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Minutes of the Fifth Anniversary of the Jefferson Association

Held at Baptist Union, Grayson County, Va

September 1st, 2nd and 3rd, 1853

This body met in its fifth annual meeting September 1st and after the delivery of the introductory sermon by Elder Armstrong Blevins, from the 31st verse of the 12th chapter of the Gospel of St. John, convened in the house for the purpose of transacting the business of the Association.

  1. The Association being called to order by Elder S. Ross, proceeded to business.
  2. The delegates from the churches presented letters; their names were called and enrolled as follows:

    Church Delegates
    Baptist Union S. Ross, John Cannoy, Jesse N. Ross, and Pilgrim Parks
    Mount Pleasant Daniel Blevins, Peter Ernest, Solomon Blackburn, Jan. And William Hurley
    Liberty Chapel Jacob Walters, James L. Pope, John Garvey and Elijah Pope
    Sugar Grove John Cress, Samuel Houndshell, R. K. Slimp, and Jonathan McCloud
    Baptist Chapel James Blevins, W. Thompson, James Testerman and Jackson Blevins
    Young’s Chapel William Young, W. G. Baldwin, J. H. Perkins, and J. B. Young
    White Top Church E. Edmonson, Uriah Huffman, Henry Farmer, and J. Lewis
    Friendship William Ross and Walden Carter
  3. The Association then proceeded to elect a Moderator and Clerk, which resulted in the choice of Elder S. Ross, Moderator, and J. H. Perkins, Clerk. Elders N. C. Baldwin and V. Bowers being appointed tellers.
  4. Called for new Churches: Received one new church by the name of Union, situated in Ashe County, N.C., and represented by the following brethern: Armstrong Blevins, William Brown, Nathan Eastrage, and A. Davidson.
  5. Called for correspondence: Received from Holston, Elder V. Bowers, with a letter showing his appointment, also a package of Minutes; from Lebanon, Elder N. C. Baldwin, and Minutes.
  6. On motion of Elder Baldwin, transient ministers were invited: whereupon Elder J. A. Davis, from the Holston Association, accepted the invitation, took a seat with us and aided much in our deliberations.
  7. On motion, A. Blevins, W. G. Baldwin, James Blevins, together with the Moderator, Clerk, and corresponding delegates, were appointed a Committee of Arrangements.
  8. A Committee of Finance was appointed, consisting of brethern William Young, James Testerman, and J. B. Young.
  9. The pastor and delegates of this church were appointed to arrange religious services during this meeting.
  10. The Committee to arrange religious services report that Elders Baldwin and Bowers occupy the stage to-night. E. Edmondson and Davis on to-morrow.
  11. On motion, appointed J. A. Davis, N. C. Baldwin, and J. H. Perkins, a Committee on Resolutions.
  12. On motion, adjourned till tomorrow 10 o’clock. Prayer by Elder Baldwin.

Friday Morning, September 2nd.

Met according to adjournment. Prayer by Elder S. D. Swaim.

  1. On motion, the report of the Committee of Arrangements was received, and the committee discharged.
  2. Another invitation was given to correspondents: Received from the Brier Creek, Elder S. D. Swaim and Thomas Howell, with a letter showing their appointment as delegates to this Association. Received from the Yadkin, bro. H. G. Brown, with a parcel of minutes.
  3. The amendment of the 11th Article of the Constitution, was proposed in the minutes of 1851, was taken up and adopted, making the 11th article to read: “This Constitution shall be subject to amendment by a concurrence of two-thirds of the members of the Association, at its annual session.”
  4. The amendment to the 6th Article, as proposed in the minutes of 1851, was, on motion, rejected.
  5. A motion was then made by James Blevins to appoint a committee to prepare an amendment to the 6th article. After an interesting discussion by several brethern, the motion was withdrawn. Whereupon the following amendment offered by Elder Baldwin was unanimously adopted:

    1. Art. 6. All the ordained ministers of this Association shall compose a standing presbytery, whose duty it shall be to attend all the calls of the churches and ordain ministers. Allowing them the privilege of calling any other ministerial aid, upon which a majority of them may agree.”
  6. On motion, the 7th article of the Constitution was ordered to be stricken out, and the following inserted in lieu thereof:

    1. Art. 7. The missionary subject shall at no time be a test of fellowship in this Association. But every church shall have liberty to aid or to refuse to aid in the missionary cause; and such co- operation shall at no time be made a test of fellowship.”
  7. On motion, adjourned to 3 o’clock, P.M.

Friday Evening, 3 o’clock

Met according to adjournment, Prayer by Elder Davis.

  1. Correspondents to sister Associations were called on to report: James Blevins said he attended the Brier Creek Association, and was received in love. W. G. Baldwin said he attended the Lebanon, and enjoyed much satisfaction while in council with the brethern composing that body. S. Ross and J. H. Perkins reported that they visited the brethern at the Holston. They said they were cordially received, and found benevolent enterprises in that section, greatly on the advance.
  2. On motion of Elder Baldwin, all (with the exception of Elder Edmondson), that were appointed correspondents and failed to attend, were rebuked by the Moderator, for their inattention to duty.
  3. On motion, correspondents were appointed to sister Associations, as follows: To the Lebanon, commencing Thursday before the 3rd Friday in September 1853: W. G. Baldwin, J. B. Young, and Wm. Brown. To the Brier Creek, commencing the 4th Saturday in September, 1853; S. Ross, A. Blevins, James Blevins and Jackson Blevins. To the Yadkin, commencing Friday before the 1st Sabbath in October 1853; S. Ross, A. Blevins, James and Jackson Blevins. To the Holston, commencing the 2nd Friday in August 1854; S. Ross, A. Blevins, W. G. Baldwin, J. B. Young, and William Brown.
  4. Appointed the next annual session of the Jefferson Association to be held with the Mt. Pleasant church, Ashe County, N.C., to commence on Thursday before the 1st Sabbath in September 1854. Elder S. Ross to preach the introductory sermon.
  5. On motion, the Secretary was appointed Treasurer; also to superintend the printing and distribution of 600 copies of the minutes, and be allowed $6.00 for his services.
  6. On motion, the corresponding delegates were directed to write letters of correspondence, and sign the names of the Moderator and Clerk.
  7. The committee to arrange religious services reported that Elder S. D. Swaim preach tonight. On tomorrow, Elders Swaim, Davis, and Baldwin. On Sabbath, Elders Davis, Balwin and Bowers. When, on motion, the committee was discharged.

Adjourned till 10 o’clock tomorrow. Prayer by the Chairman.

Saturday Morning, September 3rd.

Met according to adjournment. Prayer by N. C. Baldwin.

  1. The Committee on Resolutions reported, and were discharged.
  2. After the delivery of several interesting speeches, the following preambles and resolutions were adopted.


  1. Resolved, That we advise the churches in this Association to discountenance the use of ardent spirits as a beverage among their members; and,
  2. Resolved, That the joining or not joining the order of the Sons of Temperance shall be no test of fellowship. 2nd. Whereas, the Baptist denomination has suffered much in past years, in consequence of the character of her ministry; and whereas we consider it to be absolutely necessary for us, in view of the present age of improvement, and the characters of ministers demanded by our denomination, arising from the many sources of opposition, with which we, as a denomination, have to contend, there

    Resolved, That we advise the churches to offer no man for ordination, without the concurrence of the ablest and most judicious brethern, within their bounds, and the fullest assurance that such candidate is “apt to teach.”

  3. Whereas, the duty of ministerial support is one that is clearly taught and enforced in the scriptures, both by precept and example, therefore:

    1. Resolve, That we advise the churches of this Association to subscribe liberally for the support of their pastors.
    2. Resolved. That this Association considers it unmanly, ungentlemanly and unchristian in the extreme, for any person and more particularly for church members, to subscribe to a preacher, or any benevolent cause, and refuse to meet their obligation.
  4. [sic] Resolved, That the thanks of this Association are due, and are hereby tendered to the Tent holders at Baptist Union, and those of the surrounding citizens, who aided in supporting the Association, for the indefatigable attention and unremitted efforts to make the members of this Association, and the congregation generally, comfortable and happy during our stay amongst them.
  5. On motion of br. W. G. Baldwin, a committee of five were appointed to choose a missionary for the ensuing year, to designate his field of labor, and fix his salary. Whereupon the following brethern were appointed: Wm. Young, James Testerman, W. G. Baldwin, J. B. Young, and J. H. Perkins.
  6. On motion adjourned to 3 o’clock. Prayer N. C. Baldwin.

Saturday Evening

The delegates convened again. Prayer by the Chairman.

  1. The committee to appoint a missionary reported; on motion, the report was received, and the committee discharged. The report is as follows:

    1. The committee to select a missionary for the ensuing year, submit the following as their report:
    2. Elder Stephen Ross is chosen as a missionary to travel and preach in the bounds of this Association, the ensuing year, at a salary of three hundred dollars; this Association to petition the Goshen Association, Va., for two-thirds of that amount, and pledge herself for the residue.
  2. The propriety of uniting this with the Lebanon Association, was taken up, and on motion of N. C. Baldwin, it was indefinitely postponed.
  3. On motion, the report of the committee to appoint a missionary was confirmed.
  4. The deacons of each Church appointed collectors, to collect funds to aid in sustaining the missionary.
  5. Directed the missionary to labor in the bounds of this Association, with the privilege of visiting sister Associations as a correspondent, and occasionally visiting destitute portions; — especially where there is a probability of good being effected.
  6. Application was then made to Elder Ross to know if he would accept the appointment– Ascertaining that he would, the following five brethern were appointed a committee to confer with the corresponding secretary of the board of the Goshen Association: W. G. Baldwin, J. B. Baldwin, J. B. Young, James Blevins, Wm. Young, and J. H. Perkins.
  7. On motion of br. Jackson Blevins, Elder N. C. Baldwin is requested to visit us and preach a sermon on the subject of Baptism, on Sabbath of our next Association.
  8. On motion, Elder J. A. Davis is requested to deliver a missionary sermon on Saturday of our next association.
  9. The propriety of uniting with the Lebanon Association was again taken up, and on motion, the question was dropped for the present year.
  10. After prayer by Elder J. A. Davis, adjourned to meet with the Mount Pleasant Church, Ashe County, N.C., Thusday before the first Sabbath in September, 1854.

J. H. Perkins, Secretary — S. Ross, Moderator

Treasurer’s Report

Jno. H. Perkins, in account with the Jefferson Association, September 3rd, 1853.

Item Amount
Dr. Amount acknowledged in minutes for 1852 $15.08 3/4
Dr. Paid by the Financial Committee for 1853 16.41
Dr. Paid by the Delegates at the Association 3.02
Total 34.51 3/4
Cr. By Cash paid for printing minutes for 1852 $13.00
Cr. By Secretary’s fee same year $6.00
Cr. By Cash paid for printing minutes for 1853 $12.00
Cr. By Secretary’s fee same year $6.00
Total $37.00

Ordained Ministers Post Offices
Armstrong Blevins North Fork, N.C.
Elijah Edmonson White Top, Va.
Stephen Ross Big Meadow, Va.
Licentiate – Jackson Blevins Big Helton, N.C.

State of the Churches

Church County Established Meeting Baptisms Letters Applications Restored Dismissed Excluded Deceased Fellowship Contribution
Baptist Chapel Ashe Co., NC 1842 1 1 2 9 88 $2.44
Liberty Chapel Ashe Co., NC 1847 4 2 1 14 2 2 31 1.50
Mount Pleasant Ashe Co., NC 1849 2 5 33 1.87
Baptist Union Grayson, Va. 1842 4 2 61 3.00
White Top Church Grayson, Va. 1847 2 2 2 33 1.45
Young’s Chapel Grayson, Va. 1845 2 12 4 1 1 6 12 70 2.10
Friendship Grayson, Va. 1852 4 1 1 0 0 1 14 1.00
Sugar Grove Smyth, Va. 1842 2 1 43 1.70
Union Ashe, N.C. 1853 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 18

Conculsion of the Meeting

On Sabbath the stage was first occupied by br. H. G. Brown, delivering an appropriate address on the importance of searching the scriptures. 2nd, Elder J. A. Davis preached from the 19th and 20th verses of the 28th chapter of Matthew. Brother Davis addressed a large and attentive auditory on the subject of Baptism, for three hours. This discourse is unsurpassed, if not unequalled, in this section. The speaker manifested due regard for the feelings of his opponents; his conduct towards them was remarkably affable and courteous. (Some of the Pedoes, however, say they think he must have been mad, but it ia a mistake; it was them, instead of him.) Although br. D. Amply sustained his position, with marked intrepitity overthrowing Pedoism, not only by the word of God, but also by their own works, yet it was with such clemency and pertinence, and with such due deference to the feelings of our adversaries, that the truly unbiased mind must surely remain unmarred. But why are they not convinced? Is it not strange, passing strange, that people in this enlightened age, and intelligent people too, will thus close their eyes against the light? Or in other words, that they will remain do prejudicial, and so tenacious of the royal lineage to which they belong, that they cannot for a moment endure to hear the customs of their old Grandmother invated. One of our Pedo friends, however, has acknowledged that the sermon was so well authenticated by the scriptures, that he was compelled to believe every word of it. Would to God, that more would open their eyes to the light.

After a short intermission, a funeral sermon was delivered by Elder N. C. Baldwin, in which the solemnities of death and judgment were forcibly and skillfully presented. Elder V. Bowers followed on another funeral occasion.

About this time the meeting began to grow interesting which resulted in a protracted camp- meeting of eleven days; during whcih time 18 professed to find the Saviour, and 25 were added to the church. “The Lord hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad.”


  1. The Association shall be composed of members chosen by the different churches in our Union producing letters certifying their appointment.
  2. The Association when convened, shall be governed by a regular and proper decorum.
  3. The standing officers of this Association shall be a Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer, who shall be elected annually by the sufferages of the members present, and shall be responsible to the Association for the faithful preformance of the duties devolving upon them by their several offices.
  4. New churches having been constiuted upon the Articles of Faith as adopted by this association, by complying with the requisitions of this Constitution, shall upon presenting a peition to that effect, be admitted into union with the Association.
  5. The Association shall have power to withdraw from any church in her union that may become heretical in principle, corrupt in practice, or that may violate this Constitution, and continue to do so.
  6. All the ordained ministers of this Association shall compose a standing presbytery, whose duty it shall be to attend all the calls of the churches and ordain ministers. Allowing them the privilege of calling any other ministerial aid, upon which a majority of them may agree.”
  7. The missionary subject shall at no time be a test of fellowship in this Association. But every church shall have liberty to aid or to refuse to aid, in the missionary cause; and such co- operation shall at no time be made a test of fellowship.
  8. The annual proceedings of this body shall be recorded by the Secretary, who shall prepare them for the press, and have them printed and distributed among the churches; he being allowed a reasonable compensation for his services, which, together with the expenses of printing, shall be paid by the Treasurer out of the money that shall be deposited in his hands by the Association for that purpose.
  9. The Association shall meet at each annual session, designate a place, and appoint a time for the next annual session.
  10. If at any annual session, any church shall fail to represent itself, the Association shall proceed to inquire into the cause.
  11. This Constitution shall be subject to amendment, by a concurrence of two-thirds of the members of the Association at its annual session.