Skip to content

Jefferson Baptist Association — 1848

Proceedings of the Convention,
Held at Liberty Chapel,
Ashe County, N.C., October 27-28,
Also the Acts of the Association
as they were passed on Monday the 30th, 1848

This is a transcript of the minutes of the 1st session of the Jefferson Baptist Association

At the last session of the Brier Creek Association, the following brethern were appointed, namely, Elders J. Adams, S. P. Smith, Z. B. Adams, S. D. Swann, F. Adams, Wm. Chapel, and Brother Jas. M. Parks, as a committee to meet a delegation from the churches belonging to that Association, north of the Blue Ridge, at Liberty Chapel, on Friday before the fifth Sabbath in October, 1848, for the purpose of looking into the standing of those churches, and if they thought best, to constitute them into an Association.


The Convention met pursuant to appointment, and after hearing a sermon preached, proceeded to business.
1st. On motion, Eld. R. Jacks was called to the chair, and S. F. Anderson to act as secretary.
2nd. The object of the meeting was then explained by the chairman.
3rd. Delegates then handed in letters from six churches, which were read, and the names of the delegates enrolled as follows:–

From Baptist Chapel R. Jacks, Jas. Testerman, Jas. Blevins, Jacob Still, and Benjamin DeBoard.
” Baptist Union S. Ross, J. Rimer, Jesse N. Ross, J. Brown, and J. C. Parks.
” Liberty Chapel Caleb Campbell, D. Blevins, L. Watters, D. Burket, and Robert McGuire
” Sugar Grove Chapel Aaron Blanckenbeckler
” White Top Church E. Edmundson, A. Blevins, Jas. Blevins, Jas. B. Barlow, and David Tucker
” Young’s Chapel Wm. Young, Wm. Perry, D. Sheets, Wm. Sells, and S. F. Anderson

4th. Then Eld. S. P. Smith reported himself, together with Elds. Z. B. Adams, S. D. Swaim, and Bro. James M. Parks, present as a majority of the committee who had a right to act.
5th. On motion, the Secretary was then ordered to furnish the committee with a concise account of the number of ordained ministers, exhorters, and communicants, belonging to the churches represented, and that the committee have until tomorrow morning 10 o’clock to prepare their report.
6th. Appointed Jas. Blevins, L. Watters, and Wm. Young a committee to arrange the preaching during the meeting.
7th. On motion, adjourned until tomorrow morning 10 o’clock. Prayer by S. D. Swaim.
The Convention met according to adjournment. Prayer by R. Jacks.
1st. The names of the delegates were called.
2nd. The committee of Brier Creek Asso’n. handed in the following report.
The following is the report of the Secretary to the Committee.
In compliance with the order of the Convention, I have proceeded to minute an account of the number of ordained ministers, exhorters, and communicants belonging to the churches represented, which is as follows:

Baptist Chapel has 1 ordained 2 exhorters and 101 communicants
Baptist Union 1 ” 2 “ 52 “
Liberty Chapel 58 “
Sugar Grove Chapel 41 “
White Top Church 1 ” 1 “ 21 “
Young’s Chapel 40 “
Total 3 ordained 5 exhorters and 313 communicants.

All of which is respectfully submitted. S. F. Anderson, Sec. Saturday before the fifth Sabbath in October, 1848.

Your Committee from the Brier Creek Assoc’n have examined the above report, and see no just reason why the above named churches should not be embodied into an Association, knowing that it will be for your convenience, and we hope to the advancement of the Redeemer’s cause.
S. P. Smith Z. B. Adams
S. D. Swaim Jas. M. Parks

3rd. On motion, the report was received and the committee discharged.
4th. Then on motion of S. P. Smith, the convention, together with the committee, went into a committee of the whole.
5th. Appointed Eld. S. P. Smith, and Brethern Jas. M. Parks, and Jas. Blevins, a committee to prepare a constitution, and report this evening.
7th. Appointed Eld. S. P. Smith, and Breth’n. Jas. Blevins and Wm. Young, to prepare rules of decorum, and report on Monday.
8th. Appointed S. Ross, J. Blevins, and D. Sheets, together with the chairman and secretary, to prepare a Circular, showing the cause for the separation, between our churches and the Mountain and Threeforks Associations, to be attached to these Minutes, and to report on Monday.
9th. Appointed Wm. Young, J. Still, and B. DeBoard, a committee of finance.
10th. On motion, adjourned until 4 o’clock this evening. Prayer by the ch’n.
Saturday evening, met according to adjournment. Prayer by the chairman.
1st. Called on the committee appointed to prepare the Constitution, to report, who reported the following:


Art. 1st. The Association shall be composed of members chosen by the different churches in our Union producing letters certifying their appointment.
2nd. The members chosen and convened, shall have no power to lord it over God’s heritage; nor shall they have any classical power over the churches, nor shall they infringe any of the internal rights of any church in her union.
3rd. Every Gospel church is free according to the glorious Gospel, to believe and act according to that divine rule of faith and practice.
4th. The Association when convened, shall be governed by a regular and proper decorum.
5th. The Association shall have a Moderator and Clerk, who shall be annually chosen, by the suffrages of the members present.
6th. New churches may be admitted into our Union, who shall petition by letter and delegates; and upon examination, if found orthodox and orderly, shall be received by the Association and manifested by the Moderator giving the delegates the right hand of fellowship.
7th. We will not receive any person as a member of this association, whose conduct be notorious, believing it to be our duty to withdraw from every brother that walketh disorderly.
8th. The Association shall endeavor to furnish the churches with the minutes of the association, as may seem best to the association.
9th. The Clerk shall record the proceedings of the association in a book kept for that purpose, and be allowed a reasonable compensation for his trouble.
10th. This Constitution may be amended by any future association, if they deem it necessary.
11th. The Association requests all the churches in her bounds, having gifts for the ministry, to send them up to the association for examination, and if found orthodox and qualified, to be ordained in the presence of the whole association. — Ordinations only to be attended to in and at our associations.
12th. The Association shall have power to withdraw from any church in her union that may become heretical in principle, or corrupt in practice; or that may violate this constitution, and continue to do so.
13th. The Association shall have power to adjourn themselves to any future time or place they may think most convenient.
14th. The Association shall have power to enquire into the cause why the churches do not at any time of its sitting, represent themselves.
All of which is respectfully submitted.– S. P. Smith, Ch’n

The above was then re-committed to the committee, with the instruction to add the following article:
Art. 15th. The mission question shall be no bar nor test of fellowship with any; but all shall be free, and shall have the privilege of actin and doing with his own, as he or they may in their own judgement think proper, without interruption or molestation.
2nd. The Constitution was then received and adopted, and the committee discharged.
3rd. Called on the committee appointed to prepare Articles of Faith to report, who presented the following:

Articles of Faith

We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired; that it is a perfect rule of faith and practice; and that among others, it teaches the following important truths:
1st. That there is only one living and true God; infinite in every natural and moral excellence.
2nd. That he has revealed himself as the Father, and the Son (or the word), and the Holy Ghost, the same in essence, and equal in divine qualities.
3rd. That man was created holy, but that by willfully violating the law of his Maker he fell from that state, so that by nature there is in us no holiness; but we are all inclined to evil, and in that all have sinned, all are children of wrath, justly exposed to death, temporal, spiritual and eternal.
4th. That the only way of salvation from this state of guilt and condemnation, is through the righteousness and atonement of Jesus Christ, the word, who miraculously assumed our nature without sin, or became incarnate for the suffering of death, and whom God hath set forth to be a preparation through faith in his blood, having so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
5th. That nothing can separate true believers from the love of God; but that they will be kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation; the sure and final proof of their being true believers, consisting in their patient continuance in well doing.
6th. That the proper subjects of the ordinance of baptism, and the Lord’s supper are professed believers; and that baptism is properly administered only by immersion, and is by scriptural example, a pre-requisite to communion at the Lord’s Table.
7th. That the Lord’s supper is to be continued in the church unto the end of time. That the first day of the week is to be observed as the Lord’s day or christian Sabbath.
8th. That there will be a resurrection of the just and unjust; and that the Lord Jesus Christ will come to judge both the living and the dead; and then the wicked shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal.
The above is respectfully submitted. Z. B. Adams, Ch’n.

4th. On motion, the Articles of Faith were received, & the committee discharged.
5th. On motion, the following resolution was unanimously adopted:
Resolved–That we recommend to all churches that may be hereafter constituted, wishing to become members of this body, to procure a copy of the Articles of Faith, as adopted by this Association, so that there may be a uniformity in all the Articles of Faith among the churches composing this Association.
6th. Agreed to call this body by the name of the Jefferson Association.
7th. Agreed to hold a session of the association on Monday.
8th. Appointed S. Ross, Wm. Young, Jas. Blevins, together with the chairman and secretary, a committee of Arrangement, and to report on Monday.
9th. Adjourned until Monday morning, 9o’clock. Prayer by S. P. Smith.

Monday morning, met according to adjournment. Prayer by R. Jacks.
1st. Called the names of the delegates.
2nd. On motion the following article was added to the Constitution:
Art. 16th. Each and every church belonging to this Association, shall be entitled to four delegates or representatives in the association, and no more.
3rd. The committee appointed to prepare rules of decorum, was then called on to report, who handed in the following:

Rules of Decorum

1st. The Association shall be opened and closed by prayer.
2nd. The letters from the churches shall then be read, and the names of the delegates enrolled.
3rd. Only one member shall speak at the same time, who shall rise from his seat, and address the Moderator, and while speaking shall not be interrupted by any member, except the Moderator.
4th. The member speaking shall strictly adhere to the subject, and use no words calculated to irritate.
5th. No member shall abruptly break off, or absent himself without leave of the association.
6th. No member shall speak more than three times on one subject, without leave of the association.
7th. No member shall have liberty of laughing, or whispering, during the time the association is on business.
8th. No member of the association shall address another by any other appellation but that of brother.
9th. The Moderator shall not interrupt any member, or prohibit him from speaking, until he gives his light on the subject, unless he breaks this decorum.
10th. The names of the delegates or member of the association shall be called by the Clerk, as often as the association requires.
11th. The Moderator shall be entitled to the same privilege as another member, provided his seat be filled, but he shall have no vote, unless the association be equally divided.
12th. Every motion made and seconded shall come under the consideration of the association, except it be withdrawn by the member who made it.
13th. Any member who shall willingly and knowingly break any of these rules, shall be reproved by the association, as they may think proper.

4th. On motion, the Rules of Decorum were received, and the committee discharged.
5th. The committee of Finance made the following report of contributions received from the churches:

Received from Baptist Chapel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1.60
” ” Baptist Union. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.00
” ” Liberty Chapel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.05
” ” Sugar Grove Chapel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.82
” ” White Top Church . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.16
” ” Young’s Chapel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.52
……..Total. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $16.16

On motion S. F. Anderson was appointed Treasurer, and the sum of $16.35 paid over to him.
6th. The committee appointed to write the Circular was called on to hand in the Circular, which was done, and the committee discharged.


The following are a part of the reasons that led to the division between the churches that now compose the Jefferson Association, and the Mountain and Threefork Associations. Also, the reasons why we received members from their churches without letters of dismission.
First. In 1836, the Mountain Association while in session, assumed to itself the name and character of an anti-missionary association; we, being possessed of liberal principles, refused to fellowship the name and character.
Secondly. In 1837, while in session, a motion was made to invite transient ministers to a seat, which has ever been their usual practice; but this motion was objected to; the objector was then called on to make his objections known, which he did by saying “there were no transient ministers present except Culpepper and Freeman, and that they were missionaries, and that the missionaries were about to erect a monument over the grave of the Rev. Luther Rice, which would cost from $50 to 100,000 dollars.” The above named brethern then asked liberty to reply to his erroneous statements, which was denied them, thus they were denied the liberty of speech, and from having a seat; and most astonishing of all, they kept this important movement off their minutes.

Thirdly. In 1838, while in session, a resolution was passed, dropping correspondence with all associations, and advising their churches to deal with, and put from among them, all those who joined any of the institutions of the day, or advocated them. This resolution we protested against at the time, and plead with them for equal protection, which they utterly refused to grant; in consequence of the same, the Brier Creek and Lewis Fork associations, with us, refused to submit to this resolution, and rejected the correspondence of the Mountain association; the terms on which that association proposed to continue correspondence being such that none of the sister associations would accede to them. In 1839, there were three requests from the churches presented to the association, requesting that the resolution of 1836 should be rescinded, and that the correspondence of the sister associations should be regained; but instead of granting the requests of the churches, to our astonishment they passed another resolution denying the express meaning of the words used in the resolution passed in 1838. Also at this session there were two or three churches came forward from the Brier Creek association without letters of dismission, and made application for admittance into the association; the reception of the churches was objected to, but a majority received them over the heads of the minority. It was then alleged that the constitution had been violated. The majority then altered the constitution so as to make the reception of those churches constitutional, and after having transacted business of such vital importance to the cause of the association, refused to let it appear upon their minutes.

In 1840, the association violated her constitution by sending a committee to a church that was fully represented in the association. The church did not receive the committee for the reason that she had not asked for it.
The last reason we shall insert is, that the Mountain association retains in her fellowship a minister, against whom charges of the most acrimonious nature have been brought, and he has ever failed to acquit himself of those charges.

We wish it to be directly understood, that the Threefork association remained in connection with, and composed a part of the Mountain association, until all the foregoing acts were passed, and consequently she was accessory to those acts; and she still endeavors to justify them by keeping up a correspondence with that body.

Thus we have briefly stated some of the reasons that led to the division between the two parties; we shall next proceed to give the reasons why we receive members from their churches without letters of dismission.

In the first place it inevitably appears that there is no fellowship between the two parties, it having long since ceased.
And secondly–we allege that it would be inconsistent for us to receive members dismissed in full fellowship from their churches, when there is no fellowship between our churches and theirs.
Thirdly. It is a general practice through the denomination whenever similar divisions have taken place to receive them without letters of dismission.

Therefore, for the future, our church doors will be open as ever, for the reception of members from their churches; and all applicants from those churches, will be required to sustain a good moral and christian character.
7th. The Committee of arrangement was then called on to report, who reported and was discharged.
The report was then taken up and acted on as follows:
1st. Agreed to take up correspondence with the following associations, namely–with the Liberty, The Yadkin, the Brier Creek, in N.C. and the Lebanon in Va.
2nd. Appointed the following brother to write letters of correspondence to these associations as follows: Wm. Young and D. Sheets to the Liberty. Elder S. Ross and Jas. Testerman, to the Yadkin; Jas. Blevins and E. Edmundson to the Brier Creek; Caleb Campbell and A. Blevins to the Lebanon.
3rd. Appointed the following brother, corresponding messengers as follows: Elder R. Jacks to the Liberty; Elders S. Ross, E. Edmundson and Bro. A. Blevins to the Yadkin; R. Jacks, S. Ross, E. Edmundson, Jas. Blevins and Jas. Testerman to the Brier Creek; S. Ross, Wm. Young and Aaron Blackenbeckler to the Lebanon.
4th. Agreed to hold our next association at Baptist Chapel M. H., Ashe Co., N.C., 11 miles North of Jefferson, to commence on the second Saturday in October, 1849.
5th. Appointed R. Jacks to preach the introductory sermon; S. Ross his alternate.
6th. Appointed the Secretary to have 400 copies of the minutes printed, and to distribute the same; and that he be allowed two dollars for his trouble.
7th. On motion, adjourned until two o’clock this evening. Prayer by Z. B. Adams.
Met according to adjournment. Prayer by R. Jacks.
1st. The brethern appointed to write corresponding letters, handed in the letters which were assigned to the Chairman and Secretary on behalf of the association, and the brethern were discharged.
2nd. Appointed Wm. Young, Jas. Blevins, and C. Campbell to prepare a written report to be read at the next association on the propriety of Sabbath Schools, and the best means of getting them into operation.
3rd. Appointed Elder S. Ross, and brethern A. Blevins, and Jas. Testerman, to prepare a report on the state of religion, to be read at the next association.
4th. Appointed to D. Sheets, J. B. Young, and S. F. Anderson to write a report on the distribution of religious periodicals, to be read at the next association.
5th. The Association then attended to the following miscellaneous matters:
The following resolution was offered by S. Ross, which was unanimously adopted:–Resolved that we believe that Sabbath Schools are a religious institution of vital importance as a means in the hands of God, for the advancement of the Redeemer’s kingdom. We therefore recommend to all our churches, to establish Sabbath Schools whereever they can.
On motion of S. F. Anderson, the following resolution was adopted.
Resolved that the minutes of this association, be distributed among the churches, according to the amount of contributions received from each church.
On motion of S. F. Anderson, the following preamble and resolution was unanimously adopted: — whereas the Rev. S. P. Smith, has been appointed the Baptist State Convention of N.C., to ride and preach in the bounds of the Brier Creek and Jefferson associations, the Convention having pledged itself for one half of his wages at $25.00 per month: Therefore, Resolved– that this Association, now in session, select a delegate from each church, who shall constitute a board, who duty it shall be to raise funds to pay him her portion of the other half, and for one month besides. The board also shall designate the field of his labors, and the board shall meet from time to time as often as necessary, and consult as to the best practicable means to be used in procuring the sum necessary; and when procured, the churches shall appoint delegates to bear the same on to the Convention of N.C., who shall be considered as the delegates of this Association.
The following brethern were selected to constitute the Board: From Baptist Chapel, Jas. Blevins; From Baptist Union, S. Ross; From Liberty Chapel, L. Watters; from Sugar Grove Chapel, A. Blanckenbeckler; from White Top Church, E. Edmundson; from Young’s Chapel, S. F. Anderson.
Resolved–that the thanks for this association be tendered to the tent holders and citizens of this neighborhood, for the kind entertainment of this meeting.

On motion, adjourned to the time and place of holding our next association.
Prayer by S. D. Swain. Benediction by the Chairman.
R. Jacks, Ch’m.
S. F. Anderson, Sec.