A Brief Sketch of Early Primitive Baptist History
in the State of Tennessee

On the fourth Saturday in October, 1786, fifteen delegates from seven churches, to-wit : Beaver Creek, Bent Creek, Cherokee Creek, Greasy Cove, Kendrick Creek, Lower French Broad River, and North Fork of Holston, met at Cherokee Meeting House, and with authority from the Sandy Creek Association, they organized a new Baptist Association, which was named the Holston Baptist Association. Elder Tidence Lane was chosen moderator and William Murphy clerk. By 1811 the number of churches in this body had increased from seven to twenty-one. The Holston Association covered a large mountainous territory devoid of good roads and other means of easy communication.

The Holston Association met at Morelock's Meeting House in Hawkins County, Tennessee, on the second Friday in August, 1811, and its clerk entered as a part of its minutes this item of business: "In consequence of petitions from several churches in the upper part of this Union, for division of this Association's bounds the question was put, and a division concluded as follows, viz., Beginning where the present line strikes the Cumberland Mountain, then with the same to Lee Court House, thence to Holston Spring at Andrew McHenry's; thence to Blountville; then to where the Watauga breaks the Iron Mountain; thence as may be found most convenient to join the line of the Mountain District Association." The churches southwest of this line continued as the Holston Association. The following churches represented in the 1811 Holston Association later that year became charter members of the new association: Glade Hollow, Meadows, Mill Creek, North Fork, and St. Clair's Bottom. Three other Holston Association churches came in later, to-wit: Hendrix Creek in 1812; Rich Valley in 1813; and Moqueson (Moccasin) in 1814.

Messengers (or delegates) were selected by each church in the new district, who met at the North Fork Church in Washington County, Virginia on the third Saturday in October, 1811. The following churches were represented in the founding sessions: Abrahams Creek, Castlewood, Glad Hollow, Meadows, Mill Creek, North Fork and St. Clair's Bottom (sometimes known as South Fork). After worship the meeting organized by electing Elder George Brown, Moderator and John Moffett, Clerk. Delegates appeared from Deep Spring Church in Lee County, Virginia and Indian Bottom Church in Kentucky, and were admitted as members. Thereupon these churches constituted themselves into an associated capacity and adopted the constitution of the Regular Baptist Association as their form of government. (Wash. 1811). The minutes of the first session do not contain the name given to the new body, but the minutes of the second session in 1812 contain the name as "Washington Association of Baptists." It is thought this name was chosen because most of its churches were located in Washington County, Virginia.

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