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Minutes of the Kehukey Baptist Association
1769-1778

Edited by William J. McGlothlin, D. D.

Introduction

The following minutes, while incomplete and meager, are very interesting. They are among the oldest in existence. The Kehukey Association was composed of Baptists of the earliest American type, called Regular after the rise of the Separate Baptists. They were high Calvinists, declaring that a preacher or church ought to be disciplined for teaching that Christ died for all men. An effort has been made to reproduce the document as nearly as possible. The irregularities in spelling, capitalization, punctuation, etc., are due to careful rather than careless, proof reading.

Some of the points of special interest are to follows: It met steadily for several years at the Kehukey church; for a while there were two meetings a year; the expenses of the messengers (delegates) were to be paid by the churches they represented; there were two representatives for the main body of each church, and one for each of its branches of which there were sometimes several; women were not allowed to vote; on one occasion a preacher was tried by the Association and his credentials taken away; communion with the Separate Baptists is recommended; churches are to be expelled for neglecting discipline; communion was celebrated on Sunday of the associational meeting as in the Charleston Association, and the fact of an approaching marriage was to be published three times before the event. -- W. J. M.

The Sixth Day of October Anno Domini 1769 a Considerable Number of Baptist Ministers and Brethren Mett at Kehukey in the County of Hallifax and province of North Carolina to Consult about the Expediency of an Association and the manner of Conducting in to the Advantage of the churches the Conducting it to the Advantage of the churches the Issue of the meeting was Adopting the Platform and Sentiments Philadelphia Association and thereon forming themselves into a Like Body, the churches that Incorporated this year is the Church of Kehukey at Hallifax County the Church at Tossneot and the Tar River in Edgecomb County and the Church in Bertie and the Church in Pitt County. the Sentements Concerning an Association are first that Such an Association is usefull and Beneficial first Union and Communion among themselves Maintaining more Effectually the Order and faith Once Delivered to the Saints, haveing advice in advise in Cases of Doubts, Helps in Distress &c. Secondly, that Such an Association is Consistent with the Independency of particulr churches because it pretends to be no more than An Advisory Council Disclaiming Superiority Jurisdiction Coercive Right or Infallabillity thirdly, that an Association Should Consist of men knowing and Judicious Especially in the Scriptures And now in Concurrence with the above Sentiments we who's Names are hereunto Subscribed being met together as we trust in fear of god and having a Desire to promote the Glory of God and the good of his Church we have Unanimously United and Joined our Selves together in an Association.

CHURCHES AND MESSENGERS PRESENT

Kehukey -- John Meglamore, Jesse Andrews, Thos. Wethersby, James Abington
Bertie -- Ephriam Daniel, James Vinson, John Moore
Tar River -- Elias Battle, Elias Fort, Wm Horn
Tostneot -- Jonathan Thomas
Pitt -- Jeremiah Rahm, John Nobell

PLAN OF THE ASSOCIATION

1. The Association to Consist only of messengers Chosen and Sent by the Churches, these messengers to be their ministers (for a Reason given Sentiment the 3) together with Some judicious Brethren. their Expenses to be borne by the Churches which Send them.

2. with the messengers the churches Send Letters addressed to the association in these Letters mention is made of the Names of the messengers and their authority to Act for their churches; also of the State of the Churches touching their peace and their Increase by Baptism; and by Letters Dismissive and Commendatory from other Churches, touching their Diminution by Death Excommunications, and Dismission to other churches, and the present number of Members. if any questions are to be put to the association any advice to ask, or business propose, these are to be Expressed in Said Letters.

3. all matters to be Determined in this Association by the Suffrage of the Messengers. Except what are Determinable by Scriptures. Such matters are never put to the Decision of votes. All that Speak to address the moderator, who is to take Care that none be Interrupted while speaking, and that no other Indecorum take place.

4. Churches are to be Received into this association by petitions. Setting forth their Desire to be admitted, their faith, order, and willingness to be Continable to the Rules of the associated Body. when a petition is Read, and matters Ripened for a vote; the moderator States the question. Suffrage being given in favour of the petition, the said moderator Declares that Such a Church is Received into the association. in token of which he gives the messengers the Right hand of fellowship and bids them take their seats.

5. The association to meet annually at Kuhekey [sic] meeting house on munday Next after the first Sunday in August, and to Continue till business be finished. it is be opened with Divine Service, after which a moderator and Clerk are Chosen. the Letters from the Churches are Read, the Names of the messengers are written that they may be Called over at after meetings then business is attended to. and minutes thereof made. a Circular Letter to the Churches is prepared and Signed and a Copy of it sent to Every Containing the minutes of the association: the States of the Churches; when and by whom Vacancies are to Supplied: who to preach the next association Sermon, and whatever Else is needful for the Churches to know.

(6. The faith and order of this association are Expressed in a confession put forth by upwards of a hundred Congregations (in Great Britain) in the year 1689; and adopted by the association of philadelphia in 1742. Some of the principles in Said Confession are, the Imputation of Adamís sin to his posterity, the Inability of man to recover himself, Effectual Calling by Sovereign grace, Justification by Imputed Righteousness, Immersion for baptism, and that on profession of faith and Repentance, Congregational Churches, and their independency, Reception into them upon Evidence of Sound Conversion, &c.)


Hallifax County. At an Association held at Kehukey meeting house the 6th Day of November 1769.

CHURCHES AND MESSENGERS PRESENT

Kehukey -- John Meglamore, William Burgess, Jesse Andrews, Thomas Wethersby
Bertie -- James Abington, Ephriam Daniel, James Vinson, Thomas Meirs
Pitt -- Jeremiah Rahm, John Nobell
Tar River -- John Moore, Elisha Battle, Elias Fort, Wm. Horn
Tossneot -- Jonathan Thomas

Rec'd as assistants to Sit in Ass'n from fishing Creek in Bertie County -- Zachariah Thompson, Lawrence Winfield
John Thomas Chose moderator and Elisha Battle Clerk.

Whereas Charles Daniel Minister Being Charged with Disorderly walking his this Day by Consent of himself and this association Come to a Legal trial and by the oppinion of the Said Association it is ordered that the Said Charles Daniel from henceforth is Suspended from Communion and Silenced from Preaching untill a Restoration.


Hallifax County. At an Association held at Kehukey meeting-house the 6th Day of Augít 1770

CHURCHES AND MESSENGERS PR.

Tosneot -- Jonathan Thomas, Moses Baker
Kehukey -- John Meglamore, William Burgess, Levy Lancaster, Thos. Wetherby
Bertie -- James Abington, Thos. Miers, Jonathan Carr, Jesse Hart
Tar River -- Elisha Battle, James Wiggon
Rec'd as Assistants to Sit in Assín from fishing Creek church Bertie Co. -- Zachariah Thomas, William Allen, Laurence Winfield

Q'n- Who was Melchizedeck according to Hebrews the 7 C 15 v.
Ans - that he was a man according to our Judgments.

Q'n - is it a transgression worthy of suspension for a Church member to Buy a Ticket in a Lottery and insist upon its being Lawful and not Sinfull. So to Do.
Ans - it is unlawful and worthy of Suspension.

Q'n - How Can God be Said to Repent when he is unchangeable as in I Sam. 15 C 29 v.
Ans'r - Godís Repenting in Gen. 6.6 we understand to be meant the human Nature of Jesus Christ the Son of god. but in I Sam. 15.29 we understand to be meant of his Divine Nature which Cannot Repent alter of Change.

Q'n - whether God did Decree the possibility of anything that never Did not never will Come to pass. Ans - in the Affirmitive that he most Certainly Did.

Upon Reading a Letter from Charles Daniel Directed to association it is agreed that John Maglamore, William Burgess, Levy Lancaster and Thomas Oneby be appointed a Committee to prepare a Letter in Answer to that of the Said Daniel

Ordered by this Association that when a minister is to be ordained the church where he Recides Shall Call to their Assistants two ordained ministers or more.

Ordered that John Moore be appointed to preach the Ass'n Sermon Next year


Hallifax County. At an Association held at Kehukey meeting house the 5th Day of Aug't 1771.

CHURCHES AND MESSENGERS PR.

Tar River -- John Moore, Ellis Fort, William Horn
Tosneot -- Jonathan Thomas, Moses Baker, John Thomas
Bertie -- James Abington, Thos. Deens, James Vinson
Kehukey -- John Meglamore, William Burgess, Thos. Onebey, Thos. Wetherby, James Bell
Pasquotank -- Henry Abett, Joseph Creesoe
Rec'd as Assistants to Sit in Ass'n from Wm. Walkers church on fishing Creek church -- Zachariah Thomas, Matthew Thomas, Wm. Cook

John Meglamore Chose Moderator and Elias Fort Clerk.

Henry Abett Pastor of the church in Pasquotank county joined himself a member of this association and is recd as such. Jonathan Thomas Motioned that the General Conference Book be Read and as many of the Quearies adopted in the Association Book as Can be universally Received by the Association. The Same is granted.

Q'n - how Doth mankind first attain to the knowledge of moral good and Evil.
Ans - By External Revelation.

Q'n - Whether the Commission of Sin or the Omission of Duty among professors is the most Hainous Crime.
Ans - Sins of Omission or Commission Receive their Agravation from Circumstances &c. and therefore no General Answer Can be given which are most heinous, but we hereby Caution Christian professors against Both.

Q'n - whether it is Lawfull for a woman to Vote in Conference or not.
Ans - it is not.

Q'n - is it orderly for a male member in our churches if he finds freedom. to Exhort in public or not. Ans - We judge it the Duty of any person who look upon it to be his Duty to Exhort his fellow men. first to acquaint the church with his Desires and to obtain privilege of the church for that purpose.

Q'n - Whether a pastor of any particular church may lawfully Leave the place of his Attendance to Live in a Branch of his church Distant from his former Attendance.
Ans - A pastor of a church that is So for a Limited time, may Remove any where when the S'd time is Expired. But if his pastoral charge is for Life he may not Remove without the Consent of the people he was Ordained over.

Q'n - is it orderly for those Called Regular Baptists to Commune with the Separate Baptsits Church.
Ans - We Esteem it to be our Duty to Commune any Baptist Church or Orderly Member who has the Essentials of Church Communion, viz. those whose principles in fundamentals are not heretical and whose practices is not Vicious

Q'n - what is meant by Christs Second Coming which is So often Spoken of in Scripture.
Ans - it is of his Coming to Judgment

It is Agreed that an Association fund be Established and to be Supported by Voluntary Contribution from the Several Churches the Sums they bestow for that purpose to be Specified in their Letters and sent to the Assín by their Messengers and we appoint William Burgess our treasurer Dureing the Assín pleasure.

On Motion made by Jeremiah Walker it is agreed that Deligates be appointed to attend at the Separate Baptist Association in Virginia, and by a private poll held for that purpose, Jonathan Thomas, John Melgamore, & James Abbington are appointed to attend at the Said Assín the Last Saterday in Sep'r.

A motion made by Jonathan Thomas for an Occasional Association to be held for furtherance of Business, to intervene between this and the Next annual Ass'n it is agreed that an Occasional Ass'n be held at fishing Creek meeting house in Bertie County the third Saturday in November Next.


At an Association held at Wm. Walkers Meeting house on fishing Creek in Bertie County the 16th day of Nov'r 1771.

CHURCHES AND MESSENGERS PRES.

Kehukey -- John Meglamore, William Burgess, Thos. Onebey, Nathíl Tatum, James Bell
Tosneot -- Jonathan Thomas, John Thomas, Reuben Haze
Tar River -- John Moore, Elisha Battle, Elias Fort, Henry Horn
Rec'd as Assistants to Sit in Ass'n from fishing Creek church -- Wm Walker, Zachariah Thompson, Wm. Cook, Wm Solyman, Wm Allen
from Bencher Creek, Virgía -- John Creel
from Amelia in Virgía -- Jeremiah Walker, John Williams,
John Megalmore, Chose Moderator and Jeremiah Walker Clk.
Proceed to Business on Monday the 18th of Novír 1771.

Q'n - Whether the fourth Commandment Obliges Christians to Observe the Sabbath in as Strict a manner as it Did the Jews under the Dispensation.
Ans - We hold and Believe that the fourth Commandment Obliges us to Observe a Sabbath as a moral precept and not by a positive New-Testament Institution.

Q'n - What is to be done in Case a church in Communion with us Should neglect to keep up a Strict Discipline according to the word of God.
Ans - When a member of any Church is acquainted with a Disorderly Member or Members belonging to any Other Church in Communion the proper way to find whether the church Tolerates Such members in Such practices is to Deal with Such a member or members in gospel order (if the offense be private) or Bring them before the church (of publick) and if the church Refuses to Censures Such a Member or Members he Ought to inform the Association of their proceedings and if they Continue to Indulge Such offenders, the Ass'n Ought to Expel them from Communion and Correspondence and if they belong to any Other Ass'n to inform the S'd Ass'n to which they are joiníd thereof. Jonathon Thomas Motioned that the Association for the future begin and business proceeded to on the Saturday that the Communion on the Sabbath may be the Better attended on it is Unanimously agreed on.

Q'n - What are we to understand with Respect to Discipline by our Savore's words to Peter, I Say not till Seven times but till Seventy times Seven and what are the Symptoms of Repentance in the Transgressor on which this forgiveness is to be founded.
Ans - We believe that our Saviours words to peter Shows that the times of forgiveness is Unlimited and the Symptoms of Repentance necessary to forgiveness are. As Ingenious and humble Acknowledgement of the offence, making the Confession as publick as the Commission, and Engaging for the future Divine Assistance to guard against sin.

Q'n - if a member of a Church Commit Some Scandalous Crime publicly before the world whether is it according to gospel Rules to Reconcile Such matter in a private manner by a few of the members or before the Church.
Ans - Before the Church.

Q'n - Whether it is a Ministers Duty to forbear Speaking to open or Vindicate the truth in any matter Either in Queries in Dispute in Difference for fear Some members Should be prejudiced or offended
Ans - No

Q'n - Suppose a Number of Baptized Members all of the female Sex Should Dwell at a Distance from any other Baptist Society are they or are they not Justifiable in Meeting together to pray and Edify Each Other in the things of God.
Ans - they are Justifiable.

upon Some Considerations the time of holding the Association is altered, and to be held at Kehukey meeting house Annually on the Saturday Next before the Second Sunday in September

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[From William J. McGlothlin, editor, Kentucky Historical Society Publications, 1913, pp. 17-26. jrd]

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