Smith Creek Baptist
A church that has existed for over 250 years
Smith’s Creek Church, a Regular Baptist church, was constituted at New Market, Virginia on August 06, 1756. Smith’s Creek in the beginning was a numerically weak circuit church, meeting only once a month. It is still a full-time active congregation in the valley that has planted many independent Baptist churches in more recent years.
Its original meetinghouse, a small log building where the church assembled near Smith’s Creek, after which it was named, was moved to the campus of Ferrum College, a Methodist school in Southern Virginia. Baptists had lived in the area for at least 11 years prior to the forming of the church. Some of them were from the Philadelphia Association, and at least one from New England. He was John Harrison who wishing to be baptized went as far as Oyster Bay, in Mass. “to obtain that ordinance.”
During this period, four notable preachers came and preached in the area – Samuel Eaton, Benjamin Griffith, John Gano, and John Alderson. Elder Alderson settled there and assumed the pastorate of the church from its organization for the next two years until he moved to Rockbridge County, VA. James Ireland had moved to the area and settled as a school teacher. He soon was converted and called to preach. He preached often at Smith’s Creek Church as well as Mill Creek Church, which was also known as White House.
Anderson Moffett, a fellow prisoner of Ireland in the Culpeper jail, assumed the pastorate and served the church for over 50 years. Moffett, a faithful preacher for 70 years, had suffered much for the gospel. Smith’s Creek became a corresponding church of the Philadelphia Association.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 320-22.
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First Revival in Kentucky
1783 – John Taylor found his wife in a very helpless state, in that she was within one month of delivering their son Ben. He and Mrs. Taylor had arrived at Craig’s Creek in Upper Kentucky a little before Christmas. They had made the trip from Virginia with great difficulty without a friend or acquaintance to accompany their young family. Taylor said that they took an ill fixed boat of strangers down the Ohio and that not a soul was settled from Wheeling to Louisville at that time. Also according to Taylor, “Not a soul in all of Bear Grass settlement was in safety, but by being in a fort” Though it was winter they set out to go the eighty miles to their destination on Gilberts Creek. They had three horses, two packed with all they owned and the other was ridden by his wife. The trail was narrow and difficult as they waded through mud and forded creeks and rivers up to their waists, often in bitter, cold weather. It was in Taylor’s own cabin, that a revival commenced in the winter of 1784-85. Taylor performed hard physical labor during the day and preached at night. The revival at Clear Creek settlement resulted in the founding of a Regular Baptist church. Many of those first thirty members had migrated from Virginia under the ministry and leadership of Elder Lewis Craig. That summer Taylor baptized some sixty of his neighbors. This was considered the first revival in the commonwealth of Ky. Taylor Organized a church at Bullitsburg where he baptized 113 persons. He also founded churches in Trimble County, Franklin County (Frankfort), and Buck Run in Franklin County. He was a true, hard working, pioneer church-planter. [This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: 2000 A.D. pp. 717-19. John Taylor, A History of Ten Baptist Churches (Bloomfield, Ky.: Will H. Holmes, 1827), pp. 54-55.] Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon
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