|Records of the Line Creek
The surviving Line Creek Baptist Church records, consisting of three minute
books, the last checkbook, and deed to the property, are stored at the
Rockcastle Baptist Associations office near Mount Vernon. There are
partial copies also available at both the Pulaski and Rockcastle Historical
Societies and in some private collections. The original records are in fairly
good condition and are very legible (the legibility is related more to the
handwriting skill of the clerk than to the condition of the records).
The oldest minute book begins in September 1860 and ends in July 1892. The
other two books cover the mid-1900s up to July 1979. There are at least two
missing books that fit between the three we have and at least one missing that
covered the pre-1860 period. Most of the comments here concern the 1860-1892
The first record reads:
||We the United Baptist Church of Christ at Line Creek met at James
Coopers the 4th Saturday in Sept 1860. After prayer proceeded to business:
1st--appointed Elder James Woodall moderator
2nd--the church then made choice of Nelson Jones for their clerk
3rd--appointed Jeremiah Brinkley, Nelson Jones, and James Cooper as a committe
to superintend the building of a meeting house
4th--the church agrees and selects as a cite for the house near the uper end of
James Coopers land
5th--the door of the church was opened for the reception of members and rec'd
Sarah Ann Jones by letter. Sunday received Sidney Whiteaker by experience and
sister Lucretia Shiplet was baptized. The church was then adjourned till next
meeting in course.
From this record we can immediately learn a couple of things. First, something
happened to the previous building and records; and second, they intended to
build a new building. Please see the
section for a more thorough discussion of the building issues.
This first meeting took place at James Coopers house. The October meeting
was at Jeremiah Brinkleys, November at Nelson Jones. The December
1860 through March 1861 meetings were back at Brinkleys. There is no
record for April. The congregation met in May 1861 at Mahala Duncans,
which was probably the same home as James Cooper (Cooper was her son, she had
remarried to Tilman Duncan). No June record, July at Brinkleys.
Their building project was completed by August 1861, as that months
meeting was at the Line Creek Meeting House.
There are gaps in the record book, some of longer duration than others. There
are no records from July 1862 until July 1864. No reason is given, but many
churches had services temporarily interrupted for Civil War-related reasons.
Perhaps this was the case at Line Creek, too.
The church didnt meet from October through December of 1864, but did in
January 1865. There is then another gap in the records until April 1866 which
appears to have resulted from no meetings taking place (the January record ends
at the top of a page, but the rest of the page is blank with the next record on
the following page).
From April 1866 on, the meetings were held with better regularity. Most missing
records after then were during the winter.
There are a few interesting items from the 1860 to 1868 period which are worth
In May 1861 Nelson Jones and Drewry Harper were selected as deacons of
the reconstituted church. Freedom, Rock Lick, Bethany, Sinking Valley, and
Liberty (Laurel County) Baptist Churches sent deacons for the ordination
In July 1861 Martha Warren asked for her letter (the family moved from
Line Creek to Pitman Creek, near Clay Hill).
Peter and Rachel Snider joined the church by letter in July 1864, but
their letter wasnt received until August 1867.
In May 1868 Nelson, Elizabeth, David, and Sarah Jones were granted
letters. They also moved from the area. That same month Nelson Jones sold his
property, the old Mathew Warren land, to James Cooper.
Something signficant happened in the summer of 1868. I'm not sure what
precipitated it nor even exactly what happened, but it marked another change in
the church's location and its future.
The meeting for the 3rd Saturday in June, 1868, went much like all
othersthe church met, elected a pastor for the next year, and were
dismissed in order, stating that there were no other matters that
needed their attention. But then, theres another June record immediately
following. It reads (spelling and punctuation corrected):
||Next day, Sunday.
1st--Several members called for letters of dismission. After consulation, the
church agreed to take the vote of the church which association they would
represent themselves in, the question being put by Brother Drewry Harper. The
church voted unanimously to never represent themselves again with the
missionary association and from now forward to represent themselves with the
[either "said" or "old"] Cumberland association of
2nd--The church agrees that their regular church meeting shall be held at
Brother Peter Snider's on the second Saturday and Sunday [unreadble
word] and at that meeting agree to appoint delegates to represent them in
the association and appoint one their body to prepare a letter for the
inspection of the church at their next meeting to send up to the assocation.
3rd--Brother Boling agrees to attend the church as their Pastor for 12 months.
George Boling, moderator; Drewry Harper, clerk.
Whats the old saying? If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck
and quacks like a duck... Well, that sounds like a church split to me.
There was a division among some Baptist churches over missions, although 1868
is a bit late for that debate. Usually the split happened in a Primitive
Baptist church when some of its members wanted to become more mission-minded.
Line Creek was not a Primitive Baptist church; it belonged, at that time, in
the category of United Baptists, which are more or less comparable to
todays American/Independent Baptists (although its hard to compare
churches of such different eras). Later, Line Creek became a member of the
Southern Baptist Convention.
Evidently their was split over missions or the Missionary Association. The
mentioned letters of dismission are not brought up again, which may
indicate the ones who wanted their letters were of the missionary faction.
Presumably the letters were granted, maybe to a church which was formed at that
instant in the then-existing Line Creek building. What is obvious is that the
older core membership left the meeting house in favor of Peter Sniders
As they had voted, the July 1868 meeting was held the 2nd Saturday at Peter
Sniders, who was also chosen as a deacon. Perry Bullock was elected as
The August meeting was at Perry Bullocks house, but the church met at
Sniders consistently for the next year. There is no express mention of a
new building, but in November of 1869 the wording changed to: the church
met at Line Creek. There are no other mentions of meetings in
Highlights from the 1869-1880 period include:
A revival in December 1869 lasted five days. During that meeting William
Shiplet joined the church and was baptized.
Perry Bullock left the church in September 1870, but rejoined in August
In 1871 the church became one of the founding members of the
Association, which would eventually become a Southern Baptist group.
In April 1872 J.V. (James Virgil) Carroll joined. He would be elected as
deacon in May 1874 and was a influential future pastor.
June 1872 saw the first of a changing-of-the-guard movement when
Jeremiah and Rebecca Brinkley moved their membership and George M. McKinney and
Bolin Bullock were elected as deacons. The church began to take on its modern
demographics, which was heavy on Bullock, McKinney, and related families.
By 1874 the move north to Sniders may have been taking its toll on
the membership. Several members, including Ingram Renner, Harvey Taylor, and
William Shiplet, left within a year of each other to join
Pleasant Valley Baptist
Church at Buffalo. It appears this church was an indirect off-shoot of Line
Creek, probably born so the Rockcastle County residents would have a church
closer to them.
An interesting item from August 1879 reads: The church received a
petition from Sinking Valley church requesting us to send four brethren as
delegates to sit in council September 5, 1879, concerning certain unhappy
difficulties existing among them.
Its not clear whether this was a common practice or not, but in
October 1879 the moderator was elected by private ballot.
For twelve years the church met in either Peter Sniders home or in a
semi-permanent building probably on his property. That all changed in April of
1880. Perry Bullock donated some land and the church voted to move her
place of worship to the new meeting house on the hill. (For more
information, see the