Allendale County, South Carolina on the Savannah River, Welcome!

The Barnwell Baptist Association, by Clara Johnston Hitt,  236 pages, published 1914

The Barnwell Baptist Association 1856-1865

 

ORGANIZATION IN 1856.

 

The Savannah River Association covered so great an extent of territory that the delegates found it in-convenient to attend the annual meetings. Some of the churches in Barnwell District had for some time desired to form a new association. Delegates from several churches met at the Friendship church on Saturday before the fifth Sunday in August, 1856, and adopted measures for the formation of a new association. The three men most active in the formation of this new association were Rev. W. T. Sanders, living below Barnwell; Rev. J. K. Johnston, living just north of Barnwell, and Rev. John Brooker, of Double Ponds: In October the Double Ponds church was regularly dismissed from the Edisto Association, and in November twelve churches likewise from the Savannah River Association for the formation of the, new association. These churches were : Columbia, Great Saltketcher, Springtown, Rosemary,;. Philadelphia, ,, St. John's, Bethesda, Friendship, Gent's Branch, Long Branch, Mount Olivet, and Bethel

On Saturday before the first Sunday in December these churches and Mount Calvary, which had but recently been organized, met by delegation at Spring-town church and organized themselves into the Barn-well Baptist Association.

The delegates at this first meeting in 1856 were:

Columbia— J. E. Harley.

Great Saltketcher — Rev. J. M. Hoover, J. Kinard.

Springtown— D. Dowling, J. W. Matheney, H. W. Kennedy.

Rosemary— Rev. J. K. Johnston, Rev. S. E. Woodward, W. Stansell.

Philadelphia— Robert Kirkland.

St. John's— G. A. Kinard.

Bethesda— Peter Wrents, H. D. Varn.

Friendship— R. H. Kennedy, G. G. Morris.

Gent's Branch— Rev. Thomas Dawson, John Turner.

Long BranchJ. M. Cave, W. Birt.

Mount Olivet— Rev. W. T. Sanders, W. J. Sanders.

Bethel— J. D. Kinard.

Double Ponds— Rev. J. Brooker, J. J. Brooker, I. L. Brooks.

Mount Calvary— W. J. Hair, J. L. Hair.

 

The pastors of the churches from which these delegates came were Rev. W. T. Sanders, pastor of Spring-town, Philadelphia and Mount Olivet; Rev. J. K. Johnston, pastor of Rosemary and Gent's Branch; Rev. W. S. Johnson, pastor of Columbia; Rev. J. M. Hoover, pastor of Great Saltketcher and Bethel; Rev. George Walker, pastor of St. John's ; Rev. Michael Hiers, pastor of Bethesda; Rev. W. C. Baxley, pastor of Friendship and Long Branch; Rev. J. Brooker, pastor of Double Ponds.

At the first meeting of the Association at Spring-town in 1856 Rev. Thomas Dawson preached the Introductory Sermon, after which he was called to the chair. The letters of dismission were read and the names of churches and delegates enrolled.

The committee appointed at the convention at Friendship to draft a Constitution and Rules of Decorum reported through their chairman, Rev. J. K. Johnston. The committee recommended the adoption of the Constitution and the Rules of Decorum of the Savannah River Association. The report being accepted the Constitution was then adopted article by article substituting "Barnwell Baptist Association" for "Savannah River Association." The Rules of Decorum were also adopted with slight changes.

The Association then elected by ballot as permanent officers Rev. Thomas Dawson, Moderator; D. Dowling, Clerk, and A. F. Free, Treasurer.

The Moderator appointed two committees : Finance and Preaching. The first Finance Committee consisted of A. F Free, L. Brooker and J. E. Harley. The name of only one of these appears on the list of delegates.

The churches sent up to this meeting and collected at it, $211.11. Of this, $24.87 was for minutes, $36.25 for Foreign Missions, $15 for Southern Baptist Publication Society, $15 for Domestic Missions, $25.66 for Permanent Education Fund, $3 for Widows and Orphans' Fund.

It is interesting to note that all the churches except one sent a small amount for minutes and all except three contributed to Associational Missions, while only five contributed to Foreign Missions.

Rev. John K. Johnston preached the Charity Sermon and a collection amounting to $40 was taken. This is included in the $211.11 and was divided by vote of the Association between a Permanent Education Fund and Association Missions.

.Two resolutions of great importance were passed. One looking toward the spirituality of the body and its meetings was introduced by Rev. W. T. Sanders. It provided for the setting apart of Saturday for devotional exercises and for the celebration of the Lord's Supper on the Lord's day. The other, introduced by Rev. J. K. Johnston, was as follows: "Resolved, That the Association requests the churches in our union to raise and send up to our next meeting, one dollar for each and, every member, to be used by this Association in sending the gospel to the destitute in our bounds."

Resolutions were also passed endorsing the publications of the Southern Baptist Publication Society, and recommending to the churches the organization of Bible, Missionary, Tract, Sunday School, Education, and Temperance Societies.

The first General Committee consisted of Robert Kirkland, H. D. Varn, H. W. Kennedy, J. L. Brooker, and S. E. Woodward.

The churches were divided into two divisions for union meetings. In the first division were Friendship, Great Saltkatchie, Bethel, Philadelphia, St. John's, Springtown, Bethesda, and Mount Olivet. In the second division were Columbia, Rosemary, Long Branch, Mount Calvary, Double Ponds, and Gent's Branch.

After an interesting and harmonious meeting the Association adjourned to meet with the Great Saltkahatchie church on Friday before the fourth Lord's day of September, 1857. Rev. W. C. Baxley was appointed to preach the Introductory, and Rev. W. T. Sanders, the Charity, Sermon.

 

THE FIRST SESSION AFTER ORGANIZATION - 1857.

 

The first session of the Barnwell Association after its organization (its second session as an organized body) convened at Great Saltkahatchie church near Buford's Bridge, September 25, 1857, on Friday before the fourth Sunday.

Rev. W. C. Baxley preached the Introductory Sermon. His text was "Oh Lord, my God, Thou art very great." Ps. 104:1.

Rev. W. T. Sanders was elected Moderator and Dr. B. S. Sweat, Clerk.

Committees on Preaching, Finance, Correspondence, Nominations, Time and Place of Next Meeting were appointed. On motion all ministers present were invited to seats and participation in deliberations.

At this meeting Bro. W. D. Rice led in prayer.

Saturday and Sunday were spent in devotional exercises. Rev. W. T. Sanders preached the Charity Sermon on Sunday. At the same hour Rev. T. Dawson preached at the stand. The Lord's Supper was celebrated in the afternoon. Deep seriousness pervaded the meetings.

The General- Committee reported the employment of two missionaries during the year : Rev. S. E. Wood-ward and Rev. W. C. Baxley. They were paid one dollar per day for 110 days' service and for preaching 104 sermons.

The General Committee for the ensuing year was composed of R. Kirkland, H. D. Varn, H. W. Kennedy, W. R. Chitty, Willis Stansell, George I. Priester, and James P. Harley.

All of the fourteen churches were represented at this meeting and reported increase in membership. It is interesting to note that there had been no changes in the pastorates. The delegation from the churches was fuller and changed slightly in personnel. T. J. Counts, D. H. Rice and B. S. Sweat represented Springtown and F. J. Sanders was one of the representation from Mt. Olivet. Rev. J. K. Johnston's name appears for the last time in the work of the body. He died in December following.

The General Committee was instructed to appropriate fifty dollars out of the Association Mission fund to purchase books to be sold and distributed by our missionaries, the profits, if any, to be accounted for to the General Committee. The books handled were to include those of the Southern Baptist Publication Society. This is the beginning of our great Colportage work.

One hundred and fifty dollars was subscribed by the churches to defray the expenses at school of John Sullivan, a licentiate for the ministry. The Association thus in its beginning stood for ministerial education.

The churches sent up $581.26. Of this $24.50 was a minute fund, $268.43 went to Associational Missions, $68.75 to Foreign Missions, $3.71 given by the colored people of Springtown and Great Saltkahatchie to African Missions, $87.87 to the Permanent Education Fund, $53.10 to Widows and Orphans' Fund, $25 to the Baptist Publication Society and $2 to the Association Fund.

The next meeting was appointed to 'meet' at Rosemary church on Friday before the second Sunday in November, 1858; Rev. W. T. Sanders to preach the Introductory, and Rev. Thomas Dawson, the Charity, Sermon.

 

THIRD SESSION - 1858.

The third meeting of the Association was held with the Rosemary church which had at that time no regular pastor, Rev. J. K. Johnston having closed his earthly labors December 14, 1857, shortly after the last meeting of the Association.

Rev. W. T. Sanders preached the Introductory Sermon from II Peter 1:10.

Rev. W. T. Sanders was re-elected Moderator and T. J. Counts was made Clerk.

Briar Creek and Healing Springs were received in-to the Association.

Sermons were preached on Saturday by Rev. A. P. Norris, Rev. Wm. Brooker, and Rev. Thomas Mason; and on Sunday by Rev. Wm. Richards, Rev. Wm. Brooker, Rev. W. S. Johnson and Rev. T. Dawson.

On Monday -corresponding messengers were received from the Charleston, Edisto and Savannah River Associations.

Rev. Wm. Richards made an appeal to the brethren and secured contributions for. the Baptist church in the City of Columbia.

The General Committee reported the employment of Rev. S. E. Woodward and Rev. W. C. Baxley as missionaries. They had preached 230 sermons, baptized a large number of converts, and distributed more than 300 volumes and tracts.

Bro. John Sullivan had been placed at school but while prosecuting his studies he had been called to his heavenly reward.

The next meeting was appointed at Double Ponds church with Rev. George Walker to preach the Introductory, and Rev. W. T. Sanders, the Charity, Sermon.

 

FOURTH SESSION - 1859.

The fourth session of the Barnwell Baptist Association was held with the Double Ponds church on Friday before the second Sunday in November, 1859. Rev. George Walker, the appointee, preached the Introductory Sermon from II Cor. 4:6.

Rev. W. T. Sanders was re-elected Moderator and T. J. Counts Clerk. The Blackville Baptist church was received into the Association. Messengers were received from the Charleston, Edisto, Savannah River, and Edgefield Associations.

Rev. M. T. Sumner, Financial Secretary of the Domestic and Indian Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, addressed the Association on the subject of his mission and received a contribution of $123.

The following resolution on Sunday Schools was adopted:

"Resolved, That a committee of brethren be appointed in each Union Meeting District, whose duty it shall be to visit the churches of said district and use their influence to excite an interest in the Sabbath School cause, and endeavor to organize a Sabbath School in each church and report the result of their labors to the next Association."

A great revival wave had spread over the whole country in 1858, resulting in a new enthusiasm for Sunday School work. About this time Rev. W. D. Rice was appointed State Superintendent of Sunday Schools for South Carolina, and Rev. W. T. Sanders was made Supervisor for Barnwell County.

On Sunday the Charity Sermon was preached by the appointee, Rev W. T. Sanders, and another by Rev. A. P. Norris. Collections were taken amounting to forty-one dollars.

"The General Committee, to which the cause of Associational Missions had been entrusted, reported that -Bro. J. O. McLemore had been employed during the „year both as missionary and colporter. Brother Mc-Lemore, in his report, stated that he had preached one hundred and forty sermons, and distributed about four hundred and fifty volumes of books, and one thousand five hundred tracts. He stated that he had met with much destitution, which loudly demanded greater efforts in this department of Christian labor. According to the letters received from the churches, one hundred and seventy persons had been baptized during the Associational year.”

The venerable T. Mason led in prayer at adjournment. The next meeting was appointed to meet at Long Branch with Rev. J. M. Hoover to preach the Introductory, and Rev. B. S. Sweat, the Charity, Sermon.

FIFTH SESSION - 1860. 

Pursuant to adjournment the Association met in 1860 with the Long Branch church and the Introductory Sermon was preached by Rev. John M. Hoover;' His text was James 5:8, "Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh."

The Moderator, Rev. W. T. Sanders, had to leave on account of sickness. Rev. Thomas Dawson was called to the chair and then elected Moderator. T. J. Counts was re-elected Clerk.

Williston church was received into the Association through her representative, Bro. J. B. Armstrong.

The meeting was a very full one following a year of "unprecedented drought, cutting off the staff of life" and facing "the dark and dismal cloud that hovers threateningly and fearfully in our political horizon."

It is interesting to note the delegates to this meeting: Elijah Johnson and B. B. Cave represented Columbia; J. M. Hoover, J. B. Boynton and J. M. Williams, Great Saltkahatchie; D. H. Rice, S. H. Rush and T. J. Counts, Springtown; S. E. Woodward, J. P. Hair and N. Ashley, Rosemary; Wm. Ross and H. C. Chitty, Double Ponds; R. Kirkland, H. D. Varn and W. K. Weekley, Philadelphia ; Geo. Walker, G. B. Hick-man and J. Chasseroe, St. John's; W. M. Fender and J. W. Beard, Bethesda; W. C. Baxley, C. B. S. Ray and J. J. Morris, Friendship; J. R. Turner, S. Eaves, . and T. Dawson, Gent's, , Branch;_ A. J., Nix, Long Branch; W. T. Sanders, J. F. Sanders and J. J. Aug- . ley, Mount Olivet; W. H. Dowling and J. M. Hoover, Bethel; Geo. Hutson and J. L. Hair, Mt. Calvary; Wm. Steedley, Briar Creek; Israel Walker and J. W. Hair, Healing Springs; A. Boylston, S. Reed and W. M. Johnson, Blackville; J. B. Armstrong, E. J. Wood-ward and B. Weathersbee, Williston.

Of these, T. J. Counts and W. H. Dowling survive in this year, 1914.

Sixteen of these churches reported a membership of 2,105, of which 689 were blacks. Columbia had a membership of thirty whites and ninty-seven blacks; Philadelphia, of twenty-one whites and 112 blacks; Healing Springs, of fifty-five whites and seventy-eight blacks.

It is interesting to note that J. B. Armstrong was on the Finance Committee and on the Committee to Examine the Treasurer's Report.

Messengers were present from Charleston, Edisto, Savannah River, and Edgefield Associations.

On Saturday morning Bro. B. F. D. Perry, of the Savvannah River Association, preached; and in the afternoon Bro. L. Cuthbert, of the Edisto.

After "a solemn prayer meeting" on Sunday morning three sermons were preached by Rev. G. Walker, in the house; Rev A. P. Norris, in the Association house and Rev E. F. Randall in the grove.

A collection of $52.73 was taken up and divided between the Permanent Education and Association Mission Funds.

After preaching in the afternoon by Revs. T. Dawson in the church and W. T. Sanders in the Association house, the Lord's Supper was celebrated in the church.

Very many of the churches reported the abandonment of the old practice of meeting but once a month, "but meet together often and engage in worship." One hundred and ninety-seven were baptized into the membership of the churches during the year.

Bro. Robert Kirkland, chairman of the General Committee, reported the employment during eight months of the past associational year of "Rev. G. Walker as missionary and colporter at a salary of thirty dollars per month; who reports, that he has preached one hundred and five sermons, baptized four persons, and visited about two hundred families in our bounds, ands' succeeded in distributing Bibles, Testaments and other religious books to the number of three hundred volumes. He also states to your committee, that there is still much need and encouragement to continue the colporter business in our Association, as there are still destitute sections in need of light from religious books and the living ministry."

The committee also reported that they had received Bro. J. F. Buist, a well known and worthy brother, on recommendation of the Examining Board of this Association as our beneficiary at the Theological Semi-nary in Greenville and had arranged to give him the funds in hand for that purpose.

The General Committee for the ensuing year was appointed as follows: R. Kirkland, T. J. Counts, H. D. Varn, Jones M. Williams, C. M. Dewitt, R. H. Kennedy, W. P. Walker, and J. W. Matheny.

Resolutions were adopted endorsing Dr. B. S. Sweat as a physician, a citizen, a Christian and minister of the Gospel and expressing a sense of loss at his determination to move West.

Bro. Austin Boylston reported for "Committee of Sabbath Schools" District No. 2. He stated that nearly all the churches in the district had been visited and that a growing interest in Sunday School work was manifest. The same Sunday School Board was continued with the request that they furnish statistics of the Sabbath Schools in our bounds to the next Association.

After prayer by Brother T. Mason, the Association adjourned to meet with the Healing Springs church, on Friday before the second Sabbath in November, 1861, at 11 A. M., Rev. W. C. Baxley to preach the Introductory, and Rev. W. T. Sanders, the Charity, Sermon.

SIXTH SESSION - 1861.

Rev. W. C. Baxley preached the Introductory Sermon at the sixth meeting of the Association, which convened at Healing Springs in November, 1861.

The Moderator, Rev. Thomas Dawson, being absent, Rev. W. T. Sanders was elected to that office. T. J. Counts was re-elected Clerk.

Allen's Chapel was received into the body through her delegate, Bro. W. A. Faust. The standing rules were changed with respect to the hour for meeting, and with respect to the celebration of the Lord's Sup-per, which was to be omitted.

Since the last Association, South Carolina had seceded from the Union only to be followed by the other Southern States, Fort Sumter had been fired upon, and now the news came during the meeting of the capture of Hilton Head and the landing of Federal troops on Morris Island. All was stir and excitement at this meeting. We find this resolution in the minutes:

"Resolved, That the hour from 10 to 11 o'clock A. M. on to-morrow be set apart for the offering at a throne of mercy, our earnest and solemn supplications in behalf of our bleeding country and those of our friends who are exposed to dangers, trials and sufferings in defense of our country's rights, and that we earnestly request all Christians present to unite with us in our supplication."

The fifth standing rule was suspended for this meeting and there is no record in the minutes of even a devotional hour. Haste is everywhere evident in the proceedings of that memorable Saturday. Haste in order that men might offer themselves on the altar of their country.

The churches sent up $278.94 against $608.97 sent up the year before.

The General Committee reported a year of "unusual difficulties and severe trial for the work committed to their trust."

Elder G. Walker had served as Missionary and Col-porter (see below - FOC) for two and a half months at $30 per month. He reported scarcity of money and an unsettled state of things in our government as making it impossible to sell but few books. He had traveled 522 miles, visited sixty-five families and preached thirty-four sermons.

Elder W. C. Baxley had served as Missionary four months at a salary of $25 per month. He reported a lack of interest generally. The Committee recommended the distribution among the soldiers through the agency of the State Convention of books still on hand.

Many names of those who had pledged support to the beneficiary appear in a list of those who had failed to pay.

Bro. Willis Stansell offered resolutions looking to the employment of Rev. W. C. Baxley as Associational Missionary. Brother Baxley had become almost blind and unfitted for pastoral work. He was employed to preach where and when he pleased at a salary of $20 per month.

It was resolved that the churches be asked to send up money to the next meeting for a permanent fund for the support of the old preachers.

The churches reported only thirty-four baptisms during the year.

Sunday's collection was divided between the Domes-tic Mission Board at Marion, Alabama, and the State Colportage Board for the purchase of religious literature for distribution among the soldiers.

The Committee on Sabbath Schools was discontinued. The Barnwell Baptist Sunday School Association had been organized in Barnwell in the preceding May with Rev. J. L. Shuck as President and W. H. Duncan, Secretary. (Of the charter members of that organization only Rev. W. H. Dowling survives, 1914.) This Sunday School Association was an independent body made up of members of churches of two or more associations, the first meeting being held in the Barn-well church, which then belonged to the Savannah River Association.

After a feeling address by the Moderator the Association adjourned to meet with the Philadelphia church on Friday before the second Sunday in November, 1862.

SEVENTH SESSION - 1862.

According to appointment the Association met with the Philadelphia church, which had been under the pastoral care of Rev. W. T. Sanders. Rev. Thomas Dawson was elected Moderator; T. J. Counts, Clerk, and A. F. Free, Treasurer. Although there is no mention in the minutes at hand of the re-election of Bro. A. IF. Free, since his first election, he had continuously served in that capacity with evident ability. 

Rev. W. T. Sanders, who so long had been prominent in the affairs of the Association, and who was the appointee to preach the Introductory Sermon at this meeting, had contracted disease while in service as a soldier and had passed to his final reward. Rev. W. J. Morcock by request preached from Mark 13:37.

Mt. Pleasant church came into the Association. Visiting brethren were present from the Charleston and Edisto Associations.

The resolution of Bro. Boylston at the last Association was renewed, and a certain hour was appointed to implore the divine blessing upon our country and her brave defenders.

The Charity Sermon was, preached on Sunday by Rev. J. F. Buist from the text, "For to me to live is Christ, to die is gain," after which a large contribution was secured for the purposes of the Association.

On Monday appropriate resolutions were adopted in reference to the death of the late Moderator, Rev. W. T. Sanders.

The General Committee reported their inability to continue operations owing to the unsettled state of things.

A resolution was adopted recommending the "Confederate Baptist" published at Columbia, to the patronage of the Association.

Rev. George Walker was appointed to preach the Introductory, and Rev. F. J. Sanders, the Charity, Sermon at the next meeting at Mt. Oilivet church in November, 1863.

EIGHTH SESSION - 1863. 

The Association met, as appointed, with the Mount Olivet church under the pastoral care of Rev. F. J. Sanders. Rev. W. C. Baxley preached the Introductory Sermon.

Brother David H. Rice was elected Moderator, and T. J. Counts was re-elected Clerk.

Messengers were present from the Edisto and Savannah River Associations.

The principal subject claiming the attention of the Association was the spiritual condition of the soldiers in the Southern army. The South Carolina Colportage Board had taken into its hands the spiritual interests of the soldiers, and was supplying the troops in South Carolina with missionaries, tracts, Testaments, etc. Rev. W. D. Rice, the able and laborious Superintendent of Colportage, could not attend this meeting of the Association, and Rev. B. F. D. Perry and Rev. L. H. Shuck, who were present as visitors, were re-quested to present the claims of the Board. After ad-dresses by these brethren quite a large sum was raised to enable the Board to supply the religious destitution among our brave soldiers.

On Sunday the Charity Sermon was delivered by Rev. F. J. Sanders. Rev. J. F. Buist was appointed to preach the Introductory, and Rev. Lewis H. Shuck, the Charity, Sermon, at the next meeting of the Association at Great Saltkahatchie church in November, 1864.

NINTH SESSION - 1864.

The Association met as appointed at Great Saltkahatchie. The Rev. D. M. Breaker, an army missionary on a visit to the Association, preached the Introductory Sermon. He also represented the "Confederate Baptist."

Bro. D. H. Rice was re-elected Moderator and T. J. Counts, Clerk. Messengers were present from the Charleston, Edisto, and Savannah River Associations. Rev. J. A. Chambliss, agent of the Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, delivered an interesting address in which he endeavored to awaken an increased interest in the subject of "Sabbath" Schools.

Rev. Dr. Rambant presented the claims of the Domestic Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. This Board was sending missionaries to all parts of the Southern army.

On Sunday the Charity Sermon was preached by Rev. Lewis H. Shuck. He was followed by Rev. W. D. Rice, of Sumter, Superintendent of Colportage Work in South Carolina. Bro. Rice made a statement with reference to the operations of the Board, and several thousand dollars were raised to supply both the spiritual and the physical needs of our soldiers.

The Association adjourned to meet in Blackville in November, 1865. Rev. J. E. Chambliss was appointed to preach the Introductory, and Rev. J. F., Buist, the Charity, Sermon, at that meeting.

TENTH SESSION - 1865.

The tenth annual session of the Barnwell Baptist Association was held, with the Blackville Baptist church, Friday before the second Sunday in November, 1865.

Rev. J. E. Chambliss preached the Introductory Sermon from Rom. 5:1: "Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ."

The Moderator, Bro. D. H. Rice, being absent, Rev. L. H. Shuck was called to preside and was elected Moderator. Rev J. E. Chambliss was made Clerk. Dr. L. Brooker is named as one of the tellers on this occasion.

Bro. A. F. Free, who had been the efficient Treasurer since the organization of the Association, stated that owing to his books having been burned by the Northern armies he had been unable to prepare a report and requested the assistance of a committee. Rev. J. F. Buist, Rev. J. M. Hoover, and Bro. Jas. Boynton were appointed to assist him.

On motion all ministers and lay members from other associations were invited to seats with us. Rev. B. F. D. Perry, from the Savannah River Association, and Rev. S. B. Sawyer, from the Edisto, were present.

Bethel church had sent up the query last year : "Is it right to receive members of Campbellite churches into the Baptist church without re-baptism?" This query was referred to the Committee on Letters consisting of Rev. J. F. Buist, S. M. Sanders and H. J. Creech. The committee without hesitation replied in favor of re-baptism in such cases.

Sherman's army had this year passed through this district. Church edifices had been burned and church records destroyed. The Committee on Letters says:

It is with deep sorrow we learn of the desolation of Zion, and the burning of houses of worship, and the sad mortality in the membership of some of the churches within our limits, caused by war. But our prayer is that God may overrule all these things to his glory, and the best interest of his Kingdom."

Saturday was, as usual, devoted to religious exercises, and many hearts were refreshed by the precious truths as it is in Jesus.

Rev. J. F. Buist preached the Charity Sermon to a large and eager congregation.

The General Committee through their chairman, Jones M. Williams, reported, "That owing to the distracted state of the country, the past year has been one of great difficulty for its operations." That the funds had become worthless and that they were forced to suspend business. That there was great destitution both in books and preaching, and recommended steps toward relief as soon as practicable.

The General Committee for the ensuing year was appointed as follows : Jones M. Williams, Willis Stansell, C. M. Dewitt, and the Clerk (Rev. J. E. Chambliss) and the Treasurer (A. F. Free).

Resolutions expressing pleasure at the resumption of the exercises of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary at Greenville were passed.

Resolutions were also passed requesting the churches, in view of the scarcity of ministers and the destitution of the field, to pray the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers into his harvest.

The moneys sent up and collected at this meeting amounted to $103.40. Of this $29.05 sent by Great Saltkehatchie, Rosemary, Double Pond, Long Branch, Healing Springs, and Blackville churches was for Associational Missions and the remainder for minutes.

Rev. F. J. Sanders was appointed to preach the Introductory, and Rev. L. H. Shuck, the Charity, Sermon, at the next meeting at Williston, in November, 1866.

Return to Preface

1866-1875

Footnotes (added by FOC to clarify for us "modern types"):

"Col-porter: Colportage is the distribution of publications, books, religious tracts by carriers called "colporteurs". The term does not necessarily refer to religious book peddling.  

Etymology: The term is an alteration of French comporter, "to peddle" as a portmanteau or pun with the word col (Latin collum, "neck"), with the resulting meaning "to carry on one's neck". Porter, is from Latin portare, "to carry".  

History: The American Tract Society, an evangelical organization established in 1825 to distribute Christian literature, reported in its 24th annual report in 1849 "Colportage including 106 students from 23 different colleges or seminaries for their vacations.... [T]he colporters have visited 341,071 families...[and] sold 377,258 books."   In Christ in the Camp: or, Religion in Lee's Army (1887), Dr. John William Jones refers to the chaplains carrying bibles and tracts during the American Civil War as colporteurs. In addition to public preaching, distributing literature was a large part of the work of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. The American Bible Society and the American Tract Society were among the largest organizations involved in colportage in the United States.  D.L. Moody founded the "Bible Institute Colportage Association" in 1894 to distribute tracts and books. Now known as Moody Publishers, they continue to publish religious materials with proceeds supporting the Moody Bible Institute. The Seventh-day Adventist Church calls their book distributors "Literature Evangelists", but until about 1980, the term "colporteur" was used to describe SDA literature evangelists.  Also, Jehovah's Witnesses who were active in the full-time ministry were called colporteurs until 1931. Today, those participating in the full-time ministry are called "pioneers".

There are probably numerous errors, despite my checking.  Please try to be very explicit about where errors are in the text when you Email me.  FOC

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