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Mountain Union Baptist Association — 1880

Minutes of the Fourteenth Annual Session

Composed of the Delegates of the Regular Baptist Churches in Our Union
Convened with
South Fork Church
Alleghany County, North Carolina
September 24 and 25, 1880
Rezin Jones, Moderator
I. W. Landreth, Clerk


Friday, September 24, 1880

The Introductory Sermon was delivered by Eld. W. J. Chapel, from Malichi, 3d chapter and 16th verse.

  1. After an intermission of about twenty minutes, the delegates assembled in the church house and were called together by singing and prayer by the Moderator.
  2. Then called for Associational letters, when twenty-one were handed in and read by the Clerk assisted by Bro. W. A. J. Fowlkes.
  3. Then, on motion, Elds James Parsons, and W. F. Porter were called upon to act as tellers, who report Elder Rezin Jones Moderator, and Isaac W. Landreth Clerk.
  4. On motion, opened a door for newly constituted churches when Sugar Grove, located in Ashe County, N.C. was received by the Association.
  5. On motion invited correspondence, when Eld. Jas. Parsons with a letter and minutes from the Stony Fork, and Bros. Austin Gentry and T. C. Myers from the Primitive with a letter and minutes came forward all of whom were kindly received.
  6. On motion, invited transients when Bros. W. F. Porter, L. R. Pardew, Henry Jenings and S. Caudill from the Primitive, accepted seats with us, aiding in counsel.
  7. On motion, authorized the moderator to make all temporary appointments during this session.
  8. Appointed to arrange the Ministry, viz: Bros. Enoch R. Lewis, Wm. Eades, Henry Poe, with the delegates of this church, who report for tomorrow–1st Elds. Isaac M. Carter; 2d W. M. Baldwin; 3d Jas. Parsons.
  9. Appointed Bros. Allen Jones, Wm. Eller and Jesse Bare as a Committee of Finance.
  10. Appointed Bro. W. A. J. Fowlkes to write a corresponding letter to the Primitive and Eld. T. J. Jones to write a corresponding letter to the Stony Fork Associations, and have them ready for inspection tomorrow.
  11. Appointed as a Committee of Arrangements, viz: Elders J. Blevins, Thos J. Jones, J. J. Caudill, Bros. Jo. Richardson, Thos. Higgins, with the Moderator and Clerk, inviting the corresponding brethern to sit with them.
  12. On motion called on Elder I. W. Landreth for the circular letter, and referred it for inspection to a committee, viz: Elder W. J. Chapel, John M. Brown, and Wm. A. J. Fowlkes, they to report for tomorrow.
  13. On motion adjourned until tomorrow 9 o’clock.

Prayer by Eld. Jacob Eller; benediction by the Moderator.

Saturday Morning, September 25, 1880

  1. The Association was opened with singing and prayer by Elder Isaac M. Carter.
  2. Then the Clerk called the roll of delegates, read the Constitution, Articles of Faith, and Rules of Decorum.
  3. On motion, the Committee of Arrangements made then report and were discharged.
  4. The Committee on the Ministry report, for Sabbath: 1st. Elders J. J. Caudill; 2d W. M. Baldwin; 3d Thos. J. Jones
  5. The Committee on Finance report, viz: From the churches $23.62 in Treasurer’s hands, $2.59; total $26.21–allowing the Clerk $6 for his services. Report received.
  6. Then on motion the corresponding brethern reported viz: Elders I. W. Landreth, J. W. Kegley and A. McKnight visited the Primitive Association and were kindly received; the brethern appointed to go to the Stony Fork failed, but were excused.
  7. Then called for volunteer correspondents when Eld. J. J. Caudill, Jacob Eller, R. C. Parsons, Wm. M. Brooks, Thos J. Jones, and D. Sturgill agreed to go to the Primitive Association; and Elds I. W. Landreth, Wm. Vanover, and W. M. Brooks to go to the Stony Fork Association.
  8. On motion the brethern appointed to write the corresponding letters handed them in and were discharged.
  9. The Committee of Investigation on the Circular Letter reported favorably when the letter was read before the body, and, on motion, agreed to publish it in these minutes.
  10. On motion, appointed our next Association to convene with Big Springs Church, Grayson County, Va., (12 miles northeast of Sparta), commencing on Friday before the fourth Lord’s day in September 1881–Elder Jackson Blevins to preach the Introductory Sermon, and Elder Jacob Eller, alternate.
  11. On motion, the Constitution and Articles of Faith be attached to this minute.
  12. Appointed the Clerk-Treasurer, and that he has seven hundred copies of these minutes printed and distribute as usual.
  13. On motion appointed Elders I. W. Landreth, Henry Farmer, and Thos. Higgins as a standing committee for next year on Obituaries.
  14. On motion, we return our heart felt thanks to our brethern, sisters and friends for their kind hospitality and entertainment during our session.
  15. On motion, adjourned to time and place appointed.

Prayer by Eld. J. J. Caudill; benediction by the Moderator.

Elder Rezin Jones, Moderator
I. W. Landreth, Clerk

Sabbath—Services opened by Eld. J. J. Caudill, and sermon delivered from John 4:24; 2nd Eld. W. M. Baldwin preached from John 1:46, “Come and see;” 3rd Eld Thos. M. Jones, with a few words of admonition, closed by prayer.

Circular Letter

Prepared by Elder I. W. Landreth On the Cause of our Separation

The Mountain Union Baptist Association was organized in the year 1867. The leading causes are viz: 1st. The brethern from whom we separated refused to deal with members of the churches who had violated the sacred laws of Zion. 2nd. Then passing non-fellowship resolutions. Micah 7th chapter, part of 3rd verse, “So they wrap it up.” And under these circumstances a number of ministers and lay members of the Mountain, Senter and Three Forks Associations first met at Old Silas Creek Church in Ashe County, N.C. on the 4th Saturday in August 1867. They chose Elder Rezin Jones as their Moderator, and Bros. C. G. Fowlkes and S. F. Anderson secretaries.

These brethern said in their meeting that all who claim the name of Christian’s Gospel duty demand to separate from iniquity; 2d Timothy, 2:19, “Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” They then agreed to withdraw from all Baptist Churches who retained in full fellowship men or women in disorder; 2d Thessalonians 3:6, “Withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly.”

Furthermore, a General Convention was then called by this body inviting all Baptists, who were in good standing, without regard to POLITICAL SENTIMENTS to meet at Old Fox Creek Church, Grayson County, Va., which met on the 9th day of September 1867, and organized under the foregoing name on the liberal principles of the Gospel, choosing Elder Rezin Jones Moderator, and S. F. Anderson Clerk. The Association numbered 226 members and seven churches at this time, all of which were recognized as being in Gospel order.

We deplore that this separation had to take place, and are willing on our part, so far as the Bible requires, to unite with all Baptists on Biblical terms: Ephesians 5:11, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness.”

What ministers and lay members of the Baptist churches did during the late war is horrible to think of much less fellowship in the Church of the living God. These things are all too well known; I need not personate, which would only have a tendency to raise discord among the Baptist Family: Proverbs 6:19, “He that soweth discord among brethern.”

We protest against all laws made by men for the government of Christ’s visible Church, and recognize nothing save the Holy Bible as our rule of faith and practice: Acts 5:29, “We ought to obey God rather than men.” As to those non-fellowship laws, making Missionaries, Free Masons, Redstrings, Grangers, Sunday Schools and Tract Societies a test of fellowship, appears to be Pharisaical and not sustained by the Bible. We only find grounds for excluding members when they violate the laws of God and fail to make a Gospel acknowledgement to the Church. John 8:36, “Free.” Matthew 22:21, keep God’s things to themselves and Cesar’s things to themselves. We have the Articles of Faith as they appear in the Old Mountain Association minutes of 1852, and refer you to them for evidence.

We desire peace and friendship- with every one of the children of Grace. We have written tenderly and only in self-defense, as many false rumors are now afloat about us as a Baptist people.

Now, in conclusion, to place our people on Apostolic basis to be governed by the word of God and live in peace among all mankind, as much as lieth within us, is our great aim. Now all who wish a union on such basis are cordially invited unto our Association. Reader, investigate the records of the Baptist Associations, and decide for yourselves about these things. Dear Brethern, let us look well to Matthew 7th chap. And 12th verse while we live in this sin-stricken world. Amen.!


  1. This Association shall be known by the name of the Mountain Union Baptist Association, and shall be composed of members chosen by the different churches in our union and duly sent to represent in the Association; who on producing letters from their respective churches, certifying their appointment, shall be entitled to the seats. Each church shall be entitled to three delegates. In their letters is to be expressed their number in full fellowship, baptized, received by letter, by application and good recommendation, dismissed by letter, excluded, and dead since last Association.
  2. The number thus chosen and convened shall have no power to Lord it over God’s heritage, nor shall they have an ecclesiastical power over the churches, nor shall they infringe any internal right over any church in her union.
  3. The Association when convened shall be governed by a regular decorum.
  4. The Association shall have a Moderator and Secretary, who shall be chosen annually by a majority of the votes of the members present, a majority of the churches being represented.
  5. New churches or any regular Baptist Church of Jesus Christ of our Faith and Order in good standing, either dismissed by letter from Sister Association, or by application and good recommendation, by sending up letter and delegates shall be mitted into the union.
  6. Every church in the union shall be entitled to representation in the Association.
  7. Every motion made and seconded shall come under the consideration of the Association, except it be withdrawn by the member who made it.
  8. The Association shall endeavor to furnish the churches with the minutes of its proceedings, the best method of accomplishing this purpose shall be at the discretion of the future Association.
  9. We think it necessary to have an association fund to defray the expense of the Association, and it is the duty of each church in the union to contribute such sums as they think proper to the Association, and those monies shall be deposited in the hands of the Treasurer who will be accountable to the Association for the same, and the Association shall appropriate the money thus contributed to any purpose they may think proper.
  10. There shall be an Association book wherein the proceedings of the Association shall be recorded by a Secretary appointed by the Association, who shall receive a reasonable compensation for his services.
  11. The minutes of the Association shall be read and corrected, if necessary, and signed by the Moderator and Clerk before the Association adjourns.
  12. Amendments to this form of Government may be made at any time, by a majority of the Association, when they may deem it expedient, by giving the churches twelve months’ notice.
  13. The Association shall act as an advisory council and shall endeavor to preserve a general union of the churches, and also to preserve a chain of communion among the churches and give advice in matters of difficulty.
  14. The Association shall inquire into the cause if any church fails to represent at any time in the Association.
  15. The Association shall have power to withdraw from any church in her union that shall violate the rules of this Constitution or deviate from the orthodox principles of the Gospel.
  16. The Association may correspond with Sister Association and invite any brother in the ministry in good standing or that can bring a good recommendation of his standing who may be of our faith and order to a seat in the Association, who may be present at the time of its sitting.
  17. The Association shall have power to adjourn to any future time or place it may think proper.
  18. The benevolent institutions of the day shall be no bar nor test of fellowship, but all shall be free to sustain or not sustain the same as they may choose.


  1. This Association shall be opened and closed by prayer.
  2. Only one person shall speak at the same time, who shall rise from his seat and address the Moderator when he is about to make his speech.
  3. The person thus speaking shall not be interrupted in his speech by any except the Moderator, until he is done speaking.
  4. He shall strictly adhere to his subject, and in no wise reflect on the person who speaks before, by making remarks on his slips, failings, or imperfections, but shall fairly state the matter as clearly as he can, so as to convey his light or idea.
  5. No person shall abruptly break off or absent himself from the Association, without liberty obtained from the body, for his absence.
  6. No person shall speak more than three times on one subject, without liberty obtained from the Association.
  7. No member of the Association shall have liberty of laughing during the sitting of the same, nor whispering in time of public speech.
  8. No member of the Association shall address another by any other appellation than that of Brother.
  9. The Moderator shall not interrupt any member, nor prohibit him from speaking until he gives his light on the subject, except he violates the Rules of Decorum.
  10. The names of the several members of the Association shall be enrolled by the Secretary and called over as often as the Association requires.
  11. The Moderator shall be entitled to the same privilege of speech as any other member, provided the chair be filled, but he shall not vote unless the Association be equally divided, then he may give the casting vote.
  12. My members who shall willfully and knowingly break any of these rules shall be reproved by the Association, as shall be deemed proper.


  1. We believe in only one true and living God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and these three are One.
  2. We believe that the scriptures of the Old and New Testament are the Word of God, and the only rule of Faith and Practice.
  3. We believe in the doctrine of Election by Grace.
  4. We believe in the doctrine of Original Sin, and in man’s impotency to recover himself from the fallen state he is in by nature, by his own free will and ability.
  5. We believe that sinners are called, converted, regenerated and sanctified by the Holy Spirit, and that all who are thus regenerated and are born again by the spirit of God, shall never finally fall away.
  6. We believe that sinners are justified in the sight of God, only by the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ.
  7. We believe that Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are ordinances of Jesus Christ, and that true believers are the only subjects of these. ordinances, and we believe the only true mode of Baptism is by immersion.
  8. We believe in the Resurrection of the dead and in a general judgment and that the joys of the righteous and the punishment of the wicked will be eternal.
  9. We believe that no minister has a right to administer the ordinance of the Gospel, except such as the regularly called, and come under the imposition of hands by the presbytery.

Statisical Table
Church Post Office Pastor Delegates Total Membership
Big Spring Edmond, Va. A. McKnight Elder A. McKnight, James Pool, Ellis Simcock 24
Baptist Chapel Helton, NC Jack. Blevins Elders J. Blevins, I. M. Carter, L. L. Barker 75
Double Springs Scottsville, NC M. Church T. M. Profitt, J. C. Richardson, W. A. Richardson 49
Grassy Creek Weaver’s Ford, NC T. J. Jones Elder T. J. Jones, Alex Wyatt, W. W. Phipps 47
Liberty Silas Creek, NC J. J. Caudill Elders J. J. Caudill, Jacob Eller, F. M. Eller 21
Mt. Carmel Elk Creek, NC I. W. Landreth Elds. I. W. Landreth, J. W. Kegley, Jo. Richardson 55
Mt. Pleasant Independence, Va. I. W. Landreth William Andrew Jackson Fowlkes 25
Mt. Zion App. Grove, N.C. Jacob Eller Wilborn Elliott, Absolom Bare 65
Mt. Ples. Chap. Walnut Hill, NC R. C. Parsons Elder William M. Baldwin, Daniel Blevins 46
New Salem Gap Civil, NC J. K. Baldwin Ezekiel Joines, A. Moxley, D. R. Joines 25
Prather’s Creek Prather’s Creek, NC M. Church Allen Jones, J. Petty, J. W. Pruitt 27
Pine Grove Stag’s Ck, N.C. T. J. Jones Henry Jones, J. Eller, Jesse Bare 60
Rock Springs Glade Ck, N.C. A. McKnight T. Higgins, T. Baugus, W. Eades 34
South Fork Scottsville, N.C. J. K. Baldwin Elder J. K. Baldwin, J. Stamper, D. Sturgill 19
Silas Creek Helton, N.C. R. Jones Elders R. Jones, R. C. Parsons, Henry Wagoner 130
Shoal Creek Independence, Va. J. W. Kegley Elder Alexander Osborn 27
Three Fork Solitude, N.C. I. W. Landreth Enoch Lewis, J. Lewis and Elder Wm. Vanover 111
Three Top North Fork, N.C. W. Vanover A letter but no delegates 22
Union Helton, N.C. W. J. Chapel Eld. W. J. Chapel, John Welch, and C. Powers 38
Walnut Grove Absher, N.C. I. W. Landreth J. M. Brown, S. L. Johnson, and W. B. Gambill 109
Zion Hill Helton, N.C. T. J. Jones Byram Sturgill, Andrew Weaver, and Sylvester Darnel 47
Sugar Grove App. Grove, N.C. W. J. Chapel Elder H. Farmer, W. M. Brooks, and Wm. Eller 26