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First Baptists in Kentucky
1776 – On this date the Baptists arrived in Harrodsburg, Kentucky and the first recorded Baptist preaching was done by William Hickman and Thomas Tinsley.  Two years later Hickman was ordained in Virginia and spent eight years of service there.
Though not imprisoned at that time he received a great deal of rude persecution.  In the summer of 1784 the Hickman family moved permanently to Kentucky and for the next four years William ministered at every opportunity  which resulted in the establishing of the Forks of Elkhorn Church, where he pastored until his death in 1834.  That was a period of forty-five years except when he was out of fellowship with the church for two years over the issue of slavery, which he opposed.
During the great revival period of 1800-1803, Elder Hickman baptized over five hundred converts.  William was born in Virginia on Feb. 4, 1747.  His parents died while he was but a lad, and he became a ward of his grandmother.  His educational opportunities were limited, but his grandmother gave him a Bible and insisted that he read it.
When he was fourteen he was apprenticed to learn a trade, and in nine years he was secure enough to marry his master’s daughter Sarah Sanderson.  Soon after, he learned that the Baptists (then called New Lights) were in the area, and against his wife’s wishes, he went to hear the preaching.
The next day he went to a public “dipping” of converts and was deeply moved even to tears.  The next fall they moved to Cumberland County, KY, and the Lord brought his wife to faith in Christ.
William was saved under the preaching of David Tinsley on Feb. 21, 1773 and baptized two months later, after rejecting Episcopal christening.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson /, pp. 133.
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