An Eye-Witness Account by Elder Henry Louthan
Describing the Constitution
of the Two River Association in 1838

Shelbyville, Shelby Co., Mo., Feb. 25, 1839.

DEAR BROTHER BEEBE:- You have learned from the Minutes of the Two River Old School Association, that there are a few in this section of the county who are not willing to submit to the many devices that have been got up by man, and are now in operation among professed Baptists, to the great grief and mortification of those who believe the declaration of their Lord, who says "The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong."

Seven of the churches which now compose the above named association, were formerly members of the Bethel Association. At her session of 1837, a majority of her members gave evidence of their attachment to the mission system, which induced me to offer the following resolution:

"Resolved, That this Association discountenance and declare non-fellowship for the mission system and all its kindred branches, and with all churches and associations that aid and support them as religious institutions."

Which was lost, a majority voting against it. Two others then, together with the other messengers from Looney's Creek Church, asked for a dismission from them. The following summer we addressed a short Circular to all the churches composing the Bethel Association, informing them of our intention to meet at such time and place for the purpose of counselling on the propriety of forming a new association. The result of our meeting you have in the Minutes you have received.

It seems that my pilgrimage, though short, in the cause of Christ, has been one of almost constant warfare, and it has been much more painful since I came to Missouri than it was in Virginia, for the errors I then felt called on to oppose were not advanced by Baptists, but by other denominations. The association of which I was a member in Virginia, never has been pestered by the missionary craftsmen; but since I came to Missouri I have found every thing rooted and grounded in the minds of professed Baptists except the pure and unadulterated gospel of the grace of God, and I have experienced something of the weight of the Saviour's words which declare that "A man's foes shall be they of his own household." Yet I hope never to give over as long as truth is worth contending for, and the Lord enables me to raise my voice in its support.

Your brother in Christ,


(Copied from "Signs of the Times," Vol. 7, No. 9, May 1, 1839, pp. 68-69.)

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