Lebanon, Jefferson and United Baptist Associations Convention — 1870
At Baptist Chapel, Ashe County, N.C.
Commencing June 10th, 1870
[Note: This document was prepared by a group of Baptists in Ashe and Alleghany Counties, North Carolina and Grayson County, Virginia. This convention led to the formation of the New River Missionary Baptist Association later in 1870.]
At a Convention, held by Representatives from Churches in the Lebanon, Jefferson, and United Baptist Associations, at Baptist Chapel, Ashe County, N.C., commencing on Friday, the 10th of June 1870.
After an introductory Sermon by Elder A. Johnson: Heb. 12 and 2.
Elder J. Blevins called the Convention to order; and, on whose motion, Elder J. B. Jones of Virginia, was called to the Chair, and Elder W. C. Parkes requested to act as Secretary.
On motion the Convention then proceeded to the election of permanent officers.
Elder Sherwood and brother W. G. Young, being appointed as tellers, reported Elder J. B. Jones as Moderator and brother J. Eller, Clerk.
- On motion, invited any brethren present from any of the sister Associations, Elder T. J. Jones accepted a seat in the Convention.
- On motion, agreed to appoint a Committee of five to prepare business for the action of the Convention. The Moderator then announced the following named brethren the Committee: Elders J. L. Sherwood, J. Blevins, A. Johnson, W. C. Parkes, T. J. Jones, and brother J. Garvy. It was then moved and carried to add the Moderator and Clerk to said Committee.
- On motion, a Committee of three be appointed to arrange religious services during this meeting, consisting of brothers P. Blevins, D. Blevins, and L. Barker. The Committee then reported that Elder W. C. Parkes would preach to night and Elder Sherwood to conclude.
On motion, the Convention then took a recess ’til 4 o’clock P.M.
After singing, the Moderator called the Convention to order and the Committee to prepare business for the action of the Convention read their report, which was received and the Committee discharged.
- On motion, agreed to take up the items as they stand on the roll of business.
- On motion, agreed to call a general Convention of Baptist Churches connected with the United Baptist, Lebanon, Jefferson and Mountain Union Associations, to meet in general Conference, to consider matters of great importance, looking to the formation of a new Association.
On motion, the following resolution was unanimously adopted:
- Resolved, That we do say we will meet Center [sic] and Mountain Associations in a Convention, which they may call, on principles of the Bible or, they may meet us in our proposed Convention.
On motion, the preamble and resolution be laid on the table ’til tomorrow morning 8 o’clock.
It was then announced by the Committee on Religious services that Elder Sherwood preach at 11 o’clock tomorrow, and Elder J. B. Jones to conclude.
- On motion, adjourned until tomorrow morning 8 o’clock. Prayer by the moderator.
Saturday Morning, June 11, 1870
- The Convention met pursuant to adjournment, and after singing and prayer, the Convention was called to order, and resumed the special order, it being the preamble and resolution, which was again read. And a motion being made to adopt the preamble and resolution, and pending its adoption, it was moved and agreed to amend the original motion by striking out the last part of the preamble and the resolution.
- On motion, agreed to raise a select Committee to revise the said preamble and resolution, consisting of Elders J. B. Jones, J. L. Sherwood, A. Johnson, J. Blevins, S. Blackman and brother J. Eller and P. Blevins.
- On motion the last item on the roll of business was stricken out and a committee of four appointed to select the time and place for holding the proposed Convention consisting of Elders A. Johnson, J. Blevins, and brothers J. Eller and P. Blevins.
On motion the following resolution was unanimously adopted, and the Convention all joined in prayer to God, led by Elder Sherwood.
Whereas, Differences of opinion have existed between some of the Churches connected with the Lebanon and Jefferson Associations and certain proceedings enacted in some of said Churches, calculated to wound the feelings of some members of said Churches, with a view of a final settlement of all difficulties of whatever character which have, heretofore existed, and the further object of a reunion; be it
Resolved by this Convention, That we hereby ignore whatever occurred in the past, and declare our willingness, and do hereby retract whatever has heretofore been done in any of the Churches contrary to the spirit of the Gospel and regular Baptist usage.
This resolution to be referred to the respective Churches represented in this body.
On motion adjourned for preaching until 3 o’clock, P.M.
The Convention met pursuant to adjournment, and was called to order by the Moderator and the Minutes read and adopted.
The Committee to whom the referred the revision of the preamble then read the following platform or preamble, which was unanimously adopted as the sense of this Convention:
- Whereas, A misunderstanding exists in certain quarters with regard to our position as Baptists upon the subject of Missionary enterprise, [torn word] total support, and our mode of sustaining our benevolent institutions, and deeming it expedient, we hereby declare and adopt the following as an exposition of our sentiments and the sentiments, as we understand, which are held in common by all our Churches. Whilst we are called Missionary Baptist, a term merely used to distinguish us from other Baptist organizations; and whilst the great body of our people believe that Primitive Baptist did engage in Missionary operations; also, that the Gospel includes the idea of Missionary enterprise, and therefore having a precedent both in precept and example, yet we most emphatically disclaim and deny the allegations sometimes preferred against us, that we in any case use any coercive measures in discipline for the purpose of inducing our members to contribute for any purpose. We entertain our distinctive opinions with reference to the subjects under consideration, and do not propose and never sought to interfere with individual views or make anti-missionary sentiments either a test of membership in joining a Baptist Church, or a test of fellowship afterwards, allowing each member of our Churches the fullest liberty of conscience upon these points in order that the minds of all persons may be disabused. We reiterate, we do not and never have compelled the payment of a cent of contribution for any purpose from any of our members; never have imposed a tax of any kind upon them, but leave them free to give or not, as their consciences, educated by the Bible, may dictate, not desiring to keep the consciences of others, but inculcating the idea of religious freedom to its fullest extent. In support of our position, we annex the following passages of Scripture: Matthew 10th chap., 9th and 10th verses. Prov. 11th chap., 24th and 25th verses. 2nd Cor. 9th Chap. 13th verse. Acts 20th Chap. 35th verse. Isaiah 32nd Chap., 5th to 8th verses. 1st Cor. 9th Chap., 14th verse. 1st Tim. 5th Chap. 18th verse. Rom 15th chap. 27th verse.
On motion, adopted the report of the committee appointing time and place for the convention, which is to be held at Mt. Pleasant church six miles North from Jefferson, to commence on Friday before the first Sabbath in October, 1870.
Elder J. L. Sherwood to preach the introductory sermon, and Elder A. Johnson alternate.
- On motion, all the churches from the Associations above enumerated be requested to send three delegates to the proposed convention.
- Moved that the churches above mentioned be requested to obtain letters of dismission from their respective Associations, looking to the formation of a new Association.
- Moved that the thanks for this convention be tendered to the brethren of this vicinity for their liberality to this body.
- The Committee announced that Elder A. Johnson would preach tonight and Elder Blackman to conclude. And for Sabbath, Elder J. B. Jones to preach at 11 o’clock and Elder J. L. Sherwood to conclude.
- Then on motion, the convention adjourned, having enjoyed a very harmonious session.
J. B. Jones, Moderator
J. Eller, Clerk