- Trained himself for a Baptist preacher.
Taught a subscription school, taught his son Fielden for 40 days whenhe was
7, which was all the education he had. "It was the last school thefather
taught, his death occuring shortly after.[1933380.ged]
Trained himself for a Baptist preacher.
Taught a subscription school, taught his son Fielden for 40 days when he was
7, which was all the education he had. "It was the last school the father
taught, his death occuring shortly after.
The Line Creek Baptist Church of Christ (most Baptist churches in the area used the ?Church of Christ? moniker), which exerted its influence over the community for more than 170 years, was reportedly organized in 1806. It was a member of the Cumberland River Association of United Baptists (CRA) sporadically from about 1811 until the formation of the Rockcastle Baptist Association (RBA) in 1871. There are also indications it was a member of a local Missionary Baptist association for which we have no records.
The establishment date of 1806 may be called into question because the source appears to be some 1900-era RBA minutes in which other church?s known beginning dates are inaccurately and inconsistently reported.
At times, Line Creek seems to have been among the stronger Baptist churches in the Pulaski-Rockcastle County area. Our statistical knowledge of the church is limited by a lack of early records. Even though CRA records exist for several year?s worth of annual meetings, as luck would have it Line Creek was not an Association member during most of those years; the church tended to ?letter up? only in the years when the meeting was held close enough for delegates to actually attend the annual gathering.
High points for Line Creek?s membership in the 19th century seem to have been in the early 1840s and again in the 1890s. While the attendance figures aren?t especially impressive for the early period, they do indicate a growing church. Membership in 1839 was 40, in 1840 it was 42. By 1843 membership had risen significantly to 61. However, by 1860 the membership looks to have fallen to only ten.
It?s not clear what precipitated the dramatic fall-off, but we do know something of importance took place. A possible cause may be found in an 1851 lawsuit between Andrew Decker and widow Martha Warren (her deceased husband, Mathew, was one of the church's former pastors) in which Decker sued Warren over a land boundary dispute when both tried to get a grant for the same property. The court ordered that the land be resurveyed; Decker subsequently won the case and was awarded the land, for which Warren refused to make the court-ordered deed. The court then ordered the Commissioner to make Decker a deed and for Warren to pay some of Decker?s court costs.
This is just the type of incident that could have caused major problems within the church, as church members were expected to work their difficulties out without resorting to lawsuits, not to mention the personal animosity which surely resulted. To make the situation even more potentially volatile, the Warrens and Deckers were probably the two largest families in the church and members of both had been held in high regard for at least a decade.
Of course, the decline may have been nothing more than a normal cycle which coincided with the destruction of the church building in the late 1850s. Two of the church?s strongest leaders, pastor Mathew Warren and Tilman Duncan, died between 1848 and the mid-1850s. Others, like Adam Renner, Andrew Baker, and Finch Shiplet, had left the church for congregations closer to their homes. As evidenced by the first entry in today?s existing records, something had happened to the previous building and, presumably, to the earlier records; probably both were destroyed by fire.
There were two other periods of known troubles. In February 1846 Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church received a request from Line Creek for help in order ?to settle a deficulty in the church.? We don?t know what the difficulty was. There was also a split of the church in 1868 over missionary issues. (Please go to the sections on the church records and church location for longer discussions of these issues.)
The church was still struggling in 1871 (only 25 members), the year the Rockcastle Baptist Association was formed. Line Creek was a charter member of the RBA, which was formed for geographical reasons. Perhaps not coincidentally, Line Creek began growing very quickly shortly thereafter. By 1876 membership was back to 1843 levels; the century mark was broken for the first recorded time in 1886. 19th-century membership reached its peak in 1894, when 148 individuals were listed on the church roll.
Membership records for the early 1900s show incredible growth and decline. Membership numbers approached 200 in the first decade, peaking at 283 in 1915. Then, in 1916, the numbers fall off dramatically to only 69. We have no indication of what caused this decline. The decade ended with the membership at 93.
For much of the middle 1900s the church once again struggled. The general population of the area had fallen significantly, and changing transportation patterns had left Line Creek isolated. The decline continued until 1976, when the doors of the church closed for three years. There were no services from March 1976 until May 1979. The reopening was short-lived, however?the doors closed for good in July 1979.
Tragically, the church building, which was built in 1880, was destroyed by fire in the fall of 2001.
Line Creek was the ?mother church? of Liberty Baptist Church in Laurel County, which was organized in 1839 with Mathew Warren as pastor. He was also the pastor at Line Creek at the time.
When inventoried in the 1970s, the Line Creek Church Cemetery contained 99 marked graves, the oldest dated 1888, and numerous unmarked ones.