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.


Anonymous said...

Great blog, thanks. I really like it!

Anonymous said...

His will states as such his position but also states, "the father of 13 lawful children." I am not sure if this means he knew there were more or if 13 was the total. Certainly with his wife it is such.