History of the Blue Ridge Baptist Association
The following information is taken from Minutes of the Blue Ridge Baptist Association from 1920 to 1934.
The Blue Ridge Baptist Association was formed in 1888 from the Stony Fork Baptist Associaiton. The Blue Ridge Association held churches along the Blue Ridge Mountain in Ashe and Wilkes County, North Carolina.
This association was in the Mountain Union tradition, and “corresponded” with the Mountain Union; Little River, Mitchell’s River, and Primitive Associations of Regular Baptists.
For the period of the minutes used in this study, Elder David Roten, of Sherman, North Carolina was moderator. D. C. Miller of Obids, North Carolina was clerk from 1920 through 1929. W. A. Blackburn was clerk from 1930 through the 1934 session.
There was a schism in the Union Baptists of the Blue Ridge in the mid-1930s. It also appears that the Blue Ridge Baptist Association ceased to funcaiton about this time. Further details from readers would be appreciated.
Constitution of the Blue Ridge Baptist Association
Any church wishing to become a member of this body, after examination being found orthodox and sound in the faith and orderly may be received by the Moderator, giving the right hand of fellowship.
System of the Blue Ridge Baptist Association
As the communion of saints, so the communion of churches is a desirable blessing to obtain and promote, which ought to be the endeavor of God. Although churches formed on the gospel paln are independent of each other with regard to communion, for as saints in general have a right to share each other’s gifts and grace, so have churches, in their joint capacity. It is a general rule to do good and communicate, and forget not. — Heb. 13 and 16 which is applicable in a particular manner to churches as such. In order more amply to obtain this blessing of communion there ought to be a coalescing or uniting of several churches into one body, so far as the local situation and other circumstances will admit. But as it is impracticable for all the individual members thus to associate and coalesce together, the churches should each respectively choose and delegate some fo the most able, pious, and judicious from among themselves, and particular their Ministers to convene at such times and places as may be thought most conducive to the great end proposed, to act as their representatives in the general assembly. Their expenses ought to be defrayed by the churches which send them.
These delegates at their first meeting are to enter into covenant with each other as the representatives of the churches for the promotion of Christ’s cause in general and the interest of the churches they represent in particular.
They should form their plan of operations an fix the most proper place and time for meeting in the future. Although such a conjunction of churches is not expressly commanded in Scripture, yet it receives sufficient countenance and authority from the light of nature, and the general laws of society, but more especially from a precedent established by the apostolic authority recorded in Acts 15th chapter.
An association thus formed is a reputable body as it represents not a city, country, or nation, but the churches of Jesus Christ.
She is by no means to be deemed a superior Judicature, vessel with coervice power or authority over churches. She presumes no to impose her sentiments on her constituents under pain of Excommunication nor anathemize those who do not implicitly submit to her determination, which would be nothing less than tyranny and better comport with the arbitrary spirit of Papish counsels, than with the meekness which distinguished the true disciples and humble followers of the lowly yet adored Jesus.
The Apostles, Elders, and brethern who composed the first Christian councils presumed not to impose their conclusions on the churches in such a lordly manner, but perfected their determination with this modest prologue: “It seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us to lay upon you no-greater burdens than these necessary things.” — Acts 15th and 28th verse.
The Baptist association arrogates no higher title than that of advisory counsel consistent with which epithet she ought ever to act when she acts at all, without intruding upon the rights of independent congregational churches, or usurping authority over them. Matt. 23:12
Nevertheless Association has a natural and inalienable right to judge for herself what churches shall be admitted into union with her, and to withdraw from all acts of communion and fellowship with any churches so admitted , provided such church obstinately persists in holding corrupt principles or indulging vicious practices. Eph. 5:7, Rev. 18:4. An association when transacting business should proceed in the following manner: —
Rules of Decorum – From the 1933 Minutes.
- Always begin and end each session with prayer.
- Admit non as messengers but such as come recommended by letter well authenticated from churches to which they belong.
- A Moderator and Clerk shall be chosen by ballot.
- When a church petitions by letter for admission, if approved of, the Moderator is to inform the messengers that their request is granted and desire them to take seats.
- All who have anything to offer are to rise and address the Moderator.
- While one is speaking the rest to be silent, yet all have a right to speak in turn.
- No partiality or respect of persons are to be shown.
- Every matter should be canvasses with gravity, modesty and sincere aim after the truth.
- When all are not agreed, the matter may be put to a vote, and a majority to determinate.
- All queries, regularly sent by the churches should be answered if expedient.
- All matters proposed relative to the general good of the churches should be seriously attended to.
- Every transaction should be comfortable to the revealed will of God.
- The transaction of the association shall be sent to all the churches in the union.
- By the association, the church may have such doubts as arise among themselves cleared, whch will prevent disputes. Acts. 15:28
- They will be furnished with salutary counsels. Prov.11:14
- A member who is aggrieved through partiality or any other received by the church, may have an opportunity of applying for directions.
- A Godly and sound Ministry will be encouraged while a Ministry that is unsound and ungodly will be discountenanced.
Articles of Faith – From the 1929 Minutes.
- We believe in only one true and living God, and that there are three persons in the God-Head, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and these three are One.
- We believe that the scriptures of the Old and New Testament are the Word of God, and the only rule of Faith and Practice.
- We believe in the impotency of man to recover himself from the fallen state he is in, by his own ability.
- We believe that salvation is only by grace, through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
- We believe that Baptism, Communion and Fee Washing are ordinances instituted by Jesus Christ and should be practiced by all true believers.
- We believe that the only mode of baptism is by immersion and that true believers are the only subjects.
- We believe in the final preservation of the saints in grace into glory.
- We believe in the resurrection of the dead and a general judgment.
- We believe that the happiness of the righteous and the punishment of the wicked will both be eternal
Churches of the Blue Ridge Baptist Association
Blue Ridge Church, was organized in 1887. It is located in Ashe County, North Carolina, was a member of the Blue Ridge Baptist Association by 1920 and was a member there through at least 1934.
1920 – Lee Miller, James M. Parsons, J. A. Parsons, D. C. Miller, C. L. Parsons
1921 – D. C. Miller, W. R. Phillips, C. L. Parsons
1923 – D. C. Miller, W. S. Watson, C. L. Parsons, W. T. Beshears
1925 – W. S. Watson, W. T. Beshears
1928 – W. S. Watson, D. C. Miller, Jones Church, C. L. Parsons
1929 – D. C. Miller, W. T. Beshears, W. R. Phillips, J. S. McGuire
1930 – D. C. Miller, W. R. Phillips, J. S. McGuire, J. E. Walker
1931 – J. S. McGuire, J. F. Walker, D. J. Church, D. C. Miller
1933 – J. S. McGuire, W. S. Watson, D. C. Miller
1934 – J. S. McGuire, D. C. Miller, O. M. Watson
Big Ivey Church was located at or near Walsh, in Wilkes County, North Carolina.
1920 – C. C. Beshears, T. J. Walsh
1921 – C. C. Beshears, J. A. Walker
1923 – James Walker, T. J. Walsh, M. C. Parsons
1925 – C. C. Beshears
1928 – C. C. Beshears, W. A. Blackburn, A. T. Blackburn, J. A. Walker
1929 – W. A. Blackburn, C. C. Beshears, Clyde Phillips, A. T. Blackburn
1930 – W. A. Blackburn, A. T. Blackburn, Clyde Phillips
1931 – W. A. Blackburn, A. T. Blackburn, T. R. Parsons, J. C. Wheeling
1933 – W. A. Blackburn, A. T. Blackburn, W. M. McGuire
1934 – W. A. Blackburn, A. T. Blackburn, C. C. Beashears, W. M. McGuire
Friendship church was located at Lester in Wilkes County, North Carolina.
1920 – J. T. Royal, J. A. Royal, W. G. Royal, J. R. Royal
1921 – Edgar Royal, Gordon Wingler, J. A. Royal, Read Royal
1923 – Eugene Wyatt, Gordon Wingler
1925 – Eugene Wyatt, N. Sheppard
1928 – J. T. Royal, N. Sheppard, J. R. Hall, J. A. Royal
1929 – Vergil Jenkins, Robert Wyatt
1930 – N. Sheppard, J. R. Hall
1931 – J. R. Hall, S. M. Osborne, N. Shepherd, Bob Wyatt
1933 – N. Sheppard, S. M. Osborne
1934 – Not listed
Patton’s Ridge Church was located on Patton’s Ridge in Wilkes County, North Carolina.
1920 – Melvin Michael, R. L. Wagonor, Jacob Walters
1921 – Not Represented
1923 – J. A. Keys
1925 – J. A. Keys, Thomas Church
1928 – Not Represented
1929 – Not represented
1930 – J. A. Kees, W. B. Church
1931 – J. A. Kees, J. C. Waters, Grady Church
1933 – Not listed
1934 – J. A. Kees, Ben Church
Piney Ridge Church was located near Obids in Wilkes County, North Carolina.
1920 – C. C. Woody, C. C. Burgess
1921 – Roey Miller, Thomas Parsons
1923 – W. M. Mash, Ham Mash, T. A. Parsons, W. A. Brown
1925 – W. A. Brown
1928 – C. C. Burgess
1929 – W. A. Brown, Ham Marsh, H. C. Miller
1930 – W. A. Brown
1931 – J. M. Marsh, J. C. Woodie, T. H. Harless, W. A. Brown
1933 -W. A. Brown, H. C. Miller
1934 – J. C. Woodie, H. C. Miller, W. A. Brown, T. H. Harless
This church was listed in the 1920 minutes of the Blue Ridge Association, but no indentifying information was given. This church was carried on the statistical table through 1928, after that it disappears from associational records.
1920 – Not represented.
1921 – Not represented.
1923 – Not represented
1924 – Not represented
1925 – Not represented
1928 – Not represented
This church was located at Wilbar, Wilkes County, North Carolina, but received mail from Obids, Ashe County North Carolina. It was admitted into the Mountain Union Association in 1889 as a newly constituted church. This church requested and was granted a letter of dismission from the Mountain Union Baptist Association at the 1902 session. It later appears in the Blue Ridge Baptist Association and still later as a member of the Mitchell’s River Baptist Association. It is still an active church.
1920 – David Roten, J. W. Wingler
1921 – Ira Miller, J. C. Wyatt, R. L. Roten
1923 – J. C. Wyatt, A. Shepherd, Floyd Dancy, J. W. Wingler
1925 – J. C. Wyatt, J. W. Wingler, A. Sheppard, Ira Miller
1928 – W. T. Wyatt
1929 – W. T. Wyatt, J. C. Wyatt, A. Sheppard
1930 – Alex Wyatt, Floyd Dancy, Elex Sheppard
1931 – W. T. Wyatt, F. L. Dancy, Thruman Wyatt, M. M. Ashley
1933 – W. T. Wyatt, J. R. Dancy, L. L. Little, J. C. Wyatt
1934 – W. T. Wyatt, J. R. Dancy, F. L. Dancy, J. T. Wyatt
Zion Regular Baptist Church was located at Vannoy in Wilkes County, North Carolina.
1920 – R. Shepherd, J. D. Wyatt
1921 – T. H. Ashley, W. D. Kilby, J. D. Wyatt, R. Shepherd, A. M. Dancy
1923 – T. H. Ashley, R. Shepherd, J. D. Wyatt, W. D. Kilby
1925 – R. Shepherd, W. D. Kilby, T. H. Ashley, A. N. Dancy
1928 – Represented by letter
1929 – W. D. Kilby, R. Sheppard, J. D. Wyatt, Rome Kilby
1930 – R. Sheppard, W. D. Kilby, J. C. Patrick, A. N. Dancy
1931 – A. R. Miller, T. H. Ashley, Guy Sheets, R. Kilby
1933 – A. R. Miller, E. D. Dancy, J. D. Wyatt, J. C. Patrick
1934 – T. H. Ashley, R. Sheppard