© Website By: (CK Poff) Copyright © 2002-2023 [CK Poff for Muldraugh Hill Baptist Church]. All rights reserved.
The History Of
MULDRAUGH HILL BAPTIST CHURCH
Muldraugh Hill Baptist Church, located in Lebanon, Kentucky, celebrated its 100th
Anniversary October 27, 1974. In anticipation of this event, Irene Maupin, Emogene
Farmer, and Barbara Jean Benningfield were assigned to compile a history of the
church. We appreciate their time and effort in this endeavor.
The following information is what they compiled from church records and bulletins,
associational minutes, the local newspaper (Lebanon Enterprise), personal interviews
and other histories. This information is presented with the hope that it will recall
many precious memories and renew an appreciation for the heritage of the church.
It is generally believed that Muldraugh Hill Church grew out of a Baptist church at New
Market which was destroyed by a tornado in 1870. An article in the March issue of the
Lebanon Clarion described the destruction caused by the tornado. The following story
is printed as it appeared in the newspaper:
HURRICANE AT NEW MARKET
Trees Uprooted, Fences Swept Away
and Houses Leveled with the Ground.
TWO CHURCHES IN RUINS
Great Destruction of Property
The village of New Market, six miles west of this city on the Campbellsville
turnpike, was visited last Saturday by a terrible tornado. The ravages of the
tempest were confined to a few moments of time and to a small district of
country; but they were of such a character that none that saw them wish
ever to see the like again. The amount of property destroyed was very
considerable, and the exemption from loss of human life, in view of the
violence of the storm, seems like a special Interposition of Providence.
BEGINNING AND COURSE
About five o'clock in the afternoon there came up a heavy shower of rain,
which lasted only a few minutes, and was immediately succeeded by the
hurricane. The storm began its work of destruction beyond the Rolling
Fork, not far from the residence of Mrs. Eliza Schooling, uprooting trees,
sweeping away fences and demolishing houses, until it reached the
eastern limits of the village, where it divided, the principal portion rising
and the remainder taking an eastern direction. The course of the tornado
through the village was almost exactly on the line of the Lebanon and
The tornado occurring in the daytime, its phenomena were attentively
noted by a number of persons whose statements, taking into
consideration their different standpoints, are remarkably consistent. A
gentleman residing near the north-eastern limits of the village says that his
attention was first attracted by a brillant light, apparently about the barn of
Mrs. Massingale, which led him to believe for the moment that the building
was on fire. It is hardly necessary to remark that, in such cases, men
observe quickly and think fast. A moment later-in much less time than it
requires to write it-he beheld a dark mass about the breadth of an
average-sized house, with numerous bright intersecting lines not unlike
chain lightning, and with a fiery-red border at the top. This same
phenomenon was observed by others, and all testifying that it expanded
and contracted as it proceeded on its way, the lines of light continually
shifting, and the whole mass revolving, seething and boiling. At the bridge,
just beyond the Presbyterian church; this mass was observed to pause and
stretch out to the breadth of some thirty or forty yards, the base resting on
the earth and the summit out of sight-then, as if having gathered fresh
power from the delay, it swept up the slope, carrying every-thing before it.
PARTIAL LIST OF LOSSES
The barn, crib and stable of Mr. Samuel Roberson were blown down and a
buggy torn up. The windows of his dwelling were broken by the wind.
A large barn belonging to Mrs. Massingale was destroyed, her carriage
house blown over, and the carriage broken.
The smoke-house of Mr. David Walker was torn to pieces, his stable
unroofed, crib blown down, and the top of the L part of his dwelling carried
away. A rockaway standing in the yard was lifted some 15 feet into air,
turned over, dashed to the ground and broken. The windows of Mrs. Lizzie
Newcomb's residence were blown out and the chimney broken off. Her
stable was blown and a wagon broken. A blacksmith shop owned by Mrs.
Newcomb, was occupied by George and Matt Mobley, was blown down.
Mr. Ed. Luckett had a barn and two cribs torn to pieces, and lost several
stacks of hay and 3000 bundles of fodder.
The L part of the dwelling of Thomas Hicks was unroofed, the front portion
lifted up and moved several feet and a chimney broken off. His wagon
shed was torn to pieces and the upper part of his stable and crib carried
The smoke-house and buggy-house of H. H. Carter were lifted out of their
places and moved some distance, his crib unroofed, and a shed blown
down. A small quantity of queensware in his store was dashed from the
shelves and broken. The walls of his dwelling were sprung, the glass in the
windows broken and the tops of the chimneys blown off.
The L portion of Mr. Wayne Ferguson's house was blown down, as was his
smoke-house. Two poplar planks and a piece of fence rail were driven
through the front portion of his house, from end to end, coming out on the
other side. His hen-house was torn to pieces and the chickens blown so far
away that they have never been heard from.
Mr. Jacob Miller was one of the heaviest losers. The L portion of his brick
dwelling lost the whole of the second story, his kitchen was utterly
destroyed, his corn crib and two barns blown down and two valuable
horses killed. Every sash and pane of glass in his dwelling was broken and
a large quantity of wearing apparel and several beds blown away. A store-
house adjoining his residence, containing tobacco and other articles, were
destroyed. His loss will amount to thousands of dollars.
The second story and roof of a house belonging to heirs of William Smith,
deceased, until lately occupied by John Mobley, was forced down into the
The dwelling-house of Mr. George Meese was lifted up and moved forward
some eight or ten feet, the entire front and roof torn off and hurled away.
The kitchen adjacent was lifted up and dashed against a tree near by,
which prevented it from being carried off. The tree was bent low by the
force of the blow, but gallantly held its position. A considerable quantity of
clothing belonging to the members of Mr. Meese's family was carried away
and almost all of the kitchen furniture destroyed.
The village contained two churches, a brick church belonging to the Baptist
denomination, and a frame church owned by the Presbyterians. The
Baptist church, in the lower part of town, was about to receive a new roof,
for which purpose two large piles of shingles had been deposited near it.
One of these was hardly disturbed, while the other scattered to the winds,
some of the shingles being carried six miles. The church itself was an utter
wreck. With the exception of one corner, of which some eight feet in height
remained, the whole edifice was leveled with the ground. The joists, thirty
feet in length, were blown in every direction, and some of them forced
eight or ten feet into the ground. Nearly all of the larger monuments in the
churchyard were broken to pieces. The railing about one of the graves
whirled away to an unknown distance, not a splinter being left behind.
Another enclosure had about it a fence surmounted by heavy rocks, which
were bound together by strong iron bands. Several of these rocks were
blown off and the iron clasps were wrenched or broken.
Upon reaching the frame church the storm seems to have attained its
utmost fury. After a short pause in the valley below, it rushed up the slope
and tore the church to splinters in a moment, scattering the fragments
along the side of the road for several hundred yards. Nothing was left but
the stoves, floor and some of the seats. Strange to say, the Bible and
Sunday School library were not injured.
One of the most singular features of this tornado is the fact that no human
life was lost. Sixty-three persons were in the immediate pathway of the
storm, none of whom was fatally injured. Four of Mr. Jacob Miller's family
received painful injuries from the falling bricks. Mrs. Thomas Hicks was
considerably hurt. Tommy Carter was bruised severly by flying fragments,
and his left arm was disabled for the time. Mr. Thomas Taylor was also
somewhat injured by a missile of some kind. Various other persons
received slight wounds.
The bridge over the branch near Mr. Miller's consisted of stout oak
puncheons, 20 feet long, eighteen inches in width and two inches thick,
which were blown from thirty to two hundred yards, and some of them
torn to splinters. One of these puncheons was carried a distance of one
hundred yards and cut down a fruit tree in front of Mr. Meese's house.
Some of the members of the family of Mr. John Sanders were repeatedly
blown into the fire, and it was with great difficulty that they were prevented
from burning to death. In the back yard of Mr. Meese there is an
excavation, eight or ten feet deep, used as a milk-house. To this, on the
approach of the storm, Mr. Meese retired with his family, and to this
precaution they are probably indebted for the preservation of their lives.
The storm appears to have moved very slowly. Mr. Miller was in his barn
and saw it approaching at a distance of something like a hundred yards.
He had time to run from one end of the barn to the other and get out
before the storm struck it.
A lady's dress was seen to shoot rapidly upward to the height of several
hundred feet and sail off. It was thought at the time by the spectators that
the lady herself was in it, but fortunately this was not the case.
Singles, fodder and many other small articles which evidently came from
New Market, were found on the farm of Stephen Raley, six miles distant
from the point from which they started. Mr. Henry Abell, who lives
somewhat nearer to New Market, says that a wagon load of such
fragments might have been collected from one of his fields.
The head of an Opossum, evidently recently severed from the body, was
found lying in the road, near Mr. Sam Roberson's residence.
The bell of the Presbyterian church was carried some two hundred yards.
Some persons residing not more than twenty to fifty yards of the track of
the hurricane, were not aware that anything unusual was transpiring, and
were quite astonished when their attention was called to the wreck and
ruin so near them.
It is estimated that, exclusive of a number of small out-buildings, 34 or 35
houses were blown down or badly injured. All the fencing and nearly all the
fruit trees in the village vanished before the breath of the Storn-King. On
Sunday morning the whole face of the country was covered with DEBRIS,
and the principal street was filled and obstructed by rails, planks, and
fragments from the ruins. Some of the damage has already been repaired,
but months, and perhaps years, must elapse before the place will entirely
recover from the effects of this visitation of Providence.
RELIEF FOR THE SUFFERERS
The losses entailed by the hurricane fell very heavily upon some of the
citizens of the unfortunate village. We are glad to know that a vigorous
effort has been made here to obtain contributions for their relief. We
understand that a considerable sum has already been realized, but much
remains to be done. Contributions of money or other needed articles will
be received by Rev. V. E. Kirtley, who has been very active in his endeavors
in behalf of these unfortunate persons. We sincerely trust that no one who
is able will refuse to contribute to so worthy an object.
Little is known about the age of the New Market Church, except the name does
appear in records as early as 1856. On September 22, 1856, New Market Church was
dismissed from Russell Creek Association and entered the Lynn Association
organized November 8, 1856. The church entered that association on that date with
79 members. In the 1859 minutes of Lynn Association, New Market is listed with 71
A deed was drawn for the ground where Muldraugh Hill Baptist Church is presently
located on February 3, 1873 with Nathan and Elizabeth Sapp as grantors of the deed.
The deed, as written in 1873, is as follows:
This Indenture made this 3rd day of February 1873 between Nathan Sapp
and Elizabeth Sapp, his wife, as party of the First part and Thomas
Underwood in trust for the use and benefit of the United Baptist Church
of Christ as party of the second part Witnesseth. That the parties of the
first part for and in consideration of ten dollars to them in hand paid hath
bargained and sold and by these presents doth grant bargain and sell
and convey to the party of the second part for the use aforesaid a tract of
land lying in Marion County on the Campbellsville and Lebanon Turnpike
road which is bounded as follows: Beginning at a Sassafras Walnut and
Maple on said pike corner to Mr. Livers fence with the pike in the
direction of the Rolling Fork 22 poles to a white oak at the end of a ditch
cut in a pond on the pike fence East along said ditch 7 poles to a stake
then South ll-2 poles to a Spanish Oak and dogwood comes to said Livers
fence North 55 west with the line of said Livers 18 poles to the beginning.
To have and to hold the said tract of land with the appurtenances to the
said party his heirs and assigns for the use of said church forever with
covenant of Special Warranty Witness Our Signature this the day and year
first above mentioned.
Elizabeth Sapp is given as one of the charter members of the Church. However, the
name of Nathan Sapp does not appear on the records until October 1887, when he
along with several others was baptized.
Nathan Sapp not only granted the ground, but he and his son, Perry, were also
instrumental in partial construction of Muldraugh Hill Baptist Church, as indicated by
Perry Sapp's obituary which was in possession of John Hundley, son of the late Rev.
W.C. Hundley. The obituary states that William Perry Sapp was born in Marion
County, Kentucky, on October 21, 1847, and died October 25, 1930, at the age of
eighty-three years and four days. He was the son of Nathan and Elizabeth Vessels Sapp. He
was married in 1867 to Susan Bright who died in 1887. To their union were born seven
children: W. T. Sapp, G. A. Sapp, J. N. Sapp, Nannie Rice, Zennie Colvin, Carl Sapp, and
The obituary says that William Perry Sapp united with Muldraugh Hill Baptist and was one
of the oldest members at the time of his death. He and his father, Nathan Sapp, hewed the
sills by hand and donated them to the building of the church. The obituary reads, "Brother
Sapp was born-and reared in sight of this church and will now be laid to rest on a part of his
home place where he spent his life."
Descendants of the Nathan Sapp family are among the membership of the Church today:
Descendants of W. T. Sapp are Mrs. Esther Allen and daughter, Norma Ray.
William (Billy) Veatch and his children, Estelle Veatch Brady and Bobby Veatch; David
Veatch and his children, Donnie and Jeannie; and Bernard Veatch are descendants of
George A. Sapp.
Descendants of John N. Sapp include Coy, Twyman, Marion, Sudie, Mildred, Mrs.
Nettie Sapp Colvin, Mrs. Mabel Sapp Yates, Terry and Steven Yates.
Descendants of Frances Sapp Horton are J. D. Horton, Dorothy Horton Bishop, and
Frances Horton Thompson.
The dedication of Muldraugh Hill Baptist Church was
announced in the Lebanon Weekly Standard on October 13,
1874 by W. L. Ramsey. The article appeared as follows:
New Market, Ky., Oct. 13, 1874. Correspondence of the Standard.
Please announce through your paper that the new Baptist Church near the
foot of Muldrough's Hill, on the Lebanon and Campbellsville turnpike, is
nearly completed. It will be called the Muldrough's Hill Church. The first or
introductory sermon will be preached by the writer, on the fourth Sunday
in this month at eleven o'clock, and all the members of the old New Market
church are requested to meet there on that day at 10 o'clock A.M. The
church will be constituted on Saturday before the first Sunday in
November, and will be dedicated on the first Sunday in November. The
sermon will be preached by Rev. Henry McDonald, of Georgetown, Ky.
W. L. Ramsey
The dedication of the church took place November 4, 1874, with Rev. Henry McDonald
preaching the sermon.
Henry McDonald, D.D. was raised up to the ministry, and labored a number of
years, within the bounds of Russell Creek Association. He is a native of Ireland,
was raised by devout Catholic parents, and was educated with a view to the
priesthood. Being averse to becoming a priest, he ran away from his parents,
and came to the United States. Making his way to Greensburg, Kentucky, he
entered upon the study of law, under Hon. Aaron Harding. Under the preaching
of B. T. Taylor, during an extensive revival at Greensburg, young McDonald
professed conversion, about 1852, and was baptized into the fellowship of
Greensburg church, by Mr. Taylor. He at once abandoned the study of law, and
commenced the study of theology, under the directions of John Harding. He was
ordained to the ministry, about 1854. After serving the church at Greensburg,
some ten years, he accepted a call to Danville, where he ministered about
twelve years. From thence he went to Covington, where he remained only a few
months, when he accepted a call to the church at Georgetown, where, in
addition to his pastoral labors, he filled the chair of theology in Georgetown
A brief historical sketch of "Muldraugh's Hill Church" is in the minutes of the Russell's Creek
Association for 1880 on page 7:
HISTORY OF MULDRAUGH'S HILL CHURCH
This church was constituted with thirteen members, on Saturday before the first
Sunday in November, 1874, in a new church building costing $1500 dedicated
on Sunday by a sermon by Bro. McDonald.
A pastor was called on that day, and Bro. Thomas Underwood chosen, who
continued his ministration from 1874 until 1879. During the five years in which
Bro. Underwood acted as pastor, the church was in a flourishing condition, and
at the time he left the church numbered 121 members.
Within this time, however, a great many letters were granted. The first deacons
of the church were W. W. Rafferty and E. C. Wise. Afterward Bros. William
Faucett and D. Walker were added. And Bro. W. F. Cowherd was ordained August
1, 1878. Bro. Porter Rafferty was our first clerk, serving in that capacity for three
years. Bro. D. Walker acted as clerk for one year and was followed by Bro. Moses
Farmer. At the expiration of his term, Bro. Wat Richeson assumed the duties,
and he is clerk at the present time.
Muldraugh's Hill Church is the outgrowth of the efforts of the Home Mission
Board, of Russell's Creek Association, Bro. Thomas Underwood acting as
missionary by direction of the Board. The brother canvassed the territory and
secured the means for the purchase of the beautiful location and the erection of
the church edifice, which is a handsome building, 36 by 54 feet in size, well
finished, and paid for. There is a well in the yard. Bro. Underwood spared no
pains nor labor in the work, riding all over the territory and superintending in
person all the business, for all of which we hope he will have his reward in the
world to come. He has been a good and faithful minister in this part of the
vineyard, and had it not been for his zeal in the cause, the church in all
probability would never have been built.
Records of 1874 through 1878 were burned in the home of the church clerk, Porter Rafferty,
whose house was destroyed by fire. For this reason we have two conflicting lists of charter
In 1901, 25 years after the church was organized, Bro. J. L. Collins and Porter Rafferty were
appointed to prepare a list of the charter members of the church. This list includes:
Bro. J. C. Benningfield
Bro. E. C. Wise
Sister J. C. Benningfield
Bro. S. T. Wise
Sister Elizabeth Abell
Sister Mary E. Wise
Sister Elizabeth Sapp
Bro. W. W. Rafferty
Sister Prissalla Thompson
Bro. J. W. Rafferty
Sister Maggie McDemar
Bro. Porter Rafferty
Bro. Richard Nolley
Another list which was in the possession of Mary Stockman Burrice, who was baptised
August 11, 1896, reads:
Mr. & Mrs. J. C. Benningfield
Mr. & Mrs. Peter Abell
Mr. & Mrs. Jake Miller
Mr. & Mrs. Ward Rafferty
Mrs. Lucy Carter
Mr. Richard Nolley
Mr. Perry Sapp
Rev. & Mrs. Thomas Underwood
ARTICLES OF FAITH
AS ADOPTED BY MULDRAUGH CHURCH
AT HER MEETING OF ORGANIZATION
(NOVEMBER 14, 1874)
lst We believe there is only one true and living God whose name Jehovah The
Maker and Supreme ruler of heaven and earth. Inexpressibly glorious in
holiness worthy of all possible honor confidence and love revealed under the
personal distinction of Father Son and Holy Ghost or Spirit Equal in Every office
in the great work of Redemption.
That the new and old Testament is the infalable word of God and is
perfect treasure of heavenly instruction. That it has Salvation for its End and
truth without mixture of Error for its matter. That it reveals the, principals by
which God judges and therefore is and shall remain to the End of the world - the
true center of Christian union and the Supreme Standard by which all humane
conduct creeds and opinions should be tried.
That man was created in a state of holiness under the law of his maker.
But by voluntary transgression fell from that holy and happy state in
consequence of which all mankind are now sinners not by constraint but choice.
Being by nature utterly void of that holiness required by the law of God wholly
given to the gratification of their own sinful passions and therefore under just
condemnation to eternal ruin without difference or excuse.
That the Salvation of Sinners is wholly of grace through the mediatorial
office of the Son of God who took upon himself our nature yet without Sin
honored the Law by his personal obedience and made atonement for our sins.
By his Death Being risen from the dead he is now in heaven and uniting in his
wonderful person the tenderest Sympathies with the divine perfection in Every
way gratified to be a Suitable - Compassionate and all Sufficient Saviour.
That the great gospel blessing which Christ in his fullness bestowed on
Such as believe on him is Justification. That Justification consists in the pardon of
Sin and the promise of Eternal Life on principals of righteousness that is
bestowed not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have
done. But solely through his own redemption and righteousness that it brings
us into a State of most blessed peace and favor with God and Secures Every
Other blessing needful for time and eternity.
That the blessing of Salvation are made free to all by the gospel. That it is
the immediate duty of all to accept them by a cordial and obedient faith. And
that nothing prevents the Salvation of the greatest Sinner on Earth except his
own voluntary refusal to submit to the Lord Jesus Christ which rejection will
subject him to an aggravated condemnation.
That in order to be Saved - we must be regenerated or born again that
regeneration consists in giving wholly disposition to the mind and is effected in
a manner above our comprehension or calculation by the power of the Holy
Spirit. So as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel. And that its proper
evidence is found in the holy fruit which we bring forth to the glory of God.
That such only are real believers as Endeavor to the End that their
perserence Attachments to Christ is the ground work which distinguished them
from mere professors. That a special providence watches over these wellfare
and they are kept by the power of God through faith unto Salvation.
That the law of God is the eternal and unchangeable rule of his moral
government that it is wholly just and good and that the innobility which the
Scriptures asscribe to follow man to fulfill its precepts arises entirely from their
love of Sin to deliver them from which and to restore them through a mediator
to obedience of the holy law is one great end of the gospel and means of grace
connected with the establishment of the church.
That a visable church of Christ is a Congregation of Baptist believers
associated by Covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel. Observing the
ordiance of Christ government by his laws and exercising the gifts, rights, and
privileges invested in them by His word. That its only proper 0fficers are Bishops
or fathers and Deacons as defined in the Epistles of Timothy and Titus.
That Baptism and the Lord's Supper are ordiances of the Church. That
Baptism is immersion of a penitent believer in water in the name of the Father,
Son, and Holy Spirit by the authority of a church and always preceeds the Lord's
Supper. That the Lord's Supper is the use of Bread and wine to set forth the
Sufferings and Death of Christ proceeded by a solemn Self Committal.
That the first day of the week is the Lord's day or Christian Sabbath and is
to be kept Sacred to Religious purposes by abstaining from all secular labor and
recreation by the observance of all the means of grace both private and public
and preparation for that rest that remaineth for the people of God.
That there will be a resurrection of the Dead both of Just and the unjust.
That there will be a general judgement. That there will be a separation of the
righteous and wicked and that the happiness of the Righteous and the
punishment of the wicked will be eternal.
FOR THE UNITED BAPTIST CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST
AT MULDRAUGHS HILL
MARION COUNTY, KENTUCKY
AS ADOPTED AT ITS ORGANIZATION
(NOVEMBER 14, 1874)
As we trust we have been brought by divine grace to embrace the Lord Jesus
Christ and by the influence of his spirit to give ourselves up to him so we do now
solemnly covenant with each other that God enabling us we will walk together in
Brotherly Love that we will exercise a Christian care and watchfulness over each
other and faithfully warn rebuke and admonish one another as the care shall
require. That we will not forsake the assembling of ourselves together nor omit
the great duty of prayer both for ourselves and for others. That we will
participate in each others joys and endeavor with tenderness and sympathy to
bear each others burdens and sorrows. That we will constantly endeavor to
bring up Such as may be under our care in the nurture and admonition of the
Lord. That we will seek divine aid to enable us to walk circumspectly and
watchfully in the world denying ungodliness and every worldly lust. That we will
strive together for the support of a faithful, evangelical ministry among us. That
we will endeavor by example and effort to win souls to Christ and through life
amidst evil report and good report seek to Live to the glory of Him who hath us
brought out of darkness into His marvelous light.
RULES OF DECORUM
UNITED BAPTIST CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST
AT MULDRAUGH HILL
The Church shall meet for the transaction of business on Saturday before
the first Sunday in each month at 11 o'clock A.M.
The Church shall have a presiding officer called a moderator whose duty
shall be to call the church to order and put all questions that come up by motion
and second to the church by voting and in case of a tie give the casting vote but
he shall not be allowed to vote in any other case.
No member shall have the right of more than three speeches to one
question without permission from the church, arising from his seat and
addressing the moderator.
No member following the one who has spoken shall cast any reflection on
No member shall call any member by any other term or affiliation except
brother or sister.
All private offenses shall be treated according to the 18th chapter of
All public offenses shall come before the church by the appointment of a
committee whose duty shall be to go to the offender and request them to come
to the church and make their acknowledgements or defense.
No member shall have the right to leave church during its session of
business except by permission of the moderator.
There shall be no whispering or talking during the conference of the
All questions shall be decided by a majority of votes cast except in the
reception of members when it shall be unanimous.
No questions shall be debatable or ready for discussion except coming up
by motion and second.
Appointment of Committee.
It shall take no less than five members to form a forum to transact
business of the church.
In order to defray the expenses that each male member over the age of
21 pay $2.00 and each male member under the age of 21 years pay $1,00 and
each female over the age of 21 years pay $1.00 and each female under the age
of 21 years pay 50 cents and the rest of the expenses be paid according to what
we are worth and a failure to do this we forfeit our membership.
It shall be the duty of the church to open her doors for the reception of
members before the close of the session.
In September 1879 Rev. E. H. Brookshire was called to serve as pastor. On Saturday before
the fourth Sunday in December 1879, by motion and second, the church agreed to take Bro.
Kerkendall to preach one-half of the time for Bro. Brookshire. This continued for a period of
about 10 months.
Immediately upon the resignation of E. H. Brookshire, J. C. Wray was called as pastor in
November of 1883. Financial problems plagued the church, which possibly was the reason
for Bro. Wray's short ministry.
The pastor's salary per year depended upon the amount of money the members
contributed, although the pastor usually asked for a set salary ranging from $100.00 to
$250.00. The sexton's salary was from $9.00 to $15.00 per year.
Usually a committee of three people was elected to raise subscriptions (money pledged) for
the pastor's and sexton's salaries and mission causes. Money raised in this manner was not
always sufficient for the needs. Once the church considered imposing an advalorem tax on
itself. That the church was hard pressed for funds is evident when on one occasion they
decided to "go to the law" to see if they could get Bro. Newton to pay what he owed the
The sexton or housekeeper had to furnish his own supplies such as oil for the lamps,
brooms, and wood for fires. Besides cleaning the church building, the sexton was also
responsible for the upkeep of the racks that were put around the fence for a hitching post.
There is no record of any business meetings between July 1884 and April 1885.
Realizing the struggling condition of the church, Bro. Thomas Underwood accepted the
pastorate for the second time.
In 1885 the July minutes of the church read as follows:
Saturday before the lst Sunday in July, church met in regular order for the transaction
of business. Bro. T. R. Farmer was called to the chair as moderator. The committee
consisting of the deacons of the church reported they had concluded the church
pledge themselves to pay Bro. Underwood $50.00 for his services the ensuing year
and all money paid by persons not members, he receives in addition to the $50.00.
Moved and seconded the report be received and the committee discharged. Motion
carried. Moved and seconded the church pledge themselves to pay the amount as
suggested by the deacons. Motion carried. Bro. Underwood accepted the call of the
The following persons agreed to pay the following amounts on pastor's salary:
Sister Mike McDemar
George H. Phillips
Mrs. C. Russell
George W. Moore
John Thomas Farmer
John L. Collins
W. D. Bright
J. D. Maupin
G. H. Phillips, Clerk Pro Tem.
An exerpt from the Lebanon newspaper reads:
New Market - September 14, 1885
Rev. Thomas Underwood, assisted by Rev. V. E. Kirtley, has been conducting a series of
meetings at Muldraugh's Hill Church, resulting in 11 accessions. The baptizing took
place at the river on Friday. Mr. Kirtley is an able divine, and has greatly endeared
himself to this people.
Less than a year later, upon the resignation of Bro. Underwood, Rev. V. E. Kirtley, in August of
1886, accepted the call of the church to preach twice monthly (lst and 3rd Sundays) for a
salary of $200.00.
The automobile was practically non-existent in the late 1800's. Before people had
automobiles to drive, they generally walked or traveled by horseback or some kind of horse-
drawn carriage. One naturally concludes then, that transportation and weather conditions at
this time greatly affected church attendance. In fact the records of April 1887 state:
Saturday before the lst Sunday in April 1887, the church met and after preaching by the
pastor, the church became organized for the transaction of business.
There being no reference from last meeting and as the weather and roads having been
bad through the winter. In consequence of which the congregation has been small and
the clerk having been absent, we are minus a record since September. On motion and
second it is ordered that the minutes of this meeting show that the State meeting since
September has been attended by the pastor and that Bro. C. F. Putman put in his
membership with this church at the September meeting and that Bro. Charley Russell
united with church at the January meeting. Motion and Second to adjourn.
V. E. Kirtley, Moderator
J. L. Collins Clerk Pro Tem
In connection with transportation by horseback or carriage, an amusing incident was related
to the committee by almost every older person with whom they talked:
One Sunday morning a Mrs. Lucy Carter rode in her Phaeton to church, hitched her
mare and went inside. While the worship services were in progress, the mare gave birth
to a colt, a scene visible to the whole congregation through the church windows. Mr.
Wash Moore came to the aid of the poor animal, releasing her from the carriage and
rendering such assistance as necessary.
Afterwards, someone remarked, "It would surely be a good horse for it was born at a
good place on a good day."
In a "History of Kentucky Baptists" by J. H. Spencer he states the protracted meeting became a
feature of the polity of the Baptist church as far back as 1837. Hitherto, even during revival
seasons, meetings were held only on Saturday and Sunday with an occasional night meeting,
and that usually met at a private home; and the most zealous enterprising minister could not
stretch his conscience beyond a 3 day meeting. But now the meetings began to be pro-tracted
from day to day during a period of two weeks.
When the revival season passed the church continued to meet once a month, have Saturday
and Sunday preaching, and exercise strict discipline over its members. But there were few
additions to the church by experience and baptism "till
another revival season came around
and after the church would be much diminished in numbers by death and exclusion."
In September 1887 Dr. A. C. Graves assisted Bro. Kirtley in a protracted meeting at Muldraugh
Hill described as "a joyous revival of religion."
A protracted meeting is discussed by Rev. V. E. Kirtley in a letter to the Russell's Creek
Association. It is unknown when Muldraugh Hill joined the Russell Creek Association.
Letter to the Russell's Creek Association from United Baptist Church of Jesus Christ at
Muldraughs Hill in Marion County, Kentucky. To the Russell's Creek Association when
convened with East Fork Church in Metcalf County, Kentucky in September 1887 is as follows:
Since we last wrote you we have reason and we trust feel to thank God for his love and
mercies and kind dealings with us through the past years. True we have not enjoyed the
blessings of the Lord as it has been our privelege to do or as we might have done and
death has claimed and taken from our number several of our beloved brothers and
sisters in Christ (members of our church) and among the number is one that you have
often met and counseled with in your association and that many of you have heard
preached the Word of God that he doubtless proved the power of God to the saving of
your own souls and will still prove that power to all that will yet believe that preached
We mourn for our beacon light has gone-the Time Honored Servant of God that
founded this church and spent his last with us has gone to his reward. (Bro.
But we have had Bro. V. E. Kertley to preach for us twice a month through the past year
and the Rev. Dr. Graves to assist him in a series of meetings which is now about to close
and results in great good. Our membership has been very much received. We have had
forty-nine (49) conversions and forty-seven (47) will be baptized tomorrow and four (4)
have joined by letter. God will be praised for his blessings. Pray for us Brethering that
we may ever enjoy the love and grace of God in our hearts and that our efforts may be
to advance the interest of His cause and kingdom in the earth. Failing to get a volunteer
we send no one to sit with you in your councils at this session. We trust your wisdom
Our membership now stands as follows:
Lost since our last report are 7 by death, 7 by letter and 16 by revision of list.
V. E. Kirtley moderator
J. L. Collins Clerk Pro Tem.
New converts that were added as the Blessing and results of the series of meetings
mentioned in letter above were:
Alice Hicks & Wife Loutisha Hicks
James Cooper & Wife
Sam R. Yates & Wife
Ignatious Wise & Wife
James Jacobs & Wife
Parker Wise & Wife
Joff Maupin & Wife
Parker Wise & Wife
John Benningfield & Wife
Sam R. Newcomb & Wife
Jessie R. Acre
Mrs. J. D. Maupin
M. H. McElroy
John T. Farmer
John S. Wise
Nathan Sapp Sr.
Willie F. Harding
Miss Rury Hayland
Annie Bell Russel
Andrew Jacobs, restored
Tolipha Jacobs, by letter
Vester Malcone, watch care
Mrs. Malone, by letter
This is the first mention of Nathan Sapp's name on record after giving the ground for the
Under Bro. Kirtley's leadership the church seemed to progress financially as well as spiritually.
In July, 1888, the church met to call a pastor and adopt a system for raising finances for
salaries and church expenses. A committee was appointed to solicit subscriptions to pay the
pastor--one-fourth of said subscription to be paid in advance and the remaining three-fourths
due every successive three months. E. H. Brookshire was again called as pastor, if he could
not accept, a call would be extended to Bro. J. H. Rife. If he would not accept, a third call would
be made to C. M. Reed of Lancaster, all for once-a-month. The salary was to be $120.00 for 12
At the August meeting of 1888, Bro. Brookshire stated that if 12 of the bretheren would
guarantee him $120.00 and give him what he could get, he would preach, or if the church
would give him $120.00 and pay him $100.00 the next meeting, he would take a chance on
Apparently, the chances were not good, for Bro. J. H. Rife made an appearance at the
December meeting of 1888 and gave this reply concerning the call of the church. He stated he
could preach "for the church" or "to the church", if the church wanted him, but if he preached,
he wanted to preach "to the church", as he much preferred to preach "to a church" than "for a
church". He requested that if anyone of the church did not mind him or was not willing to
cooperate with him, he hoped they would manifest it then by rising, by proxy, or any way to
express their feelings, and that he would take no exceptions at anyone so expressing
themselves. He waited a moment to hear from anyone. He wanted and hoped that if there
were no objections offered now, that there would be none hereafter, and that he might have
the cooperation of all. After no objections were offered, Bro. Rife said he accepted the call of
In order for the pastors to fulfill their responsibilities at other churches, meeting dates were
often changed. The early church records reveal the church meeting once each month. Besides
the usual Sunday morning service, the church met on Saturday for business, during which
time the doors were opened for membership. The business meeting was preceded with a
sermon by the Pastor.
Until this time, Muldraugh Hill Church had been affiliated with Russell Creek Association. On
Saturday before the third Sunday in October, 1889, a motion and second carried that a
committee be appointed to carry the letter of withdrawal from that association to the new
association to convene at Bethlehem Church in Washington County, with full power to join
said association or return said letter as they may think best. Bros. C. F. Putnam, B. L. Russell
and J. L. Collins were appointed as said committee. This committee, at the business session of
November, 1889, stated that they joined the new association under the name of Central
Association of Kentucky. This church has remained in this association to the present day.
Bro. Rife refused the call for a second year because the church was unable to collect the
money pledged for the pastor's salary in 1889.
In January 1890, Bro. William Stallings was elected by a unanimous vote to be the next pastor.
Bro. Stallings stated that he did not expect to be called, because nearly the entire
membership of the church were strangers to him. He said he would accept the call on
condition that the church would cooperate with him in the work and make him a salary of
At a business meeting on Saturday before the third Sunday in May, 1891, upon the suggestion
of the moderator (Bro. Wm. Stallings), it was moved and carried that the church covenant be
read, and that as a means of renewing our covenant and revising our list of membership, that
every member who is now and who may wish to remain members shall re-sign the covenant.
Names of members who re-signed the Covenant under act of the May meeting, 1891:
Robert H. Shoftner
W. L. Newton
Sallie B. Bridgewater
Miss Lillie Turner
W. G. Parsons
J. D. Nolley
James S. Colvin
Effie Colvin Gebhart
J. D. Maupin
Lucy J. Carter
Atwell T. Harding
J. W. Colvin
James R. Russel
J. C. Sapp
Mrs. Nannie Brockman
Mary M. Sapp
Henry F. Miller
C. W. Cowherd
Trany A. Sapp
Margaret J. Farmer
Norah J. Lake
Elizabeth C. Abell
Jessie M. Russel
John S. Wise
Thomas A. Benningfield
Martha E. Mills
John L. Collins
B. F. Russel
John T. Farmer
Mary A. E. Graves
Sarah M. Newton
Elizabeth E. Richeson
Mattie E. Farmer
Mrs. J. C. Benningfield
Sallie A. Brockman
Mattie J. Abell
R. M. Wise
Ruthie J. Colvin
Sarah A. Sapp
John H. Wise
F. T. Abell
Annie Y. Abell
Alice J. Harding
W. C. White
Mary C. Russel
Mary R. Newcomb
John E. Russell
Nannie Ermine Harding
Mattie J. Burdette
Mary D. Collins
Mary E. Harding
Mathis G. Newcomb
Judson W. Russel
Mary A. Wise
W. J. Farmer
John A. Sapp
Mary C. Newcomb
Annie M. Johns
Nannie E. Nolley
Loula M. Abell
J. C. Benningfield
Stephen T. Harding
D. Parker Wise
John L. Collins, Jr.
J. P. Sullivan
T. P. Jeffries
Mattie E. Harding
In 1892, Muldraugh Hill Baptist Church reported to Central Association a little advancement,
but hoped to do better the coming year. They gave $5.00 to District Missions, $5.00 to Home
Missions, $6.31 to Foreign Missions. There were 50 pupils enrolled in Sunday School with an
average attendance of 25. The church extended a call to Bro. Stallings for the third year and
upon his refusal, Bro. J. T. Hall became the pastor in June of 1893.
On August 7, 1897, the Central Association met with the Muldraugh Hill Church for the first
time. There were 11 churches in the association, and they reported 1,899 members with 7
The first mention of any trustees of the church is made during Bro. Hall's ministry here. The
trustees were J. L. Collins, S. T. Harding and Porter Rafferty.
Bro. J. T. Hall was our faithful pastor until his death May 5, 1905. He was laid to rest in
Brookside Cemetery, Campbellsville, Ky.
Resolutions of Repect as written by Bro. J. L. Collins adopted by the church at its regular
meeting, Saturday before the fourth Sunday in August, 1903:
Resolved first that whereas it has pleased Our Great Heavenly Father who doeth all
things well, to call from us to his heavenly reward, our beloved pastor and brother, Rev.
J. T. Hall, who departed this life on the fifth day of May, 1903 that we deeply mourn the
loss of our beloved pastor and brother and rejoin only in the promise of our Blessed
Savior that he has gone to enjoy a blessed reward for a useful life well spent in the
service of the true and loving God and for the glory and advancement of His cause and
kingdom in this world. Resolved second that for the ten years Bro. Hall served us so
faithfully as our pastor, that we knew him as a faithful, zealous minister of the gospel of
Jesus. A true Christian gentleman and honest honorable and upright citizen, abounding
in faith in Christ as the Saviour of sinful men and in the grace of God. Always either by
precept or example exhorting his fellowman to thoughts and deeds of righteousness
and usefullness. Surely his life is worth emmulation and his works will follow him.
Resolved third that we deeply sympathize with his bereaved wife and children in this
time of trial and sore bereavement and commend his precepts and examples to them
as worthy of their greatest consideration and imitation.
Resolved fourth that it is our hearts desire and prayer to God that when our
unprofitable lives of trial and sorrow shall end on earth as individuals and as the visible
church of God that we may all go and-be prepared to meet our brother and Saviour
together in the shining courts of Glory.
Resolved fifth that a copy of these resolutions be spread upon our records, a copy sent
to the bereaved family and a copy be sent to the Western Recorder for publication.
J. W. Crawley accepted the call to be pastor of the church at the August business meeting in
1903. In September, 1904, he was assisted in a protracted meeting by Bro. Sam Crawley.
Those added to the membership at this meeting were:
Sarah L. Lewis
Mary S. Benningfield
One of the chief items of business in early Baptist churches was the maintaining of proper
behavior of its members. This was accomplished by a member reporting suspected
misbehavior of another member. The accused was notified to come to church business
meeting to defend himself, or confess his guilt and ask forgiveness. If the accused did not
appear, a committee was appointed to visit him and report to the church. This often resulted
in exclusion of the accused from the fellowship of the body. The accusations recorded in the
minutes are swearing, drunkeness, fornication, adultery, dancing, "playing marbles on the
Sabbath", unscriptural conduct, and failure to re-sign the covenant. The 1891 minutes of
Central Association record 52 exclusions that year by erasure. However, this was unusual and
perhaps not all of them were for the above mentioned reasons. Some of these were later
restored to fellowship.
Church records for the period between October 1904 and August, 1923 cannot be located.
Therefore, we can do little more than list the names of the pastors during that time.
Associational records indicate Rev. T. E. Ennis was pastor in the year 1912 through 1916. An
older member recalls that he traveled by buggy and later by car from Greensburg, Ky.
The same records also show that A. R. Abernathy was pastor in the year of 1917, but lists no
pastor for the years 1918 and 1919.