Opposition to the Modern Mission System
by the Primitive Baptists

Through the ages, the true church has been assaulted in a multitude of ways by those who desired to reform the religion of Jesus Christ to make it more appealing to men. It has been necessary for the church to wage a constant warfare against conformity with the world, while holding to the simplicity of the Bible pattern of public worship in spirit and truth. Shortly after the settlement of Illinois territory began, conflict arose among the Baptists of Illinois and elsewhere, over the introduction of the modern mission system. Doctrinal differences led some Baptists to favor the introduction of practices which were consistent with their doctrinal views, while those who held the original doctrinal views of the Baptist Church opposed such measures, and withdrew from those who persisted in them.

The Rise of the Modern Mission System Among the Baptists

Since formal opposition to doctrinal and practical departures from the faith of the Church would not occur until after the heresy has become publickly manifested, the oft-repeated charge that the Baptists had not opposed missionary operations until near the end of the eighteenth century, is ridiculous. The new system was not introduced, anywhere in the world, until 1792, in England. In America, the equivalent of this system was introduced about twenty-two years later, and faced opposition nearly as soon as it made its existence known.

Aside from the privations of the new country and dangers from both Indians and wild beasts, the question of modern "foreign missions" was the greatest trial to face the Baptists after their arrival in Illinois. The Baptists had always claimed to be a missionary people, according to the Bible design, but they had never been a people governed by or operating through "BOARDS," or separate "SOCIETIES." Through all the centuries of their existence, the Baptists had never joined with other denominations in their men-made schemes to proselyte the heathen, so-called. But trouble began, on October 2, 1792, with the formation of the FIRST Baptist missionary society in the world, in the "back parlor of Beebe Wallis" in Kettering, England, by Andrew Fuller (consistent with his heretical views on the atonement, which were opposed by contemporary John Gill) and William Carey, in the Northamptonshire Association. Missionaries from this English breed, William Carey and William Ward, converted and baptized Luther Rice and Adoniram Judson, in the fall of 1812, at Calcutta, India, (Judson and Rice were natives of Massachusetts, but had been serving as Congregationalist missionaries). But rather than uniting with the English Baptist Mission, Luther Rice soon returned to America to form a similar Society. On May 18, 1814, he organized the Baptist Triennial Convention, at Philadelphia, through delegates from various places. The administrative board of this General Convention was called the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions. Correspondence was sought with about one hundred Baptist associations, many of which Luther Rice visited personally, raising funds by collections wherever he was allowed to do so. Meanwhile, Judson removed to Rangoon, Burmah, and was soon found under the patronage of this Baptist Board of Foreign Missions for the United States.

As the activities of this Board became known, and as great numbers of Baptists in New England and the eastern states fell victim to it, the strong opposition of sound Baptists began to be expressed more and more publickly. Elder George Tillman, and others, opposed Luther Rice's request for correspondence with the Concord Association of Tennessee, in 1815, the first year Rice began to seek support for the Board. Elder Daniel Parker opposed it again, the following year in the same association; and in 1817, Parker confronted Rice, face to face, publickly, at the Concord Association. Later that year, Parker moved to southeastern Illinois, and united with the Lamotte Church, and became pastor of Little Village Church, a short distance south of his new home. In 1818, Little Village Church presented a query to the Wabash District Association, to gain the voice of the churches as to whether the modern mission system was scriptural.

The modern mission system was opposed in other places as well. The New River Association of Virginia is one such example, as their minutes for 1816 show: "Item 12th. A request from Bethel Church for opening a regular correspondence with the Board of Foreign Missions - after considerable altercation, finding it could not be carried into effect, liberty was obtained to withdraw the request." - Minutes of the New River Association, 1816 fall session, held at Bethel meetinghouse, Wythe County, Virginia, October 1816.

In 1819 and 1820, two relatively short books or treatises were written, published and widely distributed, which had great influence on the Baptists on the western frontier, on this subject. Both books are still available, and show the true position taken, at the very time of the conflict on this subject, by those who opposed the setting up of a Missionary System, including the "Baptist Board of Foreign Missions," and the "Home Mission Society."

The first, Thoughts on Missions, by Elder John Taylor, of Frankfort, Kentucky, published in 1819, is a vivid account, by an eye witness, of the means and measures employed by Luther Rice. Taylor also wrote A History of Ten Churches, etc., in which is given his valuable account of the beginning and progress of the Great Revival of 1800. Here is illustrated the amazing contrast between a true spiritual revival, based on the preaching of salvation by grace, true repentance, and the work of the Spirit, as opposed to a revival based on the human efforts of the modern mission system which Taylor opposed! In 1827, Taylor also wrote a book describing the origin of the Campbellite heresy and system which divided the Baptist Church again, to which he had been a first-hand witness.

The second work opposing the modern mission system, A Public Address to the Baptist Society, and Friends of Religion in General, on the Principle and Practice of the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions for the United States of America, by Elder Daniel Parker, of Illinois, published in 1820, was one of the most influential books ever written by a Baptist in the midwest. In 1823 Parker issued another pamphlet, called Plain Truth, and in 1824, a third, called The Author's Defense, as the battle over the modern mission system intensified.

These books struck a death-blow at the very existence of the modern mission work: the associations which had at first begun to correspond with this Baptist Board of Foreign Missions "smelled the New England rat," and not only severed correspondence, but also declared non-fellowship for it. Many other Associations, as they were organized, followed their example. The missionary response to these books, and to the widespread opposition to their measures, came in the form of a General Circular Letter to the Baptists of All Parties, written by John Mason Peck, and approved by the General Convention which met at Winchester, Illinois, in 1832. To read this Circular, Click here .

John Mason Peck: The Leading Advocate of Modern Missions

The chief advocate of the new system of "foreign missions," in Illinois, was Rev. John Mason Peck, a Connecticut yankee, and a close cohort of Rev. Luther Rice. Peck's journals were published posthumously as his Memoirs, by Rufus Babcock, another contemporary. They reveal the nature of his activities among the Baptists in Illinois and Missouri. He was a hireling of the Board system, a child of missionary societies in New York and Massachusetts; and had authority to offer monetary support of those societies, to men who were willing to preach the "gospel" for hire. Peck came to the St. Louis, Mo./Alton, Ill., area in December 1817. Though naturally gifted, well educated and a polished speaker, he signally failed to convert the existing Baptist churches in the Illinois Association, or its correspondence, to his missionary views; and was therefore compelled to start a so-called Baptist work virtually "from scratch," building it on excluded members from orderly Illinois Baptist churches, and immigrants who had ties with the mission system in the east, and other places.

CASE STUDY 1. THE WABASH DISTRICT ASSOCIATION

The Wabash District Baptist Association was organized on the second Friday in July, 1809, by messengers from five pioneer churches in southwest Indiana, viz., Bethel (1806), Wabash, Salem (1808), Maria Creek (1809) and Patoka. It was the first Baptist Association in what is now the State of Indiana. The ministers among them, at first, were Elders Samuel Jones, Alexander Devin, James Martin, and licensed brethren Isaac McCoy, Stephen Strickland, and Jonathan Ruble.

The Association grew rapidly, as new churches were organized, for the first three years, but some were scattered by danger from the Indians during the War of 1812. These churches were established on principles typical of Baptist beliefs prior to the introduction of the mission system.

In May 1814, the Baptist Triennial Convention was organized at Philadelphia. In 1815, the Wabash Association, and most other Baptist Associations, received a printed Circular from the newly formed Baptist Board of Foreign Missions (the administrative board of the Triennial Convention), written by Rev. Luther Rice, as well as nine copies of the Board's annual report, to be distributed among the churches, the purpose of which was to request financial assistance for missions. In reply, "the Wabash District Association appointed Isaac McCoy corresponding secretary." History of Maria Creek Church, by B. F. Keith, pp. 31-32. In 1816 and 1817, Elder Isaac McCoy continued to correspond with the Board of Foreign Missions, and its Circulars and reports were received. (Ibid., Keith, p. 32.) In 1817, the following resolution appears in the minutes of the Association: "Resolved, That this Association has received with much pleasure the above mentioned circular, and is highly pleased with the information derived therefrom." (Ibid., Keith, p. 32.)

In October 1817, "Brother McCoy informed the [Maria Creek] church that he had accepted an appointment from the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions for the United States, for the ensuing year." (Ibid., Keith, p. 22.) In a chapter in his autobiography, Elder Wilson Thompson describes how the Lord warned him against joining Elder McCoy's mission among the Indians at Fort Wayne, Indiana.

The 1815 Circular Letter was greeted with considerable opposition. The Board's agent, the "Reverend" Luther Rice, raised suspicions with many pioneer ministers who had labored under the most severe conditions before, during, and after the Revolutionary War period. Luther Rice traveled thousands of miles, on horseback, to attend as many of the large associational gatherings as possible, and when permitted, preached a "missionary sermon," and took up a collection.

Luther Rice's Preaching, Described by Elder John Taylor

Elder John Taylor, a pioneer minister in Virginia and Kentucky, wrote the following in Thoughts on Missions, in 1819: "When Luther (Rice) rose up, the assembly of thousands (at the Elkhorn Association) seemed stricken with his appearance. A tall, pale looking, well dressed young man, with all the solemn appearance of one who was engaged in the work of the Lord, and perhaps thought he was. He also being a stranger, every eye and ear was open; his text was "Thy kingdom come." He spoke some handsome things about the kingdom of Christ; but every stroke he gave seemed to mean MONEY. He had the more pathos the nearer he came getting the money, and raising his arms as if he had some awfully pleasing vision, expressed without a hesitating doubt, that the angels were hovering over the assembly, and participating in our heavenly exercise, and just ready to take their leave, and bear the good tidings to heaven of what we were then about, in giving our money for the instruction and conversion of the poor heathen; and as if he had power to stop Gabriel's flight, in the most pathetic strain cried, 'Stop angels, till you have witnessed the generosity of this assembly.' About this time, perhaps twenty men, previously appointed, moved through the assembly with their hats, and near two hundred dollars was collected. Though I admired the art of this well-taught Yankee, yet I considered him a modern Tetzel, and that the Pope's old orator of that name was equally innocent with Luther Rice, and his motive about the same."

Opposition to the Mission System in Tennessee

At the Concord Association of Tennessee, where Elder Daniel Parker was elected the moderator of the 1815 session, the reading of the Circular from the Board of Foreign Missions touched off a heated debate, with Elder George Tilman leading the opposition. In 1816, the Association voted to sever correspondence with the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions. Luther Rice attended the 1817 session of the Concord Association in person, and Elder Parker confronted him to his face, but Rice was allowed to preach. The same year, Elder Parker had purchased land near Palestine, Illinois, and in December 1817 he moved there, and soon united with Lamotte Church, which had been organized in 1812. Lamotte Church was a member of the Wabash District Association.

The Mission Controversy Begins in Illinois

Elder Parker wrote the following concerning the beginning of the conflict over missions in the Wabash District Association: "The contest continued (in Tennessee) until I moved to Illinois, and joined Lamotte Church, where I hoped I should rest in peace, but my hopes were soon blasted. In a short time Elder Isaac McCoy visited Little Village Church, just below where I lived, and without leave from the church, presented a subscription paper for the support of the mission system, in such a way that it threw the church in great distress, and appeared like terminating in their utter overthrow; I visited the church in her distress, and it was the will of God that I should be an instrument in bringing about peace. But few months had elapsed before McCoy visited Lamotte Church, and I for the first time had an interview with him; I did not think it my duty to suffer the church at Lamotte to share the fate of Little Village, but to meet the error at the door; a sharp contest took place between McCoy and myself, and I was not a little surprised to hear him publicly assert, that he had caused no distress in churches, when I well knew the fate of Little Village. This began the war on the Wabash." - The Author's Defence, by Elder Daniel Parker, p. 5.

Little Village Church sent the following "Query" to the October 1818 session of the Wabash District Association: "Are the principles and practices of the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions, in its present operations, justifiable and agreeable to gospel order?" The Association voted to postpone a decision until the next year.

The Wabash Association Rules Against the Mission System

At the October 1819 session of the Wabash Association, the Query of Little Village Church was taken up, and answered, as follows: "We say they are NOT agreeable to Gospel order." This action, although not unanimous, had sufficient support, that the Association also then "dropped correspondence with the B. B. F. M." (Ibid., Keith, p. 33.) At the same session, "Lamotte Church asked the Wabash Association what was to be done with churches that let members belong to missionary societies. The Association recommended that "the churches bear one another's burdens and so fulfil the law of Christ."

Publication of "A Public Address"

A few months later, sometime in 1820, Elder Parker published his first pamphlet, which not only gave his reasons for opposing the mission system, but also explained why those churches which adopt it would forfeit their place in the Baptist union. Elder McCoy, by this time, had left the area, but his brother-in-law, William Polke, an influential member of Maria Creek Church, undertook to defend the mission cause.

An Effort to Overturn the 1819 Decision

The first effort to overturn the decision of 1819 came at the October 1820 session of the Wabash Association. Maria Creek Church became the leader in the pro-mission movement by presenting the following request: "DEAR BRETHREN: United as we are in the bonds of Christian love, it is our happiness to render that respect to the Association which the wisdom and goodness of our brethren thus assembled demand. In your last minutes you informed us that the principles and practice of the B. B. F. M. were not justifiable according to Gospel order; but you omitted telling us wherein they were wrong. We do not wish any of our members to do wrong, and if it be improper for them to aid the Board of Missions, we desire to know the nature of the evils that we may endeavor to reclaim our brethren who may offend in the case. We therefore humbly request the Association to point out to us the wickedness of the B. B. F. M., and it will be our happiness to avoid everything which we conceive contrary to the mind and will of Christ." The Association answered: "We hope no use will be made of the decision of last Association relative to the subject of missions, to the distress of Zion, contrary to the commands of Christ." (Ibid., Keith, p. 33.)

Patoka Church, in Gibson County, then asked what should be done 'in cases where principles and practice of the B.B.F.M. are cherished and nourished among us.' In response the Association advised 'the churches to cherish brotherly love, and to walk in all the commands of Christ blameless.'" Ibid., Keith, pp. 33-34.

The Pro-Mission Churches Struggle To Retain Recognition

Not satisfied with the 1820 reaffirmation of the 1819 decision of the Association against missions, at the next meeting of Maria Creek Church, William Polke presented complaints, in the form of four charges, against Elder Parker, based on the positions taken in his pamphlet, A Public Address. This resulted in gospel labor between Maria Creek and Lamotte churches, which continued month after month, and was still not resolved by the time of the October 1821 session of the Wabash Association. (These letters between the churches were published in a history of Maria Creek Church, and we have transcribed them, for the sake of anyone who wishes to study the great effort to exhaust every means of resolving the differences peaceably.)

When the Wabash Association met again, on October 6-9, 1821 (four days), the pro-mission churches and brethren were still anxious to prevent the exclusion of the missionary-minded churches as heterodox. On Monday the Association "appointed a committee to draft amendments to our Constitution and present the same to the association tomorrow." On Tuesday, this Committee reported, by recommending that the Constitution (which provided that questions coming before the association from the churches should be decided by a majority vote), should be amended to require that questions (queries) from the churches (such as the one which Lamotte had presented regarding the mission system) must be referred to the individual churches and voted on by each church, and the result reported at the next meeting, which vote would then be decided by a majority of churches. The same day, they also "Appointed an association to be held at Patoka meeting house in Gibson County, Ind., to commence on Saturday before the second Sunday in June next, for the purpose of receiving from the churches by their messengers their voices respecting the amendments to the Constitution recommended by the association."

The June 1822 Minutes have not been preserved, but Elder Daniel Parker's pamphlet, Plain Truth, (approved by Lamotte Church on May 16, 1823), was written to express his dissatisfaction with the actions of the Association in amending the constitution in October 1821 without church authority, and for refusing to receive the charges exhibited by Lamotte Church against Maria Creek Church, at the session held in June 1822.

The charges which Lamotte Church presented against Maria Creek Church, in June 1822, were as follows, to-wit: "1st. She refused to receive and act on charges legally exhibited by a member of our body against two members of her body. 2d. For holding to and justifying her members in the support of the principles and practice of the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions, which principles, so far as connected with the ministry, we believe to be heterodox; and we also believe the practice in every respect, while practiced under the name of the Baptist, and at the same time is in no legal way under the government of the Baptist Union. And we also believe that both the principles and practice are contrary to the principles of our union." After investigation and due consideration of these charges, the association dismissed them. (Ibid., Keith, p. 60, 61.)

The final outcome of the whole debate over modern missions was now thrown into serious doubt, not only within the Wabash Association, but in other places where the question had begun to be debated.

The Moment of Decision Approaches

By October 1822, when the Wabash Association convened, its makeup had dramatically changed. Due to churches being dismissed to organize the Salem Association of Indiana later that month, the Wabash Association had only twelve churches rather than twenty-one, as in the previous year. On Monday, October 7, 1822, a majority of the messengers voted to "advise the churches to meet by Delegates on the day preceding our next annual meeting for the express purpose of altering or amending the Constitution of the Association." (The proposed amendments were published in the 1822 minutes.) But more importantly, the charges of Lamotte Church against Maria Creek Church were presented again for reconsideration, in compliance with the new procedure prescribed in the June 1822 amendments to the Constitution (which had been made through the efforts of the pro-mission churches). The wording of this action was as follows: "3. On motion, the following charge exhibited by Lamott Church against Maria Creek Church, at the special Association in June last, be referred to the Churches, one fourth of the Churches having requested the same, 'for holding to and justifying her members in the support of the principles and practices of the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions, which principles so far as is connected with the ministry, we believe to be heterodox; and we also believe the practice in every respect, while practiced under the name of the Baptist, and at the same time is in no legal way under the government of the Baptist union; and we also believe, that both the principle and practice is contrary to the principles of our union.' After hearing the subject investigated, agreed to refer the same to the Churches, and request that they report thereon to the next Association."

1823: The Final Crucial Decisions Are Made

The 1823 Minutes record the momentous decisions made by the Wabash District Association, which impacted the Baptists, not only in Illinois and Indiana, but nation-wide. On Monday, "2. Appointed Elders Moses Pearson, Samuel Anderson, and Rice McCoy, a committee to examine the letters from the churches and to report their views respecting the difficulty between Lamott and Maria Creek Churches on the mission subject, which was referred to the Churches last year by the Association, which committee report as follows, to wit:

The case of missions shall be no bar to fellowship 2

Neuters 1

Justify the conduct of Maria Creek Church 2

Cause of grief with Maria Creek Church 5

There were fifteen churches represented in the Wabash District Association in 1823, but three of them were admitted in that year, and therefore were not prepared or qualified to vote, and neither Lamotte nor Maria Creek were permitted to vote, for obvious reasons.

The Final Solution: Total Separation

After careful deliberation, following the vote, the churches of the Wabash District Association agreed the same day to the following course of action: "Item 6. By motion appointed a committee of five to prescribe a division line for this association, to wit: John Parker, Thomas Pounds, Asa Norton, Robert Elliott, and Daniel Parker, who report as follows, to wit: That the Wabash river be the line, and the Churches on either side of the river join which side they think proper ..." The result of this action was the formation of the Union Association the following year, composed mainly of churches in Indiana who were favorable to missions. But fellowship had been permanently broken over the mission system.

The "Two-Seed" Doctrine Was NOT the Issue

After careful study, we find no indication that the "two-seed doctrine" had been raised as an issue in the division of the Wabash Association in 1823. No mention of the doctrine of two-seeds is found in the Association minutes, nor in Parker's early writings, viz., A Public Address (1820), Plain Truth (1823), or The Author's Defence (1824). Parker's Views on the Two Seeds was published three years later, in 1826, followed in 1827 by his Second Dose of Doctrine on the Two Seeds, and A Short Hint, which was his reply to Thomas Kennedy's "Explication of Proceedings at Lamotte Church." Without proof to the contrary, we must assume that pro-missionary historians and writers who attribute the division to Parker's views on "two-seeds," are merely using propaganda to advance their cause.

Case Study 1: Conclusion

The division in the Wabash District Association drew a clear, firm line among the pioneer Baptists in the midwest. The early detection of, and careful manner of dealing with, the unscriptural mission system, by the Elders and Brethren of the Wabash District Association, spared hundreds of pioneer Baptist churches in the midwest from corruption or total overthrow, of the sort which occurred in other places, where the opposition to the new system arose "too little, too late." The original lump was best preserved by purging the leaven of false doctrine and practice from it before it could leaven the whole. The leaven, however, has spread and permeated through our secular society and has engulfed the thinking of the religious world, for nearly two centuries. Only a miracle of grace can keep us all from being destroyed by it. A people who ignores its past, makes the same mistakes again in the present. <p><p> CASE STUDY 2. THE ILLINOIS ASSOCIATION

The Division Over Slavery - the "Friends to Humanity" Faction Adopt the Mission System

The damage wrought on the Illinois Association by the modern mission system was much greater than it would have otherwise been, as a result of the split over the slavery issue in 1809, and the fact that the Friends to Humanity faction which refused to fellowship slavery or slave-holders, were later influenced to adopt the modern mission system, and amalgamated with the missionaries.

The Efforts and Eventual Failure of John Mason Peck to Introduce the Modern Mission System

The first mention of the modern mission system in the minutes of the Illinois Association appeared more than eleven years after the Association was organized, in October 1818. On the second day of the 1818 session, held at Ogle's Creek Church in St. Clair County, Item 14 reads, "Bro. J. M. Peck, a Missionary from the Baptist Board of foreign missions arrived and invited to a seat with us." Item 18 reads, "By the request of Looking Glass Prairie Church this Association recommend to the Churches to meet on the first Monday of each month to pray for a revival of Religion and the blessing of God on missionary exertions in the spread of the gospel." Item 19, "Bro. Peck presented a circular from the Baptist board of foreign missions which was read, whereupon Bro. Peck gave a relation of the great exertions making to spread the gospel and translate the scriptures into heathen languages and the astonishing success which follows the labours of the missionaries in heathen lands, together with a brief statement of the great revivals of religion in many parts of our country and the world - all of which was highly interesting - therefore, Resolved that Rev. David Badgley of Ogle's Creek, St. Clair County, be our Secretary to correspond with the board of missions." Item 20, "Bro. Peck presented a plan of a society to employ Missionaries and promote common schools amongst the Whites and the Indians, which we desire to see carried into effect and which we recommend to the Churches." On the Lord's Day, October 11th, 1818, "A respectable concourse of people having met, Br. Peck preached a Missionary Sermon from Exodus 33, 15. If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up thence. A collection for the Indian Fund of the Western Baptist Mission society of $11.25 was received by Bro. Peck. Bro. Jones preached from Hebrews 4th, 3d. Bro. Musick from Isa. 53: 1. Bro. Peck closed by giving some interesting accounts of religious revivals in the northern states and elsewhere.

On Friday, October 8, 1819, when the Association met at Looking Glass Prairie meeting house, in St. Clair County, Br. J. M. Peck preached the introductory sermon from Romans 5th, 8th. On Saturday, October 9, Item 12, "Heard a corresponding letter from the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions containing interesting intelligence of the prosperity of the redeemer's kingdom." Item 13, "The Queries from Wood River considered, 1st, Is it right to correspond with the Baptist Board of foreign missions? Answer, yes. 2nd, Is there any use of the United Society for the Spread of the Gospel and if so, wherein does its usefulness consist? Answer, yes, and its use is to supply destitute places with preaching." On the Lord's Day, October 10th, Elder Lewis Williams preached first, followed by Elder James E. Welch, and finally, by Elder J. M. Peck, from Isa. 9:7. A collection was then taken of $4.75, which had been agreed the preceding day, Item 24, "Resolved that a public collection be taken on tomorrow, one half appropriated to the expense of printing the minutes and the other half to the traveling expenses of the delegates sent abroad."

On October 14, 1820, the Association met at the Canteen Creek meeting house in Madison County. On Saturday, Item 7th, "Street, Peck, and Jones to preach tomorrow and that preaching begin at 10 o'clock." On Monday, Item 16 (the last item of business of the day), "The query from the Canteen Creek church, is the principle and practice of the Baptist Board of foreign missions in its present operations justifiable agreeable to gospel order? Answered as follows, Whereas our information respecting the management of the Board of Foreign Missions has as yet been but small, we therefore feel willing to drop the Query respecting them, and also to drop any further correspondence with them."

Nothing appeared in the Association minutes for 1821 or 1822 which indicated any trouble over the mission system. However, in 1823, the Association met at Providence Church, in Greene County, Illinois; and on Saturday, August 23rd, the Association received a letter from the Rock Spring Church, which was referred to the committee or arrangement. Also, a letter of correspondence was received from the Missouri Association by the hand of their messenger, John M. Peck. The minutes state that "the letter [from Missouri Association] referred to the committee of arrangement." On Monday, August 25th, "The Association agrees, with regard to correspondence, to receive the letter, and if aught be made appear against the messenger, if he neglects to give satisfaction, to debar him from a seat with us." The minutes also reveal, in the business session on Monday, that a committee was appointed to meet at Richland Creek Church meeting-house, on the 2nd Saturday in October, to make inquiry into any difficulties that may exist between the Richland [Creek] and Ogle's Creek churches, and also the Rock Spring church, and report to the next association." Ogle's Creek Church had reported 17 exclusions that year (as shown in the statistical table in the association minutes).

The Illinois Association convened at Shoal Creek Church, in Bond County, in August 1824.

On Saturday, August 28th, Item 4th states, "We received a letter, and other documents, from the Rock Spring Church: referred to the committee or arrangement, to make report thereon." On Monday, August 30th, Item 3d, reads, "We, the Committee or Arrangement, after examining all the records, and documents, referred to us, advise the Rock Spring Church, together with the Richland and Ogle's Creek or Clintonhill churches, to agree to the advice of the Committee at Sangamo, to which the distress of said Churches was referred. And we are of opinion, that the members of the Rock Spring and Richland Creek Churches who were formerly members of Ogle's Creek Church, have made sufficient acknowledgement, and also, that Brother David Badgley has made sufficient acknowledgement for the charge against him, and we are further of opinion, that, if either party shall not comply with the above, they should be considered in transgression by us. Signed by the Committee, and approved of by the Association." Item 13th, "Resolved, unanimously, by this association, that we view the general conduct, and proceedings, in this country, of those preachers (and especially that of John M. Peck) patronized by the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions, to have been distressing to the brethren, and prejudicial to the cause of Christ, amongst the Baptist churches in this union. Resolved, further, that no preacher who has been, or shall be patronized by the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions shall hereafter have a seat in this Association, unless he shall have withdrawn from their patronage or service."

In August 1827, a distress of Sugar Creek Church with the Clinton Hill (formerly Ogle's Creek) Church was taken up, and laid over; and also the Clinton Hill Church is requested to make such statements as she may think proper to the next Association relative to a certain resolution of said church published in the Edwardsville Spectator.

In 1830, the Illinois Association took up and answered accusations against her, which were probably written by Rev. John M. Peck, as follows: "9. The reference from the Richland Church relative to a certain publication over the signatures of the publishing Committee of the Rock-Spring and Edwardsville Churches, published in the Pioneer of Feb. 6, 1830, directed to the Western Baptists, taken up and answered as follows: Whereas, the Edwardsville and Rock-Spring Churches have accused the Illinois Association of exercising power over Churches and individuals, and have cast a stigma on the Churches and Association in saying they were influenced by a few leading brethren, we think those Churches have been mistaken in their views. The Churches composing the Illinois Association have always considered themselves to be independent and influenced by none; and the general contents of former Minutes were their united voices, through their Messengers; and they never felt a disposition to remonstrate against their former proceedings - firmly believing those pretended liberal institutions of the present day, to spread the gospel, to be without any license from the word of God: and as the love of Money is the root of all evil, we fear they will only tend to sap the foundation of both our civil and religious liberties. We therefore advise our brethren of the different Churches to be aware of their stratagems."

The Minutes of the Illinois Association for 1831 chronicle some of the early history of the Association, including an account of the division over slavery, and the division in the Richland Creek Church, with the people who became known as the Friends to Humanity. This quotation is given in the history of Richland Creek Church, and may be seen by referring to the history of St. Clair County.

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