xt7zcr5n9g7b https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7zcr5n9g7b/data/mets.xml Williams, U. V. 1912  books b92-92-27694744 English Coyle Press Print, : [Frankfort, Ky. : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. United Baptists. Franklin Association. Baptists Kentucky.Eberhart, F. W. History of the Franklin Baptist Association from 1815 to 1912  / by U.V. Williams ; F.W. Eberhart. text History of the Franklin Baptist Association from 1815 to 1912  / by U.V. Williams ; F.W. Eberhart. 1912 2002 true xt7zcr5n9g7b section xt7zcr5n9g7b 

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           1(t'1)1W)(                         ITfW43

     The preparation of the History of the Franklin Baptist Association
has necessitated a very great and persistent effort to collect the data for its
     The Record Book, in which the first fifty annual minutes was trans-
cribed, was destroyed by fire, and the supplying of this matter in its entire-
ty has simply been impossible; as well as much of interest occuring during
the civil war and immediately succeeding, could not be supplied.
     To approximate a connected and authentic history has been a constant
labor of correspondence, covering several States and various sources within
the State, and searching, as far as possible, the church records of very
many churches not now connected with the Franklin Baptist Association,
but had formerly been connected with it and active participants in its work.
     To Spencer's History of Kentucky Baptists, the Southern Baptist Theo-
logical Seminary, the Colgate Theological Institute of New York, and the
free use of its extensive collection of Baptist History of the United States
and scores of interested brethren, is due the even incomplete history here
presented; and to each and every one of whom and from whatever other
source of information, thanks is hereby tendered. The above data and its
obtaining has occupied the author for the past eight years.
     But more than all or from any other source is the author indebted to
the valuable assistance and hearty co-operation of Rev. F. W. Eberhart, in
compiling the work; and without his able assistance one or more years would
have been consumed, and even then the work would not have been so
satisfactorially complete.
     The author has made strenuous efforts to have each church contribute
a cut of the church house with a short foot note of its biography. To such
as have responded, the request has been complied with, the illustration has
been inserted, and adds very much to the appearance of the booklet.
     Thanking the Association for the patience and courtesy extended the
author in the long delay in its publication, he is
                                               U. V. WILLIAMS.


                (I (SCPDUA- (('All

    The history of an Association of New Testament Churches is in reality
a history of the individual churches composing it, and should concern itself
with the records of these churches from their constitution. This is not pos
sible, however, in the brief compass of this sketch, therefore only such matter
as concerns the annual meetings and facts bearing thereon will be considered.
Unfortunately the file of the minutes or these annual meetings is incomplete.
The writer has had access to those preserved in the library of the Southern
Baptist Theological Seminary and to the more complete collection of
Colgate. Most of all we are indebted to Dr. U. V. Williams for his val-
uable contributions and his earnest efforts to collect and preserve historical
material bearing on the Association's history. To his perseverence, in fact,
this brief outline is due.

                     First Decade, 1815-1824
    The organization of Franklin Association was effected at South Benson
meeting house, Saturday, September 16th, 181 5.   The sermon was
preached by John Taylor, from Psalm 1 33:1. John Penny was the first
Moderator and John Scott, Clerk.
     The following resolution was adopted: "Agreed, first, that the churches
represented in this council do unite to form an Association in union with
those Associations from whence these chu-ches came, to-wit: Long Run,
Elkhorn and North District; with which Associations, together with those
in union with them, a correspondence is invited. Agreed, second, that this
associate body be known by the name of Franklin Association."
     The churches entering into this compact were Forks of Elkhorn, South
Benson, Salt River, Twins, Hopewell, Mt. Pleasant, Mouth of Elkhorn and
Big Spring. Of these South Benson was the oldest and deserves to be
called the mother church of the Association.
     According to Spencer---a history of Kentucky Baptists---the first anni-
versary of the body was held at Mt. Pleasant, presided over by the same
officers as at the previous meeting. The sermon was preached by John
Scott. There were now twelve churches with 819 members. The suc-
ceeding year 35 1 persons were baptized into the churches of the body.



     First known as Mt. Gomer. Mt. Gomer was organized July 24th,
1790, on the precepts of Matthenw XVIII, 15th verse: "If thy Brother
trespass upon you," etc., etc. Organized by Daniel James, James and
Craig Hayden, Church Poindexter, Bledsoe and Head Blanton. The
first church meeting was held in house of Bledsoe Hayden, on 25th of
September. 1790, and still continued the place of worship until a house
was built. Arrangements for which building was determined upon on
January 22, 1781, which was completed and dedicated in a few months.
In 1801, the name was changed to Mt. Pleasant. This church has a
remarkable history, passing through many trials and vicissitudes arising
mainly from doctrinal differences, but always maintaining the faith once
delivered to the saints, the fires never dying on her altars. Among her
pastors almost every old pioneer has ministered to her. One of her own
young men, converted at Bethel, educated for a lawyer, immediately was
ordained and served as her pastor for more than 30 years---the late and
lemented F. H. Hodges. The present church house is on same ground
as her predecessor and near the site of the first.

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     In 1820 the annual meeting was held at six-mile meeting house, the
first Friday in August, J. Scott, Moderator, J. Dudley, Clerk. Introductory
Sermon by John Penny, from Matt. 1:2 1. Nineteen churches reported
105 baptisms.
     The records for 1831 show Twin's church as the place of meeting,
the first Friday in August. Silas Noel. Moderator, and sermon by A. Cook,
from Prov. 8:6. Twenty churches reported only 31 baptisms. Two in-
terexting questions came up at this session, showing how our fathers were
perplexed by the same problems we face today. The first was from Goshen
Church.  Has not the Frankfort Church violated our Constitution by inter-
fering with the internal concerns of Fox Creek Church Answer: The
Association is of opinion that the constitution has not been violated, The
second was asked by Mt. Pleasant, Frankfort and Mouth of Elkhorn
Churches, and was answered by the Association as follows: We conceive
the subject of constituting churches and ordaining ministers as of vital im-
portance to the churches of Christ. As such we recommend to the churches
to observe great caution and to refrain from either or both, except with the
advice and counsel of one or more of the sister churches. At this meriting
five churches were granted letters to form a new Association (Concord), viz:
McCool's Bottom, Twins, White's Run, Emans and Long Ridge.
     In 1 823 Frankfort was the meeting place on the first Monday in
August. Silas M. Noel, Moderator, Benj. Taylor, Clerk, and John Taylor
preached the annual sermon, text, Acts 3:6. Seventeen churches reported
83 baptisms.
     According to Spencer the total membership at the close of the decade,
1 824, was 1 ,7 10. Many of these were colored brethren. Of the churches,
Salt River, with 2 1 8 members, was the largest. During this entire period
the Association had the ministrations of three of the greatest men Kentucky
Baptists ever had. William Hickman Sr., John Taylor and Silas M. Noel.

                 The Second Decade, 1825-1834
     This was the period when the turbulent aggressions of Campbellism
were met and overcome in Franklin Association. The controversy which
was so sadly agitating the churches of the State, raged with bitterness
around Frankfort, owing to the splendid championship of the truth by
Silas M. Noel. The records for Frankfort Church for 1827, contain a
strong letter on this subject, addressed to the Association in session with
Bethel Church. South Benson suffered more than the other churches and



through the efforts of the two Creaths was, at cne time, almost lost to the
    In 1828 the meeting was held with Indian Fork Church, on the
second Friday in October: Willam W. Ford, Moderator, Henry Win-
gate, Clerk. The annual sermon was preached by silas M. Noel, from
Acts 11:42. There were now eighteea churches: Forks of E!khorn, Mt.
Pleasant, South Benson, Hopewell. Frankfort, Mouth of Cedar, Buck Run,
Beech Creek, Indian Fork, Six Mile, PBffido Lick, Zoar, Mt. Carmel,
Lebanon, Norih Benson, Pigeon Fork, Bethel and Union. These report
285 baptisms for the year and a total of 1,788 members---South Benson
now being the largest of the churches, with 275 members.
    There are no a ailable records for 1829. From Spcnccr we learn
that William W. Ford was again Moderatcr. The session of 1830 was
held with Frankfoit Church, the second Friday and Saturday in July.
Spencer (Vol. II, p. 29 1 ) speaks of an extra session, but the minutes do
not refer to this meeting as an extra session. It is probably the only one
held during the year. It was in this year the Association issued a circular
to the churches, in which the errors of CampSell's teachings, by Silas M.
Noel. (Spencer, Vol. 1, p. 625, and Vo!. 11, p. 29 1.) Nineteen churches
reported but no statistics were given. William W. Ford was again Mod-
erator, Henry Wingate, Clerk, and George W. Sedwick preacher of the
annual sermon from I John 3:1.
    In 1833 the Association convened at the Cave Spring on Sept. 20th,
and in Frankfort on the 2 1 st. James Ford was chosen Moderator and
Henry Wingate Clerk. The sermon from Eph. 3:14, was preached by
Wm. Ford. Only seventeen churches were represented, reporting 123
baptisms. Appended to the minutes of this session was a series of questions
implying the duty of Christians to send the Bible and a preached Gospel to
the whole earth, and that God would hold them responsible for failing to
discharge that duty.
     In 1834 the Association met at Beech Creek meeting house, Sept.
20, 21, 22, with James Ford, Moderator, and E. B. Chambers, Cleik.
The sermon was by Joseph Taylor, frcm John 20:28. Sixteen churches
reported 265 baptisms and a total membership of 1,874. Six Mile is now
the largest church, with 261 members. It is interesting to note that in spite
of the schism which resulted in the defection of many, and that severAl
churches were granted letters to unite with other Baptist Associations, there
is, nevertheless, a good gain in membership, mostly by baptism, for the ten
years. It is never a mistake to contend earnestly and lovingly for the Faith.



     The above is a good cut of the North Fork Baptist Church, located
at the village of Switzer, on the F.  C. R. R. eight miles from Frank-
fort. This is one of the oldest churches in the Franklin Association, being
constituted in 1801, and joining the Association in 1848. The church
has had a uniformly prosperous career, having had no divisions or dissen-
sions except in the 3O's, when the A lexander Campbell movement led off
many of her members.
     This church has been a great influence for good in the community
in which it is located. It has a Sunday School which has been in contin-
uous session each Sunday morning for more than thirty years, a record
that few country churches can claim. Other auxilliaries are, an active
Woman's Missionary Society and a Sunbean    jand for the develop-
ment of the missionary spirit among the children. 'he church was never
more united and prosperous than under the leadership of the present much
beloved pastor, W. D. Ogletree.

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                     Third Decade, 1835-184
    As the former decade was marked by the culmination of the struggle
with Campbellism, so this marked the crisis between the missionary and
anti-missionary parties in the churches. After the organization of the General
Association in 1837 the oppsers of missions withdrew and organized
churches of their own. In 1 832 the Kentucky Baptist State Convention
had been organized at Birdstown, largely under the influence of Franklin
Associatioa, led by Silas M. Noel. This was avowedly a missionary organ-
ization and as such was bitterly opposed. The last meeting was held in
Frankfort in l 835. The brief existence of this society served to unite the
friends of missions to plan for a more thorough campaign in the interest of
the cause, but at the same time it united the opposers and led to the final
schism. This final separation, as noted above, culminated in the organiza-
tion of the General Association.
    At the meeting of the Franklin Aassociation in 1 835, held with
Forks of Elkhorn Church Sept. 19, 20, 2 1, the following churches were
represented: South Benson, Frankfort, Mouth of Cedar, Buck Run, Bush
Creek, Indian Fork, Six Mile, Buffalo Lick, Forks of Elkhorn, Mt. Carmel,
Ncrth Benson, Zoar, Pigeon Fork, Mt. Pleasant, Bethel and Lebanon.
[hese reported 70 baptisms and I,680 members. James Ford was
Moderator and Henry Bohannon Clerk. The sermon was preached by
William Hickman, Jr., from I Cor. 3:20-22. This was the last meeting
attended by the venerable pioneer, John Taylor. He died in January of
the following year, Willam Hickman, Sr., having preceded him to the
Heavenly Rest in 1830.
     The session cf 1837 was held with Mt. Pleasant Church, Sept. 16,
17, 18. James Ford was again Moderator, and Henry Bohannan Clerk.
Wm. T. Ford preached the sermon from I Cor. 2.45. Only 14 churches
were represented: Bush Creek, Zoar and Pigeon Fork are missing and
Lawrenceburg reports for the first time. The membership fell to 1,431,
while t' e total number of baptisms was 20. This was perhaps the darkest
period of the Association history.
     In 1 840 the annual meeting was held at Cedar Creek Sept. 1 8, the
same officers presiding as in 1837. The sermon was by Wm. T. Ford
from Acts 14:22. Of the 1 5 churches represented "Harmony" appears
for the first time. 483 baptisms are recorded, 1 80 being credited to
Frankfort. The total membership is 1,864, a gain of more than 400 in
three years. It was at this time that Protracted Meetings came to be held



by Baptists, and for six years from 1 837 the churches of the State were in
the midst of a great revival. Franklin Association must have profited by
this spiritual awakening for in 1844, when the body convened at South
Benson, Aug. 1 6, 1 7, the 1 7 cLurches reported 2,573 members, though
but 76 persons were baptized during the year. James Ford was Moderator
and Henry Wingate Clerk. Union and Lockport churches appear on the
roll for the first time.
     The decade began with 16 churches and 1,680 members; at its close
there were 2,573 members in 1 7 churches, of which Franktort was the
largest with 337. On May 5, 1839, Silas M. Noel died. He was the
most influential man the Association ever had in its bounds. The two great
pioneers, John Taylor and William Hickman, had given the best part of
their lives to the work in Elkhorn Association, but Noel gave the best of his
splendid talents in the full promise of manly powers to us. His greatness
was manifold. His fidelity to New Testament doctrines as held by the
Baptists made him our champion against the innovations of Alexander Camp-
bell and against the reactionaries who fought against the inevitable duty of
making Jesus Christ kno n and loved and obeyed in all the world. He
was a consistent advocate of Christian education and a great leader in
harmonizing and organizing the Baptist forces of the State.

                    Fourth Decade, 1815-1855
     For this period the only available minutes are those of 1 846 and 1 85 1.
From the records of the Frankfort Church a few additional facts are obtained
and Spencer's history contains much valuable information. The session of
1846 was held at Chritsiansburg, August 2 1, 22. James Ford, Moder-
ator, and Henry Wingate, Clerk. The sermon was by Frank H. Hodges,
from Gal. 6:9. The 1 5 churches are South Benson, Frankfort, Mouth of
Cedar, Buck Run, Indian Fork, Christiansburg, Buffalo Lick, Forks of
Elkhorn, Mt. Carmel, North Benson, Mt. Pleasant, Bethel, Lebanon,
Harmony and Union. These record 85 baptisms and 2,224 members.
Three churches of the former decade are now wanting, viz: Six Mile,
Lawrenceburg and Lockport.
    In 1851 the annual meeting was held with Buck Run Church, August
15, 16, 17, Henry Wingate, Moderator and Cadwallader Lewis, Clerk.
Joseph W. Warder preached the sermon from 2 Tim. 1:1 0. Twc new
churches report for the first time: North Fork and Mint Spring. There
were now 17, reporting 278 baptisms and 2,908 members. For the first



time the minutes record offerings made by the body. For printing minutes,
2 1.80 had been contributed, and for the work of the General Asso.
c ation, 1 07.15. Offerings for General Foreign Missions and for Indian
Mis ions had been made for many years previous but were not reported in
the miaates. Now that a correspondence had been entered into with the
State organization, the local interest, in objects of beneficence, began to
assume definite proportions.
     "In 1850 protracted meetings were recommended as a Keens of sup-
plying, in some measure, the destitution within the bounds of the Assccia-
tion. On application of their messengers, the Association appointed meetings
to be held duriag the succeding year with nine out of seventeen churches.
Ministers were also appointed to conduct these meetings, but no provision
was made for their compensation. This experiment was repeated the next
year and then abandoned.---Spencer, Vol. 2, p. 294.
     In 1 852 he annual meeting was held at Lebanon the 3rd Friday in
Angust; in 1853, at Harmony, the 3rd Friday in August, and in 1854 at
Indian Fork, August 22.
     'In 1853, the Association appointed an Executive Board to supply
the destitution within her own bounds, as far as the means appropriated by
the churches would enable it. It also resolved to raise 500 for the purpose
of establishing a book depository, and a sytem of colportage.0- Spencer,
Vt 1. 2, p. 294-5.
     At the close of the decade the membership of the body was over
3,000. Frankfort Church was still in the lead with 4 1 3. However this
was c nsiderably less than in 1 852. This church, though the largest, had
at this time only twice a month preaching, paying their pastor 250.00 a
year stated salary.
     Two notable facts should be recorded, the first being the death in
1 845 of William Hickman, jr., for forty years the beloved pastor of South
Benson Church; the other the beginning of the labors of Frank H. Hodges,
who for almost 40 years, from 1 844, labored with wonderful success as
pastor and evangelist throughout the Association. It has been estimated
that 4,000 people were baptized by him during his ministry for more than
30 years pastor of North Benson Church.
     [In June, 1 848, he held a protracted meeting at North Benson, assisted
by Rev. Combs, at which there were more than 1 00 additions to the
church at the close. He immersed in Benson Creek, at Dooley's Mill dam,
76 candidates in exactly three quarters of an hour, the writer being one;



and at the close said he and eleven others like himself could hive easily
baptized the three thousand Penticostal converts in one day; and said,
"arva3, with the theory for sprinkling---that it was quite impossible to have
immersed that number in one day."  He preached like he baptized, with
his watch open and before him, and when forty and five minutes were out he
would hold up his hands and say "Receive the Benediction."--U. V. Williams.I

                      Fifth Decade, 1855-18641
     The stormy period of the civil war was ushered in by the Know-
nothing controversy which did the churches more harm than the war itself.
A serious disruption occurred in one of the strong churches of the body,
resulting in the organization of a new church, which became identified with
Elkhorn Association.
     About the same time, the Temperance movement assumed new propor-
tions all over the nation, and agitated the churches of Franklin Association no
little. In 1854 the body adopted a resolution declaring that membership
in a temperence society ought to be no bar to church fellowship. Not-
withstanding this resolution, the Lebanon Church expelled several of its
members for joining the Sons of Temperance. At its next session the
Association passed the following resolution: "That we affectionately and
sincerely request said church to reconsider their action, and reinstate those
brethren into their fellowship." The church continuing to disregard the
advice of the churches, a third resolution was adopted declaring "the grounds
for such exclusion insufficient, and that any other church receiving such ex-
pelled members will not be acting contrary to the rules of the Association."
---Spencer, Vol. II, p. 285.
     In fairness to Lebanon Church it ought be stated that the brethren
wr re not in favor of the sale or use of intoxicants; their objection referred
solely to any member becoming identified with a secret society.
     At the opening session of this decade, 1 855, the annual meeting was
held at North Fork, August 21, 22, 23. Moderator, Henry Wingate;
clerk, S. E. Miles. Andrew Broadus preached the sermon from Isaiah
53:1. The churches represented were South Benson, Frankfort, Cedar
Creek, Back Run, Indian Fork, Christiansburg, Buffalo Lick, Forks of
Elkhorn, Mt. Carmel, North Benson, Mt. Pleasant, Bethel, Lebanon,
Harmony, Union, North Fork, Gratz. These report 161 baptisms ani
3,127 members.


                       SOUTH BENSON
     Constituted in 1801.  The oldest in the Association, except Forks
of Elkhorn, 1777, and _It. Pleasant, 1790.   North Fork constituted
same year, 1801, was present and assisted in forming Franklin A sso-
ciation. Had a prosperous and useful history. Some of the most famous
preachers of the old school, as well as those of more modern date, are
numbered among its pastors. Numbered among its oldest members were:
Revs. Wm. Hickman. Jr., Wm. C. fBlanton, J. S. Major and A. R.
JXacey.   Laymen--H. L. Fore, S. B. Scofield, 7homas and Silas
Farmer, Dr. J. Russell Hawkins, Joseph, J. D. and William Parrent,
Dr. J. Hiter Ellison. During the Alexander Campbell agitation,'24-'26,
it was divided, numbers of its members, going to the fBridgeport Chris-
tian Church, and others Jorming Buck Lick Church in Anderson county,
each being organized from the disaffected membership. Again in 1883,
differences in its own membership caused another split. 'he present
Evergreen Baptist Church was organized out of the membership of old
South Benson, since which time South Benson has declined, its member-
ship ceasing to have regular service, many of the members joining other
Baptist Churches near by. 'Che church house having been sold and
non being converted into a tobacco barn. See photograph.   A  few
faithful old members still revere its memory and hang their harps on the
willows and weep--
            "I give them the end of a golden string,
                 Only to wind it into a ball--
            It will lead them into Heaven's gate,
                Built in New Jerusalem's wall."

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     The meeting of 1856 was held with Mt. Pleasant Church August 19,
20, 2 1. Moderator and clerk as in 1855. B. T. Quinn preached the
sermon from Isaiah 9:7. 86 baptisms were reported.
     No minutes are obtainable for the next three meetings. It is known,
however, that the meeting of 1 857 was held at South Benson; that of
X 858 at Christiansburg, and that of 1859 at Forks of Elkhorn.
     The following resolution adcpted by Frankfort Church, at the August
meeting of the church, 1857, is of interest: .  I st. Resolved, That .we take
a quarterly collection for the following objects: Home Missions, first Sabbath
in October; Indian Missions, first Sabbath in January; Foreign Missions, first
Sabbath in April; Bible Cause, first Sabbath in July.  2d. Resolved,
That our pastor be requested to preach on each of these objects at I I
o'clock on the above named dates, and that at night we hold a concert of
prayer in behalf of the objects specified.' It should be noted that by 1859
the church reports to the Association 67.25 given to Foreign Missions,
1 00.00 to the General Association, 50.00 to Indian Missions and
25.00 for Bible Work; in addition the church, for the first time, reports
preaching every Sunday.
     The session of 1860 was held at North Benson, August 2 1, 22, 23
Henry \ ingate was again Moderator and S. E. Miles Clerk. Sermon by
W. M. Pratt, from Jer. 17:9; 7:22.  1 9 churches report 98 baptisms and
3,1 67 members; of these Pleasant Ridge and Frankfort colored appear
for the first time, the latter having 4 1 5 members, leaving the white church
with cnly 11 5. Fourteen churches now report a larger membership than
the white church.
     In 1861 the body convened at Bethel, August 20; in 1862 at Buf-
falo Lick. Thos. Farmer is now Moderator and S. E. Miles Clerk. Sermon
by B. T. Quinn, from I John 5:4. The 19 churches report 43 baptisms
and 3,145 members.
     In 1863 the meeting was held at Buck Run, August 18, 19. Moder-
ator, Thos. Farmer; Clerk, A. R. Macey. Sermon by B. Onan, from
Eph. 2:18. The 19 churches report only 3 baptisms.
     The meeting of 1864 was held with South Benson Church. Thos.
Farmer, Moderator, and S. E. Miles, Clerk. Sermon by R. L. Thurman,
from 1 Cor. 15:58  The churches report a total of 112 baptisms.
     At the opening of the period there were 1 7 churches in the Associa-
tion, with 3,1 2 7 members, of these Frankfort Church was the largest, with
467; at the close there were 19 churches of which Frankfort colored was



the largest, 573. The total membership is not ascertainable, as four
churches sent no letter.
     On the whole, in spite of the sad ravages of the civil war, and the
controversies noted, the work shows progress along many lines.
     A matter of interest concerning public worship in the churches is
recorded on the book of Frankfort Church, Augmst, 18q64. It is a ccm-
munication, 'To the members of the Baptist Church, Frankfort.
     "Dear Brethren and Sisters: In looking at the various improvements
other churches are making for the purpose of maintaining a popular public
worship, we have come to the conclusion that our own church ought, in
justice to herself, make at least, a corresponding advancement with them,
and believing our singing can be very greatly improved, we respectfully re-
quest permission to introduce a melodeon as an appendage to public worship.
                                 "(Signed)      Young Members."
     It is pleasing to note that unanimous consent was given to this courteous
request of the young members.
     As showing the financial burdens caused by the war the following
from the History of South Benson Church for 1 864 will be of interest:
Whereas, our pastor (Ben. T. Quinn) was drafted into the United States
service. and paid 800.00. for a substitute, that he might still have the
privilege of preaching the Gospel; therefore, Resolved, that we as a church
raise by subscription the sum of four hundred dollars to reimburse him in
part of this expense.

                      Sixth Decade, 1865-1874
     This may well be called the period of readjustment. It is gratifying
to note with what degree of Christian wisdom the various problems of this
trying time were met and adjusted. There was first of all the question of
the new attitude of the colored church members, resulting from their general
emancipation. The action of the church in Frankfort is doubtless charac-
teristic of all the others. Seemingly without friction and in a kindly spirit
that church on July 25, 1867, granted to the "African Branch," the rights
and privileges of an independent organization.
     Another difficult problem related to the fellowship, in the same church,
of brethren who had fought on opposite sides in the terrible four years' con-
flict, and of those who, while not belligerents, sympathized strongly with
one side or the other. Here, too, it is pleasing to observe how the grace
of Jesus Christ was sufficient to harmonize men's mind and bring their


                             BETH EL
     Constituted in 1802, one of the oldest churches in the Association,
and, except Frankfort, the largest in point of numbers.  One of the
landmarks of the denomination; well abreast of times and usages of the
faptist. Holding at all times distinction of beiny a New Testament
Church. Neither irregular in practice nor heretic in Doctrine. Forward
in Missionary and Sunday-school work; her light not hid under a bushel
of selfishness or bigotry. 'he decendents of her founders still abide and
worship among her environment.  Was the spiritual birthplace of one of
the oldest and most revered of all the ministers of the Franklin Associa-
tion, the Rev. F. H. Hodges, who for more than 50 years lived and
labored exclusively within the bounds of this Association, and often as
her pastor. Her membership has alw ays been large in numbers and
devoted in all Christian work.

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passions under the sway of the Divine Spirit; so that now in Him there is
no North or South among Baptists but all are one in Christ Jesus.
     A third difficulty was that of finances. The returning soldiers were
mostly poor. Their families had lost much of their property. Many were
maimed for life and unable to work, and vet it was during this very period
of financial hardship that the churches enlarged their offerings, not only for
the work at home, but more abundantly still out of their deep poverty did
they supply the needs of the opening fields at home and abroad.
     In 1 865 the Association met at Indian Fork (date not given). Thos.
Farmer was Moderator and S. E. Miles Clerk. The sermon was preached
by A. B. Hunter, from Heb. 7:2 5. The churches composing the body
were: South Benson, Frankfort, Frankfort Colored, Buck Run, Cedar
Creek, Forks of Elkhorn, Indian Fork, Christiansburg, Buffalo Lick, Mt.
Carmel, North Benson, Mt. Pleasant, Bethel, Lebanon, Union, Harmony,
North Fork, Pleasant Ridge, Gratz. These report 127 baptisms and
3,238 members.
     For the next five meetings no data can be given, save the mere facts
of time and place. In 1 866 the session was held with Forks of Elkhorn
Church, August, 2 1; in 1867, with Christiansburg, August 20; in 1869,
with Cedar Creek (date not given); in 1870 with North Benson.
    In 1871 the body convened with North Fork Church, August 22,
23. E. H. Black, Moderator, and U. V. Williams, Clerk. The sermon
was by T. J. Stevenson. The 1 8 churches reported 1 01 baptisms. Reports
were received and adopted on State and Home Missions; Orphan's
Home (for which an offering of 70.00 was made); endorsing the removal
of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary to Louisville; Religious
Literature; and favoring the establishment of a Baptist State Historical
    The session of 1872 was held at South Benson, August 20, 2 1.
Moderator, E. H. Black; Clerk, U. V. Williams. Sermon by L. W. Seeley,
from Matt. 28:19, 20. Only 15 churches now report, showing 18 bap-
tisms. Reports were approved on Foreign Missions; Orphan's Home;
Ministerisl Education; Sunday-school Work, and Religious Literature.
The offerin