Velorious Edwin "V. E." Kirtley
(Pastor of MHBC from 1886 - 1889)
Velorious Edwin Kirtley, son of Elijah L. Kirtley, and a descent of an old Welch family
which has produced many Baptist preachers, not less than seven of whom have lived
in Kentucky, was born in Taylor County, Kentucky on April 9, 1818. Because his father
had lost his property, he was brought up to hard labor on a farm, and with only a few
In may, 1837, he united with Pittmans Creek church, being baptized by John Harding.
After he was converted, his desire for education was greatly increased. Accordingly he
applied himself to study by firelight, at night, while he labored hard by day. This
practice he kept up till he arrived at his 21st year. After this he went to school and
taught school alternately, until February, 1839, when he entered Georgetown College.
Here he worked his way through an attendance of fifteen months.
Having been licensed to preach, at Pittman Creek, in June 1839, he was ordained at
Frankfort, December 25, 1841, by Wm. Vaughn, J. M. Frost and George C. Sedwick. He
immediately took charge of Big Spring church in Woodford County. He was also pastor
of Providence church, in Anderson County, and preached once a month to each of the
churches at Hillsboro and Salvisa.
In 1844, he took charge of the churches at Bardstown, Mill Creek and New Salem, all in
Nelson County. He served these churches, till 1848, when he accepted a call to the
church at Owensboro, to which he ministered two years.
In 1851, he accepted an agency for the Kentucky and Foreign Bible Society. In this
position he labored four years.
In March, 1854, he took the pastoral charge of the church at Danville, and served it
four years, building it up from 33 to 125 members, of whom he baptized 80.
On leaving Danville, he took an agency for Indian Missions, which he prosecuted only
a few months, when failing health forced him to desist from traveling. He then
improved a small farm near Springfield, and remained on it during the war, preaching
meanwhile, to the churches at Hillsboro, Bethlehem and Haysville, in Washington
County, and Lebanon, in Marion County.
In 1865, he took charge of the church at Bardstown, and at the same time became
Principal of the Baptist Female College at that place. After occupying these positions
three years he moved to Lebanon, where he took charge of the church, and built up a
female high school, of which he continued Principal, five years.
In 1874, he took the pastoral care of the churches at Stanford, in Lincoln County, and
Hardins Creek, in Washington.
In 1876, he accepted an agency for Domestic and Indian Missions, and filled the
position six years, closing in 1882.
Mr. Kirtley is an eminently practical man, in the prosecution of his religious
enterprises, whether in the pastoral office, at the head of a denominational school, or
prosecuting a financial agency. He possesses remarkable physical strength and power
of endurance; and few preachers in Kentucky have performed so much hard labor as
he, and equally few, perhaps, have labored to better advantage. He has been engaged
in almost every enterprise of the Baptist denomination in Kentucky, and has been
blessed with good success in them all. In the pastoral office, he thinks he has baptized
over 1,000 converts. He has raised money to aid in building several church houses, as
those at Portland, Crab Orchard and Bethlehem, and to repair those at Bardstown,
Mill Creek, Lebanon, Haysville and Owensboro. He raised $8000-00 to establish
Danville Female Academy, the same amount for Bardstown Female College. He
supposes he has collected for missionary and other benevolent enterprises over
History of Muldraugh Hill Baptist Church