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New River Primitive Baptist Association — 1901


The Spring Session, convened with the church at White Oak Grove, Floyd Co., Va., Friday, Saturday and Sunday May 31 and June 1, 2, 1901.

The Fall Session, convened with the church at Panther Creek, Carroll Co., Va., Friday, Saturday and Sunday, September 6th, 7th and 8th, 1901.

Ordained Ministers and Their Post Office Address
Minister P.O. Address
Thomas Dickens Dug Spur, Va.
Amos Dickerson Floyd, Va.
Isaac Webb Snake Creek, Va.
P. G. Lester Floyd, Va.
J. M. Jennings Coulson, Va.
J. W. Hurst Radford Furnace, Va.
R. M. Mabry O’Neal, Va.
D. Smith Webb Hillsville, Va.
F. P. Branscome Laurel Fork, Va.
Joel E. Marshall Laurel Fork, Va.
Dr. J. C. Hurst Pulaski City, Va.
Dr. W. R. Cummings Sambo, Va.
Dr. G. A Reid Allisonia, Va.
H. V. Cole Flint, Va.
F. C. Reynolds Blacksburg, Va.
Asa Harris Indian Valley, Va.

Licensed Ministers and Their Post Office Address
Minister P.O. Address
Stephen Huett Indian Valley, Va.
Crockett Simpkins Allsonia, Va.
C. W. Vaughn Vaughn, Va.
Ingrim Hurst Allsonia, Va.
J. D. Cockram Tuggle’s Gap, Va.
J. P. Gardner Sidna, Va.
Chris. M. Turman Bolt, Va.
James Conner Pax, Va.
N. J. Duncan Ego, Va.

The Spring Session

  1. Elder Isaac Webb preached the introductory sermon from Eph. 6:11: “Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
  2. After the usual recess, the messengers assembled in the grove and were organized with prayer by Elder Asa D. Shortt.
  3. Letters from the churches were read and their names enrolled as follows: Panther Creek–S. M. Stilwell and D. E. Marshall; Fellowship–Eld. Isaac Webb, J. V. Cruise, Charles Martin and Jonas Boyd; Laurel Creek–Elders W. R. Cummings, H. V. Cole and brother John Weaver; Concord–J. Henry Cruise; Little Flock–Elder R. M. Mabry, F. C. Reynolds, and brother A. D. Vaughn; Harmony–Elder D. S. Webb, and N. L. Semones; Wilson Grove–Eld. G. A. Reid, T. E. Wilson and Creed Hedge;’ Mt. Zion–O. R. Landreth and P. E. Walker; Bethel–Elder J. W. Hurst and J. C. Hurst; Maple Shade–Elders F. P. Branscome, and J. E. Marshall;’ Meadow Cree– Lewis Weaver; Little Vine–R. P. Cockram; Indian Creek–Elder Asa Harris and Ranolph Phillips; Pilgrim’s Rest–Not Represented; Conner’s Grove–D. W. Slusher; Greasy Creek–J. M. Dickerson and V. Pendleton; Laurel Fork–Aaron Nester and Wilcher Bowman; New Hope– Elders Thomas Dickens, J. M. Jennings, and brethern F. E. Milgrim, and L. A. Jennings, White Oak Grove–Elders Amos Dickerson, P. G. Lester and brother P. M. Graham.
  4. Called for correspondents and received the following: From Smith’s River–Eld. Asa D. Shortt, Eld J. T. Turner, R. W. Kropff, Dr. T. H. Howard, J. H. Prillaman, J. M. Conner, and R. J. Wood; from Fisher’s River–Henry C. Booker; From Indian Creek–Elder W. L. Simmons, visitor. We also received a file of minutes from each of the following associations: Kehukee, Eno, Mayo, Mountain, Indian Creek, Fisher’s River and Smith’s River.
  5. Elder P. G. Lester was chosen clerk of this Association to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Elder John C. Hall.
  6. Elder Amos Dickerson, P. M. Graham, J. H. Cruise, N. L. Semones, and T. E. Wilson were appointed a committee on preaching; and Elders Amos Dickerson, H. V. Cole, J. C. Hurst, and brethern A. D. Vaughn and J. H. Cruise, with the moderator and clerks were made a committee on arrangements.
  7. Adjourned till Saturday 9 o’clock a.m.

Saturday Morning 9 o’clock

  1. After prayer by Elder W. L. Simmons, called the roll and marked absentees.
  2. On motion the reading of the rules of Decorum was omitted.
  3. The committee on arrangements reported and were discharged.
  4. Correspondents reported and were discharged.
  5. Appointed correspondents as follows: To Pig River–Elder Amos Dickerson; to Indian Creek– Elders P. G. Lester, W. R. Cummings, and F. C. Reynolds.
  6. The committee on preaching reported as follows: for Saturday, Elders H. V. Cole; A. D. Short, W. L. Simmons and J. C. Hurst; and, for Sunday, Elders P. G. Lester, Isaac Webb, and F. P. Branscome.
  7. Considered the request for Harmony calling for a presbytery to ordain brother J. P. Gardner to the work of the ministry, and it was thought best to postpone the appointment till our fall session.
  8. Appointed Elders F. P. Branscome, J. M. Jennings, P. G. Lester, Isaac Webb, and D. S. Webb, a presbytery to attend Mt. Zion church and ordain brother O. R. Landreth to the office of Deacon if found qualified.
  9. Elder P. G. Lester was appointed to write a suitable obituary of Elder John C. Hall to be attached to these minutes; and Elder G. A. Reid was appointed to write an obituary of Elder G. E. Wilson to be printed with these minutes.
  10. Adjourned to meet at Panther Creek, Carroll Co., Va., Friday before the second Sunday in Sept., 1901, as previously appointed.

Isaac Webb, Moderator

P. G. Lester, Clerk

F. P. Branscome, Assistant Clerk.


Friday—Elder W. R. Cummings, preached in the house, but the
clerk failed to get the text.


  1. Elder H. V. Cole—Text: “and he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee” – 2 Cor 12:9
  2. Elder Asa D. Shortt—text: “That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto enternal life, by Jesus Christ out Lord.”—Rom. 5:21
  3. Elder W. L. Simmons—text “For when the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again whcih be the first principles of the oracles of God: and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.” Heb. 5:12
  4. Elder J. C. Hurst—text: “and they commanded the people saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the Lord of your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it. – Joshua 3:3. The first two preached in the forenoon, and the last two in the afternoon.


  1. Elder F. P. Branscome preached first from St. John 21:17, “He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him, the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.”
  2. Elder Isaac Webb followed and preached from Acts 22:15, 16. “For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard. And now why tarriest thou? Arise and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”
  3. Then, after recess, Elder P. G. Lester, preached form Rom. 5:3. “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also, knowing that tribulations worketh patience.”
  4. Elder W. R. Cummings preached a short discourse at the close of the meeting.

F. P. Branscombe, Ast. Clerk.

The Fall Session

The Association met pursuant to adjournment, and Elder R. A.
Bryant, preached the introductory sermon from Isaiah 9:1, “Behold,
the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, neither his
ear heavy, that it cannot hear.”

After an intermission, the Association was organized with praise
and prayer by Elder J. D. Vass.

  1. Received and read letters from the churches as minuted in the Statistical Table.
  2. Called for and received correspondents from our sister Associations as follows: Smith’s River–Elder Q. D. Weeks and E. P. Bernard; Fisher’s River–H. C. Booker; Mountain, Elder R. A. Bryant (with minutes); Center–Elder Richard J. Fender.
  3. Called for and received the following visitors: From Mountain–Reuben Hawks; Fisher’s River–Joseph Worrell; Washington–J. D. Landreth.
  4. Appointed J. Boyd, G. B. Mabry, L. T. Jennings, H. Montgomery, and S. M. Stilwell, a committee on preaching; and they selected Elders T. Dickens, J. C. Hurst, A. Dickerson, F. P. Branscome, and R. J. Fender to preach Saturday; and Elders P. G. Lester, J. D. Vass, and Isaac Webb to preach Sunday.
  5. Chose Elders T. Dickens, G. A. Reid, R. M. Mabry, J. C. Hurst, with the moderator and clerks, a committee on arrangements; and J. H. Cruise, and D. W. Slusher, a committee on finance.
  6. The Association adjourned to meet Saturday morning 9 o’clock.

Saturday Morning 9 o’clock, Sept. 7, 1901

The Association met pursuant to adjournment, and the
deliberations were opened with praise and prayer by Elder P. G.

  1. Called the roll and marked absentees.
  2. The committee of arrangements reported and were discharged.
  3. Correspondents reported and were discharged.
  4. Appointed correspondents as follows: To the Mountain–Elders S. D. Webb, and F. P. Branscome; Smith’s River–Eld. H. V. Cole, Rufus Martin and W. F. Hale; Mayo–Elders P. G. Lester and F. P. Branscome; Fisher’s River–Elders P. G. Lester, F. P. Branscome and J. E. Marshall.
  5. Called on the presbytery appointed to attend the request of Mt. Zion to report, when Elder F. P. Branscome reported the ordination of brother O. R. Landreth to the office of deacon in said church.
  6. Called for Circular Letter, when Elder Amos Dickerson reported that is was not prepared and he was excused by the association and Elder P. G. Lester was appointed to write the next.
  7. Called for the obituaries of Elders Hall and Wilson, which were received and ordered printed.
  8. Donated to Elder J. C. Hall’s family $6.84, balance in Eld. Hall’s hands at his death.
  9. The committee on finance reported as follows:
    Received from the churches $36.67
    Balance from Last year $6.84
    Paid for printing these minutes $20.00
    Paid the clerk $10.00
    Donated to Elder J. C. Hall’s family $6.84
    Balance in Treasury $6.67
    $43.51 $43.51
  10. Ordered the clerk to buy a new Record Book for the Association.
  11. By request from Harmony, the following presbytery were appointed to ordain, brother J. P. Gardner to the full functions of the gospel ministry, if found qualified, to wit: Elders I. Webb, P. G. Lester, J. E. Marshall, F. P. Branscome, D. S. Webb, and J. M. Jennings; and the presbytery agreed to meet at Harmony on Saturday before the 4th Sunday in Nov. 1901.
  12. Adjourned to meet at Fellowship Friday before the 1st Sunday in June, 1902 and at Laurel Creek on Friday before the second Sunday in Sept., 1902.

Isaac Webb, Moderator

P. G. Lester, Clerk

F. P. Branscome.


Elder Richard J. Fender preached on Friday from Gal 5:6 “For in
Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor
uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.”


  1. Elder Amos Dickerson preached from Matt. 11:25; “I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.”
  2. Elder J. C. Hurst preached from Eph. 2:8: “For by grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.”
  3. Elder R. J. Fender preached form Isaiah 40:6,7: “The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field; The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it, surely the people are grass.”
  4. Elder Thomas Dickens preached from John 6:29: “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”

Elder F. P. Branscome thought four good sermons quite sufficient
for one day and did not preach.


  1. Elder P. G. Lester preached first, but did not quote a text.
  2. Elder J. D. Vass preached second from the words, “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.” –Isaiah 6:1
  3. Eld. Isaac Webb preached third from the words, “I also will show mine opinion.” –Job 32:10
  4. Elder D. S. Webb preached the closing discourse, but did not read a text.

F. P. Branscome, Ast. Clerk.


Elder John Curtis Hall

By the request of the children of our dearly beloved Elder, John Curtis Hall, and the church and Association to which he belonged, and a desire in my own heart to say something in memory of his life, character and labors of love, and in humble testimony of the faithfulness and efficiency of his stewardship, the following is submitted.

Elder John Curtis Hall was the oldest son of Wm. And Lucy Hall, and was born in Pittsylvania Co., Va., Nov. 25, 1827. Having moved with his parents when a boy, to the county of Floyd, Va., he grew to manhood in that county. In the prime and vigor of manhood, he was a model specimen of the handiwork of his Creator and his manners was modestly reserved, gentle, courteous, and dignified, reflecting to a good degree, that fully developed, evenly poised, well refined, naturally easy, gracefully make-up which constituted what used to be termed as an old Virginia gentleman. His bearings in the presence of his fellow-men and his demeanor toward them were such as to give to manliness, civility, dignity and courtesy the full force of their meaning, making his presence desirable, his influence ennobling, his character strengthening and enticing, and his life a continuous service of usefulness serving as a mould in which the character of the young, who gathered about his knees in the school-room, and sat under the strength and brightness of his countenance in the pulpit, might well be formed, and to which no doubt many are wont to refer with pleasure as the source of much that is of ready and useful service to them in every day life, and as the ground work of present and prospective success. He acquired a fair common school education for his day and opportunities, and for many years taught the neighborhood school during the winter months.

Nov. 25, 1851, he was married to Miss Octavia Graham of which there was born unto him one daughter. August 20, 1854, his young wife was taken from him to dwell with her Redeemer in the embodiment of immortality; and on April 16, 1856, he was married again to Miss Elizabeth Olive Harris, who preceded him to that immortal state made blessed by him who loved the church and gave himself for it, thus leaving him the second time without that companionship which gives to home its meaning, until is Master bad him to also enter into the joys of the Lord. Of this union there were born unto him eleven children, five boys and six girls, ten of whom survive him. His oldest son is Elder W. L. Hall of Wellsville, Kansas.

In about 1861 he removed to Franklin Co., Va., where he lived up to the time of his departure from this life, April the 21, 1901.

As a fellow citizen he grew in favor with those of his adopted county and was entrusted with much public service which he rendered faithfully and satisfactorily. For 16 years he as commissioner of the revenue in his county, and for 8 years was county treasurer. He enjoyed the most implicit confidence of all classes with which he came in contact. He was held by all who knew him to be truthful, honest, conscientious and sincere. His judgments and opinions were held in appreciative respect by all who love a character decisive in commendable traits, whether they concurred with him or not. While he held no claims to human perfection, not do his friends so claim for him; yet the integrity of his character was such that an enemy, however bitter, dare not, could not effectively assail it…..

When brother Hall grew up to manhood he was led into the ways of Arminianism, and became openly to hade the way and doctrine of the Primitive Baptists and was exceedingly bitter against them, and like a young lion dared to revile them, but the Lord put an arrow into his heart, producing a wound from which he never recovered, except as by the grace of God through the blood of Jesus Christ. His convictions were deep and pungent, his conversion was miraculous, and his deliverance clear and decided. He joined the church at White Oak Grove, Floyd Co., Va Sept. 12th, 1851 and was baptized the following day by Elder Owen Sumner; and having in him the faith that was in Paul, and being not disobedient to the heavenly vision which he had seen, and which all of God’s called and sent servants see, conferred not with flesh and blood but at the next meeting, that is in Oct. 1851, he made his first attempt to speak in the name of his Lord who had called him out of darkness into his marvelous light, and had revealed in him that sovereign sonship that is mercifully conferred upon the chief of sinners, and which he felt had been named upon him. The gift and calling of God, which makes room fro those thus gifted and called, being clearly evidenced in the words which he spoke, and the power in which they were spoken, the church gave him liberty to exercise them; and in July 1854, he was given liberty to make appointments for himself in the bounds of the church; and in March, 1855, he was liberated to go into all the world wherever God in his providence might cast his lot, and preach the gospel of the Son of God; and in August 1858, the church having called for the same, he was duly and solemnly ordained to the full functions of the gospel ministry by Elders Wm. Lawson, Owen Sumner, Jacob Correll, and Thos. Dickens.

Being ready and active in business, Brother Hall was chosen clerk of the New River District Primitive Baptist Association which office he filled faithfully and efficiently for about 30 years, leaving it vacant by his death. He was a truly a pastor, and faithfully served four churches for about 37 years, and in the last few years served two others. His labors were blessed to the churches. He baptized a great many as seals to his ministry, and therefore enjoyed the satisfaction of knowing that his labors were not in vain in the Lord. He was greatly devoted to the cause of his Master and tot he churches he served. His gift to now and proclaim the word, to administer the ordinances, and to execute the discipline and maintain the order of the gospel in the house of God constituted him one of the ablest ministers of the New Testament of his day. In doctrine he magnified the excellency of the grace of God as seen in the gospel of his Son, and made clear the need of grace in the redemption of sinners, and the praise due to God for salvation. He spoke as one having authority under the King, as one standing before the Lord, and as one conscious of the certainty of the cause he advocated and of its ultimate and eternal triumph. Elders worthy of double honor conferred with him, chief women took counsel of him, young men and maidens drew near unto him, and little children sat at his feet and fed upon the delicacies in the word which he preached. The character of his life and labors, and the integrity of his calling and service gave to his name a sweet smelling savor, as of precious ointment, as of a field which the Lord has blessed, consequently the people were anxious for the time of his coming and gave him ready and appreciated audience. He was bold allowing no question as to the honesty and sincerity of his convictions and his steadfastness in them, and yet meekness and humility shined most brightly in the order of the exercise of his gift; and patience, forbearance and charity adorned the manner of his going in and out before the people. He was crowned with the helmet of salvation, and the preparation of the gospel of peace made beautiful his feet. In his afflictions he found comfort in the doctrine he preached.

In his last sickness, he calmly awaited his appointed time, until his change came, and died as he had lived, in the triumphs of a living faith, and no doubt, entered into the peaceful and perfect embodiment of everlasting rest. Blessed life! Precious death! Infinite rest! Eternal praise! A book written of this good man, and still something more might be said worthy of him.

While we feel we have not been worthy of such an able and precious gift, yet we have the blessed assurance that his life, character and gracious service of love shall still hover over us as clouds full of refreshing showers, and shall fill our souls with precious fragrance as of pleasant spice, and shall rest upon us as a heaven born benediction that shall ever remind us that the Lord hath given, and that the Lord hath taken away, and that blessed be the name of the Lord.

P. G. Lester

Elder George E. Wilson

Elder George E. Wilson, son of S. B. And Elisabeth Wilson was born the 20th day of May 1846 in Pulaski Co., VA., and died the 9th day of November, 1890 in Giles Co., Virginia; ages 54 years, 5 months and 20 days.

Elder Wilson was united in marriage to Miss Margaret Newby on the 31st day of December, 1868. Twelve children, 8 sons and 4 daughters were born unto them; but 4 of their children preceded him to the grave.

When about 20 years old, he received a bright evidence of his acceptance in Christ, and was baptized by Elder Isaac L. Rigney into the fellowship of the Primitive Baptist Church. That he was a devout men could not be questioned, even by the world: for his walk, conversation and general deportment seemed to impress all that he aspired to things higher than those of this world. He was deeply impressed–as I believe all of God’s ministers are–to speak in the name of Jesus and to earnestly contended for the faith once delivered to the saints.

In prayer his gift was wonderful, so much so that I have heard many say that he was the most gifted man in prayer that they ever heard.

He was sound in the doctrine taught by Christ and his apostles, and fully believed the Scriptures were fully sufficient to thoroughly furnish the man of God unto all good works. He had no fellowship for the unfruitful works of darkness, but was often found reproving them. He opposed the institutions of men, and his theme was salvation by grace.

I have not the date of his baptism, but he was licensed to preach on Saturday before the first Sunday in April, 1885. The church being fully satisfied with his gift, and believing him to be qualified by, and called of the Lord to the work of the ministry, asked the Association for a presbytery, which was granted; and, on the first day of December, 1888, he was ordained to administer both in word and ordinances by Elders James M. Allen, J. A. Matherley, I. L. Rigney, W. R. Cummings.

Brother Wilson, not being abundantly blessed with the goods of this world, labored hard to provide for his Family, and so traveled but little outside the bounds of his Association. But he has filled his assignment in life, and is gone to his reward. He and I were ordained at the same time, and having been much in his company, I feel the loss of a true yoke-fellow, whose words were often very comforting to me. I feel that it can truthfully said of him that He fought a good fight, he finished his course, and that he kept the faith. Yea, and has gone to receive a crown of unfading glory, of which Paul said, “There is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

Elder Wilson left a companion, eight children, three brothers, three sisters, the church, a host of friends and relatives to mourn their loss; but we believe their loss to be his eternal gain. For, with him, faith is turned into sight, and he enjoys a blessed realization of that hope by which he lived, while, while here as a pilgrim and a stranger.

May the Lord bless the bereaved and help us all to be resigned to his blessed and holy will.

George A. Reid.

Churches Names of Messengers Fellowship Contribution
Fellowship Elder I. Webb, Chas. Martin, Jonas Boyd, and J. V. Cruise 138 3.25
Laurel Creek Elder H. V. Cole 102 2.50
Concord R. P. Terry and J. Henry Cruise 70 1.45
Little Flock Elder R. M. Mabry, Elder F. C. Reynolds, and C. M. Turman 57 2.00
Harmony N. L. Semones, J. P. Gardner, and P. B. Edwards 65 2.35
Wilson Grove Elder G. A. Reid, T. E. Wilson, and H. E. Mabry 42 1.00
Mt. Zion R. D. Melton, O. R. Landreth, and Johnson Winesett 67 2.00
Bethel Eld. J. W. Hurst, Eld. J. C. Hurst, and L. T. Jennings 48 1.27
Maple Shade Elder F. P. Branscome, Elder J. E. Marshall and E. Nester 47 1.60
Meadow Creek Crockett Simpkins 8 .25
Little Vine D. C. Lawoson, J. B. Williams, and P. S. Surratt 78 2.00
Indian Creek Elder Asa Harris, R. Phillips, and M. Quesinbery 94 2.00
Pilgrim Rest C. Moore, Jr., R. H. Moore, and A. M. Hurst 56 1.65
Conner Grove Owen Harman, James Conner, and D. W. Slusher 62 1.55
Greasy Creek John Quseinbery, J. M. Dickerson, and J. N. Akers 39 1.50
Laurel Fork Aaron Nester, S. B. Bowman, and Wilcher Bowman 50 1.60
New Hope Elder T. Dickens, Elder J. M. Jennings, G. B. Mabry, F. E. Milgrim 97 3.10
White Oak Grove Elder Amos Dickerson, Elder P. G. Lester, H. B. Lester 99 3.00
Panther Creek H. Montgomery, S. M. Stillwell, and C. M. Shockly 63 2.00
Totals 1282 $36.67