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William Vaughan, D. D.
Kentucky Frontier Baptist Minister
The Baptist Encyclopedia, 1881

[p. 1191]
William Vaughan, D. D., an eminent minister of the gospel in Kentucky, was born in Westmoreland Co., Pa., Feb. 22, 1785. His parents removed to Kentucky when he was about three years old, and his youth was spent in the wilderness of the great Southwest. Upon arriving at manhood he manifested a strong logical mind and great fondness for study. He adopted a mechanical pursuit, and having married, located in Winchester, Ky. He procured the writings of Paine, Volney, and Voltaire, professed himself a deist, and united with an infidel club. About three years after this, in 1810, he was converted to Christ, and became a member of a Baptist church in Clark Co., Ky. Was licensed to preach in 1811, ordained in 1812, and, applying himself to study with great industry, made rapid advancement, and became not only a good English scholar, but possessed considerable attainments in the Greek language and literature. Soon after his ordination he settled in Mason County, where he preached to several churches, and taught school about fifteen years. In 1827 he removed to Ohio, where he remained one year, and returned to Kentucky. He was now brought into conflict with the disciples of Campbell, who were making many proselytes. Being the only minister in Kentucky at that time. who was able to grapple successfully with the adherents of the new doctrine, he was encouraged by the churches to defend their principles against the assaults of Mr. Campbell, and devoted himself with great energy and extraordinary ability to this work. In 1831 he accepted the appointment of
[p. 1192]
general agent for the American Sunday-school Union, and continued in its employment two and a half years, in the face of considerable opposition, establishing about a hundred schools. In 1835 he accepted the position of general agent for Kentucky for the American Bible Society. Six months afterwards the Baptists withdrew from the society, and he resigned. In 1836 he accepted a call to the pastorate of Bloomfield church in Nelson County. Here, as elsewhere, he was held in high esteem. He preached to Bloomfield church thirty-two years. In 1868, in consequence of an injury received by a fall, he resigned his pastoral charge, in his eighty-fourth year, but continued to be a close student, and to preach as his strength would serve him, until he was over ninety-two years of age. It is probable that no minister in Kentucky was ever more, universally loved and honored. He died March 31, 1877.

[William Cathcart, editor, The Baptist Encyclopedia, 1881; rpt. 1988. - jrd]

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