Friday, April 25, 2008

A new name

a new name for the blog ---
same address, just clearer name for what it is.....

(and where are you folks with other church history blogs?)

"Kentucky, you are the dearest place outside of Heaven to Me"

"Kentucky, You are the Dearest Place Outside of Heaven to Me...."
The comment below mine is taken and moved up here to the front of the blog...

The problems with strict congregationalism is that when a church begins to decline, there is no one to fix it but themselves. In the old days, you could count on traveling Universalist preachers who preached because they had too, and had other occupations because they had too.
I have lots of reasons for not wanting to include Kentucky in my dealing with Universalist history - in the days of Enoch Pingree, Universalism swept like fire through Kentucky - with the Restorationist Brethren in the rural areas preaching their verson of the goodnews --- there were probably more Universalist or universalist Churches in Kentucky than in the entire rest of the south.
By the Civil War, the Brethren Restorationists had gone from Kentucky to Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa and other parts of the (back then) wild west. Pingree died young, Imagine how much he could have built, if he had lived double his lifespan, until his 60s - and able to do twice the work he had done in Kentucky.
To do right by Kentucky, means that someone should know Kentucky history and Kentucky geography. I'm still struggling to learn about those semi-foreign lands Mississippi and Alabama.
while I feel sure that someone will eventually cover Kentucky Universalist history better than I ever could, right now however is the time we have. and if not me, then yeah......

(so about those pictures...............)
Blogger cdmhogan said...

KY Universalist Convention: Rasnake, 1907-09; Chapman, 1916-1922, Bodell, 1935-1941.

KY is sort of an "Orphan State", isn't it?

There's 3 buildings still standing that Rasnake, Chapman and Bodell waxed eloquent in, 2 abandoned, Beulah and Good Hope, and I fear Hopkinsville will soon join them. It is 45 miles from my house, and after 15 years of attendance, I've slowly withdrawn, and it's wobbling along!

There's no Ohio Valley Universalist History interest, and if your blog abandons KY, it will certainly continue it's slide into oblivion! There are fourteen photos of Universalist ministers who served the KY Convention on display in the Hopkinsville church, but how long they'll survive is problematical. I have photocopies, but the originals are there in a broken frame as of last year.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

1899 South Carolina convention

from the Universalist Herald - thanks to the Canon Universalist folks in Georgia for this scan.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

William Miller Bledsoe KY (1761-1811)

William Miller Bledsoe (1761 -1811)

thanks to an anonymous poster
SC Universalist: a working history: Manford's Monthly Magazine 1880 Jan - April

for pointing out this from
A History of Kentucky Baptists
By J. H. Spencer
WILLIAM BLEDSOE, the first pastor of Crab Orchard church, was the son of Joseph Bledsoe, the founder and first pastor of old Gilberts Creek church of Separate Baptists. He, with his father and brothers, was among the early settlers of what is now Garrard county. He was a brother of the distinguished judge Jesse Bledsoe, who served two terms in the United States Senate from Kentucky.

William Bledsoe was a native of Culpeper county, Virginia. He was probably raised up to the ministry, under the preaching of his father, in Gilberts Creek church, after he came to Kentucky. He was the most active laborer in that wonderful revival in Lincoln and Garrard counties, in 1789, and the years following. He was in the constitution of Cedar Creek church, at Crab Orchard, in 1791, and became the first pastor of this church. During the revival just referred to, in 1789, two hen's eggs were brought to Gilberts Creek meeting-house with this sentence written on them: "The day of God's awful judgment is near." It was pretended that this writing was on the eggs when they were found in the nest. "Elder W. Bledsoe," says Mr. Boulware, "read aloud. The people were alarmed. Elder Bledsoe professed to feel alarmed, preached, exhorted, warned, invited, etc., etc. This revival lasted several months. I have seen from five to twenty come up, or led up, to be prayed for at one time. There were about 400 added to the church."5 "He" [William Bledsoe], says John M. Peck, "was a smart, rather than a pious preacher." John Bailey, who was one of the laborers in this revival, subsequently became a Universalist. Bledsoe also apostatized to Universalism, and then became indifferent to a religious life and reckless in his conduct. "Elder W. Bledsoe," says Mr. Boulware, "and many of his converts embraced the doctrine of universal salvation, and soon after he became
[p. 232]
a deist, and died a practicing horse-racer. I continued an acquaintance with these converts for eight or nine years, and then knew not of one that had not, like the dog and sow, turned to their vomit and mire again.” Such were the fruits of this shameful fraud and hypocrisy, and the end of the man who practiced them. "God is not mocked: whatsoever a man soweth that shall he reap."
always hard to know what is what. certainly the last lines is the typical anti-0Universalist messages. Certainly early Kentucky is known in the literature as a hot bed of dietism, and wickedness. Certainly horse racing was a widely popular event in the South - George Washington being one of those sorts.
William Miller Bledsoe (1761-1811) was indeed the son of Rev. Joseph Bledsoe. His father moved himself and his entire Baptist congregation (one source says) from Culpepper County to Kentucky. This apparently in the late 1770s or very early 1780s. William Miller Bledsoe's children and brothers were apparently very active in the Restoration or Campbelite Movement.
WMB had over 13 children. Lived and his buried in Lancaster Kentucky.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Summer 1923

information taken from the UNIVERSALIST LEADER
Lyman Ward (of Camp Hill, Alabama) was part of the contributing staff
Southern Superintendent (of churches): Rev. Frances Briton Bishop, Montgomery Alabama
Georgia State Superintendent: Rev. A. G. Strain, Atlanta, Georgia
Kentucky state Superintendent: empty
Texas State Superintendent: Rev R. L Brooks, Elgin, Texas

May 26, 1923 issue
the director of the Young People's work; Stanley Manning is to be in Winder Georgia on May 26, Chapman Alabama on May 29, Brewton, Alabama on May 30, DeFuniak Springs, Florida on June 3, and Hamburg, Florida on June 4.
Rev. Thomas Chapman (of the Newberry / Saluda SC Chapman family) has an article on the centenary of the church in Belpre, Ohio

June 2, 1923 issue
Stanley Manning writes his column in Deep Run, NC on May 17th. He mentions visiting Suffolk, Virginia, and seeing closing exercises for the year at Rev Joseph F. Jordan's school - he mentions two new African-American ministers preaching within a 50 mile radius of Suffolk - a father and son, but doesn't name them.

June 9, 1923 issue
Stanley Manning writes his column while "down in Alabama" on May 28th. He mentions the depression in Georgia which had been going on for the past three years (yes years before the stock market crash and in the midst of the Roaring 20s). This has led the following Universalist ministers and professionals to head north: Hal Kerns, Will Garner, Mary Slaughter, Armon Cheek, Thomas Chapman and J. M. Rasnake. Manning mentions that he himself had been on the Southern Georgia circuit for his first four years in his ministry.

June 16, 1923 issue
Stanley Manning is back home in Ma. He mentions going to Canon, Georgia; Atlanta, Georgia; Brewton, Alabama; Outlaw's Bridge, NC; Newberry, SC; Feasterville, SC; Camp Hill, Alabama; Rocky Mount, NC; Kinston, Durham; NC. In Canon Georgia, Manning watched the graduation of Stanley Owens from High School. "my namesake. One of the dangers of being born in Dixie is that you may be named for any tramp preacher than may happen along about that time."
He went to Camp Hill, Georgia, and Americus, Georgia (where he had been ordained by Dr. Shinn), to Winder Georgia, and to DeFuniak Springs, where Manning preached before leaving the south. "Visits there are always a real home-coming". Rev. A. Arnold Ross was the preacher then as well as a writer for the local "The Breeze". In Chapman, Alabama, he stayed with Mr and Mrs. Greeley McGowin - and spoke at the Union Church there. In Brewton, Mrs Miller was ill, so he stayed at the home of Mrs. Sam Foshee. In Pensacola, Florida; Mr. Herrider, a city editor of the local paper, was supplying the pulpit. His last stop was the Hamburg Florida Church near Madison.

ATLANTA.-- " Rev. Ernest J. Bowden, pastor. Rev. Bowden, who took charge of the work here in February, was given a call on May 27 to become pastor for one year, and has accepted. The Sunday School is flourishing under the superintendency of Hamilton Douglas and Mr. Knox. An orchestra has been organized by Mr. Bowden to augment the music of Sunday School and young people's meetings. The Y. P. C. U. meets every Sunday at 6 O'Clock, and the meeting is followed by a social hour with light refreshments. A Hikers' club has been organized among the young people, of which Mr,. and Mrs. Bowden are members. The Women's Union is interested in a movement to improve prison conditions in Atlanta.

The fifth meeting of the Southern Universalist Young People's Institute will be held at he Q. H. Shin Memorial Church, Friday July 20. The opening sermon will be preached by Rev.
F. B. Bishop, D.D.
The faculty is composed of the following: Rev. George A. Gay, Director; Rev. F. B. Bishop, Southern Superintendent; Rev. L. B. Fisher, Dean Ryder Divinity School; Rev. Stanley Manning, Directory Young People's Work; Mrs. Katharine Haskell Ball, Missionary. The program will include lectures each morning from nine until twelve; excursions to Lookout Mountain, Signal Mountain, and other points of interest; sunset praise services on the mountains; special sermons by noted preachers; delightful social affairs in the homes of Chattanooga members. education, Inspiration, Recreation. " Terms: $1 enrollment fee and $10 board and room.

June 23, 1923 issue
(Women's National Missionary Association)
News from the Clinton Circuit by Martha G. Jones from Clinton NC
Clinton has 20 members, Red Hill has 17, and there are 8 members-at-large. Clinton WNMA had a food both at the County Fair in the fall top help pay the delinquent street paving tax, and the parsonage and church roof painted.

Mr. O. W. Eames of the Crane Theological School will spend the summer in NC preaching for Rev. Harry L. Canfield who plans to be in New England and attend Summer School at Harvard.

Greensboro, North Carolina; Rev. R. S. Kellerman, pastor. four children christened recently and three adults added to the membership in June.

June 30, 1923 issue
Future North Carolina resident, Carl Sandburg, was given an honorary Doctor of Letters at Lombard College, He had graduated from Lombard in the class of 1902.

In Stanley Manning's column he mentions that he will be going to the Southern Young People's Institute in July and the Texas State Convention in August in New Castle)

Rev Dwight Ball preaches the first Sunday evening, two services on the second sunday, and weekly midweek services at Kinston NC since October.
In Deep Run, Rev Ball preaches on the first Sunday afternnon at the home of Martha and Nannie Grady. a large Sunday School has meet weekly for the past two years, currently under the direction of Preston Harper (who is a 19 year old high school student). Current membership is 54, and a lot was donated by Mr. Grady. The church was founded by Mrs. Ball.

July 7, 1923 issue
Stanley Manning's column mentions Clayton Memorial and the Feasterville Church in SC.
and he mentions the 200 year history of Universalism in South Carolina.

Mary Slaughter (picture in this issue) becomes the "Colleague of the President" of the General Sunday School Association. She was born in Camp Hill, Got a BA degree at Judson College for Women and the St. Lawrence University, She taught at the Southern Industrial Institute, and spent a year as the Assistant pastor of the church in Haverhill Mass. (this is described as being interim between ministers).

Christian Hill, NC - Rev Dwight A. Ball minister; weekend of the 4th Sunday, service Saturday evening, and two Sunday services" 5 new members and two children christened. In June 100 attended the Sunday Morning service and a 100 for the afternoon service.

this confirms that Feasterville SC was active in 1923 as was Americus Georgia. This also tells us why the decline of Universalism in the South started post WW1 - the depression led to a shortage of ministers. North Carolina's ministers were being paid for by the WNMA

there are a couple of good quotes that still work 80 years later that will be going on UU-ing, I will link to this post (for those of you who dont read both of my blogs)

some typos corrected April 13, 2008