The Separate Baptist Movement
– The Story Of The Early Beginnings Of The Fairforest Baptist Church In Union District
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH IN UPPER SOUTH CAROLINA
By ROBERT A. IVEY
First Baptist Preacher In The United States
Roger Williams established the first Baptist Church in America at Providence Rhode Island in 1639. Jesse L. Boyd in his, A History of Baptists in America, page 26 states: “The church in the establishment of which Roger Williams led at the Providence Plantations was originally a Six-Principle Church, based upon Hebrews 6:1-2: (1) Repentance, (2) Faith in God, (3) Baptism, (4) Laying on of Hands, (5) Resurrection, (6) Judgment.”
The current web page of the First Baptist Church of Providence Baptist Church states: “The First Baptist Church in America has been on College Hill in downtown Providence since 1638, sharing the good news, with Christ-centered enthusiasm, biblical preaching, dynamic caring ministries, advocating the separate and complementary relationship between church and state, and the vitality of traditional worship. What Roger Williams established is still worth standing for.”
Roger Williams, son of James and Alice Pemberton Williams, was born December 21, 1603, in Long Lane, Middlesex, London, England. He married Mary Barnard, daughter of Richard Barnard, on December 15, 1629, in Highlaver Church, Essex, England.
Professor J. Stanley Lemons wrote: “Even though Williams did not remain a member of the First Baptist Church long, he never put aside his belief in “baptistic principles.”
John Callender in his, Century Sermon, speaks of Roger Williams keeping a trading post in North Kingstown, which he had on lease from Richard Smith of Cocumscussoc.
“From his trading post he carried on Christian proselytizing and trade with the native Indian inhabitants and with the steadily increasing number of white settlers as well. These settlers, doubtless with Williams’ advice and blessing, formed the North Kingstown Baptist Congregation about 1664. At first they had neither a meeting house nor a pastor of their own.” (National Register of Historic Places)
John Komar wrote: “Williams used the Post as a mission to preach to the natives. He held public worship once a month at Smith’s for many years.” John Winthrop Jr., Governor of Connecticut stated, “Mr. Williams doeth exaceys amongst us and sayeth he will contuny itt. He precheth well and abel, and much pepell comes to hear him to theyr satisfaction.”
Roger and Mary had four daughters and three sons. Mary died in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1676, and Roger died in Providence on April 1, 1683.
First Pastor Of The North Kingstown Baptist Church
“By 1666, the needs of the Baptists on the west-side of Narragansett Bay induced Elder Thomas Baker to leave Newport and take charge of the North Kingstown congregation. The congregation apparently continued, for some years, to use Cocumscussoc for their gatherings.
The first mention of a building for the Six-Principle Baptist group was a deed of 1703. On August 12th of that year North Kingston resident Alexander Huling conveyed to representatives of the church ‘for love and good will … half an acre of land to make use of for building a meeting house for the worship and service of God.’” (National Register of Historic Places)
Thomas Baker was born in Dedham, Essex County, England, in 1638. He was ordained to the gospel ministry by the First Newport Baptist Church of Rhode Island in 1655. The Reverend Obadiah Holmes was pastor at this time. In 1656, he joined twenty other members of the First Newport Baptist Church, and together they established the Second Newport Baptist Church.
David Benedict states that these seceders had several objections to the mother church: (1) Her use of psalmody. (2) Undue restraints upon the liberty of prophesying, as they termed it. (3) Particular Redemption. (4) Her holding the laying on of hands as a matter of indifference.
Thomas Baker was the second pastor of the Second Baptist Church of Newport, Rhode Island. John Komar in his Baker Genealogy wrote: “In 1659 (1664), at the insistence of Roger Williams, Baker removed to Kingstown and gathered a church together, the first ‘Six Principal” Baptist Church at Stoney Lane, near Davisville, of which he became the pastor, officiating for many years in that capacity until his death in 1710. He was buried in the North Kingstown Baptist Church cemetery in a marked grave.
Thomas Baker married Sarah circa 1774. She was born in 1741. They had three sons and two daughters. By trade he was a tailor.
First Pastor Of The Groton Baptist Church
During his pastorate in North Kingstown he ordained the Reverend Valentine Wightman to the gospel ministry circa 1705.
On the current web page of the North Kingstown Baptist Church is found the following: “Six Principle Baptist Church (also known as Stony Lane Baptist Church, Stony Lane Six Principle Baptist Church, Stony Lane Six Principle Baptist Church, Old Baptist Meeting House) is an historic church at 921 Old Baptist Road in North Kingstown, Rhode Island. As of 2014, it was the last surviving historical congregation of the Six Principle Baptist denomination and one of the oldest churches in the United States.”
The Reverend Wrightman, son of George and Elizabeth Updyke Wightman, was born April 16, 1681, in Quidnessett, situated in that part of Kingstown, which is now called North Kingstown in Washington County, Rhode Island. On February 1, 1703, he married Susannah Holmes, daughter of the Reverend John and Mary Sayles Holmes. Her father was pastor of the First Baptist Church of Newport, Rhode Island.
Susannah Holmes was the granddaughter of the Reverend Obadiah Holmes, second pastor of the First Baptist Church of Newport, Rhode Island, and through her mother, Mary Sayles, she was the great-granddaughter of the Reverend Roger Williams. She was born in 1682, in Newport, Rhode Island.
Valentine’s great-grandfather, Edward Wightman, was an English radical Anabaptist, executed at Lichfield on charges of heresy. He was the last person to be burned at the stake for heresy in England.
On August 12, 1703, Capt. Alexander Huling, Valentine’s brother-in-law, deeded “for the love and goodwill to my loving friends Jeremiah Wilkie and Valentine Wightman of the Baptist Church in the Narragansett Country land to make use of for building a meeting house for the worship and service of God.”
He was ordained to the gospel ministry by the Reverend Thomas Baker circa 1704, and moved in 1705, to Groton, Connecticut, where he led in the constitution of the Groton Baptist Church the same year.
“William Stark, the first deacon of the church, deeded to his pastor (Valentine Wightman) a house and twenty acres of land ‘in consideration of the love, goodwill and affection, which I Have and do bear towards my loving friend.’” In a deed made March 23, 1717-1718, Sergeant William Stark, in consideration of six pounds, current money of New England, gave to Valentine Wightman (and others) one and one-half acres of land ‘at the burying placed where the meeting house frame standeth etc.’”
(From the book, Groton, Connecticut, 1705-1905, by Charles Rathbone Stark, Chapter VII, p. 127)
Valentine’s wife, Susannah, died on April 7, 1726, in Groton, Connecticut. They had eight sons and three daughters. He next married Joanna Avery Stoddard, the widow of Mark Stoddard, in 1728, in Groton. She was born November 21, 1700, to Edward and Joanna Rose Avery. She had a daughter, Mary, by her husband, Mark Stoddard, and two daughters by Valentine Wightman. His son, Timothy, married his step-sister, Mary, as his second wife.
Valentine Wightman was very much a part of the Great Awakening. “On July 23, 1741, one thousand listeners traveled to Groton to hear George Whitefield preach, and the following day one hundred people from the town of Stonington claimed to have experienced an outward conversion.” (Sarah Valkenburg’s historical paper)
The Groton Baptist Church established a mission at North Stonington, Connecticut, in 1743. The Reverend Valentine Wightman baptized the first converts. This church was established two years after the Reverend George Whitefield conducted a revival campaign in the Connecticut Valley. The Reverend Wait Palmer was ordained and became the first pastor of the North Stonington Baptist Church in 1743.
The Reverend Valentine Wightman died June 7, 1747, and was buried at Groton. In 1887, at a meeting of the Wightman Burial Ground Association, a committee was appointed ‘to locate the graves of Valentine Wightman and his first wife and to secure a suitable memorial.’ The site of the graves were located and the following monument was erected to the Reverend Wightman:
“Rev. Valentine Wightman
Pioneer of Religious Liberty
Founder in 1705 and 42 years Pastor
First Baptist Church Groton
The first in the State
By heirs of the Freedom for which
He faithfully labored”
(RootsWeb’s WorldConnect Project: Blodgett and Hugeback Families, pages 4-5)
Valentine, his son, Timothy, and his grandson, John Gano Wightman, except for the pastorate of the Reverend Daniel Fisk, served the church until 1841. The grandson of John Gano Wightman, the Reverend Palmer G. Wightman, served as pastor of the church from 1864 until 1876. Valentine’s second wife, Joanna, died at Groton in June of 1754.
The Groton Baptist Church is known today as the Old Mystic Baptist Church and is still a viable church.
Pastor Of The First Baptist Church In Stonington, Connecticut
(Information on the First Baptist Church of Stonington, Connecticut, is given by Cyrus Henry Brown in his article, The Three Baptist Churches of North Stonington.)
“Its house of worship was located eight miles from Pawcatuck Bridge and two miles south of Pendleton Hill. Ten years after it was built a road was surveyed and laid out from Pawcatuck Bridge to Voluntown line, which passed this church. Daniel Brown and Thomas Holmes gave the land for the meeting house.
Elder Wait Palmer received no support from the church. He owned a farm of ninety acres. He was a plain man, common education, yet of strong, vigorous intellect, of sound practical sense. Elder Palmer was an active patriot of the Revolutionary War.”
From the web site of the First Baptist Church of North Stonington is found the following: “Our church, erected in 1743, was known as the First Baptist Church of Stonington. North Stonington wasn’t established until 1807. The original building was at a site just south of our current church building. The congregation soon outgrew the original church, however, and in 1830, a new meeting house was built at the top of Pendleton Hill. The building still serves the members today.”
Wait Palmer, son of William and Grace Miner Palmer, was born May 27, 1711, in Stonington, Connecticut, New London County. He married Mary Brown, daughter of Eleazer and Ann Pendleton Brown, in 1727, in Stonington, Connecticut. She was born November 28, 1703, in Stonington. They had six sons and two daughters.
One of Wait Palmer’s greatest contributions was in his baptism and ordination of the Reverend Shubal Stearns.
Shubal Stearns heard the Reverend George Whitefield preach when he was in Connecticut in 1741. He withdrew from the Congregation Church circa 1745, and organized a Separate Congregational Church. After becoming convinced that infant baptism was not scriptural, he was baptized by the Reverend Wait Palmer in 1751.
He was baptized at night in the Willimantic River due to the great opposition to his views. (The Separate Baptist Revival and Its Influence in the South by Dr. James H. Sightler)
Morgan Edwards wrote: “Shubal Stearns was ordained to the gospel ministry by the Reverends Wait Palmer and Joshua Morse at Tolland, Connecticut, on March 20, 1751.” After his ordination he established a Baptist church in Tolland.
The Reverend Wait Palmer was a cousin of Joseph Breed, who later joined with the Shubal Stearns group in what is Frederick County,Virginia. Joseph Breed, whose mother was a Palmer, was also born in Stonington, Connecticut.
JOSHUA MORSE JR. Assisted In The Ordination Of Shubal Stearns IV
Joshua Morse Jr. married Susannah Babcock, daughter of Joshua Babcock. She was born April 7, 1730, in Westerly, Washington County, Rhode Island. He was born April 10, 1726, in North Kingston, Washington County, Rhode Island. They were married in Westerly, Rhode Island, in 1750.
“His grandfather (John Morse) came from the west of England to Rhode Island, in the early part of the settlement of the colony, and served as a chaplain in the first war in which this country was engaged against the French.” (David Benedict’s General History of the Baptist Denomination, Vol. II)
Joshua was ordained to the gospel ministry in 1750, in Rhode Island, and moved to New London (Montville), Connecticut, where he was pastor of the New London Baptist Church. He was acquainted with George Whitefield, and caught much of the zeal of that famous itinerate.
Most of their children were born in New London. They had six daughters and five sons. He later moved to Sandisfield, Massachusetts, where he died in July of 1795.
“About four weeks before he (Joshua Morse) died, he called his church together, and gave them his last advice and benediction. He had composed a hymn to be sung at his funeral, and he now made a choice of a passage to be preached from on the solemn occasion, which was, ‘This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.’
The sermon was preached by Elder Rufus Babcock, of Colebrook (Connecticut).” Elder Babcock was baptized by the Reverend Joshua Morse. (General History of the Baptist Denomination, Vol. II, by David Benedict)
His wife (Susannah Babcock) died in Sandisfield, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, in 1810. Their youngest son, Asahel, was a Baptist preacher and pastor of a Baptist Church in Suffield, Connecticut. “He (Joshua Morse) was honored in every relation he sustained, and his usefulness as a minister of the word was exceeded by few in his day.” (David Benedict)
Wait Palmer’s Latter Years Preaching In South Carolina And Troubles With His Church At Stonington Connecticut
Charges were brought against the Reverend Wait Palmer of the North Stonington Baptist Church on October 17, 1764. Records state: “Charges against him were as follows: ‘First, that he had given occasion to the people to think that he was actuated by a hireling spirit, in demanding a stated salary for his service; Second, that he professed to have an internal dismission from the church, and in virtue thereof pronounced the church dissolved.’”
“In the early 1770s, the Reverend Wait Palmer apparently embarked on a preaching tour of the South. In 1773, Palmer working with emancipated slave and newly-converted George Leile (who would become the first ordained African Baptist pastor in Georgia) assisted in the formation of an African congregation in Silver Bluff, South Carolina, on the Galphin Plantation, located near Savannah, Georgia.” (Baptist and the American Civil War—civilwarbaptists.com)
“Brother Palmer (Wait), who was pastor at some distance from Silver Bluff, came and preached to a large congregation at a mill of Mr. Galphin’s. He was a powerful preacher. Brother Palmer (Wait) came again and wished us to beg Master to let him preach to us, and he came frequently. There were eight of us now, who had found the great blessing and mercy from the Lord, and my wife was one of them, and Brother Jesse (Peter) Galphin.
Brother Palmer (Wait) appointed Saturday evening to hear what the Lord had done for us, and next day, he baptized us in the mill stream. Brother Palmer (Wait) formed us into a church, and gave us the Lord’s Supper at Silver Bluff. Then I (David George) began to exhort in the Church and learned to sing hymns. Afterwards the church advised with Brother Palmer (Wait) about my speaking to them, and keeping them together.
So I (David George) was appointed to the office of an elder, and received instruction from Brother Palmer how to conduct myself. I proceeded in this way till the American War was coming on, when the Ministers were not allowed to come amongst us, lest they should furnish us with too much knowledge. I (David George) continued preaching at Silver Bluff, till the church, constituted with eight, increased to thirty or more, and ‘till the British came to the city of Savannah and took it.” (Letters of the Reverend David George, published in London, England, during the period 1790-1793)
On January 9, 1776, the Stonington Baptist Church sent a letter to the Reverend Wait Palmer in which, after reviewing the course of discipline, they proceeded to say: “And now in covenant faithfulness to you our once beloved elder, and in honor to the laws of God’s house, we exclude you from our fellowship; and depose you from the pastoral office committed to you at your ordination.” (A Discourse Delivered at the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Organization of the North Stonington Baptist Church by the Reverend Albert G. Palmer, pastor of the church)
The Reverend Wait Palmer died in North Stonington, Connecticut, on October 19, 1785, and his wife, Mary Brown Palmer, died in North Stonington on June 10, 1793. He and his wife were buried half a mile from Pendleton Hill Meeting House in unmarked graves in the Palmer Cemetery.
The graves were located on Col. Elias Sanford Palmer’s farm about ½ mile south of Pendleton Hill Meeting House and were later marked. Elias Sanford Palmer was a Patriot Colonel in the Battle of Saratoga when Burgoyne surrendered.
PASTOR OF THE FIRST SEPARATE BAPTIST CHURCH IN TOLLAND, CONNECTICUT
After hearing the Reverend George Whitfield in 1745, Shubal Stearns IV separated from the Old Light Congregationalist Church and started a New Light Congregationalist Church. Many fervent New Lights concluded that it was impossible to reform established churches from within. They resolved to start new churches.
Their favorite verse of scripture was II Cor. 6:17—‘Come out from among them, and be ye separate’ from which they received the stigma of ‘come-outers’ or ‘Separates’. (Shubal Stearns and the Separate Baptist Tradition by Dr. Tom Nettles)
Shubal Stearns church in Tolland, Connecticut, was a Separate Baptist Church. His brother, Isaac, married his wife’s sister, Rebecca Johnson. Isaac was born March 22, 1713, at Reading, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. He married Rebecca on November 27, 1734, in Tolland, Connecticut. She was born circa 1710.
MISSIONARY TO THE INDIANS WITH HIS FRIEND, JOSEPH BREED
“Before Shubal Stearns was saved, Daniel Marshall hopefully had been saved at the age of about twenty, and joined the Congregational church in his native place, where he served as a deacon for about twenty years. At the age of thirty-nine, he heard George Whitefield preach, caught his glowing spirit, and fully believed with many others, including his friend, Joseph Breed, who had also been affected by the ministry of the Reverend Whitefield.
Daniel Marshall, ninth child of Thomas and Mary Drake Marshall, was born August 24, 1706, in Windsor, Hartford County, Connecticut. He first married Hannah Drake, daughter of Enoch Drake II, and his wife, Elizabeth Barber Drake, on November 11, 1742. She was born in Windsor on March 29, 1717. Hannah died in 1746, giving birth to their son, Daniel.
Marshall next married Martha Stearns, daughter of Shubal Stearns III and his wife, Rebecca Lariby Stearns, on June 23, 1747.
In 1751-1752, “without purse or scrip, he and (Joseph Breed) with their families, rushed to the head of the Susquehanna, and settled in a place called Onnaquaggy, among the Mohawk Indians, with a view to their conversion to Christianity.” (Annals of the American Baptist Pulpit by William B. Sprague, page 59)
Traveling with Daniel Marshall’s family were: his wife, Martha, and children, Daniel, Abraham and John. Traveling with Joseph Breed’s family were: his wife, Priscilla, and children, Joseph, Avery, Priscilla Nathan, Prudence and Phebe.
Marshall and Breed remained in Onnaquaggy, east central New York, for eighteen months and then were forced to move to a place in Pennsylvania called Conococheague for a short stay. The move was caused by the strife among the Indians caused by the French and English struggle and attempts to gain the support of various tribes. This disrupted their work and threatened their families.
IN 1753, they moved to Berkeley County, Virginia, and attended a Particular Baptist Church called the Mill Creek Baptist Church. The community, where this church was located, is today called Gerrardstown, West Virginia.
PASTOR OF THE MILL CREEK BAPTIST CHURCH IN BERKELEY COUNTY,VIRGINIA
The Mill Creek Baptist Church was the first Baptist church west of the Blue Ridge Mountains and was a member of the Philadelphia Baptist Association. This church was established in 1743, and a meeting house was built in that year by John Hays. Mill Creek Baptist Church became the 24th oldest Baptist Church in America.
“In 1743, Samuel Heaton and three of his brothers, went to Morris County, New Jersey, where they entered into the iron foraging business. They erected a forge near the Black River. After depleting the forest around their forge, they gave up on the venture.
Samuel had been raised a Presbyterian, however his wife, Abby (Tuttle) was a staunch Baptist. Samuel had desired that their first child be baptized in the Presbyterian Church, but Abby was not in agreement. She desired him to show her one passage in the Bible that advocated infant baptism. Samuel consulted a minister who admitted that no such passage existed.
After Samuel had studied the Bible so carefully to prove his point he became interested in the ministry, and went to Kingwood to study under a Baptist clergyman. He was ordained and began to preach at a Baptist church on Schooleys Mountain. The Reverend Samuel Heaton became pastor of the Mill Creek Baptist Church in 1751.
He left the Mill Creek Baptist Church in 1754, and founded another church in Konoloway, Pennsylvania.” (Ancestors of Heather Ellen Ross—Internet)
DANIEL MARSHALL & JOSEPH BREED
THEIR BAPTISM & LICENSE TO PREACH
In 1753, Daniel Marshall and his wife, Martha Stearns Marshall and Joseph Breed and his wife, Priscilla Avery Breed were baptized as members of the Mill Creek Baptist Church in Berkeley County, Virginia, by the pastor, the Reverend Samuel Heaton. This church also gave a license to preach to Marshall and Breed.
Daniel Marshall was 47 and his wife was 27, and Joseph Breed was 45 and his wife was 38.
Mill Creek Baptist Church no longer exists, but became the grandparent of the First Baptist Church of Martinsburg, West Virginia.
Daniel Marshall and Joseph Breed and their families moved to Frederick County, Virginia, the early part of 1754.
According to Groton deeds, Joseph Breed was living in Frederick County, Virginia, on April 10, 1754, when he sold his Groton, Connecticut, land.
Breed was living in Frederick County, Virginia, on June 15, 1755, when he was granted a patent to 149 acres of land lying in Frederick County, by the Hon. Thomas, Lord Fairfax, Proprietor of the Northern Neck of Virginia.
AND FAMILY MEMBERS IN VIRGINIA AND NORTH CAROLINA
In the fall of 1754, the Reverend Shubal Stearns IV and five couples related to him by blood or marriage, left Tolland, Connecticut, and joined the Daniel Marshall and Joseph Breed families in Frederick County, Virginia, at a place called Opequon.
The Reverend Shubal Stearns and his family members and the Marshalls & Breeds moved to Hampshire County, Virginia, to a place called Cacapon, and established a church there (1754-1755).
The Reverend Shubal Stearns wrote a letter to the Reverend Noah Alden, who had just been ordained to the gospel ministry a few days before the letter was written. Noah Alden was a direct descendent of the famous John Alden of Plymouth, Mass.
“The letter was written from Hampshire County, Virginia, on June 13, 1755. Stearns informed Alden “that some of their company were then settled in North Carolina, who said to him in a letter, ‘that there was no established meeting within one hundred miles of them, and that the people were so eager to hear, that they often came forty miles each way, when they could have an opportunity to hear a sermon.’” (Isaac Backus’ A Church History of New-England, Vol. III, pp. 274-275)
Sometime after this, Joseph Breed with Daniel Marshall and their families left Hampshire County, Virginia, with the Baptist Missionary group led by the Reverend Shubal Stearns IV, and went to that part of Orange County, North Carolina, which now lies in Randolph County, N. C.
Morgan Edwards wrote: “The fall after Braddock’s Defeat, November 22, 1755, the following persons came from Cacapon in Virginia, and settled in the neighborhood of Sandy Creek, viz.: Rev. Shubal Stearns and wife (Sarah Johnson), Daniel Marshall and wife (Martha Stearns—2nd wife), Joseph Breed and wife (Priscilla Avery), Shubal Stearns III and wife (Rebecca Lariby), Ebenezer Stearns and wife (Anna Field), Eneas Stimson and wife (Elizabeth Stearns), Peter Stearns and wife (Hannah Stimson), Jonathan Paulk and wife (Rebecca Ruth Stearns).
The same year they built a little meeting house. Soon after, the neighborhood was alarmed, and the Spirit of God listed to blow as a mighty rushing wind in so much that in three years time they had increased to three churches and upwards of 900 communicants, viz.: Sandy Creek, Abbot’s Creek and Deep River.
It is a mother church, nay a grandmother and a great grandmother. All the Separate Baptists sprang hence: not only eastward towards the sea, but westward toward the great river Mississippi, northward to Virginia and southward to South Carolina and Georgia. The word went forth from this Sion, and great was the company of them who published it, in so much that her converts were as drops of morning dew.”
“They established the Sandy Creek Baptist Church on land that is now the corner of Sandy Creek Church Road and Ramseur Julian Road, overlooking Sandy Creek.
As soon as the little group of sixteen persons arrived at Sandy Creek from Virginia, they chose Shubal Stearns as pastor, and he had at that time for his assistants, Daniel Marshall and Joseph Breed, neither of whom were ordained.
Seymour York, a native of England, gave the land for the construction of their first church building. He died in 1783, and was buried in the Sandy Creek Baptist Church Cemetery.
The church soon swelled to six hundred and six members.
CONSTITUTIONAL MEMBERS OF SANDY CREEK BAPTIST CHURCH
(1). Shubal Stearns III, son of Shubal Stearns II and Mary Upton Stearns, was born August 19, 1683, in Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts. He married Rebecca Sanford Lariby, daughter of Greenfield and Alice Parke Lariby in Kittery, York County, Maine, on December 28, 1704. She was born February 4, 1714, in Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts.
He was one of the original grantees of Tolland, Connecticut, serving as selectman for two years and was the second Town Clerk.
He and his wife, Rebecca, moved with their son, Shubal IV, first to Virginia, and then to Sandy Creek, Orange County, North Carolina, and were constitutional members of the Sandy Creek Baptist Church.
He died in Orange County, North Carolina, in 1760. Date given for his wife’s death is 1780. This may not be an accurate date. They had eleven children, four sons and seven daughters. They were buried in the Sandy Creek Baptist Church Cemetery.
(2). Shubal Stearns IV, son of Shubal Stearns and Rebecca Sandford Lariby Stearns, was born January 28, 1706, in Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts. At the age of nine he moved with his family to Tolland, Massachusetts. The family was members of the Congregational Church in Tolland.
He married Sarah Johnson, daughter of John and Mary Carley Johnson, on March 6, 1726, in Tolland, Connecticut. She was born September 15, 1703, in Lexington, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. They had one child, Hepzibah, born June 27, 1729, and died February 4, 1730.
After moving to the Sandy Creek area of Orange County, North Carolina, and establishing a church, Stearns immediately went to work and between November 1755, and January 1758, had baptized over 900 people, 590 of whom became members of Sandy Creek Baptist Church itself. Before Stearns’ death in 1771, 42 churches and 125 ministers had branched out from his parent church.
Shubal Stearns organized the Sandy Creek Baptist Association on June 2nd Monday of 1758, at Sandy Creek Baptist Church.
The Reverend James Read, baptized by the Reverend Daniel Marshall, recorded the events of the first meeting of the Sandy Creek Baptist Association: “We continued together three or four days. Great crowds of people attended, mostly through curiosity. The great power of God was among us. The preaching every day seemed to be attended with God’s blessing.”
“Because some gave credit to disturbing reports about these ecclesiastical kin, John Gano, who had been commissioned to his work in North Carolina by the Philadelphia Association, attended the 1759 meeting of the Sandy Creek Association. ‘He was sent, it seems, to inquire into the state of these New Light Baptists’”. (Shubal Stearns and the Separate Baptist Tradition by Dr. Tim Nettles)
“He was received by Stearns with great affection. But the young and illiterate preachers were afraid of him, and kept at a distance. They even refused to invite him into their Association. All this he bore patiently, sitting by while they transacted their business. He preached also every day. His preaching was in the Spirit of the Gospel. Their hearts were opened, so that before he left they were greatly attached to him. This Association was also conducted in love, peace and harmony.
When Mr. Gano returned to his own country, being asked what he thought of these Baptists, he replied that ‘doubtless the power of God was among them; that although they were rather immethodical, they certainly had the root of the matter at heart.’” (History of the Rise and Progress of the Baptists in Virginia, by Robert B. Semple)
Morgan Edwards gave the following characterization of the Reverend Shubal St;earns: “His voice was musical and strong, which he managed in such a manner as to make soft impressions on the heart, and fetch tears from the eyes.”
William and Joseph Murphy were awakened and led to Christ by the Reverend Shubal Stearns. He baptized William and Joseph in 1757, and they both joined the Deep River Baptist Church in North Carolina. They were born in Spotsylvania County, Virginia.
In 1758, the Reverend Stearns baptized Dutton Lane and assisted in the ordination of his brother-in-law, Daniel Marshall. He also assisted in the ordination of Joseph Murphy in 1760.
William Murphy became pastor of the Staunton Baptist Church and was ordained in 1763. The Reverend Shubal Stearns assisted in his ordination. He assisted in the ordination of Dutton Lane of Virginia on October 22, 1764. Lane became the pastor of the Dan River Baptist Church in Virginia, first Separate Baptist Church in Virginia.
Shubal Stearns was opposed to the Regulator Movement and he and the Sandy Creek Baptist Association threatened to excommunicate members who were Baptists, who were involved in this movement that later resulted in the Battle of Alamance.
Many Baptists, along with their Quaker neighbors, became involved in the War of the Regulation, led in part by Stearns’ one-time friend, Herman Husband. In 1771, after the Battle of Alamance had ended in the Regulator’s defeat, Sandy Creek Baptist Church membership fell from 606 to 15. Shubal Stearns died after the Battle of Alamance.
“When first confined to his bed, the Reverend Stearns’ mind was depressed, but the darkness was of short duration. He was made to suffer much, and protractedly, in body, but his soul was joyful in the God of his salvation. Having preached to others the Savior of sinners, he found Him, in the trying hour, precious to his soul.
On the 20th of November 1771, his happy spirit was dismissed, to take its place among the holy and good in a better world. His body was interred near the meeting-house in which he had so often spoken the Word of God.”
James B. Taylor wrote: “In the midst of this church, Mr. Stearns closed his valuable life. He had traveled extensively in North Carolina and Virginia and been instrumental in doing much good, when his Master called him to his reward in Heaven.”
Tidence Lane was converted under the preaching of the Reverend Shubal Stearns and was baptized by him. Date of his ordination has not been preserved, but Stearns assisted in his ordination. He was the executor of the will of the Reverend Shubal Stearns, and was the older brother of the Reverend Dutton Lane.
Tidence was the first minister to preach regularly to a Tennessee congregation. The Reverend Tidence Lane was a chaplain in the Revolutionary War and was at the Battle of King’s Mountain in 1780. He was the honored father of Lieutenant Isaac Lane, who was a Patriot soldier at the Battle of Kings’ Mountain and fought under Col. John Sevier.
Isaac and Rebecca Johnson Stearns are not listed as constitutional members of the Sandy Creek Baptist Church, but must have moved to the area later. Isaac, brother of the Reverend Shubal Stearns, was born March 22, 1713, at Reading, Middlesex County, Massachusetts.
He married Rebecca Johnson, sister of the Reverend Shubal Stearns wife, Sarah, on November 27, 1734, at Tolland, Connecticut. She was born April 22, 1712, in Lexington, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. They had one child, a daughter, Hepzibah, who was born in 1737, in Tolland.
Historians tell us that the Reverend Shubal Stearns was caring for his brother, who had both physical and mental problems. When the Reverend Shubal Steans died in 1771, he left all of his clothing to his “beloved brother” Isaac. The date of Rebecca’s death is not given. Isaac died at Sandy Creek, in Orange County, N. C., in 1791.
Isaac & Rebecca’s daughter, Hepzibah, was born circa 1737, and later married William Welborn in 1757. He was a private in the North Carolina Militia and was at the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia.
George Pascal on page 385, of his, History of North Carolina Baptists, wrote: “Members from Sandy Creek and several other Separate Baptist churches went to South Carolina, as a result of Regulator troubles.
In general, it may be said that while the Baptist from parts of North Carolina to the north of Sandy Creek went to Tennessee, those from Little River and the southeastern parts of the Province went rather to South Carolina, when they despaired of being protected in their rights by the Government of North Carolina.”
Twelve of the sixteen constituent members of the Sandy Creek Baptist Church went to South Carolina.
In 1835, the Sandy Creek Baptist Church split, between members supporting the missionary movement, and members who were non-missionary. Members supporting the missionary movement left and established a church near a school known as Shady Grove.
“In 1905, some of the descendants of those who had left, representing the ‘missionary side’, returned to the original location and built the present Sandy Creek Baptist Church, just slightly west and down the hill from the old building. Today the two churches, Primitive Baptist and Missionary Baptist, stand alongside the site of the original church and share ownership and maintenance of the grave of Shubal Stearns.” (Sandy Creek Separate Baptist Church by Warren Dixon)
Two of Shubal Stearns disciples: the Reverend Philip Mulkey and the Reverend Daniel Marshal were the first two Baptist ministers to move into the backcountry of South Carolina.
(3). DANIEL MARSHALL’s wife, Hannah Drake, died giving birth to their son, Daniel Marshal Jr., born in 1746.
Later, Daniel Jr. married Mary ? . She was born in 1749, in Virginia. With his stepmother, he executed his father’s will in 1784, in Richmond/Columbia County, Georgia. He was living in 1807, when he served as executor of his half-bother, Levi’s, will in Columbia County, Georgia. The 1808-1812 Tax List showed that he owned 700 acres in Columbia and Washington counties of Georgia. He “joined the church in 1811”.
Daniel Marshall secondly married Martha Stearns, daughter of Shubal and Rebecca Sanford Lariby Stearns. “She spread the Gospel alongside her husband, Daniel. She was once jailed in Virginia, for refusing to stop preaching the Gospel, although she was three months pregnant at the time.
Her preaching was powerful enough to convince a man named Cartledge to become a preacher. She also converted her arresting constable and magistrate. She often stood alongside her brother, Shubal Stearns IV, and spoke at Baptist meetings. Martha also assisted her husband, Daniel, in his churches and preached to his congregations.” (Martha Stearns Marshall from Wikipedia—Internet)
In 1810, Virginia Baptist historian Robert Semple wrote of Marshall’s contributions to Baptist Work: “Mr. Marshall had a rare felicity of finding in this lady, a Priscilla, a helper in the Gospel. In fact, it should not be concealed that his extraordinary success in the ministry, is ascribable in no small degree to Mrs. Marshall’s unwearied and zealous cooperation.
James B. Taylor wrote: “Without the shadow of usurped authority over the other sex, Mrs. Marshall, being a lady of good sense, singular piety, and surprising elocution, has, in countless instances melted a whole concourse into tears by her prayers and exhortations!”
George Paschal, in his History of North Carolina Baptists, wrote of Daniel and Martha: “As a result of the labors of this earnest and fervent evangelist, in which he doubtless had the assistance of his saintly and gifted wife, Mrs. Martha Stearns Marshall, great numbers turned to the Lord.”
They were both constitutional members of the Sandy Creek Baptist Church, where he assisted the Reverend Shubal Stearns. He founded the Abbott’s Creek Baptist Church in 1756, and they soon had a membership of 240 members.
He was ordained to the Gospel Ministry by the Reverends Shubal Stearns IV, and Henry Ledbetter at the Sandy Creek Baptist Church in 1757. He then assumed the pastorate of Abbott’s Creek Baptist Church.
In August of 1760, the Reverend Daniel Marshall led in constituting the first Separate Baptist Church in Virginia, Dan River Baptist Church, in Halifax County, which called the Reverend Dutton Lane as pastor.
The Reverend Abraham Marshall, son of the Reverend Daniel Marshall Sr., wrote: “In one of his evangelical journies into Virginia, my father had the singular happiness to baptize Col. Samuel Harris, with whom he immediately afterwards made several tours, preached and planted the gospel in several places, as far as James-river.”
“From his base at Abbott’s Creek he launched into Virginia preaching, establishing churches and baptizing hundreds of converts. Marshall is credited with helping lay the foundation that produced the phenomenal growth of the Virginia Baptists.” (The One-Talent Man Who Produced Five-Talent Results—Internet)
In the course of their marriage, Martha Stearns Marshall gave birth to ten children, eight sons and two daughters.
(4). Joseph Breed, and his wife, Priscilla Avery Breed.
(5). Jonathan Paulk, son of Samuel and Sarah Brabrook Paulk, was born September 3, 1703, in Concord, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. He married Rebecca Ruth Stearns, daughter of Shubal Stearns III and Rebecca Lariby Stearns in Tolland, Connecticut in 1729. Rebecca, his wife, was born on November 19, 1707, in Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts.
Jonathan’s father, Samuel, died in 1710, and he and his mother, Sarah, moved to Tolland, Connecticut. He purchased sixty-seven acres in 1720, and four and one-half acres in 1729, in Tolland.
Sarah, his mother, stayed with her son, Jonathan, until she died on May 3, 1744. Along with his wife’s two brothers, Shubal and Ebenezer, Jonathan signed a petition in 1746, asking permission of the Connecticut Assembly to establish “a separate church from the inhabitants of Mansfield, Windham, Tolland and Coventry.” The request was denied.
In 1754, he and his wife moved with the Reverend Shubal Stearns, his brother-in-law, to Virginia. He purchased one hundred fifty acres of land and two hundred forty-four acres on North River in Hampton County, Virginia (which then included what is now all of Mineral and the western part of Morgan counties, West Virginia).
He and his wife, Rebecca, moved to Orange County, North Carolina, with his brother-in-law, Shubal Stearns, in 1755, and became charter members of the Sandy Creek Baptist Church. He purchased two hundred seventy-five acres in 1763, in Orange County, North Carolina (now Randolph County), where it is said to have been “located almost due west of Sandy Creek Church and midway between it and Walker’s Mill, which had been built in 1756.
He sold this land in 1766, and moved with his son, Micajah to what became Union District, South Carolina, where his son obtained property on “waters of Fairforest”. They joined the Fairforest Baptist Church, where the Reverend Philip Mulkey was pastor.
Jonathan died while living in what later became Union District, S. C., in March of 1773, before the beginning of the American Revolutionary War.
After his father’s death, Micajah moved to Richmond County, Georgia, where he served as a Patriot soldier during the American Revolutionary War (D. A. R. Application No. 557788). His mother moved there with her son, where she lived close to her sister, Martha Stearns Marshall.
Jonathan’s sons, Uriah and Jacob, served in the militia under Col. Thomas Brandon, after the fall of Charleston. Jacob married Jean Howard, daughter of Obadiah and Priscill Avery Breed, and Uriah married Rachel E. Collins, daughter of the Rachel Collins, who came to Craven County (Union District), S. C., with the Reverend Philip Mulkey.
Micajah first married Sarah Stearns, daughter of Ebenezer and Martha Burnap Stearns in Sutton, Massachuttes. Ebenezer was the brother of the Reverend Shubal Stearns’ father. Micajah’s second wife was Patience Thomas.
Micajah obtained land in 1784, which adjoined land previously owned by Rev. Daniel Marshall. His mother, Rebecca, died in Richmond County, Georgia, in 1786. His wife, Sarah, died in Jefferson County, Georgia, in 1803, and he died in Jefferson County in 1812. Micajah was not the Primitive Baptist preacher.
(6). Peter Stearns, son of Shubal Stearns III and Rebecca Lariby Stearns, was born April 2, 1710, in Reading, Essex County, Massachusetts. He first married Hannah Stimson, daughter of Dr. James Stimson Sr. and his wife, Hannah Stearns, on January 12, 1736, in Tolland, Connecticut. She was his first cousin.
Hannah Stearns was the sister of Shubal Stearns III, and her husband, Dr. James Stimson, was the first physician in Tolland, Connecticut.
They traveled with the Reverend Shubal Stearns from Connecticut to Virginia. From there they moved to Orange County, North Carolina, where they were charter members of the Sandy Creek Baptist Church.
They moved to what became Fairfield County, South Carolina, in 1759, and joined the Reverend Philip Mulkey’s church.
South Carolina was fighting a war with the Cherokee Indians in 1760-61, and Peter took his family to Tobler’s Fort, Camden District (present day Aiken County), for the protection of his family during the uprising. Hannah died in 1760, while residing in the fort. He and his first wife had four sons and two daughters.
When Mulkey and his members moved to what became Union District, South Carolina, Peter, and his children did not join them.
Peter was married a second time to Margaret Wright Parr, sister of Richard Wright, and widow of Arthur Parr, son of John and Mary ? Parr, circa 1765. Margaret was born circa 1730.
Her first husband was killed while transporting prisoners for the Sheriff of Orange County, North Carolina. He was stabbed by a prisoner and died in 1763. Orange County Commissioner William Wiley paid for the funeral and all outstanding debts of Arthur Parr on February 7, 1764.
In 1768, Jacob Gibson gave land to build a meeting house, and the Little River Baptist Church, in what later became Fairfield District, South Carolina, was constituted February 26, 1771, from members remaining from the church that the Reverend Philip Mulkey had moved to what became Union District, S. C. Peter Stearns, his second wife, Margaret, and their family were members of this church.
Peter and Margaret had two sons, Joshua and Peter.
On July 2, 1771, Peter Stearns purchased 600 acres in Craven County, and on July 22, an additional 386 acres.
Peter served seven hundred six days as a Patriot soldier in the militia from March 3, 1779, to October 4, 1781, under Capt. Anderson Thomas during the American Revolutionary War.
Peter’s sons, Levi and Ebenezer, both served as Patriot soldiers in the American Revolutionary War, after the Fall of Charleston. Levi fought under Col. Leroy Hammond.
Peter Stearns died in 1791, in Fairfield District, S. C., and his will was probated September 13, 1791. His second wife, Margaret, died after 1807.
(7). Ebenezer Stearns Sr., son of Shubal Stearns III and Rebecca Lariby Stearns, was born April 23, 1722, in Tolland, Connecticut. He married Anna Field, daughter of John and Anna ? Field, on August 26, 1743, in Tolland, Connecticut. Anna was born circa 1724, in Tolland.
Ebenezer and his family traveled from Connecticut to Virginia and then to Orange County, North Carolina. They were charter members of the Sandy Creek Baptist Church, in N. C., in 1755.
He and Eneas Stimson became close friends with Aaron Pinson of Orange County, N. C.
Ebenezer and his brother-in-law, Eneas Stimson, moved to what became Laurens District, S. C., before the Reverend Shubal Stearns died in 1771, probably after the Battle of Alamance, which took place on May 16, 1771.
They joined Orange County friends, brothers: Aaron and Joseph Pinson, and their families. The Pinsons had moved to this area of South Carolina in 1765.
AARON PINSON, FRIENDS AND PASTOR OF EBENEZER AND ENEAS STIMSON
Aaron Pinson and his brother, Joseph, moved from Fairfex County, Virginia, to Orange County, N. C. They were early converts of the Reverend Shubal Stearns.
Aaron had four tracts of land surveyed for him in late 1753. On one of these tracts was the Pinson Mill in operation at the High Rock of the Haw River in the extreme southeast corner of present day Rockingham County, N. C. He was a Lieutenant in Orange County in the North Carolina Regiment on January 20, 1755.
Aaron Pinson received a grant of 250 acres of land on the Saluda River in May of 1767. He may have received a license to preach by the Reverend Shubal Stearns before moving to what later became Laurens District, S. C.
On August 10, 1770, the Little River of Saluda Baptist Church was constituted by the Reverends Samuel Harris and James Child of Virginia, and Aaron Pinson was interim pastor of this church for a short period of time.
In September of 1771, the Reverends Daniel Marshall and Thomas Norris constituted the Raeburn Creek Baptist Church in what later became Laurens District, South Carolina. The Reverend Daniel Marshall was pastor of the Stephen’s Creek Baptist Church and the Reverend Thomas Norris was pastor of the Bush River Baptist Church at this time.
Ebenezer Stearns and his wife, Anna Field; Eneas Stimson and his wife, Sarah Stearns; Aaron Pinson and his wife, Elizabeth; and Joseph Pinson (brother of Aaron) and his wife, Omahundro; were constitutional members of Raeburn Creek Baptist Church.
Aaron Pinson was first the interim pastor of Raeburn Creek Baptist Church. He was ordained to the Gospel Ministry shortly after the Raeburn Creek Baptist Church was constituted in September of 1771, and became pastor of the church.
By the late summer of 1775, the Reverend Aaron Pinson with his family and various other members of several South Carolina churches settled in the Watauga colonies of present day North East Tennessee.
The Reverend Aaron Pinson was named a justice of the Peace for the Washington District of North Carolina. “They formed their own government, built forts and established a militia to confront the British and Indian raids. They prepared to protect their community from attacks as the revolution began.” (RootsWeb’s WorldConnect Project: Gooch Family Tree)
The sons and sons-in-law of the Rev. Aaron Pinson served the cause by bearing arms or giving material aid or both. He moved to
Wilkes County, N. C., in 1782, and he and his family returned to Laurens District by 1784, where he resumed the pastorate of the Raeburn Creek Baptist Church until his death.
Aaron Pinson died between 1794 and 1800, in Laurens District, S. C., and his wife, Elizabeth ? , died in 1803, in Laurens.
Their daughter married Thomas Shirley. He was a Patriot soldier, serving, while a resident of North Carolina. Some sources state that her name was Ruth. Their grandson, Aaron Shirley, married a daughter of Francis and Nancy March Ward. She was his second wife. A record of her name was not been preserved.
She was a half-sister to Nancy Ward, daughter of Tame Doe and Francis Ward. Nancy was given the title of Beloved Woman. This title was one given the principal woman in the female councils and endowed her with power to speak in the council of the Chiefs. Her badge of authority was a swan’s wing.
Speaking of Nancy, Pat Alderman in his book, THE OVERMOUNTAIN MEN, on page 7, wrote: “Without the timely warning by Nancy Ward, most of the settlers of the Watauga, Holston and Carter’s Valleys could have been surprised by the Indians and killed. Without these settlements, there would not have been an OVERMOUNTAIN MEN’S ARMY to defeat Ferguson at King’s Mountain. Without that victory the story of America could have been different.”
Leah Townsend wrote: “In 1794 the church (Raeburn’s Creek) was said to be rapidly disintegrating because of its peculiarities. It probably disappeared in the next few years.”
MORE ON EBENEZER STEARNS
Ebenezer Stearns Sr. had a survey on Long Lick Creek waters of Saluda River in 1771. They were called “Starnes” in Laurens District, S. C.
Their son, Aaron, was a Patriot soldier in South Carolina, in the American Revolutionary War.
Ebenezer died in Laurens District, South Carolina, on November 4, 1789, and Anna Field Stearns died there on October 1, 1803. They had three sons and five daughters.
(8). Eneas Stimson, son of Dr. James Stimson (first physician in Tolland, Connecticut) and Hannah Stearns Stimson, was born May 14, 1714, in Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts.
He married Elizabeth Stearns, daughter of Shubal Stearns III and his wife, Rebecca Lariby, on November 5, 1741. She was born August 30, 1715, in Tolland, Connecticut.
He and his wife were related. Hannah’s mother was the sister of the father of the Reverend Shubal Stearns.
They traveled with the Reverend Shubal Stearns from Connecticut to Virginia and then to Orange County, North Carolina. They were constitutional members of the Sandy Creek Baptist Church in 1755.
Eneas and Elizabeth moved to what became Laurens District, S. C., with Eneas’ brother-in-law, Ebenezer Stearns, in 1771. Eneas had a survey on Aaron Pinson’s land on waters of the Reedy River in 1771.
Elizabeth Stearns Stimson died before August 30, 1788, in Laurens District, S. C. and Eneas died in the same county in December of 1800. Eneas indicated in his will that they had adopted a girl named, Mary.
**Ten of the original sixteen constitutional members of the Sandy Creek Baptist Church in North Carolina, died in South Carolina, four died in North Carolina and two died in Georgia.
DANIEL MARSHALL AND HIS SOUTH CAROLINA CONNECTION
Sensing the Holy Spirit’s direction, Daniel Marshall left his Virginia and North Carolina labors and moved to South Carolina. He moved with a group of his followers from the Abbotts Creek Baptist Church in North Carolina, in 1760, to the Beaver Creek near Broad River in South Carolina, and established the Beaver Creek Baptist Church in what later became Fairfield District.
In 1762, he moved to Big Stephens Creek and established a church there near North Augusta, S. C., in Edgefield County. It was constituted in 1766, and a Meeting House thirty by twenty-six feet was erected about ten miles from Augusta, Georgia. He was assisted by his son, Abraham Marshall, and by Benjamin Harry, Saunders Walker, John Herndon.
At this time Big Stephens Creek Baptist Church was a member of the Congaree Baptist Association, having just been dismissed from the Sandy Creek Baptist Association.
Leah Townsend in her book, South Carolina Baptists, page 159, states that Big Stephens Creek Baptist Church became the center of the Reverend Marshall’s activities, which extended to two branch churches in Georgia, and the group left behind at Beaver Creek.
“Around 1770, Daniel Marshall began making excursions across the Savannah River into Georgia. It was on one of these tours that he was arrested for illegally conducting a religious service. When he appeared before the magistrate, Col. Barnard, he forbade him to reenter Georgia to hold religious services.
An interesting result of this encounter was that Samuel Cartledge, the man who arrested Marshall was later converted and became a faithful Baptist pastor for over fifty years, and the magistrate, Col. Barnard, became a zealous and effective Christian.
On January 1, 1771, Marshall choosing to obey God rather than man, moved his family into Georgia.” (The Reapers, The One Talent Man Who Produced Five-Talent Results)
In 1771, John Pittman, His wife, Mary (Polly) Rowe, and his ten children joined the colony of Baptists headed by the celebrated preacher, the Reverend Daniel Marshall. This colony settled in Georgia on Kiokee Creek, St. Paul’s Parish, which became Richmond County and later Columbia County.
Dr. Bobby Gilmer Moss in his book, Roster of South Carolina Patriots, page 775, states: “John Pittman (1726-1785), served as a matross in the Fourth Regiment from 18 December to 1 July 1781, and was at sometime in the militia.”
In 1772, the Reverend Daniel Marshall founded Kiokee, the first Baptist church, established in Georgia. He was the only pastor to remain in Georgia during the American Revolutionary War.
“On one occasion, when a party of Tories demanded of him, where he had concealed his horses, he sullenly refused to utter a word, although repeatedly threatened with death. This scene continued, until his wife could bear the suspense no longer, and undertook herself to make the disclosure.”
During the last thirteen years of his life he was able to organize several churches and at least fourteen ministers were either called or influenced by his ministry.
Morgan Edwards, the pastor-historian, revealed the secret of Marshall’s success when he added that his only qualities were ‘piety, earnestness and honesty’. “We would add to those qualities a deep abiding love for Christ and the souls of men, prayerfulness, steadfastness, a commitment to personal evangelism and an untiring zeal that has seldom been equaled.” (The Reapers, The One Talent Man Who Produced Five-Talent Results)
“During the American Revolutionary War, Daniel Marshall was an American Patriot, and after the war, he and others fought for legislation favoring religious liberty. Just before his death he acted as moderator of the Georgia Baptist Association, founded in 1784, at Kiokee Church.”
On November 2, 1784, he addressed the congregation on the day of his death.
Abraham Marshall wrote: “The following, taken by me in the presence of a few deeply affected friends and relatives, as he delivered them, were his last words:
‘Dear Brethren and Sisters, I am just gone. This night I shall, probably expire. But I have nothing to fear. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. And henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness. God has shown me that he is my God, that I am His son, and that an eternal weight of glory is mine!’
‘The venerable partner of his cares, and I may add, faithful assistant in all his labors, sitting bedewed with tears, by his side, he proceeded: ‘Go on, my dear wife, to serve the Lord. Hold out to the end. Eternal glory is before us.’
‘After a silence of some minutes, he called me, and said, ‘My breath is almost gone. I have been praying that I may go home tonight. I had great happiness in our worship this morning, particularly in singing, which will make a part of my exercises in a blessed eternity.’
‘Now, gently closing his eyes, he cheerfully gave up his soul to God, with whom, I doubt not, he walks, ‘high in salvation and the climes of bliss.’”
A suitable discourse to his memory was delivered from II Timothy 4:7-8 by the Rev. Charles Buffey.
He was buried in the Marshall Cemetery in Appling, Columbia County, Georgia, and his grave was later marked. His wife, Martha, died in 1793, and was buried beside her husband, but her grave was not marked.
Daniel Marshall (1772-1784) was succeeded as pastor of Kiokee Baptist Church by his son, Abraham Marshall (1784-1819), and Abraham was succeeded by his son, Jabez Marshall (1819-1832). These men served as pastors of Kiokee for a period of sixty years of its history.
His son, Abraham, was converted at the age of 19 at the Big Stephen’s Creek Baptist Church and was baptized by his father in the Savannah River. He was ordained by the Kiokee Baptist Church in 1775.
Abraham preached to thousands on his New England tours in 1786 and 1792. A biographer wrote: “His voice was one of great power, melody and flexibility. In nothing, perhaps was he more remarkable than the power of description.
He would portray the glories of heaven with such matchless force and breadth, that his hearers could scarcely remain upon their seats; and he would depict the miseries of the lost in such terrible, burning language, as almost to make the hair stand erect upon your head.”
“He constituted or reconstituted about 39 churches, including the First Africa Baptist Churches in Savannah & Augusta, Georgia, & the First Baptist Church of Augusta. He was affectionately called the Friend of Black People.
He was a trustee of Franklin College (now the University of Georgia). He was also moderator of the Georgia Baptist Association for 19 years.” (Rev. Abraham Marshall, 1748-1819, Find a Grave Memorial—Internet)
The ministry of Jabez Marshall was cut short due to his death by measles on March 29, 1832.
Big Stephens Creek Baptist Church in Edgefield County, S. C. and the Kiokee Baptist Church in Appling, Georgia, are still viable churches today, ministering to the needs of their people.
PHILIP MULKEY AND HIS SOUTH CAROLINA CONNECTION
Philip Mulkey was born in Edgecomb Precinct (in the section that later became Halifax County), North Carolina, on May 14, 1732. He was the son of David Mulkey and an unknown wife. David was born circa 1714, and died before 1750.
His grandfather was Philip Mulkey Sr., born circa 1690, in Edgecomb Prencinct, North Carolina. Philip Mulkey Sr. was the son of John Mulkey. He had a brother named Jonathan Mulkey. His will mentions a “deceased brother” possibly John.
Philip Mulkey Sr. married Sarah Tapley, daughter of John Tapley and Elizabeth Henderson. She was born circa 1695.
Sarah was first married to ? Lewis. He was born circa 1690. They married circa 1710, and had a son, George Lewis, born circa 1711. Her husband died shortly after his son’s birth, and she married Philip Mulkey Sr. circa 1712.
Philip Mulkey Sr. and Sarah Tapley Mulkey had children: David, Philip, Jane, Eve, Elizabeth, Scarborough and Judith Mulkey. Philip died in 1737, in Edgecomb Precinct, North Carolina.
Sarah Tapley Mulkey, after the death of her husband, Philip, married John Patterson circa 1738, in Chatham County, N. C. He was born circa 1695, probably in Bertie Precinct, North Carolina. His first wife was Mary Couch. Sarah died in Orange County, N. C., in 1775. John Patterson also died in Orange County, N. C.
Philip Mulkey, son of David, was first a member of the Episcopal Church. He married Ann Ellis, daughter of Jeremiah and Priscilla Hicks Ellis, circa 1750, probably in Edgecomb Precinct, N. C. She was born circa 1730, possibly in Mecklenburg County, Virginia.
Philip and Ann had six children, four sons and two daughters. David (1751), Jonathan (1752), Sarah (1754), Martha—Patty (1756), and Philip (1756) were all born in North Carolina before they moved to S. C. Their last child, Robert, was born in what later became Union District, S. C., in (1763).
Philip Mulkey told Morgan Edwards in detail the story of his spectacular conversion:
“One night as I was going home from the house where I had been playing the fiddle to dancers, a hideous specter presented itself before me just as I opened the door: the effect was, fainting, and continuing as dead for the space of about 10 minutes as the people about me report the matter; when I recovered, I found an uncommon dread on my spirits, from an apprehension that the shocking figure, I had seen was the Devil, and that he would have me.
However, I mounted my horse and went homewards. My fears had so disordered my understanding that I fancied the first tree I came to bowed its head to strike at me, which made me start from it. Happening to look up, I fancied that the stars cast a frowning and malignant aspect upon me. When I came home, I went to bed and endeavored to conceal the matter from my wife; but it could not be; for thenceforth I could neither eat, nor sleep nor rest for some days; but continued to roar out, I am damned! I shall soon be in hell!
Her attempts to comfort me were vain; and my emaciated body and ghastly visage terrified her. All the while my heart was murmuring against God for making me to no other purpose than to burn me, amongst which murmurings this thought came, My burning in hell will be a display of God’s justice and so far I shall be to his praise and glory.
It is hardly credible that such a thought should relieve; but so it was, that I found myself much easier when I perceived that God had any use for me, or that I should be any way profitable to him and the he made me for his glory. I strove to please him by reformation and obedience (for some space of love came in with the forced mentioned thought), but yet was I a wretched man.
As I was reading these words (If ye have not been faithful in that which is another mans who will give you that which is your own?) the following thought started in my mind, That God would not trust me until I had proved that I was faithful to another master. Upon this I resolved to serve the devil faithfully. Mean while a benighted stranger (Rev. John Newton) came to my house who read a chapter (33rd of Isaiah) and prayed; and thereby turned by thoughts to Christ, and Salvation by him, for the time.
The novelty of this matter and the possibility it introduced, that my sins had been laid on Christ and that God had stricken and smitten Christ for them so that he could spare me without falsifying his threatenings or violate his justice) affected me in such a manner as exceeds description.
I found an inclination to adore the stranger, and to question whether he was an angel or man? But made no discovery there of (nor of my thoughts) to him. The next day he departed, and as he was going this thought came in my mind, There is Lot going out of Sodom as soon as he disappears fire will come down and burn me and mine!
I ran after him, and kept my eye upon him; but the wood presently intercepted the sight; upon which I threw my self with my face to the ground expecting fire and brimstone. I continued in this posture for some time almost dead with terror. Finding the fire did not come immediately I began to hope that it would not come at all; and thereupon prayed that God would spare me. I received comfort; and was running to tell my wife of it; but before I reached the house I lost all comfort and my distress came on again.
In my agony I said many a time, O that John Newton had said! O that I was as good as John Newton! Upon which this text crowded into my head, The Spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. I could not discern how this text concerned me; or why it bore so on my mind? At last I said, Who knows but it may mean, that the spirit of John Newton shall rest on Philip Mulkey.
I persuade myself this was the signification; and, blessed be God, my hope was not disappointed: the spirit of God came whom I found to be a spirit of liberty, or comfort, and of adoption. My wife saw a surprising change in my countenance. I told the whole matter; and began to preach up conversion to her. She understood me not, though I persuaded myself I was able to make everyone sensible what the newbirth means.
I took my Bible and hastened to my neighbor Campbell; when I came in I opened it at the third ch. of John and, putting my finger on the 3rd verse, said, see here, neighbor Campbell, what Jesus Christ saith; he saith we must be born again or not see the kingdom of God! My neighbor swore at me most desperately, adding, What devilish project are you now upon with the Word of God in your hand?
Upon which he stripped, and sprang out of doors, challenging me to fight! I sat down in the house and began to weep. He sprang in and (skipping and bounding about the floor spitting on his hands and clenching his fists) dared me to fight. I replied, You know, my dear neighbor, that I am able to beat you; but now you may beat me if you will; I shall not hinder you! Hearing this and seeing me all in tears made him look as a man astonished! He put on his shirt, and sat by me, and we both wept.
But my talk of the new birth was not understood by him any more than by my wife. Soon after I made myself known to Shubal Stearns and church, and was surprised to find that they understood the new birth, and had knowledge of the tribulations attending it which I had fancied were peculiar to my own cast, etc.” (Morgan Edwards, Material Towards A History of the Baptists in the Province of South Carolina, Vol. 5, Furman Manuscript)
Apparently, Mulkey received salvation for he was baptized into the fellowship of the Sandy Creek Baptist Church in Orange County, North Carolina, on December 25, 1756. He was called to preach in the Sandy Creek church in February of 1757, and ordained by the Reverend Shubal Stearns in October of 1757. He became pastor of the Deep River Baptist Church, North Carolina, after his ordination.
According to Robert Semple, Philip Mulkey and William Murphy established a new Baptist Church near Abbeyville on the Staunton River, Mecklenburg County, Virginia, in 1758 or 1759.
Philip Mulkey led a group of thirteen members from the Deep River Baptist Church in North Carolina and established a Baptist church in Fairfield County in August of 1759, at the site, where later was built a meeting house for the Little River Baptist Church. They soon increased to over one hundred members.
PHILIP MULKEY AND HIS DEEP RIVER MEMBERS AND THEIR MOVE TO LATER FAIRFIELD
AND UNION DISTRICTS
The company composing the organized church, which left Deep River for South Carolina, and moved from Fairfield District to what is now Union District, S. C., included: the Reverend Philip Mulkey; his wife, Ann Ellis; Benjamin Gist; his wife, Mary Jarrett; Thomas Thompson; Charles Thompson; Joseph Breed; wife, Priscilla Avery; Stephen Howard; wife, Mary Powell; Obadiah Howard; wife, Priscilla Avery Breed; Rachel Collins.
In December of 1762, the Reverend Philip Mulkey moved the original church, constituted in 1759, in Fairfield District, to Fairforest Creek, a tract lying between the fork of Fairforest Creek and the Tyger River.
CONTRIBUTOR OF LAND IN CRAVEN COUNTY (UNION DISTRICT) BENJAMIN HOLCOMBE
Benjamin Holcombe was born in Prince Edward County, Virginia, in 1718, the son of Richard and Sarah Neville Holcomb.
He and Alice Bogan, daughter of John and Hannah Jane Griest Bogan, were married in Prince Edward County, Virginia, in 1751. Alice was born in Prince Edward County in 1731.
The Holcombe family moved from Prince Edward County, Virginia, to Granville County, N. C., in the mid 1700s.
Benjamin had land in Bute County, N. C., in 1760, and signed a paper in 1765, for land “where I now live in Bute County.”
He received a grant for land September 17, 1770, on Dining Creek, a branch of Fairforest Creek. The land was in Berkley, Craven and later Union District, S. C. His land was bounded by lands of Ralph Jackson Sr., Solomon Smith, Thomas Greer Sr. and William Vaughan.
Benjamin Holcombe gave the church (under the leadership of the Reverend Philip Mulkey) two acres of land for a meeting house.
Their sons, Philip, Nevill and Jesse were all Patriot soldiers in the American Revolutionary War. They all served under Col. Thomas Brandon.
Benjamin and Alice had seven children, five sons and two daughters. He made his will on August 13, 1796, which was probated October 17, 1798. He died in Union District, S. C., and Alice died in Union District after 1798.
They probably remained members of the Fairforest Baptist Church, but several of their children joined the Padgett’s Creek Baptist Church.
BIOGRAPHIES OF THE ORIGINAL THIRTEEN IN CRAVEN COUNTY (UNION DISTRICT), S. C.
(1-2). Benjamin Gist, son of Nathaniel Gist and Mary Howard, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on September 2, 1729.
“Benjamin was the nephew of Christopher Gist, the frontiersman who surveyed the Ohio Territory and fought with George Washington in the French and Indian War. Christopher Gist is credited with saving George Washington’s life on two separate occasions.
This Christopher Gist had a son, Nathaniel Gist, who was the father of George Gist, the Cherokee half-breed, whose Indian name was Sequoyah. It was this Sequoyah who invented the Cherokee alphabet and enabled the Cherokee to write in their language.” (Profiles of Patriots by Moria Ann Jacobs)
He married Mary Jarrett, daughter of Thomas Jarratt and his wife, Rebecca ? , in Lunenburg County, Virginia, in 1750. She was born in Lunenburg in 1732. Their first two children, Joseph and Mary, were born in Lunenburg County.
CHILDREN OF BENJAMIN AND MARY
(a). Joseph Gist was born August 27, 1751. His family moved first to Orange County, N. C., then to what is now called Fairfield County, S. C., and then to Craven County (Union District) South Carolina, in 1762.
He first married Hannah Gist, daughter of Joseph and Priscilla Avery Breed, on January 25, 1773, in Craven County. She was born in 1755. He moved with his wife, Hannah, his daughter, Sarah, and his son, William, and his father and mother, to Washington County, North Carolina (Tennessee), in 1775.
Joseph and Hannah moved with his parents to Barren County, Kentucky, in 1799. He and Hannah were members of the Mill Creek Baptist Church. She died in Barren County on May 14, 1815. They had two sons and five daughters.
Joseph married Elizabeth Belew Springer on January 7, 1816 in Barren County. She was the daugher of Zachariah and Mary Bullington Belew. Her father was a Patriot soldier in the American Revolutionary War and fought under Col. Thomas Brandon. He received several wounds.
Elizabeth Belew was first married to John Springer, son of Ezekiel and Rebecca Collins Springer. They had three sons and two daughters. John died in 1815, in Barren County, Kentucky. She and Joseph had two sons and a daughter.
Joseph Gist died August 31, 1844, in Barren County, Kentucky. He and his first wife, Hannah, were buried in the Old Mulkey Church Cemetery.
BENJAMIN SR. AND MARY GIST
Following the birth of their second child, Mary, Benjamin and Mary Gist moved to the Sandy Creek section of Orange County, North Carolina. Here he petitioned to build a gristmill, was appointed a road overseer and a constable.
They were members of the Sandy Creek Baptist Church, whose pastor was the Reverend Shubael Stearns.
He and his wife attended the Deep River Baptist Church in North Carolina, in 1757. The Reverend Philip Mulkey was pastor at this time. The church was located about ten miles upstream from the Deep-Haw confluence near present-day Lockville, N. C.
(b). Mary Gist was born on May 30, 1755, in Lunenburg County, Virginia. She moved with her parents to Orange County, N. C., in 1755, to Craven County (Union District), S. C.) in 1762, and then to Washington County, North Carolina (Tennessee) in 1775.
Mary married James Stevenson in 1776, several months after their move to Washington County. He was born December 10, 1754, in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. They had seven daughters and four sons.
They moved to Wayne County, Indiana, where Mary died at Connersville, on December 2, 1822, and James died at Milton, on May 24, 1845. The writer was unable to obtain names of James parents.
(c). John Gist was born in North Carolina on November 23, 1757. He moved with his parents to Craven County, S. C., in 1762. He was a Patriot soldier in the American Revolution War, serving in the counties of Washington and Sullivan in what later became Tennessee.
He was a magistrate with his father, Benjamin, in Greene County, Tennessee, and when the county was organized under the state of Franklin, served as a Justice of the Peace.
He married Hannah Geron, daughter of Hiram and Susannah ? Geron, in 1789, in Knox County, Tennessee. She was born in 1765, in Virginia. They moved with his parents to Barren County, Kentucky, circa 1799. They had five sons and one daughter.
Hannah died in Barren County, Kentucky, in 1794, and John died in Barren County, on June 9, 1820.
BENJAMIN SR. AND MARY GIST
In 1759, Benjamin and Mary, and their family moved with their pastor, the Reverend Philip Mulkey, to what later became Fairfield County, South Carolina. They moved their constituted church, to Craven County (Union District), S. C. in December of 1762.
On March 5, 1768, he and his wife, received a grant of 500 acres of land in Craven County (later Union District) at the mouth of Sugar Creek. He was a deacon in the Fairforest Baptist Church.
(d). William Breed Gist Sr. was born in 1759, in North Carolina. He first married Rebecca Wood in 1780, in Greene County, Tennessee. She was born in 1764, in Greene County, Tennessee.
She and William had at least two sons and two daughters. They lived in Barren County, Kentucky, for several years.
William Gist Sr. died in 1728, in Tennessee. There is no record of the death of his wife.
(e). Thomas Gist was born in Craven County (Union District), S. C., on October 10, 1764, and moved with his parents to Washington County, Tennessee, in 1776. He married Elizabeth Russell, daughter of John Russell, in 1783, in Grassy Cove, Tennessee.
They moved with his parents, Benjamin and Mary, to Barren County, Kentucky, circa 1799. He was a member of the Mill Creek Baptist Church. They had seven sons and three daughters.
He moved his family to Calfkiller River, White County, Tennessee, in 1811. His wife, Elizabeth, died in White County, after 1812, and he died there March 22, 1837.
(f). Amie Gist was born in Craven County (Union District) S. C., on January 30, 1767. She moved with her parents to Washington County, Tennessee, in 1776, and from there to Greene County, Tennessee.
She married Alexander Lowry, son of James and Susannah Patterson Lowry, on May 25, 1790, in Greene County, Tennessee. He was born on January 30, 1767, in Augusta County, Virginia.
They moved to White County, Tennessee, where most of their children were born. They had four sons and two daughters. She died in White County on August 4, 1832, and her husband died there August 20, 1846. They were buried in Old Cemetery near Sparta, White County, Tennessee.
(g). Annie Gist was born in Craven County (Union District), S. C., in 1771. She moved with her parents to Washington County, Tennessee, in 1775, and from there to Greene County, Tennessee.
She married James McClain. He was born in 1767, in Greene County, Tennessee. They had one son and two daughters. She died in Hardin County, Tennessee, before 1820.
James next married Kizziah Hardin, daughter of James W. and Elinor Goodin Hardin, circa 1820, in Hardin County, Tennessee. They had a son named William.
James died in Hardin County in 1837. His second wife, Kizziah, died in 1843, in Hardin County.
(g). Benjamin Gist, their youngest child, was born in Craven County (Union District), S. C., on September 15, 1773. He moved with his parents to Washington County, Tennessee, in 1775. He first married Rebecca Watson, probably in Washington County, Tennessee. She died April 24, 1793, in Knox County, Tennessee.
He next married Rhoda Bayliss Hinds, daughter of Levi and Sarah ? Hinds, in Knox County, Tennessee, in 1793. She was born on July 19, 1773, at in Fort Defiance, Caldwell County, N. C.
He moved his family with the family of his father, Benjamin Gist Sr., and mother Mary Jarrett Gist, to Barren County, Kentucky, circa 1799.
He was listed as a member of the Mill Creek Baptist Church, in Barren County, Kentucky, in 1804. He witnessed a deed made by his father, Benjamin Sr., in Jackson County, Tennessee, in 1808. At this time, he and his father had already moved their families to Jackson County, Tennessee.
He served in the War of 1812. He was commissioned Captain of the 48th Regiment, Jackson County, Tennessee, January 31, 1814. He and his second wife, Rhoda, had four sons and four daughters and another adopted son.
On June 16, 1818, Benjamin Gist, Jr. received a grant of one hundred aces on the waters of Trace Creek, Jackson County, Tennessee. He was mentioned in the will of his brother, Joseph Gist of Monroe County, Kentucky, in 1843. It was sixty miles from Barren County, to Jackson County.
Benjamin Gist Jr. died in Jackson County, Tennessee April 1, 1844.
BENJAMIN SR. AND MARY GIST
Benjamin Sr. and Mary, their son, Joseph, his wife, Hannah, and other family members moved from South Carolina, to Washington County, North Carolina (now Tennessee) in late 1775. He was a loyalist, while he lived in South Carolina, and moved to Washington County, N. C., with his pastor, the Reverend Philip Mulkey.
Benjamin Sr. was a supporter of the state of Franklin.
“In 1778, he was a Justice of the Peace of the newly formed Washington County, North Carolina (Tennessee), was appointed collector of his district and served as both Sheriff and Assessor of Roan Creek District.
He served as Captain of Militia in the North Carolina Regiment of Colonel John Carter and was also under Colonel John Sevier. He was one of “The King’s (Overmountain) men who was at the Battle of King’s Mountain, October 7, 1780, under Colonel John Sevier.
He also fought at Boyd’s Bridge, shortly after the Battle of King’s Mountain.” (Profiles of Patriots—Benjamin Gist by Gloria McPherson Clark, pgs. 43-45)
“Captains Russell and Gist were sent by (Col.) Sevier (John) to head off an Indian uprising and thus give time for the expedition to get home.” (King’s Mountian Men by K. K. White, pgs. 176-177)
Benjamin Sr. and his sons, Joseph and John, were Patriot soldiers in the American Revolutionary War, serving under Col. John Sevier.
Benjamin Sr. and Mary moved to Knox County, Tennessee, after 1792. They moved to Smith County, Tennessee, in the fall of 1798. They were living in Barren County, Kentucky, in 1799, when he joined the Mill Creek Baptist Church. In May of 1800, Benjamin Sr. was elected an elder of this church.
Benjamin Sr. was listed on the Mill Creek Baptist Church records from 1800 to 1806. They moved to Jackson County, Tennessee, in 1808, or before. Benjamin Sr. and his wife, Mary, died in Jackson County in 1810.
(3-4). Stephen Howard, son of Stephen and Sarah Sanders Howard, was born in Onslow County, N. C., circa 1725. He married Mary Powell circa 1747, in N. C. She was born circa 1729, in N. C. Names of her parents may have been John and Alice Murrell Powell.
Stephen was a Patriot soldier in the American Revolutionary War and fought after the Siege of Charleston in 1780, with Col. Thomas Brandon. His will was dated December 24, 1777, and was recorded in Union District, S. C., after the county was formed in 1785. His wife, Mary, died circa 1786, in Union District, S. C. They had four sons and three daughters.
(5-6). Obediah Howard, son of Stephen and Sarah Sanders Howard, and younger brother of Stephen Howard, was born March 3, 1737, in Onslow County, N. C. He was only eight years old when his father and mother died in 1745.
He married Priscilla Avery Breed, daughter of Joseph and Priscilla Avery Breed, circa 1757, in Orange County, N. C. She was born in New London, Connecticut, on October 14, 1742. They moved with the Reverend Philip Mulkey from Deep River Baptist Church in N. C., to what later became Fairfield District, S. C., in 1759. The original church moved with Mulkey to what later became Union District, S. C., in 1762.
Obediah received a land grant of 450 acres on the branches of Fairforest and Sugar Creeks on February 17, 1773. (Colonial Plats XVIII, 113)
Philip Mulkey and his son, Jonathan, also an ordained minister, moved to what later became Tennessee, in 1775, because of Philip’s loyalists views.
Obediah Howard moved with the only remaining ordained minister capable of administering the affairs of the church, the Reverend Alexander McDougal, and the Patriot membership of the church moved to a part of the McDougal land, where the church established by the Rev. Philip Mulkey was continued.
Obediah Howard was a Patriot soldier and served before and after the fall of Charleston as a private in the local militia in Col. Thomas Brandon’s Regiment. Capt. John McCool was the commander of his company.
His son, Joseph, was also a Patriot soldier and fought under Col. Thomas Brandon after the fall of Charleston.
“On June 26, 1786, Obediah Howard of County of Union, for love, good will, and esteem to my son, Joseph Howard, of same, planter, tract of land on a branch of Fairforest called Shoaly Creek, 100 acres, being the south end of a survey granted to said Obediah Howard, 12 June 1774, of 450 acres.” (Union County Deed Abstracts, Vol. I, Deed Books A-F, page 12)
Joseph Howard took his own life in Union District, S. C., on April 21, 1821, and his wife, Mary Keyes, moved to Lauderdale County, Alabama, where she died circa 1828.
“On April 2, 1787, Obediah Howard and Priscilla, his wife, of Union County to Jacob Paulk of same for #33 sterling, 150 acres, part of 450 acres granted to said Obediah Howard 2 Feb 1773 on a branch of Fairforest Creek called Shoaly Creek.” (Union County Deed Abstracts, Vol. I, Deed Books A-F, page 33)
Jacob Paulk was the son of Jonathan Paulk and Rebecca Ruth Stearns, and married Jean Howard, possible sister of Obediah. This relationship is not fully established. Jean was born circa 1740.
Obediah Howard was a messenger to the Bethel Baptist Associational meetings in 1794 and 1799 from the Fairforest Baptist Church. He and the Reverend Alexander McDougal attended the 1799 meeting. He was also elected a deacon of this church.
After the 1800 census of Union District, S. C., Obediah Howard moved a portion of his family to Barren County, Kentucky, in 1801, with the Reverend Alexander McDougal, and joined the Mill Creek Baptist Church, where the Reverend John Mulkey, his grandson, was pastor.
Their daughter, Nancy, married the Reverend Jonathan Mulkey, son of Philip and Ann Ellis Mulkey and had moved with her husband to Washington County, North Carolina, in 1775. This area later became a part of Tennessee. Nancy and her husband had three sons who were preachers, John, Philip and Isaac, and a grandson, John Newton Mulkey, who was also a minister.
Sarah Howard, daughter of Obediah and Priscilla, remained in Union District, S. C., and married Zachariah Gibbs. They had a son, John Gibbs, a well-known pastor in Union District.
Traveling with Obediah was his wife, Priscilla Breed Howard; his son, Stephen, and his wife, Elizabeth Hart Howard; his son, William, and his wife, Jane Hart Howard; his son, Christopher, and his wife,
Rebecca Hayes Howard; and his daughter, Mary Howard, and her husband, James Chism, along with younger members of their families.
The two Hart wives were sisters and daughters of Aaron Hart, who served as a Patriot soldier under Col. Thomas Brandon in the American Revolutionary War.
Others traveling with this group were: the Reverend Alexander McDougal and his wife, Hannah Done McDougal; Nathan Breed and his wife, Mary Harlan Breed; Avery Breed; Prudence Breed Wood and her husband, James Wood; Phebe Breed Wood and her husband John Wood; William Wood and his wife, Sarah; and other family members.
William Wood and his wife, Sarah, joined the Mill Creek Baptist Church on September 9, 1801.
The Rev. Alexander McDougal and his family moved from Barren County to Hardin County, Kentucky, where they settled.
Records of the Mill Creek Baptist Church on January 9, 1802, state:
“Brother Obediah Howard call (sic) to the work of a Deacon in this Church, being previously a Deacon.” He was listed as a messenger from the Mill Creek Baptist Church to the Green River Baptist Associational meeting in 1802.
Obediah Howard died October 4, 1804, in Tompkinsville, Monroe County, Kentucky, and Priscilla Breed Howard died there in 1808. They were both buried in the Old Mulkey Church Cemetery in Barren County, Kentucky. They had seven sons and seven daughters.
“In April of 1804, a committee of seven men were appointed by the Mill Creek Baptist Church to make plans for building a new meetinghouse: John Wood, Nathan Breed, James Harlin, Ephraim Ellis, Francis Baxter, Joseph Gist and Thomas Sullivan. A man named Jiles Thompson and his agents were to build the meetinghouse.” (A History of Mill Creek Baptist Church in Barren County, Kentucky—Internet)
Obediah & Priscilla’s son, Jesse, married Hannah Harlan, daughter of George and Rebecca Bogan in 1798. He died in Union District, S. C. in 1803, at the age of 23. His widow, Hannah, married John Curtis after 1803, and they were living in Barren County, Kentucky, in 1806, and were members of the Mill Creek Baptist Church.
Obediah and Priscilla Howard were deceased when their grandson, the Reverend John Mulkey, began to subscribe to the reform theology of the Christian Church.
“The Mill Creek Baptist Church became divided over the teachings of Mulkey and his followers. In a dramatic service on “a chilly Saturday morning, November 18, 1809, a division of the congregation took place.” (Old Mulkey Meeting House History—Internet)
“The group that continued as the Mill Creek Baptist Church built their new meeting house just a short distance from the older meeting place, the same size and shape as the Mulkey building. Their log structure was eventually encased by weather boarding and then bricked as the congregation continued into modern times. Mill Creek Baptist Church still meets in this building today.” (History of Mill Creek Baptist Church—Internet)
JOSEPH BREED SR.
(7-8). Joseph Breed Sr., the eight child of John and Mercy Palmer Breed, was born in Stonington, New London County, Connecticut, on October 4, 1708. He was Christened in January of 1709, at the First Congregational Church in Stonington, Connecticut.
On June 2, 1737, he married Priscilla Avery, daughter of Christopher and Prudence Payson Avery, in Groton, Connecticut. She was born April 29, 1715, in Groton.
His marriage to Priscilla Avery at Groton, Connecticut, was performed by Justice Luke Perkins, and was witnessed by John and Gershom Breed, brothers of Joseph. He and his wife lived near her parents in Groton until after August 11, 1746, as evident by deeds executed during this time. (The Perry-Poole Family Tree)
After assisting Daniel Marshall in a ministry to the Mohawks (1752-1753), he and his family moved with the Marshalls to Frederick County, Virginia, in 1754. After Shubal Stearns and his family arrived, they joined together and moved to Cacapon in Hampshire County, where they established a church.
From Hampshire County, the little group moved to Sandy Creek, N. C., (now Randolph County) and established the Sandy Creek Baptist Church on November 22,1755.
He and his wife became charter members of the Sandy Creek Baptist Church in Orange County, North Carolina, where he served with Daniel Marshall as an assistant to the Reverend Shubael Stearns.
Joseph Breed was interim pastor of the Little River Baptist Church in Anson (now Montgomery) County, North Carolina, in 1758.
The Breed’s daughter, Priscilla Avery Breed, born in Groton, Connecticut, married Obediah Howard, son of Stephen and Sarah Saunders Howard, in 1758. They traveled with the Reverend Philip Mulkey and their daughter, Priscilla’s family, to Fairfield District, South Carolina, in 1759. He was fifty-one years old at this time.
Joseph and Priscilla Breed moved their family to what later became Union District, S. C., with the Reverend Philip Mulkey and the original thirteen constitutional members in 1762.
CHILDREN OF JOSEPH AND PRISCILLA
(a). Their son, Joseph, was born in Groton, Connecticut, on April 8, 1738. Apparently, Joseph married Catherine Lee, daughter of Willim and Sarah ? Lee, circa 1772, after his father and mother had moved to Craven County (Union District), S. C. Margaret Catherine Lee was born in Meherrin Parish, Brunswick County, Virginia, circa 1757.
On June 23, 1774, Joseph Breed and his wife, Catherine, were granted 150 acres of land on a small branch of waters of the Fairforest Creek in Craven County (Union District), S. C. He was a Patriot soldier in the American Revolutionary War and fought under Col. Thomas Brandon. He and his wife sold this land to his brother, Avery Breed, on May 27, 1783.
Joseph Breed Jr. received a land grant from the state of Georgia for 200 acres in Wilkes County on July 15, 1784. He and his wife, Catherine, were living in Wilkes County on November 25, 1786, when they sold 100 acres of land to Jordan Jackson of Union District, S. C.
He died in April of 1807, in Warren County, Georgia, and was predeceased by his wife, Catherine. They had four sons and four daughters.
Joseph Breed Jr.’s daughter, Priscilla, married Richard George, a Patriot soldier in the American Revolution, who fought under General Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox. Richard George was a son of James and Judith ? George.
(b). Their son, Avery Breed, was born in Groton, Connecticut, November 21, 1739. He purchased his brother, Joseph’s, land in Union District, S. C. He sold 200 acres of land in Union District to Aaron Harlan on March 25, 1787. Avery purchased this land in February of 1775, from Bryan White.
There is no record of his marriage. He traveled with his sister, Priscilla Breed Howard and her husband, Obediah, to Barren County, Kentucky, and died shortly after they arrived. His brother, Nathan, was administrator of his will.
(c) Their daughter, Priscilla, was born October 14, 1742. She married Obediah Howard and traveled with him to Barren County, Kentucky, and died there in 1808.
(d). Their son, Nathan Breed, was born on October 14, 1742, in Groton, Connecticut. He was a twin brother of Priscilla. He married Mary Harlan, daughter of Aaron and his wife, Sarah Hollingsworth, in Craven County (Union District), S. C., on April 25, 1778. She was born August 10, 1748, in Kennet, Chester County, Pennsylvania. Her parents were Quakers.
He was a Patriot soldier in the American Revolutionary War and served under Col. Thomas Brandon with his brother, Joseph.
He and his wife, Mary Harlan Breed, traveled with his sister, Priscilla, and her husband, Obediah Howard, to Barren County, Kentucky.
Nathan died in Barren County, Kentucky, on October 28, 1825, and his wife, Mary, died in Barren (Monroe) County, Kentucky, on September 2, 1831. They were buried in the Old Mulkey Church Cemetery in Barren County, Kentucky. Two sons and five daughters were born to their union.
(e) Their daughter, Prudence Breed, was born in Groton, Connecticut, on December 7, 1744. She married James Wood, probably in what became Union District, S. C. They traveled with Priscilla Breed Howard, her sister, to Barren County, Kentucky, and were connected to the Mill Creek Baptist Church. Both died in Barren County. No further information exists on this couple.
(f). Their daughter, Phebe Breed, was born in Groton, Connecticut, on August 11, 1746. She married John Wood after her father and mother moved to what is now Union County, S. C. They traveled with Priscilla Breed, her sister, to Barren County, Kentucky, and were connected with the Mill Creek Baptist Church. They both died in Barren County, Kentucky. The writer was unable to obtain additional information on this couple.
(g). Their daughter, Sarah Breed, was born in Groton, Connecticut, in 1748. She married Samuel Harlan, son of Aaron and Sarah Hollingsworth Harlan, circa 1782, in Craven County (Union District), S. C. He was born circa 1753, in Chatham County, North Carolina.
They had three daughters and two sons. She died in Union District, S. C., in 1794.
Samuel married Sarah Belew, daughter of Zachariah and Sarah Hollingsworth Belew circa 1800. Sarah Belew was born in Craven County (Union District), S. C., circa 1781. They had five sons and five daughters.
Samuel Harlan died in Union District, S. C., on November 1, 1831, and Sarah Belew Harlan died June 2, 1848, in Union District, S. C.
Samuel’s father and mother were Quakers.
(h). Their daughter, Hannah Breed, was born in circa 1754, in Frederick County, Virginia. She married Joseph Gist, son of Benjamin and Mary Jarrett Gist, in Craven County (Union District), South Carolina, on January 25, 1773.
He and his wife, Hannah, moved to Washington County, Tennessee, with his father and mother in 1776. He was a Patriot soldier in the American Revolutionary War and fought with Col. John Sevier at the Battle of Kings Mountain.
Joseph and Hannah Gist moved from Knox County, Tennessee, to Barren County, Kentucky, in 1801, to be near Hannah’s sister, Priscilla Breed Howard, and her brothers Avery and Nathan Breed.
Hannah Breed Gist died on May 14, 1815, in Barren County, Kentucky, where she and her husband were members of the Mill Creek Baptist Church. Both were both buried in the Old Mulkey Church Cemetery. They had five daughters and three sons
After the death of Hannah, Joseph Gist, married the widow, Elizabeth Belew Springer, on January 7, 1816, in Barren County. Elizabeth was the daughter of Zachariah and Mary Bullington Belew and was born in Union District, S. C., on December 14, 1787. Her father was a Patriot soldier in the American Revolutionary War and fought under Col. Thomas Brandon.
She first married John Springer, son of Ezekiel and Rebecca Collins Springer, in 1803, in Union District, S. C. He was born in 1784, in Union District. Their children: Jesse and Ruth were also born in Union District.
Before 1810, they had moved to Barren County, Kentucky. Their last three children: John, Susannah and Thomas Springer were born in Barren County. John Springer died in Barren County in 1815.
Elizabeth Belew Springer Gist and Joseph Gist had two sons and one daughter, all born in Barren County, Kentucky. She died in Barren County in 1864.
(i). Their youngest child and daughter, Anna Breed, was born in Orange County, North Carolina, in 1756. She married George Harlan, son of Aaron and Sarah Hollingsworth Harlan, circa 1776, in Craven County, S. C. (Union District). He was born circa 1756, in Chatham County, N. C. They had five daughters and one son.
George Harlan died November 26, 1813, in Union District, S. C., and Anna Breed Harlan died circa 1814, in Union District. George’s father and mother were Quakers.
Joseph Breed Sr. received land patents in Craven County (Union District), South Carolina, from June 17, 1763, to 1774, totaling 385 acres. On the 4th of July 1768, Joseph granted a Power of Attorney to his friend, John Hayes of Frederick County, Virginia, to sell the land that he still owned in Frederick County.
Joseph Breed Sr. died in Craven County (Union District), S. C., in 1777. Priscilla Avery Breed, his wife, received payment after the American Revolutionary War for beef she gave to the Rebels in 1782. His wife, Priscilla Avery Breed, died in May of 1792, in Union District, S. C.
(9). Thomas Thompson was born in 1715, in Ireland. Name of his wife has not been preserved. She was probably deceased before he moved to South Carolina. On October 21, 1772, he received a Colonial Plat for 150 acres of land on the north side of Tyger River, touching Charles Thompson’s land.
He died in Craven County (Union District) S. C., after 1772. He had moved to this county with his son, Charles, in 1762. Charles was not married when they first moved to Craven County.
We do not have an exact date of the demise of Thomas Thompson, but know that he left his 150 acres near the Blackstock Ford to his son, Charles.
(10). Charles Thompson Sr., son of Thomas Thompson, was born in 1746, in Orange County, North Carolina.
He married Elizabeth ? circa 1764, in Craven County (Union District). She was born in 1750. He received a Colonial Plat for 200 acres of land on the North side of the Tyger River on October 12, 1765.
Charles and Elizabeth ? Thompson had four sons and one daughter. All of their children were born in Craven County (Union District), S. C.
Dr. Bobby Gilmer Moss in his book, Roster of South Carolina Patriots in the American Revolution, page 927, wrote: “Charles Thompson served in the light dragoons under Capt. Philemon Waters, Lt. Col. John Thomas Jr. and General Thomas Sumter during 1781. At sometime he was in the militia under Col. Thomas Brandon.”
Charles Sr. died on March 17, 1795, in Union District, S. C. Elizabeth was still living when her husband died, but her death date has not been recorded.
His son, Seaborn (born 1766), was already deceased when his father died. Susannah (born 1768), William (born 1770), John (born 1772) and Charles (born June 10, 1774) were all mentioned in his will.
William Thompson inherited his grandfather’s 150 acres of land at Blackstock’s Ford when his father, Charles, Sr. died. He sold this land to Tilman Bobo on June 10, 1795.
Charles Thompson, Jr. married Margaret Clark, daughter of William and Elizabeth ? Clark circa 1804. She was born in 1788, in Union District, S. C. They had nine sons and four daughters.
They moved to Washington County, Georgia, to Morgan County, Georgia, and to the Morgan/Walton Counties of Georgia.
John, Charles Jr.’s brother, moved to the Morgan/Walton counties of Georgia in 1820, accompanied by Elizabeth ? , the widow of Charles Thompson Sr.
Charles Thompson Jr. died in Claiborne Parish, Louisiana, in November of 1851, and his wife, Margaret, died there in 1860. They were buried in the Thompson Cemetery, in Claiborne Parish, Louisiana.
(11). Rachel Collins was born between 1730 and 1740. She married Adam Moses Collins (The author is not positive that this is his right name.) He was born in the 1730s. They traveled from Deep River Baptist Church, North Carolina, to South Carolina, with the Reverend Philip Mulkey. Apparently, Adam, was not a member of this church.
They were in what later became Fairfield District, S. C., from 1759 to 1762. In 1762, they moved to Craven County (Union District), S. C.
KNOWN CHILDREN OF RACHEL COLLINS AND HER HUSBAND
(a). Rachel E. Collins, their daughter, was born circa 1755, in Orange County, North Carolina.
Rachel E. Collins married Uriah Paulk, son of Jonathan and Rebecca Ruth Stearns Paulk, circa 1775, in Craven County (Union District), S. C. He was born in 1746, in Tolland, Connecticut.
Uriah was a Patriot soldier in the American Revolutionary War and fought after the Siege of Charleston, S. C., with Col. Thomas Brandon.
He died in Union District, S. C., in 1789. Rachel and Uriah had three sons and two daughters.
She moved to Chambers County, Alabama, and lived with her son, William Uriah, and his wife, Henrietta Buckholts Paulk, untll her death. She died in Chambers County in November of 1815. She was buried in the Paulk Cemetery, Waverly, Chambers County, Alabama.
(b). Rebecca Collins, daughter of Adam Moses and Rachel Collins, was born 1768, in Craven County (Union District), S. C. She married Ezekiel Springer, son of Charles James Springer and Mary Ball Springer, circa 1782, in Union District, S. C.
Rebecca and Ezekiel Collins moved to Barren County, Kentucky, circa 1798. He was granted a parcel of land near Tompkinsville that later became known as the old Jordan White farm.
He and Rebecca joined the Mill Creek Baptist Church on January 9, 1799. He was a church leader and was ordained to the office of deacon on May 3, 1820.
Their son, John, and his wife, Elizabeth Belew, belonged to the Mill Creek Baptist Church in Barren County, Kentucky. Their daughter, Rachel, first married Benjamin Rush and secondly, William Belew Chism. They were also members of Mill Creek Baptist Church.
A Rachel and Mary Collins were listed on the membership list of the Mill Creek Baptist Church. Rachel was probably the widow of Adam Moses Collins. Mary could have been her daughter.
Ezekiel and Rebecca obtained their letters from this church in August of 1828, and moved to the state of Illinois.
Rebecca Collins Springer died in Macoupin County, Illinois, in 1830, and Ezekiel died there in 1838.
(12). Philip Mulkey was the first pastor of the Fairforest Baptist Church. Morgan Edwards wrote: “Here laying on of hands, ruling elders, feasts of charity, washing feet, anointing the sick, devoting children, etc. are admitted.”
Edwards further wrote: “The principle things that may be said of this church are: (1) That it is the offspring of Shubal Stearn’s church (2) That it is most lively & zealous (3) That it is the first in the province of this distinction of Separate-Baptist, and the mother of the rest, except that of (Daniel) Marshall.”
OLIVER HART’S LETTER CONCERNING PHILIP MULKEY
In 1767, the Reverend Oliver Hart wrote a letter to Dr. James Manning, president of the newly founded Brown University.
He wrote: “The greatest appearance we have had, for some years pass, has been among the Separatists: and especially under one Philip Mulkey. But He, poor Man, has sadly fallen, having become the Father of a spurious Child by a widow woman, a member of his own church. On account of which religion has suffered much, especially in those parts; and among that People.”
CHARLES WOODMASON AND PHILIP MULKEY
Charles Woodmason, the Anglican Bishop in Charleston, had been reared a gentleman in London society and found the frontiersmen, and especially the Separate Baptists, unbearably crude.
In 1766, he set about to win back these backcountry Baptists to the Anglican Church, but he underestimated his task. “One of my strongest Endeavors,” he wrote, “must, and will be, to disperse these Wretches Which will not be a hard task, as they will fly before Him as Chaff.”
Three years later (1769), Woodmason gave this assessment of these frontier people, and, more particularly of their leader, Philip Mulkey:
“Would any Mortal three years past have dream’d or imagin’d that such a Person as the infamous Mulchey, who came here lately in Rags, hungry, and barefoot, can now, at his beck, or Nod, or motion of his finger lead out four hundred men in the Wilderness in a moment at his speaking the Word—without asking any questions or making the least Enquiry for what or for why—and yet twelve months past most of these People were very zealous members of our Church.”
(The Carolina Backcountry on the Eve of the Revolution by Charles Woodmason)
A MORGAN EDWARDS CHARACTERIZATION OF PHILIP MULKEY IN 1772
“Mr. Mulkey’s acquirements entitle him to no higher degree than that of an English scholar; neither is there any thing extraordinary in his natural endowments, except a very sweet voice, and a smiling aspect; that voice he manages in such a manner as to make soft impressions on the heart and fetch down tears from the eyes in a mechanical way.
Mr. Garrickis said to have learned a solemn pronunciation of the interjection O from Dr. Fordice; but, if I mistake not, both might learn from Mulkey to spin that sound & mix it with awe, distress, solicitude, many other affections.”
Edwards then makes reference to Mulkey’s fall (previously mentioned in the Reverend Oliver Hart’s letter to Dr. James Manning). “His success has been such as to hazzard being exalted above measure in his own esteem and in the esteem of his converts; but a thorn was put in his flesh about 4 years ago which will keep him humble while he lives, and teach his votaries that he is but a man.”
DEEP RIVER MEMBERS WHO CAME LATER TO FAIRFOREST BAPTIST CHURCH
LUKE B. SMITH’S FAMILY
“He was the son of Obediah and Mary Cocke Smith, and was born in Charles City County, Virginia, in 1709.
Luke B. Smith was an early teacher in Virginia. Tradition states that he was a teacher in Prince Edward County, Virginia, which later became Hampden-Sidney College. He married Judith Farris, daughter of Henry and Alicia McGuiver Farris, in 1732, in Virginia. She was born in Richmond County, Virginia, in 1715.
They were residing in Lunenburg County, Virginia, as early as 1745, where he was listed as a vestryman of Cumberland Parish from 1745-1755.
Luke B. Smith moved his family to Orange County, North Carolina, by 1747, for in that year he gave his son, Luke Smith, Jr. and his wife, Martha, for ‘love and Affection,’ 250 acres of land lying on the south side of the Dan River. In 1761, he deeded land to Nehemiah Howard, who had married his daughter, Edith Smith.
On April 5, 1770, he had a plantation ‘measured and laid out’ in Craven County (Union District), S. C., situated on the north side of Tyger River, bounded south by said River, and on the north by Philip Mulkey’s land and west by vacant lands. This grant was certified on May 15, 1770, by James Wofford, District Surveyor.
Luke and Judith had the following children: Luke Smith, Jr., Edith Smith, Sarah Smith, Martha Smith, Archer Smith, Phoebe Smith and James Smith.
Edith Smith married Nehemiah Howard, brother of Obediah Howard.
Sarah Smith married Thomas Greer. Their grandsons were the Reverends Thomas S. Greer and Joshua Greer .
Their daughter, Phebe Smith, first married Hosea Holcombe. After the death of her husband, Hosea Holcombe, Phoebe Smith Holcombe married William Wilbanks.
Their grandson, Hosea Lot Holcombe, joined the Padgett’s Creek Baptist Church by experience on September 20, 1800.
He was licensed to preach by the Padgett’s Creek Baptist Church on May 16, 1803, and ordained to the gospel ministry by the above church on August 16, 1805.
Hosea Lot Holcombe was a Baptist preacher, well–known evangelist and church planter in Alabama. He was author of A History of the Rise and Progress of the Baptist in Alabama.
The Reverend Hosea Holcombe married his first cousin, Cassandra Jackson, and three of their eleven children became Baptist preachers. Cassandra’s mother, Martha Smith, was a sister of Hosea Holcombe’s mother, Phebe Smith Holcombe.
Luke B. Smith’s son, Archer was paid for patriotic service during the Revolutionary War years. On August 15, 1785, he was paid ‘for a horse, bridle and saddle, provisions and forage for the State Troops and Militia in 1781-1782.’
Luke B. Smith died in Craven County (Union District), S. C., in 1783. His wife, Judith, died in Union District (Cross Keys), S. C., in March of 1811.” (Internet)
NEHEMIAH HOWARD’S FAMILY
“He was the son of Stephen and Sarah Sanders Howard, and was born in 1735, in Onslow County, N. C. He spent his childhood in Onslow County near New River. His parents died, when he was probably 10 years old, and he was raised in a neighbor’s house.
He married Edith Smith, daughter of Luke B. and Judith Farris Smith circa 1757. She was born circa 1740, in Henrico County, Virginia. They had eight sons and six daughters.
Luke B. Smith gave Nehemiah Howard 90 acres of land in Orange County, N. C., in 1761. He was living in the Haw River community of North Carolina, when the Haw River Baptist Church was organzied in 1764, “on the last Saturday in October.” He signed the Regulators Advertisement No. 9 in North Carolina.
Nehemiah and Edith Smith Howard probably came to South Carolina, with the Smiths in 1770.
Nehemiah and Edith were members of the Deep River Baptist Church in Orange County, North Carolina.
On June 23, 1774, Nehemiah Howard received two Royal Land Grants in Craven County (Union District), S. C. One of the grants was for 150 acres on Fairforest Creek, and the other was for 150 acres on Sugar Creek in South Carolina. Nehemiah’s land adjoined land belonging to Benjamin Gist.
Here they built their house, which they called “Cross Keys”. Leonidas Howard reported that Nehemiah, due to an injury to one of his limbs, could not join in the fighting, but that his sympathies were with the men struggling for his country’s freedom. Nehemiah did smith work for the army and furnished supplies.
During the Revolutionary War, a leading Tory in the vicinity called a meeting to stir up for the Tories. Nehemiah attended and although a simple farmer with no particular schooling and not accustomed to speaking publically, rose and convinced his neighbors not to throw their lot with the Tories.
Shortly thereafter, some Tories and several British officers came to his house and one of the officers attacked him with a sword. Nehemiah fended him off with a walking cane. His house was later burned by Tories.
Nehemiah and Edith’s eldest son, John Howard, was a Patriot Soldier, and enlisted as a Private under Capt. John Putnam in the South Carolina Militia. John rose to the rank of Major by the end of the war, serving with General Thomas Sumter and General Francis Marion.
Major John Howard married Jane Vivian, daughter of the Reverend Thacker Smith Vivian and Mary Brock Vivian.
Nehemiah Howard was later paid for Smiths Work and provisions for the public use in 1778, during the American Revolutionary War.
Their oldest daughter, Sarah, was born in Orange County, N. C., circa 1758. She married the Reverend John Putman, son of Thomas and Elizabeth Barnett Putman, circa 1782, in Craven County (Union District), S. C. He was born on June 29, 1751, in Culpepper County, Virginia.
John Putman moved to North Carolina with his parents at an early age. He was listed on the rolls of Captain Jodin Harper in the North Carolina Militia in 1772. They moved to Craven County (Union District), S. C., just before the beginning of the American Revolutionary War.
John Putman was a Patriot Soldier and served as a captain on foot and on horseback in the militia under Col. Thomas Brandon from June 22, 1780, to January 1, 1782. His brother, Barnett Putman, served as a horseman under Col. Thomas Brandon.
John Putman was ordained as a minister of the gospel in the Padgett’s Creek Baptist Church in 1794, and became pastor of the church. He later founded the Union Meeting House on Mitchell’s waters of Fairforest Creek. This church was later named the Putman Baptist Church.
In 1784, Nehemiah Howard began selling his land in Union District, S. C. He sold 150 acres on waters of Fairforest Creek to Archer Smith, his brother-in-law in 1785. He moved his family to Elbert County, Georgia, circa 1787. He died in Elbert County, Georgia, before April of 1798, and was buried there. His wife, died on January 27, 1829, in Milledgeville, Georgia
THOMAS GREER’S FAMILY
Brent Holcomb, a researcher and author of Greer and Related Families, 1986, shows that Thomas Greer was the son of Thomas Greer, born about 1710, in Ireland and his second wife, Susanna Carver. Holcomb states that the information about the older Thomas Greer is based on a letter from J. C. Cooper to his son in 1856.
According to Holcomb, there was a Thomas Greer, who left a will in April of 1783, in Cumberland County, North Carolina. He feels that this is the Thomas Greer, father of Thomas Greer, who married Sarah Smith.
Thomas Greer was born in 1740, in Deep River, Guilford, N. C. He married Sarah (Sallie) Smith, daughter of Luke B. Smith and his wife, Judith Farris.
Sarah Smith was born in 1745, in Halifax County, North Carolina. They were married in 1768, in Deep River, Cumberland County, North Carolina. Thomas Greer and his bride, Sarah Smith, probably came to Craven County (Union District), South Carolina, in 1770, with his wife’s parents.
They were members of the Deep River Baptist Church in North Carolina, and joined the Fairforest Baptist Church after moving to South Carolina.
In 1775, William Henry Drayton mobilized a band of patriots to overawe the Tory opposition. The result was the open opposition of two armed camps, each prepared for battle. Open warfare, however was forstalled by a truce, the so-called Treaty of Ninety Six District.
The following is a quotation from this treaty: “Wherefore, for the clearing up of the said misunderstanding and for the manifestation of the wish and desire aforesaid, Col. Thomas Fletchall, Capt. John Ford, Capt. Thomas Greer, Capt. Evan McLaurin, the Rev. Philip Mulkey, Mr. Robert Merrick and Capt. Benjamin Wofford, deputies for, and sent by the part of the people aforesaid, have repaired to the camp of the Hon. William Henry Drayton, Esq., acting under the authority of the Council of Safety for this colony; and for the purposes aforesaid, it is hereby contracted, agreed and declare by the Hon. William H. Drayton…on the one part, and the deputies aforesaid…on the other part…” (R. W. Gibbs, Documentary History of the American Revolution, 1764-1776, 1855, p. 186)
The reader will see that the pastor of the Fairforest Baptist Church, the Reverend Philip Mulkey, and at least one of his members, Capt. Thomas Greer, and perhaps other members, were deputies of the Loyalist Militia. Capt. Thomas Greer signed the Treaty on September 15, 1775. The Reverend Philip Mulkey did not sign the document.
Before the Revolutionary War was over, Capt. Thomas Greer switched sides and joined with the Patriots. Thomas Greer on July 19, 1787, was paid by the state of South Carolina, for ‘wagon service, two horses, and 300 pounds of pork supplied the Militia in 1782 and 1783.’
His son, William Greer, served as a horseman under Capt. Robert Thompson and General Thomas Sumter during 1780, and as a horseman under Capt. Henderson and General Sumter during 1781. His son, Robert, served in the militia during 1781 and 1782, and his son, James, served in the militia during 1778, 1780 and 1782.
Thomas Greer Sr. made a will on January 16, 1810, and the will was probated in Union District, South Carolina, March 9, 1811. He named his wife, Sarah Smith Greer, and children: (1) Reverend Thomas Jr.; (2) John; (3) Robert; (4) William; (5) Caleb; (6) Carlton; (7) Jacob; (8) James; (9) Joshua; (10) Jason; (11) Theophilus; (12) Mary Greer Jackson; (13) Susannah Greer Cooper Simmons; (14) Edith Greer, wife of Thomas Moore
Two of his sons, Thomas S. Greer Jr., and Joshua Greer were Baptist pastors.
Thomas Jr. was born April 20, 1768, in North Carolina. He joined the Padgett’s Creek Baptist Church by experience on May 31, 1788. He was licensed to preach by this church November 10, 1798.
On November 9, 1799, Spencer Bobo and Thomas Greer were ordained to the gospel ministry by Elders Joshua Palmer and Frederick Crowder.
He married Sarah Elizabeth Murphy, daughter of Simon and Sarah Duke Murphy. She was born in 1767. They had three sons and eight daughters. He died August 23, 1837, and his wife, Sarah, died February 5, 1823
Joshua Greer was ordained to the gospel ministry at Padgett’s Creek on August 16, 1805, along with Hosea Holcombe, Jeremiah Burns and Thomas Ray. He married Mary Bobo, daughter of Spencer Bobo of Spartanburg County, S. C. They had three sons. He died in Union District, S. C., in 1843.
Thomas Greer Sr. and his wife, Sarah Smith Greer were both buried in the old Fairforest Baptist Church cemetery. He died in 1811, and his wife, Sarah, died January 14, 1817. Their son, Thomas Jr. and his wife, Sarah Murphy Geer, were also buried in the old Fairforest Baptist Church cemetery.
MORGAN EDWARDS LIST OF THE BRANCHES OF FAIRFOREST BAPTIST CHURCH
(1). Morgan Edwards counts the Fairforest Baptist Church as one of the branches. In the Crozier Manuscript he refers to “one near the meeting house”. The Reverend J. D. Bailey thought that this may have been the Friendship Baptist Church, but he was mistaken.
In the Furman Manuscript is found the following: “One in Fairforest, where is a meeting house 40 feet by 26, built this year. On the same lot is the old house.” The new building was constructed of bricks.
(2). Lawson’s Fork Baptist Church was one of the branches. “Another at Lawson’s Fork, where is a little house erected this year.” It was constituted circa 1772, and was 35 miles from the Fairforest Meeting House. The Reverend Joseph Burson, Mulkey’s assistant, was first pastor of this little group.
The Reverend Joseph Burson, son of Joseph and Rachel Potts Burson, married Mary Shaw in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, circa 1749, and by 1750, he and his wife, Mary, had moved with his father to Fairfax County, Virginia. They were originally Quakers.
Joseph was born in Gilberts Manor, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in September of 1730, and Mary was born in Bucks County in 1732. He was listed as a trooper in the Virginia Colonial Militia in March of 1756.
He moved to Berkley County (later Union District, S. C.) where he
received a grant for a tract of land containing one hundred and fifty acres in the fork between Broad and Saluda rivers on a small branch of Fairforest Creek called Buffalo Creek on April 29, 1768.
He joined the Fairforest Baptist Church and was soon ordained to the gospel ministry by the Reverend Philip Mulkey. He and Mary had five sons and eight daughters. Their sons, Jonathan and Isaac were Patriot soldiers in the American Revolutionary War, while they lived in South Carolina.
The Reverends Joseph Burson and John Webb ordained John Cole to the gospel ministry on March 9, 1783. The Reverend Joseph Burson and his wife, Mary, sold their land grant of 150 acres to Even Thomas on December 18, 1783.
The Burson men took advantage of the Congressional Act for the opening of a Land Office in the State of Georgia, whereby soldiers of the Revolution could receive bounty land for service in the war.
Joseph received a bounty land grant for service in the Colonial Militia and Jonathan and Isaac received Privateer grants for their service in the Revolution of two hundred acres in Wilkes County, Georgia. Joseph Burson’s grant was dated September 29, 1784, and Jonathan and Isaac’s were dated July 29, 1785.
After moving to Georgia, the Reverend Joseph Burson became pastor of Brier Creek Baptist Church in Wilkes County, with Isaac and Jonathan, his sons, serving as associate pastors. Joseph Burson died on October 28, 1801, in Warren County, Georgia, and his wife, Mary, died December 29, 1810, in Warren County.
During the American Revolutionary War, the Reverend Joseph Reese left his pastorate at Congaree Baptist Church and moved to Lawson’s Fort. He probably preached in the Lawson’s Fork Baptist Church during this time. Dr. Richard Furman in this letter to the Reverend Oliver Hart on April 14, 1792, states that the Reverend Joseph Reese returned to his church in 1786.
The Lawson’s Fork Baptist Church today is the First Baptist Church of Boiling Springs, S. C.
(3). “One at Catawba 100 miles to the north, northwest.” Bailey wrote: “We are reliably informed that this church is still in existence.” This area would have been in proximity to a North Carolina town called Catawba.
(4). “One at Enoree, where is a meeting house built in 1770, distant 25 miles, the southeast (of the Fairforest Baptist Church).” William Wood, one of the Reverend Philip Mulkey’s assistants, was the first to preach in this branch of Fairforest. The church was constituted in 1768.
Several writers suggest that this church was probably located at Littleton’s Ferry on the Major Jesse Maybin’s plantation during the American Revolution. It was called Littleton’s Meeting House.
William Wood had a survey of 250 acres in 1772, “in the fork between Broad and Saluda rivers on the northeast side of the Enoree River.”
Capt. William Wood was a Patriot soldier and a member of Col. Benjamin Roebuck’s regiment. He was paid for duty on September 2, 1786.
William Wood purchased “one negro woman of yellow complexion about seventeen years old named Clarisey”, on October 2, 1797, from Christopher Degraffenreed and Hannah Sartor for 75 pounds sterling.
William Wood and Sarah, his wife, of Union County, for $7800.00 sold Richard Farr of Union County, two tracts of land, 350 acres on north side of Enoree River in Union County adjacent to Rose Proctor;
And 250 acres granted to William Wood January 23, 1773, and 100 acres granted to Martha Boyes on November 9, 1774, and conveyed by her and her husband, Abraham Miller, to William Wood. This transaction was recorded March 20, 1798.
He and his wife, Sarah, traveled to Kentucky with the Reverend Alexander McDougal in 1801, and joined the Mill Creek Baptist Church in September of that year.
The Reverend J. D. Bailey wrote: “This point was twenty-five miles from the ‘main church’. Though the direction given by Edwards does not fit exactly, we are quite sure that this is Bethel, now Woodruff.” This was an incorrect supposition by Bailey.
Leah Townsend, in her book, South Carolina Baptists, 1670-1805, wrote: “Bailey makes the suggestion that Enoree branch of Fairforest was the precursor of Bethel Church on Jameys Creek, but the location given for Enoree by Edwards does not coincide with that of Bethel, while it does with that of the Enoree Church (located in what became Newberry County, S. C.), which existed contemporaneously with Bethel.
Asplund’s Register, 5th edition, confirms 1768, as the date of organization or beginning of Enoree and calls it Enoree River Church, as does Bethel Baptist Associational Minutes, 1793.”
Townsend on pages 131-132, wrote: “This church retained its original name and probably approximately its original location for many years. It emerged from the obscurity of the Revolution in 1790; in 1791, Jacob King was pastor and continued to serve the church with the help of Rev. Jesse Owen after 1794.”
**This church, is now called the Enoree Baptist Church, with a constitutional date of 1768, and is a member of the Reedy River Baptist Association. Its address is: 5101 Jollystreet Road, Newberry, South Carolina.
(5). One at Thicketty, where is also a place of worship, twenty-nine miles to the northeast. This church was established in the William Marchbanks and William Sims Meeting House, which they built for the Baptists, Methodists and Presbyterians in 1767.
The Meeting House was located just above where the Asbury Road and Highway 18 converge. The church became an “arm” of the Fairforest Baptist Church in 1770, and was probably constituted in 1772.
Richard Kelly was their first pastor. He was the son of James Kelly and his wife ? Nelson. He was born in 1736. He had two wives. He was first married to Martha Gibbs in 1753, and they had two sons.
He next married Susannah ? in 1755, and they had seven sons and two daughters. His wife, Susannah ? was born in 1739. He had two surveys in what became Union District, S.C., one for 150 acres on the Enoree River in 1756, and one on Padgett’s Creek in 1769.
Richard Kelly was anointed in a fever at the Fairforest Baptist Church and recovered the very hour.
Richard died in Union District, S. C., in 1800, and his wife, Susannah ? , died several years after her husband.
His son, Joel Kelly, born in 1774, moved to Tennessee, where he died in 1870.
The writer has obtained the following information on Richard Kelly from the Vera Smith Spears book, The Fairforest Story, pages 18-19, “When Daniel Morgan was camped at Grindal Shoals on Pacolet River before the Battle of Cowpens, Richard Kelly furnished Morgan’s Army ‘Sundrys.’ Mr. Kelly received pay for these supplies September 29, 1785.
My father, Joseph A. Smith, inherited land that had once belonged to the Nevil Holcombe Estate, and there was an old house known by the name of ‘Rich Kelly House,’ which was used as a tenant house for many years. It was a large one room with stairs leading to the top floor, a ‘lean-to’ on the west- side and a small room on the porch that had once run the entire front of the house. This location was not far from Tyger River.”
After several years the church name was changed from Thicketty Baptist Church to Gosher Baptist Church following its removal to a new location near Gosher Creek.
“On August 6, 1789, Philip Martin (Spartanburg) to William Wilkins, Erin Davis, Charles Littlejohn and John Headen: for 1s SC money sold 1 acre on S side of Gosher Cr., where old meeting house stood and where new one is to stand. Witness: Charles Littlejohn, John Humphrey and Edmund Ellis. Signed: Philemon Martin. Wit. Oath Aug. 7, 1889, Charles Littlejohn to Obadiah Trimmier.” (Spartanburg County/District, South Carolina, Deed Abstracts A-T, page 36)
The Headens were members of this church, and it is possible that James (Horseshoe) Robertson and James Turner, both Patriot soldiers in the American Revolutionary War, who married daughters of William Headen, at least attended the church.
William (Tailor) Poole, of Poole’s Bend, was an early member and leader of this church.
Solomon Crocker, of Poole’s Bend, was also an early member as was Obediah Trimmier who lived nearer the church.
In 1794, the Reverend Thomas Burgess was pastor of Gosher Baptist Church.
The church in several associational minutes was called Goshen, but this was simply a mis-reading of the word, Gosher. Today the church is called Goucher Baptist Church.
OTHER DAUGHTERS OF FAIRFOREST BAPTIST CHURCH
CONGAREE BAPTIST CHURCH
In 1764, the Reverend Philip Mulkey conducted a revival meeting in the CONGAREE area and baptized several converts—William Tucker, Jean Curry, Martha Goodwin and Isaac Rayford. This was some twelve to fifteen miles below Columbia, S. C.
In 1766, the Reverend Daniel Marshall preached in a revival in this area and baptized Joseph Reese, Thomas Norris, Benjamin Ryan, Timothy Dargan, Nathan Ellis, John Gill, William Dargan and twenty- one others.
These members were constituted into the CONGAREE BAPTIST CHURCH on November 30, 1766, with the help of the Reverends Joseph Murphy and Philip Mulkey.
Joseph Reese was converted under the preaching of the Reverend Philip Mulkey and baptized by the Reverend Daniel Marshall. He was ordained to the gospel ministry in February of 1768, by the Reverends Oliver Hart and Evan Pugh, and became pastor of the CONGAREE BAPTIST CHURCH. His assistant was the Reverend John Newton.
In 1769, CONGAREE BAPTIST CHURCH established a branch at the High Hills of Santee, and the Reverend Joseph Reese baptized quite a number of converts, and among them in 1771, were Richard Furman and his mother.
The Reverends Evan Pugh and Joseph Reese ordained Richard Furman to the gospel ministry on May 16, 1774, and in November, Furman became pastor of the High Hills Baptist Church.
In his “Biography of Richard Furman” Professor H. T. Cook, wrote: “It can be safely claimed that Mr. Reese’s preaching gave to the denomination the man who started the schooling of, and the school for prospective ministers, which, eventually, became Furman University, and then surrendered its theological department that it might develop the Southern Baptist Seminary.”
The Reverend J. D. Bailley, in his booklet on the Reverend Philip Mulkey, wrote: “Under God, Philip Mulkey gave to the denomination Fairforest church. Philip Mulkey and Fairforest gave us Joseph Reese and Congaree church, and that son and daughter of Fairforest gave us Richard Furman.”
THE REVEREND JOHN NEWTON, JOSEPH REESE’S FIRST AND EARLY PRIMARY ASSISTANT, WHO LED THE REVEREND PHILIP MULKEY TO THE LORD
In the book, HISTORY OF NORTH CAROLINA BAPTISTS by GEORGE WASHINGTON PASCHAL, page 322, he writes:
“Black River is on the list of churches given by Semple as having delegates at the Sandy Creek Association in the year of its organization in 1758. This church seems to have been situated somewhere on Black River in the present county of Duplin (North Carolina), and was probably in some way connected with the church on Bull Tail, which is a creek emptying into Black River.
On March 7, 1757, Rev. John Newton was ordained as its pastor, and probably served it in that capacity until his departure for South Carolina in 1765.
This John Newton, according to Morgan Edwards was born in Kent County, Pennsylvania, August 7, 1732; was baptized in 1752 by Rev. Isaac Potts in Southampton County, Virginia; was instrumental in the conversion of Rev. Philip Mulkey near Roanoke in Halifax County, North Carolina, about 1756; was ordained in 1757; and after going to South Carolina, he was again ordained as colleague of Rev. Joseph Reese in the ministry of the Congaree church in 1768.
Both he and Reese got into trouble because they had accepted this ordination at the hands of two Particular Baptist ministers, Rev. Oliver Hart and Rev. Evan Pugh, and were silenced by the Sandy Creek Association.
Reese making proper acknowledgments was restored, but Newton refusing was forced to leave off in the midst of a useful and successful work.”
The association through its moderator, Shubal Stearns, responded by issuing an order for Congaree Church to silence John Newton from preaching. Morgan Edwards tells us that Congaree Chuch obeyed the order of their association and forbade Newton from preaching, ‘while he was in the midst of a useful and successful work’.
Morgan Edwards says that Newton’s labors in North Carolina were much blest.
John Newton married Keziah Dorsett on October 2, 1753, in Pennsylvania. She was born circa 1735. They had four sons (all Patriot soldiers) and three daughters all born before 1774
Their son, John Newton, born July 5, 1755, was a patriot soldier and enlisted in the Second South Carolina Continentals as a sergeant, serving under Col. Francis Marion. He and Sergeant William Jasper served together, and their escapades are included in the book, THE LIFE OF GENERAL FRANCIS MARION, by Brig. Gen. P Horry of Marion’s Brigade.
Sgt. Jasper and Sgt. Newton served in the Siege of Savannah in 1779, where Sgt. Jasper was killed. Sgt. Newton and his brother, Moses, were both in the Siege of Charleston in 1780, and were imprisoned by the British. Moses escaped but his brother, John, died of small pox aboard a prison ship in June or July of 1780.
John Newton’s brothers, Philip, born January 17, 1760, his brother James, born January 25, 1763, and his brother, Moses, born August 14, 1766, also served in the 2nd South Carolina Continentals. Moses was young and served as a fifer.
The Reverend John Newton moved from Colleton District, to Jefferson County, Georgia, soon after the war closed in 1783. He resided near Fennis Bridge on the Ogeechee, until his death on November 20, 1790. His wife, Keziah, died in 1791. (Newspaper Article dated October 9, 1779, and published in the Savannah News)
The Congaree Baptist Church is Richland County’s oldest church. In 1972, Congaree Baptist Church became an independent Baptist Church. It continues to maintain an orthodox doctrinal position in the tradition of conservative Baptists theology.
LITTLE RIVER OF BROAD RIVER BAPTIST CHURCH
The distance from Fairforest Baptist Church to the Congaree Baptist Church was at least one hundred miles.
The Reverend J. D. Bailey wrote: “According to tradition, on his journeys between these two points, Mr. Mulkey had regular places to stop over for the night, and whenever possible, the neighbors would gather in, and he would preach to them. One of these stopping places was the home of Jacob Gibson, in what is now Fairfield County. The preaching there resulted in the organizing of a branch of Fairforest, which, on February 26, 1770, was constituted a regular church.
Mr. Gibson embraced the Baptist Faith, was ordained at Little River, November 7, 1771, by the Reverends Daniel Marshall and Philip Mulkey, and thus became the first pastor of the church, which was originated in his own house.
The first house of worship was built of crude logs, 24×20, in 1768, on land given by Mr. Gibson; hence it was known in the neighborhood as Gibson’s Meeting House, but its real name was Little River.”
Gibson’s Meeting House (Little River Baptist Church) was the site of a 1780 battle in which a Patriot Militia led by Capt. Richard Winn attacked the Loyalists, who had been using the meeting house as a place to gather. Eight Loyalists were killed and sixteen captured.
The present church building was constructed in 1845, and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. The church is located 3.8 miles from Jenkinsville, S. C. It is still a viable Southern Baptist Church with a present address of: 343 Little River Church Road, Jenkinsville, S. C. 29065.
BUSH RIVER BAPTIST CHURCH
This church was on a small river by the same name, about twelve miles southeast from Newberry.
Morgan Edwards wrote: “They began in June, 1771, in this manner…Mr. Marshall kept a meeting in his house and baptized Samuel Newman, William Crow and wife. Afterwards Iriah Gary. These were constituted into a church in June of 1771, by the Reverends Daniel Marshall and Philip Mulkey. The first minister was Rev. Samuel Newman.
It appears that a goodly number of the members going into this organization were dismissed from Fairforest, for Morgan Edwards states: “The character the same with Fairforest.”
The Reverend J. D. Bailey wrote: “Mr. Newman lived only four or five months after assuming the pastorate and was succeeded by Thomas Norris. Norris was baptized by the Reverend Philip Mulkey at Congaree, but into the fellowship of Fairforest, and was ordained in October of 1771, by the Reverends Daniel Marshall and Philip Mulkey, at which time he took on him the care of the church.”
- B. O’Neall wrote: “Thomas Norris was pastor during the Revolution. He taught the doctrine of ‘non-resistance’ and for this boldness in preaching he was shut up in the old prison of Ninety-Six. He was offered his liberty many times provided he would cease to teach and preach as he did, but he refused release on any such terms. Finally, he was released without condition and continued to preach until he passed away in 1780.
This church is still a strong Southern Baptist Church today.
LITTLE RIVER OF SALUDA
The Crozier manuscript of Morgan Edwards states that this church was a branch of Fairforest Baptist Church. The location was in “the parish of St. Marks in Craven County, two hundred and fifteen miles northwest from Charlestown and seven hundred and seventy-six miles southwest from Philadelphia.”
Leah Townsend wrote: “Little River of Saluda Church was made up of immigrants from Virginia and New Jersey. Eleven of them were constituted into a church on August 10, 1770, by Colonel Samuel Harris and Mr. James Child.
Their meeting house was forty by twenty-five feet, built in 1771, on ‘land given by John Bailey,’ who had two surveys in 1767, on ‘waters of Little River’. Though they had no minister in 1772, their congregation included fifty families, ‘whereof 35 persons are baptized and in communion which is administered here the third Lords-day,’ in January, April, July and October.
The church was a constituent of Congaree Association in 1771, at which time Mr. Aaron Pinson, also connected with Raeburn’s Creek Church, may have had charge of it. It was in this neighborhood that Rev. Oliver Hart and Rev. William Tennent stopped in September, 1775, on their journey to convert the back country to the American cause.
Mr. Tennent thought it ‘providential that we came here, as some opposers had collected, who would have brow beat Mr. Oliver. Took the Storm to myself and did some good.’
It is probable that the Revolution broke up this congregation, or that Raeburn’s Creek Church absorbed it, and that Friendship Church absorbed both, as an Aaron Pinson is listed as an early member of Friendship. No further record and no modern successor have been found.”
SANDY RIVER BAPIST CHURCH
A clerk of the Pacolet (Scull Shoals) Baptist Church has written a detailed account of a “meeting of delegates at Fairforest meeting-house held (he states) on September, 1776, from the following churches, viz: Lynche’s Creek Church, Rev. Jeptha Vinning, delegate; Bush River Church, Rev. Thomas Norris, delegate; Little River church, Rev. Jacob Gibson, delegate; Buffalo church, Rev. Joseph Camp, delegate; Fairforest church, Rev. Philip Mulkey, delegate, which then being the only orderly constituted churches existing in the upper part of the Province of South Carolina.”
This writer has had the privilege of reading this statement in the Scull Shoals records. However, the clerk wrote about this meeting several years after it happened, and it is the writer’s judgment that he was incorrect as to the year. It should have been 1775.
The Reverend Philip Mulkey could not have been a delegate of the Fairforest Baptist Church in 1776, for he had fled to Washington County, N. C., because of his loyalist views. They would not have welcomed him back a year later and certainly not as a delegate. Their member, Nehemiah Howard, had his house burned by the loyalists.
Leah Townsend wrote: “Sandy River originated from a group of Virginia and North Carolina Baptists who settled on Sandy River and invited ministers from Buffalo, Little River, Fairforest and Congaree Churches to preach to them. They built Flat Rock meeting house somewhere near Turkey Creek and had members living on Pacolet, Turkey Creek and Sandy River, besides adjacent members of Fairforest and Little River churches
This group requested the 1776 (1775) meeting of Congaree Association (at Fairforest) to constitute them a church. Rev. Messrs. Ralph Jones, Joseph Camp and Joseph Logan met with them at Flat Rock meeting house, December 23, 1776 (1775), assisted in drawing up the covenant, constituted the church, and at its request examined and ordained Rev. James Fowler.
Rev. Ralph Jones delivered the sermon and Rev. Joseph Camp the charge.” It appears that the Reverend Philip Mulkey had fled to Washington County at this time. The Reverend James Fowler had been licensed to preach by the Fairforest Baptist Church in 1774.
“The following names were the first constituents of the church on Sandy River: James Fowler; Samuel McBrayer; William McBrayer; Thomas Morris; Garret Morris; John Morris; Russell Rutledge; Elizabeth Rutledge, his wife; and Winnifred McMillon of Turkey Creek; John and Mary Cole, his wife; Samuel Lamb and Hannah, his wife; Moses Collins and Susannah, his wife; Joseph Jolly and his wife; of Pacolet and Thickety; Edward Henderson and Annie, his wife; Catherine Jenkins; William Roden; Sarah Kennedy; Samarian Taylor; and Mary Allen of Sandy River.”
“They were by their ministering brethren declared to be a church of Jesus Christ capable of exercising the power and authority of a Gospel church in maintaining and defending the principles of the Gospel, the worship, doctrine and discipline of a church.”
The Reverend James Fowler was pastor of the church from its beginning though 1800. In 1791-1792, he was assisted by the Reverend William Woodward. In 1791, Sandy River joined the Bethel Baptist Association. The minutes of 1803, refer to the church as Upper Sandy River Baptist Church.
The Reverend James Fowler, son of Robert and Anne McGill Fowler, was born in Augusta County, Virginia, in 1741. He married Mary Stephenson, daughter of David and Annas ? Stephenson, on January 6, 1764, in Augusta County, Virginia. She was born in 1736, in Augusta County, Virginia. They had children: William, Robert and Stephenson.
Their son, William, born November 18, 1764, was a Patriot Soldier and enlisted in 1781, under Capt. John Chambers and Col. William Bratton in York District, S. C.
William married Hannah Tindall, daughter of Robert K. Tindall, in York County, S. C., on March 6, 1788. She was born in February of 1768, in York County, S. C. They had two sons and two daughters. They were liviing in Randolph, Illinois, when they died. He died April 18, 1846, and Hannah died on April 1, 1851.
Mary Stephenson Fowler died in York County, S. C., on July 2, 1790, and the Reverend James Fowler died in York County in 1802.
THE REVEREND PHIILIP MULKEY’S PRINCIPAL PASTORAL ASSISTANT, THE REVEREND THACKER VIVIAN
Thacker Vivian, son of John and Jane Smith Vivian, was born in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, in 1745. He married Mary Brock, daughter of Col. Joseph Brock and his wife, Mary Beverly Chew, in 1765, in Spotsylvania, Virginia. She was born in Spotsylvania, Viriginia, in 1749.
Thacker and his wife, Mary, were still living in Spotsylvania, Virginia, in 1767, when they became guardians for two sons and one daughter, orphans of his brother-in-law, William Brock, and sister-in-law, Mary ? . The children’s names were: Joseph, William and Mary Brock.
Thacker Vivian was a member of Fairforest Baptist Church, Craven County (Union District), S. C., and had probably been ordained to the gospel ministry by 1772, when Morgan Edwards visited the church.
Lt. Governor William Bull of South Carolina, granted Thacker Vivian 200 acres of land on August 1, 1774. The land was on the north side of Tyger River.
He was a Patriot and received pay July 20, 1786, for “Provisions for public use in 1781 and 1782.”
He sold his original grant of land in 1786, to Stephen Layton of Greenville County, S. C., and moved his family to Jefferson County, Georgia. While living in Georgia, he sold 400 acres of land to Edward Williams in 1796. The land was on the north side of Tyger River.
Thacker Vivian and Mary Brock Vivian had the following children: (1) Sarah married Benjamin Skrine; (2) Jane married Major John Howard, son of Nehemiah and Edith Smith Howard; (3) Molly married William Walker; (4) Elizabeth married ? Greenleaf; (5) Nancy; (6) John; (7) Colonel Thacker Vivian Jr.; (8) Virgil married Selina Mary Ann McCall, daughter of Thomas and Henrietta Fall McCall; (9) Ann.
Thacker Vivian was on the Grand Jury list for Jefferson County, Georgia, on July 3, 1797.
The Reverend Thacker Vivian died on November 6, 1801, in Jefferson County, Georgia. One source states that his wife, Mary, died in 1844, but the writer cannot confirm this date of death.
THE SOUTH CAROLINA COUNCIL OF SAFETY WILLIAM HENRY DRAYTON, OLIVER HART AND WILLIAM TENNENT
COMMITTEE OF SAFETY
The committee selected William Henry Drayton from Drayton Hall, Oliver Hart, pastor of the First Baptist Church (1750-1780) and William Tennent, a Presbyterian minister, pastor of the Independent (Congregational) Church of Charleston (1771-1777). They were to visit the backcountry to encourage the settlers to go to war against Great Britain.
William Tennent’s parents were the Reverend William Tennent and his wife, Catherine Van Burgh Noble (widow of John Noble). His father was pastor of the Old Tennent Presbyterian Church in Freehold, New Jersey.
The year after the death of Mr. Tennent, on Sunday, June 28, 1778, General George Washington was about one hundred yards beyond the church door (Old Tennent Presbyterian Church), when he met the first straggler, who told him that General Charles Lee had retreated before the British.
During the battle of Monmouth, New Jersey, wounded soldiers were carried to the Old Tennent church, where members of the congregation tended them.
EXCERPTS FROM THE JOURNAL OF OLIVER HART
This journal is part of the Oliver Hart manuscript collection found in the South Carolinaiana Library at the University of South Carolina.
Thursday Aug.t 10 (1775) Crossed Enoree (River), and rode about a Mile or little better & breakfasted with one Mr. Waddleton, where we had some Coffee, set off from thence and missed our way twice, once before and once after we crossed Pagets Creek.
Came down to one Mr. Potts on Tyger River, we took up this River to Finchers Ford, where we crossed the River, and then traveled on to Rev’d Mr. Mulkey’s, was kindly received; Mrs. Mulkey was ill, the rest of the Family was well. Found myself a good deal fatigued; but sat up till after midnight, and then lay down to rest.
Upon discoursing with Mr. Mulkey, found that he rather sides withministerial Measures, and is against most adopted by the Country. Altho’ he professes Himself difficulted about these Things; The People, in general, are certainly (as they say) for the King: ie, for the Minister, & his Measures; one Man, with whom we conversed, fairly trembled through Madness (anger).
Friday Aug’t ye 11th: Rose in Health, but somewhat fatigued; Some of the Neighbors came to see us, with whom we had much Conversation about the present State of the Times; found them so fix’d on the Side of the Ministry, that no argument on the contrary Side, seemed to have any Weight with them; they generally acknowledge that they know but little about the Matter, and yet are fixed; generally they have signed Col. Fletchal’s Association; which is a jejune incoherent Piece; but serves to delude the People into Measures, which I fear will prove of bad Consequence.
A Meeting was appointed for Sermon this evening; 20 or 30 came together, altho’ it had rained most of the afternoon; it being put upon me to preach. I treated on Cant. 5. Ult. He is altogether lovely; (Song of Solomon 5:16). I had some freedom but the people seem’d but little affected.
After Sermon, Mr. Rees (Joseph Reese) conversed with several about ye State of our national concerns, who seem’d to be extremely obstinate, on the Minister’s side; one of them wish’d 1000 Bostonians might be killed in Battle. One wish’d there was not a grain of Salt in any of the sea Coast Towns on the Continent. On the whole, they appear to be obstinate and irritated to an Extreme.
Saturday Aug’t 12th: Rose refreshed; about 11 o’clock went to Meeting. Br. Rees (Joseph) preached from Isaiah 17:7 At that Day a Man shall look to his Maker & after Sermon had some Conversation with Col. Fletchal, who declar’d that he had no intention of fighting against his countrymen, but at the Same time highly disapproved of the Measures fallen upon to preserve our Rights, and complain’d of sundry Threats, which He says are given out against Himself, and the Inhabitants of the Frontiers.
A number of People gathered round us, while we were conversing together, who seem’d almost universally, by Words & actions to applaud everything the Col. Said. Upon the Whole there appears but little reason, as yet, to hope that these People will be brought to have a suitable Regard to ye Interest of America. I wish their Eyes may be opened before it is too late. Rode Home with Mr. Mulkey, lodged there.
Lord’s Day Aug’t: 13th: Went to Meeting at the usual Time, preach’d from I Col: 3.11, had much Freedom in Preaching, and there People seemed to hear with much attention. After Sermon, met with Br. Newton, was much rejoiced to see Him. After a proper Intermission, Br. Rees (Joseph) preached from Isaiah 2?.37. He was exceeding warm and held out near two Hours, when Mr. Rees had finished, one Mary Ray, one of the Sisters, got up and gave us a Prayer, Mr. Rees (Joseph) then sung and dismissed the assembly.
Went Home with Mr. Mulkey, Mr. Newton in Company, who gave us an account of the distracted State of the frontier Inhabitants, which at present wears the most alarming Face; insomuch that there is the greatest appearance of a civil War; unless God, by some remarkable Interposition of Providence prevent.
Monday Aug’t 14: This Day attended a Meeting of Number of Inhabitants, which Meeting was appointed by Mr. Mulkey Yesterday. Here one Major Robertson Read a ministerial Piece, called ‘an address to the People of America.’ It is wrote in opposition to the congress, and well calculated to fix the Minds of all disaffected Persons.
With Sorrow I saw Marks of approbation sit almost on every Countenance. I find that…(Here, mid-sentence, Oliver Hart begins using a letter substitution coded in his writing as it is apparent that he may run into those, whose position is counter to his and who might wish to take some action against him.)
Translated, the entry continues:
I find that Col. Fletchall has all those people at his beck, and reigns amongst them like a little King. This magic Robertson had been with the Governor, and no doubt has brought proper instructions to Col. Fletchall.
Robertson brings word that fifteen sail of men of war were lying off Charles Town, when he left town; If this be true, perhaps that devoted town may now be reduced to ashes; and God knows how it fares with my dear wife and Family. I hope they are safe, having left them in the hands of a good God & hold, shield and defend them from all Evil for thy great Nane’s Sake, amen.
In this meeting Col. Fletchall intimated that the people wanted them to go down and assist them against the Negroes, but he would be a Fool that would go, to which one answered they will not get a man from here.
Query: Doth not this contradict the Col.’s association, in which it is declared that one part of their purpose is to suppress insurrection of Negroes?
This evening before we lay down to rest, Brother Mulkey, requested that he might wash my feet; with some reluctance I consented, after declaring that I did not believe that it to be an ordinance of Christ, he than, being girded with a towel, and having water in a basin with great humility and affection, proceeded to wash my feet,
Talking religiously and affectionately all the time; he than washed Br. Newton’s feet and then Br. (Newton ) washed his; afterwards we went to rest.
Wednesday Aug’t 15th: Lay by this Day at Brother Mulkey’s. Nothing material happened, save that I heard that Mr. Drayton and Br. Tennent were expected to be up at Col. Fletchall’s Tomorrow. I wish they would come, for I am tired doing nothing.
Wednesday Aug’t 16th: This morning Br. Mulkey went out on a preaching excursion. I tarried at his house until evening, and then rode home with Mr. Nehemiah Howard (in company with Mr. Rees) (Joseph) where I tarried all night. This man seems to be sensible of our oppressions and of the necessity of resisting ministerial measures. I wish all the inhabitants were like minded.
Thursday Aug’t 17th: Hearing this morning that Messrs: Drayton and Tennent were at Col. Fletchall’s, we went thither, and found them surrounded with a number of people, who had come together to hear them talk; here were Captain Cunningham (a bitter enemy to the province) and merchant Brown (who had been lately tarred and feathered for his opposition, here was my good friend Col. Richardson, and many others).
We were informed of a late engagement; or battle, in which (it is said) that the Regulars had lost 9000 men and the Provincials 4000, that General Gage was taken prisoner, and General Washington wounded in the arm, etc. In the evening returned to Nehemiah Howard’s and lodged there. Good bed.
Friday Aug’t 18th: Went this morning to Mr. Mulkey’s, took breadfast, rode to Col. Fletchall’s to see Mr. Tennent, who was gone a few minutes before we arrived. We then took up into the country, for Lawson’s Fork, came in the evening to Captain John Woods, were kindly received, and rested in a good bed. This Captain and his men are on the side of liberty, and have signed the association, altho’ he belongs to Fletchall’s regiment. The people are in general on the Congress side.”
FLETCHALL FOR THE KING
“To counteract the influence of those gentlemen and, if possible, to obliterate the impressions made by them, Col. Fletchall engaged the services of a man by the name of Robinson. This Robinson was a young man of classical education and respectable talents.
He had been educated in Virginia for the ministry to the Presbyterian Church, but rendered himself peculiarly odious to that denomination by an attempt to obtain orders in the established church in the Province by fraud for one Cotton, an illiterate and abandoned wretch. The nature of the transaction was reported to the proper authority and Cotton and Robinson fled from the country.
Robinson was sent by Fletchall to Charlotte to confer with Lord William Campbell, the Royal Governor, as to the best means of keeping the people in a quiet and loyal state. Campbell sent a parcel of pamphlets, called cutters, to Fletchall for distribution among the people.
The scope of these pamphlets was to show the sin of resisting the laws and policy of the Lord’s anointed, the evils, which would result, and to offer encouragement to support the measures of the British Crown. On his return Fletchall called public meetings in different parts and put up Robinson to address the people in support of those measures which he wished to see triumphant. (Memoirs of Major Joseph McJunkin by Rev, James Hodge Saye, page 5)
THE DINING CREEK MEETING (FAIRFOREST BAPTIST CHURCH)
One of these took place at the Dining Creek meeting house. The assemblage was larger than could be accommodated in the building. Robinson therefore took his stand upon a rock in the woods, read one of the cutters and was commenting on its contents.
He alluded to the case of Saul and David to show the miseries, which result from rebellion. He heaped abusive epithets upon the Continental Congress, George Washington, and the principles they advocated. He stated that when the rascals had involved the people in inextricable difficulties they would run away to the Indians, Spaniards and Islands.
When this last sentence was uttered Samuel McJunkin remarked: ‘I wonder where Preachers Joe Robinson and Cotton will then be.’ At this remark Robinson was overwhelmed with shame, descended abruptly from his rostrum and went off. As he was going he was heard to say: ‘I would have carried my point if it had not been for that old Irish Presbyterian, but he has defeated me.’
Fletchall, however, continued his efforts to lull the apprehensions of the people as to the measures of the Royal Government, and to induce the belief that their interests and loyalty were identical. And it is not surprising that His success was considerable.” (Memoirs of Major Joseph McJunkin by Rev. James Hodge Saye, pages 5-6)
THE REVEREND WILLIAM TENNENT’S PAPERS
“The Reverend Tennent in his diary told of one meeting in the Fairforest region; his audience consisted of ‘some of the most obstinate opposers of the Congress…They seemed much affected towards the close, but afterwards aided by two gain-saying Baptist preachers (Philip Mulkey & Joseph Robinson), they all refused to sign the Association, but ten.’”
“A few days later Tennent made note of the fact that he had talked to a Mr. Muchels (Philip Mulkey).” The mission of the three revolutionary agents was unsuccessful so far as the Fairforest region was concern.
“Rode 13 miles…to a Meeting House…on Thicketty (Creek) where found…(Dr. Joseph Alexander) preaching…When he had done I mounted the Pulpit & spoke near two hours…Refreshed myself & drank out of a Cow bell…they signed the Association.”
This Meeting House built by William Sims and William Marchbanks was hosting the Presbyterians at this time. This group later established the Salem Presbyterian Church. Thicketty Baptist Church, former mission of Fairforest Baptist Church, was also utilizing this Meeting House during this period.
“Concluded to go (to) Little River Meeting House, where Mr. (Oliver Hart) had appointed a sermon & did some good.” (Fragment of a Journal Kept by Rev. William Tennent in Charleston Year Book, 1894, page 300)
REV. PHILIP MULKEY’S LAST YEAR AT FAIRFOREST
In the earlier part of the year, he had participated in the ordination of his son, Jonathan Mulkey, to the gospel ministry as well as one of his members, Alexander McDougal.
From the Oliver Hart diary, it is apparent that the Reverend Joseph Reese, after closing the Congree Baptist Church, and his assistant, John Newton, visited and ministered with Mulkey for a brief period.
Mulkey’s close relationship with his member, Col. Thomas Fletchall, led him to declare himself a Loyalist.
The split in the congregation between the Patriots and the Loyalists, probably came after the meeting of the Congaree Baptist Association, which the writer believes was in 1775.
There was such a strong reaction between the patriot and loyalist members that they all refused to go back to the original meeting house. Neither loyalist nor patriot would have gone into the Fairforest Meeting House in 1776.
Two organized Loyalist groups were organized in the Fairforest area: Plummers Regiment of Loyalists led by Major
Daniel Plummer and the Fairforest Loyalist Militia led by Capt. Shadrick Lantry. Some said that there were more Loyalists than Patriots in this area.
Just before leaving, Mulkey sold his plantation of 400 acres on Fairforest Creek on the south side of Tyger River to Col. Thomas Fletchall. Fletchall’s mansion and lands joined the lands of the Fairforest Church. Later, Fletchall’s lands were confiscated and sold, and William Brandon purchased the former Mulkey plantation.
Philip Mulkey and his family along with the family of Benjamin Gist were forced to flee to Washington County, N. C. Benjamin Gist later switched sides, but there are no records to indicate that the Reverend Philip Mulkey ever took up arms against his King.
Members Benjamin Gist and Thomas Greer remained Loyalists during the early part of the Revolutionary War years, but both later switched sides. The rest of the constitutional members remained with the Patriots.
After the departure of the Mulkeys, the Fairforest Church did not have any preachers siding with the Loyalists.
The Reverend Alexander McDougal became pastor of the church and moved its Patriot membership to his lands near the mouth of Rocky Creek on the eastside of Fairforest Creek.
ALEXANDER MCDOUGAL 2ND PASTOR OF FAIRFOREST BAPTIST CHURCH
Alexander McDougal, son of John and Charity Alexander McDougal, was born in Dublin, Ireland, May 12, 1738. He immigrated to America in 1757. He arrived aboard the Admiral Hawk and was listed as being from Londonderry.
His residence in August of 1762, was in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In early 1766, he moved to Wilmington in Brunswick County, North Carolina. He married Hannah Done in 1766, in Wilmington, N. C. She was born in 1747, in New Hanover County, N. C. Unfortunately, the writer has been unable to locate names of her parents.
“He and his wife were Presbyterians, but circa 1770, Alexander became convinced that he was without Christ. He was deeply convicted of sin. When he found peace in Jesus he united with a Baptist Church and soon began to exhort.”
He moved to South Carolina circa 1773, and the Baptist Church he joined was probably the Fairforest Baptist Church in Craven County (Union District), S. C. He was ordained by this church in 1775, by the Reverend Philip Mulkey.
He was a Patriot Soldier and served, while a resident of what later became Union District, S. C.
Dr. Bobby Moss in his book, Roster of South Carolina Patriots in the American Revolution, page 617, wrote: “He (Alexander McDougal) enlisted in the Third Regiment on February 6, 1777. He enlisted during June of 1777 under Captain Thomas Blessingham and Colonel William Farr. In September 1778, he was under Lieutenant John Blessngham and Colonel Samuel Hammond. In the summer of 1780, he served as a Lieutenant under Capt. Thomas Blessingham and Colonel James Steen.
From October 1781 until sometime in 1782, he served as Lieutenant under Captain Thomas Blessingham and Colonel Thomas Brandon and was in charge of a blockhouse near his home.”
His commission was signed by Thomas Pinckney, governor of South Carolina.
An article on Rev. Alexander McDougal in the Baptist Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, page 770, states: “Warmly espousing the cause of the colonies, he divided his time, during the war, between cultivating his farm, preaching the gospel, and fighting the Tories.”
Alexander McDougal acquried over 700 acres of land in what became Union District, S. C. On June 26, 1785, “The Worshipful Court of Union County met according to law and by appointment at the house of Alexander McDougal.
The court was made up of the following justices: Zachariah Bullock, John Henderson, William Kennedy, Charles Sims, James Harrison, Thomas Brandon and John Birdsong, Esq., with John Hail, Clerk.” This was the first court held for Union County, South Carolina.
The Fairforest Baptist Church was meeting on Alexander McDougal’s land during and after the war years.
“During the conflict between the Whigs and Tories that emerged during the American Revolution, some of the members scattered, while the main body of the congregation moved further north on Fairforest Creek, close to Rocky Creek near the Ben Black estate.
By 1794-1799, the Fairforest Baptist Church was located near Duck Pond.” (Philip Mulkey & Charles Thompson NC & SC by Charles Thompson—Internet)
The church was first a member of the Sandy Creek Baptist Association, a constituent member of the short-lived Congaree Baptist Association and a constituent member of the Bethel Baptist Association (1789).
David Benedict in his General History of the Baptist Denomination in America, Vol. II, published in 1813, page 155, stated: “The Fairforest church, now belonging to the Bethel Association, was founded by him (Philip Mulkey), and it is the oldest of the Separate Baptists in the State, and became the mother of many others.”
The Reverend Alexander McDougal was pastor of the Fairforest Baptist Church from 1775 through 1800.
THE REVEREND ALEXANDER MCDOUGAL’S ASSISTANTS
His assistants included Joseph Burson, William Wood, Richard Kelly and Thacker Vivian. The writer has already given data on these men.
John Webb was also an assistant to the Reverend McDougal, but information is scarce on this minister. Leah Townsend in her book listed him as a Patriot soldier, receiving pay for varying periods of militia duty.
John Cole, in 1783, was ordained by two ministers from the Fairforest Baptist Church, the Reverend Joseph Burson and the Reverend John Webb and became a pastor of the Bush River Baptist Church.
In 1794, the Church of Christ on Tyger River, renamed Padgett’s Creek Baptist Church, was constituted with the help of the Reverends John Webb and John Cole.
Leah Townsend wrote: “ A conference of Padgetts Creek members met at the Durbin Creek Baptist Church in Laurens County, S. C., on September 1, 1788, and took under consideration the Acting of Jacob Roberts & his Church in their dealing with their Members & Excommunicating them for not hearing the Church concerning the Matter of John Webbs transgression…
It was the unanimous voice of the Conference that Roberts & his Church was wrong in their acting with their Members—for which cause we had as a Conference to declare against them and their acting.”
CHILDREN OF THE REVEREND ALEXANDER MCDOUGAL AND HIS WIFE, HANNAH DONE MCDOUGAL WERE:
(1). Hezekiah McDougal was born October 3, 1767, in Wilmington, Brunswick County, North Carolina. He married Martha Mathis, daughter of William Mathis, in South Carolina. She was born in 1768. He was a blacksmith and a Baptist preacher.
When his father left for Kentucky, he gave his son, Hezekiah his 728 acres of land on both sides of Rocky Creek, a branch of Fairforest Creek, in Union District, S. C.
Hezekiah McDougal was pastor at times of the Fairforest Baptist Church, the Cedar Springs Baptist Church and the Gilead Baptist Church.
Hezekiah moved closer to the Grindal Shoals area circa 1821, and joined the Gilead Baptist Church.
Hezekiah and Martha had six sons and four daughters. She died on September 2, 1847, in Union District, S. C. He died December 18, 1847, in Gibson County, Tennessee. One source states that he was buried in Poplar Springs Baptist Church cemetery
(2). Alexander MeDougal was born in Wilmington, Brunswick County, North Carolina, on November 5, 1769. He died in his youth.
(3). Sarah McDougal was born on December 25, 1770, in Wilmington, Brunswick County, North Carolina. She married ? Mayfield.
(4). Nelly McDougal was born October 20, 1773, in Craven County (Union District), S. C. She died before 1830.
(5). Hannah Ann McDougal was born June 2, 1776, in Craven County (Union District), S. C. She died unmarried in 1833, in what became Larue County, Kentucky. She was buried in the Nolynn Baptist Church cemetery in Hodgenville, Kentucky.
(6). Martha Patsy McDougal was born August 3, 1778, in Craven County (Union District), S. C. She was married to ? Ward. She died in Elizabethtown, Hardin County, Kentucky.
(7). Mary McDougal was born on February 23, 1781, in Craven County (Union District), S. C. She was married to Squire LaRue, son of John and Mary Brooks LaRue, on August 8, 1804, in Hardin County, Kentucky, by her father.
Squire was born March 23, 1785, in what later became Larue County, Kentucky.
They had three sons and five daughters. Their son, Alexander W. LaRue, was a noted Baptist preacher.
Squire LaRue died August 30, 1859, and his wife, Mary, died June 24, 1862. They were buried in the Nolynn Baptist Church cemetery.
(8). Elizabeth McDougal was born June 14, 1783, in Craven County (Union District), S. C. She married Charles Middleton on March 18, 1820, in Kentucky. He was born circa 1765.
She was his second wife. His first wife was Susannah Bayne, daughter of Thomas Bayne. He married Susannah Bayne on August 17, 1797, in Nelson County, Kentucky
Charles and Elizabeth McDougal Middleton had two sons, William and James.
(9). Robert McDougal was born July 14, 1785, in Union District, S. C. He died September 15, 1787, in Union District.
(10). John McDougal was born September 9, 1787, in Union District, S. C. He married Mary Elizabeth Willett, daughter of Griffin and Rody ? Willett on April 22, 1839, in Nelson County, Kentucky.
He was a farmer in Larue County, Kentucky. He and Mary had three sons and three daughters. Mary died August 13, 1853, and John died June 20, 1875. Both died in Larue County, Kentucky, and were buried in the Nolynn Baptist Church cemetery in Hodgenville.
(11). Isabella McDougal was born on May 17, 1790, in Union District, S. C. She was married in Kentucky to William Harrison and to ? Lewis. She died in Kentucky before 1845
(12). Dorcas Melissa McDougal was born August 24, 1792, in Union District, S. C. She married George Whitehead.
She died November 11, 1877, in Larue County, Kentucky. She was buried in the Nolynn Baptist Church cemetery in Hodgenville, Kentucky.
THE FIRST MEETING AT THE OLD FAIRFOREST MEETING HOUSE AFTER THE WAR
In 1794, the Bethel Baptist Association gathered “at the old meeting house on Fairforest, near Col. Brandon’s, in Union County.” This was the first recording of any groups or churches going back to the old abandoned brick meeting house, built under the leadership of the Reverend Philip Mulkey.
THE REVEREND ISAAC EDWARDS, THE REVEREND ALEXANDER MCDOUGAL’S FAVORED ASSISTANT AT FAIRFOREST BAPTIST CHURCH
The Reverend Isaac Edwards was his assistant for about four years.
The Reverend Isaac Edwards was probably the son of Edward Edwards. He was born in Virginia in 1750.
He and wife, Judith ? , were members of the Meherrin Baptist Church in Brunswick County, Va. He was on the Lunenburg County Tax List of 1774-1776.
While living in Brunswick County, Virginia, Isaac purchased 300 acres on both sides of Sandy Run in Craven County (Union District), S. C., from William Sims in 1771.
He moved to Craven County (Union District), in 1777. He had two brothers who also moved to South Carolina: William and John.
He was probably ordained to the gospel ministry by the Fairforest Baptist Church.
In 1784, Isaac Edwards had a survey of 50 acres touching Enoree River on the south below the Indian boundary.
William Addington, Patriot Soldier of the American Revolution, and Delilah Duncan of Newberry County, S. C., were married by the Reverend Isaac Edwards, a Baptist minister, on December 23, 1784, on Duncan Creek about three miles from Enoree River in Newberry County.
On May 20, 1787, the Reverends Isaac Edwards of the Fairforest Baptist Church, and James Fowler of Sandy River Baptist Church, led twenty- one members in the constitution of the Pacolet (Scull Shoals) Baptist Church.
The Reverend Isaac Edwards assisted the Reverend Alexander McDougal as co-pastor of the Fairforest Baptist Church for the years 1787-1792. Isaac Edwards was excluded from the fellowship of the Fairforest Baptist Church in 1793, for “immorality”.
Isaac Edwards and Judith ? had the following children: Reps, Martha Ann, William, Isaac, Joseph, Milly, Nancy, Georgia and Newman Edwards. Their daughter, Nancy, married the Reverend Miles Rainwater.
He moved to Franklin County, Georgia, where he died in 1809. Dates of his wife, Judith’s birth and death, have not been preserved. Her parents names also have not been recorded.
ALEXANDER MCDOUGAL’S REMOVAL TRIP TO KENTUCKY
In 1801, Alexander left Union District, S. C., in a large caravan for Barren County, Kentucky. He had been pastor of Fairforest Baptist Church and the Cedar Springs Baptist Church.
He and his wife, Hannah, traveled with at least a dozen or more of his members and their families. Traveling with him was his deacon and special friend, Obediah Howard, and his wife, Priscilla.
All of his members joined the Mill Creek Baptist Church, in Barren County, Ky. Alexander and his wife, Hannah, joined the Dripping Spring Baptist Church also in Barren County. Here, he assisted the pastor, the Reverend Robert Stockton.
The Reverend Robert Stockston assisted in the constitution of the Nolynn Baptist Church on April 3, 1803, and recommended the Reverend Alexander McDougal, and he became the first pastor of this new church. Nolynn Baptist Church had been an “arm” of the Severns Valley Baptist Church.
He probably first moved to Elizabethtown, Hardin County, Kentucky, from Barren County, Kentucky, where he remained for several years. His daughter, Martha Patsy McDougal Ward, died in Elizabethtown.
Alexander McDougal became pastor of Severns Valley church in May of 1803. He moved to what is now LaRue County and settled on Nolin River. It was in Hardin County at this time. J. H. Spencer wrote: “Here he labored faithfully and earnestly for more than thirty years in the churches.
He was pastor of Severns Valley Baptist Church when the first church building was erected. Alexander McDougal was paator of this church thorough 1819.
Records state that his last house was about four miles southeast of Hodgenville. Hodgenville was in Hardin County, Kentucky, until 1843. The Nolynn Baptist Church, which he served until his retirement was in this area.
He applied for a pension in Hardin County, Kentucky, at the age of 94 years on January 21, 1833, for services rendered as a Patriot Soldier in the American Revolution.
In his request for a pension in 1833, in Hardin County, Kentucky, he mentions that he was drafted for two months to go in pursuit of a notorious Tory called Bill Cunningham. Hezekiah McDougal, his son, and the Reverend Thomas S. Greer were his South Carolina witnesses. He received a pension.
His wife, Hannah Done, died in Hardin County, Kentucky in 1830. Alexander resigned his charges at 95 years of age and died in this county on March 3, 1841, aged 102 years (almost 103). He and his wife were buried in the Nolynn Baptist Church Cemetery.
EVENTS THAT OCCURRED IN FAIRFOREST BAPTIST CHURCH AND THE SURROUNDING CHURCHES SHORTLY AFTER THE REVEREND ALEXANDER MCDOUGAL LEFT FOR KENTUCKY
The Fairforest Baptist Church was still searching for a pastor the latter part of 1801. Records of the Padgett’s Creek Baptist Church state: “Received a letter from the Fairforest Church, craving Br. Thomas Greer to be their Minister, but we could not accept the letter upon them terms, but send it back, and agreed to let him attend them once a month or as long as God in his Providence makes it duty.”
Christopher Johnson, father of David Johnson (later governor of S. C.) was a messenger to the Bethel Baptist Association in 1800, from the Fairforest Baptist Church. He later became a Baptist pastor.
Hezekiah McDougal, son of the Reverend Alexander McDougal, was a messenger to the 1802 and 1803 sessions of the Bethel Baptist Association. He was listed as a licensed preacher at this time. He was pastor of the church in 1805-1806.
Padgett’s Creek Baptist Church held the following business sessions in the old Fairforest Baptist Church meeting house: October 5, 1802; April 25, 1803; July 23, 1803; August 27, 1803; September 16, 1803.
Members of Padgett’s Creek, living near the Brick Meeting House (old Fairforest Church building) were formed into “an arm of Padgett’s Creek.”
“Clerk Records of the Lower Fairforest Baptist Church on February 24, 1810, speak of a unanimous request for a Constitution of their church. They sent Joshua Greer and William White to lay the request before the Padgett’s Creek Baptist Church.”
Padgett’s Creek Baptist Church Clerk records of March 17, 1810, state: “Received a petition (verbal) from the arm at the Brick Meeting House wanting a consent to become a Constitution. Their request granted.”
Padgett’s Creek Baptist Church Clerk records April 14, 1810, state: “Received a petition from the Arm at the Brick Meeting House, wanted Ministerial helps to constitute said Church & their request granted. And appointed Brethren Thomas Greer & Thomas Ray to attend them.”
Claude Sparks in his, A HISTORY OF PADGETT’S CREEK BAPTIST CHURCH, page 15, states: “In April 1810, Padgett’s Creek Church received a petition from the Arm at the Fairforest Brick Meeting House, wanting help to Constitute said church, and their request was granted.
Then on Saturday, May 26, 1810, the Arm was duly and legally constituted as a Baptist Church to be known, thereafter by the name of Lower Fairforest.”
The Lower Fairforest Baptist Church became a newly constituted church with a constitutional date of May 26, 1810.
They did inhabit the abandoned Brick Church building (built under the leadership of the Reverend Philip Mulkey), but inhabiting the building does not make them the original Fairforest Baptist Church.
After the departure of the Reverend Philip Mulkey in 1775, the Reverend Alexander McDougal simply moved the original church organization to his land, and the original Mulkey church was continued and is continued until this day with its original name of Fairforest Baptist Church.
THE REVEREND PHILIP MULKEY’S REMOVAL TO WASHINGTON COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA, AND BEYOND
Philip Mulkey was a Loyalist and had to flee from the Fairforest area of South Carolina, the latter part of 1775. One historian records an appearance of four men—“Mr. Kincaid; Mr. Long; Mr. Love and Mr. Mulkey, a Baptist preacher”—in eastern Tennessee, in the autumn of 1775.
CHILDREN OF THE REVEREND PHILIP MULKEY AND HIS WIFE, ANN ELLIS MULKEY
(1). David Mulkey was born in 1751, in Halifax, Edgecomb County, North Carolina. He married ? White. They had a child named, Ellis. He moved to the Natchez area sometime after his brother, Philip. He was listed in the 1792 Spanish Census. He was living there when his father visited between 1795-1797.
(2). Jonathan Mulkey was born In Halifax, Edgecomb County, North Carolina, on October 16, 1752. In 1772, in Craven County, (Union District), S. C., he was married to Nancy Howard, daughter of Obediah and Priscilla Breed Howard. His father, the Reverend Philip Mulkey, performed the ceremony. Nancy was born October 16, 1754, in Orange County, N. C.
Jonathan was ordained as a Baptist preacher by his father in 1775, at the Fairforest Baptist Church.
In 1775, he fled to Washington County, N. C., (Tennessee) with his father and other members of his family. The Benjamin Gist family also traveled with them.
The Reverend Jonathan Mulkey became pastor of Kendrick’s Creek; Buffalo Ridge; Cherokee; Sinking Creek; Muddy Creek and others. He was a leader in the Holston Baptist Association for many years. He was moderator of the association for seven years.
Jonathan Mulkey and his wife, Nancy’s, three sons, were at least in the beginning of their ministries, Baptist preachers: John, Philip and Isaac. They also had five daughters.
Nancy Howard Mulkey died circa 1795, in Tennessee. Jonathan married Sarah ? circa 1795-1796. Sarah ? was born in 1750, and died in April of 1813.
On March 3, 1818, he married Anna Denton Lacey in Washington County, Tennessee. Anna Denton was first married to John Lacey. They had a daughter, Phebe Lacey, who was born in Shennadoah County, Virginia. Anna Denton Lacey was born in 1786.
Jonathan and Anna were married March 3, 1818, in Washington County, Tennessee.
- J. Burnett in his Sketches of Tennessee’s Pioneer Baptist Preachers, pages 390-391, wrote: “They would go from seven to ten miles, about every Sunday, to hear ‘Father Mulkey’ preach.
He was pastor of Buffalo Ridge as long as he lived, and when too old and too feeble to preach standing, the church, it is said, made him a suitable and easy pulpit-chair, that he might sit down and pour out his soul in melting exhortations to a devoted people who would listen to every word.”
The Reverend Jonathan Mulkey died on September 5, 1826, in Washington County, Tennessee. He was buried in the Buffalo Ridge Baptist Church cemetery. His wife, Nancy, and his wife, Anna, were also buried in Buffalo Ridge, but their graves were not marked.
(3). Sarah Mulkey was born in 1754, in Orange County, North Carolina.
(4). Phllip Mulkey was born in 1756, in Orange County, North Carolina. He and his father served in the Virginia Militia to assist in fighting the Indians.
“As a Loyalist he moved to the Natchez District, in Mississippi, in 1781, or before. He was an instigator in an insurrection against the Spanish. After he escaped to South Carolina, repeated threats of his contemplated return with troops were reported.” (The Natchez Court Records 1767-1805, Abstracts of Early Records)
He married Mary Polly Chastain, on November 16, 1790. She was 25 years old at her marriage. Mary was born in North Carolina, in 1765. John E. Mulkey, William Mulkey, Mary Lou Mulkey, James C. Mulkey, Mark and four others were their children.
In 1790, Philip Mulkey Jr. and his wife, Mary, lived in Pendleton District in South Carolina.
Tax records prove that there was a Philip Mulkey Jr. in Franklin County, Georgia, in 1802.
“In April of 1811, Philip Mulkey and his wife, Mary, joined the Mountain Creek Baptist church with letters of good standing from their former church. But by July rumors had begun to swirl about Mulkey, bringing him under scrutiny of his new church brethren.
This man was probably the son of Philip Mulkey, the famous evangelist who was baptized by Shubal Stearns and carried the New light doctrine to South Carolina.
Mulkey the elder in 1790, was excommunicated ‘for adultery, perfidy and falsehood long continued in’. In 1795, South Carolina churches were warned that he was ‘still engaged in the Practice of Crimes and Enormities at which humanity Shudders.’
Philip Mulkey (Jr.) was haunted by his father’s reputation, and blamed Pendleton District’s James Chastain for digging up the ghost. Chastian, it turns out had also traveled through Tennessee and the Carolinas during the 1790s as a Separate evangelist, and knew the elder Mulkey quite well. (Mulkey witnessed a deed when Chastain purchased upcountry property in 1797. Greenville Deed book I, p. 355-6).
Mountain Creek had no jurisdiction over Chastain and his slanderous talk, but they did over Mulkey and his ill will toward Chastain, so when Mulkey confessed to being angry with and using bad language toward Chastain, the case was taken up by the church.
After restoring Mulkey in December 1812, Mountain Creek excommunicated him in September 1826, when he acknowledged his wrong at a Mountain Creek meeting. Although Mulkey took communion with a New Light congregation, he could not overcome the stigma of his father’s sins.”
(Taken from an article written by Kim Wilson on Philip Mulkey (1756-1842) and Rev. James Chastain (1740-1820), Internet.)
The Mountain Creek Baptist Church was seven miles southwest of Anderson, S. C. Name changed to Bethesda in 1821.
Philip Mullkey Jr. died in Gilmer County, Georgia, on January 31, 1842,. His body was interred in Ebenezer Baptist Church Cemetery. Mary Polly Mulkey died in 1843, at age 78, in Gilmer County, Georgia.
(5). Martha (Patty) Mulkey was born in 1756, in Halifax, Edgecomb County, North Carolina.
(6). Robert Mulkey was born in 1763, in Craven County (Union District), S. C. and died in 1778, probably in Washington County, N. C. (later Tennessee).
PHILIP MULKEY SR.
In January of 1782, Philiip Mulkey Sr. was one of four preachers, who constituted a new Baptist Church in Cheraw Hill, South Carolina.
His later years were sadly clouded. In 1790, he was excommunicated by the Charleston Baptist Association, and the churches warned against him for adultery, perfidy and falsehood long continued in.”
In 1795, Richard Furman wrote the following as a footnote in the Morgan Edwards (Furman Manuscript). “Oh! Lamentable. This Philip Mulkey who appeared so eminent as a Christian and minister and has appeared to be the instrument of converting a number of souls; has been now for a course of years in the practice of crimes and enormities at which humanity shudders.”
David Benedict in his A General History of the Baptist Denomination, 1856, page 707, wrote: “He began to stumble, and soon fell into many heinous sins, and remained, when an old man, an outcast from the church, and a disgrace to the precious cause of which he had been such an eminent champion.”
Ann Elllis Mulkey died in 1795. Some writers state that she died in South Carolina.
Floyd Mulkey in his article entitled, REV. PHILIP MULKEY, PIONEER BAPTIST PREACHER IN UPPER SOUTH CAROLINA, wrote: “Shortly after 1795, he (the Reverend Philip Mulkey) visited the Natchez region along the Mississippi, where his son, David, was living.
There far away from the Baptist church authorities, who had excommunicated him, he had a chance to resume his preaching a short time. The Rev. Richard Curtis, pastor of the Baptist Church in the Natchez region, had been forced to flee because of his difficulties with the Spanish authorities.
The church remained closed until it was reopened by ‘Elder Mulkey’. Orders were promptly given for the arrest of Mulkey, but the congregation resisted and proceeded to the fort to demand immunity for him and his preaching. Apparently, he was permitted to continue his service. In 1797, the territory was ceded to the United States; shortly thereafter the regular pastor returned to his parish.”
After his visit in the Natchez region, Philip Mulkey spent some time in eastern Tennessee, where his son, Jonathan, was pastor of the Buffalo Ridge Baptist Church. There is a story that he helped to celebrate the observance of a memorial service in honor of Ex-Pesident George Washington, immediately after his death on December 14, 1799.
According to this account he appeared on the same platform with his son, Jonathan, and his grandson, John, on which occasion Jonathan preached the sermon.”
Sometime after the death of his wife, Ann, he was remarried to Fanny ? . He and his second wife lived near his son, Philip Jr., in Franklin County, Georgia, in the early 1800s .
Philip Mulkey Sr. purchased 225 acres near Eastanolle and Tom’s creeks from John Roberts Jr. in 1803. Deed Book 000, pages 52-53, Franklin County, Georgia, records)
On October 10, 1803, he gave his grandson, Mark, 50 acres from the 225 acre tract. In 1809, He and his wife, Fanny, sold the remaining 175 acres of their land. (Deed Book RRR, pg. 159-160).
He probably died during the year 1810, or shortly thereafter in Franklin County, Georgia, before his son, Philip Jr., moved back to South Carolina by 1811.