Baptist History Homepage

Buck Run Church
By John Taylor, 1823
Chapter 10

The constitution of Buck Run Church.

      As there has been a good deal of likeness in the faith and practice of the ten churches, of which I have alternately been a member for fifty years past I think proper to give the Constitution and rules of decorum of Buck Run Church, at length.

     Church covenant, unanimously agreed to by the church as we hope a number of us, have long since given ourselves to the Lord, we do this day in the divine presence, give ourselves in a church compact, to one another, and do solemnly covenant and agree to fulfill the duty of brethren to each other not to expose each other's faults, but in the true letter and spirit of the Gospel. That we will not forsake the assembling ourselves together, but fill our seats, both in meetings of business, and public worship, except providentially hindered. That we will watch over each other in brotherly tenderness, each endeavoring to edify his brother; striving for the benefit of the weak of the flock; to raise up the hands that hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees; making strait paths for our feet, least [sic] that which is lame be turned out of the way.

     That we will bear each other's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ; and as the Lord has prospered us, bear a proportionable part of the expense, to keep up the worship of God in decency and in token of our above agreement, give each other our hands, and hearts. And as it is needful to have some epithet to distinguish our church from another, our appellation, and the future style of our records, shall be "The Baptist Church of Christ on Buck Run" and our monthly meetings to be held the last Saturday


[p. 138]
in each month, with the Lord's day following 31 January 1818.

      Met at Brother [Isaac] Wilson's, day and date above, according to appointment, for the purpose of constituting a Baptist church, elder William Hickman moderator, elder Silas M. Noel clerk; with the above ministers, James Suggett, John H. Ficklin, Mordecai Boulware, Theodoric Boulware; all those ministers agreed to give agency in the constituting of the above named church.

Names of the members in the constitution.
John Taylor, John Graves, Elizabeth Taylor, Catherine Graves, Benjamin Taylor, Elizabeth Gatewood, Presley Neale, John Price Fanny Neale, Susannah Price, Julius Blackbum, Lewis Nall, Elizabeth Blackburn, Jane Nall, Frances Castleman, Love B. Fuller, Isaac Wilson, Lucy Wilson, Nancy Triplett Sarah Head, Lucy Nall,
      In all, twenty-one agreed to go into a constitution; the following articles [of faith] after examination, were unanimously adopted:
1st. There is but one true and living God the maker and preserver of all created things, visible and invisible; and that in this adorable God-head there are three personal relations, as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; and these three are one equal in glory, dignity, eternity, and power. Though, as to the true humanity of Jesus Christ, [H]e is often spoken of in the New Testament as inferior to the Father.
2d. That the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament[s], as stated in their canonical books, is the uniform doctrine of faith; and that this sacred volume is the only infallible rule of all our faith and practice.
3d. That by the disobedience of the first Adam,

[p. 139]
all his posterity became guilty, and sinful in every part, and helpless as to any aid they can give, in the great work of converting their own souls.
4th. That according to God's fore-knowledge, previous to time, he did predestinate his people to life and being chosen in Christ, before the world began; he [Christ] did as our second Adam, the Lord from heaven, assume human nature, yet without sin and by his obedience, in his incarnation, making an atoning sacrifice for sin, brought in an everlasting righteousness for the rebellious and when said blessed merit, is imputed, or applied to them through faith in his blood, they are thereby justified before God, and being effectually called by his grace and holy spirit, shall finally persevere therein to happiness and eternal glory.
5th. Since the day of the Apostles, there is no higher ecclesiastical authority on earth, than the congregated, worshiping church of Christ; being God's heritage here below; their right is to govern themselves by their own voices, select their own officers, as Bishops and Deacons, the only officers now known in the church of Christ; these are their servants, for Christ's sake. So that no conclave of bishops, or any council appointed by themselves, or even their own officers, have a right to lord it over the church.
6th. As it is appointed, for men once to die, there shall also, be a resurrection, both of the just and unjust; on which awful day, Jesus Christ will judge all men in righteousness; when the wicked shall go into everlasting punishment, and the righteous into life eternal.
7th. We consider baptism valid, only by profession of faith, and immersing the whole body under water.
8th. We do most seriously consider, the preaching of repentance, and the invitations of the gospel to all characters of men, to be one of the most interesting

[p. 140]
subjects of the gospel ministry, and that they who persecute, neglect or disobey the gospel, more highly aggravate their own guilt.
      To manifest our good will and charitableness towards our brethren, who may somewhat differ from us, in some of the above doctrines we do most cheerfully accord in the terms of the General Union of Baptists in Kentucky, which are as follows:
1st. That the Scriptures of the old and new Testament, are the infallible words of God, and the only rule of faith and practice.
2d. That there is but one only true God, and in the Godhead or divine essence there are Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
3d. That by nature, we are depraved, fallen creatures.
4th. That salvation, regeneration, sanctification, and justification are by the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ.
5th. That the saints will finally persevere through grace to glory.\
6th. That believers Baptism, by immersion is necessary to receiving of the Lord's supper.
7th. That the salvation of the righteous, and the punishment of the wicked will be eternal.
8th. That it is our duty to be tender and affectionate to each other, and study the happiness of the children of God in general; and to be engaged singly to promote the honor of God.
9th. And that preaching "Christ tasted death for every man, shall be no bar to communion."
     Whereupon, Buck Run Church was pronounced constituted. Rules of decorum for said church.
Rules of decorum for said church.

1st. The business of the church to be done the last Saturday of every month, beginning at twelve o'clock, any free male member failing to attend shall be accountable to the church for such neglect.

[p. 141]
2d. A moderator to be chosen by a majority of voices, and until another is chosen, he is to preside in the church while at business, he is to keep order, but always under the controul [sic] of a majority of the church he is to withhold his own opinion, until all other members who wish to speak have spoken, except by the request of the church; he shall take the voice of the church when called on for that purpose.
3d. When the church is met, after prayer, members of sister churches to be invited to seats, who may give their light on any subject, but not vote in the decision of the case the moderator to then enquire are all in fellowship, or has any a matter of complaint to bring forward, that has been treated in gospel order.
4th. The unfinished business of the church, if any, to be now attended to, after which a door may be opened for the reception of members.
5th. Any brother having a motion, or speech to make in the church, shall rise from his seat and address the moderator with brotherly respect a motion thus made not to be attended to without a second.
6th. No brother to be interrllpted while speaking, except he depart from the subject, on which the moderator or any other brother may call to order of which point of order the church may judge when applied to for that purpose.
7th. No brother shall speak more than twice on any subject without leave from the church.
8th. There shall be no laughing, talking, or whispering in the time of a public speech, nor shall there be any ungenerous reflections on a brother who has spoken before.
9th. Any business in which particular fellowship is not affected may be done by a majority of voices.
10th. Any member being accused and found guilty of a crime and unanimity cannot be had for exclusion, a majority may suspend from privilege till satisfaction can be given.

[p. 142]
11th. In the great affair of receiving into membership or of fmal exclusion, unanimity is required.
12th. That brotherly love may continue, the direction given by the Saviour in the 18th [chapter] of Matthews is to be attended to, in all cases so far as practicable in treating with our brethren, and in all uncommon cases the church to be the judge, and in all public transgressions, acknowledgments are to be made to the church.
13th. We consider it the duty of members, in removing their residence to distant bounds, to apply to the church for a letter of dismission, and join some other church, with speed or as soon as duty and prudence may dictate.
     Having given the Constitution of Buck Run Church, with its mode of government at length, by which the creed of my own heart on these subjects, is very fully expressed; and these are not the mere ideas of a day, but my unwavering opinion from my youth that whoever may look on the items above, may see the complexion of my whole soul in theology. I had thought of making some enlargement on those constitutional articles, but they stand explicit for themselves by them I have lived long, by them I expect to die, which I hope is not far distant but always with this reserve in that article "the will of the Lord be done" as to the terms of the general union of Baptists in Kentucky, as named in the constitution of Buck Run Church, I as fully accord in them as I did in the beginning a few imprudent individuals shall not drive me from that salutary measure.

     At the time of the constitution of Buck Run Church there was a small revival in the neighborhood, and spreading more largely through many parts of Scott county. At the Great Crossing [Church] they Baptized many about this time; at the North Fork, and the Forks of Elkhom, two neighboring churches and


[p. 143]
very near on each side of Buck Run, a number were baptized.

     After we became a little composed as a church at Buck Run, I named to them what I have generally done when I became a member of a church that I had united as a mere member in a church capacity with them and with no office hanging round me, as to them, in their now church state that though no other preacher belonged to them as a member but myself, I could not make free in any office work among them as a church, except they some way signified it by their own voice I was a little amused, when some of them proposed for me to walk out, while they counseled on that subject to which I replied, if they could not look me in the face and speak what they thought on that occasion, they did not deserve a name in the house of God and if I could not bear with patience whatever they might say, I did not deserve the name of gospel minister however, it was taken up in my presence and myself acting as their moderator, in which I was equally officious as if they were talking of another man, while they seemed to act and converse in that independent godly simplicity, which gave evidence that they neither designed to cringe or flatter but so it was, there was no dissenting voice at my serving them as a preacher; but they had forgotten to ask my consent, but it is probable they concluded I would not deny when the business of the day was read at the close, the clerk had recorded, that I was called to the pastoral care of the church; after hearing my explanation, and my aversion to that kind of charge as to myself, the record was changed, that I had agreed to preach for them once a month, and administer ordinances till they could be otherways or better supplied we have been on the same footing, on that head, for upwards of five years. I have named a little revival when Buck Run became a church; we soon began to Baptize some, but this has but sparingly continued; I suppose


[p. l44]
first and last, we have Baptized between twenty and thirty since Buck Run became a church, and these were mostly soon after our constitution; we have grown up to the number of about sixty members; we have very few black members among us and another thing in our favour, we have very few rich men among us for very often by rich men and negroes the cause of religion suffers much for while one is above, the other is below its native, Godlike dignity. Buck Run has built a snug little brick meeting house, forty feet by thirty, it is comfortable to worship in. From the local situation of Buck Run, it is not likely to become a numerous church it is adjoining and surrounded by a very thick Catholic settlement, with their Priest and great Cathedral not far from Buck Run; neighboring Baptist churches also very near and in all directions; but taking this little church by and large, they are rather a happy people than otherwise and though that warm glow of brotherly love is not often seen among them, they are peaceable among themselves there has been but one legal complaint, ever yet brought into the church, and that was against a poor negro, who was excluded. When Buck Run had gotten their meeting house prepared to worship in, they concluded to have more preaching than once a month, therefore, they invited the well known father [William] Hickman, who filled up another Sunday in a month after which they invited Theodoric Boulware to fill up another Sunday in the month they were now pretty full of Sunday preaching; Mr. Boulware soon after this gave himself a member of Buck Run, when Mr. Hickman concluded that his labours would be more useful in more destitute places, and withdrew his services after preaching at Buck Run something more than one year. Mr. Boulware continues his preaching one Sunday in the month; he is much of a preacher, and considered very orthodox by all the high toned predestinarians his preaching bears the
[p. 145]
semblance of a man snuffing a candle, as if he would take away from true religion, all the superfluities that could possibly mingle themselves with it some are of opinion that at times he snuffs a little too deep; he has a greater aptitude to trim hypocrites than to invite poor sinners to come to Christ. In Mr. Boulware's own way, perhaps no man exceeds him he has a fine voice both to speak and sing speaks with uncommon elocution and is very popular with a certain cast of christian men whether lambs fare as well under his ministrations as older sheep is doubted by some.
===========

[John Taylor, A History of Ten Baptist Churches, 1823; rpt. 1968, pp. 137-145. jrd]



Appendix to Clear Creek Church
A History of Ten Churches
Baptist History Homepage 1