Kentucky Genealogy and History

Pulaski County, Kentucky

The Baptist Church in 1886


This body originated in a split in the old Cumberland River confederacy. At the annual meeting of the latter, held at Liberty meeting house in Pulaski county, on the first Saturday in September, 1861, a motion was made to drop correspondence with certain missionary organizations. The motion was lost; upon which the Moderator, the venerable Richard Collier, arose and said: "We are a divided people." The majority retired to the house to organize, and the minority organized at the stand. Both parties retained the name, and claimed the prerogatives of the original fraternity.

The body now under consideration entered upon its minutes the following explanation: ''The reason why our numbers have decreased is this: We declared unfellowship with the present plan of missionary efforts; and a portion of our body saw proper to organize themselves together , and we organized as usual, having 11 churches and the regular old moderator with us, on the constitution. We were constituted 52 years ago.

The 11 churches of which the body was organized, most of which are located in Pulaski county, aggregated 683 members. The body is avowedly Anti-missionary, in the common acceptation of the term ; but claims that the churches have a right to send out ministers to preach the gospel, but not to promise them salaries. It does not differ in its doctrinal views from the Missionary Baptists; but opposes all secret societies, and all religious organizations, except gospel churches. It belongs to that class of Baptists, commonly known, 40 years ago, as "Go betweens." It has had a slight increase in numbers. When last heard from, in 1879, it numbered 13 churches with 886 members. During the past 18 years of its existence, from 1861 to 1879, there were baptized into the fellowship of its churches 728 professed believers.

Richard Collier was the most distinguished preacher in this fraternity, and was, for about 50 years, a very useful minister in old Cumberland River Association. He was born in East Tennessee, about the year 1783, and migrated to Pulaski county, Kentucky, while a young man. Soon after his settling in Kentucky, he commenced exhorting, and was ordained to the ministry, at Mt. Pleasant church in Pulaski county, about 1811, by Elijah Barnes, and, probably Stephen Collier, who was his first cousin. He was a moderate preacher, but a zealous, faithful laborer; and he did much in building up the early churches in Pulaski county. His popularity was evinced in his being chosen Moderator of Cumberland River Association, about 20 years. He was also Moderator of the body now under consideration, at its first session. He rested from his labors, in April, 1865.

Reuben J. Shadowen was the most prominent preacher in this Association. After the death of Richard Collier whom he succeeded in the moderatorship, in 1862. This position he continued to fill, as late as 1879. At that time he was quite old and feeble.
A History of Kentucky Baptists: From 1769 to 1885, including more than 1800 biographical sketches, Volume 2, John H. Spencer, 1886;
Submitted by Sandy Denney


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