Our Church Heritage
We believe that the Lord established His New Testament Church during his life on this earth, and before the day of Pentecost. Through the ages, those who have held true to the teachings of the New Testament in doctrine and authority, have been known by many names, and have not always been known as "Baptists". The Trail of Blood draws an unbroken succession evidenced by the persecution of those who stood for the faith. As for our own assembly, we have documented our heritage as follows:
For more information on Baptist History, scroll to the bottom for a list of resources.
Salem Missionary Baptist Church
Salem Missionary Baptist Church, Willow Hill, (Jasper County) Illinois; Organized in August 18, 1852 by Elder A.J. Fuson, missionary and Pastor of the Goodhope Baptist Church of Crawford County, Illinois. Crawford County neighbors Jasper County to the East.
Goodhope Baptist Church
Goodhope Baptist Church, Crawford County, Illinois was a mission of the LaMotte Baptist Church. In 1844, they ordained Adonerain Judson Fuson who became Pastor and Missionary; This church disbanded in 1915.
LaMotte Baptist Church
LaMotte Baptist Church, south of Palestine, Illinois organized in 1812 by Isaac McCoy; Disbanded in 1859. Elder Steven Kennedy was Missionary to Goodhope Baptist Church. LaMotte had some of the same charter members as Maria Creek Baptist Church: Samuel and Phoebe Allison and John Morris.
Maria Creek Baptist Church
Maria Creek Baptist Church, North of Vincennes, Indiana, was organized May 20, 1809 and disbanded in 1947. Elder James McQuaid, Missionary from Buck Creek Baptist Church, Shelby County, Kentucky helped organize with Elder A. Diven of Columbia, Gibson County, Indiana. The first pastor was Isaac McCoy, who was licensed to preach at Silver Creek Baptist Church of Clark County, Indiana. Silver Creek Baptist Church was organized by Isaac Edwards in 1798, Charlestown, Indiana.
Buck Creek Baptist Church
Buck Creek Baptist Church, Shelby County, Kentucky, from which Elder James McQuaid was missionary, was organized in 1799, with Elder William Waller being the first pastor. This is the church that Maria Creek wrote to ordain Bro. McCoy. Elders George Waller (son of William) and William McCoy (Isaac’s father) came to ordain Isaac from this church. William McCoy was pastor of the Silver Creek Baptist Church in Indiana earlier. These brethren were part of the Long Run Association in Kentucky.
Bryan Station Baptist Church, Lexington, Kentucky has organized several daughter churches over the years, among them the Buck Creek Baptist Church in 1799. Elder William Waller was a member of Bryan Station Baptist Church, which had been organized on the 3rd Saturday in April, 1786 by Elder Lewis Craig.
South Elkhorn Baptist Church
Bryan Station Baptist Church was organized under the authority of South Elkhorn Baptist Church, which was out of the Gilbert’s Creek Church.
Gilbert's Creek Baptist Church
Lewis Craig was converted under the ministry of David Thomas and/or Samuel Harris. He was baptized into the Upper Spotsylvania Church (VA) in 1767 and ordained in 1770. Lewis Craig was jailed for preaching without an Episcopal license in Virginia in 1768. It was said, that he “couldn’t be found passing a person on the street without ramming a text of scripture down their throat.” He served the Upper Spotsylvania Church until 1781, when then immigrated into Kentucky, bringing nearly 600 loyal souls with him. They became known as the “ Traveling Church,” and organized as a church body on September 28, 1781 before their departure. William Waller, pastor of the County Line Church, and his father John Waller were of those charter members. They made their pilgrimage to the wilderness of Kentucky and worshipped for the first time as Gilbert’s Creek Church at Gilbert’s Creek, Lincoln County, Kentucky on the 2nd Lords Day of December, 1781. In 1783, Elder Lewis moved again to establish the South Elkhorn Church. As Elder Lewis’ members tended to follow him, the church at Gilbert’s Creek dwindled and disbanded in 1786.
Upper Spotsylvania Baptist Church
The Upper Spotsylvania Church had two branches. The first, commonly referred to as “Craig’s Church” was located on land given by Elder Lewis Craig in 1769, near Paytes, VA, and the other located in Fredericksburg, VA. The “upper branch” was organized in November 20, 1767 by James Read and Dutton Lane and others with 25 Charter members including Lewis Craig, John Waller, Joseph Craig, Elijah Craig, and others and their families. The Gospel was first brought to the “lower branch” by David Thomas and later by Samuel Harris. The Craig’s were listed as members of this church as well.
Elder David Thomas, was summoned to the churches in Virginia as a representative of the Philadelphia Association in order to ascertain the soundness and foundation of those churches. He was the founder of many churches in that area. These already-established organizations were re-baptized and reformed to conform to the proper manner of a church of the New Testament, then accepted into fellowship with the Philadelphia Association. The “lower branch” of the Upper Spotsylvania Baptist Church was a result of this "reformation.".
Philadelphia Baptist Association
The Philadelphia Association was organized in 1707 as an association of local churches with the intent to work together without sacrificing individual independence. Much of the work of the Philadelphia Association involved sending missionaries to Baptist churches in the colonies to review the condition of the churches, that there would be unity in the faith of those who would call themselves Baptist. John Waller, father to William, was also involved with the Philadelphia Association, and is mentioned in meeting notes with a lengthy address on the power of the association in reference to the power of the local churches.
Abbott's Creek Baptist Church
Dutton Lane was converted under the ministry of Daniel Marshall of Abbott’s Creek Baptist Church, and Baptized by Shubael Stearns in 1758. In 1760, he became pastor of the first Separate Baptist Church in Virginia, organized by Daniel Marshall and himself.
Abbott’s Creek Church was organized by Sandy Creek Church in 1757 and pastored by Daniel Marshall. Daniel Marshall, James Read, and Dutton Lane, all newly ordained ministers under the authority of Sandy Creek, worked together to establish churches north into Virginia. James Read and Dutton Lane went on to organize the Upper Spotsylvania church.
Sandy Creek Baptist Church
Sandy Creek Church began in November 1755 by Shubal Stearns with 16 souls and shortly increased to 606, branching out to several churches including Abbott’s creek, which then branched further. Many of its members moved on to the new branches because of despair arising from the Revolutionary War and the membership of Sandy Creek dwindled and the church reduced again to 14 souls. Stearns was baptized May 20, 1751 in Tolland, CT by Wait Palmer, pastor of the Baptist Church in North Stonington, CT. In August 1754, Stearns and 5 families from his church embarked to spread the gospel to Opekon, VA, where they met Daniel Marshall, who later married Stearns’ sister. The church in Opekon, established in 1743, was originally not sound. In 1751, it was reorganized by ministers sent from churches in the Philadelphia Association. Elder Benjamin Miller, pastor at Scotch Plains, NJ led the ministers. Two years later, Elder Miller was summoned to check on the church after a complaint was given to the Philadelphia Association. He found the church to be in order. In 1755, Stearns, miller and others left to plant a church in Sandy Creek, NC.
Scotch Plains Church
The Scotch Plains Church, Essex, NJ, was organized September 8, 1747, with members from Piscataway Church. In February 1748, Benjamin Miller was ordained their minister. This church joined the Philadelphia Association.
Piscataway (Piscatauqua),NJ was begun in 1686 by Welsh immigrants including Hugh Dunn, John Drake, Nicholas Bonham, John Smalley, Edmund Dunham, and John Randolph who professed to be Baptists, with Dunn, Drake and Dunham also being lay-preachers. Dunham later became pastor of the Seventh-Day Baptists. Thomas Killingsworth, who immigrated shortly after his ordination in England, visited the group and organized the settlers into an independent church in the spring of 1689 and ordained John Drake as minister. Until that time, it was considered a mission or branch of the Lower Dublin Church. This church was also member of the Philadelphia Association.
Lower Dublin or Pennepeck Church
Lower Dublin Church, located in Pennepeck, PA, and otherwise known as the Pennepeck Church was organized by Elias Keach, a missionary from Cold Spring Baptist Church. Lower Dublin Church operated branch/mission churches in West Jersey, the Falls, Burlington, Cohanesey, Salem, Penn’s Neck, Chester, Philadelphia, and others. The Lord’s Supper was held quarterly in rotating locations. Towards the end of the 1600’s, the branches began to be organized into independent churches. Elias Keach came to Pennsylvania and preached until one day, when he “came under terrible conviction and had to stop. He confessed his lost condition and the people sent him to Elder Thomas Dungan, pastor of the Cold Spring Baptist Church, where he was saved.” He was there baptized and ordained and then sent as a missionary to Pennepeck.
Cold Springs Church
Elder Thomas Dungan migrated from Ireland to Rhode Island in the middle 1600’s and joined the First Baptist Church of Newport, RI, where Dr. John Clark was pastor. In 1684, Dungan and a few of the members departed to organize the Cold Spring Church in Bucks County, PA.
First Baptist Church of Newport, Rhode Island
The First Baptist Church of Newport, Rhode Island was the first true Baptist church of the American Colonies, having proper authority. It was founded by Dr. John Clark (Clarke) in 1644. Dr. Clark was a skilled surgeon and Baptist minister who was instrumental in the founding principles that outline the government of the State of Rhode Island. He immigrated to Boston, Massachusetts with his brothers to escape the growing persecution found in his homeland of Suffolk, England. The party quickly found similar persecution in New England, and sought to establish a colony where they would have religious freedom. He received his education in England, and on the European continent, and graduated on July 17, 1635 from University of Leydon, Holland. Clark is said to have been converted, baptized and ordained by the Baptists of Holland, who had previously established the “right of all men to religious liberty and the duty of obedience to lawful government.” Clark was steadfast in the doctrines of the Particular or Calvinistic Baptists as opposed to the Armenian Baptists. Clark was responsible for establishing the first state government that recognized equal civil and religious liberty to all men.
** The following links are still being researched to validate sources,
but the information appears to be reliable.**
The Holland Baptists received authority from the Waldenses.
The Waldenses received authority from Novations.
The Novations received their authority from the Donatists.
The Donatists received their authority from the apostolic church, having received theirs from John the Baptist.
John the Baptist was given divine authority to baptize in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost at his conception by the Holy Spirit.