Tag Archives: Tennessee

Tanasqui, Tanasi, Tennessee

Tennessee origin of state nameAmerican Minute with Bill Federer

Spanish Explorers Hernando de Soto, in 1540, and Juan Pardo, in 1567, traveled inland from North America’s eastern coast and passed through a Native American village named “Tanasqui.”

A century and a half later, British traders encountered a Cherokee town named Tanasi.

After the Revolutionary War, attempts were made to name it the “State of Franklin,” in honor of Ben Franklin.

At the State’s Constitutional Convention, it is said General Andrew Jackson suggested name “Tennessee.”

In 1796, President George Washington signed Congress’ bill accepting Tennessee as the 16th State.

The wording approved in Tennessee’s Constitution included:

“Article XI, Section III…All men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences.”

Though Article XI, Section IV, of Tennessee’s Constitution stated:

“No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under this State,”

it also stated in Article VIII, Section II:

“No person who denies the being of God, or a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this State.”

Tennessee was birthplace of:

Congressman Davy Crockett, who died at the Alamo;
Sam Houston, who helped Texas gain its independence;
Admiral David Farragut, who won the Battle of Mobile Bay;
Matthew Fontaine Maury, U.S. Navy oceanographer; and
Sequoyah, creator of the Cherokee written language.

General Andrew Jackson was a Congressman and Senator from Tennessee, as well as a State Supreme Court Judge.

Elected the 7th U.S. President, Jackson was the founder of the Democrat Party and only President to completely pay off the national debt.

Jackson warned December 5, 1836:

“The experience of other nations admonished us to hasten the extinguishment of the public debt…

An improvident expenditure of money is the parent of profligacy,

and that no people can hope to perpetuate their liberties who long acquiesce in a policy which taxes them for objects not necessary to the legitimate and real wants of their Government…”

Andrew Jackson continued:

“To require the people to pay taxes to the Government merely that they may be paid back again…

Nothing could be gained by it even if each individual who contributed a portion of the tax could receive back promptly the same portion…”

Jackson added:

“Congress is only authorized to levy taxes ‘to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States.’

There is no such provision as would authorize Congress to collect together the property of the country, under the name of revenue, for the purpose of dividing it equally or unequally among the States or the people.

Indeed, it is not probable that such an idea ever occurred to the States when they adopted the Constitution…”

President Jackson cautioned:

“There would soon be but one taxing power, and that vested in a body of men far removed from the people, in which the farming and mechanic interests would scarcely be represented.

The States would gradually lose their purity as well as their independence; they would not dare to murmur at the proceedings of the General Government, lest they should lose their supplies;

all would be merged in a practical consolidation, cemented by widespread corruption, which could only be eradicated by one of those bloody revolutions which occasionally overthrow the despotic systems of the Old World.”

After the Civil War, Tennessee was the first State readmitted to the Union, JULY 24, 1866.

President Johnson issued a Proclamation of Amnesty and Pardon to former Confederates on September 7, 1867:

“Every person who shall seek to avail himself of this proclamation shall take the following oath…

‘I do solemnly swear, in the presence of Almighty God, that I will henceforth faithfully support…the Constitution of the United States…So help me God.’”

Bill FedererThe Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s bookshere.

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30 – January 30 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PASTThe first church in Tennessee



1806 – A BAPTIST CHURCH WAS THE FIRST CHURCH OF ANY KIND IN THE STATE OF TENNESSEE – Tidence Lane died on January 30, 1806. He was born near Baltimore, MD on August 31, 1724. His Anglican father Richard was an ardent opponent of the Baptists. The message of the Separate Baptists had a great effect on Tidence after the family moved to North Carolina.  He married Esther Bibber in May 1743 and heard Shubal Stearns preach, fell under conviction and was gloriously saved. In 1758 his younger brother Dutton was saved and both boys were called to preach.  His father was so irate that he pursued the youngest brother with the intent to kill him. Tidence and Esther had nine children, seven of them sons. Pressures, from the British Governor William Tryon against the Baptists, caused Tidence to turn toward Tennessee where the gospel had never been declared. His was the first church of any denomination organized in the State of Tenn. In 1779. he was the first Moderator of the First Association in the state, organized on October 21, 1786, 10 years before Tenn. was admitted into the Union. Lane’s success was so great that by 1790 Tenn. had 18 churches, 21 preachers and 889 members.


Dr. Greg J. Dixon; adapted from:  Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson/   pg. 40.




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362 – Dec. 28 – This Day in Baptist History Past



The isolation of love


 1871 – Issachar Jacob Roberts, but known by his first two initials I.J., died in Upper Alton, Illinois. No one should be surprised that it was of leprosy, having ministered to the lepers in China for many years. I.J. was born in Tennessee on Feb. 17, 1802, and at the age of nineteen was converted and baptized. He then entered into studies at Furman institute in S.C. to prepare for the work of the ministry and was ordained in Shelbyville, TN, on April 27, 1827. He then settled in Mississippi, where he owned property worth thirty thousand dollars. Being burdened for the mission field of China, in 1836, he sold his property and formed a missions’ agency called the Kentucky China Mission Society, but not having enough funds he applied for and was accepted by the Triennial Convention on Sept. 6, 1841. Still it wasn’t enough, so he made saddles in China. Fearing that leprosy was contagious, Roberts found himself isolated from his fellow missionaries, in fact he wrote in his diary, “I feel very lonely, the missionaries seldom come to see me; and Brother Pearcy, to whom I applied for board, thinks we can love each other better apart.” The next seven years he spent ministering between Macao and Hong Kong. In 1844 he established a church in Canton. Leasing a lot, he built a chapel and mission house. He also purchased a floating chapel and maintained worship there. One of his journal entries read, “Preached before breakfast to eighteen lepers.” A Chinese mob assaulted his house, and sank his “floating chapel.” He left the TC in 1846 and the Southern Baptists started supporting him. He left them in 1852. [This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: 2000 A.D. pp. 711-12. G. Winfred Hervey, The Story of Baptist Missions in Foreign Lands (St. Louis: C.R. Barns Publishing Co., 1892), p. 523.]   Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon


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328 – Nov. 24 – This Day in Baptist History Past


He baptized over 3,000 converts


1802 – D.R. Murphy was born in Jefferson County, Tennessee. His father William, had served in the Revolutionary War and was a nephew of the famous “Murphy Boys” who were Baptist ministers during the struggles of the early Virginia Baptists. D.R. was a wicked young man but had a glorious salvation experience, and was          immersed and united with the Mill Spring Baptist Church on Sept. 3, 1832. He began preaching immediately and was ordained in 1834, and then spent the next five years preaching in Tenn. He married Lucy Carter in 1822 and they had ten children, then hearing of the great spiritual needs of the west, he moved his growing family to Missouri in 1839, and began his itinerant ministry. He established a church in Enon, Missouri in April of 1840. In August in the same county he had enough converts to found the Mt. Zion Baptist Church. In July of 1841, he organized the Coon Creek Baptist Church in St. Clair County. In thirty-five years he started thirty churches. When you consider the scattered population his feats were amazing. Families lived in small log cabins with dirt floors, a side door with wooden chimneys, often ten miles apart. Amazingly he baptized over three-thousand believers. In the last seven years of his life Mrs. Murphy became very ill and after her death he remarried a widow, Mrs. L.A. Cedar who labored with him until his death on Aug. 28, 1875 at 73. Her testimony follows. “My husbands death was a most triumphant one. He suffered intensely for four months, and was patient and meek…The last song we sung was, ‘I am going home to die no more…” [R.S. Duncan, A History of the Baptists in Missouri (Saint Louis: Scammell and Company, Publishers, 1882), p. 604. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 643-44.]
Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon


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There was a degree of mental and physical energy in Dr. Graves which was possessed by few men. A prominent minister says: “I heard him preach three and one-half hours before the General Association at Murfreesboro, Tennessee, in 1860, to a great congregation whose undivided attention he held to the last.”



The same untiring endurance and application marked his daily habits. He would read, make notes and prepare matter for whatever book he had on hand from early morning until noon. Then, after lunch, go to his office and attend to editorial business and return in the evening to write and revise his editorials or his book manuscripts on into the small hours of the night and sometimes until almost morning. From this constant labor, he would go to meet a list of appointments to preach or lecture, even in distant states, and speak for hours at a time to enthusiastic audiences, traveling many miles from one appointment to another, and then return to his desk to write night and day. Could this tremendous drive be borne for long? Could brain or body bear the constant strain? We shall see later that a stroke did come.



Dr. Graves had accumulated a very valuable and extensive library. He kept the historian, S.H. Orchard, of London England, on the constant lookout for important books to be found in the secondhand stores and bought them with reckless prodigality. When Dr. Graves died, he gave his library to me, along with the files of The Tennessee Baptist. The books were so valuable and so much exposed to danger of destruction in a pastor’s home that I placed these papers and books in the library of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary at Seminary Hill, Texas. There they may be consulted by any student, whether he be of the Seminary or not.


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178 — June 26 – This Day in Baptist History Past


A Fearless Ambassador of Christ


I. B. Kimbrough was born in Tennessee in 1826.  While ministering in Tennessee, Kimbrough at one time served as the financial agent of Carson and Newman College and traveled extensively in his state attempting to raise money with which to train young Baptist preachers.


On June 26, 1886, at Waco, Texas.  Dr. Kimbrough recalled an incident from his days in Tennessee and his work with Carson and Newman College. As he was traveling from one appointment to another through a secluded forest, he was confronted by two highwaymen. Holding their guns on the man of God, they insisted that he dismount from his horse and hand over all his money.


Very well, gentlemen, please give me a little time, and I will obey your orders.” Kimbrough responded. After dismounting, he laid his money in two piles, then turning to the highwaymen he said: “Gentlemen, this small pile of money is mine: you are at liberty to rob me of that; the larger pile is God’s money, and I dare you to touch it. I collected it for the young preachers of the state who are struggling for an education at Carson and Newman College.”


The earnestness and courage of the man attracted the attention of the robbers, and they began to inquire into the work in which he was engaged. He told them he was a Baptist preacher and explained to them his mission. After hearing what he had to say, the elder of the two men said:


“We will not take either your money or the money of the young preachers.”
Turning to the young men, and looking them full in the face, Dr. Kimbrough added: “Young men, you are in a mighty bad business. I believe you ought to give it up. In the meantime, I will be grateful if you will help me in the work in which I am engaged.”


Following this appeal, the robbers gave him $5 each for the young preachers, whereupon the faithful minister mounted his horse, and all rode away, going in different directions.


I. B. Kimbrough was a fearless ambassador of Jesus Christ!


Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson/Cummins) pp. 261 – 262.



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96 — April 06—This Day in Baptist History Past

Two Seed” Makes it to Texas

Influenced the establishment of the Texas Rangers

April 6 1781 – The birth of Daniel Parker, anti-missionary Baptist leader in Culpeper County, Virginia, to Rev. John and Sarah (White) Parker took place. The family moved to Georgia when he was a child. His education seems to have been extremely limited. He and Patsy Dickerson were married on March 11, 1802; they eventually had eleven children. They moved to Dickson County, Tennessee, in 1803. In 1806 Parker was ordained to preach by the Turnbull Baptist Church. He was an advocate of “Two Seedism,” the doctrine that since the time of Adam mankind has been born with one of two seeds, divine or diabolical, which determined their eternal state.

In 1832, Daniel made the thousand mile journey from Illinois through Missouri, the Arkansas Territory, and Louisiana into Texas to investigate the land and the laws, with the hope of finding a new home. Texas, at this time, was still a part of Mexico and its laws protected the Roman Catholic Church and forbade the establishment of other religions. Daniel Parker did not establish a church, he immigrated one into the state. He traveled back to Illinois and established “The Pilgrim Church of Predestinarion Regular Baptists” and brought it to Texas with 18 members. They held their first conference in Austin’s colony, Texas on January 20, 1834.

A resolution by Parker, perhaps his most important, led to the establishment of the Texas Rangers, the oldest law enforcement body in North America with statewide jurisdiction.      Daniel Parker died peacefully at his home in Anderson County, Texas on December 3, 1844, and was buried in the Pilgrim Predestinarian Baptist Church Cemetery.

Dr. Dale R. Hart from: Exley, Jo Ella Powell, Frontier Blood. The Saga of the Parker Family. (College Station, TX: Texas A&M University Press) 5.

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He had no fear of excoriating politicians or religious leaders
December 30, 1835 – Zacharius N. Morrell (Z.N.) with a clear voice and a stronger body than he had known for years,  preached his first sermon on Texas soil. He had just arrived with his physician and several other friends from Tennessee on a survey trip to see if his family could be safely taken to that Roman Catholic enclave. He determined that night, that he would bring his wife and four children to Texas and cast his lot with that turbulent empire. According to B.F. Riley, Morrell had the distinction of being the most, “daring, uncompromising and aggressive of the pioneer Baptist preachers of Texas.” J.M. Carroll said that he was responsible for, “having laid the right foundations of organized Baptist work in Texas.” Born in S.C. on Jan. 17, 1803, he received little formal education but was known for his courage and fiery temperament. He began preaching before he was 20 and served for 14 years in Tennessee. For a period of 9 years he averaged preaching a sermon per day even though he was hemorrhaging from his lung. The anti-missionary forces had made inroads into Texas but Morrell formed the first “missionary” Baptist church in the state at Washington on the Brazos with 8 members in 1837. As a champion of missions, temperance, Sunday schools, and education, he stamped his impression upon the early labors in his adopted state. He organized churches and associations. He had no fear of excoriating politicians or religious leaders when he felt that they were to be censured. He felt that the Bible was to be wielded as a sharp two-edged sword. He also countered the “Hard-Shells” and the “Campbellites” when they penetrated the state along with fighting the Indians.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 547-49.

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In Feb. of 1812 Jacob found the peace of Salvation
December 17, 1811 – Jacob Bower of Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, we shall all be sunk and lost, and I am not prepared. O God, have mercy upon us all.” America’s greatest earthquake had just struck. Centered in the Mississippi River, it sent shock waves into Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Georgia, S.C., Virginia, and Indiana. Mild tremors were felt as far as Boston! Bower was born into a Christian family on Sept. 26, 1786. His father led the family in morning and evening devotions and instructed the children to live moral and upright lives, but he failed to lead them into a personal relationship with Christ. Therefore young Bower matured trusting in his own righteousness for salvation. Upon leaving home for employment, he was soon influenced by a Universalist, and for five years, Bower embraced that heresy and began drinking and fell into many vices and sins. When conviction came he would assure himself of salvation, for Universalism taught that men would be saved, regardless of their lifestyle. He married in 1807 at the age of 21, and the Lord again began to stir his heart with conviction. In 1811 during a visit to his home, and a witness of a Baptist preacher, his heart was stirred again to consider death and eternity. Conviction continued to grow and then came the earthquake. A tremendous struggle ensued and then in Feb. of 1812 Jacob found the peace of Salvation. He made a public profession and was baptized into the membership of Hazel Creek Baptist Church. After serving three Kentucky churches for ten years he moved his family to Illinois and within two years he organized two churches. And then in Illinois and Missouri he organized fourteen churches and ordained twelve ministers to the gospel ministry.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 526-28.

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