 38.1.5.- . ‘
"Jordan Whiteside excluded from the fellowship of the church."

"BrorAllen who was requested to write Judge Tucker on the subject

1 of the absence of our Black Brethren belonging to him reported

I favorably of. "

M .12: $245.1.

"The charges of Br. Patterson were called and he giving satis- ‘
faction was acquitted."

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