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Obituary of Absalom Graves
Bullittsburg (KY) Baptist Churchbook, December, 1826

p. 145
     An Obituary notice of the death of Our late Bro. the Rev'd Absalom Graves as drawn by Bro. Robert Kirtley was produced read to the Church and ordered to be Recorded

     To Wit " The lives of pious men illustrates the truth of the Christian religion, affording to the eye of an Observer a Striking evidence of the truth of that word, which they profess to believe and teach, also they manifest to the world that they have been with Jesus and the gospel ______ of Christ is both the Subject and Aurthor, is of infinite worth and sufficient encouragement for them in life In their death they confirm to the believer the consolation apearance that the Lord is their portion, and they are the lot of his inheritance, and in walking through the valley of the shoadow of death, they shall fear no evil, we feel afsured that such evidences were given in the life and death of Our late Brother He, Absalom Graves was born in the state of Virginia of respectable parents Nov'r 28th 1768 and was from his childhood mild affable and of an amiable disposition, was always willing to disocurage vice & immorality of any kind and introduce peace & harmony and Order amongst his afsociates and acquaintances. His attachment to books, close appreciation of & anxious desire to obtain useful information, also receiving some aid from regular tuition enabled him to become a good english scholar notwithstanding those natural advantages and acquirements, yet he was like unto his fellow man a sinner by nature, therefore under a broken covenant of works and nothing but the grace of God in christ was sufficient to redeem him from under the curse of the law, and bring him into the liberty of the s on of God, The Lord who is rich in mercy and awakened him to a sense of his situation in the 20th year of his age and by the teachings of his holy Spirit he was enabled in due time to exercise a saving faith in Christ as the Only Saviour Of Sinners shortly after was baptized by Elder George Eve and United himself with the Baptist church by the name of the Rapidan Church Madison County Virginia. Sometime after he married a woman of Amiable disposition and respectable family who lived in the Same part of the Country Professing Godlinefs of the Same faith and Order. With whom he lived in Peace and harmony Until death Separated them.

     In the year 1797 he removed to Campbell County Kentucky now boone, and joined the Bullittsbugh Church In 1810 he commenced his ministerial labours though with reluctance and diffidence in all his deportment he was modest and unafsuming and preaching the gospel particularly careful as not to run into error nor extremes. His manners doctrine and exhortations were well calculated to instruct & feed the flock of Christ particularly the [lambs?] as also the aged and more experienced of the fold He was regularly set

p. 146
set apart by the imposition of hands with united voice by a the council and church of Bullittsburgh to exercise in all the functions of the ministry in the year ____ .

     And was a constant labourer in the gospel vineyard as long as his health & strength would permit. He had a clear view of the gospel plan of salvation., his discourses were delovered in a plain affectionate manner, and evinced a calm unabating zeal for the succefs of the redeemers Kingdom. He always pofsefsed a lively sense of the Goodness of God towards sinners attributing their salvation to the love of God in Christ, shewing that through the quickening influence of the holy Spirit they were changed from the love of sin to that of holinefs. We may remark also with propriety that there was a particular trait in his character which ditinguished him from many Others, and if there was any part of the work or service belonging to a servant of Jesus that had the ascendency in his mind it was the propserity of the Chruches, that they might be maintained in peace and purity that all their members might abound in love established in the truth and walk in all the ways of the Lord blamelefs For the accomplishment of this desirable Object he laboured incefsantly not only in his public ministration of the word but in visiting ____ peace to peace teaching both by precept and example; the beauty and order there was in Brethren dwelling together in love and unity His particular care for the churches was manifested in all his acts, taking a deep concern& interest in all their affairs, it could be truly said of him that if any member of Christ Suffered he Suffered with it, if any rejoiced ______ he rejoiced. His disposition eminently qualified him for the office of peace maker, useful also in Settling differences and cultivating a Spirit of forbearance, and affection Among Brethren at home and abroad for his acquaintance and labours were extensive He often visited the Churches belonging to the North Bend Afsociation as Also Other Chruches Occasionally and always was received cordially as a Servant of the most high God and under the Smiles of an Auspicious Saviour was enabled to Baptize 347 persons on a profession of their faith at the formation of the Northbend Afsociation he was One who Composed that body, and was Chosen their Clerk and acted as such for a number of years and then was Chosen Moderator and esteemed as such until his death.

     In the after part of Nov'r 1825 he was taken with an illnefs but not immediately confined to his bed, and bed and room, and was enabled to preach once or twice the gospel to his surrounding neighbors and much was exprefsed in appearance, feelings & language for the welfare of Souls and cause of Zion. Which no doubt will long be remembered by Some In his afflication he suffered much in the flesh with that kind of complicated disease which baffled the best medical skill that could be procured. it was thought colic[?] a complaint of the liver until a few weeks before his departure his complaint was occasionally _______

and brightened the prospect of his recovery which was pleasing to all who knew him But those intervals were transient and soon changed to suspended despondency His bodily sufferings were very great especialy during the night seasons to use his own expressions he often said his feelings were uncomfortable beyond description and far exceeded any thing he had ever conceived of yet during the whole of his sicknefs he ever manifested a desire to be calm & patient often expressed that he wished entirely to be resigned to the will of God in all his dispensations toward him either in life or in death and that he had learned much in his affliction We may here take notice of One whose mind was actively engaged not altogether in sympathising with a pained and enfebled body, but drawn out in anxious desire for the prosperity of Zion the good of sinners and a Special regard for the peace & harmony of the church at Bullittsburgh of which he had been so long a pastor member & a father in Israel We have great reason to fear the Lord is afflicting us for the Multitude of our transgressions In taking away from this body two of our highly esteemed esteemed Brothers in the Ministry in so short a time. It The co__ of this our Rev. Brother causes the Sons & daughters of Zion to mourn in this as well as in other churches also. who have received much advantage from his labours and _____ instruction & it is not to be wondered at when such a father & pillar of the Church is removed.

     Oh Brethren let us endeavor to emulate the examples and remember the exhortations of our departed Brother whom the Lord called home to Himself on the 17th day of august 1826. In leaving a beloved Companion & four children to _____ the bereavement of such a husband & father all of whom are members in good standing in the Same church which he belonged to when called home to that ____ world of eternal Glory & felicity to mix & mingle with that unnumerable Company who stand before the throne of God and the lamb clothed with white robes & palms in their hands where there shall be no more death neither sorrow nor cying neither shall there be any more pain. May we all be prepared for that great change which awaits each individual and qualified by grace divine we Join those that praise God, and the Lamb forever and ever Amen

     And it being reported in this Chruch that aged & highly esteemed Sister Ann Graves has departed this life ___. It is aggreed that a short sketch of her life & death be ____ reported at our next meeting.

     Agreed that on [we] be adj'd until our next Meeting in course

Robt Kirltey Mod'r

      A copy of the document is here.


[From the Bullittsburg Baptist Churchbook, December 1826. The document is available at Boone County Public Library, Main Branch, Burlington, KY. Transcribed by Jim & Linda Duvall, 2008.]

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